Today is June 27, 2022 / /

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 a Managing Director at FocalPoint Partners, a leading independent investment bank, and heads the firm’s New York office.     He previously held senior leadership positions at Duff & Phelps, LLC, Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers. 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.

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.

Dr. Jody Dushay is Medical Director and Lead Medical Research Officer at the Clinical Research Center of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. She is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at Beth Israel. Her research and clinical practice focus on metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Dr. Dushay received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University. She is a member of Shaarei Tefillah in Newton, MA. Jody is married to Paul Gompers and they have three daughters.

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 chief financial officer of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), a large US healthcare insurance provider. HCSC is the parent company of Blue Cross Blue Shield operations in Illinois, Texas, Montana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, serving more than 15 million members and employing over 22,000 people nationwide. Prior to joining HCSC in May 2016, Mr. Feldstein held posts as Executive VP of the Enterprise Growth Group at American Express, CFO and operating partner at Eton Park Capital Management, CEO of GMAC Financial Services, and VP of finance and corporate treasurer of General Motors Corporation.

Mr. Feldstein also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Northern Trust Bank’s Complex of Mutual Funds with over $900 billion in assets under management. He 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 and remains an active member.

Dr. Jeffrey S. Gurock is the Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University. He is the author or editor of 14 books, including “Orthodox Jews in America,” “Judaism’s Encounter With American Sports,” and “American Jewish Orthodoxy in Historical Perspective.”

His “A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy and American Judaism” (Columbia University Press, 1997) was awarded the bi-annual Saul Viener Prize from the American Jewish Historical Society for the best book written in that field.

Dr. Gurock is chair of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society and served from 1982 to 2002 as associate editor of “American Jewish History,” the leading academic journal in that field.

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.

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.

Steven Laufer is a researcher at the Meyers-JDC-Brookdale Institute in Jerusalem. Prior to making aliya in 2019, he worked as a principal economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., where he conducted research and advised Board members on issues related to housing and mortgage markets. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and a PhD in Economics from New York University. He has been a member of Ohev Shalom the National Synagogue in Washington and of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – the Bayit, and served as board president of the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital. Steven and his wife, Chani, are the proud parents of three children, Shoshana, Ari and Erez.

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.

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.

Jason Mark hails from Hollywood, Florida is currently a a fourth year student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Jason is currently the Rabbinic intern at Congregation Etz Chayim of Toledo, Ohio. He also serves as a Chaplain Candidate in the United States Army. In the years to come, he hopes to work in hospital or hospice Chaplaincy and continue his work in the Army as well. 

Jeremy Novich, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist.  He earned his doctorate from Long Island University, Post Campus, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stevens Institute of Technology.  Dr. Novich has worked on LGBTQ concerns as a clinician, researcher, and community educator.  He published a chapter, titled Gay Jewish Men in the Orthodox Community: Striving for Selfhood, that summarizes his doctoral dissertation.  In addition to his clinical work relating to sexuality, identity, and LGBTQ issues, Dr. Novich specializes in helping people with problematic substance use.  He is a psychologist at the Center for Motivation and Change and maintains a private practice as well.  

Dan has an MBA in management from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, and has spent nearly 18 years in the financial world. He worked as a security analyst and portfolio manager at investment firms and hedge funds including Iridian Asset Management, Centurion Investment Group, and Soros Fund Management. 

Dan has been active in Jewish communal life for many years and was privileged to serve as a Wexner Heritage Fellow. He served for seven years as the President of The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and remains a member of its executive committee. Dan currently serves on the boards of Mechon Hadar, The SAR Academy of Riverdale, and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, where he served as Chairman of the Board for three years. 

Rabbi Josh Pernick joined Congregation Beth Israel in Metairie, LA, in July of 2019. A graduate of Brandeis University for his BA (Sociology) and MAT (Elementary Education) degrees, as well as the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators’ year-long fellowship program, he was an early childhood and elementary school educator before beginning his rabbinic journey.

After teaching in Jewish day schools in Charleston, SC, Watertown, MA and Atlanta, GA, Rabbi Josh began his rabbinic training at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. During his time at YCT, Rabbi Josh interned at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Montreal, as well as serving as the student rabbi of Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh in Portland, ME and the Orthodox Kehillah in Durham, NC.

While at YCT, Rabbi Josh was awarded fellowships and grants for his entrepreneurial community-building work through the Crown Foundation and the Hillel Office of Innovation. Since moving to New Orleans, he has joined the boards of the Jewish Community Day School and the Jewish Childrens’ Regional Service, as well as serving on the Strategic Planning Subcommittee of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans

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.

Ariela Rosenberg-Brafman is the Executive Director of the Reinvention Foundation. She has over a decade of experience in nonprofit management, including as the Senior Director of Program Operations, Design, and Evaluation at Read Ahead and as the Senior Manager of Product and Evaluation at the Taproot Foundation. Ariela holds a master’s degree in public administration from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Columbia University. She is a past JOFA board member and currently serves on the board of the International Beit Din. A native Texan, Ariela lives in Newton, MA with her husband, Yonatan, and their two children.

In Memoriam

  • Norman Bulow z”l
  • Dr. Charles Feldman z”l
  • Stewart Harris z”l
  • Belda Lindenbaum z”l
  • Marcel Lindenbaum z”l