Congregation Ohav Shalom

Building Community Celebrating Tradition

113 New Krumkill Road, Albany, NY 12208 / (518) 489-4706 / Email Us /

Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Ohav Shalom is fortunate to have a dedicated Board of Trustees who are deeply committed to its mission and purpose. Their leadership, combined with the efforts of all our volunteers and our membership involvement, makes Ohav the special place it is.

Gregg Fox, President

President, Chairperson of the Finance Committee

Gregg has taken the plunge to move from the past Treasurer at Ohav Shalom to the Synagogue President.  He is only in his second year as President and is extremely excited to continue to serve Ohav Shalom.  He has been a member of Ohav Shalom his entire life. He and his wife Jennifer both grew up at Ohav.  Gregg and Jennifer have a 12 and a half year-old son who will become Bar Mitzvah in October of 2022.  In addition to his work at the shul, Gregg is a high school special education teacher in the Averill Park Schools. Gregg is a tireless advocate for children, and people who are in need.  He has chaired numerous committees and programs at Ohav Shalom. In 2018 he was instrumental in securing funding for the synagogue’s new playground and overseeing its installation.  Gregg can be regularly seen greeting at the front of the Shul on Shabbat as he loves the opportunity to welcome and meet all of the regulars and guests.  He has been a mentor for many staff and congregants in the shul.  Gregg’s major goal is to increase congregant involvement in committees, donations, and overall synagogue life.” 


Ed Jacobs, M.D. , Safety and Security

Chairperson of the Life & Legacy and Safety & Security Committees

Ed is a retired OB-GYN physician. He and his wife Laura have been members of Ohav Shalom for more than 40 years. Both of their daughters, Lisa and Tami, celebrated their b’nai mitzvah at Ohav. Ed is committed to optimizing the safety and security of our synagogue and has overseen many enhancements during 2017-18. He has also spearheaded the Life & Legacy planned giving program. He’s extremely grateful to its founding members who are helping to ensure Ohav’s future is sound. Ed also serves on the Federation Board of Governors and the boards of The Daughters of Sarah Nursing Home and the Maimonides Hebrew Day School.

Dana Mandel, Treasurer


My wife, Linda, and I moved to the Albany area in 2020 after living in the Hamlet of King Ferry near Ithaca, NY.  We were active members of Temple Beth-El in Ithaca for over 30 years.  This will be my first experience as the treasurer of a Shul.  I have served on a number of other not-for-profit boards in the past, many as their treasurer, including the: Cayuga County Cancer Services Program, Southern Cayuga Anne Frank Tree Project, Southern Cayuga Instant Aid, Cayuga County Community Health Network, Cayuga County Home Health Agency Advisory Board, Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency Head Start Advisory Board, King Ferry Food Pantry

In addition to my experience as a treasurer, I was also the founder and President of Lifespan Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech and Language Pathology Services from 1988 until 2019.  Beginning as a solo practitioner in the profession of physical therapy, I grew the practice to a total of 40 therapists and support staff. 

Shari Piper, Secretary


Over the years Shari has served on many Ohav committees. She has been Chair of the Youth Commission and has spent countless hours working with youth, human resources, fundraising, programs and other activities at the synagogue. While Ohav is very important to Shari, she is perhaps best known for founding the Annual Lustgarten Foundation Albany Capital District Walk for Pancreatic Cancer Research in 2004 with her husband Neil. Shari is credited with helping the Walk to evolve into a kid and pet-friendly social event with music from local bands, food, kids’ activities like face painting and games. It is now seen as a celebration of life where everyone can feel comfortable.

Judith Avner, Esq., Immediate Past President

Immediate Past President, Co-Chairperson of the Lifelong Learning/Program Committee

Judy served two terms as President of the Board of Trustees at Ohav Shalom. She has served as a teacher in the Talmud Torah and on numerous other committees over the years she has been involved at Ohav. She has also volunteered in the Ohav Shalom Gift Shop, been an active participant on the Yad Yonatan and Inclusion committees. An attorney by training, she has served as Director of the NYS Division for Women, Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of NYS, and Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York. Judy and her husband Steve are Disney fans, and together with their daughters Amanda and Sara, have run in Disney races on both coasts.

Prof. Jim Hendler, 1st Vice President

First Vice President,

When not involved in Ohav Shalom, Jim Hendler is the Director of the Future of Computing Institute and the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  He also is director of the RPI-IBM Future of Computing Research Collaboration.  Hendler is a well-known AI scientist who has published over 450 books, technical papers, and articles in the technical literature. He has served on a number of government panels for agencies ranging from the Department of Defense to the US White House.  Academically, Hendler is a fellow of major societies and has won several distinguished service awards from both academic and government entities. Prior to moving to Albany to take a position as a chaired professor at RPI, Hendler was a faculty member at the University of Maryland at College Park.  (For more details of his professional life see He and his wife, Cantor Terry Horowit, a composer of Jewish music, were involved in synagogue leadership at Tikvat Israel (formerly Beth Tikvah).  Cantor Horowit taught over a hundred adult members to read Torah, and Professor Hendler served many years on the synagogues’ board including several years as chair of the religious practices committee and a year as the congregation’s President. 

Lev Ginsburg, Esq. 2nd Vice President

Lev is a partner at Hinman Straub PC and Executive Director of the NYS Conference of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. Prior to that he was General Counsel to The Business Council of NYS, an attorney with New York’s Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform and a staff member for U.S. Senator Arlen Specter in Washington, DC. Lev has served on a variety of professional and volunteer boards, including, the Board of Directors of The Jewish Federation of NENY, the Board of Directors for the Capital District Jewish Holocaust Memorial, JNF and B’Yachad, where he served a term as President.  Lev received his J.D. from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and his B.A. in history from the University of Buffalo. When not busy with all of the above, he enjoys attending Shabbat services at Ohav, skipping Shabbat services at Ohav to ski or kayak with his wife Jane and their two teenaged kids and listening to the Grateful Dead.

Arnon Adler

Arnie Adler and his family (his wife, Julie, and five children ages 17-33) have been members at Congregation Ohav Shalom for more than 25 years.  Ohav Shalom  (Rabbi Dan and previously, Rabbi Rena) has been a huge part of the Adler/Phillips family’s life, celebrating simchas together with the Ohav congregation, and serving the spiritual needs and caring for the family in times of deep loss, grief and illness.   

 The son of Hungarian Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, born in Israel and raised in the Bronx (before departing for the friendlier environment of the Capital Region), Arnie has sought to participate in supporting our wonderful and diverse Albany Jewish community through Jewish education, both at Ohav on the High Holidays and elsewhere.  Arnie has taught at Mifgash Jewish High School Program since 2008, meeting with our incredible Jewish teens on a weekly basis.   Arnie also meets with his students (okay, the residents) of the Massry Assisted Living Residence every week to discuss current events and engage in some lively discussion.   Arnie has also met with students, community residents and even prison inmates to share the story of his parents’ survival during the Holocaust.

Alan Angell

I was born in Cleveland. I am a urologist and when it came time to practice my wife (Beth Dollinger) and I moved to Elmira, NY to practice so we would be about halfway between our parents. I grew up Reform but when we decided to have a family we started going to a Conservative shul to raise our kids; Beth grew up at Agudat Achim in Schenectady. We were members of Congregation Shomray Hadath for 10 years and then we decided to join Temple Beth-El in Ithaca as the religious school was better. We were members there for 22 years.

When it came time for Beth to retire after 33 years we decided to move closer to family and so here we are in Albany. We have three grown daughters, all married, and one young grandson. I still practice part-time at Capital Region Urology. I work primarily in Clifton Park and Troy. I enjoy doing what I do so I wasn’t ready to fully retire.

I was very involved in the shuls in Elmira and Ithaca. I have been a gabbai, on the bet din, synagogue president, and a leader of chevra kadisha in Elmira. Probably the thing I am proudest of is that I was the mohel for that region for almost 30 years (Jewish Theological Seminary Brit Kodesh class of 1992).

We like Ohav Shalom for many reasons: the people are friendly, warm and inviting, the rabbi is dynamic, the shul is involved in the community, this is a young synagogue with critical mass. We quickly felt at home here.


Antoinette Deitcher

Coordinator of the Social Action Committee

Antoinette Deitcher joined the Board of Trustees in 2017 and is the Chair of the Social Action Committee. She does outreach and education for the New York State Department of Health’s Center for Environmental Health. Antoinette is a mom to three young children. She can be seen throughout the Albany Jewish community – – at Ohav on Shabbat, at Jewish Federation events, and at the Hebrew Academy of the Capital District, where she is the Vice President of the Development Committee.

Victor Gomez

My wife Michele and I moved to the Albany area in 2006 with our newborn son Zvi. Our second son Razi was born in Albany in 2008. Both boys attended Ohav pre-school and later Hebrew Academy of the Capital District from which they graduated in 2020 and 2022. Both boys became bar mitzvah at Ohav and continue to attend regularly, especially when their mother Michele is layning. I am a Director at Epson America, Inc. and a graduate of Columbia University and Vassar College. Although the Gomez Fisher family briefly relocated to Southern California in 2017 for work reasons, we returned at the end of 2018 having failed to replicate the wonderful community at Ohav, or the first-class education provided by HACD. 

David Levine, D.D.S.

Chairperson of the Religious Life Committee

David Levine is Chairperson of the Religious Life Committee. He is credited with leading the search for our beloved High Holy Days Cantor. David, who is a general dentist with nearly 40 years of experience, has been a member of Ohav Shalom since 1978 and has served on the Board of Trustees almost consecutively since 1979. He is on the Yahrzeit Board Committee and is past Chairperson of the College Outreach Committee. David is also a member and past President of the Va’ad HaKashruth of the Capital District. He’s is a family man and loves spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Sharon Lozman

Chairperson of the House and Grounds Committee

Sharon Lozman is the Chairperson of Ohav Shalom’s House and Grounds Committee, and lovingly cares for the building and grounds of the shul like it was her own home. She has a background in both academia and real estate. She taught elementary school for several years, and is the former Principal of the Lower School of the Albany Academy for Girls. Sharon also owned and managed an apartment complex and continues to manage an office building for over 25 years. She grew up in a family that developed and constructed real estate, and consequently learned a great deal about construction. Hence her expertise in house and grounds. Sharon has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2001.

Chana McIntyre

Chana is a graduate of University of Colorado @ Boulder, where she majored in Sociology and Ethnic Studies. Chana has held multiple sales leadership roles in the adult beverage industry for 18+ years and now serves as Senior Director of Business Development for Total Benefit Management, a comprehensive Payroll and Professional Employment Organization.

Chana serves on the board of directors for the Daughters of Sarah Foundation, as well as President of Athletic Haven, a non-profit her husband founded in 2016 supporting underserved youth in the Capital region.

She looks forward to serving the Ohav community as a member of the board.

Linda Mandel

Linda and her husband, Dana, retired to the Albany area in May of 2020. They spent 33 years in the Finger Lakes Region of NY, raising their 3 children and attending Temple Beth El in Ithaca.

Linda is a retired teacher, spending most of her years in special education and more recently, teaching religious school at Temple Beth El. She spends as much time as she can with her grandchildren and enjoys camping and trips to New York City.

She is honored to take a place on the board and looks forward to many years of involvement at Ohav Shalom.

David Morrison

David Morrison joined the Ohav Shalom Board of Trustees in 2022 after joining Ohav Shalom in 2021.  David is a lifelong Capital District resident, born and raised in Clifton Park.  He is an alumni of the Hebrew Academy of the Capital District, and grew up attending many services and friends Bar Mitzvahs at Ohav Shalom, though his family were members of Congregation Beth Shalom.  When David and his wife, Robyn, moved to Albany from Saratoga in 2020, joining the community at Congregation Ohav Shalom was one of their priorities.  They have two young children and look forward to raising them as part of the Ohav community.  David is a dentist with an office in Clifton Park, having received his dental education at University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, and undergraduate education at Emory University.  Prior to joining the Ohav Board, he has been very active both locally and nationally with Jewish Federation of North America.

Rachel Pearlman, Esq.

A Capital District native who lived in Hoboken, NJ for over a decade, Rachel Leah Pearlman and her family became members of Ohav Shalom around 2011 when they moved from Hoboken to Albany.  At that time, the family was most active in Ohav’s children’s programming, and has fond memories of candle lighting in pajamas on Chanukah.  Her kids later attended B’Yachad and Rachel served on the Board, representing Ohav Shalom, and then, the kids attended Hebrew Academy of the Capital District for middle school.  Rachel herself is a graduate of HACD.

Rachel’s oldest son becoming a Bar Mitzvah was an impetus for Rachel to involve herself in leading services at Ohav.  Many Shabbats she can be found leyning Torah or Haftarah, or davening Shacharit or Musaf.  Rachel was excited to be made the Tfilat HaTal “specialist” by Rabbi Dan.  One of her favorite things about Ohav is that it is so welcoming in allowing members of the community to lead services.

When not at shul, Rachel works as a patent attorney and is a shareholder at Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C.  Rachel can often be found on youth soccer fields cheering on various teams from the Albany Soccer Club either as a coach or as a supportive parent.  Rachel is also a Board Member of the Albany Soccer Club.  Rachel occasionally appears on local community theater stages.  Rachel lives in Albany with her husband, Seth, and her three children.


Laurie Cohn Sasson

Laurie has lived in Albany since 1990.  She studied at SUNY Albany for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees.  She has been an ESL/ENL in the Albany City Schools since 1995 working with refugee and immigrant children.  Laurie and her family joined Ohav Shalom in 2012  because of its warm and welcoming environment for young families.  She was most impressed with how one Rabbi did story time with the children and the other with the adults (Dvar torah) and how the rabbis wash the children’s hands at the end of services.   Her maternal grandparents were active members of the Albany Jewish community.

Laurie currently lives with her two children, Ya’ir and Layla in the house next to the one her mother grew up in.


Ana Sobel

Ana is originally from Maryland and attended the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville. She obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and completed doctoral studies in clinical psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Currently Ana is  a licensed clinical psychologist providing individual therapy to adults since 2005.

Ana and husband, George Bizer,  moved to Albany from Illinois in 2005 and became members of Ohav Shalom shortly thereafter. Their two children attended Ohav Shalom preschool, Hebrew Academy, and the Robert C. Parker School. Her daughter is now a senior at Tech Valley High School and her son is a sophomore at Albany High School. Ana’s community involvement has included co-chairing a Head of School search for the Hebrew Academy and serving on the Women’s Philanthropy Board of the Jewish Federation as well as on the Ohav Shalom Membership Committee. 

Susan Ungerman

Susan Ungerman is Owner and President of Ungerman Electric, which has been providing residential and commercial services to the Capital Region for more than 50 years. Ungerman Electric is a Certified Woman Owned Business (WBE) that was started by her father, Herm Ungerman. Ungerman Electric is actively involved in the Capital Region community, providing philanthropic support for and participation in several organizations in addition to Ohav Shalom. She recently led the company to receive the Torch Award for Ethics from the Better Business Bureau, which is the highest recognition given to area businesses by BBB. Susan grew up at the former Sons of Abraham (now Beth Abraham Jacob)  and is an active member of the Board of Trustees.

Jay Worona, Esq.

Jay Worona is Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel for the New York State School Boards Association. Jay served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Council of School Attorneys (COSA) in 2007. He has been honored by his peers who have appointed him as a Fellow of the New York State Bar Association. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the School of Educational Administration and Policy Studies at the State University of New York at Albany. Jay has updated the Bylaws of Ohav Shalom and has served on various committees. He grew up in Poughkeepsie. He and his wife Sandi are long-standing members of Ohav Shalom, and his children were b’nai mitzvah at our shul. Jay is a proud father and grandfather.

Margery Diamond Zucker

Margery Diamond Zucker has attended services regularly at Ohav Shalom since her college days and has been a member for over 40 years.  Her sons celebrated bar-mitzvah at our shul and one was married on our bimah.  After retiring from her career in educational administration she has served on the Ohav Shalom Board of Trustees and on various committees: the Scholarship Committee, the Torah Writing Committee, the Coffee Connections Committee, the Program Committee, the Shomrei Ha’Bayit Committee, the Holy Rollers (cleaning the scrolls), Yad Yonatan and changing the monthly yahrzeit plaques.  For more than 33 years she has regularly read Torah, Haftarah, and Megillot.