Immediate Past President
|Rabbi Jennifer Weiner|
Sandy Barmak, Stephen A. Bodzin, Lynne Bolotin, Warren Cohen, Jerome Dick*, Bennett Finkelstein, Isaac Fleischmann*, Michael Friedlander, Manny Gale*, Suzy Goldhammer*, Carol Gordon, Joyce Grand, Jean Gurman, Herman Hohauser, Trish Kent, Chet W. Kessler, Bunni Latkin, Alvin Pesachowitz, Allon Shiff, Lawrence Vogel
*of blessed memory
In May 2017, we welcomed our new board members who are diverse geographically, and also by age, gender, professional skills, and backgrounds. They also bring extensive Jewish knowledge, former synagogue leadership, young leadership, business acumen, HR, and management experience. You'll find below bios for our Class of 2016-2017.
Harold G. Belkowitz is an accomplished litigator practicing throughout Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Harold represents a diverse array of clients, including individuals, small businesses, and Fortune 100 corporations.
Harold is committed to serving our community. He recently completed a two-year term as president of Congregation Olam Tikvah, in Fairfax. In addition, he serves as a Commissioner on the Fairfax County Consumer Protection Commission. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors appointed Harold as a Commissioner in 2008 and twice reappointed him.
Harold and his wife, Cheri live in Fairfax Station with their two children (one who’s attending University of Virginia) and two dogs.
Linda Blair left college early in her adulthood to marry. This step enabled her to pursue her educational interests later than usual. Upon her family’s return from Giessen, Germany in 1977 where her husband was stationed, she was determined to complete her education. She earned a BA and MA in English from George Mason University and a PhD in American Literature from The George Washington University.
Now retired, she was an educator in Fairfax County Public schools for twenty-four years. She taught English and Theory of Knowledge, served as the English Department Chair and then as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Coordinator.
She is surrounded by her husband, four children, and five grandchildren.
Scott Brown holds a certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University and has been designated as a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation. Scott has held professional and volunteer leadership positions in Jewish communal affairs specializing in organizational excellence, turnaround situations, and leadership since his early years serving as camp director in Cleveland, Ohio. Scott has held numerous senior leadership positions since joining Hillel International and is currently the Vice President for Leadership Coaching. Previously, Scott was the executive director at the University of Maryland Hillel, senior executive at the Jewish Community Center in Northern Virginia and camp director in St. Louis Missouri. Scott has earned numerous professional and volunteer awards throughout his career including being named as a Hillel Exemplar of Excellence, awarded by the Washington Business Journal in the area for Mentoring and Ethics, and recognized for coaching excellence by the ICF Metro DC Prism Award. Scott currently serves on the executive board of the JCC of Northern Virginia and is President-elect. He was the founding President of Hillel at George Mason University. He also leads his own professional leadership practice, Scott Brown Leadership Coaching, LLC.
Scott earned a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a focus on Personnel from Ohio University. Scott is married to Jane Schapiro Brown, a published author, poet and teacher. They live in Annandale, Virginia and are the proud parents of three daughters, Naomi (and son-in-law, Yoni), Tamara, and Eliana.
Fred Diamond is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Excellence in Sales (IES), a leading provider of enterprise sales training, programs, and services. Fred is also the founder of DIAMOND Strategic Marketing, a marketing consultancy that has helped hundreds of technology companies launch new products and services. He counted Microsoft, Oracle, and many high-flying companies as his clients.
He presently serves on The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Board of Directors, is a member of Congregation Beth Emeth, and raises funds for the Northern Virginia Family Service. A native of Philadelphia, Fred religiously follows the Phillies and takes photos of every Wawa he passes. He has a BA from Emory University and an MBA from San Jose State University. Fred has three children who reside in the Northern Virginia area and Nicaragua.
Edward Faggen is a native of Brooklyn, NY, and a graduate of Samuel J. Tilden High School and Brooklyn College, where he was the president of the House Plan Association, an organization of social groups. That is where he met Tamara, whom he married during his second year of law school at Rutgers University. After law school, he came to Washington to work for the Federal Aviation Administration. He became the FAA’s lawyer for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, which were owned and operated by the FAA. When the airports were transferred to the newly formed Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, he left the government and became the first general counsel and a vice president of the Airports Authority.
Now retired, he devotes his time to volunteering in citizenship, literacy and ESL training; his community association; the City of Fairfax arts community; and the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia as secretary of the Board. He also served as the president of the Board of the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony Association when his daughter was a member of the orchestra.
Ed and Tamara are long-time members of the JCC, where their two children went to Camp Achva, and of Congregation Olam Tikvah, where the children were bar and bat mitzvahed. Their children now live in Newton, MA, and Chicago, Illinois and they have two wonderful grandchildren in Newton.
Leslie Frieden and her husband Seth Feldman relocated to the Washington, DC area from Nashville, TN in 2008. They have two daughters, Alicia and Ilana — students at Gesher Jewish Day School — who grew up in the JCC preschool and are now enjoying our J Camps and BASE.
Leslie is an Extramural Training Officer at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She earned her PhD in 2005 from Harvard University. Before, joining NIH, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University, where Seth completed orthodontics training. She also received a B.A. in Biology from Johns Hopkins University in 1997.
When she is not travelling around the beltway or chasing her children, Leslie enjoys meeting with her book club and working out at the J’s gym.
Marilyn Hausfeld has been part of the JCC since its inception and has been instrumental in the success of many of its programs. She co-chaired "Fair in the Square," the first Jewish fair in Northern Virginia. Marilyn founded the Center Company — the professional theatre of the JCCNV — and acted as artistic director for 15 years. She co-chaired the camp Achva 2007 Reunion and co-chaired the 2008 JCC Maccabi ArtsFest which was held in Fairfax and has done major fundraising on the J’s behalf. She has been on the board so many times, she can't remember when she started, or stopped!
Professionally, Marilyn is an actor/singer who has performed on many Washington area stages including The National Theatre, Kennedy Center, Round House, Theater J, Source, U.S. Holocaust Museum, and the Smithsonian. In addition, she created the role of Debbie Strauss on NBC's Homicide.
Marilyn comes from Brooklyn, New York and received her BA in English from Brooklyn College. She earned an MA from George Washington University. She was chosen as a fellow at the International Cabaret Conference at Yale where she performed at the Iseman Theatre.
Marilyn and her husband, Michael have lived in Virginia all their married life and have three children and four grandchildren.
Franci Hirsch currently works as the head of Sales Development for Cvent, the leading software solution for event management and hospitality professionals. In this role Franci manages a team of 110 entry-level sales professionals in North America and the UK. Prior to joining the leadership team at Cvent, she led a commercial business at CEB focused on serving legal, risk, and compliance executives. At CEB she helped launch 4 new products as well as access leading insights and best practices from the world's largest organizations.
Franci relocated to the DC area in 2002 from Austin, Texas, where she earned her B.A and J.D. from the University of Texas. Franci and her husband Louis have been living in Northern Virginia since 2008 and are members of Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church. They have two sons, Ari and Jamie – both familiar faces at BASE, J Camps, and the ECLC – and live in Fairfax with their dog, Major.
Susan Kristol has been part of the Jewish community of Northern Virginia for more than thirty years and is a member of Congregation Olam Tikvah, where she served as president during a capital campaign and major renovation. She is currently on the board of MarineParents.com, a national organization that provides support and services to Marines and their family members. Susan and a team of volunteers from this group provide dinners at the USO at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center twice a month.
Susan has a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from Harvard University and taught Greek and Latin at the University of Pennsylvania and Brandeis University before she and her husband Bill moved to this area. She then devoted herself to rearing their three children, now all married. Bill and Susan have four grandchildren, two in the area and two in New York.
Susan has also served on the boards of the Washington Chamber Symphony, the Madeira School, and Gesher Jewish Day School. She volunteers with second graders in the literacy program at Annandale Terrace Elementary School and studies Biblical Hebrew each week at Adat Shalom Congregation. She and Bill are opera fans.
Dr. Michael Leavitt has lived in Northern Virginia for 42 years. He retired from US government service in 1997. He has taught Jewish history, philosophy and mysticism at adult education programs at a variety of locations in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area. He has lectured on topics that include Reconstructionism, Jewish Mysticism, Jewish music, and Jews in the Hellenistic period. He has been a lay leader of Conservative, Reconstructionist, and independent services. He has edited Kabbalah and the Art of Being, by Dr. Shimon Shokek, published by Routledge Press in 2001.
Michael is active in Lansdowne Woods community in Lansdowne, VA (condo governance, Jewish community, LW Entertainers, Encore Chorale), and is a 15-year member of Congregation Sha'are Shalom, in Leesburg.
Yelena Lingel works as a Change Management Consultant, currently working for Accenture Federal Services supporting government clients.
She has been involved with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington's Young Leadership and NEXT DC programs the past seven years, most recently co-chairing IMPACT DC, the annual young leadership signature event.
In her free time, Yelena enjoys spending time with friends and family. She is well-known as a foodie, and when schedules allow she loves traveling. Raised in Baltimore, she recently moved from Arlington — where she resided for the past eight years — to Merrifield with her husband, Derek.
Rosanne Nelson leads the Leadership Development function at the American College of Cardiology (ACC). A highly diversified Talent Management / Leadership Development expert, Ms. Nelson guides organizations through transformative change, designs leadership development strategies, and drives organizations toward high performing cultures. Prior to joining ACC, Ms. Nelson led robust Talent Management efforts at Fannie Mae, Halliburton and Lafarge North America.
Rosanne holds a B.A. in Public Communication from American University, a M.A. in Human Resource Development from the George Washington University, and a M.B.A from Johns Hopkins University.
When Rosanne is not getting excited about managing change and developing talent, she is home with her wonderful husband and two beautiful children.
Connie Pesachowitz has been involved and worked to expand the JCC of Northern Virginia since its inception. She served as the J’s Programming Director in the 1980s and was on staff when the J moved into its newly constructed building on Little River Turnpike in 1990. When she left the J, she held the position of Director of Senior Centers for Arlington County for 14 years.
As a volunteer, Connie has been instrumental in guiding key programs for the J including serving as co-chair for the Camp Achva Reunion in 2007, co-chairing the JCC Macabbi Artsfest® hosted in Fairfax in 2008, and is one of the co-chairs for the J’s Capital Campaign “Our J. Our Community. Our Future.” She has held positions on the J’s Board of Directors for many years and currently serves as its immediate Past President.
Connie and her husband hail from New Jersey . They have three sons and two grandchildren.
Recently retired, Joan Sacarob was an independent Special Event Coordinator — named by Washingtonian Magazine for 10 years as one of Washington’s top Wedding Planners.
Joan served on the original committee to form the JCCNV and served seven terms on its Board. Along with the J’s senior management, Joan created and helped implement the Trustee Circle program. In addition, she helped create the J’s Legacy Society prior to Federation’s assuming the program area-wide. She has served many terms on the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Board and on the National Board of Hadassah for 43 years, including as its National Vice President. Joan was the co-founder of the FREE WALLENBERG COMMITTEE appointed by the late Rep. Tom Lantos. She was appointed to the Fairfax County Commission for Health and Human Services, is a political activist, and has served on numerous Boards.
Joan is a member of Congregation Olam Tikvah. Married to Don Sacarob, they are blessed with three generations of children.
Eleanor Saslaw is a career educator. She has been a teacher, a counselor both in the school setting and in private practice. Additionally, she served as a Director of Student Services in Fairfax County Public Schools and taught graduate counseling courses at George Mason University. In 2004, Eleanor was appointed to the State Board of Education and served until 2012. She was elected as its President in 2010. Presently, she serves as a member of the Virginia Community College System Board and is Chair of the Audit Committee.
Eleanor was originally a charter member of the J, and then rejoined a couple of years ago.
Jamie Schiffman serves as the Vice President and Managing Director of the Schusterman International Center for Hillel International. She was recently promoted to this position after serving seven years as a senior member of the Human Resources and Talent Team. Prior to her work at Hillel International, she spent seven years on campus helping to create Jewish life for thousands of students at the Hillels at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Pennsylvania, and Rutgers University. A native of the Chicago suburbs, she received a BA in Psychology from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign and a MA in Student Development in Postsecondary Education from the University of Iowa-Iowa City. She currently resides in Annandale with her husband Andrew and their daughters Madeline and Naomi.
Robert A. Shapiro, received his BS in Pharmacy, and worked as an executive for the Drug Store and Trade Association. He was appointed to the Pharmacy Board and Regulation by the Governor of Michigan where he served eight years, four as Chairman. He has served on numerous professional committees, the Advisory Board of both Wayne State University, College of Pharmacy, and Oakland University, School of Nursing.
He became active at the JCC of Metro Detroit, where he served 12 years as a Board member and Officer. Since moving to Arlington, Virginia, he has spent 10 years as a Board member of our J. He and his wife, Maureen are members of Agudas Achim Congregation, where he also served as a Board member and Officer. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Rabbi Jennifer Weiner serves as the Director of Education at Adat Reyim. During her rabbinical career, Rabbi Weiner has developed, led, and overseen the education of youth and adults in congregations across the country. After serving as a pulpit Rabbi for 10 years, she returned to her roots of education to focus on her passion for teaching and of making Jewish education and Judaism exciting and dynamic for all.
Along with being a pulpit rabbi, Rabbi Weiner has served as an Education Liaison and a Rabbi Educator at various congregations. Her background includes youth groups, being a teacher at Ramah Camp in Palmer, MA, serving on the Religious Leadership Committee of RCRC, and being a Chaplain for the Prince William County and the City of Manassas Police Departments. She has also served on many national and regional committees concerning health, education, community, and women’s advocacy organizations. She was the first winner of The ARZA Prize for Family Israel Programming during her senior year at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH. Rabbi Weiner is also very proud to have served in the United States Navy in the Chaplain Corp.
Rabbi Weiner was ordained in 1996 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH. She holds a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York with a major in Comparative Religions and a Concentration in Education.
When Rabbi Weiner is not leading Adat Reyim’s school, she enjoys worshiping alongside her family, her husband, Jeffrey, and their two sons, Aaron and Micah.
David Yaffe is an energy lawyer with a national practice based in Washington, D.C. focused on the electric utility industry. He is of counsel to the law firm of Van Ness Feldman LLP. He also has been an adjunct professor of energy law at the George Washington University Law School for the past seven years.
David has a long history of involvement in the Northern Virginia and national Jewish communities. David and his wife, Deborah, have been long time members of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia. He is a past co-President of that congregation and led the extensive renovation of the synagogue. He was the last chair of Hillels of Greater Washington and has been a board member and officer of Hillel International for the last 8 years. David was a board member of the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning, a recipient agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. He has been active in the JCCNV for the past few years as chair of its leadership development committee.
David also is the incoming President of the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association and a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.
David resides with his wife in Arlington, Va. Their immediate family includes two grown daughters, a son-in-law and two grandchildren.