Abby J. Leibman

President & CEO

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Abby J. Leibman has been President & CEO at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger since 2011. Prior to her current tenure, Ms. Leibman had a consulting practice to assist social justice organizations, businesses, and public institutions meet the challenges of growth and change, including leadership development, managing diversity, and implementing strategies to respond to discrimination. Among her clients, Ms. Leibman worked with some of California’s most innovative organizations, including Jewish World Watch, Food Forward, L.A.’s BEST, UCLA Hillel, Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue, the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles and the Progressive Jewish Alliance (now Bend the Arc).

For over 20 years, Ms. Leibman has worked with and led some of California’s most prominent nonprofit organizations, including the California Women’s Law Center, which she co-founded and directed for 12 years. Prior to founding the California Women’s Law Center, Ms. Leibman was the Directing Attorney/Community Programs for Public Counsel, where she developed and then directed its Child Care Law Project and managed its project providing pro bono transactional assistance to nonprofit organizations. Ms. Leibman served a two-year term as one of five civilians appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to the Equity Oversight Panel for the L.A. Sheriff’s Department. Ms. Leibman directed the New Leaders Project of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles, for which she developed the project’s curriculum to guide emerging leaders on making civic engagement a priority. 

Ms. Leibman also has a distinguished record of community leadership including: the Board of Directors for Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, the Board of California Women Lawyers, the Court and Community Outreach Task Force of the California Judicial Council, Women Lawyers’ Association of Los Angeles and as President of the California Children’s Council. She served as chair of the West Hollywood Human Services Commission, a member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Child Care, a member of the Women’s Advisory Council to the Los Angeles Police Commission. Ms. Leibman has served on the Board of the Progressive Jewish Alliance and on the Executive Committee of the Jewish Community Relations Commission.

Ms. Leibman served as adjunct faculty at UCLA and the Graduate School of Management at American Jewish University. 

Ms. Leibman has received a number of prestigious honors, including the Hastings College of Law Alumnae of the Year, California Women Lawyer's Faye Stender Award, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles' Ernestine Stalhut Award, UCSD's Top 100 Influential Alumni Award, USC Law Center's Public Interest Advocate Award, and the So. California Employer Round Table's Carol F. Schiller Award.

She has a J.D. from Hastings College of Law and graduated magna cum laude from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Political Science. 

Articles by Abby J. Leibman

Protecting our nation’s freedom from want

Seventy years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered his historic “Four Freedoms” address to Congress and asserted that Americans, and all citizens of the world, had an essential human right to “freedom from want.”

Published by JTA-Op-Ed: Keep the SNAP aid program strong

As leaders of national advocacy organizations, we cannot stand by while the health and well-being of one of every six American men, women and children are threatened. As leaders of Jewish advocacy organizations, we are further compelled to act by the arrival of Passover, a holiday that opens with an invitation to “Let all who are hungry come and eat.”

Published in j. – A Jewish Response to the Farm Bill

(Published on October 16, 2011 in j., the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California) Putting Jewish values on poor Americans’ dinner tables by Abby J. Leibman. At Yom Kippur, through tefillah, teshuvah and tzedakah, we recommit ourselves to improving our relationship with God and with our community. 

BUDGET: Threat to Food Stamps Lies Hidden in Ryan’s Plan

Hiding in the pages of the House of Representatives’ proposed 2012 budget is a stripping away of federal funding for our safety net food programs.

Advocacy in Israel: MAZON visit July 18, 2013

On our last full day of meetings in Israel we visited the warehouse at Leket…

Advocacy in Israel: MAZON visit July 17, 2013

Today, we had several meetings that continued to highlight for us the that Israeli innovation is not solely in the field of technology.

Advocacy in Israel: MAZON visit July 14, 2013

Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO and Mia Hubbard, Vice President of Programs are in Israel, meeting with our grantees and gaining a deeper understanding of hunger in Israel.

Solving Senior Hunger: Thoughts on What Works

Through our Solutions to Senior Hunger Initiative, we have learned several key strategies that can make a significant difference in the lives of seniors in need.

We're asking the wrong question

Most of our response to hunger in America is wrong.

Watch MAZON Testify Before Congress

Watch Abby J. Leibman, MAZON President & CEO, testify before Congress as an expert witness on the too-often ignored topic of hunger among military and veteran families. 

Statement Regarding Introduction of Military Hunger Prevention Act by U.S. Rep. Susan Davis

Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger today issued this statement in response to the introduction of the Military Hunger Prevention Act on November 14, 2016, by Congresswoman Susan Davis: 

Statement by the National Anti-Hunger Organizations

Our organizations, which make up the National Anti-Hunger Organizations, are committed to ensuring a strong and effective national nutrition safety net for vulnerable, low-income individuals and families. With a united voice, we reflect on the hunger problem in America and its solutions as we transition to a new president and a new Congress.

Statement: MAZON Supports Nomination of David Shulkin as Veterans Affairs Secretary

Abby J. Leibman, president and CEO at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, released this statement today in response to the announcement that Dr. David Shulkin has been nominated Secretary of Veterans Affairs. 

Statement: MAZON Dismayed by Nomination of Governor Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary

While we have serious concerns about decisions made during Sonny Perdue’s two terms as governor of Georgia, we welcome the opportunity to work with him to become a strong supporter of federal nutrition assistance programs. 

This Is Hunger: Stories of Hunger Where You Least Expect

Stories of hunger where you least expect it are plentiful – yet they are hidden from view. 

SNAP Series #1: We Cannot Stand Idly By...

The new Administration has spoken. And it is clear from the recent executive orders and policy prescriptions under consideration that this Administration and Republican leaders in Congress are ready and willing to wage a war on the most vulnerable among us.

MAZON Responds to President Trump’s Address to Congress

Abby J. Leibman, President and CEO at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, today issued this statement in response to President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress. 

SNAP Series #2: The Facts

During this Congressional session, we at MAZON expect certain policymakers to want to debate the “proper” role of the federal government in preventing hunger across the nation. More specifically, we anticipate proposals that will slash funding for SNAP, change how the program is structured, or both. We want you to know the basic facts. 

Statement: MAZON Calls for Holistic Solutions to Address Growing Food Insecurity Among College Students

Stories of hunger among college students have been widely documented in the press, resulting in, among other actions, senators calling on the Government Accountability Office to study food insecurity at American colleges and universities. 

Statement: MAZON Responds to the White House's "Skinny Budget" Proposal

By systematically cutting programs that support poor people, this budget proposal sends a very clear and troubling message: that those Americans who struggle economically—including veterans and their families, home-bound seniors, and those who live in rural communities—are simply expendable for this Administration. 

The Real Questions for Sonny Perdue

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate will hold confirmation hearings for Sonny Perdue, former governor of Georgia and President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

MAZON's Testimony before Congress on The Next Farm Bill: The Future of SNAP

We are so honored to have been invited again to testify before Congress. Yesterday, Josh Protas, MAZON’s Vice President of Public Policy, provided unique and compelling testimony to the House Agriculture Committee.

SNAP Series #3: Three Common Myths about SNAP

Let’s take a moment to identify and understand the truth behind three common myths about SNAP.

SNAP Series #4: The Federal Response

Despite the program’s monumental successes, some policymakers remain blinded by the program’s cost and their drive to reduce federal spending no matter the consequences.

SNAP: Our Nation’s Frontline Defense Against Hunger

For many of us, our Jewish values and ideals have shaped us as committed advocates for social justice. As advocates, we are reminded daily that our work is not easy. We are also reminded daily that our work is imperative. 

MAZON Responds to the White House’s Budget Proposal

A budget should reflect our values and priorities as a nation. This budget betrays our basic American principle of taking care of those in need.

MAZON Launches New Strategic Initiative

During the month of May, we recognized Older Americans Month by focusing our attention on food insecure seniors. While May is over, our work for seniors is nowhere close to finished.

MAZON Responds to the U.S. Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

MAZON Condemns Chairman Mike Conaway's Blocking of Amendment to Help Military Families

MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger condemns the recent action by House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway to block an amendment that would correct an unintended barrier preventing military families from accessing SNAP benefits.

Statement: MAZON Responds to USDA Report on Food Security

It is shameful that 15.6 million American households continue to struggle to put enough food on the table each day.

Statement: MAZON Applauds VA Action to Address Veteran Food Insecurity

Abby J. Leibman, president and CEO at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, applauds recent effort by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs decision to implement food insecurity screenings for veterans.

We don’t have to read between the lines to know what comes next

With the passing of this horrific tax bill, Republicans in Congress now think they’ve cleared the way for the massive cuts they’ve wanted for so long.

MAZON Responds to USDA’s 2018 Farm Bill Legislative Principles

The legislative principles issued by the USDA have concerning implications for the 2018 Farm Bill.

MAZON Condemns Trump’s Budget Proposal as a "Moral Disgrace"

President Trump’s budget proposal will hurt tens of millions of low-income families and increase hunger in America.

2018 Farm Bill Will Harm Real People

The draft 2018 Farm Bill is a cruel and misguided proposal that will imperil older Americans already struggling to make ends meet.

The 2018 Farm Bill Will Disproportionately Harm Single Mothers

Make no mistake: Those most affected by the harsh proposals in this Farm Bill will be women—specifically single mothers.

Farm Bill Proposal Gets Military Food Stamp Policy Wrong

This bill includes proposals that threaten to pull the rug out from under millions of Americans, among them thousands of currently serving members of our nation's armed forces.

MAZON’s CEO Reacts to Defeat of the House Farm Bill

This is a huge victory for millions of families who would have been devastated by the cuts to SNAP proposed by House Republicans.

MAZON Calls Proposal for ‘Department of Health and Public Welfare’ a First Strike

The White House’s plan for restructuring is a clear move towards their goal of doing away with social safety net programs.

MAZON Labels Passage of H.R. 2 a ‘Failure of Leadership’

The narrow vote by House Republicans represents poor leadership and a lack of concern for the American people.

MAZON Celebrates Senate Farm Bill Passage

The bipartisan effort reflects the Farm Bill's intention—to balance the needs of farmers with rural and urban consumers. 

MAZON Outraged by ‘Public Charge’ Rule Change

The proposed new rule expands the criteria for determining who would be considered a ‘public charge,’ including whether a family has received food assistance.

MAZON Statement on Tragedy at Tree of Life

It is our hope that the love and support of millions of Americans, from all faiths and backgrounds, will help the community there to heal.

MAZON Sees Possible Return to Bipartisan Support of Anti-Hunger Policies

MAZON is ready to work with the new Congress on addressing the persistent food insecurity that plagues over 40 million Americans.

MAZON Supports Bipartisan Farm Bill Package; Urges Passage

The legislation includes a number of compromises necessary to pass the bill, but importantly resulted in a sound nutrition title that protects SNAP.

MAZON Reacts to GAO Report on Food Insecurity Among College Students

New report sheds light on prevalence of food insecurity on U.S. college campuses.