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Meet Our Board of Directors for 2023

President:   Ava Epstein

Executive VP:   Susan Kupperstein and Jarid Feiertag

Administrative VP: Jessica Schwab and Brad Cheney

Finance VP:  Diana Conn

Secretary:   Fran Nadel

Treasurer: David Richter

Adult Education:   Sarah Barry and Chip Rome

Membership:   Marjorie Hebert

Preschool:   Kendra Hackenberg

Communications:  Gary Steinberg

Religious Policies and Practices:  Carolyn Kaplan-Solomond

Religious School:   Steven Adleberg and Talya Schultz

Social Action:   Nancy Sherman and Michael Halle

Past President:  Vacant

Fundraising:   Vacant

President

Ava Epstein

My name is Ava Epstein - my husband Brian and I have two sons, Parker and Cooper, in the Religious School, and our son Cooper also attended the CAR preschool.  I am a board and Executive Committee veteran and former Finance Committee chair. 

My backgrounds are anthropology and accounting, which help me to see the humans behind the numbers; I have previously worked in a synagogue, so I understand the Jewish community from many perspectives.  These experiences allow me to see the bigger picture in shul leadership, not just what affects the congregation as a whole, but also smaller groups and individual stakeholders.  My current career is in office and operations systems development and support, which are skills I plan to bring to CAR’s day-to-day function and long-term planning.

In my free time, I like to go camping or birdwatching with my boys, do crosswords, or settle down to knit.  A quote that I often come back to is by famous knitter Elizabeth Zimmermann, who said “knit on with confidence and hope through all crises.”  To me, it says: stay calm, keep a cool head, center yourself and continue to build and create even amid turmoil. 

My plans for building, creating and seeing us through the time ahead include creating transparency and accountability in our documentation and records so that we maintain continuity from Board to Board and for the benefit of our staff and congregation.  This year’s board will focus on positive communication, teambuilding and deepening community. 

Executive VP

Susan Kupperstein

Shalom! I am Susan Kupperstein, 2023 CAR Board co-Executive VP. I am grateful to the congregation for accepting me in this role. I have completed ~25% of my 50th trip around the sun…2023 is a big milestone year for me!! My biggest supporters - and who I also support –  are my spouse of 21 years, Adam Melis, and my kids, Micah (8th grade) and Shayna (5th grade). We have been members of CAR since 2016. We joined so my children could learn about being Jewish and study Judaism. Micah completed his bar mitzvah in 2022 - so the plan is working! Shayna’s is in 2025. I have been on the Board since 2021 serving as co-chair of the Social Action Committee for 2 years, and now as a co-Exec VP. I also served on the rabbi and religious school director search committees, the rabbi welcome committee, and the religious school sub-committee. For the last 26+ years, I have worked in international development starting right after college with an internship at the State Department until now as a senior member of a government contractor focusing on monitoring and evaluating US government programs in developing countries. Thankfully traveling is part of the job because I discovered my wanderlust in 1993 as a junior in college when I lived abroad in France. My most memorable trips - both work and play - include Argentina, Croatia, DRC, Greece, Iraq, Kosovo, Mali (including Timbuktu), North Dakota, Thailand (a wedding present), and Turkey.

Executive VP

Jarid Feiertag

I am excited to be serving Adat Reyim as Co-Executive Vice President.  My wife Rachael and I, along with our two daughters, Sydney (10) and Adalyn (8), joined CAR after returning from living overseas in 2019. We chose CAR because of the welcoming, open community. Our daughters have thrived in the religious school and it has been such a joy for us to see them grow in their Jewish identity and learning.  

Since joining CAR, I have served on the rabbi success committee, assisted with staff hiring and have worked with the religious school director to bring STEM activities into our classrooms. I am excited to create new and exciting opportunities this year for members to reunite and get to know one another post-pandemic. As co-executive VP, I will ensure that community members' voices are heard and look forward to creating an even stronger community of friends.  

As an IT manager at the Department of State, I manage a team of IT specialists, along with a multi-million dollar budget to update infrastructure at embassies around the world. In my previous career, I was integral to the development of a start-up company focused on enabling utility companies to better manage infrastructure.  I have multiple years of experience with organizational design and implementation which I hope to leverage for the betterment of CAR. 

In my free time, I enjoy traveling, spending time with my family, working on technology activities with my daughters, and various projects around the house. 

Administrative VP

Jessica Schwab

Greetings Adat Reyim!  My name is Jessica Schwab, and along with my husband Jeff, and two children Caleb (13) and Haley (11) have been members of Congregation Adat Reyim since 2008.  I taught in the Adat Reyim Religious School from 2010 through 2019, and also served as Tikkun Olam coordinator in 2010-2011 while participating on the Social Action Committee.  In 2020 I transitioned to co-chair of the Religious School Committee.  During this time I co-led the search for the Religious School Director in 2021. In September 2022, my son Caleb celebrated his Bar Mitzvah which sparked my interest in supporting the B'Mitzvah coordinating program at Adat Reyim.  We are excited for our daughter Haley to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah in September 2024. Professionally, I'm a speech-language pathologist, and currently serve as Clinical Director of the Infant & Toddler Connection of Fairfax-Falls Church, the lead agency in Fairfax providing federally mandated early intervention services to children Birth - 3 years of age.

My family and I are so grateful to call Congregation Adat Reyim an extension of our Jewish home.  Thank you for this opportunity to serve as Co-Administrative VP, and to ensure all are welcomed, supported, and at home at Congregation Adat Reyim.

Administrative VP

Brad Cheney

I have been a member of Adat Reyim since 2005. My wife, Rebecca Geller, and I are the parents of a third grader, sixth grader, and an eighth grader in Adat Reyim religious school.  

At AR I have been Involved with the Facilities Committee and the Zoom committee to set up the sanctuary and outdoor events for various Zoom events during 2020-2022.  Musically, I have been a guitar player for the Religious School Minyan since 2020, a member of Shir Reyim since 2018, and a participant in the Purim Spiel band since 2017.  I have been involved in AR Social Action Committee's Resettling Afghan Families Together (RAFT) volunteer work in 2021-2022.

Professionally I am a Partner in a DC lobbying firm with significant experience supervising employees and managing million dollar budgets. I am a former Chief of Staff for a Member of Congress where I directly supervised a team of 10 and was responsible for a $2 million budget. 

Finance VP

Diana Conn

Greetings, all! My name is Diana Conn. I joined Adat Reyim in the fall of 2020 and have loved participating in synagogue life! I have enjoyed attending various Shabbat and High Holiday services (especially those led by Shir Reyim and the AR choir) and special events like Shabbat Under the Stars. I am also participating in the Purim spiel for the second year in a row! Everyone here is so fun and welcoming, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know folks in our congregation. Outside of synagogue life, you can find me reading, doing clogging dance, enjoying anything Disney-related, or playing with my kitty!

I have worked as an accountant for both a medium-size public accounting firm and in private industry (specifically, real estate and nonprofit) for a total of 14 years. I have handled monthly/quarterly/annual financial reporting, coordinated with auditors, handled daily accounting operations, and worked with property managers and executive directors to formulate and manage budgets. I joined the Finance Committee in 2021, and as such, I have been involved in the complete budget process at AR.

Camaraderie and friendship are what brought me to this synagogue. I will endeavor to make sure this is always reflected in the “tone at the top.” Respectful communication is key to a successful team, and I hope to instill all meetings with a sense of calm, respect, and care for all. I look forward to a brand new year together! 

Secretary

Fran Nadel

I have been a member of Adat Reyim since summer 2007, when I joined along with my brother and now sister-in-law.  I've been an active member of the choir since then and have been part of the Purim Spiel troupe four times.  In addition, I have co-led the Friday night Family & Friends Service since 2011.  Eventually, David Berkowitz found out that I'm good at taking notes and recruited me to join the Board of Directors as Secretary, a position I have held since 2019.  Outside of AR, I teach 6th grade.

Treasurer

David Richter

My wife Carla and I have been members of Adat Reyim since 2003.  Our son Benjamin attended religious school and became a bar mitzvah at A.R.  We have coordinated a number of annual events, including the interfaith Thanksgiving service and the CROP Walk.  I was on the rabbi search committee in 2019 - 2020.  I served as Adat Reyim Treasurer in 2022 as well as in two previous terms on the board, and also served as interim Finance VP.  I have an undergraduate degree in business as well as an MBA, and work as a systems analyst at Freddie Mac.  As Treasurer this year, I will ensure the accuracy of our financial reporting, and will help guide the Board in planning and using Adat Reyim's financial resources responsibly.

Adult Education

Sarah Berry

My husband, Cobi Waxman, and I joined Adat Reyim in 2016. We have two children, the oldest of whom loved summer camp at CAR and started religious school in 2022. 

Being an active part of Adat Reyim is important to me because it is my family's Jewish home away from home. I served on the Rabbi Search Committee, currently support the Interiors Committee, and have been Co-Chair of Adult Education on the Board of Directors since 2021.

My heart is invested in building and sustaining Jewish community and culture, having worked in Jewish religious and cultural institutions as staff and as a lay leader for 20 years. Currently, I am the curator of the Bodzin Art Gallery at the Pozez JCC, and the director of the J's ReelAbilities Film Festival: Northern Virginia. I am the former Director of Arts & Ideas at the J (2016-2020), where I oversaw all arts and adult programming and the school of dance. I am an artist and arts consultant www.smberry.com.

Since planning Jewish cultural events is my vocation and among my passions, serving CAR as an Adult Education co-chair is a natural fit. I enjoy collaborating with staff and fellow lay-leaders to ensure the Adult Education offerings are unique and within budget. I would like to see more of you, the impressive members of CAR, lead workshops or lectures to share your gifts with the community. I also look forward to planning more excursions, following the well-attended trips to the National Museum of Jewish American Military History and the Suffragist Memorial.

Adult Education

Chip Rome

I’m “Chip" Rome (Douglas on documents…), now in my second year as co-chair of Adult Education with Sarah Berry. My wife, Sunny Harris Rome, and I have been members of Adat Reyim since around 1994, and I’ve been singing bass in the choir since then, too.  Sunny and I also sing in Shir Reyim, and have done so since it was an informal folk group. For the past few years, I’ve also directed the “Adat Purim” musical Purim spiel (this year is The Mama Mia Megillah on February 25, 2023. Join us!)

We have two grown and married (and currently local) children, Avi and Robert, who were both B’Mitzvah’d here. We’re also happy grandparents of a 6yo granddaughter.

I’m the emeritus theatre director from Robinson Secondary School, and still assist with the CAPPIES and with mentoring theatre teachers for FCPS and GMU.  As Educational Stages, I do corporate workshops in StorySelling, improvisation, and client engagement, provide resources to theatre educators, and am developing a program for teenagers to upgrade their audition skills.

Membership

Marjorie Hebert

My name is Marjorie Hébert. My family have been members of Adat Reyim since 1988.  Our son and daughter grew up at Adat Reyim, attending Religious School, celebrating their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, as well as their Confirmations.  Both were Madrachim for various classes in the Religious School.

I was a past board member as Publicity Chair (now Communications).  I was also a member of the Phase II Building Committee when the Education wing was added in 2001.  For many years, and with the help of a small group of other congregants, I was the Erev Shabbat Oneg coordinator.    

Prior to retirement, I was an Executive Administrative Professional in the private sector, in Boston, MA; Washington, DC; and various locations in Northern VA.

As co-chair of Membership with Rachel Vindman in 2022, we added some new faces to the Membership Committee, all of whom I hope will continue to work together as we grow in 2023.  The Committee works to make our new members feel welcome with hand-delivered Welcome Bags, as well as participating in coordination of outdoor Summer Shabbatot with Shir Reyim.  We are looking for fresh ideas to encourage newcomers to the Springfield area find a spiritual home for themselves and their families, and welcome new members to our community of friends. I have been an active, vocal participant on the 2022 Board, and look forward to encouraging discussion and transparency on the 2023 Board.

Preschool

Kendra Hackenberg

I have been a member of Adat Reyim since 2019, when my son, Emmett, began the wonderful preschool program.  Making the switch from a previous preschool to Adat Reyim was one of the best decisions.  My daughter, Harper, is currently attending preschool at Adat Reyim.  I have served on the preschool committee for the past year and look forward to continuing this year.  

I received my undergraduate in Elementary Education at Penn State University (We Are!) and Masters degree in reading specialization at Johns Hopkins University.  I taught grades 3-5 for nine years in Montgomery County Public Schools, and was a reading specialist and ESOL teacher in Fairfax and Arlington County.  After having my daughter, I started my own business as a Pediatric Sleep Consultant.

Communications

Gary Steinberg

My name is Gary Steinberg. My wife, Daphne, and I have been members of Congregation Adat Reyim since 2017. I am returning to the board as the Communications Committee chairman for a second consecutive year. As such, last year I assisted with public messaging in all formats. I also helped with early-stage preparations to update the CAR website.  

In addition to my communications work, I served on numerous leadership advisory/steering committees providing recommendations on matters critical to our synagogue's success. I earned a reputation as a lay leader who values connection and pays attention when advocating for staff and congregants. 

Last summer I retired from 30 years of federal service with the US Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. For 25 of those years, I was the agency spokesman, addressing reporters' questions about labor data "on the record."

Daphne and I came to CAR because it is a community that respects differences—of opinion, of worship style, and of commitment to Judaism. We have not been disappointed and so over time, have both become more involved. I look forward to a year of respectful listening and thoughtful engagement.  

Religious Policies and Practices

Carolyn Kaplan-Solomond

I have been a member of Adat Reyim since 1983.  However, I did not really get involved in the synagogue until around 2007, when I saw a flyer advertising a Torah trop class.  While taking the class, I became more and more interested in Judaism and other synagogue activities, and eventually, I decided to have an Adult Bat Mitzvah for myself in 2009.

I have been chairperson of the Religious Practices and Policies Committee (RPPC) since 2021.  In that role, I work with the Rabbi to plan services for the High Holidays, Shabbat and Festivals, and also work with the Rabbi, staff and volunteers to develop programming for religious holiday observances (e.g., Latkes and Lights, Purim Megillah reading, Sukkah activities, Simchat Torah dancing, etc.). I have also been teaching the prayers for the Saturday morning service to the B-Mitzvah students for the past 10 years. 

Professionally, I have had a 34-year career in basic research in computational physics and fluid dynamics at the Naval Research Laboratory, followed by six-years on the faculty at the University of Maryland.  I retired in 2021, and now spend my time enjoying grandchildren and volunteering.

In my role as RPPC chair, one of my goals is to get more congregants involved in services and holiday programming.  Besides the New-Format Friday initiative for special Erev Shabbat services on the third Friday of each month, I also hope to bring congregants in for Aliyot to honor special occasions in their lives, such as birthdays and anniversaries.

Religious School

Steven Adleberg

Our family have been active members of AR for more than 30 years. Our girls attended AR Religious School, were Bat Mitzvah’d, and completed Confirmation Class at AR. My wife, Randi, served as Admin VP of the Board. I have chaired the Religious School, Social Action, Adult Education, Religious Practices and Education Director Search Committees. I captained and played on the AR Men’s Softball Team and am a veteran cast member of our annual Purim Spiel.

I have been an educator in Fairfax County/Metro DC for almost five decades. I was an elementary classroom teacher, IT resource teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Fairfax County Public Schools for 33 years. I have a clear passion for educating the next generation, and that passion is exemplified by my work and commitment to the Jewish community including: five years as the Senior Administrator at Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax; Religious School Director at Congregation Beth Emeth in Herndon; JFGW’s Partnership for Jewish Life & Learning’s In-Service Training Corps - helping train religious school teachers in Northern Virginia; and JCRC’s Director of Education Outreach for eight years, retiring at the end of 2019.

Religious School

Talya Schultz

My family (husband Ben, me, and 3 kids) joined Adat Reyim during the pandemic and we have 2 kids in the Religious School.  We have attended  some of the outdoor and zoom activities over the past few years and have loved the welcoming and joy at Adat Reyim. We have been limiting our indoor activities since our youngest (in preschool) was only just able to get the Omicron booster. I have been on the religious school committee since 2021. I have a Master's degree in Jewish Education,15 years of teaching experience and worked 3 years as an Ed. Director prior to having my 3rd kid. We're still learning names and faces, so I am hoping to meet more people by serving in this role.  I also hope my involvement will help the religious school.

Social Action

Nancy Sherman

My husband Glenn & I have been members of Adat Reyim since 1995, when we enrolled our daughter Emily in preschool.  I have been an active member of the Social Action Committee for many many years, as well as a participant in the Adat Reyim Book Club; Retreat Planning Committee; Sisterhood and most recently on the OSC (the Onsite Committee).  My focus in social action has always been the support of local food banks, shelters and providing for the basic needs for those less fortunate in our community. 

Since my retirement from the Burke Centre Conservancy,  I have been a twice weekly volunteer at ECHO in Springfield and currently hold a Board position there and the Adat Reyim representative.

Social Action

Michael Halle

We have been members of Adat Reyim since 1992. I’ve served on the Board previously over seven years in Membership, Adult Education and Social Action. I chaired the Latke making this year, I’m proud to say.

I’ve presented to the Men’s Club on Vitamins, Vitamin D and Diabetes at the Men’s Club breakfasts.

I am a retired Internist. I still work an afternoon a week at the Arlington Free Clinic. I hope to involve Adat Reyim in some new opportunities.

Fri, January 27 2023 5 Shevat 5783