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, 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.
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.
Rabbi Ryan Bauer
Rabbi Ryan Bauer joined the JCHS board in 2017. He has served Congregation Emanu-El since 2005, where he helped create and oversee the nationally-recognized community engagement department and also supervises the pre-school and Bnai-Mitzvah program. He has been nationally recognized for his work with Syrian refugees. Ordained by the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles in 2007, Rabbi Bauer’s academic research focused on exploring Hasidic views of how one cleaves to the divine. Prior to rabbinical school, Rabbi Bauer completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied Psychology with an emphasis in Political Economies of Industrialized Societies. As part of his undergraduate studies, Rabbi Bauer studied at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he assisted with a Fulbright research project that examined violence in Jewish and Palestinian schools. Rabbi Bauer has also served as a chaplain intern at UCLA Medical Center, and has worked as the Co-Director of Teen programs at the Center for Jewish Living and Learning in Oakland. He is on the board of AIPAC and the Rabbinic Advisory Council of Shalom Bayit, and is a regular faculty member at URJ Camp Newman. Rabbi Bauer and his wife Alisa have three children.
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, is currently attending JCHS as a member of the class of 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 recently spearheaded the search for a new head of school at Brandeis Hillel Day School, where she currently sits on the board of trustees.
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 Brandeis Hillel Day School, 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, 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 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.
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.”
Parent of Josh, Class of 2009, Beth, Class of 2012, and Aaron, 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.
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 Ross with their children, Aislinn, JCHS class of 2015, and Samuel, currently a fifth grader at Brandeis Hillel Day School.
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 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.
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 Brandeis in SF 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.
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 and Ariella, truly lovely girls in just about every way. Sophia is in the new JCHS class of 2018.