Who We Are
Board & Advisors

Board Members

Vicki Abrams

Vicki Abrams graduated from Upsala College and Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She was a psychotherapist with post graduate training in family therapy and individual psychoanalytically based therapy for over 25 years. Vicki served as a board member of the Metrowest JCC where she chaired the early childhood department from 1970-1978. She also served as Vice President of Oheb Shalom Synagogue in South Orange New Jersey, was on the board of the AJC, and served on the Advisory Board of Davidson School of Education at JTS. Vicki and her husband, Bill Abrams, are very involved with congregation B’nai Jeshurun and are part of the core committee fundraising for the new building. Since retiring, Vicki has spent a great deal of time learning at various institutions in New York including Drisha, Skirball, B’nai Jeshurun, and Hadar. Vicki and Bill have two children and five grandchildren.

 

Talya Bock

Talya Bock is a Vice President in Private Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch in Washington, DC. She holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and an M.A. in education from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). Talya graduated Magna Cum Laude from Barnard College and JTS with B.A.’s in Economic History and Talmud. Previously, Talya worked in private wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and in investment banking at BMO Capital Markets. In addition to serving on the board of Hadar, she is an active community volunteer and serves on the boards of AVODAH, Washington DC and as a trustee of the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation. Talya completed the Summer 2010 Yeshiva fellowship at Hadar, and served as gabbai at Kehilat Hadar from 2008 to 2010. She is an active member of DC Minyan.

 

Debbi Bohnen

Debbi Bohnen works as a Nurse Midwife at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital. She was a gabbai at Kehilat Hadar from 2002 to 2004 before she moved to Teaneck, NJ, where she now lives with her husband and two children. She is a founder of Minyan Koleinu in Teaneck, and is a member of the leadership team there.

 

Alisa Doctoroff

Alisa Doctoroff is chair of the board of the UJA-Federation of New York. Alisa is the immediate past president of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School and was instrumental in founding its high school division in 2001. She is active on the boards of a wide spectrum of organizations that promote engagement with Jewish life and identity through education, culture, and religious life, including Moving Traditions and the Jim Joseph Foundation. She is also past president of Congregation Or Zarua, co-founder of the Jewish Lens, and a board member of the Jewish Funders Network.

 

Ariela Dubler*

Ariela Dubler is the head of school at the Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School, and served as Hadar’s inaugural board chair. Previously, she was a professor at Columbia Law School with a specialty in family law and legal history. Ariela lives on the Upper West Side with her husband and three children. Ariela was on the founding board of The Natan Fund.

 

Susan Weiss Firestone

Susan was the owner and President of Plastic Packaging Corporation, a leading manufacturer of rigid open top food packaging, she sold the company in 2014 to Placon Corp.

Susan serves on various local and national boards including the Jewish Federations of North America, United Israel Appeal (UIA) and the International Board of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. She is a member of the JFNA Israel and Overseas Committee as well as the JFNA Global Planning Table. Locally, Susan serves as President of the Jewish Federation of Western MA., Vice President of the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Western MA, where she chaired the PACE/LOJE program. Susan also serves as a Vice President of Temple Beth El, Springfield, MA and is a past board member of Heritage Academy, community Jewish day school, of which her children are graduates. She is a past member of the UJA Young Leadership Cabinet and is a recipient of the Philip E. Saks Young Leadership award. Susan is the former president of Plastic Packaging Corp. She holds a BS in Economics degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She is married to William Firestone and has twin daughters in college.

 

David Gilberg, President

David Gilberg is a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell where his practice involves a broad range of securities and derivatives-related regulatory and transactional matters. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and received his law degree from Harvard Law School. He and his wife Judy have two grown children and live in White Plains, NY. David is a former President of Temple Israel Center of White Plains and was previously on the Board of the Westchester Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, the Board of the Jewish Publication Society and the Board of Overseers of the Rabbinical School of JTS.

 

Harman Grossman

Harman Grossman is assistant general counsel at Johnson and Johnson, where he has worked since 1992. A graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, he is very involved in his synagogue, Beth Sholom of Teaneck, NJ. Harman is a past participant in the Executive Seminar at Hadar, and his children have attended Hadar's Winter Learning Seminar and Camp Ramah staff program. 

 

Amos Hochstein

Amos Hochstein is executive vice president for international operations at Cassidy & Associates in Washington, DC. Amos represents foreign and domestic clients on a wide variety of issues, ranging from general foreign policy to investments and business developments. Amos’s practice focuses primarily on the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Russia. He appears regularly on Middle East television and radio networks as a commentator. He served on the Steering Committee of the DC Minyan. Amos is Vice President of the Washington DCJCC board while serving on the boards of Impact Arts & Film Fund and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. He is also a partner in the West End Cinema as well as two restaurants in Washington DC.

 

Jonathan Lopatin*

Jonathan Lopatin, a former Partner at the Goldman Sachs Group, received an MA in Talmud at the Jewish Theological Seminary in May 2009. He is the founder of not-so-simple-productions and producer of Eyes Wide Open, a documentary film about the experience of American Jewish visitors to Israel. Jonathan serves on the boards of several institutions involved in Jewish and Israel education in the US and in Israel.

 

Sally Mendelsohn

Sally has been practicing and teaching midwifery for 30 years, most recently at the New York University Graduate Midwifery Program. She is a lifetime student of Tanakh and Halakha, has a degree in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and currently studies Gemara at Hadar. She is a founder and leader of Minyan Shachar in Riverdale, and organizes an annual east coast Shavuot Retreat. She and her husband have 3 grown children, one daughter-in-law and one grandchild.

 

Dan Perla

Dan is the Director of Financial Vitality at Prizmah, Dan oversees a variety of training programs that help day schools optimize their revenues and achieve greater financial stability. Prior to joining Prizmah, Dan served as the Vice President for Program and Strategy at The Foundation for Jewish Camp and as a program officer in day school finance at the AVI CHAI Foundation. Dan spent nearly 18 years in the financial world. He worked as a security analyst and portfolio manager at leading investment firms, including Iridian Asset Management, Centurion Investment Group, and Soros Fund Management. Dan was privileged to serve as a Wexner Heritage Fellow and currently serves as board chair of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He also serves on the boards of Hadar and SAR Academy, and the advisory board of the Jewish New Teacher Project. Dan is a graduate of NYU’s Stern School of Business and has a master’s of business administration in management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Sarene Shanus 

Sarene Shanus was pleased to serve as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee of Hadar.  As a lay leader at UJA Federation of NY, she is Chair of the Wiener Center for Leadership and Learning  and Chair of the Israel Committee of the Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal as well as a member of the UJA Board and several other UJA committees.  She also serves on the Board and Executive Committee  of the Jewish Education Project and is active in (and a past President of) her synagogue, Westchester Jewish Center. When Sarene is not doing volunteer work in the Jewish community, she is a partner in a commercial real estate business with her brother. She also belongs to two Torah study groups and loves to read and travel. Sarene is happily married to Harold Treiber, with whom she shares four children and two grandchildren.

 

Eli Ungar

Eli Ungar founded Antheus Capital in 2002 and serves as one of its principals. From 1990 to 2002, Eli was director of acquisitions, finance and property management for a private real estate investment firm. Eli graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. He is chairman of the board of Jewish Home Family, a nursing home and assisted living not-for-profit, and past president of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County.

 

Jeffrey Wechselblatt

Jeffrey Wechselblatt grew up in Yonkers, New York and lives in Riverdale with his wife Daniella Fuchs and four children (Ben, Yair, Lev and Hannah). Jeff graduated from Solomon Schechter School of Westchester (1985), Ramaz (1989 (with Hadar notables Shai and Ariella Dubler)), Columbia College (1994) and Columbia Law School (1998). He spent two years studying in Israel (Yeshivat HaKotel (89-90) and Pardes (94-95)). While at Pardes, he also interned at the Israel Religious Action Center. He also spent many years as a camper at Young Judaea camps. Jeff is the General Counsel of Lone Pine Capital LLC, an investment adviser based in Greenwich, CT, and worked at NY law firms prior to joining Lone Pine in 1997. In his free time Jeff is an enthusiastic (a kind way of saying bad) guitar player,and enjoys coaching his kids in their various endeavors, reading and running.

 

Advisory Board

Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand
Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson
Rabbi Eliezer Diamond, PhD
Rabbi David B. Starr, PhD
Dr. Bernard Steinberg

 

*Past President

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