Shedding New Light on Jewish Traditions

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is nominated by the Leadership Development Committee and elected into office by the members of the congregation.

The Executive Committee consists of the president, executive vice president, vice president for administration, vice president for membership, secretary, treasurer, and the chairpersons of the ritual and education steering committees. These members are joined on the board by the past president, 6 at-large members, and the chairpersons of the adult education, community inreach, building and grounds, publicity, finance, development, social action/tikun olam [SATO], and Israel committees. Each executive committee member is responsible to report to and from the committees that reside within his/her portfolio, as indicated on the governance structure chart.

In addition, the Rabbi attends Exec meetings and the Rabbi and the Education Director attend Board meetings.

 

Officers of the Organization

PHIL ROSENBERG - President  

Phil and his wife, Penny Levin, have been members of Or Hadash since 1988.  Phil has been active in lay leadership at Or Hadash since the early 1990s.  He served as Vice President, Membership in 1996-2000, and 2006-2008; and as Vice President, Administration in 2013-2015.  Phil was responsible for a number of initiatives that have enriched our synagogue community, including the creation of the Community Life committee and the introduction of Havurot to Or Hadash in the 1990s.  Phil has contributed his musical talents to the congregation over the years.  In addition to performing at numerous coffee houses and Purimspiels, he regularly performs at Shabbat Zemirah (along with Sandy Saull and Barry Bell) and is the keyboardist for our in-house klezmer band, the New Klezmaniax. He also has chaired the Performing Arts committee since 2015.  Professionally, Phil is a marketing research consultant with the UK-based firm Research Partnership, serving clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare industries.  He holds degrees in journalism and communications from Northwestern University, and an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  His wife, Dr. Penny Levin, is a psychologist in clinical practice.  They have two daughters, Sarina and Brenna, who are both graduates of the Or Hadash religious school.  Sarina is a program manager in the Justice Reinvestment program at the Council of State Governments; she and her husband, Josh Asher, an attorney, reside in Chicago.  Brenna is a first year resident in Psychiatry at George Washington University Hospital; she and her husband Kyle Emery reside in Springfield, VA.


Executive Vice-President - OPEN

 


JAY COHEN  – Immediate Past President

     I am married to Cheryl Kripke Cohen and we have been Or Hadash members since August 1996.   Both of our sons, Lenny and Danny, were bar mitzvah at Or Hadash.  I retired as a lawyer at the end of August 2015. I have previous experience as vice president and president of a board-The School District of Springfield Township (2003-2007).  I very much enjoy governance and my time on the Or Hadash Board has been a pleasure. 

     Here is my Or Hadash involvement:
-President, May 2014-2018
-Chair-Strategic Planning Committee, May 2015-present
-Executive Vice President, May 2013-May 2014
-Vice President for Administration, June 2, 2011-May 2013
-Secretary, Board of Directors, May 14, 2010-June 2, 2011
-Executive Committee, Board of Directors, May 14, 2010-present
-Member, Leadership Development Committee, 2008-May 2014
-Member, Finance Committee, January, 2010-present
-Member, Development Committee, October 24, 2010-May 2013
-La’asot-leadership development-first class, 2009-2010
-Listening Campaign, Autumn, 2011
-Interfaith focus groups facilitator, Autumn 2013
-Negotiating Team-Rabbi Contract-Autumn 2012-Winter 2013
-Member, Rabbinic Retention Committee, Spring 2012
-Member, Rabbi Search Committee, December 2003-March 2004
-Occasional work day helper, greeter, schlepper, Purimspieler and harpist assistant.

Stuart Rosenthal - Treasurer

     My wife Susan and I have been members of Or Hadash for five years.  We are the proud parents of three grown children, Adam, Andrew and Emily, and proud grandparents of one grandson, Skyler.  I have been the Chair of the Adult Education Committee the past two years and, with Susan, helped lead the OH Book Group the past four years.  Together we began the Empty Nesters Havurah.  I have also assisted with many events, cleanups and fix ups since joining.  In my professional life I have been a consulting engineer for the past 42 years, specializing in water and wastewater management, and currently looking forward to retirement.


Rick Dzubow – Vice-President Administration

     I have been a member of Or Hadash for almost 20 years. Starting in 2002, I was honored to support our wonderful community by being a Board Member at Large for 2 years, VP-Admin for 2 years, President for 4 years, Past President for 2 years, and Treasurer and Finance Chair for a few years after that.

     There are many areas of synagogue life that I’ve enjoyed and supported, but there are two areas that are most memorable:

     1. I was one of the pitchers of the Or Hadash softball team, whose short existence and success wasn’t strictly defined by wins and losses, but rather if we could get through each game without major injury or embarrassment. I was proud of my 1-17 win-loss pitching record, choosing to optimistically concentrate on the 1 win and not the 17 losses.

     2. We have all kinds of Havurot at Or Hadash, and I decided about 10 years ago to form a Poker Havurah (for entertainment purposes only, of course). What better way to form community than to win as much money as possible from your fellow congregants. I’m happy to report that over the past 10 years we have not missed one monthly game, and I’ve only had to refinance my house twice to stay a member in good standing of the Or Hadash Poker Havurah (for entertainment purposes only, of course).

     Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve our community again!


MICHELLE SMITHMAN - Co-Vice President Membership

My family has been members of Or Hadash for 18 years. Over that time, I have served as a Board Member At Large, been a member of various committees (Parent committee, Membership, Spiritual Life, B’nai Mitzvah Task Force) and am currently Chair of two, Kitchen and Adult Study Havurah. My husband, Doug, has been involved in various ways, and is currently on the Board. We have two children, Emily and Brian, who have grown up at Or Hadash. Emily will be starting law school in the Fall and Brian will be starting work.


Scott Loev - Co-Vice President Membership  

My family has been members at Or Hadash for over five years.  My wife Stefie has been very active in the Synagogue both with the Parent teacher organization and membership. Our daughters Cate (12) and Anna (8) currently attend the Religious School.  I will be working as the co-vice president of membership. Outside of OH, I am an anesthesiologist who focuses on Interventional Pain Medicine.  I am the Medical Director of the Pain program at St Lukes University and Hospital Network.  Our family tries to spend most of our time in the outdoors, National Parks, as well as enjoying Cate’s horseback riding and Anna’s Soccer.


Alisa Belzer - Secretary

     I have been a member of Or Hadash since 2004.  I have previously served on the board as the co-chair of the Social Action/Tikkun Olam Committee for 4 years, and am currently a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.  A regular at Saturday morning Torah Study, I have also participated in the La'asot Leadership Development program and in a recent OH Leadership Summit.   I live in Abington with my husband Jon and our younger son Nathan (15).  Our older son Joseph (19) is a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh.  I am an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University.  In my spare time, I love to play my viola in string quartets.  I am also a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels.

Marianne Adler - Spiritual Life Chair

        Marianne and her husband, Joe, along with their daughters, Zoe and Sophie, have been members of Or Hadash since 2005.  Both girls became Bat Mitzvah at Or Hadash and served as Madricha (teaching assistants) in the Religious School for many years.  Marianne’s first volunteer commitment at Or Hadash was on the Sabbatical Search Committee in preparation for Rabbi Josh’s sabbatical year in Israel.  She then joined the Education Steering Committee and has been a member of ESC for 9 years serving as Co-Chair for two years.  In her role as ESC Co-chair, Marianne served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.  On ESC, she was the Coordinator for Mitzvah Projects, the community service project that students complete to become B’nai Mitzvah.  Marianne chaired the B’nai Mitzvah Task Force, which took a comprehensive look at the B’nai Mitzvah process at Or Hadash and made recommendations to improve the process as well as improving links between the Religious School Community and the greater congregation.

     In addition, Marianne has been a member of the Adult Study Havurah for many years.  She has presented at High Holidays on a variety of topics including presentations on the Jews of India, Women of the Wall, and Trees in the Torah.  She studied Mussar at Or Hadash for 4 years.  She enjoys being a Torah reader for the Shabbat morning service as well as participating in the Evening Torah Study group.  Marianne is a Physical Therapist who has worked at Woods Services, in Langhorne PA, for 25 years, specializing in the treatment of adults with severe developmental disabilities.  She has also taught in Arcadia University’s Physical Therapy program.   She is happy to be a member of such a warm and welcoming community and enjoys volunteering her time.  She looks forward to continuing her service as Chair of the Spiritual Life Committee.

NICK FRUMKIN - Co-Chair Education Steering Committee

Nick became a member at Or Hadash in 2015, and though it's only been a short time since he joined it already feels like home. His daughter Charlie is a first grader in the Gan class, and he and his wife Ivy are active in the Parent Organization too. Nick is looking forward to being able to step up his involvement in the Or Hadash community and is grateful for the opportunity.

Amanda Jones - Co-Chair Education Steering Committee

 Our family joined Or Hadash three years ago when we moved to Fort Washington and were looking for a warm, inclusive, and socially progressive synagogue.  My husband, Josh, was raised in a Reconstructionist synagogue and Or Hadash has been a perfect fit for our family.   I have enjoyed the opportunity to become involved with the Parent Organization, the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and the Education Steering Committee so I may contribute to our special community. Our sons, David (age 9) and Ben (age 5), currently attend the SMILE religious school program with some of their closest friends.  I am originally from Long Island, NY (Go Mets!), but Josh and I have been in the Philadelphia area since we moved here for residency over a decade ago. I am a primary care Pediatrician and spend my free time trying to keep up with my kids and baking gluten-free desserts.


Committee Chairs:

Robert Goldberg-Alberts - Chair Adult Education Committee


DOUG SMITHMAN - Buildings and Grounds Committee Chair

Our family joined Or Hadash in 1997.  As a convert and with a deep curiosity about Judaism, I have found Or Hadash to be a very welcoming community.  I have been able to grow within that community and participate in all aspects of life at Or Hadash.  My participation has included schlepping High Holiday materials to and from Gratz, heading ECO (Environmentally Conscious Or Hadashers) participating in numerous Purimschpeils and I am now in my third year as Buildings & Grounds Chair.  We have a beautiful and unique building and I want to do my part to make sure that it serves future families as well as it served mine.

Michelle, Emily, Brian and I have resided in the Dresher section of Upper Dublin Township since 1993.  I operate EMP Engineering Services, a consulting business serving equipment reliability and troubleshooting for industrial and commercial clients since 1997.  As the VP of Administration for Or Hadash, Michelle is now my boss.  Emily and Brian were raised with the Or Hadash religious school and Emily served as a classroom aide for five years.  Emily was the first Bat Mitzvah for Rabbi Josh.  Brian and I had a father-son B'nai Mitzvah after I finished an adult education class at Or Hadash.  Emily is a recent graduate of American University and is currently attending law school at The George Washington University.  Brian just graduated from Wissahickon High School and is working at Altec in Colmar.  He also happily participates in every sport ever invented.

CAROLYN SAVITZKY - Co-Chair Development Committee

 

Carolyn Savitzky joined Or Hadash with her family in 1995. She immediately became involved in the congregation by joining the board as Co-chair of the publicity committee. The following year she began teaching in the religious school where she also tutors b'nai mitzvah students. Over the years, she has served as a lay-service leader and on several committees, including Hesed, Spiritual Life, Purim Spiel and has chaired the InReach committee. Her daughter Robyn became a bat mitzvah and was confirmed at Or Hadash. Her husband Marty is known for his grilling and BBQ expertise and is the official Purim Spiel videographer. In addition to her activities at Or Hadash, Carolyn has served as the Bux-Mont Kehillah co-chair, is active in Hadassah and participates in several book clubs.

ROB KLOTZ - Co-Chair Development Committee

 

 


SHELLEY ROSENBERG -  Inclusion Committee Chair

Ken and I were among the six founding families of Or Hadash and the Congregation has continued to play a major part in our lives. I’ve served as Vice President, President (for three terms), Ritual Committee Chair, Editor of HaKesher, Leadership Development Chair, and now Co-Chair of the Development Committee. I also sang in the Makaylah, lead shiva services, served on the Education Committee, helped organize the first Or Hadash trip to Israel and multiple fundraisers, and wrote a large portion of the Congregation’s history.

When not working at Or Hadash related projects, I worked in the Jewish community as an educator/facilitator (at the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education) and wrote several books of Jewish interest (adoption, parenting, and American Jewish history).

I’m now [very happily] retired, and spend a good bit of time traveling with Ken (as far and wide as possible), volunteering for the National Constitution Center and various LGBTQ organizations, both Jewish and secular. I proudly serve on the Abington Township Human Relations Commission, am an amateur photographer, and [very happily] study the harp (with Or Hadash’s resident harpist Cheryl Kripke-Cohen).


Israel Committee Chair - OPEN

 

CAROL MUELLER BELL - Publicity Committee Chair

Carol and her husband, Barry Bell, have been members of Or Hadash since 1995. Their daughter, Alyssa, became bat mitzvah at Or Hadash in 2003. Over the years, Carol has served on various committees, participated in Or Hadash's annual Purimspiel and has performed with the Makaylah for 20 years. She also plays accordion and sings with Or Hadash's klezmer band, The New Klezmaniax. After a decade as a newspaper editor and writer for the Newhouse Newspapers in Central New York, Carol relocated to the Philadelphia area and became a sole proprietor marketing and public relations counselor. Now semi-retired, Carol has served as Or Hadash's Publicity Chair for the past four years.

Shelley Sanders - Social Action Tikun Olam (SATO) Chair

     Warren Young, my husband of 45 years, and I joined Or Hadash 7 years ago so that we could celebrate Judaism with our daughter, Mackenzie Learn, her husband John, and most importantly their children, Sherri and Howie.  We also have a son, Craig, who lives in Atlanta with his wife, Uli, and their children, Sam and Zoe. 

     I spent too many years to count as a social worker, mostly in the adoption field.  Apropos of my degree, I am chair of the Social Action Tikun Olam Committee.  Previously, I was chair of Chesed, another role well-matched with a social worker, and co-chair of   Community Life.  With Sue and Stu Rosenthal, I was one of the founders of the Empty Nesters.

     Currently, my favorite role is that of Savta to four wonderful children.  When they are not available, I play Mah Jongg, read, go out to lunch, and shop. Please let me know if there are projects or causes in which the synagogue should be involved.


At-Large Board Members:

JON RUBIN - Member at Large

My family and I have been members at Or Hadash since 2000.  In August of that year my wife Lori took over as the synagogue's Educational Director, a position she held for 12 years.  Although Lori is no longer on the professional staff at Or Hadash, it has become like a second home to our family and we have continued our membership and involvement.

Although Lori's professional position precluded me from any formal role on the Board, I have been engaged with many of the congregation's events over the years and was usually found either working the grill, helping out behind the bar, or cutting vegetables in the kitchen.

My professional background is the field of Social Work and since May 2014 I have been honored to serve as the Director of Human Services for Bucks County, overseeing mental health, intellectual disability, drug and alcohol, child welfare, and aging services provided by the county.  I also have a background in training and organizational effectiveness consulting working exclusively with public human service agencies.

Lori and I have 3 children who are all familiar faces around Or Hadash (when they are in town).  Alex is currently enrolled at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, Abby will begin her freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis this coming fall, and Hilary will be in 9th grade this coming school year.

Joan Nathan - Member at Large

      I have been a member of Or Hadash- with my husband Jim King since about 1997 (about when my son would have begun Sunday School). I have chaired the Community Life committee and co-chaired the Education committee. I co-chaired the Liv'Not Capital Campaign with Alan Lindy. I have been on the board and the executive committee.

     In recent years I have tried to stay connected through activities for women and the OH book club. In rejoining the board – I anticipate seeing if there are other ways to reconnect and support the OH community

     I have just retired from 22 years of being a social worker at our local outpatient mental health center. I continue to volunteer in many local agencies and am active in supporting an international organization (MEDA) that provides economic development for women (and men) in third world countries.

Jon Shapiro - Member at Large

      My wife Babette and I have been members at OH for about two decades.  We have three children who were educated and became b’nai mitzvah at OH.  I am a physician by vocation and bicycler and kayaker and skier for hobbies.

      I have helped run the Red Cross blood drive at OH for several years.  I participate in the book club and I have been a participant in Torah study.  I assist regularly with the building and grounds committee and play poker with the poker havurah.  I also served for two years in the past as a board member at large.  I have served as a member of the Goldman D’var Torah selection committee as well as benefiting from various courses offered at OH.

Babette Zemel - Member at Large 

     Babette Zemel has been a member of Or Hadash for over 20 years. She served on the Adult Education committee for several years, largely responsible for the “One Book, One Jewish Community” program for several years. She then became Co-Chair of the Social Action – Tikkun Olam committee and has just completed a three year term in that position. She and Jon Shapiro have three children, Aaron, Gabriel and Jessica Shapiro who all became B’nai Mitzvah and enjoyed the confirmation program at Or Hadash. Babette is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 

Leslie Dzubow - Member at Large

     I have been a member of the Or Hadash community for almost 30 years. Over these many years I have participated in many different ways. In the 1990s, I was a member of the School Education Committee; from 2000-2004, I was chair of the Fundraising Committee; and I helped out often in the early years when we held High Holidays at Gratz. In addition, I have helped out in a variety of ways with other events.

     Or Hadash has always been a comfortable and happy place for me, a place where Rick and I have made many close and lasting friendships, and a place where my daughter and I both became Bat Mitzvah. I look forward to continuing to serve the community in the coming years.

Marty Jacobs - Member at Large

    My wife Irene and I have 2 grown children (daughters Sharon 48 and Lisa 47), and 3 grandchildren (Jessica 18, and twins Henry and Lucy, who will be 13 next week), I “retired” in 2003 into the position of Executive Director of the National Textile Center, after a 33-year career in R&D Management in the Plastics and Textile Industries.  I fully retired in 2013 but still do a little bit of consulting on the side.  I have been a congregational president (B’nai Yisrael, South Bend, IN, Reconstructionist) and vice-president (Temple Israel, Manchester, NH, Conservative), and Jewish Federation president (South Bend and Manchester).  We’ve been members of Or Hadash since 2001, and I attend Saturday morning Torah Study and services, evening Torah Study, and I co-teach a Mussar class at Or Hadash, and participate in the mensch-to-mensch program. I am a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, Spiritual Life Committee, a past-chair of that committee, and a past member of the Board and Exec. I look forward to returning to the Board.