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About the IAUJC Board

Miri Birk

Miri Birk joined the IAUJC board in 2015.  She serves the Cornell and greater Ithaca Jewish community as part of the team at the Roitman Chabad Center.

Howard Erlich

Howard Erlich has served on the IAUJC board in a number of capacities: as chair for some years; currently as Chair of Allocations—working with four other board members—and also chairing the recently created Investment and Endowment Committee to shepherd the two  recent very generous half-million dollar gifts. His commitments to Israel and to Jewish needs, including local, animate his dedication to IAUJC.

Lauren Goldberg

Ex Officio. Lauren Goldberg is thrilled to join Hillel at Ithaca College this summer as Executive Director!  Previously, Lauren worked for six years for Hillel at Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, where she honed her skills and passion for serving the Jewish college student population.  Creating spaces for dynamic and enriching Jewish communal experiences is Lauren's great joy.  Originally from Potomac, MD, Lauren and her family will be arriving in Ithaca this summer. Lauren has a B.A. in Anthropology from Skidmore College and a Master's in Social Work from Western Michigan University. She has worked in various non-profit agencies, bringing her passion for social engagement, justice, and community organizing to Hillel. Lauren is married to James Miranda and is the smitten mother of the incredible Luna!

Marjorie Hoffman

Marjorie Hoffman settled in Ithaca in 1991 with her husband and two little girls. She has been a member of Temple Beth El since that time and is very much devoted to the Ithaca Jewish community. Marjorie served as Temple Beth El president from 2010 through 2013. As Campaign Chair and Program Chair of IAUJC since 2007, Marjorie has sought to enrich and enliven our local Jewish community with opportunities for education and social action.  Marjorie is an artist and art teacher.

Sherrie Negrea

Sherrie Negrea is a freelance writer and editor who works for Cornell University, Cayuga Medical Center, and local businesses. Sherrie is a board member of the Rabbi Felix Aber Religious School at Temple Beth-El and of the Public Relations Society of America Finger Lakes Chapter.

Sherrie has a master's degree in English from the State University of New York at Brockport and a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago. She has lived in Cayuga Heights since 2000 and grew up in Ormond Beach, Florida.

Hanni Ress

Hanni Ress is a wife, mom of three, and activist/community organiser for an Art & Global Health Center, and her Jewishness weaves proudly through all of these roles. Originally from Miami Beach, FL, she has traveled all over the world before moving from South Africa to Ithaca in 2016. She is thrilled to be a new member of the IAUJC board and contribute to the Ithaca community.

Richard Rosenfield

Richard Rosenfield is an ordained cantor who served as cantor, educator, and spiritual leader of Temple Beth-El in Geneva, New York, from 1995 to 2010. He was ordained in 1994 by Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where he earned a Master’s degree in Sacred Music. During his years in Geneva, Richard also served on the Geneva Area Interfaith Council, the Geneva Human Rights Commission, and was a family liason with Habitat for Humanity of Ontario County. Upon retirement, Richard and his wife, Claire-Lise, moved to Ithaca and became active members of congregations Tikkun v’Or and Temple Beth-El. At Tikkun v’Or, they lead Shabbat services several times a year and sing in a chorus during the High Holy Day services. At Temple Beth-El, Richard offers adult education classes in prayer-book Hebrew and in chanting the Tanakh. From time to time Richard and Claire-Lise chant Torah or haftarah during the Shabbat and holiday services of both congregations.
Since 2002, Richard and Claire-Lise have also been active Modern Western square dancers. After retiring as a cantor, Richard became a square dance caller. Every week, since 2012, he has offered free dancing and dance lessons at Temple Beth-El. In 2017, Richard also became the caller and instructor for the Penn Yan Friendship Squares dance club.
Before becoming a cantor, Richard did scientific research in biochemistry, using using X-ray crystallography. In 1974, he earned a Ph.D. degree in Biophysics from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and worked in Buffalo, New York; Zurich,Switzerland; and College Station, Texas.

Chana Silberstein

Chana Silberstein came to Ithaca in 1984 with her husband to establish a Chabad house for Jewish students and community members. She serves in the role of Education Director at Chabad of Cornell. Chana holds a PhD in Psychology from Cornell University and is certified in Clinical Pastoral Education. When Chana is not busy running the Chabad house, she consults on educational projects for Jewish institutions. 

Patrick Stevens

Patrick J. Stevens is an academic librarian specializing in Judaica and in Icelandic Studies. He is a member of the Ithaca Jewish community.

Carole Stone

Carole Stone is a more or less retired freelance writer and editor who joined the IAUJC board to strengthen the Jewish community of Greater Ithaca and help support the Land, State, and people of Israel. Carole was born in Brooklyn and raised in West Orange, NJ, along with her one-year-older brother, in a Reform Jewish home. Enough said. Carole studied history at Yale College, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1980. She made her first visit to Israel in January 1984, living on Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’Emek and studying in ulpan. In August 1986 Carole moved to Ithaca and begin a 22-year career with Cornell’s Media Relations division (Cornell Chronicle, Communication Strategies, Publications). She is a member of Temple Beth El who appreciates the vibrancy of Roitman Chabad and is very glad that the Center for Jewish Living exists.

Naomi Wilensky

Ex Officio. Naomi Wilensky is the Religious School Director & Administrative Coordinator at Congregation Tikkun v’Or (Ithaca Reform Temple).

She has lived in Ithaca for 20 years, with her husband Joe and their four daughters.

Marcia Zax

Board Chair.  Since 2008, I have served as co-chair and now chair of IAUJC.  My identity as a Jewish American and Israeli is very strong, and I do feel passionately about my connection with the Jewish people and Israel, which is why serving on the IAUJC board has been so important for me. I was born in the US, made Aliyah to Israel in 1986, and returned to the US in 1990 with my husband David and children Benjamin and Rachel. Our third child Aryeh was born here in Ithaca in 1996. We are members at Temple Beth El and are part of the Orthodox minyan at Cornell.