**Listed in order of office and in alphabetical order by last name.
KAREN RIVO | PRESIDENT
Karen, her husband Marc, and their two adult daughters, Jessica and Julie, have been TBS members since 1995. Karen is a past chair of the Congregational Engagement, Membership, Music, Mitzvah Day and Nominations Committees. A registered nurse, Karen is also a Melton graduate, a TBS adult bat mitzvah, and a Torah and Haftarah chanter on Saturday mornings. “I am honored to serve as president of this wonderful congregation and am always looking for ways to help our congregants find meaningful connections with one another here in our spiritual home.” She is most proud that she has been to Israel 16 times in the last 15 years.
JEFF GRAFF | FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
Jeff co-chairs the Budget Committee and regularly attends the weekly Torah Study and Shabbat morning minyan. He and his wife, Leslie, have two girls who are both TBS b’not mitzvah and confirmands.” My family and I joined the Temple more than 15 years ago, and we knew immediately Temple Beth Sholom would be our spiritual and religious home for many years to come.”
ROBIN STRAUS FURLONG | VICE PRESIDENT
Robin is co-chair of the Inclusion Committee and a member of the Budget and Congregational Engagement Committees. She is mother to adult children Jeffrey (Colleen), Daniel, and Morgan, and grandmother to Ethan. As one of the Temple’s founding families, her father, Arnold Straus, was the second bar mitzvah and a member of the first confirmation class. Robin grew up at the Temple and has served on many committees. She is a pediatrician in Bay Harbor caring for children in our community—many of whom are TBS members. “We have been honored to have a TBS clergy officiate at every one of our Miami life cycle events.”
ETAN MARK | VICE PRESIDENT
Etan is co-chair of the Budget Committee and a member of the Rabbinic Search Committee. He joined the Temple at the urging of his father-in-law, Alan Weisberg, and his wife, Brielle. Two of his three children have spent their formative years at the Temple Foundation School. He has also served on the Personnel and Budget Committees. “I am grateful to TBS for continuing to be the bedrock of our Miami Beach Jewish community.”
SUZANNE MELTZER | VICE PRESIDENT
Suzanne is chair of the Youth Education Committee and co-chair of the Ronald MacDonald House project. She and her husband, Brad, have three boys. Suzanne is a past Mitzvah Day co-chair and a former Open Tent Board member; she has also served on various other Temple committees. She regularly volunteers at Ransom Everglades School and Florida Foster Care Review. She holds a BA in economics and previously worked in human resources in New York City. “Temple Beth Sholom is a special part of our family’s lives and truly our second home.”
STEVAN PARDO | VICE PRESIDENT
Stevan is chair of the Legacy Campaign and a member of the Rabbinic Search Committee. He and Adrienne have three children—Daniel, Carly and Josh—who, as well as Stevan and his three siblings, all celebrated their b’nai mitzvah and confirmations at Temple Beth Sholom. His parents, Joe and Doris, were married by Rabbi Leon Kronish, the first TBS Senior Rabbi. Stevan chaired the Sanctuary/Social Hall Construction Project and co-chaired the Temple’s 70th Anniversary celebration. He has served on the Strategic Planning, Budget, Legacy, and Nominating Committees. He and his family have been on the Magical Mitzvah tour twice. “Temple Beth Sholom is our family’s spiritual home.”
ALLAN PEKOR | VICE PRESIDENT
Allan is chair of the Strategic Plan Monitoring Committee. He currently serves as vice chairman of Coral Gables Trust Company and as a board member of Pacific National Bank, The Lennar Foundation, Chapman Partnership for the Homeless, Mission United and The Social Cog. He previously served as a trustee of Pace University, as president of Temple Shaari Emeth in New Jersey, and as a board member of Miami-Dade United Way, where he chaired the Finance Committee and co-chaired its annual fund-raising campaign. Allan recently retired after a 30-year career as a Lennar senior executive.
VANESSA RESSLER | VICE PRESIDENT
Vanessa is co-chair of the Rabbinic Search Committee. She and her husband, Gary, have three daughters. Vanessa is a past chair of the Open Tent and the Congregational Engagement Committee. She also co-chaired the Sholom Y’all Ball. She is a proud Jew-by-choice, an adult bat mitzvah, a Wexner Heritage Program alumna, and a marketer-turned-Music-Together-teacher. “My heart is in building a strong foundation for my daughters in this beautiful community.”
MICHAEL LEVINSON | TREASURER
Michael is co-chair of the Personnel Committee and a member of the Budget and Living Wage Committees. He and his wife, Jessica, have two children. Michael has used his skills as an attorney, physician, and tactician as a past chair of the School Board. “I believe Reform synagogues should be progressive, inclusive, compassionate, and engaging. That is why my family joined Temple Beth Sholom.”
BOBBI ANN OSSIP | SECRETARY
Bobbi is chair of the BAKIM and the High Holy Days Honors Committees. She regularly chants Haftarah at the Saturday morning minyan and serves the Friday night Oneg and Saturday morning Kiddush. She is also a member of the choir and several other committees. Bobbi was Sisterhood treasurer for many years and currently is a reading pal to elementary school children. She is a professor emerita at Miami Dade College.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Cyndy is a member and immediate past chair of the Youth Education Committee.
Julie is a member of the Day School Subcommittee. She and her husband, Elliot, have three children. Julie most recently was co-chair of the Education Committee after serving as PTO Co-president and as a School Board member. She has also served on various Temple committees. Julie is a part-time reading coach at North Beach Elementary and an active PTA member in her children’s schools.
Jose is chair of the Security Committee and a member of the Budget Committee. He and Oleva, his wife of 35 years, have two children—Andrew, who lives in Albuquerque, and Jennifer, a second-year student in Cantorial School. Jose recently retired from the Miami-Dade Police Department after 28 years of service. He is currently a member of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Security Committee.
Michael is chair of the Council to Enhance Spirituality. He and his wife, Melinda, live in South Beach from October to May and regularly attend Shabbat morning meditation, Torah study, and minyan services. During the summer, they live in Newton, MA, near their two adult children and new granddaughter and attend Shabbat services at their former congregation of 30 years where Michael served as president and co-chair of the Rabbinic Search Committee. After practicing law, he founded a national finance business specializing in affordable and workforce housing. He continues to be active in national housing policy and serves as a consultant to CEOs.
Eric is president of the Brotherhood, a member of the Welcoming and Membership Committee, and a member of the Congregational Engagement Committee since its inception. A TBS congregant since birth, Eric is a product of Mommy and Me, SLJ, Saturday School, BESHTY, bar mitzvah, confirmation, and the NFTY Israel trip. His grandmother, Helen Kotler, was the Temple’s first female president. “Temple has always been a second home to me. I take pride in the fact that I can follow in the footsteps of my grandmother Helen, my Aunt Sharlane (Packar), and my father, Howard (Broad), by being on the Board of Trustees.”
John is a member of the Personnel Committee. He and his wife, Laura, have three children—Miriam, Adriana, and Samuel. Miriam celebrated her bat mitzvah last year. John is the chief investment officer of Hewins Financial Advisors and currently serves as Barry University’s board of trustees chair. He is a past chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Foundation.
Steve is Chair of the Building Committee. He and his wife Margaret have two sons who attended Foundation School and were TBS Bar Mitzvahs. They are also one of the original Tot Shabbat families. Margaret is an adult Bat Mitzvah and a Melton grad. Steve is a past Chair of the Foundation School Committee and former Co-chair of a CAGE task force that analyzed the hiring, retention, and compensation of teachers in early childhood Jewish education. Professionally, Steve is a lawyer and CPA. “Temple has been an integral part of our family life.”
Bart is co-chair of the Youth Committee. He lives in Bay Harbor Islands with his wife, Myra Spindel (also a member of the Temple Beth Sholom Board of Trustees), and their three daughters— Molly, Leah, and Liv. In addition to serving as a High Holidays Torah chanter for the last six years, Bart has served on the Spirituality Task Force, the Legacy Endowment Committee, and the Nominating Committee. Bart is the managing partner of Chepenik Trushin LLP, a law firm focusing in Trusts & Estates law.
Lisa is co-chair of the Personnel Committee and regularly volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House. She and her husband, Mathew, have three daughters—Alexandra, Jordan, and Marina. Lisa is a past Mitzvah Day co-chair and has served on the Personnel Committee and the Caring Committee. She earned her undergraduate degree from Tulane University and her law degree from the University of Miami. She is currently an in-house counsel for a business founded by her husband specializing in association management, commercial property management, and construction management. Lisa is a life member of Hadassah and supports AIPAC, JNF, Israel Bonds and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.
Heidi is a member of the Youth Committee and the Rabbinic Search Committee. She and her husband John have three daughters– two Foundation School graduates Sara and Nina, who now attend Lehrman Community Day School, and future TBS student Ella. Heidi is a past Foundation School PTO president and an adult bat mitzvah. “We found an open, progressive, like-minded community at the Temple, which serves as an important foundation for our family’s community and spirituality. I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to represent our community as we find our next amazing rabbi.”
Barbara serves on the Youth and Personnel Committees. She is a second generation member of Temple Beth Sholom. Barbara and her husband, John Barker, have three adult children–Madeline, Claudia, and Benjamin—who have been through TBS life cycles and happenings. They were all devoted Camp Coleman campers. Barbara runs a national recruiting firm based in Miami Beach.
Terry is chair of the Art Committee. She and her husband, Fred, were married by Rabbi Leon Kronish and have three sons—Scott, Ryan, and Tyler—who all have become b’nai mitzvah at Temple Beth Sholom. Terry was Shula Ben David’s first bat mitzvah. “I am proud to bring beauty and diversity to display on our welcome-center walls.”
Diane serves on the Personnel Committee. She and her husband, Bruce, have celebrated their two daughters’ naming ceremonies, Foundation School graduations, b’not mitzvah, and confirmations at the Temple. The girls also traveled to Israel with the Temple’s NFTY group. Diane is an adult bat mitzvah through Rabbi Pomerantz’s class. A former classical pianist, Diane has practiced law for over 30 years and currently practices employment and complex business litigation with Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen, and Levine, PL. “We have truly cherished our involvement and commitment to the TBS community.”
Mark is a graduate of Miami Beach Senior High School. He and his wife, Jill, have three adult children—Ben, Hallie, and Libby. Mark, a founding shareholder of the law firm Meland Russin & Budwick, P.A., is a real estate lawyer as well as a corporate and transactional lawyer who has received many awards and accolades including South Florida Legal Guide Top Lawyer in South Florida and South Florida Super Lawyer. He received his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Florida. Mark is a Guardian Angel at Holtz Children’s Hospital, and a member of the Ransom Everglades School Board of Trustees and of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He is also known around town as bass guitarist and vocalist for the rock band “The Urge.”
Michael is a member of the Budget Committee. He and his wife, Caryn, live in Miami Beach with their son, Jordan. Michael is a real estate and construction attorney with Pardo Gainesburg PL. He is an alumnus of the Foundation School and Shabbat School and celebrated his bar mitzvah and confirmation here at TBS. He has been to Israel on the Magical Mitzvah Tour and the confirmation trip. “I am proud to call Temple Beth Sholom ‘home’ my entire life.”
Denis is co-chair of the PACT Leadership TZEDEK Team of the Social Justice Network. Following a career as an attorney and CPA, he founded and led the Miami Beach Community Development Coalition in revitalizing the South Beach Art Deco District. Denis’s family have been TBS members for 70 years. He and his brother, Richard Russ, and sister, Lori Mishkin, celebrated their celebrated their b’nai mitzvah and confirmations at Temple Beth Sholom. Denis holds a BS from University of Pennsylvania and an MBA and law degree from University of Miami. His community service includes being a director of Miami Jewish Health Systems and a founder at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Marte is a member of the Spirituality Council. She and her husband, Paul, have two daughters who are students in Santa Monica, CA, and Boca Raton, FL. She previously served on the TBS Board from 1999 to 2005 as vice-president and secretary. She currently is a director, secretary, and general counsel for The Social Cog, Inc. and a board member of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Marte is a certified yoga instructor and is studying to become a Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher. She practiced law in Miami for 15 years.
Myra is co-chair of the Social Justice Network. She and her husband, Bart Chepenik, live in Bay Harbor Islands with their three daughters who are 17, 15, and 13. Her daughter Molly Chepenik is BESHTY co-president. A past Mitzvah Day co-chair, Myra is a clinical psychologist with the Jewish Community Services of South Florida.
Rachel is Co-chair of the Social Justice Network. She and her husband Michael Feldman have two children. The TBS clergy officiated at Max’s bris and Ellie’s naming ceremony as well as at Rachel’s TBS Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation and her wedding to Michael. Rachel taught at the TBS Foundation School for three years and wrote the curriculum for Parent Child programming. She also Co-chaired the Family Friendly Environmental Experience as a direct service project for the SJN. She is currently a fifth grade teacher at North Beach Elementary. “I grew up loving the sense of community that is always present at TBS.”
Mike is chair of the Congregational Engagement Committee and co-chaired the Annual Fundraiser for two years with his wife, Chris. Both Mike and Chris grew up in Miami Beach and now live in Bay Harbor Islands with their son, Max, and their daughters, Shay and Zoe. Mike also co-chaired the Congregational Engagement Task Force for Strategic Planning. As a wealth advisor with UBS, his area of focus includes investment management, tax-efficient strategies, and charitable and philanthropic giving along with wealth and estate planning.
Carrie is co-chair of the Youth Subcommittee. She and her husband, Jason, have three children—Chloe, Maxwell, and Myles—who attended Foundation School and Mommy & Me. Carrie is a past PTO president, a past co-chair of the Mitzvah Day Soup Contest, and a past member of the TBS School Board. She also served as a vice-chair of the Lehrman Community Day School Board and was a member of the Miami Beach Commission for Women and the Miami Beach Fine Arts Board. A Syracuse University graduate, Carrie is human resources director of Investran, a Miami-based private equity software company.
Cheryl is the co-chair of the SLJ/B’nai Mitzvah Committee. A former Mitzvah Day chair, she is also co-chair of a Children’s Home Society service project and a member of the Social Justice Network. Cheryl and her husband, Steve, have two daughters—Hannah and Myla—who graduated from the TBS Foundation School and are currently enrolled in the TBS Hebrew School. Cheryl earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and her law degree from University of Miami. She practiced commercial litigation/employment law for 12 years and currently teaches writing and upper-level electives at University of Miami Law School.
Sisters In The ‘Hood
ANNETTE CANNON | CO-PRESIDENT
Annette is the mother of two college students—Hershel and Hailey—who were b’nai mitzvah and confirmands at Temple Beth Sholom. She is an attorney who practices full time as a circuit court certified mediator and special master for the City of Miami Beach. She is the daughter of Cuban immigrants and was born in Miami Beach.
LIZA SAMUEL | CO-PRESIDENT
Liza and her husband Roy have three children—Sarina, Caleb, and Giselle—who are receiving their Jewish education at TBS. Sarina was a bat mitzvah in 2016 and Caleb is scheduled for his bar mitzvah next spring. Liza loved the Mommy and Me program so much she became a teacher in 2007. She is a respected realtor and a board member of Jamie’s Rescue. She loves hosting Shabbat dinners.
RONALD ALBERT, JR.
Ron served as chair of the Budget Committee for many years. He also is a past president of the Rabbi Leon Kronish Foundation. Ron currently serves the community as a member of the Orange Bowl Committee.
Marjorie has served the Temple in a broad spectrum including budget, endowment, legal counsel, building campaigns, school, education, child care, and strategic planning. Her two sons— Daniel and David Garcia-Pedrosa—grew up participating in the Temple’s religious, education, and social programs. Their commitment to Israel was born through travel with the clergy. Her husband, Michael Spritzer, complements her work through his involvement on a national level with URJ and HUC. “Sharing each life cycle event is made more memorable here.”
Charles chaired the Temple’s Burn the Mortgage campaign. He and his wife, Deborah, have three adult children—Michelle Beth, Ethan Abraham, and Hannah Kathleen—all of whom, including Deborah as an adult, became b’nai mitzvah at TBS. Charles currently serves on the Miami Beach Committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and AIPAC. He founded and served as treasurer of NACPAC, a pro-Israel action committee. Charles graduated with honors from the University of Miami and was a Root Tilden Scholar for his NYU law degree. He is president of Citrin Financial and Insurance and a partner in Citrin & Walker law firm.
Michael served as president of the Rabbi Leon Kronish Foundation after his tenure as Temple president. He and his wife, Lori, have two adult sons—Sam and Aaron—who grew up at the Temple. Michael is an estate and trust attorney with Harper Meyer Hagen O’Connor Albert & Dribin LLP.
SHELLEY NICELEY GROFF
Shelley co-chaired the Strategic Planning Committee and serves as a member of the Rabbinic Emeritus Committee. She and her husband, Jon, have two adult children—Aaron and Emily. Nationally, Shelley is the Union for Reform Judaism lay leader for youth, a member of the URJ North American Board and Oversight Committee, the URJ Women of Reform Judaism Board, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Locally, she chairs the Jewish Community Relations Council and serves on the Board of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education. Shelley is a past board chair of Jewish Community Services of South Florida.
Robert is chair of the Rabbinic Emeritus Committee. He and his wife, Jill, have three adult children—Jerri (Larry), Danny (Amanda), and Hillary—and two grandchildren—George and Jordan. He is an AV rated attorney. Robert is president of Sunset Islands 1 & 2 Homeowner’s Association and serves on the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Board of Directors.
Andy is co-chair of the Rabbinic Search Committee and president of the Rabbi Leon Kronish Foundation. He and his wife, Debbie, have two adult children—Aaron and Heidi. “Temple Beth Sholom has always been a Jewish home that was inviting and inclusive to us and our family.”
Jack is the immediate past president. He and his wife, Arden, have three adult children—Jared, Micah, and Lily. Jack is president and owner of South Beach Veterinary Solutions and manages operating businesses and real estate properties. He is a past president and mentor of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Miami. A University of Alabama graduate with an MBA, Jack is a past chair of the Budget Committee.
Nancy and her husband Kenny share a “big tent” family of six children and five grandchildren. She is a past national president of the National Council of Jewish Women and currently a founder of local and national platforms to end sex trafficking of children. “I am dedicated to the pursuit of tikkun olam through advocacy and social action.”
Peter has served as a vice president, chair of the Personnel Committee, and a member of the Budget Committee in his 20+ years on the Board. He and Andi have three adult boys—Jacob, Noah, and Asher—who were TBS b’nai mitzvah. Peter, a TBS bar mitzvah and Andi, an adult bat mitzvah, were married by Rabbi Gary Glickstein. A graduate of Tulane University and George Washington University Law School, Peter is co-founder and shareholder of Meland, Russin & Budwick. He has written and lectured extensively on solvency and commercial litigation topics. Peter is actively involved with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and numerous charitable institutions.
Marvin and his wife, Sandy, parents of three sons and seven grand children, joined TBS in 1966. Marvin served as treasurer and then became president in 1987. He believes that he may have been the first male adult bar mitzvah at TBS, and many years later he and Sandy became b’nai mitzvah together. Marvin served on the search committee that selected Rabbi Glickstein. “I was not raised as an observant Jew but as a secular Jew, but I am as Jewish as they come.”
JONATHAN CHOEFF | PRESIDENT
Jonathan is a senior at Miami Country Day School. He previously served as an 11th grade representative on the BESHTY Board. He participates in BBYO and is secretary/treasurer of the Miami Beach AZA chapter. His passion is politics, and he plans to study political science when he goes to college next year.