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Board of Trustee Officers

Jon Braslaw, President 
Jon has been a Temple Sinai member since 2003, when he blended families with his wife, Robin Flagg, who has been a member since 1998. They have four kids. Jon has been a member of Sinai Green and has served as Treasurer and a Member of the Executive Committee before becoming president in November 2019. Jon is a senior manager with Recology, an environmental services company based in San Francisco. “I enjoy connecting with our members and working to keep our community strong and vibrant. You can contact me at president@oaklandsinai.org."

Calvin Gibbs, Vice President 
Calvin has been a member of Temple Sinai since 2001, with his wife, Donna Gibbs, and their two children, Zoe and David. Both of his children attended Temple Sinai Religious School and became b’nei mitzvah at Temple Sinai. Calvin served on Temple Sinai’s Diversity Committee from 2010 to 2012. He collaborated with committee members to deliver the “Faces of Sinai” photo collection, was a participant in the “Creating an Inclusive Jewish Community Initiative,” and led an additional collaborative effort with the interfaith organization Building Jewish Bridges. The program was successfully covered by JWeekly in its “Men Behaving Jewishly” article. Calvin is an IT Product Professional, specializing in the delivery of desktop and mobile product applications.

Laurie Leiber, Vice President
Laurie and her husband Phil Rubin joined Temple Sinai in 1993. Their children, Sarah and Jacob, graduated from the Religious school and attended Midrasha. Laurie is a past program chair for Women of Temple Sinai, past chair of the Hospitality Committee, member of the adult volunteer choir, and helps to create programs through the Fine Arts Committee on Culture and Community. Laurie has participated in both the WTS Shabbat and the Creative Community Service.  She manages the secret society known as the Temple Sinai Bakers Guild. Laurie has a Masters in Public Health and currently works as a certified Pilates instructor and as the principal instructor for Bake Your Own Amazing Bagels.

Anne Schmitz, Vice President
Anne and her family have been Temple Sinai members since 2001. Both of her children attended Temple Sinai Preschool and Religious School and became b’nei mitzvah at Temple Sinai. Anne served on the Temple Sinai Board of Trustees both as an ex-officio Board member, in her capacity as President of the Preschool Parent Committee for two years from 2007 to 2009, and as an at-large Board member for four years from 2009 to 2012. She was a member of the Education Committee, a leader of the Re-Imagine Taskforce for the Religious School, a member of Temple Sinai’s Governance Taskforce, and one of the drafters of the 2016 amendments to Temple Sinai’s bylaws. She is currently the chair of Temple Sinai’s Personnel Committee. Anne is an attorney, and a Deputy Commissioner at the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board.

Lori Waltzer, Treasurer
Lori and her husband Josh have been Temple Sinai members since 2006. Their children, Jessica and Joseph, attended both Temple Sinai Preschool and Religious School, and became b'nei mitzvah together at Temple Sinai in 2019. Lori first began volunteering at Temple Sinai as the Treasurer of the Preschool Parent Committee in 2010. Lori has served for many years on the Finance Committee and has also been on several other committees over the years including the Cemetery Leadership Committee, Yesod Development Committee and Capital Needs Task Force. Lori is a native of San Diego and grew up at Temple Beth Israel, where she loved going to religious school, became a bat mitzvah and was also a Madrichim. By day, Lori is the Chief Financial Officer of the Prado Group, a local Bay Area real estate owner/developer.

Bill Bonnet, Secretary
Bill and his husband, Steve Garber, joined Temple Sinai in 2015, once Bill completed his conversion to Judaism. Bill is a regular attendee of Torah Study, is a member of the Caring Community, and has served on the Strategic Planning Committee since 2019. Bill is originally from Pennsylvania and has lived in Oakland since 2009. He has a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Counseling and works in the Education Technology sector.

Sara Klein, Immediate Past President
Sara is proud and delighted to be the first convert to Judaism to serve as President of Temple Sinai. She, her husband Tom, and their children Will and Julia have been members of Temple Sinai since 1999. Sara has been involved in leadership at Temple Sinai for many years, having served as a Board member from 2003 to 2011 in various at-large, ex officio, and executive capacities. Together with Janine Bloch, she co-chaired the search that led to hiring Sue Bojdak as Director of Education. With Sam Schuchat, she co-chaired the search that led to the naming of Rabbi Mates-Muchin as Senior Rabbi. Sara is a corporate and commercial attorney practicing mostly in the biotechnology industry.

 

Board of Trustee Members

Liz Daoust
Liz Daoust and her husband Mark have been members of Temple Sinai since 2014. All three of their daughters — Lucy, Annie and Phoebe — attended Temple Sinai Preschool and have continued on as religious school students. Liz served as President of the Preschool Parent Committee President from 2016-2017, where she spearheaded many community building events and fundraising efforts for the school. She has also served as a team captain for the Yesod Campaign and began studying for her bat mitzvah with Rabbi Mates-Muchin in 2016. Liz received her BA from Williams College and her Master's in Education Policy and Management from Harvard's Graduate School of Education. She is a former middle school teacher and dean, and has also worked in nonprofit management, fundraising and educational recruiting. She currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees for the Orinda Union School District.

Stephanie Eckhaus
Stephanie and her wife, Colleen Sanford, have been members of Temple Sinai since 2006. Their two children, Rowen and Josh, became B’nei Mitzvah at Temple Sinai. Stephanie has been a member of the Education Committee for several years, and brings a passion for inclusivity to the community. Stephanie works as a Bereavement Coordinator at Kaiser Hayward Hospice. She is happiest hiking in the redwoods and gardening.

John Ehrlich
John has been a Temple Sinai member since 1996. He was born and raised in San Francisco achieving Bar Mitzvah at Temple Emanuel and attending Lowell High School. He went east to college, UC Berkeley, living in and becoming involved in the management of the student coops (BSC). His three children Erin, Sam and David attended Temple Sinai religious school, became b'nei mitzvah and were confirmed at Temple Sinai. After 32 years with the San Francisco Police Department he retired as a Captain. John has been on the Finance Committee for a number of years and is the Chair of the Safety and Security Committee. John has traveled to over 75 countries including a year backpacking through Africa in 1988-89. He currently serves on the Boards of two other charities, BALEAF and the BSC Alumni Association.

Sydney Firestone Schimmel
Sydney and her family have been Temple Sinai members since 1993.  Her two daughters attended Religious School and Midrasha and became b’nai mitzvah at Temple Sinai. Sydney became an adult bat mitzvah in 2010. She has served on the board of the Women of Temple Sinai as Treasurer. She has served as an ex officio member of the Temple Sinai Board of Trustees, representing Women of Temple Sinai, and in 2017 she was elected by the Board to fill an open at-large Board position. Sydney is currently a member of Temple Sinai’s Finance Committee and the Accounting Taskforce. She is also on the board of the Pacific District of WRJ as its budget committee chair. Sydney is a retired Deloitte director, where she was a forensic accountant in its Financial Advisory Services practice.  Sydney serves on other regional not-for-profit boards as well, including the Alameda County Community Food Bank.  

Melissa Heller 
Melissa has been a member of Temple Sinai since 2002 and currently serves on the Development Committee and Yesod as a Team Captain. Originally from New Jersey, Melissa now lives in Oakland with husband, Steven Douglas, and children Sandler and Isley as well as Newfoundland, Molly. Both of her children attended religious school, Sandler becoming a bar mitzvah in 2014 and Isley becoming a bat mitzvah in December 2017. Melissa works in Development, at George Mark Children’s House, the first freestanding pediatric palliative care facility in the US.

Jim Manheimer
Jim and his family have been members of Temple Sinai since 2006. Both his children became b’nei mitzvah at Temple Sinai. A public school teacher and administrator, Jim brought a strong understanding of issues pertaining to youth education to his work as a longstanding member Temple Sinai’s Education Committee and co-chair of Temple Sinai’s Teen Task Force. He was deeply involved in the Religious School’s Re-Imagine initiative. Jim previously served as an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2010.

Rebecca McEntee
Rebecca and her husband, Jack Chase, have been members of Temple Sinai since 2015, along with their children. Her two oldest children attended Temple Sinai David Pregerson Preschool and now continue to study in the religious school; their younger sister will hopefully join them in 2023. During her children's time at TSDPP, Rebecca served on the Preschool Parent Committee for 5 years, including most recently as the PPC President and Board of Trustees member for the 2019-2020 school year. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, she moved to San Francisco in 2005 to complete her medical training; and she and her family now live in Oakland. Rebecca is a family physician working in two federally qualified health centers in the East Bay, as well as continuing to participate in medical student and resident physician education and training.

Dayna Orange
Dayna and her husband Joshua have been members of Temple Sinai since 2014 when their son, Lev, began Temple Sinai Preschool. Dayna was an active member of the Parent Preschool Committee and participated in the Temple's Yesod fundraising campaign. Since Lev began religious school, Dayna has served on the Education Committee and recently accepted the Chair position this past school year. Dayna studied business and health care management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received her MBA while living in NYC. Dayna is the Director of Operations at a multi-disciplinary independent physician practice and enjoys spending quality time with her family playing sports, traveling and hiking with their dog.

Frances J. Rotolo
Frances was born in 1957 in New Orleans, LA to a mother of Spanish decent and a father of French and Sicilian decent. She was raised by catholic paternal grandparents in Harvey, LA. She joined the Navy in March of 1977, served for 12 years in various jobs at stateside and overseas duty stations and was honorably discharged in September 1988 due to homosexuality. That's it. No other reason. After being discharged, Frances remained in the San Francisco bay area. Twenty-five years ago, Frances started a relationship with a nice Jewish girl, Allyce Kimerling and began attending services at Temple Sinai in 1994 when Allyce and Frances moved in together in Oakland. They moved to Fresno, CA for approximately 4½ years when Allyce got a job there, and while in Fresno, Frances converted to Judaism stating, "Well, afterall, I was living a very jewish life." They became members of Temple Sinai in 2001 after moving back to the Bay Area. Frances has served as the Oneg Committee Chair for several years, has been a member of the Access Committee and is currently serving her third term on the Temple Board.

Sean Sawyer
Sean was born and raised in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He and his wife, Amy Leitner, have been members of the Temple Sinai community since September 2018. Sean works as a reading intervention specialist at Roosevelt Middle School, serving students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. In his free time, Sean enjoys practicing accordion, keyboard, and acoustic guitar as well as taking walks around Lake Merritt and the many beautiful trails in the Bay Area. Sean can often be found attending Friday night Shabbat services and Saturday morning Torah Study. During First Friday services, you may find Sean helping lead services on his accordion.

Aaron Saxe
Aaron and his wife Meredith have been members of Temple Sinai since 2015. Their two sons, Levi and Oliver, attended Temple Sinai David Pregerson Preschool and have continued at the religious school. Aaron grew up in the Bay Area and has been an active member in the Jewish community both professionally and personally. He currently serves as Senior Program Officer at the Jim Joseph Foundation, a private foundation whose mission is to foster compelling, effective Jewish learning experiences for young Jews.

Bart Schenone
Bart has been a member of Temple Sinai for 25 years, while his wife, Sandie, has been with Temple Sinai since her parents became members in about 1954. Their son, Ben, was a Bar Mitzvah in 2001. Bart has been active in the Brotherhood and is now serving on the Board of Trustees for a second time. In working time, Bart is a trusts and estates lawyer. You will find him at Tuesday Minyan.

Allison Silverstein

Karen Tanner
Karen and her husband, Randy Perrin, along with their two daughters, Tova and Hannah, joined Temple Sinai in 1989. Both girls went through Bat Mitzvah, confirmation and graduation at Temple Sinai. Karen had her Bat Mitzvah 2010!  Karen is on the board of the Women of Temple Sinai, and a member of the Adult Ed. Committee and New Member Welcoming Committee. She served on the original Special Education Committee for the Religious School. Karen toured Spain with Rabbi Chester and the Temple community in 2007. She is a Child Development Specialist and consults part time with mental health staff, educators and parents regarding young children with developmental or behavioral challenges. She also has been taking Taiko classes and loves it!

Karen Tiedemann
Karen and her husband Geoff Piller have been members of Temple Sinai since 1995. Both of their children, David and Aaron attended Temple Sinai religious school, became b'nei mitzvah at Temple Sinai and were confirmed at Temple Sinai. Karen served on the Education committee for many years including as chair of the committee and as an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees. Karen also served on the Re-imagine task force and on the adult education committee. Karen is an attorney in Oakland representing public agencies and affordable housing developers.

Erik Zwerling
Erik and his wife, Christine, have been members of Temple Sinai since 2009. Their two boys, Xander and Levi, graduated from the preschool and currently attend the religious school. Erik was a Vision & Planning Task Force member 2015-2019 and is currently serving his 2nd term on the board. Over a 23 year career, Erik developed & managed products in the interactive entertainment and online reference industries. Erik released over 100 products for companies such as Electronic Arts, The Learning Company/Mattel Interactive, Ubisoft, Disney Interactive, and Dictionary.com. Since retiring from the tech space in 2018, Erik founded his own business, Make Life EZ, providing personalized tech support and office assistance services for individuals and small businesses in the East Bay.

 

Sun, August 14 2022 17 Av 5782