Trustees and Staff

Trustees

Name

Affiliation

Rabbi Michael B. GreenbaumChair Jewish Theological Seminary
Mr. Robert Shapiro1st Vice Chair United Synagogue
Rabbi Joel H. Meyers2nd Vice Chair Rabbinical Assembly
Scott H. Kaplan, Esq.Secretary United Synagogue
Rabbi Felipe GoodmanTreasurer Jewish Theological Seminary
   
Rabbi Gilah Dror Jewish Theological Seminary
Stanley M. Hochhauser, CPA United Synagogue
Hazzan Abraham Lubin Cantors Assembly
Rabbi Arnold B. Marans Rabbinical Assembly
Mr. Gary Rosenthal United Synagogue
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbi Matthew H. Simon Rabbinical Assembly
Mrs. Phyllis Hofman Waldmann Jewish Theological Seminary

Observers

Name

Affiliation

Dr. Michael Halzel Jewish Educators Assembly
Mr. David Rothenberg North American Association of Synagogue Executives (NAASE)

 

Staff

 

Mitchell J Smilowitz, CPA — Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Douglas Spangler — Director of Operations and Technology

Mrs. Fasia Jabar — Client Records Manager

Mr. Andrew Jabar — Communications/Client Services Associate

Ms. Carmen Rubert — Administrative Assistant

 

 

 

 

 
Rabbi Michael B. Greenbaum

Chair

Rabbi Michael B. Greenbaum, EdD is Vice Chancellor Emeritus of The Jewish Theological Seminary.  Rabbi Greenbaum’s career at the Seminary spanned some 40 years, the last 25 as the Vice Chancellor/Chief Operating Officer and as an assistant Professor of Educational Administration.  Upon retirement, the Seminary awarded Rabbi Greenbaum an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters.  In 1998 he received an honorary doctorate of Hebrew Letters for his work in the Rabbinate and Conservative Movement. Rabbi Greenbaum was ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1973 and earned his doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University.

He has served as chairman of the Joint Retirement Board on two separate occasions during his tenure on the Board which began in 1974.  He is the author of Louis Finkelstein and the Conservative Movement: Conflict & Growth published by the Seminary and a recognized expert on the legendary JTS Chancellor Louis Finkelstein, the Seminary and the Conservative Movement.  His work in these areas has appeared in the journal Conservative Judaism; Tradition Renewed, the two volume history of the JTS.

For thirty four years, Rabbi Greenbuam was privileged to share the pulpit at Temple Israel in Sharon, MA on the High Holidays.  In 2008 and 2009 Newsweek Magazine named him one of the “Top Most Influential Rabbis in America.”   Rabbi Greenbaum and his wife Cindy live in Teaneck, New Jersey and are members of Congregation Beth Sholom.

 

Mr. Robert Shapiro

1st Vice Chair

Bob Shapiro is currently the President of Global Facilities Inc, a regional insurance wholesaler and surplus lines broker. Born in Hoboken and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Shapiro attended NYC public schools and Brooklyn College. He began his insurance career nearly 60 years ago, eventually becoming a Vice President and attaining seats on the Board of Directors of two insurance companies. He is a former President of Professional Insurance Wholesalers of New York, and a member of the Board of Directors of Professional Insurance Agents of New York. He served on National Committees of the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines offices and was a founding board member and former Chairman of the Excess Lines Association of N.Y.

Mr. Shapiro has been a Trustee for the JRB since 1997, and is a former Chairman of the Board. He is a former President of Jewish Community of Hempstead as well as a former Treasurer and Vice President of METNY. He is Chairman of the Insurance Committee of United Synagogue as well as the first Chairman of Israel Bonds Long Island Insurance Division.

A longtime member of The Order of Knights of Pythias, he was formerly a Deputy Grand Chancellor as well as Chairman of the Insurance Committee of the Knights of Pythias domain of New York. He was also President for the Pythias Camp for underprivileged children.

  

Rabbi Joel H. Meyers

2nd Vice Chair

Rabbi Joel H. Meyers is Executive Vice President Emeritus of the Rabbinical Assembly. He is involved in a wide range of Jewish communal and interfaith projects including current service as Chairman of the World Jewish Congress, United States, and is a long time board member of the Joint Retirement Board. Rabbi Meyers was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1966 and holds several advanced degrees. He and his wife, Sandy, reside in White Plains, NY.

 

Scott H. Kaplan, Esq.

Secretary

Scott currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Greenfield Hebrew Academy, MERCAZ, the World Counsel of Synagogues, MAZON, Torah From Dixie, as well as several local, national and international Jewish organizations. Additionally, he serves as Vice President of Ramah Darom. For over 20 years, Scott served United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism wherein from 1996 until 2000, he served as president of the Southeast Region. In addition, he chaired the United Synagogue Commission on Social Action and Public Policy, chaired three International Biennial Conventions, and currently chairs the United Synagogue Committee on Congregation’s Standards. Scott serves on the Council of Regional Presidents and, most recently, was elected as international Vice President of the United Synagogue. Scott and his wife, Shelley, are most proud of daughters Shira Devorah and Dori Rachel.

 

Rabbi Felipe Goodman

Treasurer

Rabbi Goodman is currently the Rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom in Las Vegas. Before joining Temple Beth Sholom in 1998, Rabbi Goodman served as assistant Rabbi in Comunidad Bet-El de Mexico in Mexico City, one of the largest conservative synagogues in Latin America. Rabbi Goodman’s charisma has had a profound impact on the Jewish community of Las Vegas. Attendance at Shabbat services has climbed from handfuls to hundreds, with eager, joyful numbers rising by the week.  With out-of-the-box programming and by creating a true sense of being a Kehila Kedoshah, vibrant Temple Beth Sholom is anything but a synagogue of once-a-year congregants.  In April 2013 Rabbi Goodman was chosen by The Daily Forward as one of America's Most Inspiring Rabbis... "36 Rabbis Shaping The 21st Century!"

  

Rabbi Gilah Dror

Trustee

Rabbi Gilah Dror, appointed by the Jewish Theological Seminary, is the spiritual leader and holder of the Dr. Bernard A. Morewitz Rabbinical Chair at Rodef Sholom Temple in Hampton, Virginia. She previously served as rabbi of Congregation Eshel Avraham in Beer Sheva, Israel.

While in Israel, she championed the Conservative/Masorti Movement by setting up the first alternative cemetery in Israel in 1999. Rabbi Dror has since served on numerous boards and committees of the Conservative/Masorti Movement, locally, nationally and internationally.

Through her work with the Va’ad Halakha [Law Committee] of the Rabbinical Assembly in Israel, Rabbi Dror has published a number of teshuvot [responsa] on issues ranging from the ordination of women as rabbis to the donation of bodies to medical science. As the president of the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, she was the first woman to lead a rabbinical organization. Subsequently, Rabbi Dror was chosen by her colleagues to serve as President of the International Rabbinical Assembly, thus becoming the first woman rabbi to serve in that capacity.

 

Stanley M. Hochhauser, CPA

Trustee

Stanley Hochhauser was the President of Bellmore Jewish Center (BJC) for 1977 and 1978. Currently, he is chairman of both the High Holiday Committee and the Budget Committee. Stanley has worked on many committees as chairpersons and members and is currently a member of the BJC board.

Stanley has served with many other religious groups. He was a board member of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ.) He was also the Financial Secretary and a Vice President of the New York Metropolitan Region of USCJ. Stanley was also the budget chairman for METNY.  He served on the Metropolitan NY Region Advisory Council. He has for the last 17 years had the honor of sounding the shofar at the Celebrate Israel Parade (formerly Salute to Israel Parade). The Parade officially begins with him sounding the shofar and he sounds it throughout the entire parade route.

Stanley is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in New York State. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), and is on the NYSSCPA Hospitality Industry Committee.

Stanley and his wife, Sheila, are very proud of their three children, their spouses, and their six grandchildren.

 
Hazzan Abraham Lubin

Trustee

Hazzan Abraham Lubin is Hazzan Emeritus at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Maryland.  A past president of the Cantors Assembly he is a lifelong member of its Executive Committee. He served as editor of The Journal of Synagogue Music for ten years and is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of a distinguished career in Hazzanut.

Hazzan Lubin is a scholar of Jewish music and Liturgy and has contributed articles to various publications. He is the author of Siddur 101 and served on the editorial committee of the latest edition of the weekday Siddur Sim Shalom. He has recorded the critically acclaimed “Cantorial Classics.” He is listed in the Encyclopedia Judaica, Who’s Who in Religion and The International Who’s Who in Music. He appeared in concert recitals throughout the United States, Europe, Israel and the former Soviet Union. He recently visited the Jewish community in Argentina where he was invited by the Masorti Olami to link that community closer to the Conservative Movement. Hazzan Lubin met with the  Jewish leadership, taught B’nai Mitzvah students, led Services, lectured to the cantorial students at the Seminario Rabinico and presented a recital of Yiddish songs.

Hazzan Lubin is a graduate of Jews’ College in London, with diploma of “Hazzan” the London college of Music with diploma of A.L.C.M. graduate of the University of Cincinnati and a Master’s degree from De Paul University. He is the recipient of the degree of Doctor of Music (honoris causa) from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

 

Rabbi Arnold B. Marans

Trustee

Rabbi Marans represents the Rabbinical Assembly and has served as a Board Member of the JRB since 1993. He has been an officer of the Board for the past 17 years including Chairman of the Board.  He now occupies the chair of the Investment Review Committee.

 

 

Mr. Gary Rosenthal

Trustee

Gary has been active in the Conservative Movement for over 37 Years. Some of his responsibilities have included:  President of his own synagogue, Temple Beth El, Somerset, New Jersey; Regional President of the New Jersey Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism;  Internationally with United Synagogue having served on the Executive Board and, past Chairman of the International Audit Committee and on the Personnel Committee.  He was most recently the International Financial Secretary, and the International Treasurer. Currently he still serves on the Board of Directors and is member of the Budget and Investment Committees (Banking and Financial matters). Gary has retired and was the Senior vice president and Chief lending officer for the Brunswick Bank & Trust Company, New Brunswick, New Jersey, having been in the banking profession since 1956. He has resided in Somerset, New Jersey since 1969 and has recently lost his beloved wife Rose Ann of 52 years. He serves on the Zoning Board and is Chairman of the Human Relations Commission  He has three children, ten grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

 

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld

Trustee

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld was named the Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) in 2009. The RA is the international membership association of Conservative/Masorti rabbis. The RA promotes an inspiring approach to Jewish tradition and brings forward the vision of the Conservative/Masorti rabbi in areas including major liturgical publications, public policy, Israel advocacy, social justice, and interreligious affairs. Rabbi Schonfeld started her career as a congregational rabbi at the historic Society for the Advancement of Judaism on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Prior to being named Executive Vice President, she was Director of Rabbinic Development at the RA, spearheading projects in areas such as public policy, conversion, 

continuing rabbinic education, professional conduct, mentorship and women’s advancement. Rabbi Schonfeld has served on President Obama’s White House Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Newsweek named her one of the 50 most influential Rabbis in America in 2011, 2012 and 2013. She was named by Jewish Women International as a “Woman to Watch” in 2011 and has also been named in the Forward 50. Rabbi Schonfeld is often called upon to represent the Jewish community in national and international settings and is known for her incisive application of Jewish thinking to world events.

 

Rabbi Matthew H. Simon

Trustee

Matthew H. Simon is Rabbi Emeritus at B’nai Israel Congregation.

He is a past president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and has been its Campaign Chairman and Treasurer. He was the founding Chairman of Jewish Vocational Services, a past president of the Hillel of Greater Washington, a past Vice President of Capital Camps, and a life member of the Board of the Jewish Social Service Agency.

Rabbi Simon attended the University of Chicago and California State University in Northridge. He has a Masters Degrees in Political Science and in Hebrew Literature, and a Doctorate in Humane Letters. He was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1958, which awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree in 1986.

Following his ordination, he served as a U.S. Navy Chaplain, and retired from the Navy as a Captain after 28 years of service.

From 1960 to 1969, Rabbi Simon served congregations in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.

He is a past Chairman of the Joint Retirement Board for Conservative Judaism.  He was the National Chairman of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal and then of the United Jewish Communities. He was Chairman of the Jewish Welfare Board - Jewish Chaplains Council (a service of Jewish Community Centers of North America), and was Vice-Chairman of the National Funding Council.

Rabbi Simon is a life member of the NAACP, and a member of many other religious and civic organizations. He is a past National President of ZBT Fraternity, and a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science honor society. He is a past President of the Washington Board of Rabbis, and helped found the United Synagogue of India.

Rabbi Simon is married to Sara, and they had three children:  Ethan, who is married to Sandy Katz, and has two children, Molley and Ezekiel;  Elizabeth (Betsy), who is married to Colonel Jefrey Cowan, USAF-Retired, and has two children, Margaret (Maggie) and Charles (Buddy); and Rabbi Joshua z’’l, who was married to Dr. Miriam Bensimhon and had twin sons, Dylan and Marley.

 

Mrs. Phyllis Hofman Waldmann

Trustee

Phyllis Hofman Waldmann, appointed by the Seminary, served as Senior Consultant to the National Ramah Commission for thirty nine years for which she was awarded the Pras Ramah. Mrs. Waldmann, a native of Chicago, currently resides in New York and Jerusalem. She holds a BA and MS in Education. She is the founding Chair of the Education Committee of the Chicagoland Jewish High School (a Solomon Schechter affiliate) and a former Guidance Counselor at the Solomon Schechter School in Queens, NY. She served as Principal of the JTS Prozdor High School. Mrs. Waldmann was a member of USY, served as a USY advisor and subsequently attended the Hebrew University. In 2003 Mrs. Waldmann was awarded The Eternal Light Award by the Seminary.

 

Dr. Michael Halzel

Observer

Dr. Michael Halzel served as Headmaster of religious schools and Hebrew day schools for 42 years and was the Headmaster for the 10 years prior to his retirement in 2003 at the Solomon Schechter School of Queens.

Dr. Halzel has served in many leadership roles with the Jewish Educators Assembly leading to his assuming the role of National President in 1993. He most recently chaired the 2007 and 2010 JEA/JTS doctoral convocations.  He has also served as chairman of the Joint Educator Placement Commission implementing the computerizing of the placement process. He has been the JEA Observer at the JRB for over 20 years.

In addition to having earned his doctorate in educational administration from Nova University, Dr Halzel was presented with an honorary Doctor of Pedagogy degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1997.  In 2010 he was honored with the JEA/Behrman House Lifetime Achievement Award in Jewish Education.

Dr. Halzel and his wife Celie are active retirees in Delray Beach, FL where they both volunteer in many community capacities. They are most proud of their son Avi who is currently serving as CEO/Head of School of the Denver Jewish Day School and their four grandchildren.

 
Mr. David Rothenberg

Observer

David Rothenberg recently became Executive Director of B'nai Israel Congregation in Rockville, Maryland, after over 18 years as Executive Director of Beth Israel Congregation in suburban Baltimore.   David is active on the Board of Governors of the North American Association of Synagogue Executives (NAASE) where he has held various positions of leadership.  NAASE has named him a Fellow in Synagogue Administration and he is one of only four active Executive Directors to have been commissioned as an Amin Tzibur by United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Jewish Theological Seminary.  He also participates in the Mid-Atlantic Association of Temple and Synagogue Administrators (MAATSA), being a past president.  Since moving to Baltimore a little over thirty years ago, David has been active in synagogue and Jewish communal life, including many years on the board of the Hebrew Free Loan of Baltimore.  Prior to entering the field of synagogue management, David held positions as Director of Finance / Administration for businesses in a variety of industries.  He has a BS in Accounting and an MBA in Operations Analysis from the SUNY at Buffalo, where he grew up, and he is a CPA.  He enjoys the professional challenge of synthesizing business management theory and practice with Jewish religious belief and values.  David and his wife Aliza have three sons - Jonathan, Samuel, and Chanan.

 

 
Mitchell J. Smilowitz, CPA

Chief Executive Officer,

Mitchell J. Smilowitz, CPA, is the Chief Executive Officer of The Joint Retirement Board for Conservative Judaism (JRB), the Plan Sponsor and Plan Administrator of the denominational retirement plan for the Conservative Movement.  He joined the JRB in 2006 with over 20 years of experience in pension consulting and retirement planning.  Mitch brings extensive knowledge in pension plan design, compliance, investment analysis and financial planning to the JRB.  He has an MBA in Accounting and Finance and completed the Certified Financial Planning program at New York University.  A former contributing editor toThe CPA Journal, he has authored several articles on retirement planning and pension administration.  He also lectures frequently on developing investment strategies for retirement plan assets. 

Mitch is an active member of the NY State Society of CPA and serves on the Society’s Employee Benefits and Personal Financial Planning Committees.  He also is a member of the AICPA, the professional association of Certified Public Accountants, and the Association’s Personal Financial Planning Section.  In addition, Mitch sits on the Board of Directors of the Church Benefits Association, an organization composed of over 50 denominational benefits programs serving clergy and “church” professionals.

In his younger days, Mitch was President of his synagogue’s USY Chapter (Temple Shalom in Westbury, NY) and lived and worked on a kibbutz in Israel for a year  (Kibbutz Heftzi-Bah).  

An avid runner and tennis player who enjoys jazz, classical, and Cantorial music, Mitch and his wife, Audrey Sussman, divide their time between the Upper West Side of Manhattan and the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.  They are members of Ansche Chesed in New York City and the Berkshire Minyan in Great Barrington, MA.  Mitch and Audrey dote on their 9 nieces and nephews and delight in their two cats and 85-lb Golden Retriever

Mitch’s skill is in simplifying complex tax, financial and investment concepts and working with plan participants to help them achieve their financial and retirement goals.   Please schedule an appointment to discuss your situation with him at 888-JRB-FREE (888-572-3733)