Click here to learn about Days of Learning.

Louis Bernstein (he/him) 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.

Ira Brenner (he/him), MD, is a member of the Second Generation who has devoted much of his career to the study of the psychological effects of the Holocaust on the survivors and their offspring. His most recent book is The Handbook of Psychoanalytic Holocaust Studies—International Perspectives (2020). Dr. Brenner and his family have initiated The Leo Brenner Holocaust Memorial Fund at RS, which is interested in Holocaust education projects. He is in private practice in Bala Cynwyd.

Jonathan Broder (he/him), 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 Philadelphia’s Jewish community, he has served as 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 E. Brotman (he/him), PhD, principal of PERISCOPE Insight to Business LLC, focuses on organizational and leadership development with C-Suite executives and V-level management. He has worked with a broad array of organizations from small privately-owned companies to publicly-traded global organizations and universities. Lloyd has been committed to RS for over 30 years and, among other roles, served as president from 2014 to 2017.

Andrea Degutis (she/her) recently retired as a senior human resources executive with a record of managing change at local and global firms including Clarivate Inc.; Truven Health Analytics, an IBM company; and divisions of Thomson Reuters and Wolters Kluwer. Her expertise extends to organization development, identifying and developing talent, and assessing the impact of skills, attitudes, culture, and organization design. A Temple graduate and member of Phi Beta Kappa, she lives with her husband, Tony, in Philadelphia.

Jonathan Fink (he/him) studied cello at the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, now University of the Arts. Having earned his BA in Music Performance, he’s been a freelance cellist in the region. You can see him perform at RS in Ani Kinor and at Verizon Hall with Peter Nero and the Philly POPS and other organizations. As a private pilot, Jonathan flies for Angel Flight East, providing free air transportation to needy people facing medical challenges. Jonathan is also a Compass Real Estate agent.

David Fischer (he/him) is a math educator. Originally from Minnesota, David came to Philadelphia to earn a PhD in education from Drexel University. His research focused on the intersection of math identity and queer identity, looking at the correlation between a positive math identity and family/communal support of one’s sexual orientation and gender identity. David loves the challenge of teaching higher math to his students at Bodine High School.

Matthew Fleisher (he/him) has deep roots at RS and is now a Baltimore-based opera singer, woodworker, and law student. A basso profundo, Matthew has sung with Opera Philadelphia and companies across the country such as the National Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theatre, Wolf Trap Opera, Pensacola Opera, Brevard Opera Center, and Washington Concert Opera. Matthew focuses his woodworking craftsmanship on live edge furniture designs. He is pursuing a law degree and master’s in public health at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University.

Ethel Goldberg (she/her), 83-year-old sports maven, fell in love with Richie Ashburn and baseball when she was ten. Unfortunately, he was already married but Ethel has been a diehard Phillies fan ever since. Her interest in other sports came later. She is the primary writer of Philly Fans on Facebook and writes a sports column for her community newsletter. Baseball remains her first love, with football and basketball close behind. Hockey is a distant fourth.

Marjorie Goldberg (she/her), a devoted music educator and active freelancer, was raised in Philadelphia and studied viola and music education at the Hart School of Music in Connecticut. For over 25 years Marjorie has taught violin and viola in our region, including at Waldron-Mercy Academy, University of the Arts, and to private students as well. A violist in RS’s Ani Kinor and orchestras like the Philly POPS and Harrisburg Symphony, she is also vice president of the Philadelphia Musician’s Union.

Michael Hess (he/him) mostly taught himself golf by rehearsing the swings of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Sam Snead. A 5 handicap, he competed in the 1965 Missouri Junior Boys Tournament—against a kid from Kansas City named Tom Watson. Eyeing a golf career, he won an athletic scholarship to Rollins College until education goals popped that dream. He’s already played Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, and Pine Valley, with several more left on his bucket list.

Kenny Holdsman (he/him) founded and has led Philadelphia Youth Basketball, Inc. after serving as president of Legacy Youth Tennis and Education (formerly Arthur Ashe). Earlier, he was a senior program officer and directed youth engagement teams for the Academy for Educational Development, and ran service learning and Freedom Schools for the School District of Philadelphia. Kenny used his Lehigh BS and Temple JD as an associate at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll in Philadelphia and as Congressman Robert Andrews’s legislative director.

Jill Ivey (she/her) 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 her bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania and MFA at Rutgers-Camden. She lives in South Philly with her husband Ross and two cats.

Jennifer James (she/her), RS director of youth education, came to Jewish education as a calling. She holds an Executive MA degree in Jewish Education from HUC-JIR, having earned a BA at Rutgers College and a JD at Harvard Law School, and spending nearly 20 years practicing law in Philadelphia. Jennifer lives in Mount Laurel with her three children.

Galit Poster’s (she/her) mother was born in Turkey and her father in Iran. They met in Israel and emigrated to the US where Galit was born. Galit graduated from UC Santa Barbara and continued her studies in Israel. A former English as a second language teacher for Israeli professionals, she now works in IT. She and her husband Jason Poster live near Tel Aviv and love celebrating Shabbat and other Jewish holidays with her extended Sephardic family.

Jason Poster (he/him) is the son of RS members Ellen and Stanley Poster. He earned his fine arts degree, majoring in sculpture, at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Jason made aliyah in 2008 and met his wife Galit in the ulpan. They make their home in Or Yehuda, a Tel Aviv suburb. Jason works at ONEDESIGN, where he continues his career in metal fabrication, working on both commercial and residential projects.

Caren Schiffman (she/her) is an attorney in the Child Welfare Unit of the Philadelphia Law Department. A former prosecutor, Caren is dedicated to public service and is actively engaged in numerous volunteer efforts aimed at achieving justice for victims, advancing education, and championing human rights. Among her many community engagement roles, she is a Visitor Services Volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and has planned multiple events in the Philadelphia area with the museum.

Brian Seltzer (he/him) just arrived at KYW Original Podcasts as a producer from digital reporting for the 76ers, where he wrote, filed video reports, hosted pre- and post-game radio shows, and started the 76ers Podcast Network, which has ranked among the top 10% of American sports podcasts. A Cheltenham native, Brian long called men’s football, basketball, and lacrosse, and women’s lacrosse games for Penn, his alma mater. He previously worked for 97.5 The Fanatic, other radio stations, and the Reading Phillies.

Tiffani McDonough Solomon (she/her) is the director, senior counsel, employment & litigation for Louis Vuitton with sole responsibility for managing labor and employment matters and general litigation for all corporate offices, workshops, and retail locations throughout the Americas. She is also the senior employment counsel for Berluti LLC and adjunct fashion law professor at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law. She has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and educational materials, and regularly lectures on employment law issues.

Jeffrey M. Strauss (he/him), a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is interested in city transportation and green spaces. After 35 years in retail banking, he now works for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s Inheritance Tax Office. Formerly Jeffrey served as RS board member and president of Beth Ahavah and Sons & Daughters of Holocaust Survivors, a kinship group founded in Philadelphia. Jeffrey has recently begun presenting his mother’s life story at area schools and synagogues.

Aaron Weiss (he/him) is an executive director at Leadership Solutions, a Philadelphia-based consulting firm. Aaron serves global clients in the areas of leadership development, executive selection, talent assessment, and team dynamics.

Karen Wisnia (she/her) is the third of four children of Holocaust survivor Cantor David Wisnia.  She grew up in Levittown, Pennsylvania, and currently lives in West Philadelphia.  She is a graduate of Temple University Ambler Campus and works at the University of Pennsylvania.  Karen joined RS when her daughter started kindergarten at Mercaz Limud.  She is a past member of the RS Board of Trustees and a current member of the Board of Advisors.

Heshie Zinman (he/him) has a long history of activism for the health and well-being of LGBT and HIV communities that includes founding the AIDS Library of Philadelphia and helping establish ActionAIDS, the LGBT Elder Initiative, and other organizations. Formerly the AIDS Information Network’s executive director and HIV community relations manager at two pharmaceutical firms, Heshie was appointed to the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. He holds a BA degree from Penn State and an MBA from St. Joseph’s University.

Clergy bios

Bios for our clergy presenters—Rabbi Eli Freedman, Cantor Brad Hyman, and Rabbi Emeritus William Kuhn—appear on the RS website under About Us, Leadership.