Board of Directors
Jennifer Wolfe is an accomplished, mission-driven leader with more than 20 years of experience in building and scaling organizations. She is currently an independent consultant, bringing her expertise to help education organizations and companies strengthen their strategic planning, program design, partnerships, marketing and communications. Prior to launching her consulting practice, Jennifer was a partner with The Learning Accelerator where she led the organization’s initiatives around Open Educational Resources and partnerships. Jennifer is a dedicated member of the Jewish community and serves on the JCRC Board of Directors and Executive Committee as well as on the National Advisory Council of the Institute for Curriculum Studies.
Russell is a litigation partner in Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe's San Francisco office, where he focuses on antitrust and other complex business litigation and maintains a pro bono practice focused on international human rights. Russell is past President of the board of The Brandeis School of San Francisco, an active member at The Kitchen and was a participant on the 2016 Irving Rabin Community Building Mission to Israel. Russell and his family live in San Francisco.
Jan is the former founding Executive Director of Byer Square, a one-of-a-kind community center located in the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living (SFCJL). She has also been the project manager, strategist, and team collaborator in the transformation of the SFCJL Silver Avenue redevelopment. She has founded or co-created four organizations including a marketing communications agency and non-profits, including the Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) in San Francisco. After her initial work as a co-founder of JCHS, she held the professional positions of Director of Marketing, Interim Director of Development and Interim Co-Head of School.
Jan is a past President of the former Brandeis Hillel Day School, sat on the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund board of trustees for six years and is a Past President of Women’s Philanthropy. Jan is former member of the board of advisors for Shalom Bayit and the leadership board of the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Jan is active in the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation and PSC Partners. Jan is a Wexner Heritage alumni.
Her greatest job has been that of mother to two daughters; Adi, who is a Judiac Studies teacher at a Manhattan Jewish day school and Alex who studies at IDC Herzliya. Jan is "intermarried" to Alain, a Parisian sephardic Jew.
Sandi is a Partner and Managing Director in planning strategy and research at Aspiriant, a wealth management firm in San Francisco. In 2012, she was the first female advisor listed on Barron’s Top 100 Independent Advisors List. Working in the wealth management space for more than 20 years, Sandi has been quoted in numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox Business News, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and ABC7/KGO-TV. She has a B.A. in business economics and holds CFP and CPA licenses. Sandi lives in Marin and serves on the Board of Congregation Emanu-El.
Karen practiced optometry in Sunnyvale for 30 years, and also served on clinical faculty at Optometry School at Cal. Over the years, she has been an active community volunteer and was as a board member of several non-profit organizations, including Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. She served on the board of Peninsula Interfaith Action and as president of the board of El Camino Youth Symphony Association. She and her husband lived in Cambridge, UK, from 2007-2010, where she served as a Council Member of Reform synagogue in Cambridge. Since 2003, she has been member of the Advisory Board for the San Francisco Bay Area region of Facing History and Ourselves, an international educational organization which provides training for educators worldwide with the goal of reducing prejudice and antisemitism and creating more humane and engaged citizenry.
Immediate Past President
Paul is an investment advisor with Osborne Partners Capital Management LLC. He was previously the founder and principal of AKJ Asset Management, LLC in Palo Alto, CA, which was merged into Osborne in December of 2012. Paul has been a board member of a number of non-profit organizations over the last 35 years, including the San Francisco Art Institute, Jewish Family and Children Services, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto. While Paul’s main area of involvement with JCRC is on the financial operations side, he is deeply committed to all of JCRC’s initiatives and particularly interested in its work on Israel, economic inequality, and race relations.
Members of the Board
Laurie Beijen runs a real estate investment and management business, after a lengthy career in political and policy communications. She serves on the 18 Doors (formerly known as InterFaith Family) national board and program committee and is also on the San Francisco Bay Area 18 Doors Leadership Council. Laurie is actively involved with Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco, where she is on the Interfaith programming committee and the Tribe for Women (moms' group) programming committee, and also serves on the Parent Association of the Brandeis School of San Francisco.
Laurie holds a degree in political science from UC Santa Barbara with an emphasis in International Relations. She is a San Francisco native and lives in San Francisco.
Alex is a late-stage technology investor with more than 20 years of investment banking experience and currently serves as a managing partner at Kingfisher Investment Advisors. As an active congregant at Beth Sholom, a parent who previously had children at the Brandeis School of San Francisco, and a very active member of the Board of Directors of Camp Ramah Northern California, Alex is a committed Jewish community member.
Jill has been teaching in the Jewish community for 15 years. She has worked with schools and congregations, spent several years as a chaplain at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and is a volunteer chaplain for the San Francisco Sheriff's Department. Jill has led trips to Israel, Ghana and New Orleans for Birthright Israel, American Jewish World Service and Jewish Funds for Justice, respectively. She has participated in JCRC’s strategic planning process and has been a committed member of the Assembly. Most recently, she was the vice chair of the membership committee. She has studied at HUC-JIR, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Conservative Yeshiva, and the Shalom Hartman Institute and enjoys exploring ways in which her Bachelor’s degree in cognitive science connects with Jewish experience.
Bruce is an attorney who recently retired after 26 years as Executive Director of Huckleberry Youth Programs, a leading youth and family services agency in San Francisco and Marin. Prior to that, Bruce was a partner in a national research and consulting firm where he led national studies in juvenile justice, runaway youth, child and adolescent abuse, and family violence. Bruce has served on the boards of Jewish Family and Children Services and Congregation Sherith Israel, where he and his wife, Marlene Litvak, are long-time members. Bruce served as co-chair of San Francisco’s Living Wage Task Force and was a co-founder (with Ann Lazarus) of the SF Human Services Network. Bruce received a Jefferson Award for Public Service and is a graduate of the University of Washington with a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
“Col. Pete” served in the U.S. Army for almost 30 years, including two years in the Republic of Vietnam, a tour of duty in the Pentagon and two tours in the Department of Physical Education at West Point. His final assignment on active duty was as the Inspector General for the Sixth Army at the Presidio of San Francisco.
After retiring from the Army in 1990, Pete managed a medical group for five years, after which served as Dean at a local business college, and then as Director of Administration for a Silicon Valley communications corporation. From 2001 to 2007 he was the Director of Public Works in Daly City.
A San Francisco resident, Pete currently serves on the Board of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, the Korean War Memorial Foundation, and the West Point Jewish Chapel Fund. He previously served as Chairman of the Board for Goodwill Industries in the Bay Area, President of Congregation B'nai Emunah, President of Lake Merced Golf Club, and was on the Board of the Boy Scouts Bay Area Council, San Francisco Hillel, and on several San Francisco City government Advisory committees. In addition, Pete has been a leader in the Jewish War Veterans and helped create an annual “Hiring our Heroes,” a job fair to assist veterans, service members and spouses seeking employment. He serves on the JCRC Assembly and Public Policy Committee.
Pete graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and earned a Masters Degree at the University of Wisconsin."
Christina Jefferson is the Senior Manager of Inclusion and Diversity at Sephora USA. Before joining the company in 2015, she worked for numerous retail/consumer goods companies, including Gap, Inc., J. Crew and Banana Republic. She received her M.S. in human resource management from Golden Gate University and her B.S. in ceramics from the University of Southern Indiana.
From 2005-2008, Christina was the captain of the Ohio Roller Girls LLC in Columbus, OH, where she met her now spouse, Julie Driscoll, who also was a skater. The two were married in 2015 at Congregation Sherith Israel, where Christina chairs the Membership Committee. They live in San Francisco.
Natasha Kehimkar is an executive coach and strategic advisor to organizations around the world. As CEO and founder of Malida Advisors, she helps companies improve their leadership capabilities and culture, so they can meet and exceed their goals. Drawing on over 25 years of experience leading global human resources and talent acquisition in tech, biotech, consumer products, and life sciences, Natasha serves as a board member and advisor to private companies and nonprofit organizations. She holds a BA in Sociology, a Master's degree in HR and Labor Relations, and professional coach accreditation.
Born and raised in Toronto, Natasha is an Indian Jew from the Bene Israel community. She attended Ashkenazi Jewish day schools from elementary through high school and learned to integrate different worlds at an early age. A graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program, Natasha and her husband, a Chinese-Hawaiian Jew by choice, are blessed to be the parents of two South Korean children. They live on the North Peninsula, where they are delighted to be part of dynamic synagogue and day school communities.
Michael Pappas is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Interfaith Council. He spent several years working in the worlds of politics and finance before becoming an ordained priest of the Greek Orthodox Church. During his sixteen-year ministry, he was a prolific writer, contributing articles to numerous religious and secular periodicals. Additionally, he devoted energy to working with the homeless and furthering ecumenical and interfaith relationships. In his tenure with SFIC, Michael has helped to increase its budget and programs substantially; to strengthen existing and cultivate new relationships with civic leaders, NGO’s, judicatories and congregations; and to significantly advance its mission through expanded use of technology.
Josh is an associate at McGuireWoods LLP, a full-service firm providing legal and public affairs solutions to corporate, individual and nonprofit clients worldwide. Josh received his B.A. in international relations and economics from George Washington University and his J.D. from Hastings College of Law.
A San Francisco resident, Josh has served as the President of the Board of Directors of ArtPoint, the 900-member young professionals’ division of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco since 2012. He is a member of Bay Area Advisory Board for Facing History and Ourselves and co-chaired their 2014 annual benefit. Josh also serves on the Board of Directors of the Contemporaries, the young professionals’ division of the Contemporary Jewish Museum. In 2019, Josh chaired the “Next Wave” committee for Behind the Scenes; a committee on which he previously served.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Emily Scheinman is an educator, start-up founder and children’s book expert. As CEO and founder of Banana Seed Books and Media, Emily managed the largest independent book fair business in Northern California. The company was acquired by Scholastic Book Fairs in 2016. During Emily’s tenure at Scholastic, she helped run Scholastic’s Signature book fairs and served on both the diversity committee and national book selection. Prior to her start-up, Emily taught students math in both public and private schools and also collaborated on math curriculum focusing on equity and access.
Emily majored in sociology and minored in math at UC Davis and holds a masters in education from Stanford University. While an undergrad, Emily was a summer program director for Camp Kee Tov in Berkeley, CA. She also taught religious school at Bet Haverim in Davis, CA. She has served as co-chair of the parent education committee at Gunn High School, helped establish a local Interfaith Hospitality Network’s program in collaboration with Congregation Beth Jacob in Redwood City and served as an advisor for Epic!, the most comprehensive digital library for kids.
Emily enjoys reading, yoga, cooking, skiing, and spending time with her family.
Middle East Strategy Committee Co-Chair
Karen Schiller has lived in San Francisco for over 30 years, in the same apartment for all but six months of those years. She is a past President at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav and works at Congregation Emanu-El as the Accounting Manager. She is a member at-large of the JCRC.
Middle East Strategy Committee Co-Chair
William Schwartz is a partner at Morrison & Foerster and concentrates on the representation of companies in business transactions and counseling involving intellectual property and technology. In addition, he has held leadership positions at the firm, including founding Co-Chair of the firm's Intellectual Property practice (1990-1997) and Managing Partner for Operations of the firm (1997-1999). Before starting his law career, William was a reporter and editor of the Asian edition of The Wall Street Journal.
Sue Ann has held leadership positions in nonprofits, higher education and the corporate sector, most recently serving as Executive Director of San Francisco Botanical Garden. Previously, she was Associate Director for Youth, Family and Recreation at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, leading the JCCSF’s largest program area. As Executive Director of Legal Community Against Violence, she grew the organization to national prominence and impact in the gun violence prevention movement. As Assistant Dean at the School of Law at UC Berkeley, she focused on planning, analysis and policy to advance the school’s standing and financial health. Earlier in her career, at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, she practiced law, moved into management roles, and became the first woman to serve as a corporate officer within the PG&E companies. She has served on several nonprofit boards, including the San Francisco Bay Area Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves, and chaired the board of St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Oakland. She holds a JD and MA (Sociology) from UC Berkeley and received her BA from Smith College.
Sue Ann resides in San Francisco, after living most of her adult life in the East Bay. She is a member of Temple Sinai in Oakland and Congregation Emanu-El. Her husband Bob Schiff (z”l) was a longtime Metro Council member.
Cissie Swig is Founder and President of ComCon International and founder, Roselyne C. Swig Artsource (1978-94) and was Director of the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies Program by President William J. Clinton (1994-97). She devoted decades to philanthropic and community service efforts with focus on women’s empowerment, social welfare, fine art, political advocacy and education. She is founder of Partners Ending Domestic Abuse and the Bayview Alliance. Her board memberships include: Vital Voices Global Partnership, KQED, NPR Foundation, Mills College and Shalom Hartman Institute. She also serves SF Art Institute, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archives, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, AIPAC, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund. She is the National Gallery of Art’s past co-chair of the Collector’s Committee and member of United Religions Initiative’s President’s Council and of SF Haifa Sister City Committee.
Cissie served as past president of SF Arts Commission, 1982-86, and as a member of SF Library Commission, 1989-92. She has received a wide variety of honors from more than a dozen institutions. On May 17, 2013, when she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Mayor Ed Lee proclaimed the day as Mrs. Roselyne C. Swig Day in San Francisco. In 2015, JCRC awarded her the JCRC Jewish-Civic Leadership Award. In 2016, she received the Philanthropy in the Arts Award from The Americans for the Arts and, in 2017, she received the Changing Lives Award from Shalom Bayit.
Neil is the Chief Financial Officer of the Charles Armstrong School in Belmont, an independent school serving 240 students with dyslexia and related language-based learning differences. Prior to joining Armstrong, he was a Managing Director of H.I.G. Capital, a private equity firm, where he co-founded the San Francisco office in 2003. Neil has also worked at Summit Partners, Bridge Medical, Goldman Sachs and New York Cares, a not-for-profit focused on organizing volunteer activities in New York City. Neil has served in several leadership roles at Congregation Beth Am, including as chair of the social action committee and on search committees. He has had previous experience with JCRC with an issue at his daughter's school a few years ago. Neil received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Peter Yolles is an impact investor at Helios Capital Ventures, which invests in renewable energy, water and other environmental technology companies. He was previously founder and CEO of WaterSmart Software, a data analytics and customer engagement platform serving the utility market.
Peter earned a BA from the University of Colorado Boulder and his MBA and Master’s in environmental studies from Yale University. He lives in Marin with his wife and two teenage children, and is an active member of Congregation Emanu-El. Peter serves on JCRC’s finance committee.
Greg Zale is Marketing Director for Hebrew Free Loan and has 17 years of experience in Brand Marketing, leading teams on strategy and execution on the client-side and at agencies. He recently competed a term as a Federation Fellow, serving on the JCRC Board for one year. He also has been part of JCRC's Next Wave cohort. Greg won a Fulbright Scholarship which he took in Germany. Fluent in German, he has traveled through over 60 countries on 6 continents. He received his MBA in Global Marketing from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and his BA in International Studies at Emory University. He recently became a dad and lives in San Francisco.