If you are interested in getting more involved and becoming part of our leadership team, please reach out to Stacy Shwartz at stacy@bethavodah.org and we will find the right role for you!

OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE                   

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Carole Rodenstein, President

Carole and her family have been active members of TBA for over 20 years. She celebrated her adult Bat Mitzvah at TBA in 2014, an amazing accomplishment. Carole 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 teamwork building.

James Nahirny, 1st Vice President

James has played a key role in our fundraising strategy, serves on the Institutional Advancement Committee and the Finance committee. He participated in the strategic planning process and helped us create our previous strategic plan.  James was a longtime director at Bain Capital.

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David Cohen, Treasurer

David has been a member of TBA for many years.  David worked in private equity with Berkshire Partners and GC Companies, founded Midwood Capital Management, an independent investment firm focused on small-cap public equities, in 2003. He is currently the Director of Finance and Operations at the Vilna Shul.

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Bruce Blakely, Secretary

Bruce and his wife Robin have been members of TBA for several years. He served on the Board of Directors at his former synagogue in Texas and has wanted to get more involved at TBA. He served on the Leadership Council and participated in Heneini. Bruce has been involved in the Brotherhood and the Arts troupe. Bruce and Robin have two daughters, Rachel and Hannah.

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Jeremy Goldfarb, Member at Large

Jeremy lives in Newton Centre with his wife Ilona, son Jonah and daughter Misha. His family has been very active in the TBA community for over a decade: both children have gone through Hebrew school and Midrasha; Ilona and Misha were showcased in the Temple production of Joseph; Jonah was on the BAYGL board, and Jeremy has served as co-chair of the TBA Brotherhood. He is an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. He likes to be silly at times but is actually quite serious at the core and is really excited to participate on the board.

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Margo Rosenbach, Member at Large

Margo is a vice president of Mathematica Policy Research, where she specializes in health policy. She has a Ph.D. in health policy from Brandeis University's Heller School. Before joining Beth Avodah, she was a member of Ohabei Shalom for 20 years and served as a vice president, member of the school committee, chair of the gift shop, and other roles. At TBA, she has been involved in programming focused on Boomers. Her hobbies include gardening, cooking from the garden, and sharing her garden bounty. She and her husband, Robert Gottlieb, have two adult daughters, Dana and Hannah.

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Carolyn Snider, Member at Large

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 ran p.s. designs (an event planning company) and currently co-found and runs Tell Me a Story (custom photo journalistic books). She volunteers (and past-president) with the Boston Children’s Hospital League and enjoys spinning, and traveling and cooking with her husband Jeff, and adult children, Emily and Justin. 

OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Finance – David Cohen, Treasurer

Education – Sarah Dretchen

Building & Grounds – Bruce Blakely

Community & Programming – Beth Kozinn

Leadership Development – Carolyn Snider

Development – James Nahirny

TRUSTEES

Stacy Schwartz, 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.

 

Josh Baumer lives in Newton with his wife, Niki, and son, Bryan. They have all really enjoyed being part of the TBA community and increasing their involvement in recent years. Josh has been involved with the Brotherhood, performed with the TBA Arts Troupe, and just finished the Henini Leadership Development program. Outside of TBA, Josh is an elementary principal in Westwood. He is honored and excited to be joining the TBA Board.

 

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.

 

Margie Ross Decter has been a long-time active temple member. She currently co-chairs 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 other organizations in the Jewish and non-profit world. Margie founded and currently serves as President of Enzyme Inc. which specializes in consulting with executives from hospitals, managed care, government, research, bio-pharmaceutical, and advocacy organizations. She lives in Newton with her husband, Adam, and has three children, Noah, Jacob, and Zach. 

 

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.

 

Julie Black Gollob grew up at TBA and rejoined when she returned to Newton. She has 3 children who are or have been in the ELC, religious school, and Midrasha.  She has been involved in the engagement task force and parents of teens committee. She enjoys being active outside in nature, arts and travel.

 

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 currently chairing the Engagement Task force.

 

Beth Kozinn and her family have been members of Temple Beth Avodah since 2002. In recent years, she has become increasingly involved in our community through participating in Arts Troupe productions, chanting Torah, and helping to plan several Kallahs. Beth currently works at the independent Jewish afterschool program, Kesher Newton. She is looking forward to continuing her involvement in the Jewish non-profit world. Beth lives in Newton with her husband Glenn Barest and their daughter Peri.

 

Ellen Meisel Under Ellen’s leadership, we celebrated 50 years in grand style.  Ellen also led us through the Temple governance changes during her presidency. When she isn’t at the Temple, Ellen spends her time as a realtor and with her family.  

 

Keith Merlin is Chief in the department of OBGYN Signature healthcare and clinical instructor at Tufts and Harvard Medical schools. He is presently taking NOAM certification course (to be a reform movement certified Mohel. He participated in the Heneini program. Keith is married to Heidi and has two adult children.

 

Bonnie Millender has been a member of TBA for many 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 several years.  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, hiker and mountain biker.  Adam has worked in large companies and has also started several companies including Reflective Technologies, Quantum Clicks, Blackwave and VidScale.  Adam is married to Ellen and they have three children, Joshua, Sasha  and Ava.  

 

Michelle Spitzkoff first joined TBA when she was in 4th grade and returned with her family when her children began attending our ELC in 2014. Michelle has been active in the Parent Council and Education Committee, Welcoming Committee and taken an active role in the Community & Programming Committee and the Engagement Task Force. Michelle is the co-chair of the Atideynu Leadership Development program. She works in Human Resources at Liberty Mutual and is very active in the Memorial Spaulding PTO. She 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. 

Rachel White and her husband Jonathan have been Temple members since 2004. They have two children, Caleb and Dory, who have been through pre-school and religious school at TBA. In the past, Rachel served on the Temple pre-school committee, the Social Action Committee, and the Board of Directors. She also co-founded the Green Committee with Pat D’Amore. Rachel works at Byggmeister Design/Build, a residential remodeling firm in Newton that is passionate about fixing older homes and bringing them into the 21st century. Rachel also has a PhD in Religious Studies from Brown University.