Officers

Elizabeth H. Pressman, Co-President

Elizabeth was educated at a Conservative synagogue in Hartford, CT and Camp Ramah. As an adult she continues to study and actively participate in the Jewish community, including as a past president of Temple Emunah in Lexington, past president of the former New England Region of USCJ, and a current member and past president of the Camp Ramah in New England Board.  Elizabeth and her husband, Bob, have been married for 53 years and have two sons, a daughter and 9 grandchildren. She has a Master’s Degree in Management of Human Services from the Heller School at Brandeis and worked for 26 years at MassHealth.

Dr. Craig Schneider, Co-President

Craig Schneider is a Managing Director at IMPAQ International, where he conducts research and implementation projects for the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Craig was President of Temple Hillel B'nai Torah, West Roxbury, from 2013-15 and served on its Board in multiple positions. Craig was active in the Young Judaea youth movement in high school and college, and lived on Kibbutz Ketura in the late 1980s. He is married to Tammy, who works at Camp Yavneh; their daughter Sarah graduated from BU and is an alumna of Gann Academy and Solomon Schechter Day School; their son Ben is at McGill University and is an alumnus of Gann and Schechter. Craig has a doctorate in Health Policy from the Brandeis University Heller School and an MBA from Boston University.

Dr. B. David Stollar, Secretary

David, a native Canadian and graduate of the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine, served on the Tufts University School of Medicine faculty for 41 years, including 15 as Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and two as Interim Dean of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. He, his wife Carol and their three children joined Temple Reyim in Newton in 1964. Active especially in its adult learning programs, he was congregation president 2005-2007 and continues to serve on its Board. He is a singer with Koleinu. He and Carol, a clinical nutritionist who, in retirement, earned a Masters degree from Hebrew College, participated in the second Unity Mission to Israel in 2012.

Dr. Fred Cohen, Immediate Past President

After completing his term on the Regional Board of the UAHC (now URJ), and while still president of Temple Shalom of Newton, Fred was appointed the new Reform movement officer to the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. In that capacity he has been Secretary, Treasurer and Second Vice President. Fred has chaired the Membership Task Force, helped re-write SCM's By-Laws, and has helped lead the Reform Shabbat service at several Shabbatons and currently leads Zoom Saturday Morning Minyan services at Temple Shalom. He has a doctorate in Chemistry from Brandeis and a masters in Management from the Sloan School at M.I.T.. Residents of Newton, Fred and his wife, Stephanie, have gone on Unity Missions to New York and on both Unity Missions to Israel. They have four children and seven grandchildren.
Directors

Liz Offen

Liz Offen is the Director of the New England region Yachad/The National Jewish Council for Disabilities. In this capacity since 2012, Liz has launched new programs, grown membership of children & adults with special needs and their families, and increased the participation of volunteers. For many summers, Liz was the Inclusion Coordinator at Camp Ramah New England and an educator on the staff of Gateways and Temple Shalom of Newton. Liz has taught in the Jewish community for over 30 years, pioneering effective methods for children of all learning styles and abilities. She is also known for developing curriculum and training on behalf of the Jewish Community Relations Council’s TELEM programs. In her earlier professional career Liz worked at State and  Federal agencies and international NGOs on behalf of programs for women and children, immigrants, minority communities, and victim’s rights, encompassing health policy, criminal justice, and civil rights. 

Dr. Jay Sage

Jay Sage retired as a physicist from MIT Lincoln Laboratory to pursue his interest in Jewish genealogy. He served as president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston and continues in many leadership roles. He is a "poster boy" for the Synagogue Council's unity message, having belonged over the years to Reform (he served as president of Temple Sinai, Brookline), Conservative, and now Orthodox synagogues.

Sandy Slavet

For over sixteen years, Sandy was the Director of Jewish Life Services and Community Outreach for People with Disabilities at Jewish Family & Children’s Service (retired).  She was also a nationally certified American Sign Language Interpreter for over 30 years (retired). Sandy is a past president of Temple Beth David of the South Shore in Canton, past president of Temple Sinai of Sharon and served on the URJ Northeast Region Council of Leaders.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Synagogue Council of Massachusetts and has for many years, including serving several years as secretary.  Sandy taught seventh grade Religious School at Temple Beth David of the South Shore for twenty years and is currently in her fourteenth year as a mikveh guide at Mayyim Hayyim.  Sandy also serves on several community boards in her hometown of Randolph.  Most importantly, she and her husband have four wonderful daughters and six amazing grandchildren!

Steven Greenberg

Steven M. Greenberg is the former Executive Director of Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, MA. Before that he served in Armenia as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His prior experience includes being the Executive Director of the Vilna Shul. Steven has extensive community and business experience in and around the Boston area as both a professional and a volunteer. He was born and raised in Natick, MA but now lives in the family cottage at Nantasket Beach. His education includes a Master's Degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University and a BS in Economics from the University of Massachusetts.

Shirah Weinberg Hecht

Shirah Hecht is a social scientist and Hebrew school teacher. Originally from the Midwest, Shirah attended a Conservative synagogue, Cleveland Hebrew Schools, Camps Massad and Ramah, and Habonim, and met her husband as a counselor at a JCC day camp. She completed her Ph.D. thesis from U. Chicago in sociology on egalitarian minyanim in the 1980’s, conducting her research in Boston. She has worked as an applied researcher and program evaluator, often with the Jewish community, along with other community activities, including as a Hebrew school teacher at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham. She led Adult Education and served on the Board and Executive Board at Temple Israel-Natick, and now is a member of Temple Emeth in Brookline. She has presented as a congregant and at the Brookline Tikkun and LimmudBoston, was a mikvah guide at Mayyim Hayyim, and led LimmudBoston’s Program Team. She also had the pleasure of creating a multi-faith conference on women in American religion with Hebrew College in May 2000.

Aaron Kischel

Aaron Kischel spent his professional career serving the Conservative movement. He began as the New England Regional USY Director in the early ‘60’s and ‘70’s. He assumed the position of Executive Director for USCJ New England and the Northeast, including Eastern Canada, serving for 45 years. During that time, Aaron was among the early leaders for the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, participating on a Council Israel trip and 5 Council Unity Missions. Following his retirement 9 years ago, he has led trips visiting the Jewish community in Cuba and is active with CJP’s Boston-Haifa initiative. He is a board member and docent in New England for March of the Living, taking high school students to Poland and Israel. Aaron and his wife Ellen are active members of Temple Israel in Sharon, and have three sons and two daughters-in-law. One daughter-in-law is a senior rabbi of a Conservative congregation in California, and the other daughter-in-law works in a Conservative religious school and the local JCC. He is honored to be this year’s Keeper of the Flame for the Temple Israel Brotherhood. 

Past Presidents

Dr. Fred Cohen

Arnold M. Zaff z"l
Sharon Levinson
Richard G. Shulman
Anita Zetlan Redner z”l
Dr. Jesse Hefter
Ruth C. Glazerman
Richard S. Wissoker
Dr. Matthew Zizmor

Laura Dickerman
Marshall Schneider
Keith R. Osher
Lillian Shulman z”l
Alan M. Edelstein z"l
Irving Belansky
Norman Koss z”l
Robert Kahn

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Newton MA 02459

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