Board of Trustees
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
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 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.
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 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).
My wife, Miriam Schiffer, and I joined PSJC in 2019, shortly after our twin boys began Hebrew School. I'm a native Brooklynite, and grew up in a committed Conservative Jewish family, which included regular synagogue attendance and Jewish Day School. I was drawn to PSJC by the warmth and community spirit, and look forward to the opportunity to get more involved. Professionally, I serve in a policy role at Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation company. An attorney by training, I've spent much of my career at the intersection of policy, politics, and the law, variously serving as a public corruption prosecutor, a commercial litigator, a policy advisor to state and federal officials, and a campaign speechwriter.
My husband, Jeffrey Easton, and I joined PSJC more than 20 years ago when our daughters, Alex and Rachel (now 26 and 23), were very young and we were looking for an egalitarian Jewish community that also reflected the tradition, warmth and Jewish spirit I was raised with. As background, I attended modern orthodox Jewish day schools and summer camps through high school and my Jewish home life was filled with singing and spirituality -- with my father serving as a part-time volunteer high holidays cantor and my mother working as a Jewish early childhood educator. As an adult, PSJC has been essential in helping me continue to lead an active and meaningful Jewish life. My children had wonderful Bat Mitzvahs at PSJC, and more recently I have become more active in PSJC and the wider Brooklyn Jewish community, singing in and designing/maintaining the website for Shir Chadash - the Brooklyn Jewish Community Chorus, writing for and performing in the PSJC Purimspiel, recording videos for high holiday services, serving on the Hannah Senesh Alumni Parent Steering Committee, and, in this pandemic year of mourning for my mom, regularly attending and actively participating in PSJC Wednesday morning minyan and Shabbat services (while sampling the services of six other congregations – wandering, but always coming home to PSJC!). Professionally, I have been a financial services lawyer for over 30 years, currently serving as Executive Director and Assistant General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase and Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of the Six Circles mutual funds. I look forward to the opportunity to serve on the PSJC Board and contribute to this wonderful community.
I feel like a Jewish nomad, probably like a lot of people. I grew up in San Diego, opted out of most Jewish life from Bat Mitzvah through early twenties, reconnected to Judaism in Israel though a young queer community, and eventually joined PSJC with my now-husband Todd London, shortly before our son Grisha was born in 2007. Rabbi Carie officiated at Todd’s and my wedding in 2011, at an unconventional shiva for Todd’s mother in 2013, and at Grisha’s Bar Mitzvah, on zoom because #2020. Each event was holy and perfect in its own way, and for this I am so grateful to Rabbi Carie and to PSJC. In between, our family lived in Seattle for four years where we joined a Jewish co-op. I write plays, musicals, and now my first television series, and have taught at Bard, Hunter College, NYU, University of Washington, and Yale. I served on the board of New Dramatists and have advocated for gender parity in the theater, as well as abortion and voting rights. I look forward to translating some of my hard-won arts nonprofit experience to PSJC.
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.
I live in Ditmas Park with my husband, Andrew Ceresney, and our two children, Ethan (19) and Jonah (16). We have been members of PSJC for approximately twenty years. Ethan is currently a sophomore at Tulane University (Go Green Wave) and Jonah attends the Abraham Heschel High School . Celebrating our sons' bar mitzvahs at PSJC has been one of the high points of being part of the PSJC community. Andrew and I both attended Jewish schools through high school. Currently I am the Chief Operating Officer for University Settlement, The Door and Broome Street Academy, three organizations that together serve over 50,000 New Yorkers every year. I am also on the board of Nazareth Housing. I look forward to using my professional skills as well as what I have learned from working with the boards that oversee my organizations to support Rabbi Carter, the executive committee and the incredible PSJC community.
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.