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

Pam currently serves on the Board as Past President after serving a 4 year term as President. In May, 2017 she was honored to receive TBE's 6th annual Pillar of Tikkun Olam Award. Prior to starting her presidency, Pam served for 2 years at VP of Development at TBE. Pam was also a leader on the HaBonim Committee helping to guide the design of our current synagogue.

Outside of TBE, Pam has focused on her career in advertising and brand strategy in both corporate and design industries. She currently co-chairs the Advisory Council for the Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston, teaching teens about the power of philanthropy. Over the years, Pam has served on Boards of many non-profit organizations supporting the fields of both education and the arts.

A fun fact is that Pam grew up at Temple Beth Elohim. With her husband, Guy, and her daughters, Julia and Caroline, her family is one of our expanding group of 3 generation families actively engaged in the life of our community. 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 third year as Vice President of Adult Jewish Living where he helps to inspire in congregants a love of Jewish learning and a passion for living Jewishly. 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 and as Clerk and Co-Chair of the Development Committee of the Jewish Arts Collaborative and on the Board of Directors of the Linda Schulman Innovation Fund. In his professional life, Danny is an employment lawyer in private practice. He lives in Newton with his wife Elizabeth (who grew up at TBE) and their sons Asher (10) and Lev (7).  back to top

Carolyn Kohlman Carolyn Kohlman, Vice President Caring Community

Carolyn Kohlman, her husband Alan Gold and daughter Meryl have been TBE members for 20 years.  Carolyn has made a strong connection and commitment to TBE 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 seven years she has also been member of the Caring  Connections (Lev Echad) programs.  Professionally, Carolyn has been a clinical social worker for nearly forty years.

Her other volunteer activities include, volunteering with the Hebrew Senior Life Hospice program, the HSL pastoral visiting program, and providing ESL tutoring at the Newton Library.  Carolyn is also   the Co—President of the Jewish Genealogical Society.

 back to top

Jessica Wolfe, Vice President Governance

Jessica is entering her third year as VP of Governance. She served as Co-Chair of TBE’s An Evening to Remember (ETR) Gala in 2014 and on the ETR Committee for two years before that. Previously, Jessica served on two Building subcommittees – Interiors and Green, where she contributed to the design and development of the new TBE building.

Jessica has an extensive background in research clinical psychology, public health and neuropsychology and served as a Founder and Director of VA’s National Center for PTSD for many years. Jessica chaired the Governance & Nominating Committee at Partners Healthcare Continuing Care Division and currently chairs Governance and Nominating at Neurofibromatosis, NorthEast.  She recently completed service as one of 6 elected trustees responsible for general oversight and fiduciary health of the Wellesley Free Library.

Jessica lives in Wellesley with her husband Tom Bloch. They are long-time members of TBE and have two grown daughters. back to top

Seth Stier, Vice President K’lal Israel

Seth is beginning his third year as VP of K’lal Israel.  At TBE, Seth is currently on the TBE task force, Development Committee and the Israel Current Events Committee and co-chaired the 2016 An Evening to Remember. 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 Fundraising 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 with his wife Jennifer and their two children. Their son Jared is in 12th grade at The Belmont Hill School and their daughter Sarah is in 11th grade at The Winsor School. back to top

Lauren Richman, Vice President Member Engagement

Lauren is entering her third year on the TBE Board of Trustees, in the role of Vice President of 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 grown children, Hannah (30), Sam (28) and Aaron (23). 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 second 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. Additionally, 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 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 (17) and Hannah (13), who both attended Gan Elohim Pre-School and Beit Midrash (now known as Sifrut), and now participate in BM3T and Havayah.

 back to top

Stefanie Albertson, Vice President Youth Jewish Living

Stefanie currently serves on the TBE Sisterhood Committee. She previously spent two years as Nursery School Parent Committee Co-Chair.

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.

Stefanie and her family live in Wellesley and have been members of TBE for five years. Her son Gabe, has been in the Limud program since 2010 and her daughter Elyse, attended Gan Elohim for three years and continues her Jewish education in Limud. marniback 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. 

Tom was formerly a law partner at Goulston & Storrs, specializing in commercial real estate. He is currently a principal and COO at Samuels & Associates where he works diligently managing people and mixed use development projects in Boston and other locations. back to top

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 living in DC.  She is a member with her husband, Jonathan. Their three young children, Lucas (7), Olivia (7), and Abigail (5), participate in Limud. 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. This is her first year as VP of T'filah.
 
She feels deeply at home every time she walks through the temple’s front doors, whether starting the day meeting with other TBE leaders 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 heads 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

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 6Bob 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. back to top

 
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‘s VP of Administration and continued to serve as Chair of the House Committee.  In June 2016, Tony completed his four year term as VP of Administration and now serves as a Presidential Appointee to the Board of Trustees, Co-Chair of the Leadership Council and Chair of the Security Task Force.

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 live in Newton and have four grown sons:  Jason (30), Bradley (28), Tyler (25), and Clayton (21).  Jason and his wife Leslie are the proud parents of Tony’s 1 ½ year old granddaughter, Grace! back to top



Clergy/Senior Managment

Judy Cannon, Executive Director, Administration and Operations

 

 

back to top

Alison Kur, Executive Director of Jewish Living

 

 

back to top

Rachel Saphire, Associate Rabbi

 

 

back to top

Joel Sisenwine, Rabbi

 

 

back to top

Jodi Sufrin, Cantor

 

 

back to top

Jillian Kohl, Director of Development

Jillian recently joined the TBE leadership as Director of Development. Before TBE, Jillian traveled the country as a leadership gift officer for Brandeis University. Prior to Brandeis, Jillian worked in development at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Ma. Jillian’s career pre-fundraising/engagement 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 unexpected but gratifying career twist 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 as a member of the senior leadership in this meaningful manner is a gift. Jillian lives in Wayland with her husband, Bryan, and two children, Ori and Talia.  

back to top