Leadership

Temple Beth Elohim welcomes and appreciates the support of congregants who take on leadership roles. The Board of Trustees includes our President, 12 Vice Presidents with diverse portfolios, two Presidential appointees, 2 co-chairs of the Leadership Council and senior Clergy and Staff. The Board provides strategic direction and operational guidance in support of TBE's vision and values. Temple Beth Elohim's Leadership Council works in collaboration with the Board of Trustees to guide the synagogue in all facets of its journey to fulfill its mission.

If you would like to contribute your skills to a VP-led committee or learn more about leadership roles, please contact TBE President, Bob Schechter, [email protected]

 
Lay Leadership
President, Bob Schechter VP Youth Jewish Living, Stefanie Albertson
Immediate Past President, Pam Forman VP K’lal Israel, Seth Stier
VP Administration, Craig Berkson VP Member Engagement, Lauren Richman
VP Caring Community, Carolyn Kohlman VP T'Filah - Marni Allen
VP Communications, Liz Suneby VP Tikkun Olam, Julie Kreiss
VP Development, Pam Norden Presidential Appointee, Tom Bloch
VP Finance, Rob Cohen Presidential Appointee, Bob Stearns
VP Governance, Jessica Wolfe Presidential Appointee & Leadership Council Co-Chair, Tony Starr
VP Adult Jewish Living, Danny Navisky Leadership Council Co-Chair, Seth Bloom
   
Clergy/Senior Managment
Judy Cannon, Executive Director, Administration and Operations Rachel Saphire, Associate Rabbi
Alison Kur, Executive Director of Jewish Living Joel Sisenwine, Rabbi
Jodi Sufrin, Cantor Jillian Kohl, Director of Development

 

 

Pam Forman, Immediate Past President

Prior to her role as Temple Beth Elohim’s President of the Board of Trustees, Pam served for 3 years as TBE’s Vice President of Development. Pam was also a member of the HaBonim Committee, a working group who was responsible to lead the rebuild our Makom. On HaBonim, she led the Interior Design Committee for our building.

Outside of TBE, Pam is a brand strategy consultant. Pam is also a Co-Chair of the Advisory Council for The Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston. She has served as a Trustee on the Executive Board of the Charles River School, a former From The Top Board member and was a participant in CJP’s 2013-2014 Acharai Leadership Program. 

Pam and her husband, Guy, have 2 teenage daughters, Julia and Caroline. Pam grew up in the temple and her daughters make her family third-generation TBE members. Both daughters attended TBE’s nursery school and continue to be active participants in temple life. back to top

Bob Schechter

Bob Schechter, President

Bob and Susan, happily, have been TBE members for 20 years. Bob was elected by the Congregation, as President-Elect, at the congregational meeting June 7, 2016.  He has spent this past year working very closely with current President Pam Forman and the Board to enhance a smooth transition of leadership.  In the past, Bob served on the Board as a Presidential Appointee and co-chaired the Leadership Council. Bob served on the committee which worked on modernizing TBE’s governance structure and has been a member of the Finance and Endowment Committees. Outside of TBE, Bob is a mostly retired technology industry executive who continues to dabble in the industry serving on several boards and advising entrepreneurs. He worked in the software industry at the dawn of the personal computing era and later in the telecom industry as it became part of the internet and transitioned to the mobile era. Over the years, Susan and Bob have been involved in a number of non-profit endeavors and Bob is a past board chair of the Boston Children’s Museum. Susan and Bob, with their pack of poodles, live in Weston and in Barnstable on Cape Cod. They have two grown children Michael and Brian, both in NYC, and enjoy traveling, hanging out with friends, and counting their blessings. back to top

 

Danny Navisky, Vice President Adult Jewish Living
Danny Navisky is entering his first year as Vice President of Adult Jewish Living. He previously served as TBE's Vice President of T'filah, working to continually enrich the TBE prayer experience, led ritual programming for the Families with Young Children Committee, participated in L'Kareiv, helping to deepen personal connections across the TBE community, and served on the most recent Rabbi Search Committee.  In addition to his TBE contributions, he also sits on the Board of Directors of the Boston Jewish Music Festival and the Linda Schulman Innovation Fund. He lives in Newton with his wife Elizabeth (who grew up at TBE) and their sons Asher (8) and Lev (5). back to top

Carolyn Kohlman Carolyn Kohlman, Vice President Caring Community
Carolyn, her husband Alan Gold and daughter Meryl, have been TBE members for 20 years. One way in which Carolyn has made a strong connection and commitment to TBE is through her involvement with the Caring Community. After many years as a member of the Bereavement Team, Carolyn became co-chair of the team in 2012. For the past six years she has also been a member of the Lev Echad program. Professionally, Carolyn has been a clinical social worker for close to forty years. Outside of TBE, Carolyn is a volunteer with the Hebrew Senior Life Hospice program, is VP of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston and is an ESL tutor through the Newton Library. Carolyn and her family live in Newton. back to top

Jessica Wolfe, Vice President Governance
Jessica has been an entrepreneur, behavioral researcher, neuropsychologist and executive in healthcare, health science and public health for over 30 years. Jessica has chaired the Governance & Nominating Committee at Partners Healthcare Continuing Care Division. She chaired the Governance and Nominating at Neurofibromatosis NE, Inc. and she is one of 6 elected trustees responsible for general oversight and fiduciary health of the Wellesley library.  Most recently, Jessica served on TBE’s Governance Task Force and has been actively involved on TBE committees for many years.  back to top

Seth Stier, Vice President K’lal Israel
At TBE, Seth recently co-chaired An Evening to Remember, 2016. He is currently on the TBE task force, Development Committee and the Israel Current Events Committee. Seth and his family have been members of TBE for 10 years.

Seth serves on several committees at the Belmont Hill School and the Winsor School. He is a board member for Newton Girls Soccer and currently holds the position of uniform chair. Seth chaired the fund raising committee for Newton Central Little League and served on the leadership committee for the Fessenden School’s recent capital campaign. Seth is also a member of the Heads Advisory Council at the Hopkins School in New Haven, CT. 

Seth currently resides in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children. His son, Jared, is in the 11th grade at The Belmont Hill School. His daughter, Sarah, is in the 10th grade at The Winsor School. back to top

Lauren Richman, Vice President Member Engagement
Lauren is entering her second year on the TBE Board, in the role of Vice President, Member Engagement. Previously at TBE, she served as co-chair of Women of TBE/[email protected] for three years, and helped in the two organizations' transition and merger. She was a co-chair of the 2015 An Evening to Remember gala, and a member of the 2014 and 2016 An Evening to Remember committees, supporting outreach and communications.

Lauren has a 25+ year career in marketing, and held leadership roles at several Boston-based start-ups, and at Nuance Communications, focused on speech recognition and healthcare IT. She is a mentor with the Social Innovation Forum and on the Development Committee for the Akilah Institute for Women, a women's college in Kigali, Rwanda.

Lauren Richman and her husband, Joel Trachtman, joined TBE in 2008. They live in Newton, and have three children, Hannah (29), Sam (27) and Aaron (22).back to top

Pam Norden, Vice President Development
Pam Norden, her husband Andrew and boys Eli (9), Sam (7) and Max (4) have been members of TBE since 2009.  Pam has served as VP T’filah for the past two years and this past year also served as Co-chair of our successful Assistant Cantor Search Committee. Previously, she served in a variety of roles on the synagogue's Gan Elohim and Yaldeinu Committees, including a two-year term as the co-chair of each.  She also served a three-year term as an Elected Trustee of the TBE Board.  Pam is a dermatologist and partner at Krauss Dermatology.  She is on staff at Newton Wellesley Hospital and is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Tufts University School of Medicine, where she also serves as the Director of Medical Student Education for the Dermatology Department. back to top

Julie Kreiss

Julie Kreiss, Vice President Tikkun Olam
This is Julie’s first year as Vice President of Tikkun Olam.  She has been involved in activities and committees continuously at Temple Beth Elohim since she and her family moved to Wellesley in 2004.  Initially Julie served on the nursery school board and the new member committee.  Subsequently she began her active involvement in Tikkun Olam including planning and co-leading programs such as Mishpacha Mitzvah Missions (now known as Family Social Action), Mitzvah Day, and the Tamchui High Holy Day Hunger Drive.  And, Julie has been contributing to TBE’s Tikkun Olam planning and communications for more than six years.  

Outside of TBE, Julie is a mission-driven fundraising and marketing professional with 25+ years of combined experiences both in the non-profit and corporate sectors. Her skills include fundraising, cause and multichannel marketing, product and brand development, and grassroots organizing.  She is currently director of sales strategy at Heinemann Publishing, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which is known for its professional development books, services and resources for teachers K-12. Julie was also an active parent and committee member of the Hunnewell elementary school, and she was an active board member and volunteer grant-writer for Wellesley A Better Chance for six years. 

Julie and her husband David live in Wellesley with their two children, Andrew (16) and Hannah (12), who both attended Gan Elohim Nursery School and Beit Midrash, and now participate in B’yachad (formerly BM3T) and Havayah.  back to top

Stefanie Albertson, Vice President Youth Jewish Living
Stefanie feels passionately about connecting youth with a Jewish identity and education and looks forward to serving the TBE community in this capacity.  Stefanie has a background in Human Resources, specializing in Training and Development.  She currently works with Au Pairs and serves as a resource to them and their host families while they enjoy their year working in the United States. back to top

Tom Bloch, Presidential Appointee
Tom and his wife, Jessica Wolfe, joined TBE in 1990 with their daughters, Alison and Margot. They remained largely invisible in the TBE community for about 15 years until Tom was asked to be a member of the Architect Selection Committee for the new building. Subsequently, Rabbi Joel offered to take Tom to breakfast at Louie's in town where he persuaded Tom that chairing HaBonim would be an opportunity of a lifetime (what opportunity and whose lifetime were unclear!) As usual, Joel was right and the participation by Tom (and his wife) in the realization of our new building proved to be a joyous experience and, as a continuing bonus, introduced them to the truly wonderful community that is TBE.

Tony Star, Presidential Appointee & Leadership Council Co-Chair
Shortly after joining TBE in 2010, Tony became a member of the House (Building) Committee.  After serving as a member of that committee for about 6 months, Tony assumed the role of Chair.  In July, 2012 Tony took on the role of TBE VP of Administration and continues to serve as Chair of the House Committee.  

Tony is a litigation partner at the Boston law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo where he serves as co-chair of the Construction Law practice group.  He represents owners and general contractors on both public and private construction projects. 

Tony and his wife Kathy have four grown sons: Jason (29), Bradley (27), Tyler (24) and Clayton (20) and one daughter-in-law.  back to top

 

Rob Cohen, Vice President Finance 

After joining TBE in 2014, Rob and his wife, Lisa, participated in TBE’s Atid program.  Shortly after that, Rob became one of the co-chairs of the Community Conversations Committee, a member of the Leadership Council and has been involved in a few special projects at TBE as well. During this past year, Rob has served in the role of VP Administration and been deeply involved in several major initiatives including the Solar Panel Project, the Security Task Force and the purchase and management of Cedar Bethel

Properties.  Professionally, Rob is a principal in Display Supply & Lighting, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of lighting and supply products for the trade show, display and event industries and is a licensed attorney. Rob served in many leadership positions at another Metrowest congregation before joining TBE.  He has also served on the boards of a variety of not for profit organizations in the Metrowest community and within the trade show industry.  Rob resides in Framingham with his wife, Lisa, and has two daughters Leah – 24 and Mallory – 22.  back to top

 

Craig Berkson, Vice President Administration

Craig has participated in a number of activities and committees at TBE since he and his family became members in early 2016.    Craig is a member of the Leadership Council and participates New and Nearly Empty Nesters group, the Men's Club and the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization as well as the Atid program. 

Professionally, Craig is the Global Head of Professional Services for the Investment Management and Operations group at FIS Global, a global leader in financial technology, having previously served as a financial industry CIO and in various management consulting roles focused on Customer and Digital Experience.  Before joining TBE, Craig served in many leadership positions at another Reform congregation.  Craig is an avid cyclist and is participating in his 10th Pan Mass Challenge to raise funds for cancer research.

Craig and his wife Staci reside in Framingham with their two children, Michael (22) and Alyssa (20). back to top

 

Liz Suneby, Vice President Communications

Liz and her husband Per, son Josh (24), and daughter Emma (21) joined the TBE community back when Emma enrolled in the TBE nursery school. Liz’s first involvement at TBE was on the Parent Committee of the nursery school and for the past couple of years she has been a member of the Leadership Council and co-chaired College Connection. Professionally, Liz has held marketing leadership positions at GE, Lotus and Work/Family Directions. Currently, Liz consults to established companies, start-ups, and non-profit organizations--helping them with branding, messaging, web sites and communications programs. She also writes articles for magazines and books for teens and children, including a few Jewish-themed books (It’s a…It’s a… It’s a Mitzvah, That’s a Mitzvah, The Mitzvah Project Book and The JGuy’s Guide.) Liz is a member of the Parent Committee at Connecticut College (her daughter is a rising senior there and her son a graduate). The Sunebys live in Wellesley. back to top

 

Marni Allen, Vice President T’filah

Marni grew up at TBE, and returned to the community five years ago after nearly a decade in DC.  She is a member with her husband, Jonathan. Their three young children, Lucas (7), Olivia (7), and Abigail (4), participate in Limud and Gan Elohim. Since reengaging with TBE, Marni has served in several leadership roles, as a member of the Yaldeinu, No’ar, and T’filah Committees, as well as on the temple’s Leadership Council. She feels deeply at home every time she walks through the temple’s front doors, whether starting the day dropping off her youngest daughter at the nursery school or ending the week at Shabbat services. While serving on the Assistant Cantor Search Committee this past year, Marni embraced the opportunity to form connections with a wide variety of temple members, outside her original home base of families with young children. Outside TBE, Marni is the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President of Babson College, where she directs the college’s Governance Office. She is also Chair of the Board of Directors of the 21st Century School Fund, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC. At home, she loves to cook, especially with ingredients from her CSA share.  back to top

Bob Stearns, Presidental Appointee

Bob is currently co-founder and a managing director of Sternhill Associates, a Boston-based management consulting and venture capital group. Bob has been involved with high technology for over 40 years, with a background in technology, marketing, planning, and venture capital. He has been involved in over sixty-five start-up companies, as an employee, investor, and/or board member. He is also an active member of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, a Greentown Labs mentor, a member of MassChallenge, and serves on the Advisory Boards of SparkCognition and Hyliion, and has recently joined The Council for The Arts at MIT.

Bob joined Compaq Computer Corporation in 1993 as Senior Vice President, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, responsible for directing all of the Company’s strategic planning and business development activities, advanced research and product development. After Compaq, Bob co-founded Sternhill Partners, a Houston-based venture capital firm, that he helped manage for over 14 years. Stearns joined Compaq from McKinsey & Company. Prior to McKinsey, he held senior management positions at a number of technology companies, including Codex, Motorola, and with Management Technologies Inc., a software company he co-founded. Bob holds an Sc.B. from Brown University, and an MS degree MIT. Bob lives with his wife, Noni, in Needham, MA. Bob and Noni were previously members of Temple Israel of Boston for over 35 years.

 
Leadership Council
Presidential Appointee & Leadership Council Co-Chair, Tony Starr

Shortly after joining TBE in 2010, Tony became a member of the House (Building) Committee.  After serving as a member of that committee for about 6 months, Tony assumed the role of Chair.  In July, 2012 Tony took on the role of TBE VP of Administration and continues to serve as Chair of the House Committee.  

Tony is a litigation partner at the Boston law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo where he serves as co-chair of the Construction Law practice group.  He represents owners and general contractors on both public and private construction projects. 

Tony and his wife Kathy have four grown sons: Jason (29), Bradley (27), Tyler (24) and Clayton (20) and one daughter-in-law. back to top



Clergy/Senior Managment

Judy Cannon, Executive Director, Administration and Operations

 

 

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Alison Kur, Executive Director of Jewish Living

 

 

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Rachel Saphire, Associate Rabbi

 

 

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Joel Sisenwine, Rabbi

 

 

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Jodi Sufrin, Cantor

 

 

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Jillian Kohl, Director of Development

Jillian comes to Temple Beth Elohim from the Leadership Gifts Office at Brandeis University. Before Brandeis, Jillian worked in development at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Ma. Jillian’s career pre-fundraising focused on residential life, student experience, curriculum and operations at a number of artistic educational institutions in New York City including The Actors Connection, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), Alan Filderman Casting, etc.

 

A completely insane but gratifying tandem career for Jillian was her eight-year stint as a dorm parent at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, a role she and her family held while Jillian simultaneously worked at the school in development and program oversight. There are no words to describe living in an apartment in a dormitory with 40 teenage girls as you raise a family of your own, but suffice to say, it provided Jillian and her husband with training and memories to last a lifetime.

 

Jillian is a former member of Temple Beth Elohim and fully acknowledges the incredible impact the temple made on her family’s relationship to Judaism, Tikkun Olam and spirituality. To re-enter the community in this meaningful manner is a gift. Jillian lives in Wayland with her husband, Bryan, and two children, Ori and Talia.  

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