AFK Board Members
AFK’s Board Members are ambassadors for the Society for Advancement of Education, Jerusalem, helping to build awareness and generate support for SAE’s high schools, residences and national educational programs. (Click on each name for a brief bio.)
Dr. Joseph Ahram – New York
Tamara Lippman Bernstein – California
Dr. Yedida Bessemer – California
Zvi Chalamish – New York
Dr. Mildred David – New York
Judge Leon Kaplan – California
Atalia Katz – New York
Karen Kennedy – California
Rina Levy – New York
David Mallach – New Jersey
Shaul Maouda – California
Eitan Moran – Israel
Rae Ringel – Washington D.C.
Yair Segev – New Jersey
Rina Shkolnik – New York
Dr. Joseph Ahram, a Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, is a native of Israel and a member of the first graduating class of the SAE Mae Boyar High School. He attended medical school at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School and practiced medicine in Israel for ten years before coming to the United States. Joseph is affiliated with 4 hospitals in the New York City area, and has a private practice in Brooklyn. He was awarded “Compassionate Doctor Recognition” in 2014 as well as a Patients’ Choice Award.
Tamara Lippman Bernstein
Tamara Bernstein is the third generation of a family who have actively supported education in Israel. In addition to her prominent role in the Jewish community of Southern California, she is Executive Vice President of Metalmart International. Tamara and her family have made several trips to Israel to visit the Steinberg Interdisciplinary Educational Residence in Kfar Saba, founded by her grandparents Sol and Betty Steinberg. The family legacy of tzedakah and tikkun olam will continue to motivate succeeding generations of this generous family.
Dr. Yedida Bessemer
Yedida Bessemer, a graduate of Steinberg High School, has worked as an educator and administrator for more than two decades in Israel, Oregon, and California. During that time, she has taught a broad range of age groups, from elementary school to adults, in both formal and informal settings.Yedida recently earned an EdD in Educational Leadership and Management. Her doctorate research focused on developing and improving data literacy among online faculty through Professional Learning Communities. Previously Yedida served in the Israel Defense Forces as an instructor of new recruits in the Intelligence Unit of the Communication and Information Corps before earning her B.A. from Tel Aviv University,her Teaching Credential from Achva College in Israel and a Master’s in Teaching from the American Jewish University (AJU) in Los Angeles.
Zvi Chalamish is a Principal with the 40 Broad Real Estate Fund. Previously he was the CEO of Giza Singer Even, Israel’s largest investment banking and economic consulting firm. During the last 6 years, Zvi has also been a partner in various real estate funds focused on investing in the United States. Earlier he served as CEO of ASHRA, an Israeli Foreign Trade Risks Insurance Company. In addition, Zvi spent 15 years representing the Israeli Ministry of Finance in a wide range of executive positions, which included responsibility for raising foreign currency for the State of Israel in international markets and serving as Deputy Accountant General. Zvi holds a Bachelor’s Degree and an MBA from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and is a licensed CPA.
Dr. Mildred David
Dr. Mildred (Millie) David has spent nearly 40 years as a teacher and academic leader on Long Island, New York. Millie joined the teaching staff at the public Hewlett Elementary School in Hewlett, New York in 1972 and retired 30 years later as principal. She then became head of the prestigious Brandeis School, a Jewish day school in Lawrence, New York, a position she held until 2010. Frequently recognized by her peers for outstanding performance, Millie was the recipient of the Hamalainen Prize for Excellence in School Administration, presented by the Nassau County Principals Association. Today that prize is officially called the Mildred David Annual Award for Excellence in School Administration. A graduate of Brooklyn College Millie earned her Masters and Ph. D. from Hofstra University and participated in an Executive Master Program at Columbia University
Judge Leon Kaplan
The Honorable Leon Kaplan retired in 2008 as a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court where he presided over juvenile, criminal and civil courts. Born in Santiago, Chile to Polish immigrants, Kaplan came to the United States at age 15 in 1959. He graduated from UCLA and UCLA School of Law before serving as volunteer attorney for Volunteers in Service to America (now VISTA AmeriCorps). Following private practice, he joined the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office in 1975, served on the California Youth Authority board, and was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1981 by then-Gov. Jerry Brown. In 1986 he was elected to the Los Angeles Municipal Court, serving for 22 years. Most recently Judge Kaplan has been a coach and advocate involved in legal, cultural and mental health issues.
Atalia Katz is a prolific photographer with works extending from social minded documentary to stylized still-lives of her frozen sculptures. She has traveled extensively around the world capturing a variety of moments, views and people through a strong personal perspective and her love of humanity. Her works have been exhibited in New York, Scarsdale, Denver, Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. Atalia is involved in many non-profit activities and organizations using photography as a way to get communities involved, including, “Jdoco”, a group of philanthropic photographers documenting Jewish communities all over the world. She divides her time between New York City and Tel-Aviv.
Karen Kennedy is the president and founder of National Asset Services, which specializes in the management of tenant-in-common properties. In addition to her background in asset and property management, she has extensive experience in leasing, project management, construction, and the development of commercial and retail properties. Her grandfather, Louis Boyar, was the founder of the SAE Mae Boyar High School and Educational Residence in Jerusalem, which is named in memory of her grandmother, Mae Boyar.
Rina Levy spent many years of her career managing software systems development and implementation, running large projects and founding her own business. She has worked all over the world, from the United States to Europe to the Middle East, in the corporate arena, private consulting, as well as contributing to non-profit organizations like the Peace Corps. Most notably, Rina founded a software consulting company in Bethesda, Maryland, which was sold to a large international hi-tech company. Rina invests her time in activities and causes she is passionate about, especially consulting young entrepreneurs, Jewish and Israeli non-profits, hiking and exploring the NYC area. She is a proud mother of three young Americans living in Boston, New York City and St. Louis.
David Mallach has been a leader in the American Jewish community for more than 40 years, most recently as the Executive Vice-Chairman of the United Israel Appeal, part of the Jewish Federations of North America. Previously David was Managing Director of the Commission on Jewish People at UJA-Federation of New York for 15 years and spent 17 years in community relations and leadership positions with the United Jewish Communities of Metro West New Jersey. Early in his varied career David worked at the Simmons Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Beer Sheva and as Director of Israel and International Concerns at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Philadelphia.
Shaul Maouda is Senior Executive Vice President for Professional Security Consultants (PSC) based out of Los Angeles, CA., responsible for overseeing security operations for over 150 shopping centers and commercial accounts such as Westfield, General Grown Properties, Starwood Retail and Related Companies. Before immigrating to the United States and joining PSC in 1989, Shaul held the rank of Captain of the Parachute Commander Terrorism Unit for the Israeli Defense Forces. A 1982 graduate of Steinberg-Kazenelson High School, he is a member of the Dept. of Homeland Security, Infrastructure Protection for the Private Sector Committee.
Eitan Moran is the Executive Director of the Israeli Society for the Advancement of Education, Jerusalem (SAE), the most recognized Israeli non-profit organization educating and advocating for under-served youth in Israel. In this role he oversees 3000 students in fifteen high schools and boarding schools, a variety of national support projects for students across Israel, and manages a budget of over 25 million dollars and a staff of 500.
Eitan has served as the General Director of the Society for Advancement of Education since graduating from the prestigious Mandel School for Educational Leadership in 2008. Eitan is a founding member of the Nadav Merhav Democratic School in Modi’in, which he helped establish in 1999. He holds an MA in Management and Public Policy from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and a BA cum laude in Sociology and Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he was awarded a Rich Foundation Fellowship for academic achievement.
Eitan is a recent graduate of the Tavistok Institute of Human Relations – a non-profit organization that deals with organizational research and development and applies approaches and concepts from the social sciences in order to create innovative, effective methods for dealing with core subjects and current issues.
Rae Ringel is a certified executive coach and founding President of The Ringel Group. She is a faculty member at the Georgetown University Institute for Transformational Leadership and founding director of their certificate program in the Art of Facilitation and Design. She is also adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. Rae offers deep experience in the areas of fundraising and board development. Prior to starting The Ringel Group, Rae was the Director of Professional and Volunteer Development at United Jewish Communities. A Phi Beta Kappa Graduate of the University of Rochester, Rae received her Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and earned her Leadership Coaching certification from Georgetown University. She was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and now holds a faculty position with the Wexner Foundation.
Yair Segev, a native of Israel, is the New York leader of Escalon Services, a Silicon Valley based service provider that delivers customized and comprehensive solutions for startups and international businesses in the area of finance and accounting, human resources, payroll, benefits and taxation. Yair is known within the industry as a business and financial leader who is superlative in developing and delivering strategic plans and execution of company-wide financial policies and procedures. Yair holds degrees in Accounting and Economics from Tel Aviv University.
Rina Shkolnik – Vice-Chair
Rina Shkolnik is Executive Director Emeritus of the JCC of the Greater Five Towns, on Long Island, NY, where she served as Executive Director for 11 years, from 2002 to 2013. She is currently serving as Interim Executive Director. Previously Rina held key positions with UJA-Federation New York and the Hebrew Education Society. Rina is a skilled resource development leader with an established track record of increasing philanthropic revenue through best practices, including personally cultivating and successfully closing major gifts.