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.
President, Chairperson of the Finance Committee
Gregg has been the volunteer Treasurer at Ohav Shalom for over 6 years. He has been a member of Ohav Shalom his entire life. He and his wife Jennifer both grew up at Ohav. 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 has been credited with making the transition from our former financial software program to our current system. He can be seen at many of the Ohav events either greeting at the door or behind the grill and anywhere in between. He has been a mentor for many staff and congregants in the shul.
1st Vice President, 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.
Treasurer, Chairperson of the Human Resources Committee
Andy is Chairperson of the Human Resources Committee and has been responsible for the interview and hiring process for Ohav Shalom’s staff leadership. Andy currently works as a Transportation Analyst for the New York State Thruway Authority. Prior to that, he was a Process Analyst for State Farm Insurance and Director of Families Together in Albany County. Andy has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University, and was awarded 6 U.S. patents during his 15 years in materials R&D for GE Global Research. Andy is proud to serve on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. He and his wife Cheryl and their 2 daughters reside in Slingerlands.
Secretary, Chairperson of Lifelong Learning
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.
Immediate Past President, Co-Chairperson of the Lifelong Learning/Program Committee
Judy is in her second term 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.
Religious Life Committee
Wendy has been a member of Ohav Shalom since childhood. Her parents were very active members – – and her father served as its attorney and her mother served as Sisterhood president for many years. She was married in the synagogue in 1970 and joined the shul as a married couple in 1979. Her children attended synagogue weekly and the family enjoyed a wonderful close-knit group of friends. She joined the board in the 1980s, and then left the board to become executive director in the mid 90’s. She returned to the board after resigning as executive director in the early 2000’s and has served ever since. She is an active member. She has co-chaired the Festival of Jewish culture; organized the annual Thacher Park Dinner; became a bat mitzvah as an adult; cooked Shabbat dinners with friends; produced the Yizkor Book for a period of time; co-chaired several galas; baked with the Kiddusha Mamas and Papas; designed and led the Step by Step program; co-chaired the Sisterhood. She currently serves on the Religious Life Committee and is a member of the Chevre Kadisha, performing tahara.
Joshua Cantor-Stone comes from a family that is deeply committed to synagogue and Jewish communal life in Texas. He is a graduate of Yale and most recently received his Master of Public Administration from the University at Albany. Joshua is a Project Manager for the Jahnel Group, a software development company in Schenectady. He and his wife Sarah, a doctoral student in the University of Albany’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, live in the City of Albany. Joshua recently completed the YESOD program, which is the Jewish Federation’s leadership development program.
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. Aviva, as she is known to friends and family, is mom to a young toddler. A leader of Ohav Shalom’s Center Square Minyan, she can be seen throughout the Albany Jewish community – – at Ohav on Shabbat, at Jewish Federation and Nextdor events – – learning, schmoozing, eating, cooking, playing with babies, or kvelling about a craft project she’s working on. Aviva has been recognized by the Jewish Multiracial Network (JMN) for Woman’s History Month and presented a craft workshop on Afro-Judaic art at the May 2017 JMN retreat
Marci Galinkin moved to Albany in 1992 “for a year” and has not left. Ohav Shalom is a large part of why Marci and her husband Stephen Levy chose to stay in the area. The warmth, vibrancy and accessibility for all made it a very attractive “second home.” They were married on the bimah in 1993, and still can be found in shul regularly, and often on the bimah reading torah and leading the davening. Ohav soon became their three children’s second home as well, where each in turn went through the nursery school and became a bar/ bat mitzvah. Marci’s professional career as a Jewish educator in the area, first for Jewish Family Services, then United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Jewish Federation and Hebrew Academy intertwines with her volunteer life at Ohav Shalom. Marci has coordinated the B’nai Mitzvah dvar torah tutoring since 1994, and has served on the Education, Nursery School, and Religious Life committees and chaired the Youth Committee. She is delighted to be able to serve on the Board of Trustees and help her “second home” continue to grow into the future.
Lev is Senior Director of Government Affairs at The Business Council of NYS. Prior to that he was an attorney with New York’s Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform and a staff member for U.S. Senator Arlen Specter in Washington. Lev sits on the New York State of Health Advisory Committee, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board’s Medical Advisory Committee, Advisory Committee on Independent Medical Examinations and the Board of Governors for the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board. He also serves on the Advisory Board for New York’s Area Health Education Centers, the Board of Directors of The Jewish Federation of NENY, the Board of Directors for the Capital District Jewish Holocaust Memorial and recently served on the Board of 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.
Bradley Gorstein is a Pathologist at Ellis Hospital located in Schenectady. Prior to coming to the Capital Region, Brad worked at the Department of Pathology in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his medical degree from McGill University Faculty of Medicine and has been practicing medicine for more than 25 years. Brad has been a member of Ohav Shalom since 2006, participated in Ohav Shalom’s Project Lech Lecha long-range planning committee, and joined the Board of Trustees in 2018. He enjoys attending live music events in the Albany area.
Mrs. Melanie Grossman received her B.S. in Business from The University of Rhode Island in 2002 and Juris Doctorate from The University at Buffalo School of Law in 2005. Melanie currently serves as the Associate Director of Job Skills with Governor’s Office of Employee Relations. She is an active member of her community and proudly serves on the Board of the Capital Region chapter for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Capital Region Gilda’s Club/Hope Club – American Cancer Society. She resides with her family in Delmar, New York.
Now retired, Jean Kaback was able to combine her knowledge and love of landscape architecture with her sense of style and artistic panache when she worked as owner and Fashion Consultant for Accents on Fashion. Jean has held other jobs during her career: conference and event planner, kindergarten teacher, director of volunteers at a nursing home and garden designer. She developed her own interests and at the same time focused on her family. She the mother of three, grandmother of six and wife of more than 50 years. She has found her niche with her in-home boutique offering one-of-a-kind, unusual gifts, jewelry, accessories and clothing ranging from casual to dressy. Arriving in the Capital Region in 1984 from Montreal, Quebec, she and her husband Dr. Martin Kaback love to travel and revel in being grandparents. Jean has been an Ohav member since 1984 and has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2013.
Jeremy Kassel and his wife Ruth have been members of Ohav Shalom since 2011, and truly love everything about the shul. Jeremy joined the Board of Trustees in 2017. Jeremy moved to Albany from his hometown in Syracuse, NY in December of 2010. He is the founder of his company, Kassel Construction, and is a master at all things Instagram, and is co-host of the @housecallspodcast. Jeremy’s and Ruth’s children Elisheva and Esther have loved the Early Childhood program, and the whole family regularly attends services and events at Ohav Shalom.
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.
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 office building for 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.
Heather is an independent public relations and communications professional and a freelance writer based in the Capital Region. She served as the Communications Director for the 2018 New York State Senate Campaign of Michelle Ostrelich. Heather joined the Board of Trustees of Ohav Shalom in 2018 and is a member of the Communications Committee. She and her husband have 2 daughters and reside in Rexford.
Jessica Tannenbaum-Rosen has 16 years of experience with General Electric in a variety of Finance roles across the Energy sector (Gas Power, Wind Energy, Solar Power) and currently serves as the Executive Finance Systems Leader for the Gas Power division. She has previously held roles with increasing responsibility in the areas of Financial Planning and Analysis, Financial Project Management and Acquisitions/Dispositions. She also manages the GE Power finance leadership development program, an early career program mentoring 40 participants per year. Jessica earned her Bachelor’s degree in Finance and International Business from Penn State University and her MBA from Union College. Jessica and her husband Adam stay very busy raising their 3 daughters.
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 in Ohav Shalom and is an active member of the Board of Trustees.
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 has attended services regularly since her college days and has been a member of Ohav Shalom for nearly 40 years. Her sons celebrated bar-mitzvah at our shul, and one was married on our bimah. Following retirement from her career in educational administration, she has been able to participate on the Ohav Shalom Board of Trustees where she has served as co-chair. She has been involved with various committees including the Torah Writing Campaign Committee and the Coffee Connections Committee. She has participated on Board of Trustees since 2011. For more than 25 years, she has regularly read Torah, Haftarah, and Megillot.