Shedding New Light on Jewish Traditions

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is nominated by the Leadership Development Committee and elected into office by the members of the congregation.
The Executive Committee consists of the president, executive vice president, vice president for administration, vice president for membership, secretary, treasurer, and the chairpersons of the ritual and education steering committees. These members are joined on the board by the past president, 6 at-large members, and the chairpersons of the adult education, community inreach, building and grounds, publicity, finance, development, social action/tikun olam [SATO], and Israel committees. Each executive committee member is responsible to report to and from the committees that reside within his/her portfolio, as indicated on the governance structure chart.
In addition, the Rabbi attends Exec meetings and the Rabbi and the Education Director attend Board meetings.


Officers of the Organization

JAY COHEN - President  Read Jay's Rosh Hashanah Address here!

     I am married to Cheryl Kripke Cohen and we have been Or Hadash members since August 1996.   Both of our sons, Lenny and Danny, were bar mitzvah at Or Hadash.  I retired as a lawyer at the end of August 2015. I have previous experience as vice president and president of a board-The School District of Springfield Township (2003-2007).  I very much enjoy governance and my time on the Or Hadash Board has been a pleasure. 

     Here is my Or Hadash involvement:

-President, May 2014-present

-Chair-Strategic Planning Committee, May 2015-present

-Executive Vice President, May 2013-May 2014

-Vice President for Administration, June 2, 2011-May 2013

-Secretary, Board of Directors, May 14, 2010-June 2, 2011

-Executive Committee, Board of Directors, May 14, 2010-present

-Member, Leadership Development Committee, 2008-May 2014

-Member, Finance Committee, January, 2010-present

-Member, Development Committee, October 24, 2010-May 2013

-La’asot-leadership development-first class, 2009-2010

-Listening Campaign, Autumn, 2011

-Interfaith focus groups facilitator, Autumn 2013

-Negotiating Team-Rabbi Contract-Autumn 2012-Winter 2013

-Member, Rabbinic Retention Committee, Spring 2012

-Member, Rabbi Search Committee, December 2003-March 2004

-Occasional work day helper, greeter, schlepper, Purimspieler and harpist assistant.


PHIL ROSENBERG – Executive Vice-President

Phil and his wife, Penny Levin, have been members of Or Hadash since 1988.  Phil has been active in lay leadership at Or Hadash since the early 1990s.  He served as Vice President, Membership in 1996-2000, and 2006-2008; and as Vice President, Administration in 2013-2015.  Phil was responsible for a number of initiatives that have enriched our synagogue community, including the creation of the Community Life committee and the introduction of Havurot to Or Hadash in the 1990s.  Phil has contributed his musical talents to the congregation over the years.  In addition to performing at numerous coffee houses and Purimspiels, he regularly performs at Shabbat Zemirah (along with Sandy Saull and Barry Bell) and is the keyboardist for our in-house klezmer band, the New Klezmaniax. He also has chaired the Performing Arts committee since 2015.  Professionally, Phil is a marketing research consultant with the UK-based firm Research Partnership, serving clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare industries.  He holds degrees in journalism and communications from Northwestern University, and an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  His wife, Dr. Penny Levin, is a psychologist in clinical practice.  They have two daughters, Sarina and Brenna, who are both graduates of the Or Hadash religious school.  Sarina is a program manager in the Justice Reinvestment program at the Council of State Governments; she and her husband, Josh Asher, an attorney, reside in Chicago.  Brenna is a first year resident in Psychiatry at George Washington University Hospital; she and her fiancé Kyle Emery reside in Springfield, VA and are planning a November wedding.


LANI MOSS – Immediate Past President

Lani Moss is the Immediate Past President of Or Hadash. Over the 30+ years that she and her family have belonged to the synagogue, Lani has held numerous positions. She also served as Managing Director of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation for 15 years. Now retired, Lani devotes her time to volunteer endeavors. Lani is married to Hal Moss for 37 years. Their two daughters were raised at OH and are now both New Englanders -- Rachel lives in Burlington, VT and works for Seventh Generation and Allison lives in Waltham, MA and is a middle school Spanish teacher.


Stuart Rosenthal - Treasurer

     My wife Susan and I have been members of Or Hadash for five years.  We are the proud parents of three grown children, Adam, Andrew and Emily, and proud grandparents of one grandson, Skyler.  I have been the Chair of the Adult Education Committee the past two years and, with Susan, helped lead the OH Book Group the past four years.  Together we began the Empty Nesters Havurah.  I have also assisted with many events, cleanups and fix ups since joining.  In my professional life I have been a consulting engineer for the past 42 years, specializing in water and wastewater management, and currently looking forward to retirement.


JEFF JARVIS – Vice-President Administration

My name is Jeff Jarvis. I and my family have been members at Or Hadash for the past five years. My daughter Hannah just celebrated her Bat Mitzvah this past January. During my time at Or Hadash I have assisted in maintaining our wonderful building with the building and grounds committee. I have also served as an At-Large board member for the past year and a half. Additionally, I provide computer and general IT support for the shul. I enjoy taking pictures for shul events and attending the evening adult Torah study. I and my family love our OH community and greatly enjoy our time here whether it is coming together in prayer, celebrating as a community or just getting together with friends. We were very touched at the amazing response by this great community at Hannah’s Bat Mitzvah. I look forward to serving as VP Admin.


MICHELLE SMITHMAN - Co-Vice President for Membership

My family has been members of Or Hadash for 18 years. Over that time, I have served as a Board Member At Large, been a member of various committees (Parent committee, Membership, Spiritual Life, B’nai Mitzvah Task Force) and am currently Chair of two, Kitchen and Adult Study Havurah. My husband, Doug, has been involved in various ways, and is currently on the Board. We have two children, Emily and Brian, who have grown up at Or Hadash. Emily will be starting law school in the Fall and Brian will be starting work.


Ann Davis - Co-Vice President for Membership  

     My family joined Or Hadash about 15 years ago.  We were looking for a more welcoming, intimate congregation that would be more “approachable” for our children.  We found a home at Or Hadash. Prior to my current role as Co-VP Membership, I have been a Board Member at Large, have previously served on the Executive Committee as Co-chair of the Education Committee, have been a member of the Community Life committee, have organized and run the Hanukkah party, and most recently, I chaired the Publicity Committee. 

     My husband Barry and I have two children, Craig and Meredith. Both of our children attended Or Hadash religious school and had their B’nai Mitzvah at Or Hadash.  Craig recently graduated from Northwestern University and Meredith is a rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis.  I am a self-employed market research consultant.


Alisa Belzer - Secretary

     I have been a member of Or Hadash since 2004.  I have previously served on the board as the co-chair of the Social Action/Tikkun Olam Committee for 4 years, and am currently a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.  A regular at Saturday morning Torah Study, I have also participated in the La'asot Leadership Development program and in a recent OH Leadership Summit.   I live in Abington with my husband Jon and our younger son Nathan (15).  Our older son Joseph (19) is a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh.  I am an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University.  In my spare time, I love to play my viola in string quartets.  I am also a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels.


Committee Chairs:

Robert Goldberg-Alberts - Chair Adult Education Committee


DOUG SMITHMAN - Buildings and Grounds Committee Chair

Our family joined Or Hadash in 1997.  As a convert and with a deep curiosity about Judaism, I have found Or Hadash to be a very welcoming community.  I have been able to grow within that community and participate in all aspects of life at Or Hadash.  My participation has included schlepping High Holiday materials to and from Gratz, heading ECO (Environmentally Conscious Or Hadashers) participating in numerous Purimschpeils and I am now in my third year as Buildings & Grounds Chair.  We have a beautiful and unique building and I want to do my part to make sure that it serves future families as well as it served mine.

Michelle, Emily, Brian and I have resided in the Dresher section of Upper Dublin Township since 1993.  I operate EMP Engineering Services, a consulting business serving equipment reliability and troubleshooting for industrial and commercial clients since 1997.  As the VP of Administration for Or Hadash, Michelle is now my boss.  Emily and Brian were raised with the Or Hadash religious school and Emily served as a classroom aide for five years.  Emily was the first Bat Mitzvah for Rabbi Josh.  Brian and I had a father-son B'nai Mitzvah after I finished an adult education class at Or Hadash.  Emily is a recent graduate of American University and is currently attending law school at The George Washington University.  Brian just graduated from Wissahickon High School and is working at Altec in Colmar.  He also happily participates in every sport ever invented.


Susan Rosenthal - Co-Chair Community Life Committee

Shelley Sanders - Co-Chair Community Life Committee


CAROLYN SAVITZKY - Co-Chair Development Committee

Carolyn Savitzky joined Or Hadash with her family in 1995. She immediately became involved in the congregation by joining the board as Co-chair of the publicity committee. The following year she began teaching in the religious school where she also tutors b'nai mitzvah students. Over the years, she has served as a lay-service leader and on several committees, including Hesed, Spiritual Life, Purim Spiel and has chaired the InReach committee. Her daughter Robyn became a bat mitzvah and was confirmed at Or Hadash. Her husband Marty is known for his grilling and BBQ expertise and is the official Purim Spiel videographer. In addition to her activities at Or Hadash, Carolyn has served as the Bux-Mont Kehillah co-chair, is active in Hadassah and participates in several book clubs.

ROB KLOTZ - Co-Chair Development Committee


Greg Luce - Co-Chair Education Steering Committee

     My family have been members at Or Hadash for about five years.  As an interfaith family, we chose Or Hadash because of its welcoming and inclusive environment. Our sons, Henry 11 and Benjamin 9, currently attend the Religious School.  Since 2013, I have enjoyed volunteering on the Education Steering Committee and participating in the Parent Organization.  Outside of OH, I am an associate professor of management and marketing at Bucks County Community College where I also serve as the coordinator of the management/marketing area and co-direct an annual faculty conference and my wife is a high school teacher.

NICK FRUMKIN - Co-Chair Education Steering Committee

Nick is finishing up the second year of his membership at Or Hadash, and though it's only been a short time since he joined it already feels like home. His daughter Charlie is a first grader in the Gan class, and he and his wife Ivy are active in the Parent Organization too. Nick is looking forward to being able to step up his involvement in the Or Hadash community and is grateful for the opportunity.


SHELLEY ROSENBERG -  Inclusion Committee Chair

Ken and I were among the six founding families of Or Hadash and the Congregation has continued to play a major part in our lives. I’ve served as Vice President, President (for three terms), Ritual Committee Chair, Editor of HaKesher, Leadership Development Chair, and now Co-Chair of the Development Committee. I also sang in the Makaylah, lead shiva services, served on the Education Committee, helped organize the first Or Hadash trip to Israel and multiple fundraisers, and wrote a large portion of the Congregation’s history.

When not working at Or Hadash related projects, I worked in the Jewish community as an educator/facilitator (at the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education) and wrote several books of Jewish interest (adoption, parenting, and American Jewish history).

I’m now [very happily] retired, and spend a good bit of time traveling with Ken (as far and wide as possible), volunteering for the National Constitution Center and various LGBTQ organizations, both Jewish and secular. I proudly serve on the Abington Township Human Relations Commission, am an amateur photographer, and [very happily] study the harp (with Or Hadash’s resident harpist Cheryl Kripke-Cohen).


JEFF CHEBOT & GERRI GOLDMANIsrael Committee Co-Chairs

We have been members of OH for about 25 years. A regular Torah study attendee, an occasional Torah study lay leader, an occasional attendee of services, a fairly regular participant of various holidays and other OH events, and sometime volunteer for things such as soup-making.  Jeff also is a regular Torah reader.


CAROL MUELLER-BELL - Publicity Committee Chair


STEPHANIE FIELDS - Chair Social Action Tikun Olam (SATO)

Jill Snell - Spiritual Life Chair

     I am “the better half” of the “mystery couple.” Bernie and I came to Or Hadash for the High Holiday services for fifteen years. We always sat in the same area of the Sanctuary or at Gratz College. When the services concluded, we quietly left through the rear and advanced to our car.

     In the spring of 2012, we officially joined Or Hadash because I was interested in converting to Judaism and felt that Or Hadash, the Rabbi, and community, were a perfect fit for the rigorous task ahead. I felt comfortable with the Torah Study and minyan service. I have been an active member and have attended just about every Torah Study and Saturday service since then. I have also been involved in numerous volunteer efforts throughout the past two years. This sanctuary and the members have become an important part of my life. It has been an honor to lead Torah Study and co- lead a session for the Jewish Day of Learning. I have participated in Rosh Hodesh group activities and Mussar classes last summer. Also, I have been a member of the Spiritual Life Committee for the past two years.

     I worked for the School District of Philadelphia for 39 years. Over the many years, I have served the District in numerous instructional positions. These positions include classroom teacher, Program Support Teacher, Teaching and Learning Network Facilitator and Regional Academic Coach. My last salaried position was that of Director of the Office of Educational Equity. Currently, I retired from the District in July of 2011. However daily, I am a volunteer for the School District of Philadelphia teaching reading, mathematics and any other tasks needed to support student learning.

     High expectations and the belief that all students can learn have been the driving force and motivation that I have subscribed to throughout my career. Over the years, I have devoted countless hours improving student achievement as Chairperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Education Instructional Support Team and Instructional Support Teacher and as a member of the Pre K - 12 Curriculum Development Project which produced the School District of Philadelphia Core Curriculum.


At-Large Board Members:

JON RUBIN - Member at Large

My family and I have been members at Or Hadash since 2000.  In August of that year my wife Lori took over as the synagogue's Educational Director, a position she held for 12 years.  Although Lori is no longer on the professional staff at Or Hadash, it has become like a second home to our family and we have continued our membership and involvement.

Although Lori's professional position precluded me from any formal role on the Board, I have been engaged with many of the congregation's events over the years and was usually found either working the grill, helping out behind the bar, or cutting vegetables in the kitchen.

My professional background is the field of Social Work and since May 2014 I have been honored to serve as the Director of Human Services for Bucks County, overseeing mental health, intellectual disability, drug and alcohol, child welfare, and aging services provided by the county.  I also have a background in training and organizational effectiveness consulting working exclusively with public human service agencies.

Lori and I have 3 children who are all familiar faces around Or Hadash (when they are in town).  Alex is currently enrolled at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, Abby will begin her freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis this coming fall, and Hilary will be in 9th grade this coming school year.

Joan Nathan - Member at Large

      I have been a member of Or Hadash- with my husband Jim King since about 1997 (about when my son would have begun Sunday School). I have chaired the Community Life committee and co-chaired the Education committee. I co-chaired the Liv'Not Capital Campaign with Alan Lindy. I have been on the board and the executive committee.

     In recent years I have tried to stay connected through activities for women and the OH book club. In rejoining the board – I anticipate seeing if there are other ways to reconnect and support the OH community

     I have just retired from 22 years of being a social worker at our local outpatient mental health center. I continue to volunteer in many local agencies and am active in supporting an international organization (MEDA) that provides economic development for women (and men) in third world countries.

Jon Shapiro - Member at Large

      My wife Babette and I have been members at OH for about two decades.  We have three children who were educated and became b’nai mitzvah at OH.  I am a physician by vocation and bicycler and kayaker and skier for hobbies.

      I have helped run the Red Cross blood drive at OH for several years.  I participate in the book club and I have been a participant in Torah study.  I assist regularly with the building and grounds committee and play poker with the poker havurah.  I also served for two years in the past as a board member at large.  I have served as a member of the Goldman D’var Torah selection committee as well as benefiting from various courses offered at OH.

Babette Zemel - Member at Large 

     Babette Zemel has been a member of Or Hadash for over 20 years. She served on the Adult Education committee for several years, largely responsible for the “One Book, One Jewish Community” program for several years. She then became Co-Chair of the Social Action – Tikkun Olam committee and has just completed a three year term in that position. She and Jon Shapiro have three children, Aaron, Gabriel and Jessica Shapiro who all became B’nai Mitzvah and enjoyed the confirmation program at Or Hadash. Babette is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 

Leslie Dzubow - Member at Large

     I have been a member of the Or Hadash community for almost 30 years. Over these many years I have participated in many different ways. In the 1990s, I was a member of the School Education Committee; from 2000-2004, I was chair of the Fundraising Committee; and I helped out often in the early years when we held High Holidays at Gratz. In addition, I have helped out in a variety of ways with other events.

     Or Hadash has always been a comfortable and happy place for me, a place where Rick and I have made many close and lasting friendships, and a place where my daughter and I both became Bat Mitzvah. I look forward to continuing to serve the community in the coming years.

Marty Jacobs - Member at Large

    My wife Irene and I have 2 grown children (daughters Sharon 48 and Lisa 47), and 3 grandchildren (Jessica 18, and twins Henry and Lucy, who will be 13 next week), I “retired” in 2003 into the position of Executive Director of the National Textile Center, after a 33-year career in R&D Management in the Plastics and Textile Industries.  I fully retired in 2013 but still do a little bit of consulting on the side.  I have been a congregational president (B’nai Yisrael, South Bend, IN, Reconstructionist) and vice-president (Temple Israel, Manchester, NH, Conservative), and Jewish Federation president (South Bend and Manchester).  We’ve been members of Or Hadash since 2001, and I attend Saturday morning Torah Study and services, evening Torah Study, and I co-teach a Mussar class at Or Hadash, and participate in the mensch-to-mensch program. I am a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, Spiritual Life Committee, a past-chair of that committee, and a past member of the Board and Exec. I look forward to returning to the Board.

 

AttachmentSize
PDF icon RH DAY 1 - PRESIDENT ADDRESS.pdf0 bytes