Humans of RJ: Jonah Gercke

By Jackie Bueno

Because I work with some pretty awesome people, each week I will highlight a student leader from our center. This week, I’m highlighting Jonah Gercke, a freshman at UC Berkeley and the RJ Student Documentarian.

Here’s their bio:

Jackie: Where did you grow up?
Jonah: I grew up in Southern California. My parents are artistic directors. I grew up in the theater and was constantly surrounded by the theater. Where I grew up was quiet. I had a very nice upbringing, with very loving and was by the beach all the time.

Jackie: Why did you decide to work for the Restorative Justice Center?
Jonah: The principles of the RJ manner sound interesting. I knew I could be enthusiastic about this work. The more I learned about restorative justice versus punitive systems really showed me the processes of it and the ramifications of having a punitive system versus a restorative one.

Jackie: What do you think is the best part about working in RJ?
Jonah: The real sense of community built between everyone working at the center. There’s not many jobs I know where people really engage with one another, and you really grow closer with the people you’re working with. I’m also able to merge my passion of filmmaking with the goal of demonstrating restorative justice, which is more powerful than just sitting at a desk.

Jackie: What do you do in your free time?
Jonah: I’m really into filmmaking and journalism. I’m also really into poetry. I love hikes and runs. I am a huge LA Clippers basketball fan. And I love generally going out on adventures.

Jackie: Three words that describe what you hope for in 2018?
Jonah: Organization, action, rehabilitation.


Jackie Bueno is a senior at UC Berkeley studying Sociology. For further inquiries or if you would like to be featured, please contact her at