Board of Trustees
An extraordinary group of members who bring a wealth of experience in law, finance, education, social services, real estate, management, strategic planning, fundraising, and Jewish life to their work, the BJ Board of Trustees meets monthly. The Executive Committee and various Steering Committees meet periodically throughout the year as needed.
Alan Mantel President
Alan and his family have been members of BJ since 2001. Currently, Alan serves on the Finance Committee. Since its inception, Alan has been a Partner of Snow Phipps Group, a private equity firm. Previously he was a Managing Director at Credit Suisse and Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. Alan is a Director on several corporate boards in the business services, financial services and apparel industries, a member of the Deans Advisory Board of the School of Business at SUNY Albany and current Board President of his co-op. Alan is married to Jessica Feder Mantel and they have three children, Lauren, Rebecca and Joshua all of whom attended BJ Hebrew School.
Suzanne Schecter First Vice President
Suzanne has been a member of BJ since 2007 and is currently Co-chair of the Membership Steering Committee and the Dues Task Force. She previously sat on the Potential Members Team, and has been preparing monthly meals for the shelter since joining in 2007. Suzanne is a freelance TV Producer, making programs about food and food lifestyle. She started her career after completing her MBA in 1986 as a money manager, but in 1995 decided to follow her passion for food and went to culinary school – thus took a circuitous route to the television world. But she is still passionate about cooking and spends whatever spare time she has in front of the stove cooking for her husband, Todd Ruback, her stepson Grant and lots of friends.
Jonathan Schwartz Treasurer
Jonathan and his family have been BJ members since 2011. He is a member of the Task Force on Interfaith Families and cooks and delivers meals with Spoonful of Hesed. Jonathan is a founder of Argentem Creek Partners, where he oversees investments in Latin America. Prior to that, he held positions at Black River Asset Management and J.P. Morgan. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and earned a master’s degree in political economy from NYU. Jonathan and his wife Oriyan have two daughters, Maya and Rena, who are children’s service regulars.
Karen Adler Vice President
Karen and her family have been BJ members since 1989. She is an independent management consultant working with high net worth families and their foundations and is also Senior Vice President of the Adler Group, a multi-generational family business. Karen was the CEO of Bromor Management LLC, and held executive positions in the General Services Administration during the Clinton administration. Karen is the past Chair of the Jewish Communal Fund of New York, Board and Executive committee member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Roosevelt Institute, and Plaza Jewish Community Chapel. She has an MBA in Finance from New York University, an MPA and an MA in Urban Planning from Northeastern University, and a BA in Political Science from American University. Karen is married to Laurence Greenwald. They have 2 sons and 5 grandchildren.
Steve Koppel Vice President
Steve has been a BJ member since 2009 and was a member of the IDI Committee. He is currently a Partner at Sidley Austin LLP, where he specializes in real estate finance and has a sub-specialty in affordable housing and community development law. Steve has served on the Board of Trustees or the advisory board of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, and the Rabbinical School at JTS. He was a founding President of the American Friends of the Peres Center for Peace and is a member of the Center's International Board of Governors. He holds a BA from Columbia University, a general course degree from the London School of Economics and a JD from George Washington University. Steve and his wife, Lynette Koppel, have two daughters: Sarah and Caroline, and a son-in-law Joshua.
Shira Nadich Levin Vice President
Shira and her family joined BJ in 1998. Shira co-chaired the Israel Dialogue Initiative, co-chairs the Minyan Committee, is a member of the Hevra Kadisha and leads Shacharit services as a Shaliah Tzibbur. She is also a dedicated volunteer and participant in many BJ initiatives, hosts BJ classes given in midtown and was the Kalat Torah in 2014. Shira is a real estate partner at Cooley LLP, co-chair of its leasing committee and founder and chair of its Women’s Initiatives. She served as president of The Abraham Joshua Heschel School, sits on its executive committee and chairs its Holocaust Commemoration Committee. She is a board member of WILEF (Women in Law Empowerment Forum), the Alan B. Slifka Foundation and is actively engaged in pro-bono legal work with numerous Jewish organizations. Shira and her husband, Jim, are the parents of Alex, Gideon and Ben and the parents-in-law of Sara, Ben’s wife.
Irvin Rosenthal Chair
Irv and his family have been BJ members since 1990. Prior to becoming President, Irv served two years as Treasurer. He served a prior term on BJ’s board from 2001 to 2007; co-chaired the renovation of the 88th Street building in 1995-96; and co-chaired BJ's Building and Morning Minyan committee. He also leads the minyan on Monday mornings. Irv is the chief financial officer of UJA-Federation of New York. He was a founder and former treasurer of Plaza Jewish Community Chapel, where he still serves as a board member. He was a founder and former board member of The JCC in Manhattan. Irv and his wife, Ruth Jarmul, are the parents of three daughters, Rebecca, Rachel, and Sarah, who grew up at BJ. For many years, Rebecca and Rachel led, and Sarah still leads, Shabbat and holiday children’s programs.
Irv became Chair after serving two years as President and two years as Treasurer.
Brad Abelow Board Member
Brad has been a member of BJ since 1990. Over the last several years, Brad has served on the Israel Dialogue Initiative and JIBC Task Forces. Brad retired from Goldman Sachs as a partner in 2004 and has since worked in various businesses and NGOs and served as the Treasurer of the State of New Jersey and Chief of Staff to Governor Corzine. He currently provides strategic consulting advice to select NGOs and businesses. Brad chairs the board of The Century Foundation and is a board member of Just Vision. He received a BA from Northwestern University and an MPPM from Yale University. Brad and his wife Carolyn have three children Sarah, Hannah, and Daniel.
Dale Bernstein Board Member
Dale Bernstein and her husband have been BJ members since 1996. Dale co-chaired the Marriage Equality Hevra and is a member of the Panim el Panim Task Force. She also serves on the boards of directors of PFLAG National and Wingspan Arts; is co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the President’s Council of Cornell Women; and is on the alumni board of Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. The Founder of UnCommon HR, a boutique human resources consulting firm, Dale was previously Executive Vice President and Global Head of Human Resources for NYSE Euronext. Dale lives with her husband, Gary, on the Upper West Side. They have two grown sons, Zack and Max.
Michael Brown Board Member
Michael and his wife Andrea have been members of BJ since 2012. Professionally, Michael works in the non-profit leadership arena helping individuals to be more impactful as social entrepreneurs and helping organizations to scale and to be more effective. He is now serving as Vice President overseeing international operations for United Hatzalah of Israel. He is also the Chair of the Council of Young Jewish Presidents, providing training and peer learning for the next generation of young leaders in NY. Michael recently helped organize a Young Leadership Refugee Seder at BJ as part of the Refugee and Immigration Committee, and is also involved in the Israel Programming Committee and JIBC initiative.
Susan Fishman Board Member
Susan has been a member of BJ since 2005. Susan most recently served on BJ's Strategic Planning Committee and led the working group on Community. From 2011 - 2014, Susan was the co-chair of the Membership Steering Committee. Prior to that, Susan was a founding member of Tze'irim and chaired the Tze'irim Committee for three years. Susan is a real estate broker with Douglas Elliman where she has been selling real estate across Manhattan for over 13 years. In addition to her time at BJ and work, she is often found training and recovering from various obstacle and mud races.
Nancy Freireich Board Member
A member of BJ since 1990, Nancy is active in Mekusharim and in the Hevra Kadisha. On the home front, she served for many years as vice president of her co-op. Professionally, Nancy was director of publications and web communications at Columbia Business School and edited such publications as Scientific American. Her husband, Paul, has led the Sunday morning minyan since 1992. Upper West Siders for more than 40 years, Nancy and Paul are the proud parents of Jessica and Abigail and can often be found strolling with their baby grandson, Gabriel, in Riverside Park.
Mike Gantcher Board Member
Mike has been a member of BJ since 2001. He is a partner and a Managing Director of RS Metrics, a data firm that analyzes satellite imagery. Mike has worked in real estate for the NYC Housing Partnership and the Related Companies, and in institutional equity sales for Lehman Brothers, Oppenheimer & Co. and Madison Williams. He received a B.A. in Urban Studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Mike has extensive non-profit board leadership experience including The Doe Fund, Inc., his alma mater, Brooklyn CitySquash and Poly Prep Country Day School. Mike and his wife Christina, an active former board member, have two sons, Billy and Ben, who are also active BJ Hebrew School members.
Moshe Horn Board Member
Moshe is a partner at the law firm Seeger Weiss, specializing in complex litigation, specifically securities and pharmaceutical litigation. Moshe spent a decade as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. A graduate of Cardozo Law School, he serves as an adjunct professor there in trial advocacy and mass torts. Prior to law school, Moshe worked for the Jewish Agency. Moshe has been active on the Men’s Havurah Committee, the Israel Committee, and the Community Retreat Committee. Moshe is also involved with Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, Kinneret Day School, and AIPAC. He has been attending BJ services since 1993 and got to know his wife, Leslie, on the steps of BJ. They and their two children, Talia and Ayelet, can be found most weeks at BJ Shabbat morning services.
Eve Klein Board Member
Evie has been a member of BJ since 1995 and has served on the BJ Building Committee since 2011. Evie is an architect/consultant specializing in higher education and multifaith spaces. She is currently at CUNY pursuing her doctorate in Environmental Psychology with a focus on how multifaith spaces promote justice in the world. Until 2013, she was NYU’s Assistant Vice President of Strategic Assessment Planning and Design where she oversaw the development of the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life. Evie is a graduate of Vassar College and earned her Master of Architecture degree at UCLA. She trained at Polshek Partnership Architects (now Ennead Architects LLP). Evie is also currently a board member of NYU’s Of Many Institute and the Center for Architecture. Her husband, Bob Owens, and their children, Gustie and Henry, have all grown up at BJ.
Debra Lerner Board Member
Debbie and her family have been BJ members since 1994. She has served on the Hebrew School and Youth and Family Advisory Committees and has volunteered with BJ Reads. She is Chair of the Marketing Committee, and a member of the Membership Steering Committee, the Leadership Development Committee and CORE Campaign Committee. Debbie is President of Act 2 Promo, a company that specializes in promotional products and corporate merchandising. She is married to Eric, an attorney. Together they have three children: Matt, Jeremy and Daniel.
Les Nelson Board Member
Les and his family have been BJ members since 1997. Les retired from Goldman Sachs in 2014 after a thirty-year career. Previously, Les worked at Procter & Gamble and, before that, served for seven and a half years as an officer in the US Navy. At BJ, he currently serves on the Mekusharim Committee. Les is a member of both the Task Force on Aging and the Jewish Spiritual Care Advisory Committee within the Caring Commission of UJA-Federation of New York. In addition, he and his dog, Piper, are a certified Pet Assisted Therapy team, visiting outpatients receiving chemotherapy at Mt. Sinai Hospital, where Les also serves as a Patient Ambassador. Les has a BA from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Les, and his wife Jill Hayman, have two children, Remy and Micah.
Josh Penzner Board Member
Josh Penzner and his family have been BJ members since 2010. Josh is the current chair of the Family Life & Learning committee, and he is a member of the Leadership Development committee. Josh is a Managing Director at BlackRock, responsible for iShares distribution to fixed income and insurance clients. Josh lives on the Upper East Side with his wife, Julie Penzner, and their three children.
Ilene Rosenthal Board Member
Ilene Rosenthal has been a member of BJ since 1992. She has previously served on the Board as chair of the Hebrew School Advisory Committee where she helped lead the Reach For Shabbat and Reimagine projects. Most recently, Ilene coordinated BJs inaugural “BJoyous” Mishloah Manot effort, and has participated in the Israel IDI process as a facilitator. Ilene is president of White Space Marketing Group, a digital marketing company. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Young Judaea’s Camp Tel Yehudah. In 1992, she met her husband, Lou Geser, at Shabbat services and were married at SPSA. Their two teen girls, Amelia and Cara, are active in the BJ Teens, serving on its leadership committee.
Alexandra Stern Board Member
Alexandra has been a member of BJ since 1996. She has worked with the UJA Caring Commission and served on BJ's Core Campaign and Strategic Planning Committees. She has been an advocate for mental health care in college and for medical students and has an abiding interest in providing mental health care to the underserved. Alexandra grew up outside of Boston, and attended Harvard College and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. She trained in psychiatry at the Payne Whitney Clinic. She sees patients in her private practice as well as at the Bellevue Hospital Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic. Alexandra has two daughters (Isabel and Rebecca) and twin stepsons (Parker and Harrison). She lives with her husband, David Stern, and their children on the Upper West Side.
Judith Trachtenberg Board Member
Judith and her spouse, Renie Rutchick, have been members of BJ since 2004. Judith is co-chair of Panim el Panim and has been an active vocalist with BJ Sings since its inception. She is a social worker with a long career in health care as both clinician and administrator, most recently working as Director of the Office of Organizational Learning at New York Presbyterian Medical Center. She has been an active member of the National Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care, chairing and participating on numerous committees, and serving as president in 1994. She is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. Presently Judith has the delight of working as adjunct faculty in the schools of social work of Columbia, Hunter, and Yeshiva Universities.
Scott Weiner Board Member
Scott and his wife, Beth, have been members of BJ since 2007. Scott is the President, CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation, a Not For Profit Corporation that develops affordable, supportive and senior housing for individuals engaged in the performing arts and entertainment industry. Prior to being elected to those positions, Scott served as the Chairman of the AFHDC and as a Trustee of its parent organization, The Actors Fund. Scott is an active participant in the Men’s Havarah. He is a Trustee of the American Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and has previously served as a Trustee of the Barnert Temple and Har Sinai synagogue in New Jersey.
Anna Winderbaum Board Member
Anna and her family have been members of BJ since 1997. She serves on the BJ Hebrew School Advisory Committee. Anna is a Director in the Credit Suisse Private Banking Group, where she runs a wealth-management business. She has previously worked at the White House under the Clinton Administration and for a former Member of Congress. For UJA-Federation, she is a member of the Investment Management Division Executive Committee, the Women’s Executive Circle, the Board of Directors, and the Campaign Steering Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Caedmon School and the Chair of their Investment Committee. She holds her MBA from Columbia Business School and her BA from Tufts University. Anna and her husband, Gary Nestler, have two sons, Zachary and Jake.
Ariel Zwang Board Member
Ariel has been a member of BJ since the early ‘90s. She is the CEO of Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest non-profit provider of services to victims of crime and abuse. Ariel was previously the Executive Director of New York Cares, and before that, served as a White House Fellow in the Clinton Administration. She is a current or past board member of the Points of Light Foundation, Miss Porter’s School, the Harvard Alumni Association, and the Human Services Council of New York. Ariel is a regular at Shabbat and holiday services. She and her husband, Gordon Mehler, live a couple of blocks from BJ. They are the proud parents of two teenage daughters, Grace and Rachel, who grew up at BJ.
General Counsel – Ex-Officio
Ellen Corenswet Secretary
Ellen Corenswet, and her husband John Morgan, have been BJ members since 1989. Ellen is a partner in the New York office of the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP and co-chairs the firm’s Venture Capital/Emerging Company practice group. Ellen acts as outside general counsel to a number of companies in the life sciences, technology and media industries. She also acts as pro bono counsel to an international NGO and a tech community-focused non-profit in Queens. Ellen and John have two children, Jake and Brianna, who grew up in the synagogue. Brianna was a children’s services leader for a number of years. Ellen’s BJ activities have included Hebrew School board, children’s activities, AIDS Walk coordinator and High Holiday services volunteer.
Hebrew School Advisory Representative
Galit Lopatin Bordereau BJHS Representative
Galit and her family have been members of BJ since 2008. Galit currently serves as the chair of the Hebrew School Advisory Committee. Most recently, she created Three Cups of Tea, a program which encourages young families, in the comfort of their homes, to forge deeper friendships and embrace Shabbat with their children. Galit also serves as the President of the Board of Yaldaynu Preschool, one of the oldest Jewish preschools on the Upper West Side. Professionally, Galit was a Director in Crédit Agricole’s U.S. based Mergers & Acquisitions group focusing on cross border and domestic transactions. She is currently pursuing a degree at Bank Street’s Graduate School of Education. Galit and her husband Sam have three sons who are enthusiastic participants in BJ’s annual Purimspiel and Hanukkah Chorus.
- Jonathan Adelsberg*
- Virginia Bayer*
- Ted Becker*
- Frederic Goldstein
- Marcy Grau*
- David Hirsch*
- Richard Janvey*
- Robert Kanter
- Joan Kaplan
- Susan Kippur*
- Sara Moore Litt*
- Naomi Meyer
- Judith Stern Peck*
- Stephen Stulman, Trustee Emeritus
* Past President
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