Board of Directors

List of 1 items.

  • Michael Sosebee

    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.
 

List of 13 items.

  • Raphael Edelman

    Treasurer
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Debbie Findling, Ed.D.

    Parent of Sara, Class of 2019

    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 also spearheaded the search for a new head of school at The Brandeis School, where she currently sits on the board of trustees.
  • 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 Outreach 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.
  • Lev Kushner

    Lev Kushner is a partner at Department of Here, an urban brand strategy agency and the founder of Box Joint Advisors, a real estate strategy consultancy. A recovering bureaucrat, he works with cities, neighborhoods, real estate developers, and other place-focused organizations to identify their personality of place, forge meaningful relationships, and get projects built. 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 Gabi and his two sons Mendel and Ami.
  • 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.”
  • Dan Magid

    Parent of Josh, Class of 2009, Beth, Class of 2012, Aaron, Class of 2014, Nathan 2019

    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 (class of 2019). 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, 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

    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.
  • 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.
  • Leslie Ticktin

    
Parent of Ethan, Class of 2021, Chloe, Class of 2019 and Jared

    Leslie and her husband, Stephen, moved to San Francisco from Scottsdale, Arizona in 2004.  She attended Arizona State University where she earned a degree in Family Studies and Child Development and she also has a Masters Degree in Community Counseling. Her three children attended The Brandeis School where Leslie volunteered in many capacities before she began working at the school; first in Development, and currently in Admissions. She received the Or Hadash Award for her volunteerism in 2012 after chairing the Annual Fund and participating on numerous committees. Prior to working at Brandeis, Leslie was the Family Programs Coordinator at Congregation Emanu-El where she led many programs for new parents and families with young children as well as facilitated classes for engaged and newly married couples. Leslie has always supported Jewish education and enjoys working in Jewish environments. She taught Pre-Kindergarten at Temple Solel in Paradise Valley and was a NFTY youth group advisor for over 10 years. Leslie and Stephen also have four nieces and nephews who attend/attended JCHS. Leslie brings to the board her experience in the Jewish community as well as her enthusiasm and creative ideas for helping our school continue to thrive.
  • Adam Weisberg

    Parent of Sophia, 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 (class of 2018) and Ariella.
 
 

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.
 

Founders

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

    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, www.tabletmag.com.  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.