Board of Directors

Judy Abel lives in Manhattan and is the founder and president of the Yavneh minyan on the Upper East Side. A seasoned journalist, she currently writes about New York City-based topics for the Arts section of the Boston Globe. She has extensive professional experience, including having worked as a producer for the Fox News Channel and editing, a website designed to bring young women into Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate campaign. She has written for The New York Post, The New York Observer and ADWEEK. She was the program co-chair for the last JOFA conference (together with Allie Alperovich) and was a member of the JOFA Journal editorial committee. In addition, she was instrumental in developing the Pesah mailer. Judy and her husband, Michael Brill, have three children, Joshua, Rebecca and Noah.

Allie Alperovich is an attorney at Ropes & Gray. Allie and her husband, Dr. Jeremy Simon, live in New York City with their daughters Emma and Hannah. Allie is actively involved in JOFA as a member of its executive committee, serving as JOFA's treasurer and vice-president for advocacy, as well as serving on the JOFA Journal editorial board. Allie is a member of the board of Darkhei Noam on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.


Roselyn Bell is currently the editor of the JOFA Journal. She lives in Edison, NJ, with her husband, Eli Leiter, and is the mother of three children, Daniel, Elisheva, and Alex Baskin. Roselyn was formerly the publications director of American Jewish Committee, and also edited publications for CAJE (Jewish Education News) and Hadassah (Hadassah Magazine). She is a member of the editorial board of Hadassah Magazine and was the editor of record of the Hadassah Magazine Jewish Parenting Book. She is pursuing an M.A. in Jewish Studies at Rutgers University, after having completed Masters degrees from U.C. Berkeley and Yeshiva University, in Comparative Literature and Jewish Education, respectively.

Dr. Gail (Giti) Bendheim  is a psychologist in private practice in New York, and a candidate in psychoanalysis at NYU Postdoc. She served for many years as Supervising Psychologist at The Marsha Winokur Learning Center of JBFCS. Having attending Michlala in its early years, she takes a special interest in advanced women’s education both in America and Israel. She was a founding member of The Orthodox Caucus, and serves on the Board of Education at SAR Academy, the boards of Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University, Pardes, and ORA, and on the JOFA Advisory Board.  She has also been an involved participant in Drisha and Matan. She chairs the Yoetzet Halacha Committee for American Friends of Nishmat. Dr. Bendheim writes occasionally on topics related to women and Judaism, and lives with her husband in Riverdale, New York. 

Ilana Benson has worked for Yeshiva University Museum for the past twelve years, and currently heads their education department. She designs and implements programs including gallery activities and hands-on workshops for student groups and families. She has a B.A. from Barnard College, studied at JTS and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and holds an M.S. in Museum Education and Early Adolescence Education from Bank Street College. Prior to joining the YUM staff, she served as a Gallery Educator at the Museum of Jewish Heritage and worked in the corporate world as a computer systems analyst. Ilana is proud to belong to Kehilat Yavneh Partnership Minyan in Manhattan, and to have served on its Board. Ilana also proposed and worked on the joint YU Museum /JOFA program “In the mix: Building Community and the Eruv” and she chaired the Saturday night program at the last JOFA conference.

Ariela Rosenberg Brafman is the Senior Manager of Product and Evaluation at the Taproot Foundation, where she oversees evaluation and measurement efforts and researches, designs, and develops new products that drive pro bono resources for nonprofits across the country. Ariela started her career in public service as a Trial Preparation Assistant at the New York County District Attorney’s Office and did graduate internships at the Clinton Global Initiative, the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C, and Girls Learn International, Inc. Ariela graduated cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science and holds an MPA in Nonprofit Management from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She lives in Riverdale, New York with her husband, Yonatan, and daughter, Elleora.

Evan Hochberg is Senior Restitution Policy Specialist at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference). Evan commenced his career at the Anti-Defamation League. He has served as a law clerk at the Maryland Court of Appeals and the South African Constitutional Court and a litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Prior to his position at the Claims Conference, he was a Senior Counsel at the Legal Counsel Division of the New York City Law Department. Mr. Hochberg graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University and cum laude from Harvard Law School. He was awarded the Dorot Fellowship for study in Israel. He participated in the Berrie Fellows Program, an intensive two-year program to train northern New Jersey Jewish communal leaders. He was a founder of the Shirat Miriam independent minyan and co-founder Minyan Tehillah (both in Cambridge, MA) and founder of Minyan Tiferet in Englewood and Tenafly.

CarolynCarolyn Hochstadter Dicker, Esquire is the managing attorney of E. Carolyn Hochstadter Dicker LLC, a certified Woman-owned Business Enterprise that focuses on business and employment law, restructuring and bankruptcy. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the Legal Studies and Business Ethics Department. Ms. Hochstadter is a graduate of Barnard College and Michlala Jerusalem College For Women.  She received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and earned a Master of Arts degree in Arabic Language and Literature from Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  Carolyn is on the Executive Boards of Kohelet Yeshiva High School of Merion, PA and the Louis D. Brandeis Law Society.

SylviaSylvia Barack Fishman, Ph.D., is Chair of Brandeis University's Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, where she is a Professor of Contemporary Jewish Life; Co-Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute; and a Faculty Affiliate of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies. She is the author of seven books and numerous articles about the sociology, literature and culture of American Jews. Prof. Fishman, who received her undergraduate degree from Stern College for Women and her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, is married to Philip Fishman and has three children and six grandchildren. 

Idana Goldberg has a doctorate in History from the University of Pennsylvania. A graduate of Barnard College, Idana worked as a Research Associate for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She is the co-author of Crafting a Class: College Admissions and Financial Aid 1955-1994 (Princeton University Press, 1998). 

Blu Greenberg, JOFA’s founding President, has been involved in Jewish feminism for four decades. She was Conference Chair of both the first and the second International Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy. She chaired the NY Federation Task Force on Jewish Women and the AJC National Jewish Family Center, and was president of the Jewish Book Council. Dialogue is another long standing passion of hers, and she has participated in various inter- and intra-faith projects. Blu serves on the editorial board of Hadassah Magazine and the advisory board of Lilith. Recently, her papers were archived at the Schlesinger Library, Cambridge, Mass. Her books include On Women and Judaism: A View From Tradition, How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household, and Black Bread: Poems After the Holocaust. She is married to Rabbi Irving Greenberg and they have five children and 22 grandchildren. 

PamGPam Greenwood works as a pediatric occupational therapist. On a local level, Pam has been instrumental in starting women's tefillah groups in four communities where she has lived--Zichron Yaakov, Palo Alto, Efrat and West Orange. On a national level, Pam initiated JOFA's Joan S. Meyers Torah Lending Project and serves as the current program coordinator. Pam holds a B.A. From Columbia College, engaged in post-graduate study at Pardes and completed her M.S at Columbia University. She and her husband, Rabbi Matt Greenwood, are the proud parents of four children.

JudyHJudy Heicklen, past President, earned a BA in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She is a Managing Director at Credit Suisse and the mother of two daughters and a son. She also serves on the Boards of the Drisha Institute and the Halachic Organ Donor Society.  

Gail Katz is Senior Counsel at Amgen Inc., a biotechnology company in Southern California. Gail served as Chair of the Program Committee of the 2004 international Conference, chaired two JOFA Regional Conferences in Los Angeles in 2006 and 2008, and currently chairs the Ta Shma Committee.  She lives with her husband, Mayer Bick, and their children, in Los Angeles.   

Nicky Katz is currently a part time radiologist at the Irving Pavilion and former Director of Radiology of that Division at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. Nicky originated the design for several pieces of medical equipment, has published articles in radiology, and has made multiple presentations to the medical societies of which she is a member.  Board Certified in Diagnostic Radiology, Nicky received her M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and B.A. from Vassar College. 

Batya S. Levin, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, graduated from Barnard College and practices Elder Law in New York City. She worked as an interviewer on JOFA's Beit Din Study and was a writer and editor of the JOFA Guide to Jewish Divorce and the Beit Din System. Batya chairs the JOFA Agunah Task Force; works with Agunah l'Agunah-- a mentoring group of former agunot. She also serves on the JOFA Bylaws committee. She is a former President of the Riverdale Seniors Services, a former National Vice-President of AMIT Women and a Vice President of the Riverdale Jewish Community Relations Council. Batya is married and her children and grandchildren live in Israel. In a former life, she was a potter.  

Belda Lindenbaum z"l is past president of American Friends of Bar Ilan University and past president of Drisha Institute. Along with her husband and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, she was instrumental in founding Midreshet Lindenbaum, a post high school institute in Israel for students from abroad and Israeli young women. The program includes service in the Israeli Defense Forces combined with religious studies which is similar to the Hesder program for men. The Lindenbaums have also funded a program of lectures at the Hartman Institute in Israel, given by David Hartman, on the role of women in Judaism. Mrs. Lindenbaum and her husband Marcel are the parents of five children, all of whom are active participants in the Jewish community. 

Bat Sheva Marcus, President, LMSW, MPH, Ph.D., is the Founder and Clinical Director of The Center for Female Sexuality with offices in Westchester County and New York City and also currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of MAZE Laboratories. In the past she has served as Executive Director of the Union for Traditional Judaism and Director of the New York Metropolitan Campaign at UJA- Federation of New York. Bat Sheva has a long history of volunteer involvement in feminist issues. She is one of the founding members of JOFA and has served on its board since its inception in 1997. In the past she served as Chair of the International Women's Tefilla Network. She currently serves on the Board of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale as well as Shachar, the Riverdale partnership minyan. She has lectured widely and is a frequent radio and television guest in both a professional volunteer capacity.

Carol Kaufman Newman has been on the Board of JOFA since its inception in 1997 and served as President from 2003 to 2010. Long a standard-bearer in championing women's rights and education initiatives in Orthodox Judaism, she was the founding president of the Drisha Institute of New York. She was also a founder of the Women's Tefillah Group of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, and was on the board and served as treasurer of the Women's Tefillah Network. Carol Kaufman Newman holds an MA in Museum Educaton from Bank Street College of Education. For a number of years she ran the education/docent program at The Yeshiva University Museum of New York. 

Ann Baidack Pava is the Vice Chair for Education and Leadership Development for National Women’s Philanthropy Board of the Jewish Federations of North America. She is the incoming Women’s Campaign chair for the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. She serves on the boards of the Bess and Paul Sigal Hebrew Academy of Hartford and the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford. A former resident of Springfield MA, she served as the President of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts from 2004-2007. A passionate advocate for Jewish day school education, Ann was the founding President of the Hebrew High School of New England, the region’s first Jewish high school serving the communities of Western Massachusetts and Greater Hartford and New Haven Connecticut. She continues to serve as the school’s honorary chairperson. Ann is the recipient of the 1997 Grinspoon Foundation Lay Leadership Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, the 1999 recipient of the Jewish Federation of Greater Springfield’s Philip E. Saks Young Leadership Award and a 2006 recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson-Friedland award for an outstanding woman philanthropic leader at the JFNA’s Lion of Judah Conference in Washington DC. Ann lives in West Hartford, CT with her husband Jeremy and their three children. 

Pam Scheininger works as a Court Attorney Referee in New York County Family Court. She is currently the President of Yavneh Academy in Paramus, NJ. She is a past president of Netivot Shalom in Teaneck, NJ and past president of the Parents’ Association at Yavneh Academy. At JOFA, Pam is the Vice President of Programming and Education and serves on the editorial committee for the JOFA Journal and on the By-Laws Committee. Pam has a B.A. in political science from the University of Toronto and a Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law. She is also a frequent trainer of judges and judicial employees in the New York Family Court system. She has also studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum and is a 2011-2013 Northern NJ Berrie Leadership Program Fellow. Pam lives in Teaneck with her husband and four children. 

Rena Donin Schlussel is an attorney and trained mediator who has worked as an instructor of Bioethics at Einstein Medical School. She is a member of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Teaneck, NJ. Rena is a graduate of the Berrie Fellows Leadership Program through the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, and has served on the Berrie Innovation Grant Committee. She is also a Board member of the Frisch parents association, a former board member and chair of the Israel committee at Congregation Netivot Shalom, and is a member of the JOFA Engaging Families committee. Rena lives in Teaneck with her husband David and their three children.

Laura Shaw-Frank is a PhD candidate in modern Jewish history at the University of Maryland. She is also a history teacher and Israel guidance counselor at SAR High School in Riverdale. Prior to becoming a history educator, Laura was a commercial litigator. Laura is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School. She lives in Riverdale with her husband, Rabbi Aaron Frank, and their four children.

Noam Stadlan, MD is Vice-Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery at NorthShore University Healthcare system, and Assistant Professor, Division of Neurosurgery, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago. He specializes in surgery of the spine and has published articles related to spine research as well as authored chapters on surgical technique. He served as chairman of the ethics committee of the Neurological and Orthopedic Institute of Chicago and currently is chairman of the Professional Conduct and Ethics committee of the North American Spine Society.He contributed a chapter on the Orthodox Jewish view of abortion to a soon to be published textbook on the topic of abortion, and a chapter on the definition of death to the volume on that topic published by the International Rabbinical Federation/Koren publishers. He has also published articles related to brain death in Hakirah and Meorot, and on the blog of the Rabbinical Council of America.He has served as President of Congregation Or Torah in Skokie, and on the board of the Halachic Organ Donation Society. He currently serves on the board of the Ida Crown Jewish Academy.  In 2014 he co-founded DAVAR Skokie, an organization devoted to providing a forum for educational voices vital for the Orthodox Jewish community.  He is the proud father of three. His wife, Marianne Novak teaches adult Jewish education, tutors bar and bat mitzvah students, and is a student at Yeshivat Maharat.

Zelda R. Stern is a donor-activist involved in organizations and projects that enhance the status of Jewish women. She speaks nationally and writes about using strategic philanthropy to effect change. A risk taker, role model and mentor, she helps women think outside of the box and to use the power their giving affords them. Along with her five siblings, she served on the Board of Directors of the Harry Stern Family Foundation. A member of the founding board of JOFA, she is a trained psychotherapist who received an MSW from Columbia University and a Post-Masters Certificate in Advanced Clinical Social Work from Hunter College. 

Abigail Tambor has volunteered for JOFA for many years – on the branding of JOFA, Shabbat T'lamdeini, the Journal editorial committee, and as co-chair of the 6TH International Conference Program Committee in 2007. She was instrumental in the formation of the Yavneh minyan, a partnership minyan that meets on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. 

Audrey Axelrod Trachtman has served on the JOFA Board since 2002 and was the Conference Chair of the 2004 and 2010 International JOFA Conference. At JOFA, she previously held the positions of treasurer, vice president of advocacy and vice president of programming. Audrey currently serves as treasurer of AMIT Children and is a member of the Executive Board. She is a member of the Westchester Chevra Kaddisha, was a founding member of Kol Echad, New Rochelle's partnership minyan and previously served on the Young Israel of New Rochelle's Board. Audrey was the Vice President of Finance and Strategic Planning for Philip Morris and General Foods Latin America and the recipient of the YWCA Women of Achievement Award. She is a CPA and has an MBA from the Wharton School. She and her husband, Chaim are the parents of Sarah (and Josh), Rebecca (and Josh) and Tali(and Rafi) and grandparents of Leora, Eli and Elinor-all Jewish Orthodox feminists in their own right!  

ArielAriel Groveman Weiner is a board member of JOFA, Yeshivat Maharat, Penn Hillel and the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at Penn. For over a decade, Ariel served as the Associate Director of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation where she oversaw the foundation's grant portfolio and worked closely with the various initiatives the foundation supports. Ariel received her BA and MA in Jewish History from the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Riverdale with her husband, Josh, and their three children, Ilan, Yael, and Meirav.