Our Board

Columbia's Jewish Federation is a not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors. These individuals, who dedicate considerable time and talent to enrich Jewish life and support Jews in need, work in concert with Federation’s professional staff to advance organizational and communal goals.

You are invited to our
Columbia Jewish Federation/
 Katie & Irwin Kahn JCC
Joint Annual Meeting


for the election and installation of officers and board members,
and honoring those officers that have finished their terms of office.


December 14, 2014
2:00 p.m.


The Katie & Irwin Kahn Jewish Community Center 
on the Gerry Sue & Norman Arnold Jewish Community Campus


Please RSVP to Debby Mullen
 or 787-2023 ext. 202

Columbia Jewish Federation
Proposed Board of Trustees for 2015
President   John Baker
Vice President Josh McDuffie
Secretary David Lovit
Treasurer Meridith Goldstein
Imm. Past President Naomi Farber
3 Trustees Term Beginning 2015  
New 3-Year Term                      Jon Zivony
New 3-Year Term                      Jane Kulbersh
New 3-Year Term                      Jackie Dickman-Babcock
3 Trustees Term Began 2014  
Continuing Term Brian Brodkin
fulfilling a two-year unexpired term Shelly Kreigshaber
Continuing Term Heidi Lovit
3 Trustees Term Began 2013  
Continuing Term Esther Greenberg
Continuing Term Michelle Peterson
Continuing Term Dr. Steve Serbin
Presidential Appointments  
Harvey Helman  
Fred Seidenberg  
Anny Zelesne  
Plus committee chairs as appointed by the President

Executive Committee

  • President: Dr. Naomi Farber

  • Vice President: Dr. Joshua McDuffie

  • Treasurer: Meridith Goldstein

  • President Elect: John Baker

  • Secretary: Dr. David Lovit

  • Immediate Past President: Shelley Kriegshaber



2012 Trustee: Jon Zivony
2012 Trustee: Jane Kulbersh
2012 Trustee: Eleanor Niestat
2013 Trustee: Esther Greenberg
2013 Trustee: Dr. Michelle Peterson
2013 Trustee: Dr. Steve Serbin
2014 Trustee: Brian Brodkin
2014 Trustee: Heidi Lovit
Presidential Appointee: Harvey Helman
Presidential Appointee: Fred Seidenberg
Presidential Appointee: Anny Zalesne

Community Representatives


President - Beth Shalom: Terri Hodges
President - Tree of Life: Rick Cohn
President - CJCC: Keith Babcock
Col. Adult Board Hillel: Dr. Howie Scher
Student President Hillel: Kara Hoffman
Jewish Day School Representative: Michael Arnold
BBYO Representative: David Greenhouse
BBYO Representative: Jerry Emanuel
Tree of Life Sisterhood: Amanda Hamilton 
Tree of Life Brotherhood: David Carr
USC Director of Jewish Studies: Dr. Stan Dubinsky
Historical Society Rep: Ed Poliakoff
Jewish Family Service: Minda Miller​

Chairs of Standing Committees


2014 Campaign Chair: Joe Sharnoff
2014 Campaign, Men's: David Kulbersh
2014 Campaign, Women's: Jackie Dickman Babcock
2014 Campaign, Family: Meridith Goldstein
Community Relations:  
Corporate Relations: Jerry Kline
Holocaust Education Commission: Dr. Lilly Filler
Holocaust Education Commission: Lyssa Harvey
Jewish Family Service: Minda Miller
Yom HaShoah: Dr. Abe Wandersman
Young Adult Division: Dr. Michelle Segal Peterson
Young Adult Division: David Polen

Non-Voting Trustees 

Executive Director CJF/JCC: Barry Abels
Jewish Family Service Director: Elaine Cohen 
Community Relations Director: Cheryl Nail 
Rabbi Jonathan Case
Rabbi Leah Doberne-Schor
Rabbi Hesh Epstein
Rabbi Sanford Marcus
Rabbi Daniel Sherman
Rabbi Philip Silverstein

Meet the Columbia Jewish Federation Board  -  Featured Board Member


Name: Howie Scher

CJF Board Member Since:  2010

Community Leadership: Hillel at the University of South Carolina Faculty Advisor; Science Advisor to Camp Gan Israel

Family: Married to Emily Scher, a nurse practitioner, and father of two boys, Elliot (9) and Spencer (7), students at Cutler Jewish Day School

CJF: What’s your day job, and how did you get there?

HS:  I’m Assistant Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of South Carolina, with research interests in climate and climate change. I spend significant time in the field, but I also teach, including the freshman course Marine Science 101, required of all marine science majors. I love teaching, but it also puts me in the uncomfortable position of telling a few students every year that simply loving the beach does not necessarily make one a good marine scientist. Prior to coming to USC, I worked at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and did post-doctoral work at the University of Rochester (where I met my wife Emily through Hillel as an undergrad.) I graduated from the University of Rochester in 1999 with a degree in environmental science, and I received my Ph.D. in geology from the University of Florida in 2005.

CJF: How did you make your way to the CJF Board?

HS:  In 2010, I was a Beth Shalom board member, and was asked to be the Beth Shalom representative to the CJF board, and I’ve been involved ever since. These days my official position is that of being the faculty advisor to Hillel at USC.

CJF: What’s going on at Hillel?

HS:  Hillel at USC is thriving. We have an engaged and active membership. Gathering for Shabbat meals is becoming very popular. We do Torah study, and hosted a student-led Passover seder on campus last month. There’s always room to grow, and do more, and we’re looking forward to even better things.

CJF: What’s your favorite feature of the Columbia Jewish community?

HS:  That we as a larger community are growing and thriving. I think the relationship between Cutler Jewish Day School and Beth Shalom is fantastic. It’s helping to create the feel of a true Jewish community where so many of us live and work. With all three synagogues within just a couple of miles of each other and our day school, and many of our community members living nearby, we’re creating a Jewish community that really feels like one.