Board of Directors

  • Marc Dollinger, Ph.D.

    Parent of Rebecca Dollinger, Class of 2014

    Marc holds the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University and is Academic Affairs Vice President of Lehrhaus Judaica. He is a Past President of Brandeis Hillel Day School and has served as Vice President of the board of the Bureau of Jewish Education and Camp Newman-Swig. Marc has been honored as the Federation Volunteer of the Year and also serves on California's advisory committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He lives in San Rafael with his wife Marci, a Jewish day school teacher on the Marin campus of BHDS, and daughters Shayna, a student at BHDS, and Rebecca, JCHS Class of 2014.

  • Mem Dryan Bernstein

    Grandparent of Sophia Felson, Class of 2017

    Mem Dryan Bernstein, “venture philanthropist,” is the Chairman of the Board of the AVI CHAI Foundation, a leader in Jewish education, and a trustee of two major foundations, Keren Keshet – The Rainbow Foundation, whose signature project, Nextbook, promotes Jewish literature, culture, and ideas through the Jewish Encounters books series, and its website,, and The Tikvah Fund, committed to supporting the intellectual leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish State. In the late 1980s, Mrs. Bernstein authored two books that should resonate with today’s baby boom generation: Aging Parents and You published in the U.S., and The Sandwich Generation, published in Israel.
  • Hilda Applbaum

    Parent of Aaron Applbaum, Class of 2009, Ariel Applbaum, Class of 2012, and Miriam Applbaum, Class 2015

    Hilda is the Senior Vice President of The Capital Group and President of the Income Fund of America. Previously, Hilda was a Principal Investment Officer and Director of Equity and Fixed-Income Research for the California Public Employees Retirement System. Hilda holds a BA from Barnard College. She lives in Oakland with her husband Yitz and daughter Miriam. Their sons, Aaron and Ariel, graduated from JCHS in 2009 and 2012, respectively.
  • Ruben Arquilevich

    Ruben lives in San Anselmo with his wife, Vivien, and children Jonah, Max and Maia, who are all active at Congregation Rodef Sholom. Ruben is the executive director for URJ Camp Newman, a year-round Camp and Retreat Center for living Judaism that serves the San Francisco Bay area, the West and Israel. A native of Argentina, Ruben grew up in the San Fernando Valley, spending his summers on Camp JCA Sholom’s Jewish backpacking trips. He holds an MBA in non-profit management with a minor in Jewish studies from the University of Judaism, along with a BA in psychology from Colorado College. Ruben has served as a camp executive since 1987, and as the senior professional of URJ Camp Newman since 1994. He has consulted on the development of new camp and retreat centers. He has served as a consultant for Jewish and secular non-profits, and presents at a wide variety of conferences and seminars around the Country and Israel.
  • Amy Berler

    Amy grew up in Milwaukee, earned a BA in Biology and an MA in Journalism from Stanford University and an MBA from the Sloan School at MIT. She worked on Wall Street for six years as a research analyst before moving to San Francisco with her husband Matt and first child in 1993. After moving to San Francisco, Amy worked as a consultant for several years advising young biotechnology companies. Amy's professional areas of interest have been in strategy, marketing and communications. She has served on the Board of the San Francisco Waldorf School and has been an active supporter and an occasional participant in programming and governance of Congregation Emanu-El, The Shalom Hartman Institute and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Amy and her husband Matt, who is on the finance committee for JCHS, have four children and live in San Francisco.
  • Barry W. Cohn

    Immediate Past President
    Parent of Yael Cohn, Class of 2013, Elana Cohn, Class of 2010, and Sarah Cohn, Class of 2007

    Barry brings with him years of insight and experience in the real estate business, lay leadership and fundraising in the Bay Area Jewish community. Barry has served on multiple boards and committees of Jewish community organizations including Brandeis Hillel Day School (President), Judah L. Magnes Museum (Treasurer), San Francisco and Oakland Jewish Community Federations and Community Relations Councils as well as AIPAC. Barry is also currently President of the Magnes Museum Foundation. Barry lives in San Francisco with his wife Debbie. They are the parents of JCHS graduates Sarah, Elana and Yael, Classes of 2007, 2010 and 2013, respectively.
  • Raphael Edelman

    Parent of Avigayil Edelman, Class of 2016, Shoshana Edelman, Class of 2014, David Edelman, Class of 2012, and Michal Edelman, Class of 2010

    Raphael joined RCM in 2004 as CIO of US Large Cap Core Growth Equity. Prior to joining RCM, he spent 20 years with Alliance Capital Management in both NY and SF. He has an AB in History from Columbia College and an MBA from New York University. Raphael has served on the Board of Directors since the founding of JCHS and has been active in a broad range of Jewish communal and educational institutions in the East Bay over the past 20 years. Raphael lives in Oakland with his wife Leslie, daughters Shoshana and Avigayil and son Shmuel. Their eldest, Michal, graduated JCHS in 2010 and is currently attending Barnard College. Their son David graduated from JCHS in 2012 , while daughters Shoshana, Class of 2014, and Avigayil, Class of 2016 are currently enrolled at JCHS. Their youngest child, Shmuel, attends Oakland Hebrew Day School.
  • Suzanne Dryan Felson

    Parent of Sophia Felson, Class of 2017

    Suzanne brings to the board a broad background of business and philanthropy. Since managing her own mortgage company after majoring in Business at the University of Southern California, she broadened her reach through volunteering in the Jewish community, both in her home city of San Francisco and at a national level. Active as a volunteer, she has served in crucial roles, notably on the Board of the Jewish Community Federation, as a Founding Board Member of the Jewish Community High School, and as a Fellow of the Wexner Heritage Program. She and her husband, Elliott, the owner of Felson Companies, have three children, the oldest of whom - Sophia - is currently attending JCHS as a member of the Class of 2017.
  • Debbie Findling, Ph.D.

    Dr. Findling has worked in the field of Jewish education for over 25 years. She holds a doctorate in philosophy of education and graduate degrees in rabbinic literature and Jewish education. She has published widely in Jewish and secular publications. Her most recent book, Teaching the Holocaust, is based on her doctoral dissertation. She is the Strategic Philanthropy Advisor at the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund and was previously Deputy Director of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund. She recently spearheaded the search for a new Head of School at Brandeis Hillel Day School, where she currently sits on the Board of Trustees.
  • Barry Finestone

    Parent of Gabrielle Finestone, Class of 2017

    Barry is the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. Prior to joining the JCCSF in June 2010, he served as Executive Director of the dynamic, two-campus Isaac M. Wise Temple from 1999 through 2005, transforming its information technology systems and earning the Harris K. and Alice F. Weston Award for outstanding leadership, before becoming Executive Vice President of national retailer Jones the Florist/Sweets in Bloom. He was the National Associate Director of Hadassah/Young Judaea, a youth movement with camps, conventions and college study programs throughout the US and Israel. Barry also served on the Board of the Mayerson JCC in Cincinnati, as President of the Rockwern Academy Jewish Day School and on the endowment committee of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and Jewish Old-Aged Home. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Community Education from Jordanhill College of Education in Glasgow, Scotland, his original home. Barry and his wife, Ellen, have three children, including Gabrielle, JCHS Class of 2017.
  • Aimee Fisher

    Aimee is the Lead Innovation Designer in the Innovation and Advanced Technology team at Kaiser Permanente. Charged with envisioning what health care will look like in ten years, Aimee works with teams large and small to articulate specific ideas and make those ideas a reality. Aimee is an active alumna of Smith College. She is also an active member of the East Bay Jewish Community, serving as the VP for Strategic Initiatives for Beth Jacob Congregation, Gala Chair for the Annual Fundraiser and Chair of the Communications Committee both at Oakland Hebrew Day School. Aimee and her husband, Dan Cohen, have three children—two daughters at OHDS and a son in preschool.
  • Donna Fogel

    Parent of Elana Fogel, Class of 2014

    Donna lives in San Francisco with her husband, Joe, and her daughter, Elana, a Brandeis Hillel Day School graduate and a current JCHS student, Class of 2014. As a Brandeis parent, Donna volunteered frequently, including eight years on the Marketing Committee, four years with the Annual Fund and three years as room parent representative. Donna received the Or Hadash Award from BHDS in 2005, recognizing her volunteerism. In 2012, she and her husband were co-chairs of the Brandeis Alumni Annual Fund and members of the JCHS Gala Committee. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Donna works as a dental hygienist in a private practice in San Francisco.
  • Leonid Kushnir

    Parent of Michelle Kushnir, Class of 2010

    Leonid is a member of ASQ (American Society of Quality) with more than 15 years of Project Management, Consulting Services, Software Quality Assurance testing including 11 years of processes and resources management experience. The father of JCHS alum Michelle Kushnir, Class of 2010, Leonid has strong ties to the Russian and Orthodox communities. In his own words: “I arrived in the US in 1990 with $120 in my pocket, around 10 English words in my vocabulary, an engineering diploma, and hope. We left Russia to make sure that our kids could have a brighter future and celebrate their Judaism. We had to hide our faith, but our kids don't have to.”
  • Dan Magid

    Parent of Josh Magid, Class of 2009, Beth Magid, Class of 2012, and Aaron Magid, Class of 2014

    Dan Magid has been a member of Berkeley’s Temple Beth El since 1967. He became Bar Mitzvah and was married at Beth El. He and his wife Robinn have four children: Josh (Class of2009), Beth (Class of 2012), Aaron (Class of 2014) and Nathan. Dan was the President and CEO of Aldon (a software company co-founded by his Dad in 1979), until he recently sold the business last year. At Beth El, Dan helped establish the Shabbat morning minyan, and attends Torah study and services weekly. He has developed and printed several of the prayer books that have been used for Shabbat, High Holidays, and the Minyan services, and was on their last Rabbi Search Committee.
  • Jacqueline Neuwirth-Swire

    Parent of Aislinn Cushing, Class of 2015

    Jacqueline’s background includes over 25 years in fundraising and development. She has worked with a broad range of national and international clients in the political, corporate and nonprofit sectors in the areas of donor development, board development, fundraising, event planning and strategic planning. In recent years, Jacqueline has served on numerous boards and committees, as well as, chaired events for a variety of school, community and Jewish organizations.  She currently serves as a founding Board Member of Beyond Differences, NatureBridge at Golden Gate, and JCHS.  Jacqueline and her husband, Stephen Swire, live Ross with their children, Aislinn, JCHS Class of 2015, and Samuel, currently a fifth grader at Brandeis Hillel Day School. 
  • Marshall Platt

    Parent of Yael Platt, Class of 2012, and Ariel Platt, Class of 2008

    Marshall is Director, Strategy at Greenberg Inc., a consulting/design/research firm in Emeryville, CA serving Fortune 500 clients. He has also been a marketing consultant, researcher, and strategist for Jewish day schools in California, Texas and Michigan. His employers and clients have also included several Jewish Community Centers in the Bay Area and the Midwest, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, the Mandell L. and Madeleine H. Berman Foundation (Detroit, MI), the Cal Alumni Association, and the University of California, San Francisco. Marshall holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business, and a BA in Political Science, both from UC Berkeley. He has served on the board of Congregations Beth Israel and Netivot Shalom in Berkeley and the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews in San Francisco. Marshall lives in Berkeley with his wife Elana Reinin. Two of their three children graduated JCHS: son Ariel in 2008 and daughter Yael in 2012.
  • Jason Porth

    Jason Porth serves as executive director of University Corporation, San Francisco State (UCorp), a not-for-profit public benefit corporation devoted to furthering the university's educational mission.  Prior to working at SF State, Jason practiced law as a civil rights attorney, representing plaintiffs primarily in employment matters. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and Northeastern University School of Law. Jason has served as president of the Raoul Wallenberg Jewish Democratic Club and has chaired the Adult Commission of B’nai B’rith Youth Organization’s Central Region West. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Abby Michelson-Porth, and their two children, Jonah and Eve.
  • Daniel Rabin

    Daniel attended Brandeis Hillel Day School and later graduated with a degree in management and business from Skidmore College, and has been working in his family's real estate business ever  since. During his tenure, he has overseen the repositioning of distressed assets, negotiations with new and existing tenants, and the negotiations and underwriting of new investments.   Daniel currently sits on the board of the Downtown Berkeley Association, a non-profit improvement district working to revitalize Downtown Berkeley. Previously, Daniel was part of the formation committee for Marin Rocks, a music history museum and participated in the Impacts Grant Initiative of the San Francisco Federation. He is the son of Varda (a former JCHS board member) and Irving Rabin. The Rabins are one of the Bay Area's pre-eminent philanthropic families, having played critical roles in the community including, but not limited to, serving as Northwest Regional Chair of AIPAC, founder of YAD of the Federation, Menorah Park, and board members of countless organizations.
  • Barbara Rosenberg

    Grandparent of Jake Rosenberg, Class of 2014

    Barbara has been an indefatigable community leader and philanthropist for over 40 years.  She has served as President of Jewish Learning Works and of the Jewish Home of San Francisco, board member of Lehrhaus Judaica and trustee of Brandeis University, her alma mater by which she was recently named Distinguished Alumna of the Year.  Barbara holds a Masters degree from Harvard University and has a Doctorate of Education from University of San Francisco. Barbara has served as Library Commissioner for the City of San Francisco and on the advisory board of the Department of Jewish Studies at Stanford University.  She was a member of the San Francisco School Volunteers and Achievement Awards for College Scientists (ARCS).  Barbara has also served as Chair of the statewide selection committee of the Diller Team Tikkun Olam Awards.  She received the Judith Chapman Award and was co-recipient with her husband, Richard, of the Scopus Award of Hebrew University and United Way's de Tocqueville Award for Community Philanthropy and Service.
  • Lisa Rosenberg

    Parent of Jake Rosenberg, Class of 2014

    Lisa brings to the board years of experience as a school volunteer serving on numerous committees and in various fundraising capacities. She is currently a member of the review committee for the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam awards, and an education docent at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She holds a BA in Art History from U.C. Berkeley and a Masters in Art History/Religious Studies from Dominican University of California. Lisa has held various positions with several prominent art dealers and auction houses in San Francisco, including Crown Point Press, Butterfield & Butterfield, Hackett-Friedman Gallery and John Berggruen Gallery. She currently lives in Kentfield with her husband, Peter, and sons Jake, JCHS class of 2014, and Cyrus.
  • Karla Smith

    Karla is an Educational Therapist who holds a BA in Political Science and Psychology from USC, an MA in Educational Administration from St. Mary’s College, and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Teacher’s College at Columbia University. She is a Co-Founder of Contra Costa Jewish Day School, where she was President from 2002 – 2006, and currently a Board member. She is also on the Board of AIPAC and the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay. She has previously served on the Boards of the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living, the Center for Jewish Living and Learning (former Vice Chair), Congregation B’nai Shalom (Vice President, 1988-1998), and Camp Ramah. Karla currently sits on the state-wide selection committee for the Diller Teen Tikun Olam Awards.
  • Deborah (Bornstein) Sosebee

    Parent of Daniel Sosebee, Class of 2016, Isaac Sosebee, Class of 2012, and Hannah Sosebee, Class of 2010

    A Berkeley native, Deborah received her BA in Linguistics from Brandeis University. Deborah worked in Mergers & Acquisitions for Smith Barney, then moved to the New York Stock Exchange where she was director of Information Services, doing operations research and database design. Deborah has served on a Capital Projects advisory committee for the Oakland Unified School District, participated in various school, synagogue and agency boards and committees, and chaired local fund-raisers. She currently serves on the boards of Beth Jacob Congregation (Oakland), Jewish Family & Children’s Services of the East Bay, and the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay. Deborah and her husband Michael have three children: Hannah, JCHS Class of 2010, Hebrew University (Jerusalem) 2015; Isaac, JCHS Class of 2012, Brandeis University Class of 2016; and Daniel, JCHS Class of 2016.

Ex Officio

  • Rabbi Howard Jacoby Ruben

    Head of School

    Howard Ruben joined JCHS in 2008 from his post as the Senior Rabbi at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood, Ohio, an 1,800-family Reform congregation in a suburb of Cleveland, where he served for nearly a decade. Prior to this position, he was the Executive Director of Cincinnati's Bureau of Jewish Education. In these roles, Rabbi Ruben particularly enjoyed helping Jewish teens find their path to spiritual and ethical learning as well as their love of Judaism and growth as adults.

    Rabbi Ruben has deep roots in the Bay Area Jewish and secular communities. Prior to entering the rabbinate, he served as a partner in the law firm of Severson & Werson in San Francisco and held lay leader positions on the boards of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California. He also held several leadership positions at Peninsula Temple Beth El in San Mateo. His work with Jewish teens dates to his time as the assistant director of UAHC (now URJ) Camp Swig Institute in Saratoga.

    Rabbi Ruben graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with honors; the University of California, Hastings College of Law, in San Francisco; and Hebrew Union College, in Cincinnati and Jerusalem, where he studied as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. He also was in the inaugural class of Rabbinic Fellows of the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.


  • Noah Alper

    Parent of Robbie Alper, Class of 2008, and David Alper, Class of 2005

    Noah, Founding President of JCHS, has long been involved in the Bay Area Jewish community. He is Vice-President of Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley and has been a member of the board of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Greater East Bay. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a BA in Economics, Noah also attended the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem. He founded Noah’s New York Bagels, the largest kosher retailer in the United States at that time, and six other ventures, including the grocery store company, Bread & Circus. Noah is currently a consultant, dynamic motivational speaker and the author of Business Mensch, Timeless Wisdom for Today’s Entrepreneur. Noah lives in Berkeley with his wife Hope. Their eldest son, Jesse, was the creator of the JCHS award-winning gourmet/vegetarian lunch program; David (JCHS Class of 2005) is now an MBA candidate at CUNY; and their youngest son Robbie (JCHS Class of 2008) graduated from Northeastern University in 2013.
  • Nancy Zimmerman Pechner

    Nancy came up with the idea for JCHS in the spring of 1997. During her Wexner Heritage Foundation class, she realized that the one missing major Jewish educational immersion experience in the Bay Area was a Jewish community high school. Her dream became a reality with the help and support of many. Nancy graduated from the Wexner Heritage Foundation (WHF) Class of 1998. From 1999-2001, she worked for WHF as Leadership Liaison, acting as a conduit  and support for WHF graduates. As Executive Director, Nancy led the Jewish Community Youth Orchestra through its first season. Nancy has served on multiple boards and committees including JCHS (Executive Vice President), Congregation Rodef Sholom and its School Board (President), Bureau of Jewish Education, Brandeis Hillel Day School (Marketing Committee), Jewish Community Relations Council, and Jewish Community Foundation's Young Adults Division. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1984. Since 1995, Nancy has run her art business, Silkheart, creating hand-painted silk tallitot. She spends half her summer as Artist-in-Residence at URJ Camp Newman running her program "Building Jewish Identity through Art." Most recently, Nancy has earned her Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology. In her present business, Glass Half Full, she acts as teacher, curriculum developer and counselor, where she holds space for growth and change using creative, mindfulness, and strength-based practices. She lives between Maui and Marin County with her husband. They have three grown children. 
JCHS integrates a vigorous academic life with Jewish wisdom to create a unique intellectual, ethical, and emotional foundation for success in the world of college and beyond.
Jewish Community High School of the Bay
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
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Phone: 415.345.9777