For the work of metropolitan New York region of EMI, the
Central Synagogue of NYC is our Lead Partner, led by:

John Ducksworth
EMI NY Regional Coordinator

John Ducksworth was born in Harlem, USA, and attended the New York City Public school system. He acquired an Associate Degree from Dutchess Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from State University of New York, a Master’s Degree in Professional Studies from New York Theological Seminary with a concentration in counseling and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a concentration in management and organization.

In 1985, John went to work for The Salvation Army in East Harlem, NY. After four years he elected to become a Salvation Army Officer and was admitted to the School for Officers Training. He graduated in 1990, ordained and commissioned to the rank of Lieutenant and later promoted to the rank of Captain. He has served as an Officer in Philadelphia, PA., Brooklyn, NY, Essex County, NJ and Boston, MA. After 17 years with the Salvation Army he resigned his ordination and commission.

He has provided leadership to Court based programs, Community Corrections, probation and juvenile justice agencies, private corrections corporations and social services agencies in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. His various roles have expanded from experiential to providing direct service, to middle and senior management positions, to government agency Executive Team. He is a licensed trainer in Restorative Justice Principles and Practices from International Institute of Restorative Practices (iirp), as well as trained at MAAT Training Institute for Restorative Justice, Washington, DC, Community Justice of Youth Institute, Chicago, Illinois, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and the US Department of Justice National Institute of Corrections, Longmont, Colorado.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards, has been published and is married to Joan. They have two daughters, ages 14 and 10.

Rabbi Nicole Auerbach
Central Synagogue of New York City

Rabbi Nicole Auerbach serves as the Director of Congregational Engagement at Central Synagogue in New York City. Rabbi Auerbach was ordained in 2016 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York, and is trained as both a community organizer and a spiritual director. Before rabbinical school, Rabbi Auerbach worked as an attorney for 10 years, first as a federal public defender, and then as a media lawyer specializing in First Amendment issues. Rabbi Auerbach’s interest in criminal justice reform and commitment to ending mass incarceration grew out of her experience representing indigent clients in criminal court, and learning how incarceration not only impaired their ability to assist in their defense, but also caused irreparable harm to their families and communities. She is grateful to be part of a multifaith community raising a moral call to create a world of greater freedom and redemption for all.

Rabbi Hilly Haber
Central Synagogue of New York City

As Director of Social Justice Organizing and Education at Central Synagogue, Rabbi Hilly Haber works with a team of lay leaders on systemic justice questions such as criminal justice reform and immigration, as well as on other areas of Central’s social justice programming. Rabbi Haber has taught college courses on Rikers Island, and has served as a volunteer prison chaplain in New Jersey state prisons. Rabbi Haber is currently pursuing her PhD at Union Theological Seminary in Social Ethics.

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