Naomi Ackerman

Founder // Executive Director

Naomi Ackerman, the founder and executive director of The Advot (ripples) Project was born in the United States and then immigrated to Israel in her childhood. She moved back to Los Angeles in 2006 with her Husband and children. Served 2 years in the Israeli Defense Forces and then received a BA in Education and Theatre from Hebrew University as well as a special-ed teaching credential from the David Yellin Teachers Seminar. Naomi is an experienced actress, who has trained extensively in varied settings and methods.  Her credits include theater, musicals, films, television as well as being an accomplished street performer stilt walker and professional clown. She has participated in various multinational Theater productions. Founding member of “View Points” an Arab Jewish dialogue theater produced by the “Shimon Peres Center for Peace”. Naomi was the creator of the Jerusalem municipality children’s clown school, writing and initiating programs that used performance art to engage the entire community. She was part of the first groups of clowns in Israel to engage in medical clowning. She wrote directed and performs the acclaimed one-woman show “Flowers Aren’t Enough” That deals with the issue of domestic violence and has been featured over 1900 times globally. Including the United Nations for the Commission for the Status of woman. (CSW). “Flowers Aren’t Enough” has been translated to four different languages. Naomi works internationally consulting, training, speaking and creating curriculums that use drama techniques to deal with social, gender and educational issues, as well as exploring identity and promoting tolerance and dialogue between diverse participants. In 2011 she founded The Advot (ripples) Project that uses theatre for transformation. The Advot Project works with incarcerated girls in the Los Angeles County probation incarceration facilities. Naomi is a social activist who produces events and gatherings that teach engage and call to action communities and individuals to take a stand, and find their voice to fight injustice. But most important of all she is the mother of three beautiful girls Zohar, Ella and Hadar. Recipient of the KCET – Link Local Hero 2014 Award. Naomi and the Advot Project were featured in the Bobbie Brown giving back glam Superwoman episode 8 - 2014. Recipient of the 2016 International Woman Achievers Community leadership award. She has written/blogged for forward thinking, and the good magazine. 

Amanda Sissman

Assistant Director


Karee Maxson

Communications Director


Shawn La’Re Brinkley

Program Coordinator

Amanda Sissman grew up on both coasts of the US. She received her undergraduate degree in Communications and Media Arts from UC San Diego, attending classes at UC Santa Cruz and Royal Holloway at the University of London. After graduating she became a flight attendant for United Airlines. Based out of Washington D.C., she visited 15 countries and most of the United States in the course of just a year! Late in 2008 she moved to Lawrence, Kansas to begin a new adventure as the Program Director for University of Kansas Hillel. While a member of the Hillel staff she attended Brandeis Collegiate Institute (BCI) in the summer of 2009. The following year she moved back to California to become the Assistant Director of BCI, a position she held until 2014. In May 2013 she married Daniel in Italy, and in June 2014 they welcomed their daughter into the world. Amanda now enjoys being a Mother, working as the Assistant Director for the Advot Project, and teaching pottery classes at a local ceramics studio.

Karee Maxson is a filmmaker, graphic designer and a nationally certified Emergency Medical Technician. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University, where she studied Telecommunications and Social Work. For five years Karee served as Creative Director for Creative Visions Foundation. Karee’s interest in cultural exploration has carried her to destinations such as Kenya, Uganda, and Haiti, where she discovered the power of storytelling to drive lasting social change. Karee has traveled to Uganda with Just Like My Child Foundation to film a promotional piece for their Girl Power program; and after Typhoon Haiyan she traveled with Mandate Productions to document the on-the-ground response of USAID and Team Rubicon, while also providing her services as an EMT. During the summers, Karee is a counselor for Open Roads - a summer expedition for high school students that combines adventure travel with documentary storytelling through photography, film, and writing.

Shawn La'Re Brinkley is an energetic spirit who is most often described as a “people” person. She refers to herself as a chameleon, expressing herself according to her environment, equally comfortable in a left or right-brained setting. To feed her creative spirit, Shawn La'Re’s artisic background includes acting, singing, dance, spoken word/poetry, making jewelry as well as soaps/potions. She has worked with Playhouse theatre Players bringing to life the character’s of Sarah Vaughn and Bessie Smith in “When Diva’s were Diva’s and toured with the P & C Production in the gospel musical, “Tambourine’s to Clara.” Shawn La'Re’ is lead singer of her band, BlaQue Silk, playing blues, Jazz, and R&B. Fluent in French, Shawn La'Re has performed in Paris and at the Canne Film Festival in France.  Most recently, Shawn La'Re obtained her master’s degree as a Marriage Family Therapist serving teen girls and trauma survivors. Ms. Brinkley, sees private clients as well specializing in trauma informed and mindfulness stress reduction as well as working with performers using performance enhancement modalities.