Stuart Bear has been involved as a leader in many charitable and religious organizations for a number of years. He has served as President of Beth Jacob Congregation, President of Jewish Family Service of St. Paul, and is the President-Elect of Talmud Torah of St. Paul. He is a shareholder in the law firm of Chestnut Cambronne PA. Stuart’s practice focuses on Estate Planning and Elder Law, where he has gained national recognition as a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Stuart is married to Marsha Schoenkin and they have (in the words of Garrison Keillor) above average children, daughter Arielle and her husband Geoffrey Bloom, and son Nathaniel Bear.
Jay Benanav is an attorney with Weinblatt & Gaylord PLC, a progressive law firm specializing in civil practice. He has practiced law and run businesses for over 30 years. Jay is also Director of Government Relations at Augsburg College. He served on the St. Paul City Council for 10 years. Jay has a J.D. from St. John’s Law School and has attended Harvard School of Government and Columbia University School of Business.
Ralph Bernstein is a member of Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka and has been an active member of the Twin Cities Jewish community since 1996, when he and his family relocated from Baltimore, Maryland. Ralph is an associate member of Hadassah and served for seven years on the board of trustees and executive committee of Bet Shalom Congregation. Ralph is senior vice president and business leader of the healthcare payment solutions business of U.S. Bank.
Sally Bressler has served as president of Bet Shalom Congregation, as a trustee of the North American Board of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), and as a trustee of the Minneapolis Jewish Community Foundation. Currently, she teaches religious school at Bet Shalom and serves on the board of the National Council of Jewish Women and also is a member of the Community Development Steering Committee of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and a trustee of the Federation's Women's Endowment Fund.
Steven Foldes has long been a leader in the Jewish community and is a member of Beth Jacob Congregation. He is a social scientist and has worked as a researcher and an executive in government and industry settings conducting public health and health services research on topics ranging from tobacco control to gerontology. He recently started Foldes Consulting LLC, an independent consulting practice in health care, and was appointed an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health. He is married to Riv-Ellen Prell and together they successfully raised two adult daughters.
Jenny Gassman-Pines moved to the Twin Cities to attend the University of Minnesota Law School. After graduating in 2006, Jenny clerked for Chief Justice Russell Anderson at the Minnesota Supreme Court for the 2006-2007 court term. Jenny currently practices law at Greene Espel in the area of business litigation and serves on the Neighborhood House Food Shelf Committee.
Rabbi Simeon Glaser (Rabbinic Liaison) is Associate Rabbi of Temple Israel (Reform). An accomplished guitarist and singer/songwriter, Rabbi Glaser attended Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, held a rabbinical position in Connecticut, and continues to work on music, social justice, teaching children and adults, and leading a very large Reform congregation.
Nancy Goldman is president of UNITE-HERE union representing garment workers and hotel and restaurant employees.
Nancy Kleeman works as a consultant to help nonprofits achieve their social justice missions. She is also a part-time contract program officer with the Otto Bremer Foundation. From 2004-08, she served as executive director of The Fund for the Legal Aid Society in Minneapolis. Prior to that, she spent over 20 years working with Minnesota legal aid programs and their community partners as Access to Justice Director at the Minnesota State Bar Association. She serves on the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Board, as a trustee of the Abraham and Sarah Eiser Family Foundation, and is a member of Adath Jeshurun Synagogue.
Abi Kritzer has served on the Indie Jews Leadership Team for the past three years. She works as a research associate in analytical chemistry at a metro area biotech company, and does volunteer work assisting the education staff at a hawk observatory and research station in Duluth.
Bill Lerman was a teacher of students with emotional and behavioral disorders at Rondo Learning Center. He taught in St. Paul Schools for 29 years. Bill has served as the board chair of Leland-Johnson Common Vision Program, in JCA's GIFT, and with JCA's Racial Justice Leadership Team. He is a member and serves on the board of Temple of Aaron.
Judi Levin Marshall is a member of Mount Zion Temple, where she has served as Co-Chair of the Tzedek Committee and on its Board of Directors. She is currently on the Board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Saint Paul and serves on several advisory groups for Jewish Family Services of Saint Paul. For twelve years she has lead Mount Zion’s partnership with Project Home, an overflow shelter for families hosted by the congregation. A few years ago, Judi help to facilitate a unique JCA-Mount Zion collaboration: a series of social justice house parties and summit, which was awarded JCA’s Wellstone Call to Justice Award. Judi is a retired dentist and also has a graduate degree in Health Care Research, Policy, and Administration.
Julie L. Plaut has been an active member of JCA since 1999; soon after moving to the Twin Cities, she attended a Tzedakah Institute for unaffiliated Jews and then joined the Racial Justice Working Group. Previously Associate Director of Minnesota Campus Compact, Julie now leads academic initiatives for the national office of Campus Compact. Her work focuses on engaging college students, faculty, and staff with communities to address important public issues and advance higher education’s civic purposes. She is a member of the youthrive Board as well as Chair of the JCA Board.
Andrea Rubenstein is an attorney with Schaefer Law and specializes in employment and labor law. Andrea is a member of Shir Tikvah Congregation.
Elana Schwartzman has a background in marketing and communications, having worked with nonprofit, for-profit, and electoral organizations and campaigns throughout the Twin Cities with a particular emphasis on social media strategies and online community development. Elana spent seven years at Wellstone Action, leading grassroots issue campaigns and training on citizen activism, and led social media and digital marketing for a statewide network of museums at the Minnesota Historical Society. Elana is currently a graphic designer and communications consultant working with nonprofit organizations and creative entrepreneurs.
Jacob Smith is an attorney for the Minnesota Department of Revenue in the Appeals and Legal Services division where he deals with Sales and Use tax. He has an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Michigan and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. He is a member of Adath Jeshurun Synagogue.
Michael Zis holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota and is an instructor at Macalester College, where he teaches courses in American political institutions with an emphasis on the role of government and health care. His dissertation concerns historical influences on contemporary obstacles to reforming America's health care system. He and his family are members of Beth El Congregation.