Board of Directors

List of 1 items.


List of 11 items.

  • Raphael Edelman

    Parent of Shmuel, Class of 2018, Avigayil, Class of 2016, Shoshana, Class of 2014, David , Class of 2012, and Michal, 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. Their five children Michal, David, Shoshana, Avigayil, and Shmuel graduated JCHS in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 respectively.
  • Suzanne Dryan Felson

    Parent of Sophia, 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, graduated from JCHS in 2017.
  • Ellen Finestone

    Parent of Gabby, Class of 2017, Ethan, Class of 2020

    Ellen Finestone has been fully immersed in Jewish education since she moved to the Bay Area from Cincinnati with her family nine years ago.  She has been the JCHS Parent Association Chair for the last 4 years. Ellen 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 continues her board service to Brandeis Marin where she sits on the Advancement and various other committees.  Ellen is involved with Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Achim L’Chaim (Brothers for Life) and Camp Young Judaea. Ellen received her B.A. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and is the proud mom of Gabrielle Class of 2017, and Ethan Class of 2020, Mia, a current 8th grader at Brandeis Marin.  Ellen and her husband Barry love to take long walks, travel, eat delicious food and, most importantly, spend time with family and friends.
  • Sharon Goldstone

    Parent of Max, Class of 2018, Aidan, Class of 2021

    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. The 2015 recipient of the Or Hadash Award at The Brandeis School, Sharon has been the chair of the school's Chesed committee, which helps families in difficult times, for more than five years. She has also served as the chair of the school's Admissions and Engagement committee for the past seven years, 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, Class of 2018 and Aidan, Class of 2021. 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.
  • 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.
  • Leonid Kushnir

    Parent of Michelle, 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.”
  • Jacqueline Neuwirth-Swire

    Parent of Aislinn, Class of 2015, Sam, Class of 2021

    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 in Ross with their children, Aislinn, JCHS ,Class of 2015, and Samuel, Class of 2021.
  • Aaron Parker

    Parent of Jacob, Class of 2023
    Aaron Parker is a San Francisco native and a former Executive Director of Jewish National Fund, where he helped organize a renewed community commitment to Israel and its development.  He serves on the board of the Friends of Israel Political Action Committee, writes as an occasional blog for the Times of Israel, and recently completed the Pardes Summer Program in Jerusalem.  Prior to his Jewish communal career, he worked in real estate as a broker and developer, and served on the Sausalito Historic Landmarks Board.  He studied psychology at UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, and Harvard, and lives in Marin with his two kids, where he is a member of Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon.
  • Michael Sosebee

    Immediate Past-President
    Parent of Daniel, Class of 2016, Isaac, Class of 2012, and Hannah, Class of 2010

    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, Class of 2020, Jonathan, Class of 2017, Rebecca, Class of 2011

    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 Class of 2011, Jonathan ,Class of 2017 and Jacob, Class of 2020. 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, Class of 2008, and David, Class of 2005

    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, 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.
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 her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.