EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
 

 

Lawrence Siegel, President

Larry grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio where his family was active in the Jewish community. He is a graduate of the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. He completed post-graduate training at the University of Pennsylvania and at Stanford University where he served on the faculty and headed cardiovascular anesthesiology. In addition to academic medicine, Larry has been an executive for pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Larry served on the Religious School Board, the Strategic Planning Committee, the Board of Trustees, and the Bonim B'Yachad capital campaign.  His wife, Pat, was active in establishing PTBE's role in the Interfaith Hospitality Network (now Home and Hope), helping homeless families in San Mateo County. Their children, Emily and Lillian, became b'not mitzvah at PTBE and Lillian was a member of the North Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation for four years focusing on water projects and vocational and educational programs to help youth in impoverished communities and Israel.

Judy Fisher, 1st VP

Judy grew up in Monroeville (suburb of Pittsburgh), PA where her family was very active in their synagogue, Temple David, and the Jewish community.  She became a Bat Mitzvah and was Confirmed there.  She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where she majored in religion. Professionally, Judy has been a technical and marketing writer, editor, and project manager.  She currently teaches mindfulness meditation, received her certification to teach Jewish mindfulness meditation from the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and serves on their national board.

At PTBE, Judy served on the Development Committee, founded and chaired the BEW Rosh Chodesh program, teaches and directs Or HaLev (Light of the Heart), the Center for Jewish Spirituality at PTBE, and is currently serving on the Capital Campaign Committee.  In 2015, Judy was honored to receive PTBE's Member of the Year Award.  Judy has previously served a term on the PTBE Board of Trustees, a year as secretary, and is currently 1st Vice President. Judy has been married for 38 years to Tom, who is currently the Chief Technical Officer at MapR Technologies, Inc.  Judy and Tom are blessed to have three children whom all live in the Bay Area.  Their daughter, Mariah, became a Bat Mitzvah in 2013 and is currently in the Confirmation Class.  Rabbi Eisner performed the marriage of their son, Michael, to Michele in 2016.  Their daughter, Rebecca, lives in San Mateo and is the middle school history teacher at the Wornick Jewish Day School. Judy believes that the synagogue is the heart of Jewish life and wants to contribute to creating a vibrant Jewish community at PTBE and on the North Peninsula. 

Patty Steinhardt, 2nd VP (see below)
 

Laura Barde, Secretary

Laura has been a member of PTBE since 2008 when she and her family moved back to the Bay Area from Philadelphia. Active members of their temple in Penn Valley, Laura served on the Education and Curriculum Committees. She continued her long-standing interest and dedication to Jewish education by serving on the PTBE Education Committee as a member and co-chair. Laura is thrilled and honored to be a trustee and is committed to sustaining the warmth and unique spiritual community of PTBE.

Laura is a neuropsychologist now in research administration at UCSF, having designed and managed complex projects at Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, USC, and UC Irvine. As an investigator she developed and directed neuroimaging, clincial, and behavioral studies of language and memory following neural injury. She received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. in Cognitive Science from UC Irvine.

Laura enjoys running, biking, and hiking in the great outdoors, preferably with her husband Adam who has also served as a trustee of PTBE, and their sons Benjamin and Joshua.

Jeff Hyman, Treasurer 

Jeff Hyman and his wife, Hillary Weingast, joined PTBE in 2008 when their daughter enrolled in Ganon. Jeff is General Counsel, Head of HR and Corporate Secretary at Pebble Technology Corp, the Palo Alto-based pioneer of the smart watch industry. Jeff joined Pebble in March 2014 after more than 5 years at Apple Inc, where he lead the legal team responsible for the design, technology development, supply chain and manufacture of Apple’s hardware products. Prior to Apple, Jeff was a senior business attorney at Intel Corp and started his legal career as a business and intellectual property litigation attorney at Cooley Godward.

Jeff was born and raised in San Francisco, earned his law degree at Santa Clara University’s School of Law and graduated with a double major in Economics and Politics from the University of California Santa Cruz. Jeff, Hillary, Sierra and their dog, Bialy, live in Belmont.

Jill Goldring, Immediate Past President

Jill was born and raised in Sherman Oaks, California. She spent many of her youth hours at Temple Adat Ari El in North Hollywood where she became Bat Mitzvah and was confirmed. She moved to the Bay Area in 1988 to work for Hewlett-Packard and to be near her fiancé,
now husband, Marc Haugen who was stationed at Treasure Island with the US Navy. They have three children, Anna, Benjamin, and Elsa. The family has been at PTBE since 1999 and has enjoyed being active members of the community. Jill served on the Religious School Committee for three years and chaired the temple fundraiser for two years and co-chaired the Green Team. Jill received her BS from USC and MS from Stanford, both in Industrial Engineering. She worked in engineering project and program management at HP for 10 years and then as an independent consultant for another 5 years. She currently is focusing on volunteer positions including serving on the Hillsborough Schools Foundation Board, and various committee chairs at Lick-Wilmerding High School and Crystal Springs Uplands School.

Bios for Board of Trustees

 

Jennifer Benelli

Jennifer is grateful to the PTBE community where she finds that the exploration of spirituality can be channeled into social action and Jewish practices (globally and locally). PTBE is a place where the Benelli family finds inspiration to become better selves. After earning her B.A. from U.C. Irvine, she completed an M.A. in Special Education from S.F. State University and another from Santa Clara University ten years later. After spending her childhood in Germany and Virginia and young adulthood in France and Morocco
with the Peace Corps, she landed in Belmont, where she has been living the past 25 years. She and her husband Brian, have a daughter Dana, and two sons, Valentino and Tavi, who are active in WNP. Torah study on Shabbat, Hebrew lessons, and chair of SSH, Sunday Sandwich Hevre, are a few favorite events
during the week.

Roger Feigelson

Roger is a Northern California native who grew up in Saratoga. He did not have a religious upbringing, but he decided he wanted to become a bar mitzvah at the age of 13 anyway, and yet got derailed. Nonetheless, he was involved in BBYO in high school and after graduation from Stanford, became active in the leadership of the Young Adults Division of the Jewish Community Federation of San
Francisco, et, al., where he met his wife Rebecca Schwartz at Super Sunday. They have two daughters, Alyssa and Liana. Roger is wrapping up his sixth and final year on the board of the Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School where he served first as VP of Strategic Planning, then as President, and then finally as Immediate Past President serving on nearly all committees. By day he works for Oracle and offers
business consulting for a soundtrack record label based in Oakland, putting his hard earned MBA from Santa Clara University to work. And he did finally did become bar mitzvah at the age of 36.

Jonathan Fox

Jonathan Fox has been a member of PTBE since 2001. He is married to Nicki Fox, who has been an active member of Beth El Women and PTBE’s Education Committee. Jonathan and Nicki have two children, both of whom participated in the PTBE’s Education Program and became b'nai mitzvah at PTBE. Jonathan has had the honor of being co‐chair of the Education Committee and serving on the
Board of Trustees and its Executive Committee as an Ex‐Officio member. Jonathan is also a past member of the Peninsula Jewish Community Center’s Board of Directors and chair of it Marketing Committee, as well as a recipient of the PTBE Congregation Member of the Year Award. Jonathan works at Intel as Senior Privacy Engineer and is the co‐author of The Privacy Engineer’s Manifesto (ApressOpen
2014).

Aliya Gordon

Aliya and her husband Gil joined PTBE in 2008, seeking a vibrant and inclusive Jewish community for their family, including their two daughters, Gavrielle and Sasha. Energized by PTBE's commitment to developing new programming to meet the needs of its broad range of members, Aliya is eager to contribute to PTBE's continued growth. A firm believer in supporting the local Jewish community, Aliya
previously served on the board of the Wornick Jewish Day School. Aliya is a Senior Associate General Counsel at Franklin Templeton Investments, primarily working on commercial, securities and employment litigation, as well as regulatory matters. Aliya earned her law degree at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Stanley Gross

Stan was born across the Bay in Oakland. He and his wife, Joan, raised three sons in San Francisco and San Mateo. Stan and Joan have lived in San Mateo and have been members of PTBE for 40 years. They were founding members of the Maccabee Havurah in 1973. Stan was on the PTBE board and was vice president in 1979. He was also a member of the Rabbi Search Committee in 2007.. Stan graduated Stanford University with a Bachelors in Journalism in 1957 and earned an MBA in Accounting at Golden Gate University in 1968. He operated his own CPA firm in San Mateo for more than 30 years. He was president of the Peninsula Chapter of the California CPA Society in 1998-99 and president of the Peninsual Estate Planning Council in 1990-91. Stan was a member of the JCRC Commtitee and is now tutoring coordinator of the Jewish Coalition for Literacy for the temple. His other leadership positions include being a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Greater San Mateo and past treasurer of the Peninsula Humane Society. Stan has been a member of the San Mateo Elks Lodge for many years. He is a member of Sons in Retirement, Branch 1.. He loves tennis and bocce. In his spare time he writes limericks.

Natasha Kehimkar

Natasha comes from a family of Bene Israel (Indian) Jews. Her maternal grandfather, a lay leader in the Bene Israel communities in Mumbai and Toronto, was her greatest inspiration for pursuing Jewish studies. Natasha credits her parents for enabling her to attend Hebrew Day School from Grades 1–12, and she and her husband are now proud Wornick parents. She had an Ashkenazi education and
synagogue experience, along with a unique Indian Jewish home and festival experience. She is honored to be PTBE's representative to the World Union for Progressive Judaism, an organization that had direct impact on her extended family in the late 1950s through its efforts to reinvigorate Jewish life in the Bene Israel community. Natasha completed a Bachelor's degree in Sociology at McGill University and a
Master's in Human Resources at Michigan State University. She brings global HR and organization effectiveness experience in both established and entrepreneurial companies and is VP, People at Guardant Health, which offers breakthrough genomic cancer testing. Before moving to the Bay Area in 2013, Natasha was active in synagogue life and a member of the Board of Trustees at Temple Sinai in
Summit, NJ. When she and her family were looking for a synagogue home in the Bay Area, PTBE was the first and only place they visited. They were captivated by PTBE's wonderful clergy and warm community. You'll find them in the sanctuary most Friday nights, with her kids singing "loud and proud."

 

Jeff Lager

Jeff was born in Miami and lived in central New Jersey before moving to California to attend Stanford University. He holds a BA, MA, and MBA from Stanford and is a CFA charter holder For the past 19 years Jeff has worked as an analyst and portfolio manager with the Capital Group Companies. He is a former board member and treasurer of Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), a job training and career counseling
nonprofit based in San Francisco. Jeff and his wife Erin have been active PTBE members since moving to the Peninsula in 2005. They have three young sons, Jacob, Samuel, and Nathan.

Drew Lieberman

Drew and his family relocated to the Bay Area from Chicago when he joined eBay in 2002.  His daughters, Ellie and Zoey, became b’not mitzvah at PTBE in 2011, and his son Jake is studying feverishly towards his bar mitzvah in 2017.   Drew has been an active member of the PJCC Finance Committee, and for the last two years has served on the Federation’s Northern Peninsula Regional Impact Committee which focused on bringing new solutions to increasing teen involvement and engagement in the Jewish community.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Drew earned his undergraduate degree at Yale and his MBA at Harvard Business School.  He worked on the East Coast and Midwest in the management consulting field and in General Management.  He is now CEO of Glyde Corporation, an eCommerce Company. Drew, his wife, Randi, and kids live in San Mateo.

 

Lisa Meltzer Penn

Lisa is a well‐known Bay Area writer and editor. Her short stories, flash fiction, novel excerpts, poetry and articles have been published in various literary anthologies and magazines, including The Sand Hill Review, The Stoneslide Corrective, Travelers’ Tales: Spain, and others. With an extensive editing background in New York publishing, specializing in fiction for children and young adults, Lisa has worked hands‐on with award‐winning authors on both coasts for thirty years. She presently serves on the board of the San Francisco/Peninsula Chapter of the California Writers Club, where she has been a member since 2009 and is founding editor of their Fault Zone anthology series. She holds a BA from Binghamton University and MA from San Francisco State University in English and Creative Writing.

Raised in Syracuse, New York, Lisa met her husband, Jonathan Penn, on their NFTY Teen Tour to Israel in 1981, and they married in 1997. They have two children: Sophie, who became a bat mitzvah at PTBE in 2013, and Aaron, who will become a bar mitzvah in 2016. Since her family joined PTBE in 2010, Lisa has served on the Development Committee and the Exploring the World of Judaism speaker series, and leads the annual One Bay One Book discussions at our temple.

 

Erik Nierenberg

Erik grew up in the Bay Area and attended Congregation Beth Am for his Jewish studies including Sunday School, Hebrew School, Confirmation, and his Bar Mitzvah. He and his wife Sandie have two daughters who are alums of the Ganon program here at PTBE and all are still involved in the programming for young families. Erik received his MBA from Stanford and his undergraduate degree in Economics from Pomona College. Most recently, Erik was the SVP and GM of Enterprise at Lynda.com until its acquisition by LinkedIn. He spent almost 7 years before that at Salesforce.com in a variety of leadership positions covering sales, marketing, business development, product management, and corporate strategy. Prior to Salesforce.com, Erik was a venture capitalist working with management and at the board level with early‐stage technology companies. He has also led growth strategy, operations, and marketing initiatives in the technology, media, consumer products, private equity, and retail industries. Erik is also an advisor to numerous technology startups. Philanthropy is a core value for Erik, who was part of the initial team at The Bridgespan Group and currently sits on the Advisory Board of East Palo Alto Charter School & Phoenix Academy.


Leslie Reisfeld

Leslie and her husband, Bob, joined PTBE in 1992 becoming active members, both having previously served on the Board of Trustees. Leslie currently serves on Bonim B'yachad, the Capital Campaign Committee, is involved with AIPAC; serves as the Liaison for Gift of Israel program. She has also served on the Rabbi Search Committee and was Chair of the Education Committee. Leslie became a bat
mitzvah
at age 42! Their two girls, Stephanie and Eliza, both became b’not mitzvah at PTBE. Traveling to Israel with Rabbi Eisner and other congregants in 2008 was one of the most important and influential events in her temple life. Leslie grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and Bob is from New Orleans. She’s a graduate of Tulane University.

Her work life included careers in sales of fine jewelry, administrative work, commercial property management, career placement and managing the office of a British Investment Bank. While raising herr two children, she was a full time, stay at home mom and volunteer. She was Board Chair at The Carey School and co‐chaired the first capital campaign at Carey. She was also very involved at Crystal Springs Uplands School, and was Parent Group President and served on the Board.

 

Nicole Dannenberg Sorger

Nicole is a Bay Area native, having grown up attending Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, where her mother was a leader in the Beth Am Women. Nicole and her husband, Jonathan, joined PTBE in 2009 after moving back to the Peninsula. They have two boys, Noah, 8, and Julian, 4. Both boys attended the PJCC pre‐school, where they became life‐long fans of Elana Jagoda.

Before moving back to the Bay Area, Nicole spent a decade living in Washington, DC, where she worked on international democracy promotion programs under the Clinton administration and attended Georgetown University. Nicole was also involved in Israel advocacy by serving on the founding board of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, which preceded today’s J Street. Nicole is now a history teacher at Crystal Springs Uplands School, where she has taught many congregants’ children over the years.

As one of the many families with young children who has joined PTBE in the last five years, Nicole is particularly interested in building a strong community among newer congregants, and continuing to enhance the education program to provide children with a vibrant connection to their Jewish identity.

 

Jeffrey Sosnick

Jeffrey comes from a family deeply enrooted in synagogue life. Growing up in San Francisco, his family was founding members of Congregation Adath Israel. He attended Lowell High School and has a BA from the University of Southern California in Food Marketing Management. During his teen years Jeffrey served as president of his youth group. Jeff and his wife, Marian, were advisors for the junior Kadima youth group in Saratoga for ten years. He has served on synagogue boards at both Beth David in Saratoga and PTBE in the 90’s. He was the Treasurer of North Peninsula Jewish Day School and currently sits on the board of the North Peninsula JCRC. Community involvement includes being on the boards of both the San Mateo Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce. Currently he is the 4th generation to run the family wholesale business, J. Sosnick & Son. Jeffrey and Marian have two college students, Brandon and Andrea.

 

Michele Stafford

Michele grew up in Southern California and attended UCLA for her undergraduate education. She moved to the Bay Area to attend law school, and has been here ever since. Michele is a Shareholder and Vice President of Saltzman and Johnson Law Corporation in San Francisco, where she practices law in the field of employee benefits. Michele has been a member of PTBE for many years, and recently her
son, Max, became bar mitzvah. Her son, Alex, became bar mitzvah in 2012. Both of her sons were educated at the Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School, which Max still attends and of which Alex is a graduate. Michele was PTO President for the Wornick Jewish Day School for two years, and served on the board for two years. She has been involved with other organizations that serve the Jewish
community, including Shalom Bayit, which focuses on helping victims of domestic violence. Michele has participated in PTBE’s SSH and Home & Hope programs, and is looking forward to becoming a more active member of the congregation.


Patty Steinhardt

Patty is married to Howard Krieger, a pharmaceutical sales manager, and has three children, David, 28, Elliot, 24, and Hannah, 21. David is a medical student at OHSU in Portland, Elliot is a foodie learning the ropes as a butcher and cheese monger in San Francisco, and Hannah is a junior at Barnard College. All three became b’nai mitzvah and were confirmed at PTBE.

Hailing from the East Coast but calling San Mateo home since 1985, Patty joined PTBE in 1990. Soon after, Patty converted to Judaism having been inspired by Rabbi Elka Abrahamson. Patty has served on the Education Committee, the Budget Committee, and the Strategic Planning Committee in addition to many volunteer positions at her children’s schools.

Patty graduated from the University of Colorado (B.S. Bus Admin/Accounting) and the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley (MBA). With a 30‐year career in accounting, finance, and strategic business development at several retail startups, Patty is currently the Chief Operating Officer at PPI – a publisher and media company dedicated to engineers and architects.

In their free time, Howard and Patty both enjoy their empty nest (Howard has four wonderful kids of his own) and look forward to visits from the kids. They love to hike in the Bay area and travel whenever they can.

 

Davida Talcove

Davida grew up in Encino, California. Her family belonged to Maarev Temple where she became a bat mitzvah and was confirmed. As a youth she attended and worked at Camp Ramah, travelled to Israel with Camp JCA and later went to BCI, all very meaningful experiences. She was an undergraduate at UC San Diego and later attended medical school at UC Berkeley‐UCSF Joint Medical Program completing her residency in Internal Medicine at Kaiser Hospital Santa Clara. She has worked in various medical settings, most recently for 20 years at San Mateo County General Hospital practicing Primary Care Internal Medicine and Adolescent Medicine.

She has two daughters, Eliana, who became a bat mitzvah at Peninsula Sinai Congregation and is currently attending the University of Rochester. Sophie became a bat mitzvah at PTBE, attends Hillsdale High School and is actively involved at PTBE. “It takes a village” and her children have been very fortunate to be involved in many programs in our Jewish community including Wornick Jewish Day School, the North Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation, the San Francisco Diller Teen Fellows Program and Camp Tawonga (where Davida has worked as a camp physician). Davida is a member of the Jewish Teen Foundation Advisory Committee. She enjoys the beauty of our spectacular Bay Area including hiking, biking and cultural activities and continues to love to travel.

 

Sharon Vinick

Sharon and her family joined PTBE in 1999. Since joining the temple, she and her husband, Arie Grossman, have celebrated the b’nai mitzvah of their daughter, Maya, 21 and son, Reuben, 17. Sharon has had the pleasure of serving on the Education Committee and the Board of Trustees. She also handles personnel matters for the temple. 

When she is not involved with the temple, Sharon is a partner in the Oakland‐based law firm of Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams, LLP, which represents employees in cases of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and whistleblowing, as well as negotiating employment and severance agreements. At the moment, Sharon is enjoying her 15 Minutes of Fame as the attorney for the Oakland Raiderettes, who
are suing for wage theft. Sharon grew up in the Bay Area, and her parents were one of the first couples to be married on the
bimah at PTBE. She received her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, and her law degree at Harvard.