BZBI, where you belong


    Nicole Morris, Chair, President

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

    Suzanne Litke, Vice President

    BZBI is my home.

    Cara Levinson, Vice President

    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.

    Ben Silverman, Treasurer

    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 13 years we’ve lived in Center City: for our wedding, the birth of our children (Jonah & Yael), to help mourn loss or just to pray.  As Treasurer, I want to do everything I can to help Jews of all ages find ways to join our congregation, empower our staff to guide our traditions and ensure we remain a financially viable non-profit community for years to come.

    Terry Hirshorn, Secretary

    I joined BZBI 35 years ago when my older daughter started Neziner Hebrew School. A few years later I started coming to Shabbat morning services regularly when Shabbat services were part of the Hebrew School routine, making friends with the people in my pew. I been coming to services ever since and feel that BZBI is one of my communities of friends. While always an active volunteer in my adult life, this is the first time I was asked to serve on the Board. Being retired, I have the time and my skill set matches the job requirement, so I agreed. I look forward to learning and working with the Board.

    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.

    Eileen Dwell, Chair, Community Committee

    After many years of living in the suburbs and being entrenched in that Jewish community I moved into Center City eight years ago.  I am a relatively new member of the Beth Zion Beth Israel community. When I joined BZBI five years ago I was welcomed warmly. It was easy for me to feel at home and get involved in Synagogue life.  When I was asked to serve on the board I was honored. I want to do for others what the BZBI community has done for me.

    Arielle Kerstein, Chair, Early Childhood Education Committee

    Larry Kessler, Chair, Ritual Committee

    I’m honored to serve on the board of BZBI, a warm and vibrant community that has helped me reconnect to my heritage and pass that heritage on to my children. I want to help build BZBI as a place that fosters meaningful worship and spiritual growth for anyone who comes through our doors.

    Michael Radbill, Chair, Building Committee

    I am excited to join the BZBI Board. Excited because I expect this will enable me to start the process of bringing new life to our beautiful building resulting in a facility that will heighten our spiritual growth.   In my first week, I began working with Rabbi Friedman and other Board members to develop a list of projects that will begin to transform our building.  It is exciting to envision a revitalized facility and then make it happen. One essential task will be to develop an asset management system that will catalog our significant assets, program their regular maintenance, enable us to develop a realistic maintenance budget, and provide the Board with the data it needs to make informed decisions on capital expenditures. I welcome all suggestions and encourage fellow congregants to join our committee. We will be busy and will accomplish much.

    Brian Bushee, Chair, Finance Committee

    I am honored to serve on the Board because BZBI has been a big part of my life since moving to Philadelphia in 2000. I converted to Judaism here, got married here, and watched my children progress from play school to Hebrew High here.  As a Board member, I want to help ensure BZBI’s financial sustainability so that it will always be here to serve the needs of our community.

    Sharon Greis, Chair, Membership Committee

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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.

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