My wife, Jennifer Bernstein, and I have been members of PSJC for about eighteen years. Originally from Champaign, Illinois, I am a proud member of the expat community of Midwestern Reform Jews who have found a home in Brooklyn and at PSJC. Both our kids were students in the Hebrew School, and we celebrated the bat mitzvah of our daughter, Lee, in 2016, and of our son, Isaac, in 2018. I have served several years on the Hebrew School Committee, and, as an architect, I am a veteran of one PSJC master plan and three major building projects. I joined the Board as a trustee in 2017, focusing primarily on the recent construction; for the past two years I have served as Vice-President, continuing to work on building issues as well as financial sustainability. PSJC is very much at the center of our family life, and I am grateful for the community, ritual, and meaning that we have found here. I look forward to continuing to serve PSJC and to work with the membership and staff to strengthen our community and our organization.
First Vice President
When my husband Neil and I, along with our three sons joined PSJC in 2013, we found the Jewish community we’d been seeking; one that embraces all Jewish experience and backgrounds, and that nurtures our next generation. To that end my twins Ryan and Alex’s 2016 B’nai Mitzvah was not the end of their Hebrew School experience, but was instead the commencement of their engagement with PSJC teens through Gesher and as madrichim. We anticipate the same for Benjamin when he becomes Bar Mitzvah in September 2020. This will be my second term as a PSJC trustee, and first as an officer. I also chair the membership committee. Professionally I work as a senior educational partnership manager at an educational technology company based in DUMBO, I support school districts around early literacy and outcomes for students across the country. We live in Kensington.
Second Vice President
My husband, Bill Miller, and our family became members of PSJC in early 2008, the year before Rabbi Carie converted our daughter Marisa, and Marisa became bat mitzvah here. Our son, Ethan, became bar mitzvah in 2010 and our son Jared in 2013. In my “other” life I am a partner at a law firm in mid-town Manhattan where I specialize in employee benefits and executive compensation law. I have assisted the shul in the past with a few employment law and corporate governance issues that have come up and I also co-chaired the PSJC auction a few years ago with Ruth Kaufman. I served as a Trustee of the PSJC Board from 2017-2019, and am finishing my first year as Second Vice President. I will be serving as Second Vice President for one more year until my term is up in January 2021.
I was born in Israel to a family of Holocaust survivors and Zionist pioneers, and grew up in the San Fernando Valley at the height of the Valley Girl era. I identified strongly as an immigrant and a Jew, but my connection to Judaism consisted almost entirely of the paternally imposed, bi-annual trudge to our local Chabad. When my wife and I and our two young daughters showed up at Cantor Ben’s Tot Shabbat in 2010, it was my first time in a synagogue in over 20 years. And to my utter surprise it felt like home–a community of people who searched and questioned and engaged our traditions wholeheartedly, yet critically. Eight years hence, we’ve celebrated one bat-mitzvah at PSJC and are planning our second. Judaism means much more to my children than it ever meant to me growing up. It has lent them a framework for exploring and assuming responsibility toward themselves, family, community, and strangers. Professionally, my life has been a bit nomadic (editor, translator, radio producer, stock analyst, gadget entrepreneur), and I look forward to contributing my varied experiences to strengthening and preserving the PSJC tent.
My husband Steven Mazie and I have been members of PSJC since we moved to Brooklyn in 1999. Our three daughters - Amarya, Barra and Yona Levy-Mazie - are all active participants in the community as well. Amarya became a bat mitzvah in 2017 at PSJC, and Barra and Yona are both students in the Hebrew school. I served on the Board for a one-year term more than fifteen years ago and have also volunteered on the Membership and Hebrew School Committees, most recently as Chair of the Hebrew School Committee for the last two years. Outside community involvement, I founded and run R. Levy Consulting, a nonprofit development consultancy focused on advancing the Jewish community.
I am originally from Menlo Park, California and came to New York 25 years ago to go to law school after doing my undergraduate work at Brandeis University. My wife Audrey and I joined PSJC in 2008 shortly after moving to Park Slope-though, truth be told, we had been sneaking into High Holiday services for years prior. Our son Jonah was bar mitzvahed here in 2016 and our son Caleb will celebrate his bar mitzvah in 2020. I have served for several years on the Hebrew School committee, the last two years as co-chair where we have rebuilt the Purim Carnival and launched a new Hanukkah Fair among other projects. I also served as a co-chair for the recent Capital Campaign that raised funds for the emergency exterior building repairs. Through it all, I’ve been committed to blending PSJC’s amazing spirit with professionalism and fiscal responsibility.
Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I emigrated to the U.S. in 1970. Once here, I learned English and went to FDR High School and Cooper Union School of Architecture. My husband, Les, and I have spent a lot of time at PSJC, and have supported it in our ways. For me, this included being one of the lead architects in the 2004 building renovation, including creating the current kitchen (it previously was in the Rabbi’s office) and restoring the sanctuary, particularly our gorgeous painted ceiling. I lead Friday night, Torah and Musaf services. I also am part of the PAI leadership and lead the High Holy Days Volunteer Team -- yes, I have likely emailed, called, or pestered you with “Have you signed up to volunteer to usher or greet?” – resulting in approximately 100 people signing up this year. I am now retired from active architecture practice, but serve as Administrative Director for the Brooklyn Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (over 800 members).
I joined Park Slope Jewish Center about 7 years ago when we moved to Brooklyn. My husband, Eli and I were expecting our first child and were looking for a community - we have certainly found that at PSJC. I am currently serving as the class parent for the Kita Bet Class of PSJC's Hebrew School and am very excited to take on more involvement within the synagogue. Professionally, I am the Director of the Lawyers Division and Russian Division at UJA-Federation of NY. Prior to joining UJA, I practiced commercial and securities litigation for nearly five years. I am originally from Minsk, Belarus and emigrated from the former Soviet Union in 1988. I was raised in Brooklyn and live here now, with my husband, Eli Wolfhagen, also an active PSJCer, and our kids Yoni, Levy, and Asher.
I am honored to be serving on the board of PSJC as a Trustee. I’ve been a member at PSJC since 2008 when I came for a class and never left. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY but was not raised Jewish. Through a lot of soul searching I came to realize that I resonated with Jewish ideology and this led me to PSJC. My Jewish faith has grown at PSJC as I have been nurtured both by our clergy and our very supportive community. I have learned how to read prayer book Hebrew and participated in an Adult B’nai Mitzvah in 2011 and both experiences have strengthened my connection to the Jewish faith. I am a member of the Hevra Kadisha and have been part of the planning committee for the MLK Day of Service for a number of years. Until about a year ago, I co-ran a food drive. Currently, I am on the Steering Committee of the Positive Aging Initiative. I have received so much from PSJC and hope to be able to give back to the community.
I have been attending PSJC since 2012, with my wife Brenda Schachter and daughter Marta. I have been a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst for ten years and have served on UJA’s Poverty Task Force and Experiments in Teen Engagement committee. I am a family law attorney and freelance writer. Several of my essays have appeared in Jewish-themed publications.
My partner Rachel Madris and I have been coming to PSJC since we moved to Brooklyn in 2009. PSJC has played an important role in my family’s lives; it’s where I’ve made lifelong friends and shared joyful and sad moments with the community, and it’s where I’m excited to teach my son about Judaism as he grows up. I’ve served on the Avodah Committee, been an active member of Atid, and an enthusiastic participant in the latke hamentashen debates. Outside of PSJC, I work as a designer and researcher and am always looking for new people to play Scrabble with.
I joined PSJC in about 2012 when my older daughter was in first grade, but I've been coming to services on and off for over 20 years. I live close by in the South Slope with my wife Jill Szuchmacher and our two daughters, Eva and Hannah. We just recently celebrated Eva's Bat Mitzvah at PSJC, and my kids have been attending the Hebrew school for several years. I'm excited to get more involved in the shul as a trustee. In my professional life, I practiced as a workers' rights lawyer for a number of years, and have since transitioned to higher education, where I work at NYU School of Law to support students and alumni interested in public interest legal careers, and volunteer in our Immigrant Rights Clinic. I also serve on the board of Hand in Hand, an organization supporting domestic workers' rights, and was previously on the board of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I moved to Manhattan in 1987, and to Brooklyn in 2003. My husband Andrew and I joined PSJC in 2004, almost immediately after attending a Saturday morning service that felt very much to me like the congregation I grew up in: welcoming, inclusive, heimish. I’ve been involved with the PSJC Hevra Kadisha since shortly after it was formed, and now serve as its co-chair. My daughter, Paulina, attended the PSJC Hebrew school, had her Bat Mitzvah here, and now volunteers as a madricha for first-graders; she is also involved in the Gesher program. My son Philip attends Hebrew school and will also be Bar Mitzvahed at PSJC. By day, I’m a professor of music at Baruch College, CUNY, and I also serve on the doctoral faculty in the theater department at the CUNY Graduate Center. I live with my family and a reasonably well-behaved dog named Dio in Windsor Terrace, and am honored to join the PSJC board.
My wife Karen Friedland and I have been members of PSJC since the early 1980’s. My daughters, Shayna and Samara, both had their naming at PSJC, went to Hebrew school at PSJC, and had their Bat Mitzvahs at PSJC. While I have not served on any PSJC committees, I attend services on a regular basis and we are active financial supporters of PSJC. Last year we opened our home for a large cocktail party fund-raising event for PSJC. Professionally, I am a book publisher and worked for 35 years at Merck as Director of The Merck Publishing Group, responsible for the publication of The Merck Manuals in 18 languages, and also served as a Global Public Affairs Director - I retired several years ago. I live in Prospect Park South.