Board of Directors

List of 1 items.


List of 11 items.

  • Raphael Edelman

    Parent of Shmuel '18, Avigayil '16, Shoshana '14, David '12, and Michal '10

    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. Their five children Michal, David, Shoshana, Avigayil, and Shmuel graduated JCHS in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 respectively.
  • Ellen Finestone

    Parent of Gabi '17, Ethan '20, Mia '24

    Ellen Finestone has been fully immersed in Jewish education since she moved to the Bay Area from Cincinnati with her family eleven years ago.  She currently sits on the JCHS Governance Committee & is part of the the Jewish Community Federation Day School Culture of Belonging Cohort.  Ellen was the JCHS Parent Association Chair for 5 years. Ellen also served on the Brandeis Hillel Day School Board of Trustees where she sat on the Committee on Trustees and was part of the Marin Working Group that established Brandeis Marin as an independent school.  She recently ended her board service to Brandeis Marin where she sat on the Advancement and various other committees.  Ellen is on the board of Camp Young Judaea Midwest where she chairs the Alumni Committee and is involved in Achim L’Chaim (Brothers for Life) and Cycle For Survival.  Ellen received her B.A. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (Go Blue!) and is the proud mom of Gabrielle '17, Ethan '20, and Mia '24.  Ellen and her husband Barry love to take long walks, Peloton, go the the farmer's market, travel, eat delicious food and, most importantly, spend time with family and friends.
  • Melissa Heller

    Parent of Isley Douglas '23

    Melissa brings more than twenty years of development experience in the nonprofit world to the JCHS board. A native of New Jersey, she earned her BA from Brandeis University and her JD from Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. She has served on a variety of boards and committees for school, community, and Jewish organizations in the East Bay. Melissa is a member of the Board of Temple Sinai in Oakland, where she serves on the development committee and was instrumental in leading the Temple’s capital campaign. She has also served on multiple rabbi search committees. Melissa lives in Oakland with her husband, Steven Douglas, and their 6th generation Bay Area children, Sandler and Isley (JCHS class of 2023), as well as their Newfoundland, Cobalt.
  • Yan Kalika

    Yan was born in Moldova in 1970 to a family of Jewish parents who struggled to raise both he and his sister in an anti-Semitic environment. He grew up playing chess professionally while living in a very rough neighborhood and was the first in his family to get accepted to a University. In 1989 he immigrated to the United States. Shortly after attending community college to learn English, he was accepted to UC Berkeley and had to work full time while going to school, which made life challenging yet rewarding. He worked at Genentech for a year and was later accepted to Harvard University, followed by residency at UCSF. In San Francisco he took a Jewish leadership course through the Federation and became involved in forming a Russian speaking Jewish community group. He has been involved in various roles with the JCC and currently serves on the board of a few different health care companies, as well as the UCSF Dean’s Council. Yan is hoping to bring all of his experiences to the Jewish Community High School of the Bay.
  • Robert Kaufman

    Robert Kaufman grew up in Manhattan Beach, California and attended UC Berkeley, where he studied political science and business administration. Since graduating from Berkeley, Robert has worked in the investment industry and is currently with FTV Capital, a growth equity firm in San Francisco. Prior to joining FTV, Robert worked for JBG SMITH (formerly The JBG Companies) in Washington, DC and Hellman & Friedman and Hall Capital Partners in San Francisco. Robert is currently a member of the Berkeley Hillel board of directors, AIPAC’s national council and JFCS's program and planning committee. Robert has also staffed several Taglit-Birthright Israel trips and is a Birthright Fellow.
  • Brianna Lerman

    JCHS Alumna, Class of 2009

    Brianna has over eight years of experience in consulting, strategic operations, risk management, and social impact through her experience working at Deloitte, SF startup Plastiq, and most recently at Facebook where she helps design and launch global grant and training programs for nonprofits and community organizers. She grew up in Marin County with her parents and three siblings—including twin brother Jason (Class of ‘09), Paige (Class of ‘14), and Ryan—where she had a wide range of Jewish immersion educational experiences. She attended Brandeis Hillel Day School and was a member at Kol Shofar, but also spent a lot of time at Chabad, went to Camp Newman, went on Aish trips, was a Diller Fellow, led a Birthright Trip, and more. She appreciates how "there are so many ways of expressing one’s Jewish identity and loves that JCHS provides a space for students to explore a diversity of Jewish traditions and affiliations, just as it did for me."
  • Jessica Minkoff

    Parent of Leah '25

    Jessica has been involved as a volunteer in the Jewish Community and in Philanthropic work since she signed up to volunteer at Hillel the first week of college. She is a board member and immediate past President of Oakland Hebrew Day School, where her children attend school. Her commitment to the Jewish community has led her to serve on the board of the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. Jessica has been active with AIPAC for over 15 years and is incoming Chair of their Northern California Leadership Council. Jessica is a native of Berkeley, and a Principal at The Minkoff Group, an Oakland based real estate development firm, focusing on ground up development. She is responsible for design and management of the firm’s multi-family housing and mixed-use projects. Jessica attended the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, the latter where she met her husband. Jessica is married to Dan Minkoff, and together they have six young children: Leah, Noah, Zoe, Yossi, Amalia, and David. She enjoys skiing, reading, travel, cooking, and spending time with her synagogue community, Beth Jacob Congregation of Oakland.
  • Aaron Parker

    Parent of Jacob '23
    Aaron Parker is a native San Franciscan and father of four Jewish day school students, three in K-8, and one at JCHS.  He is a real estate investor and developer and served previously as Executive Director at Jewish National Fund.  His work in and with Israel has been both a labor of love and a second career.  He serves on the board of the Friends of Israel Political Action Committee and is a member of Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon.  He lives in Marin County with his fiancé Zhenya and four kids.
  • Michael Sosebee

    Immediate Past-President
    Parent of Daniel '16, Isaac '12, and Hannah '10

    Michael recently retired after twenty-nine years as a bond trader and salesman for investment banks where he focused on global bond markets for institutional money managers. He is a member of Beth Jacob Congregation in Oakland, a member of the AIPAC Northern California Board and the AIPAC National Council. He has co-chaired the East Bay Federation's Shalom Hartman Leadership Development Program, and is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program. Michael has served on the JCHS Finance Committee for several years.

    After retiring, Michael spent two months studying at Yeshivat Orayta in the Old City. Michael has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Clemson University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
  • Deborah Stadtner

    Parent of Jacob '20, Jonathan '17, Rebecca '11

    Deborah Stadtner has a passion for serving the Jewish community. Currently, she serves on the boards of Brandeis Marin and Jewish Family and Children’s Services and on the Advisory Board of URJ Camp Newman. She is a member of the Executive Grants Committee for the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation, as well as various other Federation committees. Deborah is a past president for the Osher Marin JCC and a past board member for Congregation Kol Shofar. She has four kids: Joshua, Rebecca '11, Jonathan '17 and Jacob '20. Deborah lives in Marin, with her husband Larry, and spent 20 years working in market research.
  • Ted Storey

    Ted Storey has been a practicing attorney for 30 years. for 20 years, until the sale of the company in the Fall of 2017. He was Senior Vice President of Business Development and General Counsel of Round Table Pizza, Inc. Currently, Ted sits on the Helsing Group Board of Directors, an employee owned company, and is board secretary of the Mountain Zion Health Fund. He is a past Director of Round Table Pizza, Inc. and Temple Emanu-El Boards. He earned his JD from Berkeley Law, his MA in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from UC Berkeley, and his BA from Columbia University. Ted lives in San Francisco with his wife Jaimie Sanford; they have three children. Both Ted and Jaimie are natives of San Francisco.

Ex Officio

List of 1 items.

  • 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.


List of 3 items.

  • 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, The Brandeis 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. 
  • Noah Alper

    Founding President
    Parent of Robbie '08, and David '05

    Noah, founding president of JCHS, has long been involved in the Bay Area Jewish community. He previously held board positions at Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley, and the Jewish Community Federation 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) owns Radicle Herb Shop in Brooklyn, NY and their youngest son Rob (JCHS Class of 2008) is a high/tech sales executive in San Francisco.
  • Mem Dryan Bernstein

    Founding Chairman
    Grandparent of Sophia '17

    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.
Jewish Community High School of the Bay
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: 415.345.9777
JCHS is grateful for generous operational, programmatic, and financial support from:
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 their Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.