Dinah W. Brin is an RS Torah study veteran, post-Torah study bruncher, freelance writer and journalist, native Texan transplanted to Philadelphia, wife, and mom, not necessarily in that order.
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/Barnard Hillel. Among his RS duties is coordination of our LearneRS and RiSe Up! social justice initiatives.
Paula Fuchsberg, a New York City native, has spent the majority of her adult life in Philadelphia. She was a newspaper journalist for more than three decades, most of that time as an editor and occasional feature writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She is now an editor in corporate communications at Vanguard. In normal times, she enjoys traveling, volunteering, and partaking of Philadelphia’s cultural offerings.
Brian A. Gordon earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. His 30-year practice has focused on estate planning, including drafting wills, living wills with advance healthcare directives, trusts, and other estate-planning documents. Brian is also an experienced estates litigator, representing both fiduciaries and beneficiaries. Brian served for over 10 years as a Lower Merion township commissioner.
Michael Hauptman, RS’s current president, specialized in the design of synagogues and other institutional buildings during his career as a partner at Brawer & Hauptman, Architects. Their portfolio included over two dozen synagogue projects from planning studies to additions and renovations to new buildings. Michael received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis in fine arts and his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ellen Kraftsow-Kogan is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with an undergraduate degree in English and a master’s degree in Bioethics from its School of Medicine. She is a member of the Albert Einstein Healthcare Services Board, serving on the Ethical Responsibility Committee and chairing the Quality Assessment and Improvement Committee. She is a past member of RS’s Board of Trustees and Vice President of Sisterhood.
Bernice Koplin graduated from Temple University School of Law, where she also earned two Masters in Law–in Taxation and in Trial Advocacy. Her practice for close to 40 years has focused on taxation, estate and trust planning and administration, charitable organization, and planning. Approximately half of her practice involved the litigation and mediation of trust, estate, and charitable organization issues. Before her semi-retirement, she also became certified as an Elder Law Attorney.
Monica Kramer is a queer realtor and co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion committee at Keller Williams Philadelphia who is committed to helping people of all genders and sexualities buy, rent, and sell while feeling safe and seen. An adjunct professor of French at the University of Pennsylvania, Monica also presented Teaching Beyond the Gender Binary and was a featured panelist on the Trans Literacy Project there. They are passionate about fitness, animals, food, and Judaism.
Fran Martin maintains a private practice as a psychologist and psychoanalyst in Philadelphia. For the last 30 years, she has provided insight-oriented therapies for individual children, adolescents, adults, parents, and couples, as well as facilitating groups. She facilitated RS’s BoomRS in Transition (originally called Empty Nesters) for seven years. Fran currently co-chairs RS’s Membership Task Force and is Vice President of our Board of Directors.
Karen Michaels earned her undergraduate degree in geoenvironmental science, a graduate degree and additional certifications in psychology, and has published in the field of crisis management. After an accident left her with a traumatic brain injury, she shifted her focus to shape and color. Her photographs and other art have won numerous awards and been shown around the world.
Stuart Schmidt and Marsha Weinraub are marriage partners and long-time RS members. Stuart is an organizational social scientist, training doctoral students at Temple University. Marsha, a Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology at Temple University, is a research developmental psychologist. Both have published extensively in social science journals. Neither has ever taken a course in horticulture or gardening. As a child, Stuart learned to appreciate gardening in his grandmother’s vegetable garden in Racine; as a young man, he taught agriculture in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan. Marsha learned everything she knows from reading, searching the internet, and visiting other gardens. Both have also learned from the advice of really smart people and by trial and error in their own gardens. They enjoy their current garden in the Spring Garden neighborhood and love talking about it with anyone willing to listen.
Rachelle Lee Schneider is an award-winning photographer who is nationally and internationally shown and published. Author of Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus, she has traveled extensively to give talks and workshops with her book and photo exhibition. Rachelle has headed LGBTQ student groups and sat on multiple diversity and inclusion boards. She looks forward to the conversation with other congregants about ever-changing LGBTQIA language.
Jerry Silverman has a master’s degree in Jewish education from Gratz College and a long career in math education. These prepared him to teach and administer in numerous Hebrew schools in our area, including RS in the late 1970s. His love for Philly led to a new career as a tour guide for Mural Arts Philadelphia, American Jewish Committee, Preservation Alliance, and RS.
Rabbi George Stern was confirmed at RS in 1963 and ordained at Hebrew Union College in 1974. He served a pulpit in Nyack, NY, then returned to Philadelphia as executive director of Neighborhood Interfaith Movement. Prior to retirement, he worked with senior citizens at William Penn House and then as executive director of Jewish Social Policy Action Network. A self-described ‘professional activist,’ he works with POWER and Indivisible.
Julia Williams grew up in southern California and has lived on the East Coast for almost 50 years. She relocated from New Jersey to Philadelphia with her husband, Howard Green, to be closer to their daughter and her family. A trained art historian, she most recently worked with Howard’s consulting firm, Public History Partners, doing research and planning exhibitions for local museums and historical societies.
Heshie Zinman 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 recently appointed to the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. His BA degree is from Penn State University and his MBA from St. Joseph’s University.