Immediate Past President
|Rabbi Brett Isserow|
|Jackie Flynn Sheckels|
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, Connie Pesachowitz, Allon Shiff, Lawrence Vogel
*of blessed memory
In May 2018, 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 2018-2019.
David Yaffe is an energy lawyer and is counsel to the Washington, D.C. 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 nine years.
David has a long history of involvement in the Northern Virginia and national Jewish communities. He and his wife, Deborah, have been longtime members of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria. 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 a past officer of Hillel International for the past eight 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 at the JCCNV for the past few years as chair of its leadership development committee for several years and as President-elect.
David is also President of the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association and a member of the University’s Board of Trustees through June 2018.
David and Deborah reside in Arlington. Their immediate family includes two grown daughters, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren.
Yelena Lingel is a Manager with Accenture Federal Services supporting government clients with a focus on change management and system implementation.
She became involved with the JCC through the Strategic Planning Task Force, and has since served on various committees, currently serving as the Chair of Leadership Development.
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. She currently lives in Merrifield with her husband, Derek, and son, Max, who loves attending the preschool at the JCC.
Eleanor Saslaw is a career educator. She has been a teacher, and 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.
Eleanor presently serves as Chair of the Virginia Community College System Board.
Eleanor was originally a charter member of the J, and then rejoined a couple of years ago. Eleanor chairs the JCCNV Committee for a Just and Caring Community.
Susan Kristol moved to Northern Virginia in 1985. She and her family are members of Congregation Olam Tikvah, where she served as president. Susan volunteers in the Fairfax County school system and with MarineParents.com, a national organization that provides support to Marines and their family members. She has also served on the board of the Washington Chamber Symphony, the Madeira School, and Gesher
Jewish Day School.
After receiving a Ph.D. in Classical Philology from Harvard University, Susan taught Greek and Latin at the University of Pennsylvania and Brandeis University. She enjoys teaching adult education classes on Biblical topics at Olam Tikvah and studying Biblical Hebrew at Adat Shalom in Bethesda. She and her husband Bill have three married children and five grandchildren.
Lisa Miller started her career as a research biologist at the Cancer Institute of NIH and moved into management positions after starting her family. Most recently, she was president and an owner of Dynaxys, a women-owned technology and accounting contractor in Silver Spring. In addition to its business success, the company achieves substantial local recognition for its effort to achieve workplace excellence and
in its promotion of employee health and wellness. Prior to joining Dynaxys, Lisa was a senior Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in its Washington D.C. government consulting practice where she was the account manager for the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Education with a focus on strategy and process
improvement. As a volunteer, Lisa conceived of and developed two before- and after-school day care programs in Montgomery County public schools; was president of the Board of Directors of the Westmoreland Early Childhood Program; and served as a member of the Board of the Montgomery County Child Day Care Association. She grew up in Bridgeport, CT and in Brooklyn, NY and attended the University of Wisconsin. She has two children and two grandchildren.
Since meeting her partner, Bennett Finkelstein, and moving to Virginia, she has heard many heartwarming stories of the herculean efforts and community impact in the birth and growth of the JCC of Northern Virginia. Impressed with the wealth of programs offered and reminded of the importance that the JCC played in her life, as well as in the lives of her family, she wanted to use her expertise to support JCCNV’s efforts to enhance community. She joined the Board in 2016 and served in the role of Assistant Treasurer prior to assuming her new responsibilities as Treasurer.
Lisa Miller started her career as a research biologist at the Cancer Institute of NIH and moved into management positions after starting her family. Most recently, she was president and an owner of Dynaxys, a technology and accounting contractor in Silver Spring. In addition to its business success, the company achieves substantial local recognition for its effort to achieve workplace excellence and in its promotion of employee health and wellness. Prior to joining Dynaxys, Lisa was a senior Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in its Washington D.C. government consulting practice where she was the account manager for the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Education with a focus on strategy and process improvement. Another key role in her working career included the Director of Operations and Liquidation for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, responsible for the management and resolution of hundreds of failed savings and loans during the late 1980s and early 90s. As a volunteer, Lisa conceived of and developed two before- and after-school day care programs in Montgomery County public schools; was president of the Board of Directors of the Westmoreland Early Childhood Program; and served as a member of the Board of the Montgomery County Child Day Care Association. She grew up in Bridgeport, CT and in Brooklyn, NY and attended the University of Wisconsin. She has two children and two grandchildren.
Since meeting her partner, Bennet Finkelstein and moving to Virginia, she has heard many heartwarming stories of the herculean efforts and community impact in the birth and growth of the JCC of Northern Virginia. Impressed with the wealth of programs offered and reminded of the importance that the JCC played in her life, as well as in the lives of her family, she wants to use her expertise to support JCCNV’s efforts to enhance community.
Bill Gale is the Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. His research focuses on tax policy, fiscal policy, pensions and saving behavior. He is co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute. He is also director of the Retirement Security Project. From 2006 to 2009, he served as vice president of Brookings and director of the Economic Studies Program. Bill is the proud father of two adult children, an avid tennis player and yogi, and lives in Fairfax with his partner Diane Lim.
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 on the board of the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC). He also served as Board President 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 became bar and bat mitzvah. Their children now live in Newton, MA, and Chicago, IL and they have two wonderful grandchildren in Newton.
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 Wayne State University, College of Pharmacy, and Oakland University, School of Nursing.
Bob became active at the JCC of Metro Detroit, where he served 12 years as a Board member and Officer. Since moving to Arlington, 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.
Scott Brown brings three decades of experience to his coaching practice, Scott Brown Leadership Coaching, LLC, which he founded in 2015. He served as Executive Vice President and Vice President for Talent at Hillel’s International Headquarters, focusing on professional leadership, recruitment, and hiring for a diverse, global workforce. Before joining Hillel’s International Headquarters, he was Executive Director of Hillel at University of Maryland. In its early years, Scott served as Associate
Executive Director of the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia designing and developing new programs while overseeing the transition to the new facility — our current building. Scott began his professional career leading Jewish overnight camps in Cleveland and St. Louis. He currently serves as President of the JCCNV and has served on the board of Bread for the City. Scott will also be serving on the Executive Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
Scott holds a certificate in Leadership Coaching from the Institute for Transformational Leadership at Georgetown University. He has been designated at an advanced level as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coach Federation (ICF), and works with clients throughout the country. Through his commitment to innovation and leadership, he earned Hillel the prestigious Prism Award from the Metro DC chapter of ICF. He also was honored by the Washington Business Journal Human Resources Leadership Awards for ethics and mentoring. Fairfax County (Virginia) Public Schools recognized his volunteer leadership with their Human Relations Award, and Hillel awarded him the Exemplar of Excellence Award, its highest honor for professional staff. He earned an M.A. in Management from Webster University and a B.A. from Ohio University. Scott has been married for over 30 years and has
three children and one grandchild.
Harold G. Belkowitz is an attorney at Belkowitz Law, PLLC, located in Fairfax. Harold practices business litigation, education law, and employment law throughout Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Harold represents a diverse array of clients, including individuals, small businesses, and Fortune 100 corporations. He is
committed to serving our community and volunteers his time to several
organizations, as well as serving as a Commissioner on the Fairfax County Consumer Protection Commission.
Harold and his wife, Cheri, live in Fairfax Station with their three children – Allison (who just graduated from the University of Virginia), Emily (who attends Goucher College), and Sam (who attends South County High School).
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 Ph.D. 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.
Linda is surrounded by her husband, four children, and five grandchildren.
Cynthia Cohen has been involved in the Jewish Community in Virginia for many years, after moving to this area to complete her medical training in 1985.
Currently a psychiatrist in private practice, she specializes in anxiety disorders and enjoys teaching Georgetown and George Washington University medical students and psychiatry residents. Among several leadership roles over the years, she has served on the board at the JCCNV and co-Chaired two JCCNV galas and a JCCNV leadership development program.
In her not so plentiful spare time, she enjoys playing the flute, studying Jewish texts and listening to audiobooks, along with participating in the Chabad community.
She resides in Fairfax with her husband Lee. She has two fantastic sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law and four awesome grandchildren.
Cindy holds a B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and an M.D. from Pennsylvania University College of Medicine and completed her residency at Georgetown University. She grew up in Huntington, NY in a family dedicated to community service and looks forward to continuing that tradition by serving on the JCC Board.
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. Fred 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.
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, NY 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 serves as the Global Head of Sales Development for Cvent, the leading software solution for event management and hospitality professionals. In this role, Franci manages a team of 150 entry-level sales professionals and managers in North America, Europe and Asia. 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 and J Camps — and live in Fairfax.
Rabbi Brett Isserow was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was a partner in a firm of Chartered Accountants and Auditors until leaving South Africa for Israel in 1986. Ordained in June 1991 from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, he began his tenure as Assistant Rabbi of The Temple and was named as Associate in May 1994.
Rabbi Isserow is the Senior Rabbi of Beth El which has afforded him the opportunity to get involved in the wider community - as a Board Member of the JCCNV, as a member of the Ethics Committee of Inova Alexandria Hospital, as a vice president of both the Washington Board of Rabbis and President of the mid-Atlantic CCAR Board and in a number of other interfaith and Jewish organizations. Currently he serves on the Budget and Finance Committee of the CCAR and as co-chair of the Audit
Committee. In 2016, Rabbi Isserow received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College in honor of his serving twenty five years in the active Rabbinate.
Rabbi Isserow is married to Rabbi Jinny Isserow, an artist, and they have two children, Anna and Jesse.
Joan Sacarob is a retired 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.
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.
David Selden, a native of New Jersey, has lived and worked in greater Washington since the early 1980s. Employed with ICF since 2004, David is Senior Vice President for business development and special projects involving business strategy, process improvement, and other cross company and interdisciplinary pursuits. His business development work involves diverse Federal and State government public policy and governance issues concerning environmental protection, public health, transportation, natural disaster recovery, homeland security, housing and community
development. David has a BA in Geography from Clark University and MS in Cartography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
David is the immediate past-president of Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation
(NVHC) where he has been a member for more than 30 years. He traces his deep
commitment to Judaism, the Jewish community and Israel to his family upbringing
and in particular his volunteer experience in Israel during the Yom Kippur War and
subsequent studies at Hebrew University. David writes poetry, enjoys mentoring
colleagues, and gets tremendous satisfaction from helping people find employment
and develop their career paths. David shares this love and commitment for helping
others and all things Jewish with his wife Julie Wallick, a transplant from Columbus,
OH. David and Julie live in Reston.
Jackie Flynn Sheckels is a Senior Director in BDO Consulting’s Forensic Technology Services practice. She has more than 13 years of electronic discovery, records management, and information technology experience. Jackie routinely consults with large domestic and international clients in the healthcare, telecommunications, technology, government contractor, energy, and education industries with regard to formulating defensible cyber security, preservation strategies, forensic analysis, data analytics, and document review. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). Jackie and her husband, Mike, live in Annandale with their two children and energetic dog, Pinot.
BJ Shiff has produced marketing and graphic design work for companies and nonprofits in a variety of fields for 30+ years. Additionally, she has enjoyed volunteering at the J and several local schools. BJ is currently a co-chair of the J’s Capital Campaign and Cycle Fest. An ongoing member of the J’s Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival for 9 years, she co-chaired that event for two years. BJ and her husband, Allon Shiff, reside in Fairfax. Their two children, one who lives in Richmond, and one who will soon study at George Mason University, both attended the J’s
preschool and Gesher Jewish Day School.
Daniel Shore is a Ph.D. candidate in the Workplace Psychology program at George Mason University, from where he also received his Master's degree in the same field. He has lived in Northern Virginia for 6 years and became connected to the J through befriending the shlichim who came through Fairfax. For the past year and a half, he has been part of the J's Community Engagement Task Force and has helped lead the
effort to launch the Community Connections Survey project. Through his graduate education, Daniel's skillset has grown to include the creation of survey and focus group protocols for evaluating peoples' attitudes and perceptions. He is thrilled to share these skills with the team at the J, having long been an engaged member of the Jewish community in Northern Virginia, and, before moving here, in his home state of Illinois — from Peoria to Chicago — and at the Reform overnight summer camp
Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute. Daniel is very much looking forward to serving the J and becoming even more committed to the exciting initiatives taking place as a new member of the Board of Directors.
Edward Weiss is one lucky guy. He recently celebrated 40 years of marriage to his college sweetheart (Karen Tovey) and with her, raised Josh, 33, and Ben, 30. Currently Ed practices law with Bregman, Berbert, Schwartz & Gilday, LLC where he Concentrates on corporate, intellectual
property, and commercial law. He has assumed leadership positions in
various Bar associations, is widely published, and has been a frequent
lecturer on various IT and corporate law topics.
Ed earned a BA from Dickinson College, an MA from the University
of Illinois, and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. In the
community, Ed has served as a Member of the Executive Committee and
Secretary of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington; Chairman
of the Board of Directors of Food For Others; Trustee of Gesher JDS;
President of Congregation Olam Tikvah; a Member of the Executive
Committee and Treasurer of JSSA of Greater Washington; Assistant Scout
Master for BSA Troop 1533, and tutor for developmentally challenged
adults at NoVACC.