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


  • Andy Schaer

    USCJ International President

    Andy Schaer is USCJ International President. Prior to this he served as USCJ Vice President and Treasurer. 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.

  • Dana Sharon Winer


    Dana Sharon Winer serves as USCJ Vice-President and previously served as Secretary. In 2017 she was program chair for the USCJ biennial convention. 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.

  • Lindsey Seeskin

    Vice President

    Lindsey Seeskin is a personal injury and wrongful death attorney whose personal values of integrity, universal respect and compassion inform every professional decision she makes for her clients and her practice. She founded her own law firm, Seeskin Law LLC, to establish a values- driven practice that offers all clients a rigorous, ethical brand of representation infused with deep and generous compassion, helps anyone who can benefit from working with a personal injury attorney and ensures everyone who calls is better off than they were before.

    Lindsey lives in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago with her husband Zach, son Ari and daughter Naomi. She is a member of Anshe Emet Synagogue and currently serves as a Vice President of the synagogue’s Board of Trustees. Lindsey is also a dedicated member of the Young Families community, an attendee of the lay led Rose Crown Minyan and a prior chair of the Young Adult Division’s Executive Board.

    Within USCJ, Lindsey serves as an Officer, currently in the role of Secretary, and she is a member of various USCJ board committees. Her involvement with USCJ dates to her USY days.

    Lindsey’s term concludes in December 2024.

  • Eliot Meadow

    Vice President

    Eliot Meadow currently USCJ Vice President. Since joining the USCJ board in 2004, he has served on several committees, including District Leadership, Technology, Services to Congregations, International Nominating, HR, and Dues Variance, and most recently was the Chair of our Department of Synagogue Leadership committee.

    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 Temple Israel in Charlotte, NC. He is also a member of Congregation Adath Israel in Middletown, CT, where both he and his wife Stephanie are past presidents.

    Eliot and his family have led a life embedded in the Conservative Movement. He’s a graduate of a Solomon Schechter Day School, as are both of his children. All three attended Camp Ramah and, along with his wife Stephanie, have worked at Ramah camps. Erika 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, Regional Executive board and as Advisor for multiple chapters.

    Eliot’s term concludes in December 2024.

  • Steven is the current USCJ International Board Treasurer.

    Steven is the principal of Scheck Group, a family office focusing on investments in private equity, real estate and corporate financing.

    Steven is a past president of Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus in North Miami Beach, FL. He is also the Florida Region Vice Chair of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Co-Chair of the Federation-Synagogue Relations Committee at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

    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.

    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 and National Chair of the JFNA Network of Independent Communities.

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

    Steven’s term concludes in December 2024.

  • 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.

Board Members

  • 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 2025.

  • Brian Cook currently resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota and is a member of Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka, Minnesota. He currently serves on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. Brian 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 Chamber of Commerce as the Director of Energy and Elections Policy.

  • Andrea Colby and her family have been members of Neve Shalom in Metuchen New Jersey for over 27 years. She has been dedicated to Conservative Judaism her entire life, having been affiliated with Temple Israel Center while growing up in White Plains, New York and having attended Camp Ramah in New England for several summers.

    Andrea currently serves on the Mid-Atlantic District Council of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and helps facilitate discussions at monthly Presidents’ Council meetings. She also serves as a moderator of the recently-established Presidents Google Group. At Neve Shalom, Andrea has served as President, Vice President, Ritual Committee Chair, board member and piano accompanist. She regularly chants Torah, haftarah and megillot and enjoys leading services as well.

    Professionally, Andrea worked for over 35 years as an intellectual property attorney, including 28 years for Johnson & Johnson, from which she retired in 2016. Andrea is also a board member of Young Audiences of NJ & Eastern PA and Albany Law School. Andrea earned her J.D. from Albany Law School, her M.A. in Organizational Management from Fielding Graduate University and her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She enjoys spending time with her husband, her son and the family poodles, making music, writing, weaving, and composing songs with her lyricist husband Michael.

  • 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 2025.

  • Shirley Davidoff is a Family Nurse Practitioner at Texas Health Heart and Vascular Specialists in Dallas,Texas working full time at multiple offices and hospitals treating cardiac patients. Shirley received her Bachelor’s of Nursing from the University of Texas at Austin and her Master’s of Science and post masters certification from Texas Women’s University in Dallas. Shirley was honored in 2015 as Nurse Practitioner of the Year for the State of Texas and was previously recognized as a Great 100 Nurse for the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Shirley enjoys lecturing to lay and professional audiences on numerous cardiovascular topics.

    Community service and volunteering is a passion for Shirley who has served on numerous boards and held leadership positions both locally and nationally. Shirley joined the USCJ national board in 2023 and is an active member of Congregation Shearith Israel Board Of Directors, Congregation Shearith Israel Foundation Board, Legacy Senior Community Board, and the Legacy at Home board. Shirley is the past National Board Chair of MAZON: A Jewish Response tHunger and is the immediate Past President of Congregation Shearith Israel. Additionally, Shirley has served as the past Board Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and served on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and the Ann and Nate Levine Academy. Shirley is a life member of Hadassah, National Council of Jewish Women, and Congregation Shearith Israel Sisterhood where she was a past Torah Fund honoree.

    Shirley is originally from Galveston and is happily married to Bill Davidoff. Shirley and Bill have 2 married sons and 3 grandsons.

  • Jeri Fishman is the Central District Council chair, after serving the past two years as chair-elect. She is the immediate past congregation president and a past Sisterhood president of Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield, Michigan. She currently serves on the boards of JCRC/AJC and Jewish Family Service as well as the Board of Directors of Congregation Shaarey Zedek and their sisterhood, where she is an active member of several committees.

    Jeri is a retired caseworker and court assigned Probation Agent of the Michigan Department of Corrections. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, photography, traveling, and the arts. Jeri is the proud mother of two children, Eric (and future daughter-in-law Samantha) and Rachel. She lives in Southfield, Michigan with her husband Steve and their dog Lilly.

  • Denise currently serves USCJ as Southeast Seaboard District Chair, following several years as a member of that committee and USCJ Operational Effectiveness Committee.

    She is the founder of Freedman Leadership Group, LLC, a professional coaching business established to address the challenges and opportunities of individual emerging leaders. Denise built her business upon the foundation of her 24-year career at Bank of America, having held senior positions in lending, loan operations and community impact management.

    She is past president of Congregation Kol Ami in Tampa, Florida and former board member at B’nai Israel in Gainesville, Florida. Denise also served as a board member for Tampa Jewish Family Services and financial literacy and affordable housing organizations.

    Her conservative movement Jewish life was set in her early years in the Chicago area, strengthened over 10 years as a camper and junior staff at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin.

    Denise is a graduate of the advanced certification at the Columbia University Coaching Program and holds a B.A. Sociology from University of Illinois Chicago. Denise’s currently resides in Tampa Bay with her husband. Her commitment to Jewish literacy, affiliation and volunteer work was influenced through her late mother’s tireless work and the legacy continues through her terrific children and grandchildren.

  • 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.

  • Bob Greenwald is a lifelong member of Temple Israel in Wilkes Barre, PA. He served on the board and rose to the role of president. He is still active on various committees and is passionate about inclusion and music. After graduation from the University of Pittsburgh, Bob returned home to join his father and grandfather in the family insurance business. While helping to grow the business, Bob served on numerous boards in the community and was past president of the Seligman J. Strauss Lodge of B’nai B’rith and the Jewish Community Center of Wyoming Valley. He was also a member of the National UJA Young Leadership Cabinet. Bob and his wife Nan just celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Rebecca and Danielle.

    In the lay world, Bob enjoys opera and ice hockey -– watching only.

  • 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 2025.

  • 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 2024.

  • 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 2026.

  • 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.

  • Heather Miller is an educator and future rabbi who is passionate about creating embracing spaces in both the religious and secular parts of her life. As the President of her synagogue, Flatbush and Shaare Torah Jewish Center, Brooklyn, NY she strives to build a community that is safe for all of the intersecting identities in its membership. Heather merges her skill sets to work on committees and projects with USCJ, UJA, partners at JTS, Jewish Education Project, Jews of Color Initiative and JCC Association to help move this work forward in Jewish spaces. She was awarded METNY’s 2020 Ernest L. Rothschild Leadership Award and is honored to be in the 4th JOC only cohort of Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program.

    Her favorite role of all, however, is as the mother of three amazing boys who are proudly descended from both freed slaves and Holocaust survivors.

  • Andrew S. Oberman, Personnel Committee Chair and Capital Campaign Chair, has been a member of B’nai Amoona since 1994. He is the immediate past President, has been actively involved in fundraising, budget, Vice President of Programming, Executive Vice President for two years and Chairman of the Investment Oversight Committee. Andy was on the Executive Board of Solomon Schechter/Mirowitz Day School and held various positions which included being on the general board, Treasurer, Fundraising, Facilities Chair and part of the merger team between the two schoold. He is actively involved in children’s charities in the St. Louis area and has completed his term as Statewide Chair of the Speech and Language Disorders Clinics for the Scottish Rite of Missouri. In his spare time, Andy enjoys golf, and loves spending time with his wife Rhonda and their 4 children Stuart, Samara, Jayme and Marni.

  • Margie Pomerantz is currently serving as a USCJ board member. Prior to that, she was USCJ Secretary, and then Vice President. She has also served as 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Bonnie is a new USCJ Board member and has been serving on the USCJ Development Committee for the past 18 months. Last spring, she presented a workshop for the committee on “Having Successful Jewish Conversations.”

    Bonnie has spent her career as a professional in the Jewish Community, as an educator and development director. She was a classroom teacher, founding head of

    Yavneh Day School, staff developer and day and religious school consultant. She moved into development (fundraising), combining fundraising training and board development.

    Bonnie is a member of Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, California. There she serves on their Board of Directors and is a member of various committees. She chairs the Jewish Life & Culture Committee of the APJCC and serves on the Development Cabinet of Jewish Silicon Valley. She is also on the Event Leadership Committee of Relay for Life, 2022.

    Bonnie lives in Los Gatos, California. She holds an MA & an MAT in Jewish Education from The University of Judaism, an MA in Education from Rutgers University, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin.

    Bonnie is the proud mom of 4 adult children & “Mimi” to her 8 grandchildren. She loves to work out and travel.

  • 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.

  • Ilyse Wagner (she/her) currently serves as the District Chair of the Northern Pacific Region. She is also on the Executive Committee of her synagogue, Herzl-Ner Tamid on Mercer Island, Washington, where she is the Immediate Past President.

    Judaism, and especially Conservative Judaism, has played a central role throughout Ilyse’s life. She attended Camp Ramah in Ojai, CA (where she met her husband), was an active leader in USY at both the chapter (Seattle Achim) and regional (Pinwheel) levels, a Hillel president during college (Boston University) and has served in many committee chair and board positions at her synagogue.

    Ilyse works at The Pokemon Company International where she manages a team of program and project managers in the Technology Organization. And yes, it’s as cool a place to work as it sounds, and you’re likely to see various Pokemon in many of her Zoom backgrounds.

    Ilyse lives in Bellevue, WA, with her husband of almost 30 years. They have two daughters and a son, Shaya, Risa, and Bailey, who are currently in high school and college. Their children have followed in Ilyse’s footsteps, attending Camp Ramah in Ojai, CA, holding leadership positions at USY at both the chapter and regional levels, and being active members of their college Hillels.

  • 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 2024.

  • 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 2024.

  • Lori Dafilou, FSA, currently serves as Executive Director at Congregation Beth Am Israel, located in Penn Valley, PA.  She brings over 20 years of experience as an Executive Director, having served at three other congregations before coming to BAI in 2019.  Prior to embarking on her career as Executive Director, Lori held a variety of positions, including in Administration, Conference Center Management, and Facilities Management.

    Lori joined NAASE in 2002 shortly after accepting her first Executive Director position.  She achieved her Fellow in Synagogue Administration in 2008; has chaired several NAASE’s conferences; was a regular participant in the annual Week of Study program; and has served on various committees and the Board of Trustees.  In March of 2023, Lori was installed as President of NAASE.

    In addition to her two devoted Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Lori also has two daughters and one absolutely delicious granddaughter.  When not working, Lori loves to travel and garden.

Immediate Past President

  • Ned Gladstein

    Immediate past president

    Ned Gladstein served his term as USCJ international president in 2019-2022. 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.

Non-Voting, Ex-Officio Members

  • Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal

    CEO, USCJ and the Rabbinical Assembly

    Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal serves concurrently as the CEO for USCJ and for the Rabbinical Assembly, through the strategic alignment between the two organizations to strengthen and grow the impact of Masorti-Conservative Judaism. Rabbi Blumenthal was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1999, and served for over 20 years as the Founding Rabbi of Shaare Torah Congregation in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In addition to his background as a teen and later as a professional in USY, he has a history of helping to create innovative organizations in the DC area, including The Den Collective (engaging young adults), Ramah DC Day Camp, and the Montgomery County Executive’s Faith Advisory Council. He continues to live in Gaithersburg with his wife, Marci; has 2 young adult children, Jory and Renana; and spends his free time cycling, reading, and searching out the latest innovations in prayer experiences and Jewish music.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.