Board Members & Roles 2015-2016

Temple Beth Elohim welcomes and appreciates the support of congregants who take on leadership roles. The Board of Trustees includes our President, 11 Vice Presidents with diverse portfolios, two Presidential appointees, a Co-chair 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, Pam Forman, [email protected]

Meet our 2015-2016 TBE Board Officers and Trustees:

Pam Forman, President
Pam is entering her third year as Temple Beth Elohim’s President of the Board of Trustees. Prior to this role, Pam served for three years as TBE’s Vice President of Development. Pam was a member of our HaBonim Committee as we rebuilt our Makom and led TBE’s Interior Design Committee for our new building.

Outside of TBE, Pam is a Senior Strategist Consultant focusing on brand advertising. Pam is a current co-chair of CJP Womens Philanthropy's Pomegranate event. Pam has served as a Trustee on the Executive Board of the Charles River School, a From The Top's Board member and was a participant in  CJP’s 2013-2014 Acharai Leadership Program.

Pam and her husband Guy have 2 daughters, Julia, 15, and Caroline, 13. 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.

Tony Starr, Vice President Administration
Tony and his wife Kathy (and their four sons: Jason–27, Bradley–25, Tyler–22, and Clayton–18) joined TBE in 2010.  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.


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).

Bernice Speiser, Vice President Caring Community
Bernice and her family have been TBE members for over 25 years. Bernice currently serves on the TBE board.  She has been involved with many aspects of Temple life including social action and caring communities. Since 2014, Bernice has served as an unofficial co-chair to Ilissa Povich (the current Vice President Caring Community) and is well acquainted with the varied work of the Caring Community committees.

Erica Recht, Vice President Development
Erica is entering her second year as Temple Beth Elohim’s Vice President of Development.  Prior to this role, Erica served on Gan Elohim’s Parent Committee, was a member of the 2013 Evening to Remember Committee, and  co-chaired the 2014 Evening to Remember.

Peter Biro, Vice President Finance
Peter and his family joined the Temple Beth Elohim community in 2007 and his opportunity to speak at the Hour of Response during Yom Kippur services drew him even more deeply into Temple life.  Since then, he has been involved in a number of activities and committees. He has served on the Building Use Committee, the Finance Committee, launched and chaired the Task Force on Strategic Partnerships, and joined the TBE Board in 2012.  Peter, his wife Nova, and twin (just about) 12 year-old daughters Sophie and Lily live in Wellesley and are proud members of the Temple community.

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.

Seth Stier, Vice President K’lal Israel
Seth serves on several committees at the Belmont Hill School, the Winsor School, and Temple Beth Elohim.  Seth is completing his first year on the TBE Board and took on the role of Chairing the very successful Evening to Remember this year. Seth traveled to Israel on a CJP mission in September of last year and then again in December with the TBE family trip. He supports Israel/Jewish related organizations like AIPAC, Birthright and CJP and he went to his first policy conference in March. Seth is a member of the Israel Current Events Program committee as well as the Israel Strategy Group.  He also participates in a monthly Israel study group facilitated by a professor at Brandeis.

Lauren Richman, Vice President Member Engagement
Lauren and her husband, Joel Trachtman, joined TBE in 2008. Lauren served as a co-chair of Women of Temple Beth Elohim/[email protected] for three years, and helped in the two organizations' transition and merger. She was a member of the 2014 Evening to Remember committee, and co-chaired the 2015 Evening to Remember with a focus on event communication and the video about the 2015 honorees. Way back when, she was a NFTY song-leader. Lauren has a 25+ year career in high tech and healthcare IT Marketing, and she is an avid tennis player. Lauren and Joel have three grown children, Hannah, Sam, and Aaron, whom they are introducing to TBE. "I am happy to have made many new friends during the past several years, and to feel increasingly connected to TBE. I am excited to take on the role of Vice President of Member Engagement to help TBE continue to be a warm, welcoming, and spirited temple community, and to explore ways to do even more."

Pam Norden, Vice President T’filah - Pam Norden
Pam, her husband Andrew and boys Eli (7), Sam (5) and Max (2) have been members of TBE since 2009.  She has served in a variety of roles on the synagogue's Gan Elohim and Yaldeinu Committees, including most recently, a two-year term as the co-chair of each.  Prior to this, she served as Ritual chair, Social Action chair, and Communications chair of the Families with Young Children cohort.  She is also just completing 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.

Neil Silverston, Vice President Tikkun Olam
Neil and his family joined the Temple Beth Elohim Community in 2004 and Neil has
been deeply engaged in organizing and social action programming, learning, tefillah, and softball.  Neil serves as TBE Vice President of Tikkun Olam where he is fortunate to be able to partner with so many extraordinary leaders in the community.  Outside of TBE Neil is on the Board of Directors of Tufts University Hillel.

Stefanie Albertson, Vice President Youth Jewish Living
Stefanie and her two children, Gabe (10) and Elyse (7), live in Wellesley.  They have been members of the TBE Community for five years. Gabe has been in the Limud program since 2010 and Elyse attended Gan Elohim for three years and continues her Jewish education in Limud. Stefanie begins her second year on the Sisterhood committee and spent two years as Nursery School Parent Committee Co-Chair.  She feels passionately about connecting youth with a Jewish identity and education and looks forward to serving the TBE community in this capacity. 

Presidential Appointees

Tom Bloch
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.

Adam Koppel
Adam Koppel, M.D., Ph.D. is Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Biogen Idec, where he has served since May 2014. Previously, he was a managing director at Brookside Capital, the public equity affiliate of Bain Capital, which he joined in 2003. Prior to Brookside Capital, he was an associate principal of the McKinsey Healthcare Practice.  Dr. Koppel holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in History and Science from Harvard College and earned an M.D. and Ph.D. in Molecular Neurobiology from the University of Pennsylvania. He also received an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.  Dr. Koppel currently serves on the Board of Directors of PTC Therapeutics.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Trevena, Inc.


Bob Schecter, Leadership Council Co-Chair

Clergy/Senior Managment

Judy Cannon, Executive Director, Administration and Operations

Alison Kur, Executive Director of Jewish Living

Monique Martin, Director of Development

Rachel Saphire, Associate Rabbi

Joel Sisenweine, Rabbi

Jodi Sufrin, Cantor