- David Rudnick - President
- Suzanne Alpert - 1st Vice President
- Ed Grossman - Secretary
- Ben Argov - Treasurer
- Bob Bleckman
- Julia Dvorin
- Jeff Fox
- Lani Gershik
- Aaron Golbus
- Beth Katz
- Darell Krasnoff
- Anna Lushtak
- Jon Marker
- Lisa Newmark
- Caren Orum
- Lisa Pavlovsky - Past President
- Lynn Roy
- Lynne Simon
Jennifer Levine - Women of Rodef Sholom President
BOARD BIOGRAPHIES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Suzanne has been an educator and administrator at several Bay Area independent schools for the past 25 years. She was raised in St. Louis, attended Bowdoin College, and has an M.A. in Education from Stanford University. Currently, she lives in Mill Valley with her husband and two daughters and is on the Board of the Tamalpais High School Foundation and serves on the SF Federation’s Diller Jewish Educator Award Committee.
For years, Suzanne's involvement in Jewish life was hosting Hanukkah parties and Seders plus attending the short service at the end of religious school. But over the years, she came to realize, that those 15 minutes at services, were a highlight of her week. Her involvement then changed dramatically after a sudden loss in their family, when she began to accompany her husband to Shabbat services nearly every week for a year. This experience transformed her connection. Since then, she has attended family camps; celebrated both her daughters becoming Bat Mitzvah; traveled to Israel on a Rodef Sholom family trip and became a became a Bat Mitzvah herself in April 2017. Suzanne serves on Rodef Sholom’s Development Committee.
Ben is one of the owners of IWA Wine Accessories, which is a retailer and manufacturer of wine-related products, gifts and accessories. As President of the company since its inception in 2004, Ben has guided its rapid rise through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Prior to 2004, Ben spent five years as a CPA in Arthur Andersen’s small business practice and almost seven years as an investment banker for Morgan Stanley. Ben lives in Tiburon with his wife Bryn and their three teenage boys. They moved to Tiburon from San Francisco in 2007, and joined Rodef Sholom shortly thereafter. As the son of Israeli parents, Ben spent every summer growing up in Israel, as well as 10th grade in an academic year-long program on Kibbutz Kfar Blum. Like many of the other Board members, Ben is thrilled at the opportunity to give back to Rodef Sholom, with its amazing clergy and incredible community.
Bob has been in finance and sales for over 30 years, running various bank regional offices. He is a founding member of Union Bank Bay Area Leadership Council, organizing outreach between bank personnel and local charities as well as local businesses.
Raised in New York, Bob's family was very involved in temple life. He served as a youth leader and feels that being part of a Jewish community is deeply ingrained within himself. This feeling of connection, is something that he tries to impart on his children as well. Bob's involvement in Rodef Sholom, has primarily been through his children's participation in religious school, but traveling with the synagogue to Israel last year, deepened his personal resolve to become more engaged. And this past year, his son introduced him to the REST program, which has now become a permanent fixture on his schedule.
As his children are now older, Bob finds himself with time and energy to devote to the synagogue.
Julia Dvorin is a writer and artist who lives in Lucas Valley with her husband Joshua Archer and their two boys, Eli and Isaac. She holds an MA in Sociology from UCSB and has also worked in Education, Consumer Products Licensing and Web Design.
Julia was born in Washington DC but moved with her family out to the Bay Area when she was two. Shortly after moving to Marin, her family joined Rodef Sholom. As a kid, she attended Rodef Sholom's Religious School and was confirmed, and a decade later she and her husband Joshua were married by Rabbi Barenbaum. She and Joshua decided to re-join Rodef Sholom when they were looking for a synagogue affiliation to support raising their young family in a Jewish mindset. Since then, she has been a project coordinator for Mitzvah Day, a pioneer member (along with her family) of Kol Hamishpacha, a member of the Welcoming Committee, and a member of the Chevra Kadisha. Julia was also part of the adult B'nai Mitzvah class in 2013, and she continues to look for ways to deepen her Jewish practice and connection to the Rodef Sholom community.
Julia is deeply honored to serve such a special community.
Jeff Fox is a practicing gastroenterologist in Marin at Kaiser Permanente, where he has served as the department chief since 2006 and as the Chair of Gastroenterology for the Northern California Kaiser Permanente region since 2014. In these roles, he has developed significant organizational leadership skills necessary to coordinate and deliver compassionate digestive disease care for over 4 million Kaiser members. He has a passion for teaching and is excited to be the associate director of Kaiser Permanente's new GI fellowship this summer. Jeff has also been a volunteer with Operation Access, where he has organized and performed hundreds of medical procedures for no cost, to Marin and Sonoma County residents who could not otherwise afford them.
A Bay Area native, Jeff, his wife Rena, and their children Natalie and David have been engaged with Rodef Sholom through Jewish education and by forging new friendships. He has been an active participant over the years in the High Holy Day services. Jeff believes that the Jewish faith provides so much of his family’s identity that devoting increased energy to Rodef Sholom feels like a natural choice. He plans to bring the same dedication that he has given to raising his children and building his career to the Rodef Sholom community. Jeff feels that with many transitions on the horizon, it is an important and exciting time to be part of the team that steers the congregation in the right direction.
Lani has been closely involved with Rodef Sholom for over 20 years. She cites the example set by her parents-in-law, Marty and Marlene Gershik, z”l, as the guiding model for her desire to be part of something larger than oneself and to contribute to the life of our community. She has taken responsibility for reaching out to new synagogue members who live in Novato to ensure that they have a point of contact. Lani and her husband David also host an annual Chanukah party for Novato congregants.
Lani’s activities include cooking and delivering meals to the Carmel Voyager Center and supporting Camp Tawonga. She volunteers at the Sinaloa Middle School in Novato and at the Marin School in San Rafael.
In additional to a thoughtful and well-organized approach to the work of the Board, Lani brings dedication and commitment to being part of the Rodef Sholom community. She points especially to the pride she feels in watching her children grow up at the synagogue and become b’nai mitzvah.
Throughout his career, and in every organization/group with which he’s involved, Aaron has made it his goal to seek clarity and search for reasonable compromise. He enjoys the collaborative process and has extensive experience working with city, state and regulatory agencies on development projects and day-to-day operations management.
Aaron works for the Port of San Francisco, where his primary duties include maritime operations management. Additionally, Aaron is a board member and Treasurer of the Central Marin (Youth) Lacrosse Club, and he participates in Rodef Sholom’s 7th - 12th grade task force. He has also served as the City of San Rafael Fire Commissioner.
Aaron is married to Jennifer (Gould) Golbus, who has strong ties to the Marin and San Francisco Jewish communities. Their twins, Adina and Jonah, have grown up at Rodef Sholom. In his free time, Aaron enjoys doing home improvements, yard work, walking the dogs and hanging out with his family. Aaron is committed to facilitating smart growth for the Rodef Sholom community, while maintaining and strengthening connections to the Rodef Sholom traditions that he grew up loving.
Ed is the CEO and Co-Founder of Activate (Activate Marketing Services, LLC), a startup focused on combining deep buyer insights with a content-led nurturing methodology to engage prospects and convert them to customers. Ed’s background includes media, digital and editorial experience. Most recently he was the President of Business Technology Media at UBM Tech, where he was responsible for market-leading content brands such as InformationWeek.
Ed is the son of a Jewish father and a (non-practicing) Catholic mother; he was raised Jewish but without a regular temple. He says that while he grew up feeling “culturally” Jewish, he didn’t connect with Judaism in deeper, more spiritual ways. As Ed and his wife have raised their children, connecting more deeply with Judaism - spiritually, as a community - has grown important to him and his family.
Ed and his family live in Mill Valley and are regularly involved in and around Rodef Sholom. Some of the activities they are involved with include REST, Leadership/Nominating Committee (Ed will be co-chairing this committee in the fall), Gesher, Sunday School, Midrasha, Chavurah, and more.
Beth was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Boston University prior to attending law school at George Washington University. She practiced law at Baker & Hostetler in Washington, DC before moving to Mercer Consulting to work in healthcare and employment law consulting in Washington, DC and later in Chicago.
She moved to Marin 18 years ago to marry her husband, Marty Katz, and served as the director of the Marin office of Jewish Family and Children’s Services. In her position at JFCS, she had the opportunity to oversee services and programming for children and seniors. She was instrumental in bringing Cafe by the Bay to Marin for Holocaust survivors and collaborated with community partners to expand services for this special group of seniors.
Beth’s family has a long tradition of Jewish communal life. Her extended family has belonged to Rodef Shalom in Pittsburgh for over 80 years and served on their Rodef Shalom board in various capacities for many years. Beth feels fortunate to be able to continue this legacy on the West Coast. While living in Chicago, Beth was actively involved with Jewish Federation. She served on the board of Jewish Child and Family Services and was a member of the National Young Leadership Cabinet. She traveled to Israel, Russia and Eastern Europe on several Federation missions and had the opportunity to see the reemergence of Jewish life in these parts of the world.
While at Rodef Sholom, Beth has served on the Nominating Committee, Moreh Derech team, and is a member of the Campaign Cabinet with her husband. Together, Marty and Beth have shared many life cycle events with Rodef Sholom, including the celebrations of the B’nai Mitzvot of their children, Aaron, Rebecca, Nate and Rachel. She is passionate about building community and is excited to have the opportunity to bring her time and dedication during this exciting time of transition.
Darell is a founding member of Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC. Prior to starting Bel Air, he was a Managing Director at Goldman, Sachs & Co., overseeing Private Client Services for the Los Angeles office, where he started his investment career in 1981. Darell is on the Board of Directors of the Music Center Foundation in Los Angeles, where he is a member of the Investment Committee, and is a past Chairman and current member of the Board of L.A. Team Mentoring, an organization that provides mentors for approximately 1,200 students at 10 middle schools in challenging urban neighborhoods in Los Angeles. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Darell holds a B.A. from Occidental College, and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Management.
Darell is passionate about being part of and contributing to Jewish community, learning, and religiosity. He grew up with the temple community at the center of his family life. His parents were Presidents of the Young Couples Club and Sisterhood, members of the choir and on the Board of Directors. Darell sang in the junior choir, was a junior cantor, attended services most Friday nights as well as three-day-a-week religious school. He also attended several Jewish Camps, including Camp Ramah. Unlike many of his friends and siblings, he loved all of it.
Darell, his wife Elizabeth, and their son Eli moved to Mill Valley from LA in 2013. While in LA, Darell graduated from the Wexner Heritage Program in 2002. Shortly after their move to the Bay Area they became members at Rodef Sholom. In the last year at Rodef Sholom, Darell’s connections with the synagogue have grown deeper; Eli will become a Bar Mitzvah in 2020, and Darell joined Rabbi Elana’s course on Martin Buber. Currently, Darell serves on the Development Committee and Sacred Space Committee at Rodef Sholom.
Anna served on the Congregation Rodef Sholom religious school board for three years and two years as one of the board’s two co-presidents. She has also served on the boards of the Ross Recreation Auxiliary (including a term as president), the Ross Parks and Recreation District and the Ross School PTA. Anna is currently chairing the Faculty/Staff Appreciation Committee at the Branson School and co-chaired the last year’s Branson School Auction.
Anna is deeply committed to Jewish education for adults and families. She believes that Jewish education is a way of deepening one’s sense of belonging and connection to the rich heritage of Judaism, and of linking one’s life to the Jewish community of today. Anna grew up in an assimilated Jewish family in the Soviet Union, lacking of Jewish knowledge or community. After coming to America, she relates that she found in Judaism and Jewish life her identity and her source of strength and hope. She strongly believes that Jewish living requires Jewish knowledge and active participation in the community. She believes that she has found in our congregation “community, knowledge, connection and the opportunity to be involved and give back.”
Additionally, Anna is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program, a Committee member for the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards and for Diller Education Awards, and has been a member of the JFCS Émigré Committee for the past fifteen years.
Jon currently serves as CEO of Youth Leadership Institute, a nonprofit working to engage 1,700 youth across California in leading community change efforts. Formerly he was a program officer at the Jim Joseph Foundation, which invests $45 million annually in Jewish Education across the United States.
Jon's interest in synagogue life is rooted in his upbringing. His parents raised him with a keen eye towards how to engage in the community in which you choose to live. Since moving to Marin five years ago with his family, Rodef Sholom has been an important part of the village that is helping to raise his growing family and he is eager to live his values through investing in and contributing to this wonderful synagogue community.
Rodef Sholom has felt like home since the first time he and his family came to services in 2012. Seeing the youth leading alongside the adults was a beautiful display of authentic partnerships and the type of community that he hopes to contribute to in raising his family. His family has jumped in deep with Rodef's social justice work through the partnership at Venetia Valley and looking at Prison Reform as ways of putting our Judaism into practice. He has also participated in Makor Marin programming. His son Cole is at the JCC ECE program and daughter Caroline can be seen crawling around different congregational events.
Lisa has been working with the disability community for the past 18 years. She currently serves as the Employment Programs Director for Integrated Community Services, a non-profit providing employment services and independent living skills training for people with disabilities.
Lisa has a Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from San Francisco State and a BA in Jewish Studies from UCLA.
Her involvement with Rodef Sholom led Lisa to regard our synagogue as one that could provide her with the kind of Jewish community that was missing from her life. She states that as she started to experience Rodef Sholom for herself, from the welcoming and warm Shabbat services to the meals delivered to her door following her daughter’s surgery, she knew that she had come to the right place. Since she has been a member, her life has changed immeasurably. “Synagogue life has provided me with a myriad of blessings, most of which are contained in the beautiful friends I have made; the discovery that I do have a spiritual bone in my body and the re-connection with my Jewish self that I had neglected for far too long.”
Lisa has been active in the area of education and personal development for over 25 years. She has worked as a teacher, Director of Admissions, program manager, life coach and community facilitator. She holds an M.A. in Education from Stanford and a Life Coaching certification (CPCC) from the Coaches Training Institute.
Lisa’s contribution to the life of Rodef Sholom has been extensive and long-term. Having grown up at Rodef Sholom, Lisa states that “I have experienced the power of this synagogue time and time again throughout my many years of involvement.” Besides teaching a Midrasha girls’ group, she filled in as Director of Community Connections during Moji Javid’s maternity leave. She expresses the desire to help others access all that she has gained from our synagogue. She hopes her Board membership will enable her to help others “find their place at Rodef Sholom and truly feel part of the community.”
Lynn began her working career as an assistant professor of finance at Brooklyn College and an adjunct professor and teaching assistant at Rutgers University. She has worked at Prudential Diversified Investment Strategies as a quant researcher and portfolio manager, Vestek Systems as Director of Research and Product Management, and as an Investment Strategist at Barclays Global Investors (BGI). Lynn left professional life and became an active volunteer at Marin Academy High School while she helped transition her two children to college.
Lynn took a circuitous path to Rodef Sholom. Raised by a Jewish-Sabra father and Christian mother, she did not associate with any organized religion. During a period of serious introspection she encountered a person who encouraged her to seek wisdom in established traditions. After one of many trips to Israel to visit her father’s family, she was compelled to explore the wisdom and tradition of Judaism. Through a dear friend, she found Rodef Sholom and its warm and welcoming embrace.
While at Rodef Sholom, Lynn has served on the Sisterhood Board, Women’s Mikvah Committee, co-facilitated a Mussar Group, and participated in Elul retreats and the REST program. She currently serves on the Finance Committee..
Lynn spends most of her time nurturing her spiritual life, volunteering at CRS, and with families experiencing difficult life events. She is also a devotee to movement; dancing West Coast Swing, hiking, mountain bike riding, and practicing yoga. She continues to be delighted with what she is learning, who she is meeting, and the practice of Judaism here at Rodef Sholom.
Caren was Managing Director, Equity Research at Bank of America Securities, having moved to Montgomery Securities from PaineWebber in 1996. Her area of focus was financial services. Through her career, Caren honed financial, presentation/public speaking and marketing skills.
When her first child, Alex, was born, Caren became a stay-at-home mom and put her talents towards volunteer opportunities which include the Mill Valley Library Foundation Board, where she founded the Storybook Committee, a major fundraiser for the library, and being the co-chair of the Annual Fund at Marin Primary & Middle School, raising nearly $600,000 and achieving 99.7% participation.
Caren grew up in the rural South and her family worked hard to have a Jewish identity, driving 90 minutes to Sunday School each week. Caren grew up valuing her Jewish identity and valuing the role of synagogue in her family's life.
Caren, her husband, Nick, and their three children live in Mill Valley. At Rodef Sholom, Caren has volunteered with the REST program and the Mitzvah Kitchen. Caren recently joined the new Cabinet Committee for the new building. She feels very connected to the Rodef Sholom community and is committed to helping connect more people to Rodef Sholom and to one another.
David has served on the board of directors of the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center and is currently serving on the governing board of Marin Cancer Care. He is also a member of the High Holy Day Sanctuary Service committee at Rodef Sholom. David is a physician whose practice serves patients in Marin and Sonoma counties.
David says that since his childhood, synagogue life has been at the center of his involvement in the Jewish community. He is keenly interested in the religious aspect of Judaism and how it speaks to us in modern times. Additionally, he states that he and his family are dedicated supporters of the Jewish Federation, the Osher Marin JCC Center for Jewish Peoplehood and JCFS. He and his family are deeply interested in Israeli affairs and are frequent travelers to Israel.
Lynne is committed to social action, poverty alleviation and food justice. After 25 years in senior positions in advertising and tech, she began a second career in food. Professionally, Lynne is the Forager for Byte, where since the company’s launch in 2015, she works with local food makers and distributors to make healthy, fresh food available in businesses through unstaffed Internet-connected refrigerators. She is also a founding member of ExtraFood, a nonprofit food rescue organization in Marin, where she has forged perpetual partnerships with all Marin Farmers Markets, county schools, grocery stores, caterers and created marketing material including the iconic aprons. She continues to lead the market teams and recruit donors and volunteers. Byte is one of ExtraFood’s largest contributors, one of the circles of sustainability and community in which Lynne delights.
Lynne did not grow up at Rodef Sholom - or any other congregation - but after losing both parents (who were Holocaust survivors), she tiptoed in. Enveloped in the songs, the community and radical accessibility, she dedicated herself to a year of observing [almost] every Jewish holiday. Joyfully swept up in the social justice work and Judaism 101, 201+ with Rabbi Elana, the connection deepened. Lynne has been welcoming new members (Moreh Derech), working on the Women’s Mikvah, Tradition of Giving and various Interfaith initiatives. She travelled to Israel with Rabbi Stacy and congregants on a social action trip in 2017. Lynne is deeply committed to using her marketing, sales and fundraising skills in combination with her love of this community to help Rodef Sholom thrive as a welcoming, relevant sanctuary congregation.