Temple Beth Avodah is led by a dedicated group of congregants. In addition to our Board of Directors and Executive Committee, we have several oversight committees and task forces who are responsible for various aspects of Temple life along with countless volunteers. Congregational participation makes TBA a vibrant community. We invite you to get involved in whatever way is meaningful to you.
1st Vice President
Chair, Development Oversight Committee
James and his wife Janet live in Brookline with their three children, all of whom became b’nai mitzvah at TBA. James has been on the Board since 2012, is a past Treasurer of TBA, served on multiple task forces over the years, and currently leads the Development Committee and serves on the Finance and Executive Committees. James was a Partner at McKinsey & Company, a Founding Partner and Managing Director at Bain Capital Ventures, is the Managing Partner of Alsora Capital, and has served on the boards of many private and public companies over the years.
Member at Large
Jeremy lives in Newton Centre with his wife Ilona and daughter Misha (his son Jonah is studying at University of Maryland). His family has been very active in the TBA community for over a decade: both children have gone through Hebrew school and Midrasha and you can still see Misha helping out on Sunday mornings! Jeremy has served as co-chair of the TBA Brotherhood, member of the temple board, and is now member-at-large on the executive committee. During COVID, Jeremy helped launch the Health and Safety Task Force for TBA. When not at TBA, Jeremy is an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.
Carole and her husband Mark and daughters Marissa and Jocelyn have been active members of Temple Beth Avodah for over 20 years. Her family has been honored to celebrate many special events at TBA including her daughters Bat Mitzvahs, graduations from preschool through Midrasha as well as Carole celebrated her adult Bat Mitzvah at TBA in 2014. Carole participates and leads many committees including the Board and the Executive Committee. In addition, she chaired the ad-hoc Vision committee and played a key role in developing our new Vision statement. Carole brings expertise in project management, strategic planning, and team building. Carole is the current President of Temple Beth Avodah.
Chair, Finance Oversight Committee
David has been a member of TBA for many years where all three of his children attended religious school and became B’nai Mitzvah. In addition to serving as the chair of the finance committee as treasurer, he was the chair of the Revenue Task Force and instrumental in creating the new Member Commitment structure. David worked in private equity with Berkshire Partners and GC Companies, founded Midwood Capital Management, and served as the Director of Finance and Operations at the Vilna Shul. He is currently the CFO of Tour24, a mobile app for apartment touring.
Member at Large
Margo joined Temple Beth Avodah in 2015 and has been involved in programming focused on Boomers. Before joining Beth Avodah, she was a member of Ohabei Shalom for 20 years. Margo is a vice president of Mathematica, where she directs the Cambridge office and specializes in health policy. She has a Ph.D. in health policy from Brandeis University's Heller School. Her hobbies include gardening, watching rom-coms, and spending time in Vermont. She and her husband, Robert Gottlieb, have two adult daughters, Dana and Hannah.
Chair, Building & Grounds Oversight Committee
Bruce and his wife Robin joined TBA in 2012 after moving from Austin, TX. Bruce was active in the synagogue and served as VP of finance for the Jewish day school in Austin. He was co-chair of the TBA Brotherhood before joining the board in 2016. He is currently the chair of the buildings and grounds committee and has been active in the arts troupe. Bruce directs high school science product development for a major educational publisher. He enjoys outdoor activities, hiking, cycling, skiing, and building the sukkah. Bruce and Robin have two adult daughters, Rachel and Hannah.
Member at Large
Chair, Leadership Oversight Committee
Carolyn has belonged to TBA since age 5 when her parents were among the Temple’s early members and since then she became a Bat Mitzvah, participated in junior choir and BAYGL, graduated Hebrew School and was confirmed, got married, and even witnessed her own children embark on their own Jewish milestones. Carolyn is the chair of the Leadership Development Committee. Outside the temple, Carolyn co-founded and runs Tell Me a Story (custom memoirs). She enjoys spinning, and traveling and cooking with her husband Jeff, daughter, Emily (her husband Sam) and her son, Justin.
Board of Directors
Josh Baumer lives in Newton with his wife, Niki, and son, Bryan. They really enjoy being part of TBA and all engage with the community in many ways. Josh has been involved with the Brotherhood, performed with the TBA Arts Troupe, and has been so fortunate to participate in the musical portions of services in recent years. Outside of TBA, Josh is an elementary principal in Westwood. He is honored to serve on the TBA Board.
Chair, Education Oversight Committee
Sarah Dretchen became more involved in TBA when her oldest joined the ELC in 2020. She is an active member of the Education Committee and the Revenue Task Force. She is a visionary design and product leader, coach, and mentor in the intersection of technology and design for disruption. She is currently the Associate Director of Product Design at Curology, making skincare accessible to all. Sarah also enjoys discovering new restaurants, cooking, riding her Peloton, and traveling the world.
Lisa Cohen joined TBA in 2004 and grew her love of Temple during the 2005 family trip to Israel. Recently, she’s been more involved through the Atideynu program, Revenue Task Force, and Development Committee. She is a dermatologist and dermatopathologist who primarily works on the laboratory side with a focus on melanoma and other skin cancer diagnoses. She is currently Managing Director at StrataDx in Lexington.
Julie Black Gollob grew up at TBA. She has children in the TBA religious school program and her daughter was a co-president of BAYGL. Julie co-chaired the engagement committee and helps plan events for parents of teens. She is active in TBA Cares and works to engage perspective and new members in TBA. When not at the temple, Julie enjoys tennis, nature, the arts and travel.
Margie Ross Decter
Margie Ross Decter has been a long-time active temple member. She currently active in the Tzedek (social action) Committee and enjoys participating in the Arts Troupe and women’s events. She’s passionate about civic engagement and has served in a number of Boards in the non-profit world including the Newton School Committee and runs a consultancy catalyzing health-driven organizations. She lives in Newton with her husband and three children.
Alyssa Gusenoff works part time as a pediatric speech pathologist and enjoys doing events to promote the book she wrote, Margarita Mama-Mocktails for Moms to Be. Alyssa lives in Waban with husband Dan and two sons, Zack & Alex. Both kids are graduates of the TBA Early Learning Center and continue to try to perfect their imitation of the talking challah! She chaired the Engagement Task force and she is active in planning women's programming and parent connections.
Chair, Community & Programming Committee
Beth Kozinn and her family have been members of Temple Beth Avodah since 2002. She greatly enjoys being involved in TBA's Arts Troupe productions, chanting Torah, planning the womens' kallah, and chairing the Programing Committee. Beth currently works as Director of Operations at Kesher Newton, an independent Jewish after school program. She lives in Newton with her husband Glenn Barest and their daughter Peri.
Ellen and her husband Jim have been Temple Beth Avodah members for over 25 years and Ellen served as President of the congregation. Under Ellen’s leadership, we celebrated 50 years in grand style. Ellen also led us through the Temple governance changes during her presidency. Ellen is the chair of the TBA Cares initiative that seeks to support and connect every member. When she isn’t at the Temple, Ellen spends her time as a realtor and with her growing family.
Bonnie Millender has been a member of TBA for over fifty years. She is a Past President of the Temple and served on numerous committees. We rely on Bonnie for her historical knowledge and are honored to have her continue her involvement at the Temple. Bonnie serves on the Leadership Development Committee.
Adam Rizika has been a member of TBA for over 10 years. He is married to Ellen and they have three children, Joshua, Sasha and Ava. Adam spent two years as head of the Brotherhood and his favorite TBA event is building the sukkah. Outside of temple, Adam is an entrepreneur, tech company advisor, FIRST Robotics coach, plus an avid skier, kite boarder, hiker and mountain biker.
Immediate Past President
Stacy grew up at Temple Beth Avodah and has taken on many leadership roles. She co-chaired the Torah project and 50th Anniversary with Abby Shapiro. Stacy was the chair of the Education Oversight Committee. She is an executive assistant and marketing coordinator at Iron Mountain and brings her experience and enthusiasm to everything she undertakes.
Michelle Spitzkoff first joined TBA when she was in 4th grade and returned with her own family. Michelle was active in the Parent Council and Education Committee, Welcoming Committee, Community & Programming Committee and the Engagement Task Force. She is currently the co-chair of the Atideynu program and is on the Transition Task Force. Michelle works in Human Resources at Liberty Mutual and lives in Newton with her husband, Craig, and their children Maya and Zach.
Jeff Tarmy has been a member of TBA for many years with his wife, Alison, and two teenage daughters, Hannah and Megan. He has been in leadership roles in the Brotherhood and social justice and plays on the TBA softball team. He is a corporate communications executive for life science companies.