I was elected to the CBJ Board of Directors in 2010 and became President in January 2017. My wife Tara and I joined CBJ in 2006 as our eldest daughter, Phoebe, began kindergarten religious school classes at CBJ. She had her Bat Mitzvah in 2014 and I proudly put my Hebrew teachings from Ruth Shapiro and adult B’nai Mitzvah teachings from Rabbi, Bill, and Cantor Barbara to use. Our middle child, Nathan, had his Bar Mitzvah in 2016, and our youngest Daphne, is scheduled for her Bat Mitzvah in May 2019. We have found CBJ to not only be a wonderful place for our children to learn Jewish religion, tradition and values, but also a welcoming place for Tara and I to develop and deepen our own connections within Judaism and the CBJ community. For example, having been raised on Maui in the 70s, where there were no synagogues, I missed out on the religious education that my children take for granted.
I received my undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley (’87) and my JD from the University of Chicago (’91). I am a corporate lawyer, specializing in the representation of emerging growth companies. My interests include, most importantly, spending time with family, and secondarily triathalons and spending time on the Russian River.
My family and I joined CBJ in 2006, but due to its welcoming and warm climate and wonderful clergy and staff, we feel like we’ve been part of this community for much longer. I have been on the Board and Executive Committee for a number of years. My efforts as a Board member have been focused on Shabbat Engagement, having led the SANCTIFY Task Force and helped to organize the “Power Hour”. My current interests are focused on overall strategy and financial matters. I am deeply committed to synagogues in general as a foundation of Jewish and religious life and, of course, to our synagogue in particular. I have lived and volunteered in the Jewish community here in Northern California since 1997. I am a Past President of the Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School. I have also been involved in numerous other volunteer activities including serving on the Board of the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation and the Executive Committees of the Campus for Jewish Life (which led to the creation of the Oshman Family JCC), Congregation Kol Emeth and the South Peninsula Council of Federation, where I was Campaign Chair and later, President. I also was honored to receive the 2001 San Francisco Jewish Community Federation’s Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Young Leadership and to be selected to participate in the Wexner Heritage Program. Professionally, I am the President; CEO of PowerVision, Inc., a medical device start-up — my third! I have a wonderful wife, Lisa, and two teen-aged daughters, Lucy and Joy.
As serial entrepreneur, I’ve been CEO of six venture-backed companies during my 30-year Silicon Valley career. In addition to my work as Treasurer at CBJ, I was Board President and Treasurer at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto. My wife Ann Marie and I live in Los Altos. Our two college-aged sons were bar mitzvah’ed at CBJ.
I was elected to the Board of Directors in 2012 and serve on the Executive Committee as Secretary. I am also working on the communication committee of the Board.
I first learned about Beth Jacob and met Rabbi Ezray in 2007 in my search for a rabbi to guide me through the conversion process. My husband, Lonnie, and I began attending services while learning with Rabbi and then joined CBJ in 2009. From our first visit to the synagogue, our family has felt at home and warmly welcomed.
Our daughter Julie’s Bat Mitzvah was in 2012. Annie (12) and Samuel (7) are attending CBJ Religious School. I have been active with Kesher, the parent leadership group of the Religious School, serving as Chair in 2011-12. I am a graduate of the 2014 adult b’nai mitzvah class.
In my professional life, I am a financial planner, working with busy families to create financial freedom. In addition to my family, community and work life, I enjoy running, yoga, cooking, road trips and reading.
I joined the CBJ board in 2014. I (and my wife Jackie) have lived in the bay area for close to 40 years, having come to California from the UK. We are semi-retired “empty nesters” with three grown up kids, Adam, Elissa and Ben, and one grandchild Léo.
I spent most of my career in the electronics industry, first as an engineer, then a marketer and then a Chief Executive. We moved to Menlo Park from the South Bay in 2009, and starting looking for a shul. The amazing sense of community at CBJ, together with the warm welcome we received made the decision very easy. I feel honored to be of service to the Shul, and hope that my contribution helps CBJ become even more of a welcoming presence for Jewish people of all ages in the bay area.
Immediate Past President
I have been a member of CBJ for about 20 years. My two daughters, Samantha and Caitie, attended religious school at CBJ and had their Bat Mitzvahs here. My husband, Jeff, and I were married in the Chapel almost three years ago with Rabbi Ezray and Bill officiating. I always found the environment at CBJ welcoming but when my girls finished religious school I was looking for a way to renew my connection to my Judaism and CBJ. I had attended a Jewish Day School in Queens, New York where I was—more often than not—dragged to school. I joined the Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah class at CBJ in an effort to embrace Jewish education on my own terms. The experience was transformative and has lead to a reinvigorated effort on my part to continue my Jewish studies. I have been enjoying the very interesting discussions in the Saturday morning Torah study as part of that effort. I am a lawyer and have my practice at DuRard, McKenna & Borg in San Mateo where we represent working men and women who become disabled from work-related injuries and illnesses.
Michelle de Haaff
I joined CBJ 16 years ago when my husband and I first got married and I have been privileged to be on the board since 2011. My husband and I both grew up connected to our Jewish community and knew that we wanted to start our lives together by remaining connected. Now 16 years later all three of our sons, Zachary, Jason, and Noah attended CBJ’s pre-school and are now active participants in the CBJ Religious School. CBJ has become a second home for us, where we enjoy a wonderful community of friends who share the same values as us and enjoy learning and participating in Tikkun Olam. I have been on the board for 3 years now, acting as secretary and working on various communications projects, including keeping our website up to date. I have been working in the software industry leading product management and marketing for almost 20 years and feel lucky to be in Silicon Valley in this age of the technology “revolution!”
My family and I have been members of CBJ since 2014 but have been part of the CBJ community much longer. I am glad to be serving on CBJ’s Board and look forward to helping steward the synagogue during my term. I am a past Board member at the Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, where I served on the Board for 8 years and on the Executive Committee of the Board for 4 years. While on Hausner’s Board, I chaired the Investment Policy Task Force and the Campus Completion Committee, served on both the Finance Committee and the Governance Committee, and Co-Chaired the successful L’Dor V’Dor Capital Campaign that facilitated the build-out of the campus and the construction of Hausner’s new Troper Center for Arts and Athletics. I currently serve on the National Advisory Board for the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University. Professionally, I am an attorney, a former partner at WSGR, and the founding partner of Edgewood Law Partners, specializing in the representation of privately held and publicly-traded growth companies and the executives, investors and advisors affiliated with those companies. I attended the University of Pennsylvania/Wharton School of Business (BA 1990) and Harvard Law School (JD 1993).
I joined CBJ with my family in 2006 after many affiliations with the local Jewish Community over time. We previously belonged to both Peninsula Sinai Congregation and Kol Emeth because of our relationships with the Rabbis – Sheldon Lewis (a cousin to my ex) and Marv Goodman (who I met being USY advisor at Kol Emeth). My kids attended Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School where I served on the board of Parent Kesher and was involved in many classroom and school-wide events. I grew up at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, where I was born. We chose CBJ to join our close friends from the Day School, the warm and welcoming community, and the awesome spiritual leadership of Rabbi Ezray and Bill Futornick. My daughter Becca celebrated her Bat Mitzvah at CBJ in 2008 and my son Gabe reads Torah occasionally at the behest of Bill. Both kids enjoy working in the Camp Shofar program and went to Israel with their dad and the Congregation during Chanukah 2008. I first served on the Religious School Committee in 2007-8 and then joined the Board in 2013. I look forward to working with Sue and the Board on continuing the engagement work as well as helping promote and build our wonderful and welcoming community. Professionally, I’ve had the luck and grace to work with some of the hottest tech companies (Apple, Netscape, Intuit, Netflix, Good Technology top the list) during their brightest moments. I’m currently at Groupon, leading the design of Merchant products.
My wife, Talia, and I joined CBJ in 2012, shortly after we moved to Redwood City. Since then, the CBJ community has welcomed our daughter, Hannah, and our son, Isaac, both of whom love coming to children’s services. I became a member of the Board in 2016 and joined the Executive Committee in 2017 so I could help give back to this great congregation.
I grew up in Canton, Ohio, and moved to the Bay Area in 2001. I am currently Vice President of Strategy at First Data Corporation, and have worked in corporate and product strategy at Visa and PayPal. When I can find some spare time and favorable conditions, I might be found camping with my family, struggling uphill on a road bike, sliding downhill on a snowboard, or hovering over a batch of beer I’m brewing in my backyard.
My husband Amir and I have been members of CBJ for more than a decade. Both of our kids (Aaron 16 and Sara 13) have attended the CBJ Religious School since Kindergarten. In fact, Sara even attended the CBJ preschool. They both had their Bar/Bat Mitzvah at CBJ and we remain active members.
I have worked to support the Religious School is a variety of ways. Some of which include serving as curriculum chair and directly supporting the last three Religious School directors.
I am a school administrator in Menlo Park where I coordinate a Spanish Immersion program. I am also a children’s book author. My book, I Keep Kosher, has been translated into three languages.
I am honored to serve on the CBJ Board of Directors. I hope I can contribute by helping CBJ become an even more vibrant and welcoming place to grow and learn as a Jewish community.
My Interfaith family joined CBJ in 1993 when our children were adults and we were primarily High Holiday attendees. My husband Hurst, of blessed memory, was a refugee in Shanghai with Cantor Cohn and was drawn to CBJ partially because of that connection. I always enjoyed attending services with Hurst and enjoyed the opportunities for learning from sermons and readings. Following Hurst’s death in 2012, I was impressed and grateful for Rabbi Ezray’s kindness, caring and knowledge as he guided my family through Hurst’s funeral, burial and period of mourning. I realized I did not want the connection to CBJ and Judaism to end. I began attending Shabbat services frequently and began studying with Rabbi Ezray. At CBJ I found a loving community of friends and a new home for my soul.
I joined the board in 2016 and it is my hope to be able to serve and contribute. I presently coordinate the committee that sets up for the First Friday Rockin Shabbat dinners and look forward to meeting and welcoming members, potential members and their families and friends at these dinners.
I am a graduate of Georgetown University (BS) 1964 and UCSF 1969(MS) and had a long, varied and fulfilling career as a Registered Nurse retiring in 2007 from the VA in Palo Alto. My son and his family live in Alameda and we enjoy Giants games, symphony, theater and cheering for my granddaughter’s volleyball team.
My wife, Aimee, and I each came to the Bay Area in the mid-1990’s. In 2012 we moved to San Carlos and joined Congregation Beth Jacob. What drew us most to CBJ was it’s warm and inclusive atmosphere that really made us feel welcome. Our daughter, Hope, also loves CBJ – including making close friendships with other children, starting in CBJ’s preschool. I joined the CBJ Board in 2017, and previously have been involved on Stanford Hillel’s Board, the Young Adult Division of the Federation’s Executive Committee, and leading AIPAC’s San Francisco Leadership Development Program. Professionally, I received my Ph.D. from Stanford in Applied Physics, and subsequently founded and am currently the CTO of Tactus Technology, a company that develops new user interfaces and materials for mobile devices and display systems. I hope that our efforts at CBJ make it an even more inviting and dynamic community.