Menu
Select Page

Welcome | About TBE

Lay Leaders

Meet our lay leaders

Neil Silverston

President

Neil Silverston is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of SparkShare, a diverse network of youth and organizational partners that helps young people build the skills and connections they need to become powerful agents of change in their communities and in their own lives.
 
Since Neil, Risa and their kids joined TBE in 2004, Neil has been an active and engaged member; including serving on the TBE Board as Recording Secretary from 2011-2012 and VP/Tikkun Olam from 2012-2016. Neil was also a member of the Asst Rabbi Search Committee for Rachel Saphire, and Co-Chair of the Cantor Search Committee for Shanna Zell. 

Danna Greenberg

Vice President Administration

Danna and her husband, Michael Tobin, have been members of TBE since 1999. The TBE community has been central to their lives and they feel fortunate that their three children, Micaela (23), Jonah (20), and Seth (18) have grown up at TBE, actively participating in and leading youth activities, and forming close connections with peers, educators, and clergy. Danna has served in a variety of leadership roles including co-chair of The Leadership Council, Vice President of Jewish Living, and co-chairing multiple rabbi search committees.

Robin Kalis

Vice President Caring Community

Robin, her husband Larry and their three children, Sam (17), Julie (15) and Aliza (12) have been members of TBE since 2006.  Back when her children attended Gan Elohim pre-school, Robin served as co-chair for the Caring Community.  Robin then helped organize Passover Pathways, Mitzvah Days as well as serving on several other committees.  More recently, Robin has been active on the Bereavement and Bikur Cholim committees within the Caring Community.  She also served on the Leadership Council.

Robin has enjoyed teaching cooking classes at TBE as well as Sur La Table, Create-a-Cook and in private homes, sharing her love of cooking with her friends and family.

Robin and her family live in Needham.

Josef Blumenfeld

Vice President Communications

Josef Blumenfeld is a seasoned strategic communications professional, with more than two decades of experience. Joe is the founder of EdTech180 – a boutique communications consultancy providing a new direction of communications for the EdTech industry, and serving clients in the US and abroad – including in Israel, China, the Persian Gulf, and across Europe. Joe has held senior communications roles at Cengage Learning, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, as well as at two global agencies where he spearheaded major accounts like Walmart and Philips.

In addition to being active at TBE, Joe is involved in a number of organizations including: AIPAC, Jewish Family Services of Metrowest, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Givat Haviva in Israel, and others. Joe currently serves on the Executive Committee of the New England Board for UNICEF, where he chairs the Media Committee, a pilot program to engage leading journalists in UNICEF’s work to save children.

Joe and his wife, Michelle Paster, live in Natick with their two daughters—Shoshana, a college freshman and graduate of Gann Academy, and Yael, a junior at Natick High School. Both daughters attended the Rashi School K-8.

Debbie Gotbetter

Vice President Development

Debbie, her husband, Wyatt, and their two daughters, Sarah and Amelia, have found tremendous joy, strength, and spiritual connection within TBE for over 18 years. Since joining, Debbie’s energies and time are focused on developing meaningful relationships and intentional communities within TBE through the Caring Community, welcoming of new members, connecting with Reform communities in Haifa, and numerous Tikkun Olam initiatives. Since 2016, she has been actively engaged with Syrian Refugee Resettlement as TBE’s Volunteer Coordinator welcoming several families from Syria to our area.

Professionally, Debbie is a clinical social worker, specializing in geriatrics, grief and chronic illness.  Debbie is a board member at Jewish Family Service of Metrowest and an active volunteer with JFS Clothing Closet, Daniel’s Table, and Refugee and Immigrant Services.

Mike Carroll

Vice President Finance

Mike and his wife Jess have been actively involved in TBE since returning to the area in 1999 and rejoining Jess’s childhood community. The Carrolls’ involvement in the TBE community stepped up once the first of their three children (Leah 15, Jonah 13, Jordyn 11) were old enough to attend Gan Elohim…and this has continued to the present day while the kids attend The Rashi School. Jess has been on the Board in several capacities. Mike has been on the Finance Committee for ~10 years. He focused his attention on long range planning and helped drive decisions like restructuring TBE’s balance sheet and targeting break even points to cover mortgage and anticipated building costs. He previously served on the board as a presidential appointee.

Mike and the family spend as much as possible in New Hampshire at Loon Mountain with their TBE friends (lovingly called TBE North). Professionally, Mike is VP of Finance at PTC, a publicly traded software company that empowers industrial innovation.

Marni Allen

Vice President Governance

Marni grew up at TBE and returned to the community nearly a decade ago after living in DC. She is a member with her husband, Jonathan. Their three children, Lucas (9), Olivia (9), and Abigail (7), participate in Limud. Since re-engaging 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 third year on the Board, and first year as the VP, Governance. She previously served two years as VP, 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. As Co-Chair of TBE’s Hazon Initiative, Marni has 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 Associate Vice President for Board and Volunteer Leadership and Engagement at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). She is also on the Board of Directors of the 21st Century School Fund, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC, and a Board member of the Mason-Rice AfterSchool Program. At home, she loves to cook, especially with ingredients from her CSA share.

Vicky Rakov

Vice President Adult Jewish Living

Vicky, her wife, Kathy, and their two daughters, Sophie and Olivia, have been members of TBE for 10 years. During that time, Vicky has helped to design several Shabbat Reflections, worked with TBE leadership to design and deliver the Atid program, and served as co-chair and member of the Hazon team. She is incredibly proud to be a member of such a vibrant and engaged Jewish community, and is honored to have the opportunity to serve on the TBE board.
 
Vicky currently works as an independent strategy consultant to non-profit organizations, with a focus on education and youth. Prior to working independently, she was a partner at Mercer Management Consulting where she specialized in management of large-scale change. Vicky also works part-time as a professional photographer, and is a board member of SparkShare, a Boston-based non-profit committed to helping youth develop the agency and skills needed to make change.

Tamara Gillette

Vice President Youth Jewish Living

Tamara, her husband Marc, daughters Noa (12) and Alexandra (10) joined TBE in 2015 when Noa started attending Hebrew school. She became more involved during this past year attending some of the conversation groups and weekly Shabbat services. Tamara was also part of the Leadership Council this year.

Tamara is Developmental Specialist at Thom Charles River Early Intervention working with special needs and/or at risk 0 to 3 year old children.

During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling to Europe to see family and to visit other parts of the world, going for walks and cooking.

Jeff Turk

Vice President K’lal Israel

Jeff and his family have been members of TBE for 18 years. He is currently the Chairperson of the Anafim (Connection) L’Haifa Committee and has participated in both the Anafim Parent-Teen exchange and the “Partners in Reform” program.  He has also been co-chair of the TBE Men’s Club, a member and coach of the TBE 1 Men’s Softball team, and an active participant in CASA.

In addition to his TBE Contributions, Jeff is the Vice-Chairman of the Camp Becket “Dads” Committee, and has been active in B’nai B’rith Housing and other housing related organizations.

In his professional life, he is the managing partner of the law firm of Turk & Quijano, LLP where he focuses on the representation of residential and commercial landlords and community associations. Jeff is currently the local counsel for the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, National Apartment Association, and several Housing Authorities.

Jeff currently residents in Needham with his wife, Barbara, and has two children. Rachel is a recent graduate of Skidmore College and Seth is currently a Sophomore at Skidmore College.

Ted Nesson

Vice President Member Engagement

Ted Nesson, his wife Susan, and his daughters Alexandra (26), Michaela (24), and Hannah (21) have been TBE members for 20 years. Shortly after the third bat mitzvah, Ted and Susan were invited to participate in TBE’s Atid program. Inspired by the Atid experience, Ted subsequently joined the Leadership Council, helped launch the Civil Discourse initiative, and worked with the Israel Strategy Group, focusing on growing our community’s connection with Israel – and with our sister congregation, Ohev Avraham.

Throughout 2020, Ted worked closely with TBE’s clergy and staff to launch the Community Connections Initiative, helping our members to stay connected during the pandemic. Ted is truly honored to have the opportunity to further serve the TBE community as a member of the board.

In his professional life, Ted is a technology industry executive, currently leading the software architecture efforts at SS&C Eze, a provider of financial software solutions and technology services.
Ted and Susan live in Newton, with their dog Brody. In his free time, Ted can often be found walking Brody in Newton, Needham, or Weston.

Dennis Barr

Vice President T’filah

Dennis Barr is the Director of Evaluation for Facing History and Ourselves, a licensed clinical psychologist, and served as an adjunct faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for nearly 20 years. Dennis, his wife Firkins, and their two daughters, Zoe and Mia, became TBE members in 2000 and have been involved in numerous TBE programs. Dennis initiated (with Rabbi Sisenwine) and facilitated a long-lasting fathers’ group at TBE and is currently supporting the development of additional groups.

Jessica Lasser

Vice President Tikkun Olam

Jessica and her family have been members of TBE since 2012, when they first moved to Boston. She, her husband Ethan, and 3 children, Levi (10), Hattie (7) and Goldie (4), have all formed close friendships and found deep meaning at the synagogue through involvement in service and committees, worship, learning opportunities, Limud and Gan Elohim.

Since becoming a member at TBE, Jessica has been active with the Yaldeinu committee, Caring Community, Bereavement Committee, and Family Social Action. She was also part of the core group of volunteers to welcome and acclimate a new Syrian family to the United States, with The Syrian Refugee Resettlement team. She recently co-chaired the Assistant/Associate rabbi search, and is currently on the Leadership Council.

Outside of TBE, Jessica is an attorney with The Second Step, representing victims of domestic violence, with a specialization in immigration law. Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, with stops in Chicago, New York and Wisconsin along the way, she now happily resides in Newton.

Wilton C. Levine

Presidential Appointee

Dr. Levine is an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, where he serves as the Medical Director for Perioperative and Procedural Services. Dr. Levine is a national leader in anesthesiology, patient safety, and organizational management.

Dr. Levine is an Associate Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Levine has numerous patents, peer reviewed publications, and book chapters related to medical device innovation, leadership, process improvement, and operating room management. Dr. Levine has received local and national awards for his innovative patient safety work.
Wilton is also a member of TBE re-entry committee.

He is the proud father of Joshua (15), Benjy (13), and Samantha (9), and husband of Lisa.

Laura Marx Klopfer

Presidential Appointee

Laura and her husband, Andrew, were the first couple to be married in the new building at TBE in the spring of 2011.  TBE has been central to their family from the beginning.  They have three children – Jacob (5), Daniel (4) and Eva (<1).  Their family is passionately embedded in the TBE community with two children in the Gan Elohim preschool and are active participants in Yaldeinu (families with young children) programming.   Laura is the co-chair of Nominating Committee as part of the Governance board portfolio.

Professionally, Laura currently is the VP of Global Product and Alliance Marketing at Poly, a technology company that creates communications devices.

In their “free time” Laura and Andrew can be seen playing with their kids and enjoying friends and community at their second home, Temple Beth Elohim.

Seth Bloom

Presidential Appointee & Leadership Council Co-Chair

 

Bob Schechter

Past President

Bob and his wife Susan, happily, have been TBE members for 20 years. Before assuming his current position, Bob served on the Board as a Presidential Appointee and co-chaired the Leadership Council. Bob served on the committee that 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.