Lay Leadership

The USCJ board represents a cross-section of Conservative Jewish thought leadership. A diversity of experience, style, gender, geography, industry, and age allow the board to effectively set the strategic direction of USCJ and influence the course of North American Judaism. Specifically, the board’s responsibilities include:

  • Setting USCJ strategic direction and financial parameters, policies and procedures

  • Overseeing and evaluating of senior management

  • Ensuring USCJ has the financial resources to carry out its mission

  • Advocating for USCJ’s mission


  • Ned Gladstein

    USCJ International President

    Ned Gladstein began his term as USCJ international president in 2019. Before his presidency, he served as USCJ vice-president from 2015 to 2018.

    As a member of the USCJ-HaYom Strategic Planning Commission in 2010-11, he led its Implementation Committee, which was tasked with realizing the groundbreaking strategic plan that ushered in a new era for USCJ. He is currently the chairman of the Roadmap Advisory Committee.

    Ned is the president of Sunrise ShopRite and an officer of Wakefern Food Corporation.

    He chaired the board of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s rabbinical school from 2002-07 and has since been a JTS trustee. A member of Congregation Agudath Israel in Caldwell, NJ, since 1976, Ned served as its president from 1989-91. He is also a vice president of Masorti Olami.

    Ned and his wife Jane live in North Caldwell, NJ where together they have raised three beautiful daughters, Hannah, Dara, and Liza, who have blessed them with three wonderful sons-in-law and eight delicious grandchildren.

    Ned’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Margie Pomerantz


    Margie Pomerantz recently completed her two year term as USCJ International Secretary in December, 2018. Prior to that, she was chair of USCJ’s Human Resources and Compensation Committee, a committee on which she continues to serve. She was a member of the USCJ-HaYom Strategic Planning Commission, CEO Search committee (when Rabbi Wernick, past CEO of USCJ, was hired) and multiple Nominating Committees.

    Margie twice served as Chair of the USCJ Northern Pacific Region. During 2017, she played a key role in establishing Regional Kehillah Ambassadors, from across the geographically disbursed region to gain camaraderie and to leverage learning opportunities.

    Margie lives in Los Gatos, California with her husband, Howard. She is past-president, and remains an active volunteer, of Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, CA. Margie and Howard met at the Hillel at the University of Missouri. They are the proud parents of a daughter, Shoshanna, who lives in Henderson NV with her husband, Mark, and their two adorable children, Emmet and Aviva.

  • Andy Schaer became USCJ Treasurer in 2019. He currently serves on the Roadmap and Budget and Finance committees. Previously, Andy was a member of the Central District Council.

    Professionally, Andy is a founding principal of Tusk Development, a boutique commercial real estate development firm. He began his career with Ketchum Advertising and then became Senior Vice President of Marketing for PrintCafe Software, which was acquired by Foster City, CA based Electronics For Imaging, Inc (EFI).

    Andy also serves as Vice Chairman of the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, an independent weekly news service. With the belief that information can connect and strengthen a fragmented community, Andy was among those instrumental in helping the Chronicle transition from a limited circulation paid newspaper to a free publication supported by donations, grants and advertising.

    Andy resides in Pittsburgh with his wife Judy Balk and is the proud father of three awesome children.

    Andy's term concludes in 2020.

  • Rick Tavan


    Rick Tavan is a Vice President of USCJ. He is retired from TIBCO Software Inc., where he spent 18 years in many roles, including Executive Vice President, Engineering and Operations. Before that, he worked at 3Com Corporation, Masstor Systems Corporation, and the MIT Charles Stark Draper Laboratory.

    Rick and his wife, Ann, are members of Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, CA where they raised their two sons. They have two adorable grandsons so far. Rick serves on the Investment Committee of the synagogue's endowment fund, and is an honorary member of the Corporation Development Committee of MIT. He is a past board member and officer of Congregation Beth David and a past Executive Committee member of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley.

    Rick’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Dana Sharon Winer serves as USCJ Secretary and previously served as program chair for the USCJ biennial convention in 2017. Dana has spent her career at Accenture, a management and technology consulting company, focusing on quality and process improvement.

    She is a lifelong member and past president of Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin, TX and has also served as co-president of the congregation’s Sisterhood. Dana serves on the boards of her local Sigma Delta Tau Educational Foundation and the future Austin Community Mikveh. She is a volunteer tax preparer and girl scout cookie coordinator.

    Dana enjoys spending time with her daughter Kayla and their dog Snow, and the favorite pastime of Austin, watching Longhorn football.

    Dana's term concludes in 2020.

Board Members

  • Rabbi Steven Abraham is the Rabbi of Beth El Synagogue in Omaha, NE. Steven graduated from the rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary in May of 2011, where he also received a M.A. in Jewish Education. Prior to attending JTS, he earned his B.S. in Business Management from the University of Baltimore. Most recently Steven earned a Certificate for being part of the Inaugural Interfaith Families Engagement program at Hebrew College.

    In college and rabbinical school Steven was actively involved with USY as a group leader on multiple summer programs, including USY on Wheels and Summer in The City as well as staffing Nativ.

    Rabbi Abraham currently sits on multiple boards in the Omaha area including the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands.

    Rabbi Abraham is married to Shira J. Abraham, from Highland Park, IL. Rabbi Abraham has two children, Naama (8) and Leor (5).

  • Rance Block currently serves as Chair of the Mid-Atlantic district and a member of the Insurance Committee. He previously served as USCJ Vice-President and Chair of the Mid-Atlantic District. He also co-chaired the USCJ Biennnial Convention in 2009.

    Rance is the President of Block Insurance Agency, Inc., a property casualty insurance agency located in Allentown, PA. He joined the agency in 1974 and has served as President since 1990.

    Rance served as President of Temple Beth El in Allentown, PA for five years and was the visionary for purchasing land that resulted in the congregation relocating to their new facility in 2006. He oversaw the construction as well as the fundraising of the new facility. He has served on the synagogue Board of Directors since 1978 and is very dedicated to ensuring its future success as a Conservative congregation.

    Rance serves as Facilities Vice-President of the JCC of the Lehigh Valley and is on the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Allocations Committee. He also spent many years as an Officer and Board member of the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley.

    Rance has been married to his high school sweetheart, Sheryl, for 42 years, and has three children and two grandchildren.

  • Jerry Bloom joined the USCJ board in 2018 as the chair of the Northern Pacific region. In prior years, he served on the NPR regional board.

    Jerry retired in 2017 after a 35-year career in the electric power and software industries.

    He has lived in Sunnyvale, CA, since 1992 and is a member, volunteer and former president of Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, CA.

    Jerry met his wife, Roberta, while they were students in Boston. They have three adult children and two grandchildren.

    Jerry's term concludes in 2020.

  • Gurval Caer, a USCJ board member since 2016, chairs USCJ’s Communications, Marketing and Brand committee.

    He has led and contributed to the growth of some of the leading digital consultancies and agencies in the world. As founding CEO of Blast Radius, Gurval oversaw the development of the company to a successful sale to WPP. At Wunderman, he honed his corporate development skills in the largest digital and CRM agency in the world. His work included mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, building innovative data and technology capabilities, and leading new client business.

    Gurval served on the board of Congregation Har El in Vancouver, BC for eight years in various positions, including treasurer and president. He currently serves on the board of Ansche Chesed in New York, NY chairing its Marketing Committee.

    Gurval is married and has three boys.

    Gurval’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Brian Cook currently resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota and is a member of Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Brian currently serves on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas and The Consolution Project. He is a Jewish Ethics instructor for sixth graders in Adath's Shabbat Morning Program. He also has past involvement in various committees at Adath, the Talmud Torah of Minneapolis, and served as the Chair of the Golden Valley Human Rights Commission.

    Brian graduated from the University of Minnesota and works at the Minnesota House of Representatives as a Research Consultant.

  • Joel Cutler serves as vice chair of the USCJ Human Resources Committee, acting as its representative on the Budget and Finance and Teen Leadership Committees. He has also served on the USCJ Nominating Committee and Governance and Bylaws Committee.

    Additionally, Joel is district chair for the METNY district of USCJ, and has served on the METNY Board and District Council since 2008 and the METNY Youth Commission since 2012.  

    He is a partner in a law firm specializing in construction, corporate, real estate and employment law.

    Joel is also active in his own congregation, Oceanside Jewish Center in Oceanside, NY. Its president from 2007-08, he’s been a board member since 2000, co-chairing the Ritual Committee, and serving as member of Budget, Legal, Constitution and Future Planning Committees there.

    Joel’s wife, Robin, is a clinical and school social worker. They have two adult sons, Justin and Ian, and a daughter-in-law, Lauren.

    Joel’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Dr. Jacob Finkelstein formerly served as our vice president for strategic planning and co-chair of the USCJ-HaYom Strategic Planning Commission. He has served on USCJ’s Strategic Planning Implementation Committee and its Bylaws and District Integration Subcommittees. He also co-chaired the 2013 USCJ Centennial in Baltimore. A past president of USCJ’s Empire region, he is now the fundraising chair for the Northeast District.

    Jack is a professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine and radiation biology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He is also the neonatology division’s research director, associate director of the Strong Children’s Research Center in the pediatrics department, and director of faculty development in the Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center.

    A board member of Mercaz USA, Jack is a vice president of his local Jewish community federation.

    He, his wife and family live in Rochester, NY, where he is past president of Temple Beth El.

    Jack’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Bruce Goldberg retired as a Partner from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the largest international accounting and advisory firm in the world. His focus was publicly traded entities with large international operations especially in the technology industry. Bruce live in Seoul, S. Korea for 7 years and was the Deputy Assurance leader for the Korean practice. He also served on the US Security and Exchange Commission’s Capital Formation committee and was the principal author of PWC’s Guide to Taking your Company Public.

    Bruce joined the Board in 2018 and is the chair of the Audit Committee for USCJ.

    He was an officer and President of Adath Israel in Merion, PA and served on its Board for 10 years following his presidency. Earlier in his life Bruce was the Chair of the Board for the Philadelphia Region of BBYO, and a Trustee and chair of the Audit Committee of the Walnut Street Theater for 15 years and a chaperone for 300 teens on March of the Living in 1996.

    Bruce’s spouse is currently an officer and Board member at Adath Israel and is on the Board of Camp Ramah in the Poconos. Bruce has a son who is a Rabbi, a son who is a Cantor, a daughter in law who is a Cantor and currently in Rabbinical school and a daughter who runs teen programs at a large synagogue in Houston Texas.

  • Gil Gordon was founder of Gil Gordon Associates in Monmouth Junction, NJ, a management consulting firm specializing in telecommuting-telework-virtual office and other alternative work arrangements, and in strategic employee retention. He is now retired but is busier than ever with various volunteer activities.

    He has a B.S. in Business Administration from Northeastern University and an M.S. in Organizational Behavior from Cornell University. Before starting his consulting business in 1982, he worked for almost ten years in Human Resources with Johnson & Johnson.

    He has been extensively involved with nonprofits in the greater Mercer County (N.J.) area for more than twenty-five years as a volunteer and leader, and as a trainer and informal consultant on issues of governance, volunteer recruitment and management, and more.

    His volunteer positions included construction worker and interim construction supervisor at Habitat for Humanity in Trenton, former board member and board chair of VolunteerConnect, board member and president at The Jewish Center in Princeton, board member with Jewish Family and Children’s Service and a member of the "Chore Corps" for its [email protected] program that enables seniors to age in place. He currently chairs his congregation’s “Life & Legacy” bequest program.

    Also, he is a volunteer and board member of the Princeton Cornerstone Community Kitchen at the Princeton United Methodist Church. His newest project there is the startup of the Princeton Period Project to help make sure that girls and women in low-income households get a reliable supply of feminine hygiene products they need. He is also the “mailman” for the 55PLUS group.

    He also sits on the Biomedical Ethics committee at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center and on the board of Goals of Care Coalition, whose goal is to strengthen communication between health care providers and patients nearing the end of life to eliminate burdensome care, improve quality of life, and ensure that treatment decisions focus on patients’ goals.

    His most important volunteer position these days is as grandfather to three of the world’s cutest grandchildren.

  • Michael is principal of the Law Offices of Michael Jay Greenberg and the president of Greenberg Accounting, CPA, P.C. He is admitted to the Bars of the State of New York and the State of New Jersey, and is licensed to practice accounting in the State of New York.

    A member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Michael has taught seminars for the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Lorman Education Seminars and the New York Paralegal School.

    Michael’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Seth Horowitz is a member of Temple Israel of Great Neck and a member of various committees of the congregation. He was previously an Officer and a Trustee. Seth is also a proud graduate of Temple Israel’s Beth HaGan nursery school, Religious School, and Hebrew High School.

    Seth is the principal of Seth Horowitz, PLLC, a law practice dedicated to helping individuals and companies achieve their goals at a reasonable cost. Seth started the practice following fifteen years as in-house counsel in the software industry and ten years of other in-house and private firm practice.

    Seth has a J.D. from Columbia Law School and an A.B. from Harvard College.

  • Norman Kahn co-chairs our Kehilla Strengthening and Transformation Committee. He was also a member of the USCJ Commission on Community and Covenant in the Twenty-First Century.  

    Norman is a senior partner for the Toronto law firm Aird & Berlis LLP, where he practices commercial real estate law. He is a former lecturer in York University’s Schulich School of Business MBA program and continues to serve on the school’s advisory board program in Real Estate and Infrastructure.

    In his own congregation, Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto, Ontario, Norman serves as co-chair of the Rabbinic Search Committee and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.  Norman is also past president of Beth Tzedec Congregation, having served on numerous committees over many years. He and his wife, Jackie, and their family have been members for 20 years. They are active participants in Shabbat and Yom Tov services in the congregation’s lay-lead Little Minyan.

    Jackie and Norman are the proud parents of seven children, all of whom who graduated from the Jewish Day School system. They currently have seven grandchildren. Their eldest son made Aliyah several years ago and, together with their daughter-in-law and their children, reside in Israel.  

    Norman’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Bernie King-Smith is a past chair of our District Leadership, Northeast District and IT Committees. Since joining the board in 2004, he has also served on the Budget, Membership, IT and Kallah Committees. Bernie led the Transformation Committee for the Northeast District and was president-elect and secretary of the former Empire Region.

    Bernie currently works in Information Technology for a large multinational company, leading a worldwide team of engineers in networking performance. He has been fortunate to participate in the designing, building and performance of the Watson Jeopardy! and Deep Blue chess computers.

    Bernie lives in Lake Katrine, NY, where he is currently president of Congregation Ahavath Israel in Kingston. Among the other roles he has played in his kehilla, he chaired the Ritual, Talmud Torah, and house committees, and he regularly leads services. He has been a member of the board of Ulster County Jewish Federation, where he is vice president of Leadership Development; he is also Treasurer of Jewish Family Services of Ulster County, founding board member of the Jewish Community Legacy Project and board member of Mercaz USA.

    Bernie's wife Lisa is very active in Women's League where she has served as a board member of the MetroNorth Region. They are proud parents of two sons, Ted, a composer in Kansas City, and Ben, a geologist based out of Buffalo.

    Bernie’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Alan Klinger serves as the Co-Managing Partner of the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and also functions as the Co-Chair of its National Litigation Practice Group. Alan leads the firm’s representation of public sector unions and employee benefit funds, and also acts as pro bono counsel to the Associations of Supreme Court Justices of the City and State of New York. Alan is a Trustee of the NYU School of Law Foundation, a Trustee of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and a director of Partnership with Children, Inc.

    Alan is a member of the National Commission of the Anti-Defamation League and is Co-Chair of its NY/NJ Lawyers Division. He is the chair of UJA – Federation of New York’s Bylaws Committee, as well as serves on the Executive Committee of its Lawyers Division. He is the past president of Temple Israel of Great Neck in NY.

    Alan and his wife Susan Wagner reside in New York City. They have three children.

    Alan's term concludes in 2020.

  • Ben Zion (Benzy) Kogen is a Consultant for Leadership and Education. He has devoted his career to senior leadership positions within the Jewish community—in the worlds of Jewish Education and Nonprofits.

    Benzy serves as a faculty member of the Melton School for Adult Jewish Studies (of the Hebrew University). His course offering include both Undergraduate and Graduate students in the areas of Jewish History, Jews and Islam, Jewish Ethics, Samuel 2, and Beyond Borders.

    Benzy has had a long and fruitful relationship with Ramah camps, currently serving in a summer leadership role at Camp Ramah in California.

    Additionally, Benzy serves as Cantor at the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda, CA during the year, as well as over the High Holidays.

    Founder and creator of “Your Shabbat Guest,” a program of enhanced Shabbat celebration, learning, and growth,| Benzy is a master educator who has devoted himself to the building of communities and the enhancement of Jewish life, He has led seminars for educators and taught in congregations across the United States and Canada. He has taught through the age spectrum – from elementary school, to learners at the adult level. His joy as a teacher is bringing the joy of classical Jewish text and tradition to learners of all ages.

    Benzy lives in Reseda, California. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee at Shomrei Torah Synagogue in West Hills, as well as on the Executive Committee of the Pacific Southwest Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Currently, Benzy serves as a member of the Board of Overseers for the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles.

    Benzy holds undergraduate degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, as well as dual Masters degrees in Educational Administration from Teachers College of Columbia University.

  • Jay Kossman is a Healthcare executive with over 35 years of experience in senior leadership and consulting positions. He is recognized for his expertise in client relationship development and management, strategic planning and project management. He is the Principal/owner of Healthcare Productivity Solutions, LLC, a company focused on researching, identifying and representing successful healthcare products and service companies. He currently administers strategic advice on developing and managing relationships with hospitals and health systems on behalf of US Acute Care Solutions, a physician owned and managed company that provides emergency medicine, observation care and hospital medicine services. His prior experience includes leadership roles for Navigant Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers, MDNY Health Plan, Executive Health Group, MetLife Healthcare of Florida and Optima Health Plan, Norfolk, VA.

    Jay has also served as a member of multiple Boards and Committees which include; Beth Sholom Village in Virginia Beach, VA, Congregation Beth El in Norfolk, VA, Generations Home Health, Former Chairman of the Board, Jewish Home for the Aged, in New Haven, CT, Norfolk City Schools Health Committee, and Old Dominion College of Health Sciences Advisory Board/Dean Search Committee. He helped plan the Old Dominion University 50th Reunion and served as Co-chair of The Old Dominion University 1930 Society for Planned Giving

    He is a member of The Norfolk Rotary Club and received the Regent’s Award for contributions to healthcare in Connecticut from The American College of Healthcare Executives.

    He joined the USCJ Board for an opportunity to continue impacting Conservative Judaism ensuring its survival and continued growth.

    His term concludes in 2021.

  • Eliot Meadow currently serves on the International Board Nominating Committee, the HR Committee and is the KST Chair.  Since joining the USCJ board in 2004, he has served on several other committees, including District Leadership, Technology, Services to Congregations and Dues Variance.

    Eliot works in Information Technology for large multinational companies, helping them use their technology effectively.

    Outside the Jewish community, Eliot has focused much of his time and energy on the health and wellness issues of children facing serious illness.  As a volunteer with the American Cancer Society, he has served as an active leader of their “Long Term Survivors of Childhood Cancer” committee, which developed and ran programs to help former childhood cancer patients learn about the challenges they face as they age, and to help them understand their unique position in society.  Eliot also volunteered for several years as a counselor for Ronald McDonald Camp, a summer camp program for current and former cancer patients. Eliot has spoken at multiple ACS Relays for Life.  

    He is a member of Congregation Adath Israel in Middletown, CT, where both he and his wife Stephanie have served as past presidents and continue to serve in various leadership roles. 

    Eliot and his family have lead a life embedded in the Conservative Movement. He's a graduate of a Solomon Schechter Day School, as are his son Eric and daughter Julia.  All three attended Camp Ramah and, along with his wife Stephanie, have worked at Ramah camps.  Eric attended Ramah Seminar, and Julia spent a semester on Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim.  Eliot was also extremely active as a USY’er, serving as both chapter president and on the regional board. He went on to serve as the Chapter Advisor for three different chapters.

    Eliot’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Ofra Panzer started attending METNY conferences over a decade ago. In the last 4 years, she served on both the METNY District Advisory & District Councils & co-chaired the METNY Biannual Conferences before becoming METNY District Chair.

    In her own kehillah, Temple Israel of Great Neck, Ofra serves as the Membership Committee Chair, on the Safety Committee, on the Religious School Education Committee and is a past chair; was a TIGN Trustee (2013-15), co-founder of TIGN Accessibility Group & Co-founder of TIGN Health Advisory Group. For fun she also is a participant in the TI Players (performing arts), High Holiday Silver polisher & a Shabbat Greeter. She is the liaison to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s Jewish Students for Shabbat & Holidays.

    Ofra is a Registered Nurse with clinical experience in Neuro and Med/Surg. Approximately twenty years ago her focus changed to Community Health Nursing and its applications of Health & Safety within school and synagogue communities. She chaired the Great Neck Public School District United Parents-Teachers Health Education Committee for several years.

    Ofra is married to Robert Panzer, a Sulam for Presidents Alum. They are USY for Adults Poland Seminar, USY Adult Budapest-Prague & Ramah Institute Morocco Experience Alums. They have 4 children, all of whom attended Camp Yavneh in NH, participated in USY Wheels and Pilgrimage Eastern Europe.

  • Haran Rashes is chair of the USCJ Dues Committee, responsible for dues collection from kehillot. He is also past chair of USCJ’s Central District.

    He is Director of External Relations for ExteNet Systems, Inc., which designs, owns and operates multi-carrier and multi-technology Distributed Networks for Wireless Service Providers. He is admitted to practice law in Illinois, Michigan and New York.

    Haran is actively involved in West Suburban Temple Har Zion, in Forest Park, IL. He previously lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he served as as president of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor and as president of Beth Israel Congregation, and as Beth Israel Congregation's Men’s Club president. He has also served on the board of the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America.

    Haran is the proud father of Max (and daughter-in-law Shaina), Ilana, a student at Neve Seminary in Har Nof, Jerusalem; and Annie, who is enrolled in the University of Michigan. He lives in Downers Grove, Illinois with his wife Nikki and their cats, Bobb and Moe.

    Haran’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Michael's term concludes in 2020.

  • Jeffrey Salloway has been active in USCJ for nearly a half-century. He has served as synagogue president, regional officer, and is now Chair of the Northeast District. Jeff is professor emeritus of the University of New Hampshire where he taught epidemiology, chaired the Department of Health Management and Policy and officiated as the President of the Faculty Senate. He is now a representative in the New Hampshire House and recently published his first novel of Jewish fiction.

  • Maria most recently co-chaired the host committee of the USCJ 2020 Judaism Biennial convention in Boston. She also serves on the USCJ Northeast district council.

    Maria is a lifelong devoted member of Congregation Shirat Hayam (CSH) in Swampscott, Massachusetts. She currently serves on the congregation's Interfaith Leadership Task Force, aimed at examining issues and recommending change to achieve radical hospitality, Shir Lanu, inclusion, and equality for a secure future for CSH. Maria has also served as a Shir Chesed Team Leader for the congregation.

    Maria is a lifelong active member, past president, and lifetime board member of the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore (JCCNS). At JCCNS, Maria established the Bernice and Joseph Samiljan Memorial Fund, which sponsors the annual Bernice and Joseph Samiljan Service Day, intended to bring family and community members together to perform Tikkun Olam (such as preparing Hanukkah gift bags for local Holocaust survivors), combining the efforts of the JCCNS and Jewish Children and Family Services (JF&CS). Maria has served on the North Shore Advisory Council of JF&CS, is an active leader for JF&CS's Schechter Holocaust Services, organizing a monthly Cafe Hakalah gathering for Holocaust survivors.

    Professionally, Maria co-owned and operated a family business; a four-store chain of photography stores north of Boston. Marias oversite included daily operations, management support, office staff supervision, purchasing, marketing, advertising, and strategic planning. During her career, Maria also served on a national Kodak retailers advisory board.

    Maria and her husband, Alan Lensky, live in Marblehead, Massachusetts where they raised three amazing daughters.

  • Melissa Sandler resides in Hoboken, New Jersey where is an active member of United Synagogue of Hoboken (USH). Melissa has been a co-chair of USH Mitzvah Day (13 simultaneous volunteer projects with over 160 participants - in a community of 300 households). Additionally, she coordinates social gatherings and Shabbat dinners for area Jewish Young Adults.

    A Jewish non-profit professional, Melissa is the Director of Development for the Aleph Society, the US organization dedicated supporting and promoting the work of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

    Melissa's term concludes in 2021.

  • Dr. Vivian Saper's work at USCJ has included helping to restructure, update and preserve the strength of USY as well as working on outreach to Jewish young adults.

    Vivian is a practicing physician boarded in Allergy Asthma and Immunology, Pediatrics, and Pediatric Rheumatology. Vivian holds teaching faculty positions at both Stanford and University of California San Francisco Medical Centers.

    Vivian has been affiliated with Conservative Judaism since birth and comes from a lineage of dedicated Jewish pioneers who left Europe to settle in the US and in Israel. She and her husband, Jeff, have been members of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, CA, for more than 30 years. They are also active in other Jewish causes, including the Anti-Defamation League, on whose regional board Jeff currently serves. Their annual philanthropic giving is directed to Jewish causes.

    Vivian and her husband Jeff live in Palo Alto, CA. They enjoy time with three adorable grandchildren, four children and their children’s spouses.

    Vivian’s term concludes in 2021.

  • Madeleine Sarick was born in Toronto. She completed her undergraduate degree at Brandeis University then returned to Canada for Law School. After being called to the Bar in Ontario, she worked as an Assistant Crown Attorney for 11 years.

    She now has her own legal practice in which she represents children and youth in domestic cases. In addition, Madeleine operates and manages the Toronto office of her family’s real estate development business.

    She is the Immediate Past President of Beth David Synagogue in Toronto and is co-chair of the Rabbinic Search Committee.

    Madeleine and her husband Mark Finkelstein have three children, Rebecca, Joshua and Hannah, all of whom graduated from the Jewish Day School system and attended and worked at Ramah Canada.

  • Steven is the principal of Inspire WiFi, a nationwide provider of wireless networks for the apartment and healthcare industry.

    He has served as co-chair of the Network, the Under-40 Connection to the Greater Miami Jewish Federation for four years and was honored with the Sandra C. Goldstein Young Leadership Award in 2006; and the Stanley C. Myers President's’ Leadership Award in 2012. He has also served on the local boards of UM Hillel and American Jewish Committee.

    Steven is the immediate past president of Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus in North Miami Beach, FL. His other involvements include the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and the Jewish Federations of North America.

    On a national level, he was a member of the Jewish Federations of North America Board of Trustees and is a fellow of the Wexner Heritage Program. Other past involvements included co-chair of National Young Leadership Cabinet, vice chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Mega Mission to Israel in 2012, chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation “100% Community” Donor Acquisition and Retention Initiative and national chair of the JFNA Network of Independent Communities.

    Steven lives in North Miami Beach with his wife, Michele, and their four children: Jenna, Evan, Haley and Adam.

    Steven’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Lindsey Seeskin is an attorney whose practice is dedicated exclusively to representing victims and their families in personal injury and wrongful death cases including lawsuits arising out of motor vehicle and semi truck accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice, products liability and dangerous workplaces.

    She is a member of Anshe Emet Synagogue. Lindsey is heavily involved with the synagogue’s group for young adults in their 20’s and 30’s called the Young Adult Division, a frequent attendee of the lay led Rose Crown Minyan and a part of the Young Families community. She served on the Young Adult Division’s Executive Board for nearly a decade, including a term as chair, and now serves on the synagogue’s Board of Trustees.

    Within the USCJ the past few years, Lindsey participated in the Millennial Leadership Summit and the Innovations Committee. Her involvement with the USCJ dates to her USY days.

    Lindsey lives in Chicago with her husband Zach and their son Ari.

    Lindsey’s term concludes in 2021.

  • Howie Sniderman previously served as vice president from 2012-14 and international secretary since 2015. He previously was on the KST Committee from 2007 -12, chairing the committee from 2010-12. He also chaired the ad hoc Governance Committee established under the Strategic Plan that our board adopted in March 2011, and chaired the 2014 Strategic Plan Update Committee.

    Howie has practiced law in Edmonton, AB, for 35 years and is the senior litigator and chair of his firm’s litigation department.

    He has been vice president and interim acting president of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton; chair of the board of Camp B’nai Brith Society (Pine Lake, Alberta); a founding board member of the Edmonton Jewish Community Charitable Foundation; and a founding member of the Edmonton Jewish Hockey League and the Edmonton Jewish Baseball League. Howie served on the national boards of Maccabi Canada and the Canadian Jewish Congress and currently serves on the national boards of Mercaz Canada and the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University, and as an associate member of the Hebrew U. board in Jerusalem.

    Howie’s most important accomplishments, by far, are his 35-year marriage to his wife, Debbie, a teacher, and their two children, Ari (Faren) and Liz.

    Howie’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Dr. Diane Snyder Steren was born and raised in Miami, Florida and grew up at Beth Torah Congregation in North Miami Beach. Summers were spent at Camp Judaea, both as a camper, counselor and later as a camp doctor, in Hendersonville, North Carolina. She enjoyed being active in Young Judaea youth groups during the year. She participated in Young Judaea year course spending the year before college in Israel and volunteering at Hadassah Hospital. Many years later, it all came together with many years participation on the Hadassah Physician’s Council and conferences with Hadassah physicians in Jerusalem.

    She moved to Baltimore in 1986 and participated in the Young Leadership Council of the Associated as well as volunteered as a Jewish big sister.

    She moved to Rockville, Maryland in 1994 and joined Congregation B’nai Tzedek in 1995. She started getting active in synagogue life after her father’s death in 2004 and became one of the “regulars” while saying kaddish. Initially serving as liaison for day school families, she joined the board of directors in 2006 as chair of the B’nai Mitzvah committee and then moved on to chair the membership committee. She joined the Executive committee in 2010 as Vice-President of membership for 4 years, then Vice-President of strategic planning (with the help of Sulam for Strategic Planners) and was President of the congregation from 2016-2018.

    She is currently serving as co-chair of B’nai Tzedek’s Hineni Capital campaign as well as a member of the ritual and associate rabbi search committees.

    In her spare time, she is a Gynecologist in private practice and thanks her husband, Al and her 3 mostly- grown children for supporting her passion and love of Judaism.

  • Gary Tabakin currently serves as the chair for the Southeast Seaboard District leadership committee.

    Gary is very proud to be the President of Meyers & Tabakin Furniture which was founded by his grandfather in 1906. He has a BS degree in business from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin.

    Gary has been active in synagogue leadership for 25 years. He was on the board of Congregation Beth El in Norfolk, VA and a Vice-President. He currently serves on the board of Temple Emanuel of Virginia Beach, VA where he was President from 2014 to 2018. In addition, Gary has been on various financial and fundraising committees for over 20 years. He has been involved in two rabbinical searches and attended Sulam 46.

    Gary has been receiving advice from USCJ for 10 years and looks forward to the opportunity to give back to such a fine organization.

  • Marty Werber is current chair of the Fuchsberg Committee and has been a USCJ METNY Region board member since 1999. He is past chair of the METNY Education Commission, for which he helped develop standards for the Schools of Excellence program and criteria for student achievement recognition programs. He also chaired METNY’s regional lecture series and, for three years, served as the METNY liaison to the Synagogue Task Force of COJIR (UJA-Federation).

    Marty worked at CBS News for 12 years before transitioning to the real estate management business.

    He and his wife, Bracha, live in Great Neck, NY, where they are active in Temple Israel of Great Neck. The Werbers have three children, all of whom attended Jewish day schools through high school, and they have four grandchildren. The family has been very active in Jewish camping, as both campers and staff members, at Camp Ein Harod, Cejwin Camps, and Camp Ramah. Marty served on the board of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires for a number of years and co-chaired its facilities committee.

    Marty’s term concludes in 2021.

  • Marty Zimmerman is the President and co-founder of ZIM Consulting, the largest firm focused on grant writing and nonprofit services in the Rocky Mountain Region. He has been in this role since 2006.

    Marty grew up in the Conservative movement at Rodef Shalom and was one of only a handful of Denverites to serve as regional president of USY’s Emtza Region. In 2014, Marty was elected as the second youngest Board president in Rodef Shalom’s history and was the fifth youngest synagogue board president in the country. During his four years as president he helped Rodef Shalom become financially stable, helped increase membership from 270 families to over 310, and helped create systems that engaged many young families in synagogue activities changing the demographics of the synagogue. His final role was successfully leading the Rabbinic search process.

    Marty is an alum of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Denver program and served three years as a mayoral appointee on the Denver Mayor’s Youth Commission, two of which he was the chair. He was the recipient of the Joshua L. Liebman Award for Service to the Community and was a Federation Executive Recruitment Education Program fellow. He graduated from Syracuse University with majors in Religion and Public Relations and has a Masters’ from the University of Michigan in Social Work Management and a Certificate in Jewish Communal Service and Judaic Studies.

    Marty and his wife, Shira, have two teen-aged children, Alyssa and Andrew.

  • Susan F. Zinder lives and works in Manhattan, New York. She is a successful corporate/healthcare attorney who focuses her law practice on the representation of New York not-for-profit entities and healthcare providers. She is currently particularly passionate about her representation of a struggling synagogue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York. During her career, she spent over 15 years serving as in-house counsel at hospitals and health systems in the New York metropolitan area. She began her career as a corporate/banking associate at a national law firm.

    In addition to serving on the board of USCJ, Susan volunteers her time as a Vice Chair of the Business Law and Governance Practice Group of the American Health Lawyers Association, and as the Chair of the Gotham City Networking Make a Difference Group. She has long time commitments to leading Jewish and other non-profit organizations, including those dedicated to women’s health and reducing hunger.

    Her love of Judaism and Klal Yisrael was nourished by her parents at the Community Synagogue in Sands Point, New York, in her membership in Jewish youth groups and attendance at Jewish camps when she was a teen, and through repeated travel to Israel. She is currently a member of Ansche Chesed, New York, New York.

    She earned her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and her A.B, cum laude with High Honors in Politics, from Brandeis University.

    Susan has no children of her own but is an adoring aunt to her five nieces and to her nephew, and to the many children of her cousins. She strives to model for them the behavior of an active, charitable and committed Jewish professional. Personally, she is an avid photographer, amateur ceramicist and occasional quilter with a love for travel.

    Susan's term concludes in 2021.

Immediate Past President

  • Margo Gold

    Immediate Past President

    Margo Gold of Atlanta, Georgia, is Immediate Past International President of USCJ. She joined the USCJ Board in 2010 and served as President from 2015 through 2018. Margo co-chaired the 2013 USCJ Centennial in Baltimore and is also a proud alumna of Sulam for Presidents 37.

    Margo serves as the Chair of the USCJ Nominating Committee and on the Va''ad of the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center. She formerly served on the boards of JTS, the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, MERCAZ USA, Masorti Olami and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations Executive Council.

    She has also held leadership roles at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta Community Relations Committee, American Jewish Committee, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Interfaith Children's Movement, City of Hope Spirit of Life Chapter and more. She is a lifetime member of Hadassah, the National Council of Jewish Women and Jewish Women International, and is a World Pilgrim, a communal interfaith travel experience with Christians, Muslims and Jews.

    In Atlanta, she served as president of Ahavath Achim Synagogue from 2010-12 and as president of Congregation B’nai Torah from 1991-1993.

    A native of Detroit and an alumna of the University of Michigan, Margo and her husband, attorney Larry Gold, are proud parents and grandparents to David and Emma Dix and their daughters Isabella and Layla; Michael and Mindy Gold and their son, Jackson; and Carolyn and Evan Remer and their children, Daniel and Vivian.

Non-Voting, Ex-Officio Members

  • Alan Ades is a past international president of USCJ and remains active as a member of the board and various committees. He has chaired our Budget Committee as well as the Council of Regional Presidents. Prior to his USCJ presidency, Alan was president of his kehilla, Tifereth Israel Congregation, in New Bedford, MA, and president of the New England Region of USCJ.

    Alan was also president of his local JCC and Federation. In the Federation world he served as national chairman of Regions for UJA, and as a national vice chairman and of UJA’s Executive Committee. Concurrent with these responsibilities, he was a member of the boards of many local and national organizations, including JESNA, CLAL, NCSJ and JTS.

    In his retirement, Alan and Ruth, his wife of 60 years, moved to Sarasota, FL, where he is active both in his kehilla, Temple Beth Sholom, and his federation, for whom he chairs two major committees. He is also a trustee of the Perlman Music Program Suncoast.

    Alan and Ruth have four children and fifteen grandchildren, all who live in Massachusetts. They visit as often as possible.

  • Dr. Ray Goldstein has served in several volunteer positions at USCJ, including serving four years as International President. He has served as president of two kehillot and served on the board of a third. He has a long history of service on not-for-profit boards and has developed a keen interest and extensive background in board governance and management.

    Dr. Goldstein’s career has included eight years teaching at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He has served as president and owner of a multi-faceted technology firm in Rochester, Minnesota for 10 years, having begun his career there in sales. A major business segment of that firm was dedicated to customer service for a large healthcare client. While in Rochester he also served as managing partner for a start-up home healthcare firm.

    In April 2010 Ray joined the staff of USCJ to serve as a resource to USCJ member kehillot, first serving as Interim Director for the Central district. Subsequently he served as Kehilla Relations Team Leader, supervising all Kehilla Relationship Managers (KRMs). For a brief period, he also took on the additional duties of Acting Chief Kehilla Officer for USCJ, overseeing the activities and staff of the Kehilla Strengthening and Transformation (KST) Department.

    While employed by USCJ, Dr. Goldstein relinquished his role as a past president. Once his tenure as USCJ staff ended, Ray resumed his position on the USCJ board.

    Dr. Goldstein and his wife Jody, a retired elementary school principal, live in Rochester Minnesota. They are members of Beth Jacob Congregation, Mendota Heights, Minnesota and Beth El Synagogue, Omaha, Nebraska.

  • Richard Skolnik is a product of the Conservative movement, having become actively involved with Conservative Judaism through USY. He was so energized by his experience as a USYer in Long Beach, New York, that he spent 16 post-college years as a chapter advisor, a youth director, and then a regional field worker for USY.

    He then changed roles, going from professional to lay leader as he left USCJ’s employ to work in the for-profit world. Richard became active in his USCJ district, METNY, eventually becoming president, before spending five years as USCJ’s international president.

    Richard is the vice president of sales and marketing at Century Direct, LLC, a direct response marketing company.

    He lives in Bellmore, New York, is happily married to his high school sweetheart, Sherry, and is a proud father and grandfather. Richard and Sherry are long-time members of Congregation Beth Ohr.

  • Judy Yudof is a former USCJ international president, the first woman to hold the position.

    She served on the chancellor search committee of the Jewish Theological Seminary as well as the Advisory Board of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. In 2006, President George H. Bush appointed Judy to a five-year term on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council.

    Judy has also served on numerous secular boards and commissions -- many related to the delivery of health and human services. For 16 years she was founding president of New Milestones Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization providing housing for the chronically mentally ill in Austin, TX.

    In 1993, Judy and her husband, Mark, were co-recipients of the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award. In June 2008, they relocated from Austin to Northern California when Mark became president of the 10-campus University of California System. Mark has recently taken emeritus status at the University of California to allow him more time to work as chair of the advisory board of the Academic Engagement Network on combatting BDS on college campuses.

    Judy is a member of both the Amuta and the Va’ad of the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center. She was proud to serve on the committee to develop a new strategic plan for the FJC.

    Judy just finished a multi-year term as president of the Contra Costa Jewish Community Center in Walnut Creek, California. The Yudofs are now residing year-round in Jupiter, Florida so they can be closer to family. They have two married adult children and one precious young grandchild.

  • David A. Lipp came to Congregation Adath Jeshurun as Hazzan in 1994. He has established a reputation as an inspiring leader of worship and transmitter of Jewish musical tradition, ancient to contemporary.

    He currently leads worship services, prepares youth for bar and bat mitzvah, teaches synagogue skills to children and adults, co-officiates at all life-cycle events, does pastoral work and directs the Adath Jeshurun Adult Choir. Cantor also teaches Melton and other adult education classes, sings in concerts and frequently represents the Jewish community at interfaith events. He was the featured soloist for one of Louisville's finest volunteer choruses, Voces Novae, on their first CD, Soul of the Synagogue. Cantor Lipp also currently serves as President of the Cantors Assembly.

    He was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up in Jerusalem, Haifa and Minneapolis. Before embarking on his current career, Cantor Lipp was an actor performing in local and regional theatre in the Midwest. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota and earned a Masters of Sacred Music degree from the Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

    He is married to Rabbi Laura Metzger and they are the parents of a daughter, Natania.

General Counsel

  • Ed Rudofsky is the General Counsel of USCJ, Chair of the USCJ Committee and a non-voting lay member of the RA Committee on Jewish Law & Standards.

    Ed is an attorney in private practice in New York. He recently retired as the senior partner in Zane and Rudofsky, a New York City law firm. Prior to joining Zane and Rudofsky, he was a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Deputy Chief of that office's Civil Division. Ed also serves as a Mediator for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York; General Counsel and a member of the Board of Directors of Richmond Community Services, and is a past president and National Chair of the Board of the First Amendment Lawyers Association.

    He resides with his wife Roz in Melville, NY, where he is a member (and past president) of South Huntington Jewish Center. Roz and Ed have two grown children; Lee, a U.S. district judge for the eastern district of Arkansas and Gayle, an attending neuroradiologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York; and five grandchildren.