BZBI, where you belong


    Gregg Kanter, President

    I want to assist, improve and share an institution central to my identity, family and community.

    Suzanne Litke, Vice President

    BZBI is my home.

    Nicole Morris, Chair, Vice President (President Elect)

    I serve on the Board because I want to be a part of my community because my community is a part of me.

    Cara Levinson, Treasurer

    I have been on the BZBI Board for 6 years, holding prior positions as Community Chair, Treasurer, and Vice President. I have been a member of BZBI for over 20 years and it feels like a second home to me and my daughter. I have been active in many aspects of the Jewish Community, both in Philadelphia and nationally. In addition to BZBI, I am a longtime Board member of The Jewish Relief Agency. My motivation has always been to make the world at large a better place, and that starts in the Jewish Community and at BZBI. Being Jewish is not just my identity, it is part of my DNA — who I am at every level.

    Clare Kahn, Secretary

    A request to join the Synagogue Board triggers an internal debate and an initial fright and flight response.  Let’s see….a job where you give up your precious personal time, and in return you commit to continuing to pay financial support to your employer?
    On the other hand, people whom you respect have asked you; you are passionate about the success of the organizationwhy don’t you step up as others have to serve the community?  Deep down you feel that you could be more involved and here is your opportunity.  I am indeed looking forward to serving, and may I prove deserving to walk in the footsteps of former board members.

    Nancy Katz Colman, Chair, Marketing Committee

    As chair of the Marketing Committee, I gained a seat on the Board after more than 26 years of membership in the shul. Despite my secular approach to my religious identity, my service on the Board allows me to use my skill to serve a community that has offered me and my family a wealth of experiences throughout important stages of our lives.

    Sara Shaiman, Chair, Neziner Hebrew School Committee

    My name is Sara Shaiman and I am new to the Board at BZBI.  I am a 5th grade teacher in Haverford Township and have lived in the city for almost 20 years.  I joined BZBI almost three years ago and am thrilled to have an opportunity to be a part of this wonderful Jewish community.  I look forward to helping BZBI grow and prosper.

    Jill Jokelson, Chair, Finance Committee

    I serve on the BZBI Board because the community formed by our congregation is so important to me and my family.  BZBI has been a big part of our family’s life events, helped shape our children’s Jewish identity and connected me and my husband to the broader Philadelphia Jewish community.  Serving on the Board is my small way to give back and attempt to enrich the experience for all of our congregants.  I hope the efforts of the Board, clergy and administration continue to fulfill the spiritual and community needs of both our current and future congregants.

    Robert Biron, Chair, Governance Committee

    I value and care about our BZBI community and I see serving on the Board as showing an example to my children that when you care about something you do something to help.  I feel privileged for this opportunity to help BZBI.

    Sarah Greiss Kahn, Chair, Community Committee

    My name is Sarah Kahn and I am new to the Board at BZBI.  It takes me 25 minutes to walk to Shul and I truly see it as a second home.  I love living in Philadelphia and raising my children in our great city.  I serve on the Board because I care about Jewish connections.  Our community chair committee works hard to provide opportunities for us all to engage.   Please join me- there is something for everyone!

    Tamar Fox, Chair, Ritual Committee

    I am excited to lead the ritual committee and be a member of BZBI’s board to strengthen and grow the Jewish ritual which is at the heart of our community. I’m looking forward to thinking creatively about how we can serve the ritual needs of everyone at BZBI, bringing together tradition and innovation.

    Jenna Shersher, Chair, Early Childhood Education Committee

    It is an honor and privilege to serve on the BZBI board as the Early Education Chair. I am deeply invested in the school and and excited to see how we can integrate more young families into the vibrant and inclusive BZBI community. After moving here from Chicago, BZBI has become our family’s second home. I am excited to do my part and hopefully effectuate change as a new board member.

    Matthew Whitehorn, Chair, Human Resources Committee

    I’ve been a member of BZBI for a long time (despite my youthful appearance). With the new level of energy and enthusiasm now abounding at BZBI, I realized that I actually missed being on the Board as my prior service ended several years ago. I am hopeful that I can use my professional background working with others to help promote and enhance all of the many positive attributes of our congregation.

    Gary Bramnick, Chair, Development Committee

    All members of the BZBI community, and BZBI itself, have their own unique stories. My personal story at BZBI began when I needed to find a place to say Kaddish for my father when we knew the time was approaching. I walked through the doors of our magnificent sanctuary and knew at once, I had not only found a place that felt comfortable to say the prayers, I found a place that felt like home.  I am honored to serve on the board and help share all of our stories and by doing so, help assure that BZBI has the financial support and resources to discover new stories, new members of our community and new ways we can continue to be the open and welcoming heart of Conservative Judaism in Center City.

    Ben Silverman, Chair, Membership Committee

    I’m on the Board of BZBI because I believe I can make a difference.  An active urban Conservative synagogue allows my family to get the most out of living in the city of Philadelphia.  BZBI has been there for us throughout the past decade we’ve lived in Center City: for our wedding, the birth of both of our children (Jonah & Yael) and to help mourn loss.  As the chair of our Membership committee, I want to do everything I can to help Jews of all ages find ways to join our congregation, empowering our staff to connect new and long-time members to the great ideas of Judaism that guide our traditions.

    Sabrina Rubin Erdely, Chair, Adult Programming Committee

    For nearly 20 years, BZBI has provided me with a fulfilling, stimulating community where I always feel at ease. I serve on the board so I can help our shul continue to grow as a friendly, fun and intellectually rigorous hub of Jewish life in Philadelphia.

    Josh Weingram, Chair, Building Committee

    I serve on the board because I want to give back to a community that gives me and my family so much. I co-chair the building committee because our physical home requires ongoing attention to continue to facilitate to engaging activities happening inside and outside its walls.

    Rosalie Kurz, Chair, Tikkun Olam Committee

    I would like to listen, to learn, and to contribute.

    Susan Zeelander, Trustee at Large

    Just a year and a half ago I moved to Center City and became a member of BZBI.  In the short time since then I have witnessed the dynamism at BZBI and the smart and caring clergy and staff.   I’ve participated in events here.  I’ve become friends with many members who are interesting, bright, and thoughtful.  I feel that I have become part of the BZBI family.  It is my hope that as a new board member I can contribute to this community and to its future.

    Jeremy Bannett, Trustee at Large

    BZBI is a home-away-from-home and an invaluable part of the Jewish community of Philadelphia. It is my honor and privilege to be a part of the BZBI family!

    If you are interested in getting involved in the nominating committee, please contact Robert Biron.