Meet Our Board Members
Rabbi Dana Magat
1010 University Ave | San Jose, CA 95126
Dana Magat became Temple Emanu-El's Senior Rabbi in July 1999. He previously served four years as Associate Rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego. Rabbi Magat's first pulpit was in Miami where he was the Assistant Rabbi/Director of Education for Temple Israel of Greater Miami. Before his ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1993, he earned a Masters in Education from the Fingerhut School of Education at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. Rabbi Magat has served as President of the Cantors and Rabbis Association of Greater San Jose and has been a board member of Hillel of Silicon Valley, Chai House, the Jewish Community Center and the Pacific Association of American Rabbis. He currently serves on the board of the Northern California Board of Rabbis. He is married to Cheriel and he has two children, Shira and Raya.
Rev. John L. Freesemann
Vice Chair of Campaigns
Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church
1948 The Alameda | San Jose, CA 95126
Rev. Freesemann has been the pastor of Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church since 1990. John received a dual degree from San Jose State University in Philosophy and Psychology. He graduated from Christ Seminary - Seminex and was ordained in 1976. He has been engaged in the struggle for economics and justice since the mid-1960s.
John is a member of the California Council of Churches IMPACT board and sits on the board of the National Farm Worker Ministry. John is passionate about Sabbath Economics and the movement of our world toward the realization of a "peaceable kingdom". He is the chair of the Interfaith Council's Hotel Workers Rising Committee.
Steve Herrera, Deacon
Transfiguration Catholic Church
4325 Jarvis Ave. | San Jose, CA 95118
Deacon Steve Herrera has been teaching religion to Catholic High School students for 33 years. He currently teaches at Archbishop Mitty High School and is serving as a Deacon in the Diocese of San Jose. Steve currently administers immersion programs for adults and teens in the Diocese of San Jose with an emphasis on interreligious dialogue. Deacon Steve holds a Bachelor’s of Theology Degree from the University of San Francisco and a Master's in Pastoral Theology from USF as well.
Rev. Daryl Lavway
Grace Baptist Church
484 E. San Fernando St. | San Jose, CA 95112
Daryl Lavway preached his first sermon at age 19. He has served churches in Canada and Maine and made several mission trips to the Dominican Republic, where he served as a mission leader and helped build a hospital for Haitian sugar cane cutters. The last two parishes he served in Maine covered a span of 29 years. He has a magna cum laude degree in Political Science from the University of Southern Maine and did his theological studies at Atlantic Baptist University in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. During that time he received awards for being the highest ranking student in the Biblical/theological studies department. He has also studied Baptist history and polity at Oxford University in England and taken courses in small church management at Princeton Seminary. He and his wife, Tatyana, have been married for almost four years and are the proud parents of seven children all together.
Fr. Bill Leininger
Human Concerns Commission, Diocese of San Jose
Fr. Jon Pedigo
St. Julie Billiart Parish
366 St. Julie Drive | San Jose, CA 95119
A Bay Area Native, Fr. Jon Pedigo has been active in civic affairs and social justice causes for over 25 years. He also serves on the Human Concerns Commission of the Diocese of San José. In 2004, he was honored with the Martin Luther King Good Neighbor Award. Fr. Pedigo holds a Bachelor’s of Music Degree from San Francisco State University and a Master of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington. He did his theology studies at St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park and holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley.
Ahmadiiyya Muslim Community
876 Hermiston Drive | San Jose, CA 95136
Board member at Interfaith Council on Economic and Justice. Out Reach Director at Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Ladies Auxillary. Chair-Human Relations Commission of Santa Clara County. Humanity First USA- Food Pantry co-ordinator, Volunteer at Sacred Heart Community Service. Married and resident of San Jose.
Dr. Stanley E. Taylor
2009 Chair Emeritus
St. Julie Billiart Parish, Worker Justice Advocate
Pax Christi Northern California, Chair
421 Sautner Drive | San Jose, CA 95123
Stan Taylor is a retired cognitive psychologist who studied the thinking demands of people at work. He is the Chair of Pax Christi Northern California, part of Pax Christi USA, the Catholic peace and nonviolence movement, and a member of the Executive Steering Committee of Justice For Immigrants. He is a husband, father of three daughters and grandfather of five. Stan worships formally at St. Julie Billiart Parish and informally in solidarity with those with no voice, especially the working poor and the strangers in our midst who we call immigrants, until we get to know them. He is a two-time graduate of JustFaith, and a former seminarian at the Pontifical College Josephinum.