Susan Behr studied chemical engineering at Purdue University. She is a process safety and risk management leader at Braskem, a producer of thermoplastic resin, biopolymer, and polypropylene. She is a member of the RS Board of Advisors and co-chairs the Seasoned Solos connection group.
Louis Bernstein is vice president of Case Paper Company. A Philadelphia native who has drummed since he was 11 years old, he played in bands all through junior high, high school, and college. Lou has taught drums and is also a jazz historian.
Adam Bonin, an attorney, represents clients in campaign finance, election law, voter protection, pay-to-play, official ethics, and lobbying compliance matters. A leader on behalf of the rights of online speakers, he currently focuses on representing elected officials and candidates for office on the federal, statewide, and local levels, as well as corporate, labor, nonprofit, party entities, and other politically-active entities on matters of federal, state, and municipal campaign finance election law and regulatory compliance. His clients have included candidates for office ranging from the president of the U.S., U.S. senator, and governor, to city council and township commissioner.
Michelle Brancheau-Fogg is currently chief of staff at Bentley Systems. She is passionate about building, growing, and transforming businesses. A cross-functional leader with expertise in strategy, operations, and leading diverse teams to plan and execute broad-scale initiatives across diverse industries, Michelle has applied these skills as a member of the leadership team for the Reform movement’s RAC-PA and as co-leader of RS’s Voter Access and Advocacy task force. She also served on the RS Board for many years. Michelle earned her BA from the University of Michigan and her MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Roberta Brenner is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Bala Cynwyd, currently working remotely. An additional rewarding part of this gratifying work is her involvement with the Chinese American Psychoanalytic Alliance, which offers training and treatment to Chinese psychotherapists. She is a longtime RS congregant who started religious school here in 1957 and continued through confirmation. One of the highlights of her life was returning to become an adult bat mitzvah in 2015, when she discovered her penchant for chanting Torah.
Joe Brin is an architect, documentary filmmaker, photographer, and writer based in Philadelphia. His film, SHIVTEI: Lost and Found, on Congregation Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras Israel (aka The Little Shul) was featured in the Summer Shorts Film Festival of 2019. Joe’s new film in production, A String of Pearls: The Small Miracles of Charles Middleberg, features hand-cut silhouettes depicting the wartime childhood memories of a Holocaust survivor, narrated by Mr. Middleberg himself. Joe also writes for Hidden City Daily on architecture, preservation, and culture.
Jon Broder, a native New Yorker, stayed in Philadelphia after attending Temple Law School. Counsel for Conrail for 30 years, he was instrumental in creating New York City’s High Line. In the Philadelphia Jewish community, he has served as a president of a synagogue and of Jewish Learning Venture, trustee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and in other leadership roles. Jon has studied piano for over 50 years, including at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Lloyd Brotman, PhD, is a founding principal of PERISCOPE Insight to Business, LLC, a psychological practice focused on executive coaching and organization development. He has worked with organizations ranging from small, family-owned to publicly-traded global companies. At RS, Lloyd has served as trustee, director, advisor, vice president, president, and as a member or co-chair of task forces on technology, visioning, and strategic planning, and talent searches for rabbi, cantor, executive director, and Jewish educator.
Bettina Escauriza is a filmmaker, writer, and artist born in Asuncion, Paraguay, and now living in Philadelphia. Her work deals with indigenous knowledge (specifically Guarani epistemologies), colonization, immigration, anarchism, and exile. As a filmmaker she aims to tell the truth about indigenous people and people of color through lush, sensual, thrilling, and complex stories that center narratives of joy, defiance, and resistance in the face of oppression. Bettina’s international human rights work at the United Nations focuses specifically on the role of indigenous peoples and indigenous knowledge in mitigating the current climate crisis.
Rabbi Eli Freedman graduated from Brandeis University and was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2010. Before coming to RS, Rabbi Freedman interned at the NYU Hillel, attended rabbinical school in London, and ran outreach programs at Columbia/Bernard Hillel. Among his RS duties is coordinating RS’s social justice initiatives.
Michael P. Freidman, EdD, is an applied psychologist who provides consulting and clinical intervention for individuals, families, and leaders. Past president of a congregation, member of the URJ’s North America Board of Trustees, and co-author of a book on clergy retirement, he founded Congregational Consulting Network as an independent service for clergy, congregations, and other Jewish communal organizations. His clients have included the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the American Conference of Cantors, and various congregations and clergy.
Jane Friedman graduated from Temple University with a degree in early childhood education and taught special education in Philadelphia. In 1986 she obtained her master’s degree in fashion design from Drexel University, after which she sold her original fashion and home accessories to local boutiques, including Joan Shep. She has been a docent at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for over 20 years where she specialized in the architecture of the Museum itself and its historic houses in Fairmount Park. Having spent most of her life in Philadelphia, she loves the city for its beauty and historic interest.
Howard Green and his wife Julia Williams moved from Central Jersey to Center City a few years ago to be nearer their grandchildren (why else?) and joined RS about a year later. Historian, writer, and museum consultant, happily retired, he has been coping with Covid-19’s lifestyle restrictions by reading, learning Spanish, and trying to improve his photography skills. Howard is eager to share some of the online photography resources he has discovered in the last few months.
Michael Hauptman is a partner at Brawer & Hauptman, Architects, which specializes in the design of synagogues and other institutional buildings. Their portfolio includes over two dozen synagogue projects from planning studies to additions and renovation to new buildings. RS’s immediate past president, Michael received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Brandeis and his master’s in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jill Ivey is a writer, yoga teacher, and communications consultant whose company, Jilletante Creative, helps businesses and entrepreneurs learn the art of storytelling and apply it to their marketing and communications strategy. Jill has also acted professionally and currently freelances as a theatre reviewer for the Broad Street Review. A Texas native, she earned degrees locally, undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA at Rutgers-Camden. At RS, she co-chairs Young Friends, is on the Board of Advisors, and served on the visioning committee. She lives in South Philly with her husband, Ross, and their two cats.
Arden Kass is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and independent producer whose work has been seen in Philadelphia, New York, and London. Her play Behold Her: 5,000 Years of Jewish Women and Beauty, co-created with Michaela Shuchman, premiered at the 2018 Philadelphia Fringe Festival and was slated for a developmental workshop with Tovah Feldshuh in New York. Current projects include two musicals, Daddy’s Girl (or, The Patrimony) and Alpha Gals.
Avi Katz is president of the Akiba-Barrack Alumni Association and a member of Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy’s Board of Directors, membership vice president of Dona Gracia Hadassah, and member of RS’s Days of Learning planning group. A past president of the Henrietta Szold Hadassah group and of the Shirley Gettlin Chapter of the American Jewish Congress, she also served as director of the Senior Center at Germantown Jewish Centre for 20 years.
Ken and Eve Klothen are retired Philadelphia lawyers who have traveled throughout Latin America and davened with congregations in Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Argentina, and Mexico. Longtime RS members who have visited and lived part time in Costa Rica for 35 years, they became associate members of Congregacion B’nei Israel in San Jose, Costa Rica, and have attended more services there virtually in 2020 than in person during all those 35 years!
Rabbi Bill Kuhn, graduate of the Wharton School and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, became rabbi emeritus in 2017, after serving as RS rabbi for 23 years. A Nashville native, he had careers in retail and real estate, and was a congregational officer there. At RS, he engaged in Jewish communal and civic affairs locally while also providing leadership through Reform Judaism’s denomination-wide organizations. He currently co-chairs a national effort to help nurture the sacred partnership between rabbis and congregations.
Rabbi David Laor is the rabbi of Congregacion B’nei Israel in San Jose, Costa Rica. A native of Mexico, Rabbi Laor became president of the Bet Shmuel Jewish Community in Veracruz and, years later, was responsible for religious services and offered classes in Hebrew language and Judaism at Neve Shalom Jewish Community in Cancun. In 1990 he immigrated to Israel where he attended Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and received rabbinic ordination in 2017.
Rabbi Jill Maderer has served RS since her ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2001. She became senior rabbi in 2017. She works passionately to build community and pursue our vision of creating profound connections. A leader in the Reform movement and published author, she graduated from Brandeis University with a major in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and minors in Women’s Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies.
Stephanie Miller, a co-leader of RS’s voter access effort with Michelle Brancheau-Fogg, is a professional organizer who helps individuals streamline and simplify their lives. Believing that you should be in control of your things and not the other way around, she teaches clients how to “let go” and make space for what truly matters. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband Michael and sons Jakob and Benjamin, and loves exploring the city.
Matt Rice, a lifelong learner, has a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library and information science. Matt is particularly interested in Jewish ethics, having studied mussar with Rabbi Ira Stone, rabbi emeritus of Beth Zion-Beth Israel.
Linda Karp Rudow has had a career in the arts spanning more than 35 years. After completing her undergraduate degree at Moore College of Art & Design and a master’s degree from the University of the Arts, she began working as a professor in the Art Institute of Philadelphia’s bachelor’s degree program. She also started her own business, Karp Marketing, after 15 years as an award-winning graphic designer. Linda developed her love for figure sculpture as a college freshman. Her passion has been rewarded with awards from Fleisher Art Memorial where she has been creating ever since.
Rachelle Lee Schneider is an award-winning, nationally- and internationally-shown and published photographer. She is the author of Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus and has traveled extensively with the book and photo exhibition, giving talks and workshops. She has headed LGBTQ student groups and sat on multiple diversity and inclusion boards. Rachelle has a passion for storytelling and shared experiences.
Jerry Silverman had a long career in math education. His master’s degree in Jewish education from Gratz College prepared him to teach and administer in numerous Hebrew schools in our area, including both branches of RS back in the late 70’s. His love for Philly brought him to a new career as a tour guide for Mural Arts Philadelphia, American Jewish Committee, the Preservation Alliance, and RS.
Matt Singer is a writer, curator, and educator. He earned a master’s degree and PhD from Penn State in American Studies with concentrations in material and visual culture and ethnic and religious studies. Matt served as curator for RS’s Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art from 1999 to 2014. His RS-inspired dissertation, “Reforming Faith by Design: Frank Furness’ Architecture and Spiritual Pluralism among Philadelphia’s Jews and Unitarians,” will be featured in the December issue of Pennsylvania Heritage.
Jody Steiger is a founder of Congregacion B’nei Israel, which was established 35 years ago by three families with small children the same age. She currently serves as president of the congregation and is a firm believer and participant in the international reform/progressive movement. Jody is a theatre designer and producer by trade, who holds a PhD in the use of the arts in education and social development.
Reid Willis is a chemist by training and a patent attorney by profession. He is a scientist at heart and is happy to work with scientists every day of his professional life. His love of old movies is reflected in his extensive collection of 11-mm black-and-white films, which he plays in his basement theater. Reid is delighted to moderate our panel on the 2020 presidential election.
Sunny Zakroff was born in Guangzhou (formerly Canton), China, and moved to the U.S. seven years ago. Five years ago, she married Marc Zakroff, and they added son Bowie to their family two years ago. The Zakroffs are Rabbi Freedman’s neighbors in East Kensington. Sunny is a dedicated volunteer with Breaking Bread on Broad. Her translation for our Mandarian-speaking families helps them feel welcomed and understood.