Rachel A. Bendit, Co-Chair
Rachel Bendit lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she works at Zingerman’s Community of Businesses and serves on the boards of the University Musical Society and the Bendit Foundation (a supporting foundation of the Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore). Her previous volunteer work includes service on the boards of Jewish Funders Network and the Dispute Resolution Center. Rachel holds a BA from the University of Michigan, a MEd from Loyola College of Maryland, and a JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. In 2009, she and her husband, Mark Bernstein, were awarded the Claire and Isadore Bernstein Leadership Award by Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County.
Karla Goldman, Co-Chair
Karla Goldman is the Sol Drachler Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan where she directs the Jewish Communal Leadership Program and teaches in Judaic Studies. She is the author of Beyond the Synagogue Gallery: Finding a Place for Women in American Judaism (Harvard, 2000)
. She served as Historian in Residence for the Jewish Women’s Archive from 2000-2008 where she spearheaded projects like This Week in History and JWA's celebration of the 350th anniversary of American Jewish community. Prior to her work at JWA, Karla taught American Jewish history at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati where she was the first female member of the tenure-track faculty. Her research focuses on how American Jewish experience has reflected the social, gender, class, racial, and political identities available to Jews within broader American contexts like cities, social movements, and universities.
Barbara B. Dobkin, Founding Chair
The Founding Chair of JWA's Board of Directors, Barbara Dobkin now chairs the Board of American Jewish World Service. An advocate for women in both Jewish and secular life, she also serves on the boards of Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, the White House Project, Lilith
Magazine, and the Women's Funding Network. Dobkin was the founder and Chair of Ma'yan: the Jewish Women's Project of the JCC in Manhattan and Chair of the Board of the Hadassah Foundation. She is a significant supporter of and advisor to a variety of feminist organizations in the United States and Israel.
JWA Founding Chair Barbara Dobkin Receives LEAD Award, April 28, 2010
Paean to a Troublemaker: Barbara Dobkin by Letty Cottin Pogrebin
About Barbara B. Dobkin, So Laugh a Little Honoree
A Few Words about Barbara Dobkin by Nicki Newman Tanner
A Letter about Barbara Dobkin from Gail T. Reimer
Esther Safran Foer, Clerk
Esther Safran Foer is the Executive Director and CEO of Sixth & I, a downtown cultural hub and historic synagogue. Under Esther’s leadership, Sixth & I has created world class programming virtually every night, including book talks, important conversations, and music programs that range from world music to indie bands. Reinvented as a Jewish institution after having been a church for 50 years, Sixth & I has been widely covered in the national media as “a new paradigm for Jewish life,” taking a multi-denominational and non-membership approach. Newsweek named Sixth & I one of the most vibrant synagogues in the U.S. Esther was personally recognized as one of the “Forward 50” Jewish leaders in the country, a group which includes political figures, writers, Hollywood personalities and communal leaders. Prior to being recruited to Sixth & I by its founders, Esther spent most of her professional life running her own public relations firm, representing Fortune 500 companies. She was involved in politics as a state press secretary and state director for a major presidential campaign and began her career at Congressional Quarterly. She is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, the wife of Bert Foer, founder of the American Antitrust Institute, the mother of three sons (bestselling authors Frank, Jonathan, and Joshua Foer), and the grandmother of five.
Michelle Kravtin Gary
Michelle Kravtin Gary is an attorney who formerly practiced administrative and corporate law in the Washington D.C. office of Winston & Strawn. Her involvement as a leader in the Jewish community started in her teenage years in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia and has continued in every community in which she has lived: Washington D.C., Atlanta, Boston and New York City. She has been an active member of the American Jewish Committee for the past 14 years. Starting with the Executive Committee in Atlanta, she presently sits on the Board of the New York Region where she is active in diplomatic and interfaith outreach. Michelle is an Associate National Commisioner of The Anti- Defamation League and sits on the New York Regional Board, while in the Boston ADL, she worked on Jewish-Catholic relations. Always interested in interfaith relations, Michelle was active in the World Pilgrims organization of Atlanta, a group of Muslims, Christians and Jews that regularly met and traveled the world together. Michelle is a very big proponent of continuing Jewish education, having taught Hebrew to adults in her congregations for the past 25 years. She also tutored special needs students to become B’nai Mitzvah in the Gateways Program of Boston. She was a Holocaust educator of adults and children at the Bremen Jewish Museum in Atlanta. She sat on the Board and studied at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem for 6 years. She was a co-founding parent of the Jewish Primary Day School in Washington, DC. Michelle was educated at Northwestern University, Georgetown University (A.B.) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.). She lives with her husband, Marc, in New York City. They have a son and daughter-in-law that live in the New York City area, and a daughter and son-in-law that live in Atlanta.
Cathy Schatz Glaser
Cathy Schatz Glaser is the former South-Central Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, a national civil rights and human relations organization that fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends civil rights for all and provides resources, programs and services to build understanding and respect among diverse communities. She served the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas from 2001 to 2013. Before working for the ADL, Cathy served as a permanent law clerk for Justice Walter F. Marcus of the Louisiana Supreme Court and was an associate in the New Orleans law firm of Stone, Pigman, Walther, Wittmann and Hutchinson. She has served on the Boards of many New Orleans non-profit organizations including the New Orleans Jewish Community Center, where she served as Chairman of the Board, Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans, Jewish Children’s Regional Service, the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. She is a current board member of New Orleans Charter Math and Science High School, the New Orleans Ballet Association, and WRBH Radio for the Blind and Print Handicapped. Now retired, she lives in New Orleans with her husband, Charles Glaser, and they are the parents of three married children, a son and two daughters.
Joanna Goodwin’s philanthropic work is focused on empowering youth and women to become effective leaders and especially peace builders, negotiators, and sustainers. She serves as president of both the Goodwin Foundation and the Middle East Peace Dialogue Network, Inc. She is a member of J Street’s Board of Directors and J Street’s Women’s Leadership Forum Steering Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP), a consortium of more than 85 organizations that conduct people-to-people coexistence and reconciliation programs and activities both within Israel and cross-border. Joanna is actively developing a U.S. support network for WePower, a non-partisan Israeli NGO promoting women's leadership, gender integration and equality at all political levels of Israeli society. She is a committed supporter of the Israeli NGO Women Wage Peace (WWP). In 2015, Joanna and her father, Richard Goodwin, received J Street’s highest honor, the Tzedek v’Shalom award for their lifetime commitment to peace. Joanna received her undergraduate degree from Temple University, cum laude. After 25 years in Los Angeles, she now lives in Baltimore, MD, with her husband, Mark J. Friedman. Between them, they are parents to two daughters, three sons, one daughter-in-law, and one especially delightful granddaughter.
Lynne Himelstein is the co-director of the Story Archive of Women Rabbis and sits on the board of the Jewish Women’s Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. She is the Lion of Judah Endowment Chair for the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. She has served as the Lion of Judah Endowment co-chair for National Women’s Philanthropy. In Indiana, she was the State Public Affairs Chair for the National Council of Jewish Women for Indiana and the Women’s Campaign Chair for the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis. She also served as the General Campaign Chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, the Governmental Affairs Chair for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Indiana, and on the board of directors for the Jewish Community Center of Indianapolis.
Patty Jacobson, Treasurer
Patty Jacobson is a Senior Principal in Managed Market Services at IMS Health, where she works in product management, operations, and project management. Prior to IMS, Patty spent 7 years at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston, where she was the VP of Marketing and then CIO and Director of JewishBoston.com. Before her work in the Jewish community, Patty founded a software consultancy which was acquired during the dotcom boom. As a volunteer, Patty started the GLBT Team at CJP and advocates for inclusion in the Jewish community. She holds an S.M. from the MIT Sloan School and a B.A. from Yale University.
Rebecca Kobrin is the Russell and Bettina Knapp Associate Professor of American Jewish History at Columbia University. Her areas of expertise include East European and American Jewish History, specializing in modern Jewish migration. She received her B.A. (1994) from Yale University and her Ph.D. (2002) from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to Columbia, she held Post-Doctoral Fellowships at Yale University (2002-2004) and New York University (2004-2006). Her first book Jewish Bialystok and Its Diaspora: (Indiana University Press, 2010), was a National Jewish Book Award finalist that focused on migrant Jews’ relationship to their former homes in Eastern Europe and to other Jewish immigrant outposts around the world. She is the editor of Chosen Capital: The Jewish Encounter with American Capitalism (Rutgers University Press, 2012), and is co-editor with Adam Teller of Purchasing Power: The Economics of Jewish History (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015). In 2015, she was awarded Columbia University’s Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award for her passion in the classroom and inspirational use of service learning in the classroom. She lives in Riverdale, NY, with her husband and three children, and serves on the Board of Minyan Shachar.
Tamara Kreinin currently directs the Population and Reproductive Health Program at the Packard Foundation. Her experience in health and human services spans more than 25 years. She served as the Executive Director of Women and Population at the United Nations Foundation where she designed and implemented significant initiatives to improve life for women and girls globally, with specific emphasis on reproductive health, comprehensive programs for adolescent girls, US policy on behalf of women and girls, global south advocacy, and partnerships with UN agencies. Before her role at the United Nations Foundation, Tamara served as a consultant for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, including a year as interim executive director of the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers. For several years, Tamara served as president/CEO of SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, where she was a leader in the national dialogue on sexual health and rights. Prior to joining SIECUS, Kreinin was the director of state and local affairs at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, in Washington, DC. There, she developed and implemented a comprehensive strategic plan for states and local communities to reduce teenage pregnancy. She has advised governors, legislators, state and local public health officials, and advocates on effective public health policy. From 1990 to 1994, Ms. Kreinin was the founding executive director of the New Orleans Council for Young Children. Ms. Kreinin is the co-author of Girls' Night Out
, a book about women's groups across America, published in August 2002 by Crown, Random House.
Molly Levinson, President of the Levinson Group, is a seasoned communications specialist and political analyst, providing strategic advice, crisis and issues management, media relations, and reputation management for CEOs, corporations, non-profits, and other organizations. She has worked with law firms across the country on some of their most critical matters. Her two decades of practice in the center of media and public affairs includes experience on both sides of high-profile, high-stakes news: developing comprehensive communications campaigns to connect targeted audiences to compelling stories, and conversely, leading political coverage at major media outlets. Her expertise in developing and implementing policy and communications strategies is rooted in her experience at the most senior levels of television news. An emmy-award winning producer, she served as senior Elections Consultant at CNN and as Political Director at CNN and CBS. At both networks, she directed all political reporting and served as the primary editor for all political content. Ms. Levinson graduated cum laude from Wellesley College. In addition to a wide range of work that has appeared on numerous television outlets, Ms. Levinson has published articles on CNN.com
, and BBC.com
. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and three children.
Jenny Nathan is currently the Director of Development at Tulane Hillel in New Orleans, where in six years she has overseen the tripling of the organization’s annual campaign. Jenny is originally from Bloomfield Hills, MI, and attended the University of Michigan where she served as student body vice president in 2004. Jenny worked as a grassroots administrator for the National Council of Jewish Women in Washington DC, and currently serves as membership vice president of the NCJW Greater New Orleans section. Jenny also worked in campaign politics in Michigan for many years, including serving as the Women’s Vote Director for the Obama-Biden campaign in 2008, and as finance director for Senator Gary Peters during his first term in Congress.
Lisa Mednick Owen
Lisa Mednick Owen is, and has been, involved in initiating, leading and participating in several community based, educational and social justice organizations. She currently sits on the Law School Board of Advisors at George Washington University, as well as on the Board of the Johns Hopkins Hillel. Lisa is also a long-time member of the Advisory Board of the Citizens Committee for Children, and a founding member of the NY Leadership Council for American Jewish World Service. Lisa started her legal career practicing corporate law at the firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, and then spent nine years as in-house counsel at Dow Jones & Company, Inc. She currently works as the Director of External Relations for LV Adhesive, a conversion services and specialty paper products supplier to the graphics arts industry. Originally from Los Angeles, Lisa received her B.A. in Political Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and her J.D. from George Washington University, and has also earned two professional certificates from the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies-one in Arts Administration and the other in Fundraising & Development. She lives with her husband, Steve Owen, in New York City and has two grown sons.
Susan Augenblick Raskin
Susan A. Raskin is former Managing Editor of Maryland Medicine, the Maryland State Medical Society medical journal. Susan is a member of the Miriam's Kitchen Task Force, as well as a certified food manager and sous chef at Miriam’s in Washington, D.C. During her 12 years living with her family in West Virginia, she was a founding board member of Mercer Healthright, a free clinic in Bluefield, WV; the first Bluefield, WV volunteer helpline, now run by the local United Way; the Mercer County (WV) Public Schools Academic Boosters; and Librarian of Congregation Ahavath Shalom. Susan has been involved in community activism for 30 years. She and her partner, David, are the parents of eight children (including three in-law children) between them and four grandchildren.
Leah Rosovsky is Harvard University's Vice President for Strategy and Programs. She was the Executive Administrative Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University for six years. Leah was the Associate Dean for Administrative Planning at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. She came to Harvard in 1995 as a major gifts officer for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Rosovsky spent the first part of her career in the entertainment industry and consulting. She served as president of the Board of Directors of Temple Israel in Boston from 2009-2011 and remains active there as the head of the Development Strategy committee. Rosovsky received her AB in 1978 and her MBA in 1984, both from Harvard University.
Founding Board of Directors
Peggy Charren, z"l
Barbara B. Dobkin
Ruth B. Fein
Penina Migdal Glazer
Sally A. Gottesman
Barbara W. Grossman
Lee M. Hendler
Martha L. Minow
Suzanne G. Priebatsch
Brenda Brown Rever
Prudence L. Steiner
Nancy Schwartz Sternoff
Nicki Newman Tanner