The Board of Directors is nominated by the Leadership Development Committee and elected into office by the members of the congregation. The new (April 2021) PRESENTATION OF OR HADASH BOARD NOMINEES is available under the members' section of the website.
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, marketing & communications, and education steering committees. These members are joined on the board by the past president, up to 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 their 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.
PHIL ROSENBERG - 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 husband Kyle Emery reside in Springfield, VA.
JAY COHEN – Immediate Past President
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:
- Immediate Past President, Chair of Leadership Development Committee, May 2018-present.
- Co-chair Development, May 2019-present.
- President, May 2014-2018
- Chair-Strategic Planning Committee, 2015-2017
- 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.
STEVE LEBERSTIEN – Vice-President Administration
Steve Leberstien has been part of the OR HADASH community since 2009 when he reconnected with his high school sweetheart, Sandy Saull. He officially became a member in 2018, the year he and Sandy were married by Rabbi Josh.
Steve is a proud graduate of Philadelphia’s Central High School, and has a background in engineering. He held various engineering and marketing positions with DuPont and Bayer before moving to the publishing industry as Director of Operations for U.S. Tech, a trade journal for the electronics industry. Steve now owns a property management company and was previously Building & Grounds chair and VP
of Finance at Temple Beth El, a reconstructionist congregation in Newark, Delaware. Steve is honored to have been asked to take a board position at OH, which has been so warm and welcoming.
NICK FRUMKIN - Vice President Membership
Nick became a member at Or Hadash in 2015, 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.
STESSA COHEN - Treasurer
I have been a member of Or Hadash since 2010. I am a single mom to Rebecca and Erez, both of whom attended the Religious School and were B’nai Mitzvah at Or Hadash. Erez has been a madriach for the last couple of years. When my kids were much younger, I was a board member, secretary and president of our day care board. I worked as a technology analyst for 19 years advising banks around the world on technology investments and software companies on how to position their software for the banking industry. I’m currently a consultant for software companies and startups. In my spare time, I enjoy listening to podcasts and reading history, memoirs and poetry.
SHARON APPLE - Spiritual Life Chair Co-Chair
2017 was a pivotal year for me when, after retiring from my full-time position as a gero-psych nurse at a local hospital, my husband Ted and I joined Or Hadash. I have enjoyed getting to know Or Hadashers through attending Shabbat morning Torah study and services, book club, outdoor havurah, attending adult education and other programs. I value the opportunities at Or Hadash to engage in tikkun olam and to be fully engaged with the synagogue with volunteer activities ranging from participating in the mensch program, cooking for homeless families, painting the holocaust library, and more. In 2018 I joined the Spiritual Life Committee, where committee members, along with the rabbi, plan and coordinate Shabbat, High Holiday, other holiday services, and special programs such as Scholar-in-Residence. In my leisure time I especially enjoy travel and attending theater performances. During the summer I rejuvenate myself by spending time as a nurse at Camp Louise, the female half of the only brother-sister Jewish overnight camp in the United States. I am looking forward to continuing to serve Or Hadash on Spiritual Life Committee along with my co-chair Carolyn Savitsky.
CAROLYN SAVITZKY - Spiritual Life Chair Co-Chair
Carolyn has been actively engaged at Or Hadash since she and husband Martin became members in the mid 1990’s. Their daughter Robyn, celebrated becoming both a Bat Mitzvah and a confirmand at Or Hadash. Carolyn immediately became involved in the community and during her first two years served as co-chair of the Publicity Committee and sat on the Board. Shortly after, she began teaching in the religious school. She has also served on the Board as an at large member and as co-chair of Development. Over the years, she was involved in two long-range planning committees, was a member of the community life, chesed, ritual and membership committees and performed in many Purim Spiels. She has enjoyed both the social and spiritual aspects of belonging to and participating in the Or Hadash community. Outside of Or Hadash, Carolyn currently serves as the Chairman of the Bux-Mont Kehillah, is a life member of Hadassah and is presently President of the Raoul Wallenberg Chapter. Carolyn not only teaches at Or Hadash but also tutors B’nai Mitzvah students and teaches at Ohev Shalom in Richboro.
BARRIE GLASBERG MITTICA - Education Steering Committee Co-Chair
Barrie, her husband C.J. and her two children, Sami and Ayla were excited to join Or Hadash in the Fall of 2020 and could not be happier with the community! Barrie and her family live in Lafayette Hill where they can frequently be seen outside riding bike, playing on the swings or walking with their dog Kali.
Outside of the home, Barrie is the Senior Regional Director of South Jersey Region BBYO and has served in that role for seven years after being a volunteer advisor for ten years. Over the summer, Barrie venture's to the outdoors at JCC Camps at Medford (NJ) where she serves as the Gesher LIT (leaders in training) Director.
Barrie is excited to be joining the leadership of Or Hadash and give back to this wonderful community.
BEN WACHTEL - Education Steering Committee Co-Chair
Ben Wachtel and his wife Hallie Anderson live in Wyncote with their son Milo and daughter Tess, and two dogs. Ben grew up in rural Tinicum Township in Upper Bucks County and attended Penn State, majoring in anthropology. He sings and plays piano and guitar, and enjoys learning about spirituality, psychology and mysticism. In his work life, Ben currently serves as the conference manager for the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), a graduate school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Prior to this role, Ben provided technology and communications support in various capacities with the IIRP and its sister nonprofits, Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy, since 1995. Ben served as a researcher with the Restorative Policing Experiment in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (from 1995 to 1998) and co-authored "Conferencing Handbook: The New Real Justice Training Manual."
ROBERT GOLDBERG-ALBERTS - Chair Adult Education Committee
My wife, Amy and I joined Or Hadash in 1983, three months after we were married, in the synagogue’s first year of being opened to the public. We have been members ever since. We have one son, David. Rabbi Vivian Schirn presided at his naming ceremony at our first house. David was Bar Mitzvah at Or Hadash with Rabbi Steve presiding. Amy and I were on Or Hadash's first trip to Israel where we renewed our wedding vows for our 25th wedding anniversary.
I have been serving on the Board first as an at-large member and then as Adult Ed Chairman. I have worked on Congregational projects in both capacities, volunteering in the Office, serving on the Holocaust Memorial Committee, and on various projects for Adult Ed. I am optimistic and excited about the future at Or Hadash.
WARREN YOUNG - Buildings and Grounds Committee Chair
PENNY LEVIN - Community Life Chair
Penny Levin has been a member of Or Hadash for nearly 30 years. Currently, Penny is a member of the Rabbi Installation and Safety and Security Committees. She has previously served on the Hessed and Membership committees, assisted with a host of community events, and was part of the Bnai' Mitzvah class with Rabbi Vivian in 1998. Penny and Phil (Rosenberg's) girls both completed Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation training at Or Hadash.
Penny is a clinical psychologist. In addition to her clinical practice, she teaches Psychology at Temple University and writes and presents programs on aviation and patient safety. Her community service experience include 10 years as Northwestern University's Regional Co-Director of the Alumni Admissions Council and serving on the Colonial School District's School Safety Task Force. Currently, Penny is Assistant Director of Safety for the PA Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, responsible for state-wide pilot safety programming.
STEVE BURNS - Finance Committee Chair
Steve and his wife Arlene Golbin Burns have been members of Or Hadash for more than 30 years. Their son David had the first bar mitzvah in our then new building in 1995 and daughter Samantha had her bat mitzvah three years later. Steve served as Treasurer in the 1990’s, inheriting a financial record-keeping system maintained on a Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet (and multiple floppy disks). For you younger members, Lotus was the predominant spreadsheet application used before Microsoft took over the world. Steve converted the financial management system to Quickbooks during his term. After two years as Treasurer, he served as Chair of the Finance Committee for two years.
Steve is a retired business and corporate attorney. He served for 16 years as the elected Finance Officer of Cheltenham Township and as Township Controller, retiring in 2018.
WENDY ELLIOTT-VANDIVIER - Inclusion Committee Chair
Wendy Elliott-Vandivier is a certified SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) with a diverse background in government civil rights enforcement, managing human resources in private industry, and community advocacy. Elliott-Vandivier has been a leader in the disability civil rights community for over 30 years. In her professional work, she has successfully managed human resources, employee relations, EEO, Affirmative Action and Diversity issues for several large businesses.
Before joining the private sector, Elliott-Vandivier worked for nine years for the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, where she managed the agency’s Regional Technical Assistance Staff. She played a lead role in the implementation of federal civil rights statutes in a six-state region.
Her strong commitment to enhancing opportunities for women, minorities and people with disabilities extends beyond her professional experience. She is a former Board Member of the American Association of People with Disabilities, and the former Chair of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities, where she advised the Mayor and Assistant Deputy Mayor with respect to existing and proposed policies, programs, and services for people with disabilities, and informed the public at large about the needs of the disability community. She was also the Co-founder of MOM Center (Making Options for Motherhood) at Thomas Jefferson University.
Elliott-Vandivier has a BFA from Temple University, Tyler School of Art. Her paintings explore issues of family, memory and experiences as a disabled woman. Her autobiographical cartoons focus on attitudinal barriers and stereotypes regarding disabilities, and some of the micro-aggressions that disabled people experience while living normal, un-inspirational lives. She is also a photographer of micro-scale monuments in nature, and is often inspired by close-up images that people often do not notice in daily life – tree bark, dead leaves, flower anatomy, and water.
CAROL MUELLER BELL - Publicity Committee Chair
Carol and her husband, Barry Bell, have been members of Or Hadash since 1995. Their daughter, Alyssa, became bat mitzvah at Or Hadash in 2003. Over the years, Carol has served on various committees, participated in Or Hadash's annual Purimspiel and has performed with the Makaylah for 20 years. She also plays accordion and sings with Or Hadash's klezmer band, The New Klezmaniax. After a decade as a newspaper editor and writer for the Newhouse Newspapers in Central New York, Carol relocated to the Philadelphia area and became a sole proprietor marketing and public relations counselor. Now semi-retired, Carol has served as Or Hadash's Publicity Chair for the past four years.
SHELLEY SANDERS - Social Action/Tikun Olam (SATO) Co-chair
Warren Young, my husband of 45 years, and I joined Or Hadash 7 years ago so that we could celebrate Judaism with our daughter, Mackenzie Learn, her husband John, and most importantly their children, Sherri and Howie. We also have a son, Craig, who lives in Atlanta with his wife, Uli, and their children, Sam and Zoe.
I spent too many years to count as a social worker, mostly in the adoption field. Apropos of my degree, I am chair of the Social Action Tikun Olam Committee. Previously, I was chair of Chesed, another role well-matched with a social worker, and co-chair of Community Life. With Sue and Stu Rosenthal, I was one of the founders of the Empty Nesters.
Currently, my favorite role is that of Savta to four wonderful children. When they are not available, I play Mah Jongg, read, go out to lunch, and shop. Please let me know if there are projects or causes in which the synagogue should be involved.
VIVIEN KANE - Social Action/Tikun Olam (SATO) Co-chair
I joined Or Hadash with my family 19 years ago. Both my children, David, 27, and Sarah, 23, became B’nai Mitzvah at Or Hadash and I was part of the Adult B’nai Mitzvah class here ten years ago. I have been a member of the Adult Study Havurah for many years, giving talks on the High Holidays on a variety of subjects. I served on the Holocaust Memorial Committee from its inception and currently serve on its continuation, the Holocaust Education Committee. In fall of 2018 I joined Shelley Sanders as a co-chair of Social Action Tikkun Olam. I am also active on the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. I enjoy coming to Torah Study on a regular basis. I am a physician, recently retired from Radiology practice, finding retirement very busy.
Board Members at Large
My wife Irene and I have 2 grown children, and 3 grandchildren (2 teen-agers and 1 in her twenties), 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 finally fully retired in 2013. 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 teach a Mussar class at Or Hadash, as well as participating in the mensch-to-mensch program. I am a member of the Transition Team, Poker Chavurah, and the Finance and Spiritual Life Committees, and a past member of Exec and several Rabbinic Search Committees.
Jill and I became full-time members of Or Hadash Community about nine years ago. We have both been involved in numerous committees since our retirement from the School District of Philadelphia in 2011, where we worked in leadership positions. I have been the Co-Chair of the ESC for two years and have just completed a stint as the Interim Chair of the ESC. Also, I attend Saturday Morning Torah Study and services, Monday evening Torah Study and participate in the Mensch-to-Mensch Program.
I have been a member of the Rabbi Transition Committee, Holocaust Education Committee and attempt to maintain the organization of the OH Library.
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.
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.