Lay Leadership

The USCJ board represents a cross-section of Conservative Jewish thought leadership. A diversity of experience, style, gender, geography, industry, and age allow the board to effectively set the strategic direction of USCJ and influence the course of North American Judaism. Specifically, the board’s responsibilities include:

  • Setting USCJ strategic direction and financial parameters, policies and procedures

  • Overseeing and evaluating of senior management

  • Ensuring USCJ has the financial resources to carry out its mission

  • Advocating for USCJ’s mission


  • Ned Gladstein will begin his term as USCJ president in 2019. Before his presidency, he served as USCJ vice-president from 2015 to 2018.

    As a member of the USCJ-HaYom Strategic Planning Commission in 2010-11, he led its Implementation Committee, which was tasked with realizing the groundbreaking strategic plan that ushered in a new era for USCJ. He is currently the chairman of the Roadmap Advisory Committee.

    Ned is the president of Sunrise ShopRite and an officer of Wakefern Food Corporation.

    He chaired the board of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s rabbinical school from 2002-07 and has since been a JTS trustee. A member of Congregation Agudath Israel in Caldwell, NJ, since 1976, Ned served as its president from 1989-91. He is also a vice president of Masorti Olami.

    Ned and his wife Jane live in North Caldwell, NJ where together they have raised three beautiful daughters, Hannah, Dara, and Liza, who have blessed them with three wonderful sons-in-law and eight delicious grandchildren.

    Ned’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Harvey Rosen


    Harvey Rosen, previously was USCJ’s Treasurer, has chaired our Development and Marketing Committee and was Mid Atlantic District's first District Chair. Harvey also serves as a Director on the USCJ Supporting Foundation.

    He is an insurance broker in New York and New Jersey, with a specialty in serving the nonprofit community. He is also serves as Vice-Chair of the Teaneck, New Jersey Zoning Board.

    A past president of Congregation Beth Shalom in Teaneck, Harvey is a founding member of Minyan Koleinu, an alternative Shabbat minyan that has gained national recognition.

    Harvey is married to Lainie, a retired New York City Special Education teacher. They have two children, David, who is employed by the Colorado Symphony; and Sari, an ESL Teacher is Golden, Colorado. Sari along with her husband Joshua presented Harvey and Lainie with their first grandchild, Noah, in October 2018.

  • Margie Pomerantz


    Margie Pomerantz recently completed her two year term as USCJ International Secretary in December, 2018. Prior to that, she was chair of USCJ’s Human Resources and Compensation Committee, a committee on which she continues to serve. She was a member of the USCJ-HaYom Strategic Planning Commission, CEO Search committee (when Rabbi Wernick, past CEO of USCJ, was hired) and multiple Nominating Committees.

    Margie twice served as Chair of the USCJ Northern Pacific Region. During 2017, she played a key role in establishing Regional Kehillah Ambassadors, from across the geographically disbursed region to gain camaraderie and to leverage learning opportunities.

    Margie lives in Los Gatos, California with her husband, Howard. She is past-president, and remains an active volunteer, of Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, CA. Margie and Howard met at the Hillel at the University of Missouri. They are the proud parents of a daughter, Shoshanna, who lives in Henderson NV with her husband, Mark, and their two adorable children, Emmet and Aviva.

  • Andy Schaer became USCJ Treasurer in 2019. He currently serves on the Roadmap and Budget and Finance committees. Previously, Andy was a member of the Central District Council.

    Professionally, Andy is a founding principal of Tusk Development, a boutique commercial real estate development firm. He began his career with Ketchum Advertising and then became Senior Vice President of Marketing for PrintCafe Software, which was acquired by Foster City, CA based Electronics For Imaging, Inc (EFI).

    Andy also serves as Vice Chairman of the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, an independent weekly news service. With the belief that information can connect and strengthen a fragmented community, Andy was among those instrumental in helping the Chronicle transition from a limited circulation paid newspaper to a free publication supported by donations, grants and advertising.

    Andy resides in Pittsburgh with his wife Judy Balk and is the proud father of three awesome children.

    Andy's term concludes in 2020.

  • Rick Tavan


    Rick Tavan is a Vice President of USCJ. He is retired from TIBCO Software Inc., where he spent 18 years in many roles, including Executive Vice President, Engineering and Operations. Before that, he worked at 3Com Corporation, Masstor Systems Corporation, and the MIT Charles Stark Draper Laboratory.

    Rick and his wife, Ann, are members of Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, CA where they raised their two sons. They have two adorable grandsons so far. Rick serves on the Investment Committee of the synagogue's endowment fund, and is an honorary member of the Corporation Development Committee of MIT. He is a past board member and officer of Congregation Beth David and a past Executive Committee member of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley.

    Rick’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Dana Sharon Winer serves as USCJ Secretary and previously served as program chair for the USCJ biennial convention in 2017. Dana has spent her career at Accenture, a management and technology consulting company, focusing on quality and process improvement.

    She is a lifelong member and past president of Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin, TX and has also served as co-president of the congregation’s Sisterhood. Dana serves on the boards of her local Sigma Delta Tau Educational Foundation and the future Austin Community Mikveh. She is a volunteer tax preparer and girl scout cookie coordinator.

    Dana enjoys spending time with her daughter Kayla and their dog Snow, and the favorite pastime of Austin, watching Longhorn football.

    Dana's term concludes in 2020.

Board Members

  • Rabbi Steven Abraham is the Rabbi of Beth El Synagogue in Omaha, NE. Steven graduated from the rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary in May of 2011, where he also received a M.A. in Jewish Education. Prior to attending JTS, he earned his B.S. in Business Management from the University of Baltimore. Most recently Steven earned a Certificate for being part of the Inaugural Interfaith Families Engagement program at Hebrew College.

    In college and rabbinical school Steven was actively involved with USY as a group leader on multiple summer programs, including USY on Wheels and Summer in The City as well as staffing Nativ.

    Rabbi Abraham currently sits on multiple boards in the Omaha area including the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands.

    Rabbi Abraham is married to Shira J. Abraham, from Highland Park, IL. They have two children, Naama (7) and Leor (4).

  • Rance Block currently serves as Chair of the Mid-Atlantic district and a member of the Insurance Committee. He previously served as USCJ Vice-President and Chair of the Mid-Atlantic District. He also co-chaired the USCJ Biennnial Convention in 2009.

    Rance is the President of Block Insurance Agency, Inc., a property casualty insurance agency located in Allentown, PA. He joined the agency in 1974 and has served as President since 1990.

    Rance served as President of Temple Beth El in Allentown, PA for five years and was the visionary for purchasing land that resulted in the congregation relocating to their new facility in 2006. He oversaw the construction as well as the fundraising of the new facility. He has served on the synagogue Board of Directors since 1978 and is very dedicated to ensuring its future success as a Conservative congregation.

    Rance serves as Facilities Vice-President of the JCC of the Lehigh Valley and is on the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Allocations Committee. He also spent many years as an Officer and Board member of the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley.

    Rance has been married to his high school sweetheart, Sheryl, for 42 years, and has three children and two grandchildren.

  • Jerry Bloom joined the USCJ board in 2018 as the chair of the Northern Pacific region. In prior years, he served on the NPR regional board.

    Jerry retired in 2017 after a 35-year career in the electric power and software industries.

    He has lived in Sunnyvale, CA, since 1992 and is a member, volunteer and former president of Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, CA.

    Jerry met his wife, Roberta, while they were students in Boston. They have three adult children and two grandchildren.

    Jerry's term concludes in 2020.

  • Gurval Caer, a USCJ board member since 2016, chairs USCJ’s Communications, Marketing and Brand committee.

    He has led and contributed to the growth of some of the leading digital consultancies and agencies in the world. As founding CEO of Blast Radius, Gurval oversaw the development of the company to a successful sale to WPP. At Wunderman, he honed his corporate development skills in the largest digital and CRM agency in the world. His work included mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, building innovative data and technology capabilities, and leading new client business.

    Gurval served on the board of Congregation Har El in Vancouver, BC for eight years in various positions, including treasurer and president. He currently serves on the board of Ansche Chesed in New York, NY chairing its Marketing Committee.

    Gurval is married and has three boys.

    Gurval’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Mueriel Carp is a member of the Development Committee. She was previously a member of the Congregation Membership and Strategic Planning Committees, as well as chair of the Leadership Development Committee. Mueriel previously served as president of the former Mid-Continent Region and chair of the Central District.

    Mueriel began her professional career as an elementary school teacher. Through her experience as a volunteer she transitioned into producing and managing fundraisers and events. She is currently director of community relations and events for Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

    Mueriel was an active USY member at Brith Shalom Kneseth Israel in St. Louis throughout high school. She later joined Congregation B’nai Amoona, where she is now a member of the board of trustees. She chaired the B’nai Amoona Youth Commission and became involved on the regional youth commission level by serving as it’s vice chair. Mueriel also chaired the Siyum HaTorah, a 2½-year fundraising project that resulted in the creation of a new Torah for B’nai Amoona, while bringing the congregation together at a level never reached before or since. The event netted $2 million and involved more than three hundred volunteers.

    Mueriel and her husband Stanford Carp have two adult children and their spouses and four precious grandchildren, all who live in St. Louis.

    Mueriel’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Joel Cutler serves as vice chair of the USCJ Human Resources Committee, acting as its representative on the Budget and Finance and Teen Leadership Committees. He has also served on the USCJ Nominating Committee and Governance and Bylaws Committee.

    Additionally, Joel is district chair for the METNY district of USCJ, and has served on the METNY Board and District Council since 2008 and the METNY Youth Commission since 2012.  

    He is a partner in a law firm specializing in construction, corporate, real estate and employment law.

    Joel is also active in his own congregation, Oceanside Jewish Center in Oceanside, NY. Its president from 2007-08, he’s been a board member since 2000, co-chairing the Ritual Committee, and serving as member of Budget, Legal, Constitution and Future Planning Committees there.

    Joel’s wife, Robin, is a clinical and school social worker. They have two adult sons, Justin and Ian, and a daughter-in-law, Lauren.

    Joel’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Dr. Jacob Finkelstein formerly served as our vice president for strategic planning and co-chair of the USCJ-HaYom Strategic Planning Commission. He has served on USCJ’s Strategic Planning Implementation Committee and its Bylaws and District Integration Subcommittees. He also co-chaired the 2013 USCJ Centennial in Baltimore. A past president of USCJ’s Empire region, he is now the fundraising chair for the Northeast District.

    Jack is a professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine and radiation biology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He is also the neonatology division’s research director, associate director of the Strong Children’s Research Center in the pediatrics department, and director of faculty development in the Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center.

    A board member of Mercaz USA, Jack is a vice president of his local Jewish community federation.

    He, his wife and family live in Rochester, NY, where he is past president of Temple Beth El.

    Jack’s term concludes in 2020.

  • After serving his term as president at Congregation Beth El in Norwalk, CT, Steve Golub entered the ranks of USCJ lay leaders as financial secretary and then president of the Connecticut Valley region. Since that time, he has served as international vice president of finance, chair of the audit committee and, currently, as chair of the Northeast district.

    In addition to his work with USCJ, Steve is involved with Corporate Accountability's local action group working to improve water quality throughout the nation and as a mentor to Saratoga's Livestrong group for cancer survivors.

    In preparation for his retirement from his CPA practice, Steve and his wife Louise recently relocated to Saratoga Springs, NY.

  • Gil Gordon was founder of Gil Gordon Associates in Monmouth Junction, NJ, a management consulting firm specializing in telecommuting-telework-virtual office and other alternative work arrangements, and in strategic employee retention. He is now retired but is busier than ever with various volunteer activities.

    He has a B.S. in Business Administration from Northeastern University and an M.S. in Organizational Behavior from Cornell University. Before starting his consulting business in 1982, he worked for almost ten years in Human Resources with Johnson & Johnson.

    He has been extensively involved with nonprofits in the greater Mercer County (N.J.) area for more than twenty-five years as a volunteer and leader, and as a trainer and informal consultant on issues of governance, volunteer recruitment and management, and more.

    His volunteer positions included construction worker and interim construction supervisor at Habitat for Humanity in Trenton, former board member and board chair of VolunteerConnect, board member and president at The Jewish Center in Princeton, board member with Jewish Family and Children’s Service and a member of the "Chore Corps" for its Secure@Home program that enables seniors to age in place. He currently chairs his congregation’s “Life & Legacy” bequest program.

    Also, he is a volunteer and board member of the Princeton Cornerstone Community Kitchen at the Princeton United Methodist Church. His newest project there is the startup of the Princeton Period Project to help make sure that girls and women in low-income households get a reliable supply of feminine hygiene products they need. He is also the “mailman” for the 55PLUS group.

    He also sits on the Biomedical Ethics committee at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center and on the board of Goals of Care Coalition, whose goal is to strengthen communication between health care providers and patients nearing the end of life to eliminate burdensome care, improve quality of life, and ensure that treatment decisions focus on patients’ goals.

    His most important volunteer position these days is as grandfather to three of the world’s cutest grandchildren.

  • Michael is principal of the Law Offices of Michael Jay Greenberg and the president of Greenberg Accounting, CPA, P.C. He is admitted to the Bars of the State of New York and the State of New Jersey, and is licensed to practice accounting in the State of New York.

    A member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Michael has taught seminars for the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Lorman Education Seminars and the New York Paralegal School.

    Michael’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Richard Helfand has been active in the organization since his teen years as regional president of the METNY Region of USY. He served as chair of the Emtza Region Youth Commission, as president of the Mid-Continent Region, and is currently a member of the Central District Council.

    Richard is a past international secretary of USCJ and has served on our Budget, Bylaws, Kehilla Affiliations and Standards Committees, and the International Youth Commission. He is also a past chair and current member of the USCJ Human Resources and Compensation Committee, and authored Model Guidelines for Congregational Policies against Harassment, which addresses important ethical and legal issues arising out of relationships among lay and professionals within our kehillot.

    A practicing attorney for over 40 years specializing in labor and employment relations, Richard previously served as chair of the Central Agency for Jewish Education, and has chaired the Council of Regional Presidents, for whom he currently serves on the Development, Executive, and Legal Committees. He is a member of the va’ad (board) of the Amuta, the Israeli Corporation that oversees the operation of the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center, as well as the board of USCJ Canada.

    Richard and his wife, Vicki, are the proud parents of Rabbi Corey and Jenny Ackerman Helfand, Ethan, and David; and saba and safta to their wonderful grandchildren, Eden, Matan and Jonah.

    Richard’s term concludes in 2018.

  • Sandy Herskovitz chairs our Budget and Finance Committee.  He is an alumnus of Sulam 39.

    Sandy has been a financial professional for 50 years, most recently as the controller of General Maritime Corp., a company providing oil loss control and other maritime-related services. He spent many years as CFO for major retailers and currently is the secretary of the S.W. #1 Harris County Texas Municipal Utility District Water Board.

    Sandy has been a trustee at Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston, TX since 1999, serving as the kehilla’s president from 2011-13. He has experience as the synagogue’s treasurer and secretary, and as a member of its Executive Committee. Sandy also served on the Houston Jewish Federation Community Leadership Council.

    Sandy and his wife, Linda, have two children: Michelle and her husband, Scott, who live in Los Gatos, CA; and Jonathan and his wife, Debbi, who live in Plano, Texas. Sandy and Linda are also the proud grandparents of four grandchildren – Hannah, Robert, Jake and Mitchell.

    Sandy’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Norman Kahn co-chairs our Kehilla Strengthening and Transformation Committee. He was also a member of the USCJ Commission on Community and Covenant in the Twenty-First Century.  

    Norman is a senior partner for the Toronto law firm Aird & Berlis LLP, where he practices commercial real estate law. He is a former lecturer in York University’s Schulich School of Business MBA program and continues to serve on the school’s advisory board program in Real Estate and Infrastructure.

    In his own congregation, Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto, Ontario, Norman serves as co-chair of the Rabbinic Search Committee and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.  Norman is also past president of Beth Tzedec Congregation, having served on numerous committees over many years. He and his wife, Jackie, and their family have been members for 20 years. They are active participants in Shabbat and Yom Tov services in the congregation’s lay-lead Little Minyan.

    Jackie and Norman are the proud parents of seven children, all of whom who graduated from the Jewish Day School system. They currently have seven grandchildren. Their eldest son made Aliyah several years ago and, together with their daughter-in-law and their children, reside in Israel.  

    Norman’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Bernie King-Smith is a past chair of our District Leadership, Northeast District and IT Committees. Since joining the board in 2004, he has also served on the Budget, Membership, IT and Kallah Committees. Bernie led the Transformation Committee for the Northeast District and was president-elect and secretary of the former Empire Region.

    Bernie currently works in Information Technology for a large multinational company, leading a worldwide team of engineers in networking performance. He has been fortunate to participate in the designing, building and performance of the Watson Jeopardy! and Deep Blue chess computers.

    Bernie lives in Lake Katrine, NY, where he is currently president of Congregation Ahavath Israel in Kingston. Among the other roles he has played in his kehilla, he chaired the Ritual, Talmud Torah, and house committees, and he regularly leads services. He has been a member of the board of Ulster County Jewish Federation, where he is vice president of Leadership Development; he is also Treasurer of Jewish Family Services of Ulster County, founding board member of the Jewish Community Legacy Project and board member of Mercaz USA.

    Bernie's wife Lisa is very active in Women's League where she has served as a board member of the MetroNorth Region. They are proud parents of two sons, Ted, a composer in Kansas City, and Ben, a geologist based out of Buffalo.

    Bernie’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Alan Klinger serves as the Co-Managing Partner of the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and also functions as the Co-Chair of its National Litigation Practice Group. Alan leads the firm’s representation of public sector unions and employee benefit funds, and also acts as pro bono counsel to the Associations of Supreme Court Justices of the City and State of New York. Alan is a Trustee of the NYU School of Law Foundation, a Trustee of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and a director of Partnership with Children, Inc.

    Alan is a member of the National Commission of the Anti-Defamation League and is Co-Chair of its NY/NJ Lawyers Division. He is the chair of UJA – Federation of New York’s Bylaws Committee, as well as serves on the Executive Committee of its Lawyers Division. He is the past president of Temple Israel of Great Neck in NY.

    Alan and his wife Susan Wagner reside in New York City. They have three children.

    Alan's term concludes in 2020.

  • Jay Kossman is a Healthcare executive with over 35 years of experience in senior leadership and consulting positions. He is recognized for his expertise in client relationship development and management, strategic planning and project management. He is the Principal/owner of Healthcare Productivity Solutions, LLC, a company focused on researching, identifying and representing successful healthcare products and service companies. He currently administers strategic advice on developing and managing relationships with hospitals and health systems on behalf of US Acute Care Solutions, a physician owned and managed company that provides emergency medicine, observation care and hospital medicine services. His prior experience includes leadership roles for Navigant Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers, MDNY Health Plan, Executive Health Group, MetLife Healthcare of Florida and Optima Health Plan, Norfolk, VA.

    Jay has also served as a member of multiple Boards and Committees which include; Beth Sholom Village in Virginia Beach, VA, Congregation Beth El in Norfolk, VA, Generations Home Health, Former Chairman of the Board, Jewish Home for the Aged, in New Haven, CT, Norfolk City Schools Health Committee, and Old Dominion College of Health Sciences Advisory Board/Dean Search Committee. He helped plan the Old Dominion University 50th Reunion and served as Co-chair of The Old Dominion University 1930 Society for Planned Giving

    He is a member of The Norfolk Rotary Club and received the Regent’s Award for contributions to healthcare in Connecticut from The American College of Healthcare Executives.

    He joined the USCJ Board for an opportunity to continue impacting Conservative Judaism ensuring its survival and continued growth.

    His term concludes in 2021.

  • Eliot Meadow currently serves on the International Board Nominating Committee, the HR Committee and is the KST Chair.  Since joining the USCJ board in 2004, he has served on several other committees, including District Leadership, Technology, Services to Congregations and Dues Variance.

    Eliot works in Information Technology for large multinational companies, helping them use their technology effectively.

    Outside the Jewish community, Eliot has focused much of his time and energy on the health and wellness issues of children facing serious illness.  As a volunteer with the American Cancer Society, he has served as an active leader of their “Long Term Survivors of Childhood Cancer” committee, which developed and ran programs to help former childhood cancer patients learn about the challenges they face as they age, and to help them understand their unique position in society.  Eliot also volunteered for several years as a counselor for Ronald McDonald Camp, a summer camp program for current and former cancer patients. Eliot has spoken at multiple ACS Relays for Life.  

    He is a member of Congregation Adath Israel in Middletown, CT, where both he and his wife Stephanie have served as past presidents and continue to serve in various leadership roles. 

    Eliot and his family have lead a life embedded in the Conservative Movement. He's a graduate of a Solomon Schechter Day School, as are his son Eric and daughter Julia.  All three attended Camp Ramah and, along with his wife Stephanie, have worked at Ramah camps.  Eric attended Ramah Seminar, and Julia spent a semester on Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim.  Eliot was also extremely active as a USY’er, serving as both chapter president and on the regional board. He went on to serve as the Chapter Advisor for three different chapters.

    Eliot’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Ofra Panzer started attending METNY conferences over a decade ago. In the last 4 years, she served on both the METNY District Advisory & District Councils & co-chaired the METNY Biannual Conferences before becoming METNY District Chair.

    In her own kehillah, Temple Israel of Great Neck, Ofra serves as the Membership Committee Chair, on the Safety Committee, on the Religious School Education Committee and is a past chair; was a TIGN Trustee (2013-15), co-founder of TIGN Accessibility Group & Co-founder of TIGN Health Advisory Group. For fun she also is a participant in the TI Players (performing arts), High Holiday Silver polisher & a Shabbat Greeter. She is the liaison to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s Jewish Students for Shabbat & Holidays.

    Ofra is a Registered Nurse with clinical experience in Neuro and Med/Surg. Approximately twenty years ago her focus changed to Community Health Nursing and its applications of Health & Safety within school and synagogue communities. She chaired the Great Neck Public School District United Parents-Teachers Health Education Committee for several years.

    Ofra is married to Robert Panzer, a Sulam for Presidents Alum. They are USY for Adults Poland Seminar, USY Adult Budapest-Prague & Ramah Institute Morocco Experience Alums. They have 4 children, all of whom attended Camp Yavneh in NH, participated in USY Wheels and Pilgrimage Eastern Europe.

  • Alan Reid previously served on the METNY District board and is the immediate past chair of the METNY District. He now chairs the District Leadership Committee.

    Alan has owned The Reid Insurance Agency Inc. for the past 40 years.

    He is a past president of the South Huntington Jewish Center in Melville, NY, where he also served as men’s club president, among several other board positions.

    Alan spends plenty of time with his family, which includes his mother, his two daughters and their husbands, and grandsons Jaren and Chase.

    Alan’s term concludes in 2017.

  • Dr. David Reifler previously served as secretary of the USCJ Great Lakes Region and has continued as a member of the reorganized Central District Council. He has also served on several committees: 2014 Israel Mission Planning (for the USCJ Board - ad hoc); Fuchsberg Center; Innovations; and Nominations.

    He has been elected to the board of MERCAZ and to the Amuta (Israeli non-profit board) for the Fuchsberg Center. He has also been engaged with support of Masorti Israeli institutions such as the Ḥ̣annaton Educational Center in the Galilee, and the Rabbinical Seminary of the Schechter Institutes in Jerusalem.

    David is on the medical staff of Mercy Health St. Mary's; he is a former professor of ophthalmology and current on-call professor, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Grand Rapids. He sub-specializes in oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery while proctoring a variety of modules for medical students at the Grand Rapids Campus. Nationally and internationally, David has served as president of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and he has made frequent visits to the Goutami Eye Institute in Andhra Pradesh, India, for pro bono consulting and teaching. David is the author of several book chapters, peer-reviewed medical articles, and he has authored two books in his special areas of interest – Jewish and medical history.

    David is a former president of Congregation Ahavas Israel, the current co-chair of its Religious Life (Ritual) Committee, and a frequent ba’al tefilla and ba’al korei. At Ahavas Israel, he served as the liaison and facilitator for Sulam for Current Leaders and his USCJ kehilla was the first to complete all six modules of this first successful expansion of Sulam beyond pilot programs.  

    He and wife, Karen, are the proud parents of four married children -- Aaron, Jon and Ellie – and saba and savta to four grandchildren.

    David’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Michael's term concludes in 2020.

  • Melissa Sandler resides in Hoboken, New Jersey where is an active member of United Synagogue of Hoboken (USH). Melissa has been a co-chair of USH Mitzvah Day (13 simultaneous volunteer projects with over 160 participants - in a community of 300 households). Additionally, she coordinates social gatherings and Shabbat dinners for area Jewish Young Adults.

    A Jewish non-profit professional, Melissa is the Director of Development for the Aleph Society, the US organization dedicated supporting and promoting the work of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

    Melissa's term concludes in 2021.

  • Steven is the principal of Inspire WiFi, a nationwide provider of wireless networks for the apartment and healthcare industry.

    He has served as co-chair of the Network, the Under-40 Connection to the Greater Miami Jewish Federation for four years and was honored with the Sandra C. Goldstein Young Leadership Award in 2006; and the Stanley C. Myers President's’ Leadership Award in 2012. He has also served on the local boards of UM Hillel and American Jewish Committee.

    Steven is the immediate past president of Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus in North Miami Beach, FL. His other involvements include the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and the Jewish Federations of North America.

    On a national level, he was a member of the Jewish Federations of North America Board of Trustees and is a fellow of the Wexner Heritage Program. Other past involvements included co-chair of National Young Leadership Cabinet, vice chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Mega Mission to Israel in 2012, chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation “100% Community” Donor Acquisition and Retention Initiative and national chair of the JFNA Network of Independent Communities.

    Steven lives in North Miami Beach with his wife, Michele, and their four children: Jenna, Evan, Haley and Adam.

    Steven’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Lindsey Seeskin is an attorney whose practice is dedicated exclusively to representing victims and their families in personal injury and wrongful death cases including lawsuits arising out of motor vehicle and semi truck accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice, products liability and dangerous workplaces.

    She is a member of Anshe Emet Synagogue. Lindsey is heavily involved with the synagogue’s group for young adults in their 20’s and 30’s called the Young Adult Division, a frequent attendee of the lay led Rose Crown Minyan and a part of the Young Families community. She served on the Young Adult Division’s Executive Board for nearly a decade, including a term as chair, and now serves on the synagogue’s Board of Trustees.

    Within the USCJ the past few years, Lindsey participated in the Millennial Leadership Summit and the Innovations Committee. Her involvement with the USCJ dates to her USY days.

    Lindsey lives in Chicago with her husband Zach and their son Ari.

    Lindsey’s term concludes in 2021.

  • Stephanie Slawsky has served on our Communications, Marketing and Branding Committee since 2015. She’s been active in the Conservative movement since her days in USY, serving on chapter boards for two years and attending USY High in 2001.

    Stephanie is an experienced marketer specializing in digital media strategy. She consults with clients across a broad range of categories to understand their business goals and challenges and distill them into an innovative media campaign that drives results.

    Stephanie’s term concludes in 2020.

  • Howie Sniderman previously served as vice president from 2012-14 and international secretary since 2015. He previously was on the KST Committee from 2007 -12, chairing the committee from 2010-12. He also chaired the ad hoc Governance Committee established under the Strategic Plan that our board adopted in March 2011, and chaired the 2014 Strategic Plan Update Committee.

    Howie has practiced law in Edmonton, AB, for 35 years and is the senior litigator and chair of his firm’s litigation department.

    He has been vice president and interim acting president of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton; chair of the board of Camp B’nai Brith Society (Pine Lake, Alberta); a founding board member of the Edmonton Jewish Community Charitable Foundation; and a founding member of the Edmonton Jewish Hockey League and the Edmonton Jewish Baseball League. Howie served on the national boards of Maccabi Canada and the Canadian Jewish Congress and currently serves on the national boards of Mercaz Canada and the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University, and as an associate member of the Hebrew U. board in Jerusalem.

    Howie’s most important accomplishments, by far, are his 35-year marriage to his wife, Debbie, a teacher, and their two children, Ari (Faren) and Liz.

    Howie’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Steven Specter chairs the Southeast Seaboard district.

    Steven has been a professor of medical microbiology and immunology at the University of South Florida College of Medicine since 1991, and has served as the dean of student affairs since 2001. He also chairs the Committee for Sustainable Development for the American Society for Microbiology (2005-Present) and the Annual Clinical Virology Symposium (1985-Present).

    Steven has served the Jewish community of Tampa in many roles over the past 25 years, including as president of Congregation Kol Ami, president of Tampa Jewish Family Services, treasurer of Chesed Shel Emes and board member of the Tampa Jewish Federation since 1998. He was Federation president from 2002-04 and co-chaired the JCC Management Council from 2007-16. His community leadership was recognized with the Tikun Olam Award from the Federation in 2011.

    Steven and his wife, Randie, have two children, Ross and Rachel.

    Steven’s term concludes in 2018.

  • Rabbi Susan Tendler has been involved with USCJ since her days in USY.

    She is the rabbi of B’nai Zion Congregation in Chattanooga, TN, and serves on the faculty of Camp Ramah Darom each summer. Prior to moving to Tennessee, Susan was associate rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Norfolk, VA, where her primary focus was on education and programming. She was also an assistant rabbi with a similar portfolio in Greensboro, NC.  

    Susan volunteers with the Mayor’s Women’s Council, Family Promise, and the Chattanooga Police Department.

    She and her husband, Ross, have two daughters: Hannah Sofia and Daniella.

    Susan’s term concludes in 2019.

  • Marty Werber is current chair of the Fuchsberg Committee and has been a USCJ METNY Region board member since 1999. He is past chair of the METNY Education Commission, for which he helped develop standards for the Schools of Excellence program and criteria for student achievement recognition programs. He also chaired METNY’s regional lecture series and, for three years, served as the METNY liaison to the Synagogue Task Force of COJIR (UJA-Federation).

    Marty worked at CBS News for 12 years before transitioning to the real estate management business.

    He and his wife, Bracha, live in Great Neck, NY, where they are active in Temple Israel of Great Neck. The Werbers have three children, all of whom attended Jewish day schools through high school, and they have four grandchildren. The family has been very active in Jewish camping, as both campers and staff members, at Camp Ein Harod, Cejwin Camps, and Camp Ramah. Marty served on the board of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires for a number of years and co-chaired its facilities committee.

    Marty’s term concludes in 2021.

  • Susan F. Zinder lives and works in Manhattan, New York. She is a successful corporate/healthcare attorney who focuses her law practice on the representation of New York not-for-profit entities and healthcare providers. She is currently particularly passionate about her representation of a struggling synagogue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York. During her career, she spent over 15 years serving as in-house counsel at hospitals and health systems in the New York metropolitan area. She began her career as a corporate/banking associate at a national law firm.

    In addition to serving on the board of USCJ, Susan volunteers her time as a Vice Chair of the Business Law and Governance Practice Group of the American Health Lawyers Association, and as the Chair of the Gotham City Networking Make a Difference Group. She has long time commitments to leading Jewish and other non-profit organizations, including those dedicated to women’s health and reducing hunger.

    Her love of Judaism and Klal Yisrael was nourished by her parents at the Community Synagogue in Sands Point, New York, in her membership in Jewish youth groups and attendance at Jewish camps when she was a teen, and through repeated travel to Israel. She is currently a member of Ansche Chesed, New York, New York.

    She earned her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and her A.B, cum laude with High Honors in Politics, from Brandeis University.

    Susan has no children of her own but is an adoring aunt to her five nieces and to her nephew, and to the many children of her cousins. She strives to model for them the behavior of an active, charitable and committed Jewish professional. Personally, she is an avid photographer, amateur ceramicist and occasional quilter with a love for travel.

    Susan's term concludes in 2021.

Immediate Past President

  • Margo Gold

    Immediate Past President

    Margo Gold of Atlanta, Georgia, is Immediate Past International President of USCJ. She joined the USCJ Board in 2010 and served as President from 2015 through 2018. Margo co-chaired the 2013 USCJ Centennial in Baltimore and is also a proud alumna of Sulam for Presidents 37.

    Margo serves as the Chair of the USCJ Nominating Committee and on the Va''ad of the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center. She formerly served on the boards of JTS, the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, MERCAZ USA, Masorti Olami and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations Executive Council.

    She has also held leadership roles at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta Community Relations Committee, American Jewish Committee, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Interfaith Children's Movement, City of Hope Spirit of Life Chapter and more. She is a lifetime member of Hadassah, the National Council of Jewish Women and Jewish Women International, and is a World Pilgrim, a communal interfaith travel experience with Christians, Muslims and Jews.

    In Atlanta, she served as president of Ahavath Achim Synagogue from 2010-12 and as president of Congregation B’nai Torah from 1991-1993.

    A native of Detroit and an alumna of the University of Michigan, Margo and her husband, attorney Larry Gold, are proud parents and grandparents to David and Emma Dix and their daughters Isabella and Layla; Michael and Mindy Gold and their son, Jackson; and Carolyn and Evan Remer and their son, Daniel.

Non-Voting, Ex-Officio Members

  • Alan Ades is a past international president of USCJ and remains active as a member of the board and various committees. He has chaired our Budget Committee as well as the Council of Regional Presidents. Prior to his USCJ presidency, Alan was president of his kehilla, Tifereth Israel Congregation, in New Bedford, MA, and president of the New England Region of USCJ.

    Alan was also president of his local JCC and Federation. In the Federation world he served as national chairman of Regions for UJA, and as a national vice chairman and of UJA’s Executive Committee. Concurrent with these responsibilities, he was a member of the boards of many local and national organizations, including JESNA, CLAL, NCSJ and JTS.

    In his retirement, Alan and Ruth, his wife of 60 years, moved to Sarasota, FL, where he is active both in his kehilla, Temple Beth Sholom, and his federation, for whom he chairs two major committees. He is also a trustee of the Perlman Music Program Suncoast.

    Alan and Ruth have four children and fifteen grandchildren, all who live in Massachusetts. They visit as often as possible.

  • Richard Skolnik is a product of the Conservative movement, having become actively involved with Conservative Judaism through USY. He was so energized by his experience as a USYer in Long Beach, New York, that he spent 16 post-college years as a chapter advisor, a youth director, and then a regional field worker for USY.

    He then changed roles, going from professional to lay leader as he left USCJ’s employ to work in the for-profit world. Richard became active in his USCJ district, METNY, eventually becoming president, before spending five years as USCJ’s international president.

    Richard is the vice president of sales and marketing at Century Direct, LLC, a direct response marketing company.

    He lives in Bellmore, New York, is happily married to his high school sweetheart, Sherry, and is a proud father and grandfather. Richard and Sherry are long-time members of Congregation Beth Ohr.

  • Judy Yudof is a former USCJ international president, the first woman to hold the position.

    She served on the chancellor search committee of the Jewish Theological Seminary as well as the Advisory Board of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. In 2006, President George H. Bush appointed Judy to a five-year term on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council.

    Judy has also served on numerous secular boards and commissions -- many related to the delivery of health and human services. For 16 years she was founding president of New Milestones Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization providing housing for the chronically mentally ill in Austin, TX.

    In 1993, Judy and her husband, Mark, were co-recipients of the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award. In June 2008, they relocated from Austin to Northern California when Mark became president of the 10-campus University of California System. Mark has recently taken emeritus status at the University of California to allow him more time to work as chair of the advisory board of the Academic Engagement Network on combatting BDS on college campuses.

    Judy is a member of both the Amuta and the Va’ad of the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center. She was proud to serve on the committee to develop a new strategic plan for the FJC.

    Judy just finished a multi-year term as president of the Contra Costa Jewish Community Center in Walnut Creek, California. The Yudofs are now residing year-round in Jupiter, Florida so they can be closer to family. They have two married adult children and one precious young grandchild.

General Counsel

  • Ed Rudofsky is the General Counsel of USCJ and Chair of the USCJ Committee on Kehilla Standards.

    Ed is senior partner in Zane and Rudofsky, a New York City law firm.  Prior to joining Zane and Rudofsky, he was a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Deputy Chief of that office's Civil Division. Ed also serves as a Mediator for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York; General Counsel and a member of the Board of Directors of Richmond Community Services; and Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of the First Amendment Lawyers Association.  

    He resides with his wife Roz in Melville, NY, where he is a member (and past president) of South Huntington Jewish Center.  Roz and Ed have two grown children; Lee, currently serving as the Solicitor General of Arkansas and Gayle, a Fellow in Neuroradiology at Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York; and three granddaughters (with a fourth expected imminently).