Board of Directors

The following community members are serving as JFCS East Bay’s Board of Directors for the term of July 2020 to June 2021.

 

Katherine Haynes, President
Paul Raskin, Vice President
Mira Spaulding, Secretary

Marshall Langfeld, Treasurer

Sam Alcabes
Joel ben Izzy
Rachel Biale
Janis Burger, MPH
Rabbi Steven Chester
Douglas Elefant
Heike Friedman
Jeff Ilfeld, MD
Suzan Kotch, MSW
Rachel K. Leff-Kich
Eric Leve
Deena Levine-Lipsett
Olga Reznick, Ph.D., MPH
Maharat Victoria Sutton
Jeffrey Tiell
Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan
Rochelle Zak, MD

 

Katherine Haynes, President

Katherine has more than thirty years of experience in marketing, communication, public health research, health care, philanthropy, and public service in Jewish community organizations. She is currently a Senior Program Officer at the California Health Care Foundation and was previously Director of the Health Futures Lab at Institute for the Future; Director of the Technology and Exchange Core for the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies; Planning and Operations Officer for the California Health Care Foundation’s Quality Initiative; and Executive Director of Diversity and of Equitable Care for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. Katherine served as Religious School Committee Chair, First Vice President, and President at Congregation Beth El, Berkeley, where she led the 2006-2007 rabbi search, helped restructure synagogue governance, and led the strategic planning process. Her other public service efforts include working for organizations such as Project Open Hand, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tides Foundation, and Coro Foundation for Civic Leadership, among others. Katherine is a Cal graduate and holds an MBA from UCLA. She joined the board in 2016 and became president in 2018.

 

Paul Raskin, Vice President

Paul RaskinPaul is a retired executive previously managing customer service and telecommunications organizations in the health care and financial service industries. He is a graduate of Cornell University and also earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan, both in Operations Research. Paul has served as a member of several community boards, including at Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland where he was a board officer, trustee, and president of the board. Paul and his wife, Flo, live in Piedmont, where they raised two children. He joined the JFCS East Bay board in 2016.

 

Mira Spaulding, Secretary

Mira SpauldingMira became involved with JFCS East Bay as a volunteer with the Development Committee and has been a board member since 2016. After earning a Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan, she moved to Oakland to serve as an Administrative Fellow at Kaiser Permanente. Mira now works for Kaiser Permanente as a Senior Consultant. Mira also serves on the Alumni Board for the University of Michigan Department of Health Management and Policy. She currently lives by Lake Merritt in Oakland.

 

Marshall Langfeld, Treasurer

Marshall recently retired after serving for twenty-nine years as the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Telecare Corporation, a provider of mental health services to individuals with serious mental illnesses. Marshall currently serves on Telecare’s Board of Directors and previously served on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the East Bay and Temple Beth Abraham, where he was the Treasurer. He attended Indiana University and began his career with the public accounting firm KPMG in St. Louis, Missouri. Marshall and his wife, Lynn, live in Alameda and have a son. Marshall joined the board in 2017.

 

 

Sam Alcabes

Sam is a real estate, land use, and small business attorney living in Rockridge. He grew up in the East Bay, attending nursery school at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, and then participating as staff throughout college and law school in most aspects of the congregation’s youth programming; for the last six years, he has been a member of the Camp Kee Tov Board. Sam has volunteered or worked on political campaigns locally and nationally. He began his legal career as an immigration attorney and remains active in the space, including raising funds to cover DACA application fees and serving on the governing board of The Bare Life Review, a literary journal devoted to work by immigrant and refugee authors. Sam joined the JFCS East Bay board in 2019 and co-chairs the NextGen Committee.

 

Joel ben Izzy

Joel ben IzzyJoel is an internationally known storyteller, author, and story consultant. Since graduating from Stanford in 1983, where he studied English, Creative Writing and Storytelling, Joel has traveled the world gathering and telling tales, always with a specialty in Jewish folklore. In addition to his performances and workshops, Joel has become one of the nation’s leading story consultants and executive story coaches. While his client list is broad—from entertainment to technology to financial services to philanthropy—his focus is always helping clients to harness the power of storytelling for more effective and compelling communication. Joel is the author of the highly acclaimed memoir The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness, which has been translated into fifteen languages. His most recent book, Dreidels on the Brain, was published in 2016. He joined the board in 2015 and lives in Berkeley with his wife, Taly Rutenberg, who is a psychotherapist.

 

Rachel Biale

Rachel BialeRachel was born and raised in Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin in Israel. She received her BA and MA in Jewish History from UCLA and her MSW from Yeshiva University. Rachel trained as a clinical social worker at Yeshiva University and has worked in the Bay Area Jewish community for over twenty years, including a ten-year tenure as a clinician at JFCS East Bay. She has also served as the Director of Community Education at the Osher Marin JCC, the Bay Area Regional Director of Progressive Jewish Alliance (now Bend the Arc), and director of Lehrhaus Judaica’s Bible by the Bay/Lehrhaus 360. Rachel is the author of Women and Jewish Law (1984), Growing Up Below Sea Level: A Kibbutz Childhood (2020), and What Now? 2-Minute Tips for Solving Common Parenting Challenges (2020). She lives in Berkeley and joined the JFCS East Bay board in 2015.

 

Janis Burger, MPH

Janis retired in early 2018 from First 5 Alameda County after twenty years as Deputy Director and later CEO. She received her MPH from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and worked for the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency for fifteen years with a focus on maternal, child, and adolescent health. She provided leadership to many countywide initiatives, including the Alameda County School-Based Health Center Coalition, Help Me Grow Developmental Screening, and others. Janis has served on many national, state, and local advisory boards in public health, early childhood policy, and health care. In retirement, Janis has been pursuing her passion of documentary photography and is continuing to consult in early childhood policy. Janis lives in Berkeley and joined the board in 2018.

 

Rabbi Steven Chester

Rabbi Chester is rabbi emeritus at Temple Sinai, having retired after a twenty-two-year, highly regarded tenure. In retirement, he served as interim rabbi at both Temple Israel of Alameda and Temple Isaiah in Lafayette. Rabbi Chester graduated from UCLA and was ordained at Hebrew Union in Cincinnati. He has collaborated widely in both the Jewish and general communities of the East Bay. Rabbi Chester served on the JFCS East Bay board from July 2012 to June 2018 and rejoined in July 2019. He and his wife, Leona, have two children, Adam (Keng) and Shira (Daniel), and two granddaughters, Anna and Amanda.

 

Douglas Elefant

Doug was born and raised in Oakland and is currently a Senior Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager at City National Bank in Walnut Creek. Doug’s early years of community involvement included participation in Piedmont Boy Scouts of America and the Piedmont/Montclair Rotary Club. He was a past board member of Neighborhood Housing Services of America as well as a former Vice President and Board Member of Temple Sinai in Oakland. Most recently, he completed a nine-year board engagement with the Alameda County Community Food Bank, also serving as its Vice Chair and Audit Chair. Doug graduated from UC Berkeley in 1981 with a BS degree in Business Administration. Doug and his wife, Lori, live in Piedmont, where they raised two children. He joined the JFCS East Bay board in 2019.

 

Heike Friedman

Heike joined the board in July 2020. Her professional background is in journalism, public relations, and fundraising. Currently a Program Officer at the German Historical Institute Washington’s Pacific Regional Office in Berkeley, she previously worked as Director of Development for Tehiyah Day School and for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. A German native, Heike received her M.A. in German literature from the Ruhr-University Bochum. She loves traveling, especially exploring big cities and dragging her husband and her daughter to art museums all over the world. Heike lives in Berkeley and has been a member at Temple Beth Abraham for nearly twenty years.


Jeff Ilfeld, MD

Jeff completed his medical education in Internal Medicine at the UC Davis Medical Center and served as Medical Director for the Healthcare Empowerment Alliance for People Living in Transitional Living Project in Sacramento County. He then transitioned to working as a physician at the Kaiser Oakland Medical Center, holding various leadership and administrative positions and serving as Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Being a lover of the outdoors with a passion to address climate change, he is now in the second phase of his career as CEO of California Clean Energy, which specializes in helping nonprofit organizations utilize solar energy without capital expense. He is a member at Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland, where he served on the board as Men’s Club president. Together with his wife, Jo, he is the proud parent of three teenagers. Jeff joined the JFCS East Bay board in July 2020.

 

Suzan Kotch, MSW

Suzan was born and raised in the East Bay, graduated from UC Davis, and went on to get her Masters in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. She graduated from the Title IVE Public Child Welfare training program with a concentration in Child and Family Services. Suzan was a Child Welfare Worker in Alameda County for thirteen years and specializes in working with infants and young children in the foster care system. She is currently the Social Worker Director at East Bay Children’s Law Offices, a nonprofit that represents children in the foster and probate court systems. Suzan is a Camp Newman/Swig Alumni and taught Sunday School and Midrasha for more than thirteen years. She and her husband live in Oakland with their two young children. Suzan joined the board in 2019.


Rachel K. Leff-Kich

Rachel grew up in Berkeley participating in Congregation Beth El with her family. She has now been a family law attorney for almost ten years. During law school, she was extremely active with public interest student groups and clerked with several nonprofits and social justice organizations. She also worked part-time at an immigration law firm. Rachel maintains her social justice roots by volunteering at GLIDE serving meals several times a year; she has also served on the Public Interest and Social Justice Endowment Board at Santa Clara University, the OneJustice Strategy Council, and the Art Point board of directors. Currently living in San Francisco, Rachel remains deeply connected to the East Bay and joined the board in July 2020.

 

Eric Leve

Eric is the Chief Investment Officer of Bailard, a Bay Area investment management firm. He grew up in the Los Angeles area, then moved to the Bay Area to attend UC Berkeley as a third-generation Golden Bear, graduating with a degree in economics. He has proudly been an Oakland resident for more than fifteen years. Eric has served on the Board of Directors of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland and is currently on its Board of Trustees. Eric began volunteering on the JFCS East Bay Investment Committee in 2018 and joined the board in 2019.

 

Deena Levine-Lipsett

Deena Levine-LipsettDeena has been principal of her own company for twenty-five years, specializing in cross-cultural consulting for global organizations. She began her cross-cultural career teaching American and foreign students at San Diego State University and has subsequently has worked with individuals and organizations from around the world in both the public and private sectors. For many years, Deena has been involved with social justice issues in the East Bay Jewish community, including at Temple Sinai. In the 1990s, she was a volunteer in the JFCS East Bay resettlement program for Soviet émigrés and she is currently involved with JFCS East Bay’s resettlement of Middle Eastern refugees. Deena is the co-author a textbook entitled Multicultural Law Enforcement: Strategies for Peacekeeping in a Diverse Society. Deena and her husband, Michael, are fortunate that their daughters and much of their extended family live in the Bay Area. She joined the board in 2016.

 

Olga Reznick, Ph.D., MPH

Olga grew up in West and East Oakland and currently lives in Albany. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Human Biology at Stanford, received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA, and worked for ten years as a licensed psychologist in community mental health, in student health, and at Kaiser. She developed a strong interest in prevention and went on to earn an MPH in Public Health Epidemiology from UC Berkeley. She then did academic research at UCSF in the School of Medicine, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, and continued at UCSF as an Emeritus Professor until 2013. Olga also served on the Board of Directors of Uncommon Law, a Berkeley-based nonprofit providing legal counsel to prisoners scheduled for parole hearings. She joined the JFCS East Bay board in 2019.

 

Maharat Victoria Sutton

Maharat Victoria is the Director of Education and Community Engagement at Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley. She was ordained through Yeshivat Maharat in 2014. A graduate of Barnard College, with a BA in Biological Sciences, she also holds a Grand Diploma in Pastry Arts from the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. She was the rabbinic fellow for synagogue initiatives at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and the intern for synagogue education at Ohav Sholom, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Merrick, New York. She completed the Rabbis Without Borders rabbinical student fellowship and has participated in various interfaith initiatives. Prior to stepping into a clergy role, Victoria was involved with community organizations in New York City focusing on homelessness, literacy, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Maharat Victoria lives in Berkeley and joined the board in 2018.


Jeffrey Tiell

Jeff is a consultant with Fund for Shared Insight, a national funder collaborative working to improve philanthropy by elevating the voices of those least heard. He previously worked as a Program Officer at the Jim Joseph Foundation; for AmeriCorps VISTA in the Oakland Unified School District; and for Encore.org, a social change organization focused on utilizing the skills and experience of those in mid-life and beyond. Jeff participated in the American Jewish World Service Global Justice Fellowship and also held a Jeremiah Fellowship through Bend the Arc. He is a second-generation JFCS person, as his parents both served in long-time executive positions at JFCS Louisville. Jeff received his B.A. degree from Brown University and Master’s degree in City Planning with an emphasis on Community and Economic Development from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the board in July 2020.

 

Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan

Peretz came to the Bay Area to teach printmaking at UAHC Camp Swig and to study at the San Francisco Art Institute. After a decade of creating Ketubot, printmaking, and working in informal education, he traveled to Jerusalem in 1985 to learn at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. From 1990 to 2010, Peretz served Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco, as rabbi and senior educator. In 2002, he was awarded the Covenant Award as an Exceptional Jewish Educator who has had a significant impact on others, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the transmission of Jewish knowledge, values, and identity. In 2004, he became a Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. From 2010 to 2020, Peretz was the Rabbi-in-Residence at KehillahSF, and served on the leadership team and teaching faculty of Lehrhaus Judaica. He is now an independent teacher and printmaker. Peretz and his wife, Becki (a second generation native of the East Bay), live in Berkeley. He joined the board in 2019.

 

Rochelle Zak, MD
Shelley Zak

Shelley is an associate professor and physician at the UCSF Sleep Disorders Center. She has spent many years volunteering for JFCS East Bay, particularly through the Holocaust Survivor Services Advisory Committee. She started the East Bay Tikkun Olam Chessed Day, a day of volunteering in the East Bay supported by East Bay Jewish organizations and is a member of Shalom Bayit East Bay Ambassadors. She previously served on the boards of Berkeley-Oakland Midrasha and the Young Israel of New Rochelle in New York. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the UCLA School of Medicine and the proud parent with her husband, Ari, of twins who graduated from Jewish Community High School. She is delighted and honored to be continuing the family tradition of communal work in the Bay Area. Shelley lives in Oakland and joined the board in 2016.