Board of Directors

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  • Barry Finestone

    Parent of Gabrielle Finestone, Class of 2017

    Barry is the executive director of the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund, having served previously as 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 degree 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.

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  • 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 United States and Israel.
  • Barry W. Cohn

    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 (where he served as president), Judah L. Magnes Museum (where he served as treasurer), the 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.
  • Marc Dollinger, Ph.D.

    Immediate Past-President
    Parent of Shayna Dollinger, Class of 2018 and 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 daughter Shayna, JCHS class of 2018. His daughter Rebecca, JCHS class of 2014, currently attends Pitzer College.

  • Raphael Edelman

    Parent of Shmuel Edelman, Class of 2018, Avigayil Edelman, Class of 2016, Shoshana Edelman, Class of 2014, David Edelman, Class of 2012, and Michal Edelman, Class of 2010

    Raphael is a CIO at Allianz Global Investors (formerly RCM). Prior to joining RCM, he spent 20 years with Alliance Capital Management in both New York and San Francisco. 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, daughter Avigayil, and son Shmuel. Their children Michal, David, and Shoshana graduated JCHS in 2010, 2012, and 2014, respectively. Avigayil, class of 2016, and Shmuel, class of 2018, are currently enrolled at JCHS.
  • 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, Ed.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.
  • 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 vice president 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, including 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. 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.
  • Sharon Goldstone

    Parent of Max Swan, Class of 2018

    Sharon, a daughter of Holocaust survivors, is passionate about Jewish education and its success in the Bay Area. A member of Congregation Beth Sholom, Sharon was a founding member of the preschool parent board, ran their main fundraiser for several years, was on the rabbi search committee, and was a synagogue board member.

    Sharon is the 2015 recipient of the Or Hadash Award at Brandeis Hillel Day School, in recognition of her volunteerism. Sharon has been the chair of the school's Chesed committee, which helps families in difficult times, for five years. She has also served as the chair of the school's Admissions and Outreach committee for the past seven years, working with the admission director to enhance, support, and expand the admissions process at the school. Additionally, she worked on the annual fund for five years, and served on the search committees for head of campus and head of Jewish life and learning.

    A San Francisco native, Sharon attended Lick Wilmerding High School and then went to American University in Washington, DC, as well as the American College in Paris. She has two sons, Max, a student at JCHS, and Aidan, a student at Brandeis Hillel Day School in San Francisco. Sharon managed her family’s local chain of retail stores before opening a commercial cleaning company, which she operated for over 20 years. She is currently an event photographer.
  • Lev Kushner

    Lev Kushner is an urban planner who has spent ten years working in economic development for the cities of New York and San Francisco. He has managed the design, political approval, and construction of several large public works projects and launched numerous public/private partnerships seeking to improve the daily life of city residents through the combination of beautiful spaces, good food, and community gathering. A native Bostonian, Lev grew up in a family of rabbis and is deeply committed to enriching and strengthening Jewish life in the Bay Area. Lev lives in San Francisco with his wife Gabby and his son Mendel.
  • 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 of 2009), 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 father 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, and has 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. 
  • 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 San Francisco 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.
  • 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 and acquisitions for Smith Barney, then moved to the New York Stock Exchange where she was director of information services, conducting 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 fundraisers. She currently serves on the boards of Beth Jacob Congregation (Oakland), Jewish Family and 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 and Hebrew University (Jerusalem) class of 2015; Isaac, JCHS class of 2012 and Brandeis University class of 2016; and Daniel, JCHS class of 2016.
  • Adam Weisberg

    Parent of Sophia Brodie-Weisberg, Class of 2018

    Adam Weisberg is the national Diller teen initiatives director at the Jewish Community Federation. Prior to this, Adam served as Camp Tawonga’s executive director from 2008-2011 and as Berkeley Hillel’s executive director from 2000-2008. Additionally, Adam has served in a variety of roles in the Jewish community, having worked with the Council of Jewish Federations in New York, the Jewish Agency in Israel, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Bulgaria. In addition to serving on the Urban Adamah board, Adam also serves on the board of Wilderness Torah. Adam has served as a coach and mentor for young professionals through the Wexner Foundation, Hillel, Repair the World, the iCenter, BBYO, and the REALITY Check program, a project of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network. Adam is married to Rachel Brodie. They have two daughters, Sophia and Ariella, truly lovely girls in just about every way. Sophia is in the new JCHS class of 2018.

Ex Officio

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  • Rabbi Howard Jacoby Ruben

    Head of School

    Howard Ruben joined JCHS in 2008 after having served as the senior rabbi for nearly a decade at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood, Ohio, an 1,800-family Reform congregation in a suburb of Cleveland. He previously served as 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.


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  • 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, as well as 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. Their son 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.
  • Mem Dryan Bernstein

    Founding Chairman
    Grandparent of Sophia Felson, Class of 2017

    Mem is a venture philanthropist, and a trustee of two major foundations:  the AVI CHAI Foundation, a leader in Jewish education, and Keren Keshet – The Rainbow Foundation, whose signature project, Nextbook, promotes Jewish literature, culture, and ideas through public programs, the Jewish Encounters books series, and its website,  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 United States, and The Sandwich Generation, published in Israel.
  • 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, which creates 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 master 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. 
The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.
Jewish Community High School of the Bay
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
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Phone: 415.345.9777

JCHS is grateful for generous operational, programmatic, and financial aid support from the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund; The Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay; Keren Keshet - The Rainbow Foundation; and The AVI CHAI Foundation.