The lay leadership of CBS is composed of two groups, the board and our many volunteer committees. Working closely with the staff and clergy, these groups conceive of and produce all CBS programming.
The BoardThe Congregation Beth Sholom Board of Directors is the governing body of the synagogue. The elected members are responsible for long-term policy decisions, the financial health of the institution, the hiring of clergy, and the overseeing of the congregation’s programs and schools.
The CommitteesCommittee responsibilities include managing finances, investing our reserve funds, arranging and leading services and Torah readings, overseeing the religious school, and planning adult education. If you are interested in joining a committee, please email Beth Jones.
Board BiosJAMES ABRAMS
James (Jim) Abrams joined CBS in 2004. More recently, he served on the Rabbi Search Committee that culminated in Rabbi Glazer’s 2014 appointment. He is a partner at Greene Radovsky Maloney Share & Hennigh LLP, where he specializes in commercial, multi-family, and winery real estate and financing. Prior to practicing law, Jim had a ten-year career in government and banking. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center and provides pro-bono legal services to a number of nonprofit organizations including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Northern California Community Loan Fund, and the Community Music Center. In addition to spending the High Holidays at CBS, Jim enjoys attending lectures, art tours, baseball games, wine tastings, and musical events with CBS members. He can often be spotted at the symphony, opera, ballet, art openings, falafel stands worldwide, and sometimes even playing clarinet.
Stacy Ban is a native of Nebraska. She is a Talent Acquisition Leader at Gap, and lives in the Castro District with her husband, Hubert. Stacy and Hubert are proud to call CBS their home shul. The CBS community has given Stacy transformative opportunities for authentic engagement, learning, and spiritual practice. She is honored to serve as a member of the Board of Directors, and firmly believes in a robust and vibrant future for CBS.
Linda Bernstein has been a member of CBS for 41 years. Linda grew up in the city and her parents were leaders at Congregation Chevra Thilim. When Linda was 16, they allowed her to come to Beth Sholom to join the United Synagogue Youth (USY) group. She also helped teach Sunday school at CBS and lead High Holiday services in the Junior Congregation. Linda is currently a shaliach tzibbur (service leader) on Shabbat and the High Holidays, is a Vice President of the Board, and serves on the Executive, Development, and Ritual Committees. Linda has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and founded her own medical communications company in 1998 called Vita Media Corporation. Linda is passionate about music, plays piano, and has taken many courses and private lessons in acting, singing, and musical theater. She enjoys spending time with her six grandchildren.
Ben Chinn has been a member of CBS since 2009 and has filled an interim position on the Board since October 2015. He has served on the synagogue’s Development Committee and currently chairs the Education Committee. Ben’s whole family is engaged in learning with CBS, either through Kevah groups, the CBS Family Preschool, or the Shabbat School, where he is a room parent for the K/1 class. Ben leads an e-commerce software development team at Restoration Hardware, where he has worked since 2010. Previously, he has worked in web development as a freelancer and for a Napa-based startup providing e-commerce technology to the wine industry (although he prefers a good bottle of tequila).
Dr. Richard Cohen and his wife, Sandra, are long-time members of CBS and are together a steadfast presence at Shabbat services. Richard is recently retired from his practice as an oncologist/hematologist. He has served as a Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California School of Medicine San Francisco and as Chief of Oncology/Hematology at both California Pacific Medical Center and Mount Zion Hospital.
Angela (Angie) Dalfen and her partner Liz Noteware have been members of CBS since 2009. Their son, Ari, attended the CBS Family Preschool and is now a student at The Brandeis School of San Francisco. Angie is the Director of Alumni Relations at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), working primarily with the School of Pharmacy and the Graduate Division. Prior to this role, she was Assistant Director of Public Interest Programs and then Associate Dean for Admissions at Golden Gate University School of Law. Angie has also practiced as an attorney specializing in employment law. She holds a BA in Philosophy from McGill University and a JD from Northeastern University School of Law. Angie previously served on two nonprofit boards and was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Jewish Community Federation‘s Pathways to Jewish Leadership cohort. She has published articles and given numerous presentations on applying to law school and professional development for law students. Angie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. In addition to English, she also speaks French and Hebrew.
GABRIELLE HANDLER MARKS
Gabrielle (Gabi) Handler Marks has been a member of CBS since 2001. Gabi is a 1999 graduate of the University of California Hastings College of the Law. After practicing for over fifteen years with two San Francisco law firms, Gabi became a co-founder of Hulst & Handler LLP, a law firm that focuses on performing workplace investigations in response to employee complaints of wrongful conduct. Gabi’s early years in the Jewish community of Cape Town, South Africa, influenced her decision to join our traditional-but-progressive and egalitarian synagogue. She and her husband, Don Marks, met at Beth Sholom through the Young Adults of Beth Sholom (YABS) group. They have two children, Noa and Saul, who are graduates of the CBS Family Preschool and attend the Brandeis School of San Francisco. Serving as a member of the Board provides Gabi with an unparalleled opportunity to support the work of the shul at a very exciting time.
Scott Horwitz is originally from Houston, Texas. He his wife Missy Sue Mastel have been members of CBS for 20 years. They celebrated their son Josh’s and daughter Sara’s b’nai mitzvot at Beth Sholom in 2011 and 2013. Scott is currently serving as the President of the Board of Directors and has previously chaired the Ritual Committee. He is an active member of the Torah readers and service leaders groups. Scott has worked at Fair Isaac – a statistical consulting and software firm – for over 25 years and currently is a Senior Director managing analytic business development in the Americas and Asia Pacific regions.
David Madfes was born in San Francisco and has lived here his entire life. He graduated from the University of San Francisco with a BS in Biology. Additionally, he earned his Secondary Teaching Credential and an MAT in Biology. With three careers behind him, he is retired from teaching science, mathematics, and computer technology (Lowell and Lincoln High Schools), from the United States Naval Reserve (retired with rank of Commander), and is semi-retired from work as a general contractor. David and his late wife, Tania, joined CBS over 40 years ago and became active members. He feels that the Board provides an opportunity for him to help guide the congregation in ways that make it appealing to a wide variety of interests, thereby increasing membership and participation.
BRUCE MEDOFF (outgoing member of the board)
Bruce Medoff and his wife, Miriam, are both natives of the East Coast, and they joined CBS following the birth of their first child, Adam, 23 years ago. Bruce and Miriam’s sons, Adam and David, are both graduates of the CBS Shabbat School (religious school) and became bar mitzvah here. Bruce has practiced emergency medicine continuously since completing his medical training here in San Francisco. He continues to practice at California Pacific Medical Center, where he began his professional career. He also taught emergency medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) for many years before relinquishing that position to focus exclusively on clinical practice. He is currently serving on the Board of Trustees of the VIA Foundation, a nonprofit organization helping to acquire, distribute, and train communities nationwide in the use of AED’s and the treatment of cardiac arrest. Bruce remains an avid cyclist, gym rat, and skier in his off hours, but his greatest passion is cheering on his children both on and off the court.
Joseph Ratner and his wife, Julie, moved to San Francisco in 2011 to be closer to family, and were pleased to learn that Joe’s great-grandparents had been CBS members. Joe and Julie are both enjoying an early retirement while also trying to keep up with their three daughters, Zehavah, starting her senior year in high school, Ellie, starting first grade at Brandeis, and Adinah, who is entering PreK in the CBS Family Preschool. Joe left a career in retail management, buying, and product development with RadioShack and Walmart, and Julie had been in medical ethics and patient advocacy at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Joe had been a synagogue Board member for over 15 years before coming to CBS, including two terms as president, and is eager to help ensure a vibrant and inspiring future for his new spiritual home.
David Soffa has been a member of CBS for over 40 years, and he is the Immediate Past President of the CBS Board. David is a board-certified radiologist and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Radiology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He is also a Fellow of the American College of Radiology, and a Past President of the San Francisco Medical Society. After 20 years of practice in the Mount Zion community, David moved into administrative medicine. He is the Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs for AIM Specialty Health, Inc., where he is responsible for client relations and overall medical policy. David joined AIM in 1999 as Chief Medical Officer, overseeing clinical projects and physician reviewers. David’s wife, Pauline, is an interior designer, and she served for many years on the education committee and the CBS Board. David’s daughters Naomi, JoAnna, and Audrey were confirmed and became bat mitzvah at CBS.
Todd Strauss, wife Tracey Thomas, and child, Gavi, moved to San Francisco in 2003, when they joined CBS and bought a house two blocks from the shul. Todd has served on the Beth Sholom Board since 2009, including stints as Co-President from 2011-2013 and as Treasurer from 2009-2011 and 2013-2015. Gavi’s bat mitzvah was at Beth Sholom. Todd and his family previously lived in Washington, D.C., and Connecticut. Todd grew up on Long Island, went to college in Boston and grad school in the Bay Area. Todd was on the Executive Committee of synagogue Beth El – Keser Israel in New Haven, Connecticut. Todd has worked on energy and environmental issues for 25 years. Todd holds a Ph.D. in operations research from UC-Berkeley and an S.B. in Mathematics from MIT, which makes his mother proud but, as Tracey and Gavi often remind him, Todd is not a “real” doctor.
Lael Sturm is a native San Franciscan who grew up at CBS. Lael works as a strategic advisor to a number of growth-stage companies and participates in founder/angel investment groups whenever possible. He earned an MBA from Columbia Business School after working in the music industry for the first part of his career. Lael and his wife Tristen Gottlieb Sturm live near the Panhandle with their two children.
Catherine Teitelbaum and her husband have been members of CBS since 2005. Catherine is an internationally-recognized expert in online safety and the development of digital entertainment and educational products for children. Catherine writes and speaks on a wide range of topics ranging from Digital Safety to Media Literacy and the use of Technology in Schools. Catherine was a co-founder of the Yahoo! Employee Foundation, a grassroots, philanthropic group that has donated over $20 million in cash grants to over 700 nonprofit organizations locally, nationally, and globally. Catherine has served as Vice- Chair and member of the Board of Directors of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), served on a variety of international committees and taskforces addressing online safety.
Harris Weinberg has been a member of CBS since his arrival in San Francisco in 1977; he joined the shul just days after his move from Vermont. Harris was born and raised in an Orthodox immigrant community in Louisville, Kentucky — a true fact notwithstanding the widespread belief that such communities did not exist in cities of that size or locale. This is Harris’ third term on the CBS Board. He first served in the early 1980s, and then again in 2009; he accepted this third appointment last year. Harris was, long ago, a trial lawyer; he has been a full time mediator for the past 25 years. Harris is married to Dana Corvin. He is the father of 3 grown children, all of whom live in San Francisco and all of whom were raised and became b’nai mitzvah at CBS. He is blessed with 3 grandchildren, with a 4th, please G-d, on the way.
LU ZILBER (outgoing member of the board)
Lu has been a member of CBS since moving to San Francisco from the Peninsula in 1995. Following her retirement from her career as a software developer, Lu (and her husband, Norm) began attending Saturday services regularly. She learned to read Torah a few years ago, and now is a regular Torah leyner. After helming several dinners and parties for the congregation, she now serves as the Chair of both our Development Committee and our Decor Committee. Lu is a former Fundraising Vice President of Sharone Chapter of Hadassah, a post she held many years.