DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY
Yonah Zeitz is the director of advocacy with the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice. Through advocacy, communications, policy work, organizing, and coalition building, Yonah works to strengthen grassroots movements and build people power. His work focuses on transforming the criminal legal system and creating community-led solutions that focus on resources and healing, not cages. His work combines policy strategy, digital and community organizing, and communications to advance Katal’s goals.
Yonah has worked on campaigns to pass bail reform, close Rikers Island, and address the COVID-19 crisis behind bars in Connecticut and New York. He recently served in a leadership role managing communications and policy strategy for the #LessIsMoreNY campaign, which catalyzed the passage of the most transformative parole reform in the country to date; by July 2022 more than 12,000 people had been discharged from parole early and nearly 2,000 others were released from jails and prisons.
Before joining Katal, Yonah worked as a project associate at The Bronx Freedom Fund, a nonprofit bail fund operating in the Bronx and Queens. He worked to post bail for hundreds of people unjustly incarcerated because of their race or ethnicity and poverty. Advocating for systemic change of the money bail system, he represented the organization in numerous efforts, including the #CLOSErikers campaign, the #FREEnewyork campaign, the Queens for DA Accountability Coalition, the National Bail Fund Network, and Court Watch NYC.
Yonah’s prior internship experiences at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and the Maryland Office of the Public Defender helped shape his understanding of our punitive and racist criminal legal system.
Yonah is originally from Montgomery County, Maryland, and is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the state’s public honors college. He has a bachelor of arts in political science and public policy, with minors in economics and democracy studies. Now based in Brooklyn, Yonah enjoys spending time in Prospect Park, playing soccer, and biking around the city.