Board of Directors

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.

Geri Katz has been the political organizer for the Minnesota Nurses Association for three years, facilitating nurse participation in policy and advocacy on behalf of patients and the nursing profession. Prior to that, she spent five years as a political organizer for the Service Employees International Union, and three years at Minnesota Citizens for the Arts. Geri has volunteered for many social justice organizations and campaigns, and served as a board member and chair of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota. She is a member of Shir Tikvah 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.

Ed Rapoport has long worked professionally as a Software Engineer, currently for Rural Community Insurance Services, a division of Wells Fargo.  He serves on the board and continues to be a volunteer speaker for the Jewish Community Relations Council.  Ed belongs to Darchei Noam Congregation.  He served as president of Kenneseth Israel Congregation and has been a member of Mayim Rabim, Adath Jeshurun, Beth Jacob and Mt. Zion Temple in his long and varied Jewish life. He plays viola in the St. Paul JCC Orchestra and drives the trolley at Lake Harriet as a volunteer for the Minnesota Streetcar Museum. Ed is also an enthusiastic recumbent bicyclist.

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.

Marilyn Weisberg has been active in synagogues and Jewish community organizations all of her adult life. She is a member of Temple Israel where she served on the Board of Directors and chaired education and communication committees and worked on special projects. She is also a member Beth El Synagogue where she is employed as the Membership Services Coordinator. She is on the board of the Leland Johnson Common Vision Program and is a founding board member of the Twin Cities Jewish Chorale, serving as Treasurer and singing in the alto section.  She has been on the national board of the Women of Reform Judaism and currently serves on the Midwest Regional Board as newsletter editor.