Nominations Report 2023

TO: Board of Directors, Temple Ohabei Shalom

FROM: Nominating Committee: Benjamin Berkowitz, Chair; Larry Green, Susan Houston

DATE:  May 3, 2023

On behalf of the Nominating Committee, we respectfully submit this slate for consideration by the TOS Board for further presentation to the Congregation at the Annual Meeting scheduled for June. The Nominating Committee met several times over the past two months and consulted with numerous persons, including Mark Gale, President; Rabbis Berkman and Queen; Shari Churwin, Executive Director;

Many of those nominated have served TOS with such dedication in the past and are committed to moving our congregation forward. Those who will be joining the board for the first time (see bios below) bring great experience and expertise, and together, this slate represents the diversity of our congregation. Terms will begin on July 1st through June 30th for the years listed below.

Member:Term EndingRole
Mark Gale2024President
Richard Stern2024Treasurer
Denise Karlin2024Secretary
Natasha Goldman2024President-Elect
Sarah Hanley2024 
Alisa Kahn Ridruejo2024 
Rachel Miller Munzer2024 
Michelle Simon2024 
Jeff Berry2025 
Josh Paradise2025Assistant Treasurer
Elliott Puretz2025 
Leigha Cuniberti2026 
Jonathan Kerner2026 
Stephanie Kohn2026 
Fawn Phelps2026 
Brotherhood Member  
Sisterhood Member  

Some additional notes:  Under the By-Laws, the Board will be determining who should be serving as Vice Presidents for each of the areas defined in the By-Laws.  We are confident that we have nominated among the Trustees persons more than capable of serving each of the VP positions. 

This year the committee has nominated a President-Elect, Natasha Goodman. Natasha has made a strong impression during her time on the board and will be working with Mark this year to begin the transition process with her succeeding him on July 1, 2024.  In addition, Richard Stern has agreed to stay on as Treasurer for one additional year.  In a similar arrangement to the presidential succession, Josh Paradise will assist Richard as Assistant Treasurer and will succeed him on July 1, 2024 as Treasurer.

This slate represents only the second time transition of Presidential power under our By-Laws and we are confident that this slate of officers will continue to grow and guide our community for many years to come.

Respectfully Submitted,

Benjamin Berkowitz
Chair, TOS Nominating Committee

TOS Nominating Committee:
Lawrence Green
Jocelyn Gordon
Ellen Mosner

Natasha Goldman (President Elect)

Natasha Goldman and her family, including her husband Joachim Homann and sons Tobias and Adam, moved to Brookline in 2019 and joined Temple Ohabei Shalom in 2020. Adam is a student in the synagogue’s religious school. Natasha’s family had lived in Brunswick, ME for nine years, where they were active in the local Brunswick Havurah and members of Congregation Bet Ha’am in South Portland. On the professional front, Natasha is an art historian and president of WISSEN, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in securing grants for institutions of higher education. She has been affiliated with Bowdoin College as an art historian for more than 11 years, where her research and teaching focus has been on visual responses to the Holocaust, art and the environment, and public art. Her book, Memory Passages: Holocaust Memorials in the United States and Germany, was published by Temple University Press in 2020.

Leigha Cuniberti (Board Member)

Leigha and her family joined TOS in the fall of 2017. Leigha and her husband Andy have two children; Josh and Zach. Josh had his bar mitzvah at TOS in November 2020 and Zach will have his bar mitzvah at TOS in May. Leigha served on the Nominating Committee in the spring of 2021 and on the Rabbi Search Committee in the fall of 2021. She joined other TOS members for tree planting last spring, sung in the chorus for the temple’s fall concert, and most recently had fun singing in the chorus for the Purim Shpiel. Leigha left her job as a clinical data manager when Josh turned one and since then has done a lot of volunteer work, usually at her sons’ schools, including sitting on school council, co-chairing the community service team, and helping organize the school book fair.

Jonathan Kerner (Board Member)

Jonathan and his wife, Jennifer, have been part of the TOS community since 2015, when their first of three children enrolled in the toddler room at TCEE. Since that time, Jonathan and has family have relished being members of the TOS community, having participated in many Shabbat B’yachads, Shul-ins, and other TOS community events. Jonathan originally hails from NY. He graduated from Yale University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and MIT with an MS in Aeronautical Engineering, and has worked as an engineer in the aerospace and energy industries for about 20 years. Jonathan currently works for GE Aerospace on jet and helicopter engine design. He is honored to be considered for a role on the TOS Board and is hoping to contribute on physical plant and security issues, where he can leverage his technical acumen and expertise.  

Stephanie Kohn (Board Member)

Having always been appreciative of the values of Judaism, Stephanie Perrotti Kohn officially converted in 2001. The Jewish tradition appeals to her as it holds individuals accountable for their actions, in the words of Fyodor Dostoevsky, “here on this earth”.  Stephanie and her husband David have been members of Temple Ohabei since they went shul shopping in 2014 so their sons, Caleb & Elio, could start their own journey. The warm and welcoming culture, across all backgrounds and perspectives, that they experienced upon even the first visit to TOS is what made them decide to join this community. After attending ARS, Caleb became a bar mitzvah– one of the first “Zoomitzvahs”– in May 2020, and Elio just this past November. The nonjudgment and creative, pragmatic environment TOS is known for is one of the reasons why Stephanie goes outside her comfort zone each year to participate in the Purim Shpiel. The Kohn family is grateful to have a deep connection with the clergy and staff at TOS as well as many other member families.
Outside of TOS involvement, Stephanie leads Marketing for a healthcare company in the diabetes space. Her expertise is in building brands and, ultimately, customer loyalty. She has an appetite for solving problems across industries affected by disruption– from health care and travel, to media and financial services; and a track record of reinventing the status quo to bring a vision to market in a scrappy way with optimal results.

Fawn Phelps (Board Member)

Fawn, her husband (Michael Mittelman), daughter, and son have been members of TOS since 2017. Fawn and Michael’s children attended ARS and both became b-mitzvah at TOS. She is deeply grateful for the community of support and connection her interfaith family has experienced at TOS. She celebrates the thoughtful work done by those before and those currently leading TOS to create a home under the dome for all who want to connect to Judaism and live the value of tikkun olam. Professionally, Fawn is an Instructor at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) with a focus on leadership development and systems-level change grounded in dismantling systems of oppression. Previous to HSPH, Fawn had a 15-year legislative and regulatory advocacy career leading campaigns to improve the well-being of low-income and underrepresented populations.