Board of Directors
Benjamin Belfer is a Managing Director of Moerus Capital Management, LLC. He received his BA and MBA from Columbia University. He is a trustee at the Lincoln Square Synagogue. Benjamin was past Chairman of the American Friends of the Saroka Medical Center of the Negev, and was part of the Wexner Heritage Foundation, NY Class of 94. He is married to Michelle Friedman, and they have three children: Emily, Sarah, and Rachel.
Stephen G. Bodurtha is a Managing Director at Citi Private Bank in North America, and has spent his career building and transforming investment and wealth management businesses. Prior to joining Citi Private Bank in 2009, Steve led the investments, wealth management and insurance organization, as well as the retirement business, at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He is a co-creator of the $80+ billion Sector Spdrs exchange traded funds and was featured in the book, The Super Traders. Mr. Bodurtha has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and graduated magna cum laude from Wesleyan University with a BA in Government. He has been a coach in the Fairfield County Connecticut Jewish Little League and has served on the board of Bi-Cultural Day School and Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, Connecticut.
Michael Brill is Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income in the investment banking division of Canaccord Genuity, Inc. He previously held senior leadership positions at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Yale University. Michael and his wife, Judy Abel, are the founders of Yavneh-The Jewish Living Project, a Manhattan partnership minyan. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Wall Street Synagogue. Michael and Judy live in Manhattan with their three children, Joshua, Rebecca and Noah.
Norman Bulow served as an Executive Vice President of the Jos. E. Seagram and Sons Company before going into the investment banking and brokerage business. He was a former Treasurer of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York City, where his wife, Tova remains an active member.
Tova Bulow is a long-time member of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and was one of the founders of its Bikkur Cholim Shabbat Services and the Women’s Chevra Kadisha. She was also a volunteer in the Hospice Unit at Beth Israel Medical Center. Tova is a graduate of Barnard and holds Masters degrees from Columbia Teachers College and also from Sarah Lawrence in Health Advocacy. Her primary involvement has always been with her children and grandchildren. Tova is an active participant in learning opportunities both at Drisha Institute for Jewish Education and at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun.
Dr. Cherrick is a pain management specialist at Capitol Spine and Pain Center in northern Virginia. With his acknowledged expertise in non-surgical pain management, he has been chosen as Board Examiner for the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management. He holds degrees from Washington University and the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Abe’s synagogue life has revolved around his role as a Baal Tefilah at Beth Sholom Congregation in Potomac, Maryland, where he leads services on various occasions, including the High Holidays. He is married to Debbie Sunshine and is the father of three children: Danielle, Lauren, and Efram. He remains connected to his hometown through his passionate attachment to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Charles (“Chuck”) Feldman was a distinguished physician and a respected community leader. He was an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University and served as president of the New York Allergy Society. He was president of the New York Board of Directors for Ohr Torah Stone Institutions of Israel, served as the education committee chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Moriah School in Englewood, NJ, and was President of the Board of Trustees for the Frisch School in Paramus, NJ. Along with his wife, Rella, Dr. Feldman was a founding member of Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, NJ.
Rella Feldman has been continually involved in Jewish communal institutions with an emphasis on educational institutions, Holocaust education and philanthropy in the American Jewish community and in Israel. She is a past-president of The Moriah School in Englewood, NJ, and of the Women’s Division of the UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey. Rella is currently a vice-president at the Drisha Institute and a Board member of Yad Vashem. She and her late husband, Charles (“Chuck”) Feldman z”l, were founders of Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, New Jersey. Rella is a partner at LPZ Management, a NJ based real estate company. She is the proud mother of five children (2 of whom live in Israel) and a proud grandmother.
Eric Feldstein is the executive vice president of the Enterprise Growth Group at American Express. In this role, he oversees the company’s foreign exchange international payments operations, its worldwide currency exchange businesses, its Travel Money products, and its growing fee-based service operations. Prior to joining American Express in 2010, Mr. Feldstein held posts as partner and chief financial officer (CFO) at Eton Park Capital Management, chief executive officer (CEO) of GMAC Financial Services, and corporate treasurer of General Motors Corporation. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Northern Trust Bank’s Complex of Mutual Funds (Northern Funds). The Northern Funds complex is comprised of 48 Funds, including 9 Multi-Manager Funds, with over $900 billion in assets under management. Mr. Feldstein is a member of the Board and a member of the Board’s Governance Committee. He earned his BA in economics from Columbia University and his MBA from Harvard Business School. Along with his professional work, Mr. Feldstein has served his local community through his involvement with Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan, where he served as president from 2006-2012.
Dr. Gurock is the Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University. He is the author/editor of fourteen books. His works include “A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordechai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy and American Judaism” (Columbia Univeristy Press, 1997). In 1998, “A Modern Heretic” was awarded the bi-annual Saul Viener Prize from the American Jewish Historical Society for the best book written in that field. Dr. Gurock served from 1982-2002 as Associate Editor of “American Jewish History”, the leading academic journal in that field. He is also the Chair of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society. His latest book, “Orthodox Jews in America” (Indiana University Press, 2009) is the first comprehensive history of the many ways Orthodox men and women have interacted with each other, with other Jews and the American environment as they coped with religious freedom, economic opportunity and social acceptance.
Ari Hait is a Partner with the law firm of Kaye Scholer LLP where for over twenty-five years he has specialized in commercial real estate and real estate finance. Ari is a graduate of New York University School of Law and Yeshiva College. He is a former President of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, and currently serves on HIR’s Executive Board. Ari and his wife, Beth, live in Riverdale, New York.
Stewart Harris was integral in the founding of Chovevei and served as a Vice Chair of the Board since its inception. He was a businessman and President of SGH Services, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in business and organizational development. Stewart also served as President and CEO of S&H Citadel, Inc., an incentive marketing company and Executive Vice President of Carlson Marketing Group. He was a graduate of Yeshiva University, BA in Mathematics.
Marcie Hemmelstein holds an A.B. from the University of California-Berkeley, a J.D. from the DePaul University School of Law, and a M.P.H. from Harvard University. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association. Marcie is president of the Carylon Foundation, a family foundation which provides support for Jewish organizations, as well as those involved with the arts, higher education and health care. She is a trustee for the Israel Center for Excellence in Education of the Israel Arts Science and Academy, the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Chicago, and Rush University Medical Center. She also serves on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Chicago and the Blitstein Institute of Hebrew Theological College. Marcie and husband David Drew live in Chicago and are members of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation. They have six children.
Hillel M. Jaffe holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and completed an MBA and post graduate studies in economics at Columbia University. Hillel has taught economics at Barnard College and Columbia University, worked in international finance, and has been an investment professional for the past twenty-nine years. He is currently a Vice President at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Additionally, he serves on Boards of several nonprofit organizations, both domestically and internationally. Hillel and his wife, Madeline, have three married children and a grandchild, and are long-time residents of Riverdale, NY.
Daniel Katz graduated from Washington University’s undergraduate business school and its Law School, and currently works in real estate investment. He is the President of the Friends of Israel Scouts and serves on the National Board for the Zionist Organization of America. Daniel is the President of Boca Raton Synagogue, the President of the Hillel Day School in Boca Raton and on the board of the Yeshiva High School in Boca. He is also on the boards of Yad Vashem and the South Palm Beach Jewish Federation.
Steven Laufer in an economist at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington D.C., where he studies housing and mortgage markets. He earned his Bachelors degree in Physics from Harvard University and his PhD in Economics from New York University. He is a member of Ohev Shalom – the National Synagogue and is a former board member of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – The Bayit. Steven and his wife, Chani, are the proud parents of three children, Shoshana, Ari and Erez.
Alan Leavitt is the managing partner of Lane Capital Partners, a privately-held real estate investment company he founded in 2008. He oversees all aspects of loan acquisitions, due diligence, deal execution, and portfolio management. Before founding LCP, Alan served as Managing Member of a major discretionary fund which purchased over $700 million face value of real-estate backed notes. Alan also served as President of a New York based Mezzanine lender, where he originated over $100 million in commercial mortgages. In addition, Mr. Leavitt has taken equity positions as owner-operator of New York multifamily apartment buildings.
Mr. Lieberman is a partner at the firm of Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck in Washington, D.C. He specializes in intellectual property and constitutional law and his current clients include The New York Times Company, Dow Jones, Fox, McGraw-Hill, NBC, CBS and Time Warner. Mr. Lieberman has also devoted a substantial portion of his practice for the past 25 years to pro bono work on behalf of the Jewish community. Mr. Lieberman has served on the Board of YCT since its founding. He is currently a Vice President of Beth Sholom Congregation & Talmud Torah in Potomac, Maryland, and a member of the Board and Vice-President of the Association for Safe International Road Travel (“ASIRT”); and has served on the Board of Directors of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. He has been honored by Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and the Association for Safe International Road Travel for his work on behalf of those organizations.
Belda Lindenbaum was Vice-President of Development at the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She was a past-president of American Friends of Bar Ilan University. Belda was also a past-president of Drisha Institute and served on the Board of Ramaz Day School. With her husband Marcel and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, she co-founded Midreshet Lindenbaum in Israel, which is a post-high school learning center for diaspora women and a Yeshivat Hesder (combining study with military service) for Israeli women. She was the mother of five children, all married, and a proud grandmother.
Marcel Lindenbaum is passionately committed to re-establishing a dynamic halakhik Judaism that confronts the challenges of today within the framework of halakha. He is the Founder of Midreshet Lindenbaum in Israel, an advanced study curriculum for women, and the co-founder of the Orthodox Caucus. Mr. Lindenbaum reconstructed the RCA Bet-Din into the Bet-Din of America and served as its first President. A graduate of Yeshiva University, Mr. Lindenbaum serves as the Chairman of the Board of MGS Corporation of New Jersey and Associated Companies. Mr. Lindenbaum is the former chairman of the Board of the Gesher Foundation in Israel and the former Vice President of Lincoln Square Synagogue. He was married to Belda Lindenbaum z”l and is the father of 5 and grandfather to 18.
Rabbi Asher Lopatin is the president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. Previously, he was the spiritual leader of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, a modern Orthodox synagogue in Chicago. Ordained by Rav Ahron Soloveichik and Yeshivas Brisk in Chicago, and also by RIETS/Yeshiva University in New York, Rabbi Lopatin was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. He was both a Rhodes and Truman Scholar, as holds an M.Phil. in Medieval Arabic Thought from Oxford University, where he also did doctoral work on Islamic Fundamentalist attitudes toward Jews. Rabbi Lopatin is the author of numerous scholarly and popular articles in several books, journals and Web sites, and has been the co-chair of the Muslim-Jewish Community Building Initiative of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. He is married to Rachel Tessler Lopatin, a Wexner Graduate Fellow herself, and together they have four children.
Irwin Major is president of Arielle International, Inc., which supplies and finances fiber optic communications projects for broadband providers and energy transmission companies. He is also a board member of American Friends of Beit Morasha and a former officer of Lincoln Square Synagogue. Irwin views learning with Rabbi Linzer as the educational highlight of his week. Irwin, and his wife, Tamar, are members of Darkhei Noam and The Jewish Center and are the proud parents of Ariella, Orli and Erez.
Dan is the Director of Financial Vitality at Prizmah, a new umbrella organization which serves 300 Jewish day schools throughout North America. In this role, Dan oversees grant-funded programs which seek to improve the financial vitality of day schools. Prior to joining Prizmah, Dan served as the Vice-President for Program and Strategy at The Foundation for Jewish Camp and played a pivotal role in creating the Green Book on Jewish Camping—a funders guide to Jewish camps. Previously, Dan worked as a program officer in day school finance at the AVI CHAI Foundation.
Dan spent nearly 18 years in the financial world. He worked as a security analyst and portfolio manager at leading investment firms and hedge funds including: Iridian Asset Management, Centurion Investment Group and Soros Fund Management. He is a graduate of NYU’s Stern School of Business and has an MBA in management from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.
Dan has been active in Jewish communal life for many years and was privileged to serve as a Wexner Heritage fellow. He is a former president of The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and serves on the boards of Mechon Hadar, The SAR Academy of Riverdale and The Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP).
Dan was a camper and staff member at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires and co-chaired their capital campaign for three years. He also served recently as the chair of the Ramah Berkshires investment committee.
Alan Pines is a real estate developer and a Partner at Millennium Homes and BNE Real Estate Group. Alan is founder and past president of Congregation Etz Chaim in Livingston, NJ, and currently serves on the board of the Claims Conference and as vice president of Bris Avraham. He has served as chairman of the Israel Bonds Holocaust Remembrance Committee and currently serves on the national board of Israel Bonds, and is an alumnus of the Wexner Heritage Program. Alan and his wife Elisa are founders of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. They are the proud parents of three children.
Rabbi Chai Posner is Associate Rabbi of Beth Tfiloh Congregation in Baltimore, MD. Rabbi Posner also teaches Talmud and Theology in the Judaic Studies department of the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Commmunity High School. Before joining Beth Tfiloh, Rabbi Posner served as a rabbinic intern with the Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford, Connecticut and Kingsway Jewish Center in Brooklyn, New York. He developed his interest in teaching and working with children through his years at the Flatbush Park Jewish Center Camp, where he served in a variety of capacities, including Division Head, Sports Director and Head of Judaic Studies. Rabbi Posner holds a B.A. in Judaic Studies from Brooklyn College. Rabbi Posner’s skills and interests include reading Torah and all Megillot, leading services, spending time with his family, and playing baseball and basketball. He currently lives in Pikesville, MD, with his wife, Rachel, and his three sons.
Kenneth Prager is a pulmonologist and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is Director of Medical Ethics and Chairman of the Medical Ethics Committee of Columbia University Medical Center. He lectures annually at The Ben Gurion University Medical School for International Health in Beersheba. In the 1980’s, he traveled to the USSR and was heavily involved in the medical and humanitarian problems of Soviet Refuseniks. Kenny and his wife Jeannie have lived in Englewood, New Jersey, for 40 years and are affiliated with Congregation Ahavath Torah. They have four children and six grandchildren. Kenny and Jeannie were both heavily involved in Moriah School of Englewood when their children were young.
Irving Smokler, a retired psychologist, is the chief executive of Maple Leaf Properties, a commercial real estate firm in Boca Raton. He is the president and founder of the Nephcure Foundation, which raises money to fight glomerular kidney diseases. Mr. Smokler is Chairman of the Board and past President of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. He is also a Board member of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Previously, he was co-chair of the International Center for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. His undergraduate degree is from Johns Hopkins University. He has two PhDs (in Philosophy and Clinical Psychology) from the University of Michigan.
Josh Weiner is a Partner at Foxhaven Asset Management. Prior to Foxhaven’s inception, he held positions at Maverick Capital and Morgan Stanley. Josh received a BS in Economics at the Wharton School. He is on the Board of SAR. He lives in Riverdale with his wife Ariel and their three children – Ilan, Yael, and Meirav.
Elie Weiss is the President of Real Estate at American Greetings Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. He leads the management of the Weiss Family real estate portfolio, which includes the development of American Greetings’ new world headquarters at Crocker Park; and investment in (and development of) office, multifamily residential, and retail income producing properties throughout the United States, England, Australia and Israel. Mr. Weiss started his career trading over the counter derivative securities for Merrill Lynch and Bankers Trust in New York and London. He then co-founded Orion Capital Management in London, and has also worked at Stark Enterprises as the Executive Vice President of Development. Mr. Weiss serves on the Board of Trustees for BRT Realty Trust, including serving on it Audit Committee and Corporate Governance Committee. In addition to serving on YCT’s Board of Directors, he is involved with several other Jewish community organizations such as Engage! Cleveland, the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.
Dov Zakheim is a Senior Fellow at the CNA Corporation, a federally funded think tank, and Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Until 2010 he was Senior Vice President of Booz, Allen & Hamilton, one of the world’s leading consulting and high technology support firms. He served as the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Defense. He was corporate vice president of System Planning Corp., a technology, research and analysis firm, and served as chief executive officer of SPC International Corp., a subsidiary specializing in political, military and economic consulting. During the 2000 presidential campaign, he served as a senior foreign policy advisor to then-Governor Bush. Dr. Zakheim was Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Planning and Resources in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), where he played an active role in the Department’s system acquisition and strategic planning processes. Earlier, he was employed by the National Security and International Affairs Division of the Congressional Budget Office.
Dr. Zakheim received his BA in government from Columbia University, studied at the London School of Economics, and received a doctorate in economics and politics at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He earned his smicha from HaGaon Harav Shmuel Walkin in 1973. A frequent lecturer on both contemporary Middle East security issues and themes in Jewish history and halakha, he has been a visiting scholar in synagogues and Jewish communities both in the United States and overseas and has published numerous essays in Modern Orthodox journals and books. Dr. Zakheim has been an adjunct professor at the National War College, Yeshiva University, Columbia University and Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., where he was Presidential Scholar. Dr. Zakheim has written, lectured and provided media commentary on national defense and foreign policy issues domestically and internationally.
Alexandra Zizmor, M.S., M.A., is an independent business development consultant specializing in the technology and financial services sector. With over 30 years of experience in sales, management, and training, she helps a diverse range of clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies achieve optimal sales performance. Previously, she progressed through a series of sales and management positions at Xerox Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, and Peppers & Rogers Group. She has served on the boards of American Friends of Hebrew University, Bronx Community Board 8, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale-The Bayit, and Riverdale Senior Services, Inc.