Jewish Community Leadership Program
The Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Leadership Program is an innovative, curriculum-based initiative to engage local volunteer leaders on the biggest issues confronting the Greater Washington Jewish community, and work toward a communal culture and collective vision for the future.
Launched in the spring of 2020, the program’s first cohort will come together during a time of unprecedented challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Together, they will engage in specialized learning, discussion, and comprehensive exploration of a wide range of ideas about what it means to be a vibrant and interconnected Jewish community. With the motivating backdrop of how to sustain and redefine Jewish community during a crisis and for the future, these leaders will work collectively to translate those ideas into action to create a direct, positive impact for the local and global Jewish community.
Joshua Bernstein is the CEO of Bernstein Management Corporation (BMC), a Washington, DC, based real estate management and investment company. Through its investment affiliate, BMC owns and manages 5,000 apartments and approximately 4 million square feet of commercial space in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Joshua serves as a director on the Washington Advisory Board of SunTrust Bank and on the Board of Capital Bancorp. He is a member of the executive committees of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Federal City Council and a founding member of the 2030 Group and the Washington Housing Initiative. Joshua is a past chair of the Board of the Sidwell Friends School and the Meyer Foundation and currently serves as the President of the Diane and Norman Bernstein charitable family foundation. His philanthropic and civic interests focus on issues of housing, community development, education, and social justice.
Deborah Ratner Salzberg
Deborah Ratner Salzberg has spent over 30 years as a real estate professional, building large-scale transformative real estate projects in the Washington, DC, area and throughout the East Coast. Deborah serves on the boards of CubeSmart and Capital Bank. Deborah previously worked as trial attorney in the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice and is a member of the California Bar. She has a BA from the George Washington University and a JD from the University of San Francisco. Deborah is active with numerous community and professional organizations including the United Jewish Endowment Fund of Greater Washington, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, The National Archives, The Federal City Council, and Kenyon College. Deborah is married to Michael Salzberg and is the mother of Anna and Eric.
Adam Ducker lives in Bethesda with his wife, two teenage daughters, and adorable dog, Coco. Professionally, he is the Senior Managing Director at RCLCO, a management consultancy focused on the real estate development and investment industry. He has lived in metro Washington for most of the last 20 years and is passionate about supporting its Jewish community, particularly education and young adult community engagement. Adam currently serves on the boards and the executive committees for the Charles E Smith Jewish Day School and Congregation Beth El. He is a past Federation Board member, Young Leadership Chair, Co-Founder of Nexus, winner of the Jerome J. Dick Young Leadership Award, and Federation National Young Leadership Cabinet member. He has also had local leadership positions with Moishe House, OneTable, Seeds of Peace, and other organizations.
Wendy Feldman Block
Professionally, Wendy Feldman Block has been working as a real estate advisor at Savills (formerly Studley) on behalf of tenants for over 30 years. A graduate of Leadership Washington, Wendy is an extremely active volunteer in the community, taking leadership roles while serving on the boards of several nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. In addition to IONA Senior Services and the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation, she has devoted considerable energy most recently to Higher Achievement, Jewish Women International, and the Round House Theatre in Bethesda. Furthermore, she is highly engaged with mentoring within and outside the brokerage community and gives a great deal of her time and resources to improving the lives of women as well as youth. She is married to Eben Block and the mother of Sydney and Aidan. In her free time, she is an avid cyclist and loves to bake and cook.
Elana Fine is the Chief Operating Officer of VWG Wealth Management. Prior to this role, she served as the Executive Director of the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Outside of the office, she is an active Board member of the Bender JCC of Greater Washington and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. Elana lives in Potomac, MD, with her husband Sandy and their twins, Ari and Julia. She and her family are members of B’nai Israel Congregation. Elana is a proud Terp and enjoys running local road races.
Amy Forseter brings a breadth and depth of experience from the Jewish nonprofit sector, having been involved in the community in both lay and professional capacities in various organizations. Her career started at the JDC as the Ralph Goldman Fellow, where she spent a year traveling and serving the global Jewish community. Later, she joined BBYO, the world’s leading pluralistic Jewish teen organization, when it had just gone independent; she built its Friends and Alumni Network from the ground up, setting the stage for what is now an integral fundraising and engagement entity. Additionally, sfounded The Red Stone, a local initiative for Jewish fertility. Her interests span both local and global causes, with experience in allocations, fundraising, and board development. Most recently, Amy has been working as a development consultant and is an integrative health coach. She resides in Bethesda with her husband and three children.
Jill Snyder Granader grew up in Maryland and graduated with a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from the George Washington University Law School. Her legal work began in private practice at Shulman Rogers. She served as Associate General Counsel at the investment firm Cambridge Information Group (CIG) and at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. While she remains on the Board of CIG, she has focused most of her work in the nonprofit world. Jill serves as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) in Montgomery County. As a CASA, she is appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children who are in the foster care system. She also serves as guardian “ad litem” (one who is appointed to act on behalf of a child) through the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project. Most recently she has served on the Board of the Edlavitch DCJCC, the last three terms as President. She also serves on the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women at the University of Pennsylvania and was on the founding Board of Women Against Alzheimer’s, a subdivision of US Against Alzheimer’s. Jill lives in Bethesda, MD, with her husband Rob. They have three children: Josh, Jessica, and Natalie.
Marty Janis grew up in Chicago and came to Washington to attend Georgetown University. Upon graduating, Marty started Atlantic Valet in 1985. After selling the business in 1998 Marty formed Atlantic Services Group, a full-service parking and transportation company in 2000. Today, Atlantic is comprised of Atlantic Parking, Atlantic Valet, Atlantic Transportation Services, and Impact Maintenance Group. In addition, Marty is part owner of two businesses in the event production space. Marty and his wife Leslie live in Potomac and have three children. They have two daughters: Jordan who lives in NY and Daryn who is a student at University of Wisconsin. Their son Michael is a freshman at the University of Chicago. Marty is very active with foster care and adoption initiatives, and he looks to enhance the lives of underserved children and young adults.
Marc Levitt is the Chief of Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC, a newly established international program. This role also includes mission trips around the world where he spends time training surgeons and nurses. He and his wife Shary are new to Washington, DC, and are empty-nesters, with three kids, Sam (23), Raquel (21), and Jess (18). Marc’s communal efforts in the past have involved a Board role at the community Jewish Day School when they lived in Cincinnati, and as an organizing member of the Jewish Federation’s Maimonides Society in both Cincinnati and Columbus.
Meredith Margolis’ love affair with the DC area inspired her to become a real estate agent in 2006. Since then, she is known as one of DC’s top agents, using her keen sense of judgement and negotiating skills to help her clients write the winning contract or attract the best and highest price for her sellers. Before pursuing a career in residential real estate, Meredith was a business development manager for the law firm of Arent Fox LLP. Prior to that, she pursued her combined love for art and retail through a paint-your-own pottery studio located off Dupont Circle. Meredith is a past Board member for the Washington Project of the Arts. She is a member of the Board of the Edlavitch DCJCC. Originally from Baltimore, and an American University alumna, she resides in Dupont Circle with her husband and her two children. When she is not selling real estate, you can find Meredith at Teaism and practicing yoga at Down Dog Yoga Studio.
Amie Perl has spent the better part of her career involved with social mission businesses. For almost the past 10 years, Amie has served as the Managing Director of Little Leaves Behavioral Services, a multi-state organization that provides therapeutic services for children with autism. Prior to that, she worked for various education-focused organizations, for the Boston Consulting Group, and for Goldman Sachs. Amie holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated cum laude with a BA in applied mathematics from Harvard University. Amie is married to Evan Goldman, and is the mother of Zoe, Maya, and Theo, all of whom are graduates or students of Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School. Evan and Amie are active in the Milton community, where Amie chairs the annual fundraising campaign. She is also involved with Autism Speaks and has served on the Board of the Autism Society of Northern Virginia. Amie and her family live in Adams Morgan in downtown DC and are members of Adas Israel Congregation. Amie is an alumna of Otzma, a yearlong post-college Federation-sponsored program in Israel.
Todd S. Rich
Todd Rich is Co-Founder and Partner of Declaration Partners, an investment firm seeded by the family office of David M. Rubenstein. Todd oversees Declaration’s real estate investment activity. Todd brings over 18 years of real estate investing and operating experience. Prior to Declaration, Todd was a partner at The JBG Companies and a member of its investment and management committees, where he was involved in strategic efforts, culminating in the creation of JBG SMITH Properties as a public REIT (NYSE: JBGS). Todd previously ran Tishman Speyer’s Washington, DC, business. Todd holds a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Princeton University, and was a US Fulbright Scholar. Todd serves as a Board member of The Economic Club of Washington, DC, and the SED Center. He lives in Chevy Chase with his wife and three children.
Marla Schulman is the President and Owner of Schreiber Translations, Inc., one of the nation’s leading providers of foreign language translation and interpreting services in over 100 languages serving more than 500 federal, state, and local government agencies and industry clients. Marla brings her expertise in government contracting, strategy, organizational planning, and structuring organizations for maximum efficiency to many professional and service organizations. She has served as President of the Association of Language Companies and is a SCORE volunteer, providing mentoring to startup and existing businesses. Marla is a lifelong member of the Washington, DC, area Jewish community and is committed to its continuity and growth. She is a member of the boards of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, and the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation, and is the Immediate Past President of B’nai Israel Congregation. Marla and her husband Bruce live in Bethesda, MD, and have two children.
Marcy Schwab is the President of Inspired Leadership, LLC, a strategy, organizational design, and executive coaching firm. She has spent her career focused on building businesses across multiple industries with a focus in developing people in the realms of strategic and systems thinking and leadership. She graduated with honors from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania and earned an MBA from The Wharton School. Marcy started her career as a consultant with Mercer Management Consulting and cut her teeth in the operations world at Pizza Hut, Inc., as an operations and financial senior analyst working with restaurant staff and area operations managers. After business school, Marcy took on progressively more senior leadership roles at Capital One, building several businesses before taking an officer-level position at Sallie Mae. Marcy attended Georgetown’s Leadership Coaching program and began her executive coaching practice in earnest, both as an internal coach and coaching external executives. Most recently she’s worked with clients across industries to identify their strategic objectives. She regularly coaches top leaders and helps them organize for success. Marcy currently serves on the Board of the Jewish Community Relations Council and served for six years on the Board of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. Based in Northern Virginia, she remains committed to her hometown Baltimore Orioles and spends her weekends and evenings cheering on her two teenagers.
Brad Stillman serves as the Chief Executive of the American College of Gastroenterology, the leading clinical GI physician organization with more than 15,000 clinical gastroenterologists among its membership. He joined the organization as its first Chief Operating Officer in 2002. Prior to joining the American College of Gastroenterology, Brad spent a decade working in the area of telecommunications policy, first as a consumer advocate and later for MCI Telecommunications and MCI/WorldCom. Brad has volunteered with various Jewish organizations in the Washington area and currently serves as Board Vice Chair for Capital Camps and Retreat Center, and on the Finance and Budget Committee for Momentum. He has also served on The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Strategic Planning and Allocations Committee and previously chaired the Jewish Life and Learning Committee. He served on the Bender JCC of Greater Washington Board in numerous roles including as its President. Brad earned a JD from DePaul University College of Law and a BS in media from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He currently resides in Potomac, MD, with his wife Susan, and they have four children.
Michelle Stravitz is the CEO and co-founder of 2Unstoppable, a non-profit whose mission is to inspire and support exercise among women with a cancer diagnosis. She has served on the Board of Directors of Gesher Jewish Day School, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and Congregation Olam Tikvah Preschool, and has chaired fundraisers and committees for the Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia, Charles E Smith Jewish Day School, and Olam Tikvah. Michelle is the CFO of Spectrum Management Consulting, was formerly an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, and has consulted to Sixth & I Synagogue and the Partnership for Jewish Life & Learning. Michelle has an MS Information Systems from The George Washington University, and BS Economics and BAS Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a PCI-Certified parent coach and a trained facilitator. Michelle and her husband, Steven, live in Fairfax, VA and are the proud parents of Adam (26), Arielle (23), Zev (21), and Max (19). She loves yoga, cooking, and spending time in Israel.
Aton Teitelbaum is the Managing Partner at Contemporary Insurance Services, where he has 20+ years’ sales and marketing experience in medical professional liability insurance. He was born and raised in the Greater Washington area and has made volunteering in the community a priority. He has played an active role on the Berman Hebrew Academy Board of Directors for over 10 years, serving as Vice President, Chair of the Development Committee, and Chair of the Head of School Search Committee. He has also served as a member of the Kemp Mill Synagogue Rabbinic Search Committee. Outside of his local volunteer work, Aton has volunteered on national committees in both Boston and New York. He lives in Kemp Mill with his wife, Arielle, and their three children.
David Topol is a law partner at Wiley LLP in Washington, DC. He is currently the Board President of Beth El Synagogue and a vice-president of the Board of the Commonwealth Academy in Alexandria, VA. He is a past president of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. He is a native Washingtonian. David and his wife Stacey live in Bethesda and have three children: Sam (19), Ben (18), and Hannah (15).
Gil Preuss, PhD
Chief Executive Officer,
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
Gil Preuss is the Chief Executive Officer of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Prior to joining Federation in August 2017, Gil spent 13 years at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) in Boston, most recently as Executive Vice President. As the Executive Vice President, Gil oversaw strategic planning, financial resource development, and community allocations. During his tenure, Gil led CJP’s two recent strategic plans. These plans helped reimagine the role of a Jewish Federation in the Boston area. Over his years at CJP, Gil helped lead and launch several new initiatives, including a comprehensive day school initiative, community-based Israel advocacy, and an integrated strategy to address poverty within the Jewish community. He partnered closely with donors to help develop and fund these initiatives that have led to community-wide change. Prior to CJP, Gil worked at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, where he supervised agency allocations. Before moving to work at the Cleveland Federation, Gil was an Assistant Professor at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, where he taught courses on organizational behavior, competitiveness, and human resource practices in nonprofits. Gil received a BS from the University of Michigan, an MS from Cornell University, and a PhD from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Gil and his wife, Terri, live in Washington, DC, and have four children.
Chief of Staff,
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
Elisa Deener-Agus is the Chief of Staff at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, where she oversees governance, strategic implementation, and leadership development programs. Prior to starting at The Jewish Federation in March 2019, Elisa spent 11 years at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) in Boston, most recently as Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. In that role, she helped lead the most recent strategic planning process at CJP, supervising components of the initial implementation, as well as the Department of Jewish Learning and Engagement. In previous roles at CJP, Elisa oversaw the Boston Jewish community demographic study, a day school affordability program, a merger between CJP and another Federation, as well as many other key initiatives. Elisa came to CJP following a career as an immigration attorney. She received her JD from NYU Law School and her BA from the University of Pennsylvania. Elisa lives in Newton, MA, with her husband, Michael, and their three boys.
The Ringel Group
Rae Ringel is a certified executive coach and Founding President of The Ringel Group. She is a faculty member at the Georgetown University Institute for Transformational Leadership and Founding Director of their certificate program in the Art of Facilitation and Design. She is also adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. Rae is in high demand as an innovator in the areas of coaching, facilitation, and training across sectors. She enables a growing list of executives in some of the most successful Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and government agencies to become more effective managers and stronger communicators with a formidable leadership presence. Rae is a Phi Beta Kappa Graduate of the University of Rochester. She received her master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University, and earned her Leadership Coaching certification from Georgetown University. She was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and now holds a faculty position with the Wexner Foundation. Rae lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and four children.
Rabbi Benjamin Berger
Vice President for Jewish Education,
Rabbi Benjamin Berger oversees the Center for Jewish and Israel Education, one of the three pillars of Hillel U. The CJIE is focused on providing the tools for every Hillel professional to be capable and confident Jewish educators so they can create meaningful Jewish experiences for the students whom they engage. Ben was formerly the director of the Wexner Heritage Program, whose mission is to expand the vision, deepen the knowledge and build the confidence of Jewish volunteer leaders throughout the North American Jewish Community. Prior to his work at The Wexner Foundation, Ben was the senior Jewish educator at The Ohio State University Hillel. Additionally, he was Berman Fellow and Program Director at University of Michigan and JCSC Fellow at Cornell University. Ben was ordained by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. He, his wife Rachel, also a Hillel professional, and their four daughters live in Washington, DC.
Executive Director, Operation
Yolanda Savage-Narva has devoted her professional career to helping people live their best and most healthy lives. Her work includes collaborating with Tribal governments to promote public health, promoting pedestrian safety and advocacy, and advancing health equity. Yolanda currently holds the position of Executive Director with Operation Understanding DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting understanding, cooperation, and respect while fighting to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism, and all forms of discrimination. Yolanda has a master’s in education and a bachelor’s in sociology, with a certification in gerontology. She is a wife and a mother of a nine-year-old son.