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Aliza Rothenberg, President

Having grown up at Beth Israel in the 1960s and 1970s, and then rejoining the congregation with her own family after moving back to Baltimore from Philadelphia in the mid-1990s, Aliza Rothenberg considers Beth Israel her second home. As a child, Aliza's home life centered around Beth Israel with her father having risen to the role of President and her mother teaching in the religious school and then becoming its principal. Aliza's own active involvement in the congregation dates back to her teenage years when she was the first female to have an aliyah and read Torah as the shul embraced egalitarianism in the early 1970s. In the mid-2000s, Aliza led Beth Israel's V'Zot HaTorah congregation-wide Torah-writing project which included a fundraising component that created the shul's largest endowment. In addition to her Board position, most recently, Aliza chaired Beth Israel's strategic planning process to create and implement a plan that would enable the congregation to continue to thrive well into the next decade. Aliza is also actively involved in the congregation's religious life as a frequent Torah and Haftorah reader, gabbai, and weekday minyan leader.

Professionally, Aliza's expertise is in strategy development, business planning, marketplace/competitive analysis, and market research. She retired in 2019 as Vice President of Strategy and Planning for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield  where she led the development of the $12B company’s corporate and division-level long-term strategies and annual operating plans, and served as the "right hand" to its CEO. 

Aliza's husband, David, served as Beth Israel's executive director for 18 years (1997-2015) and two of their three sons celebrated their b'nai mitzvah at Beth Israel. With two young granddaughters, one of Aliza's favorite activities is "grandparenting."  Aliza also enjoys travel, gardening, reading, and exercising.

TJ Casser, Executive Vice President

Melissa  Adler, Co-Vice President

Melissa Baylin Adler has been a member of Beth Israel for her entire life. Melissa has attended Preschool and religious school, gotten married and celebrated her children’s brit milot and now b’nai mitzvah at Beth Israel. Melissa’s lifelong involvement in our congregation has motivated her to join the Executive Board of the synagogue as Co-Vice President, and serve as head of the School Board for our Community Learning Lab.

Melissa graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Elementary Education and Jewish Studies. She earned her master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Goucher College. Melissa is currently Assistant Principal of Honeygo Elementary School, and was formerly the professional development teacher for an elementary school in Baltimore County. She lives in Reisterstown with her husband, Brian, and her three boys.

Saundra Madoff, Co-Vice President
Saundra is a retired Jewish educator and administrator who worked at Krieger Schechter Day School for 24 years and at Beth Israel Religious School prior to that.  She earned her BA in Hebraic Studies from Rutgers University and her Masters in Jewish Education from the Baltimore Hebrew University.  In addition to serving as a co-vice president, Saundra is the chair of our “Lifelong Learning Committee”. She grew up at Beth Israel and she and her husband David were married at the synagogue.  Saundra and David are the proud parents of five grown children and nine grandchildren. 

Toni Greenberg, Recording Secretary

Toni grew up in New York and moved to Baltimore to attend the University of Maryland School of Social Work.  She worked for over 30 years as a social worker and supervisor in child protective services, foster care and adoption.   Toni was a board member and officer of the JCC and the Jewish Women’s Giving Foundation and is involved with Hillel at the University of Michigan.  Toni sews clothing, embroiders and crochets; is a big sports fan (Orioles, Ravens, Duke basketball and Michigan football); and is too fond of milk chocolate.  She has two wonderful children:  Jake who is the Cantor at Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains, NJ; and Miriam who is a graphic artist and designer with Booz Allen.  A member for 26 years, Toni has chaired several Cantors’ Concerts and clergy installations.

Phil Rogofsky, Treasurer

Diane Gensler, Corresponding Secretary 
Diane Gensler is a diehard member of Beth Israel Congregation and a native of Baltimore. She and her husband Scott were married at Beth Israel. Scott is a Past-President and has held numerous positions. Diane was Co-President of the Parent's Association for several years and the Purim Carnival Chairperson for five years. She has assisted with other projects and initiatives in the synagogue throughout the years as well. Their three children grew up at Beth Israel, beginning with the preschool and presently working in the Learning Lab. 

Diane is a certified English and Special Education teacher. She also developed educational software, tutored online and wrote and managed online curriculum. Diane's book, Forgive Us Our Trespasses: A Memoir of a Jewish Teacher in a Catholic School, was published by Apprentice House Press in 2020. She leads the Baltimore Jewish Writers Guild, a group of writers who share their work and provide support to each other. She is a blogger for Haddasah and can be found online at TimesofIsrael.com. She is a member of the Beth Israel Sisterhood and the Beth Israel book club.  She put her computer skills to use as webmaster for the Franklin Middle School PTA and created montages for simchas of family and friends. She is a member of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland and researches her family history when time allows. She is an avid scrapbooker and has led  scrapbook classes at the Jewish Community Center, so please contact her if you are interested!
 

Jeff Blum, Financial Secretary

Jeff is a new business account executive for Johnson Controls, where he helps customers find the right fit for their commercial security needs. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Jeff has lived in the Baltimore area for the past 25-plus years and has extensive experience in sales and account management. Jeff also serves on the boards of The Hearing and Speech Agency as well as the Baltimore County Police Assistance Relief Fund. Jeff and his wife Karen have two children and live in Owings Mills. 

Scott Gensler,  Immediate Past President

Scott identifies and evaluates new business opportunities for Erickson Living, the nation’s leading developer and manager of Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Throughout Scott’s 18-year tenure with Erickson Living, he has served in many leadership positions. He has an impressive knowledge of key aspects of the senior living business, including Development, Acquisitions, Finance, Sales and Marketing, and Operations.

Scott earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola College, and a bachelor’s degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. Scott has participated in many leadership programs, such as Baltimore County Leadership, Sulam for Emerging Leaders, and L'Atid. Scott also serves as the Vice Chair of the Fund for Education Excellence, a local education fund working to improve student achievement in Baltimore City Schools.

Scott and his wife Diane were married at Beth Israel. Their three children have grown up at Beth Israel, having graduated from Beth Israel’s Preschool and been students in our Community Learning Lab.

Board of Trustees

2023-24 Trustees:
Ira Bormel
Cindy Bradley
Jason Delman
Michael Freilich
Jennifer Freese
Ted Gross
Justin Kellam
Hy Luft
Randall Singer 
Edward Steinberg
Andrew Stolusky

Affiliate Representatives:
Stuart Fine (Brotherhood Co-President)
Bary Goldschmidt (Brotherhood Co-President)
Suzanne Kiewe (Sisterhood President)

Committee Chairs:
Howard Bernheim (Endowments)
Jason Delman (Membership & Engagement)
Karen Shuster (Fundraising)
Edward Steinberg (Marketing)
Allen Cohen (Bylaws)
Mark Schenerman (Social Action)
Howard Gartner & Fred Needel (House)
Howard Katz (Ritual)
Jason Taule (Security)
Saundra Madoff (Lifelong Learning)

Past Presidents

Scott Gensler 2021-2023
Heidi B. Hoffman 2019-2021
Marc Hertzberg 2017-2019
Randi Buergenthal 2015-2017
Harry Baumohl 2013-2015
Stacey Berner 2011-2013
Sue Rabin 2009-2011
Sandy Bernheim 2007-2009
Allen Cohen 2005-2007
Steve Silfen 2003-2005
Phil Rabin 2001-2003
David Braitman 1999-2001
Marilyn Schloss 1997-1999
*Ted Schweitzer 1995-1997
Lou Friedman 1993-1995
*Zelic Gresser 1989-1992
Ted Hirsh 1988-1989
*Larry Wolf 1986-1988
Alvin Bard 1984-1986
Searle Mitnick 1982-1984
*Abe Teitler 1980-1982
*Hilda Hillman 1978-1980
*Stephen Winters 1976-1978
Alvin Katz 1974-1976
Bernie Raynor 1972-1974
*William Biesel 1970-1972
*Jerry Gottesman 1968-1970
*Lester Caplan 1966-1968
*Bob Berliner 1964-1966
*Ernest Siegel 1962-1964
*Gunther Borris 1960-1962
*Alvin Sandler 1958-1960, 1992-1993
*Jerry Mazer 1956-1958

*of blessed memory

Fri, May 24 2024 16 Iyyar 5784