Cynthia Greenberg, Board President, is very honored to be in her second term as President of Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives. She first connected to Kolot through her work at Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) and quickly fell in love with Kolot’s welcoming, menschlikh community, which never ceases to inspire her. She works as an organizational development consultant in the non-profit sector and is the co-editor of "I Still Believe Anita Hill: Three Generations Discuss the Legacies of Speaking Truth to Power" (Feminist Press, 2013). She has served on the Boards of numerous organizations including JFREJ, The Shalom Center and, currently, Jewish Voice for Peace and is longtime committed to building and sustaining progressive Jewish life.
Robert Usdin joined Kolot in ’02 and is serving his 5th year on the Board. Living in Park Slope with his wife and two incredibly active daughters (Adelaide doing ice dancing / Izzy being a busy 7 year old), Bob spends his days running a scenic construction company in Long Island City. He tries to bring his business perspective to the challenges facing Kolot. Besides all of the spiritual and religious reasons to join Kolot, Bob can attest that it’s a great place to meet you future spouse. He re-met Ruth Cohen (a work colleague from 20 years before) at Yom Kippur services and was married a few years later by Rabbi Lippmann with Lisa B. Segal chanting the blessing. Between family, friends, work, and Kolot, Bob tries to get in as much time cycling as he can.
Andrea Arzt, Secretary, lives in Windsor Terrace with her husband Walter Tegtmeier and son Zachary. She is a clinical social worker who has worked for over 30 years with individuals with disabilities and their families through both her agency and private practice work. For the past 9 years she has directed the counseling and clinical programs at the New York City-Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society. Andrea has truly enjoyed becoming part of the vibrant Kolot Chayeinu community, and is the chair of the Education Committee, and co-chair of the Sustainable Synagogue Business Models project. This is her first term on the board and she is excited to serve Kolot in this new way.
Jenny Aisenberg begins her first term with the Kolot board in fall 2011/5772. Jenny is a full-time Jewish education professional, now in her third year as Knowledge Development Manager with the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA). As an undergrad at Smith College, she was an active leader in the Jewish community on campus, serving on the Hillel board all 4 years as well as running the college's student-operated Kosher Kitchen, & co-chairing the 2nd annual NUJLS conference for North American LGBT Jewish student leadership in 1999. She received the Gemillut Chassidim Community Service Award upon graduation in 2003. Among the hats she wears at Kolot, Jenny is a former teacher in the children's learning program & also helps manage LOCALLY GROWN, the 20's & 30's group. She looks forward to learning and serving with the Kolot board.
Sally Charnow has served on Kolot Chayeinu's Board of Directors for four years. She is on the Membership Committee and enjoys weekly shabbat services, learning to chant Torah, and creating Jewish ritual. An associate professor of modern European history at Hofstra University, her current research focuses on the "Jewish awakening" in 1920s Paris. Her daughter Hannah is an assistant teacher in Kolot's learning program!
Eddy Ehrlich has been a regular at Kolot Shabbat services with his family for a decade. He is a fervent believer in flexidoxic Jewish practice that is accessible to all comers. He enjoys active Jewish holiday rituals especially Purim for its celebration of irreverence. Eddy has strong connections to Israel, served in the IDF, and is an advocate for an equitable 2-state solution. At work he helps people with disabilities access technology through non-standard methods. He lives and bakes challah in Prospect Heights with Yvonne and his daughters Ora and Yona.
Mike Everett Lane joined the board of Kolot in 2012 (5773). He is the Executive Director of College Summit New York, a non-profit organization that works with public schools to increase the number of students enrolling, and succeeding, in college. He is also a co-founder of ImprovEdge, a consulting company that provides corporate leadership training, using improvisation as a catalyst for learning. He lives in Park Slope with his wife, Debra, and their two sons.
Ellen Gruber Garvey is a professor of English at New Jersey City University in Jersey City. She is the author of The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture (Oxford UP, 1996) and the forthcoming Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance. She chairs Kolot’s Membership and Welcoming Committee, loves the discussion at Torah study, and usually bicycles to Kolot.
Margie Finee is a proud Brooklyn-American living in Ditmas Park and a Kolot member since 1998. She serves on the membership committee and actually likes helping with Kolot’s fundraising. She is the director and principal consultant of The Linchpin Campaign (TLC) whose goal is to expand the resources available to community organizing and social change efforts in the United States and internationally through project development, capacity building, coaching and training. Marjorie consults regularly with national organizing and foundation collaboratives and is featured in many workshops and conferences on social justice philanthropy and fundraising. She serves on the board of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. She has spearheaded major donor campaigns for Kolot and delivered winning fundraising pitches for several organizations. Marjorie believes fundraisers are the unsung heroes of social justice organizations….and progressive shuls.
Melanie Holcomb is also a member of the Education Committee. Melanie discovered Kolot in the dark and confusing days after Sept. 11, 2001. So comforted was she by Kolot's Erev Rosh Hoshanah service that she and her family joined later that year. She is a curator of Medieval Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she has organized several installations of Hebrew manuscripts. She, her husband and three daughters (ages 9. 14. and 16) live in the North Slope. During those rare moments of quiet and relative solitude, she takes pleasure in domestic pursuits--gardening, baking bread, knitting--and yoga.
Lisa Jakobsberg has served on the board for Kolot Chayeinu since 2009. She is acting board liaison with the Communications Committee, was co-chair of the B'nai Mitzvah volunteer program and has volunteered at many Kolot functions. In her day job, Lisa is Vice President of Marketing and Business Partnerships at the Food Bank For New York City. Prior to working at the Food Bank she worked in public relations where she led campaigns for food companies and trade associations. Lisa is also the proud mother of two children who have had their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs at Kolot Chayeinu.
Mel King works in the LGBT nonprofit world at Empire State Pride Agenda. A New York State native, Mel is from Albany and now lives in Lefferts Gardens with his girlfriend. He is passionate about social justice, folk music, and writing personal essays. Mel is active in Locally Grown and serves on the Membership Committee. He dreams of owning a French Bulldog and walking it in Prospect Park.
Liz Schalet has been representing employees for more than 20 years regarding their workplace harassment, wage, overtime, contract, discrimination and pay-equity legal claims. Liz has been an active member of Kolot Chayeinu for 18 years; she previously coordinated a toddler Shabbat program, helped out with the membership committee and was on the Kolot Board from 1995-1997. She and her life partner, Andrea were proud and joyous parents this year at the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Maya and are thrilled that Jonah is thriving as part of Kolot’s Children’s Learning Program. Liz enjoys XC ski trips, NYC theater outings and all kinds of art exhibits.
Roger Westerman is a Board rookie, starting in 2012 (5773). Roger, his wife Maria Schneider, and three children have been members since 2001. All three children became bar/bat mitzvah at Kolot. Roger is proud to give back to the congregation that has given so much to his family. He was a long-time member of the Education Committee and has served on the Nominating Committee several times. Roger is a design consultant specializing in museum exhibition design. He contributed his skills to the design of Kolot’s ark for the Torahs and looks forward to getting it properly decorated during his term!
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