Board of Directors
After years of serving in leadership roles in political campaigns and with local and national Jewish organizations, Jill is honored to join the Jewish Democratic Council board. Professionally, Jill runs Goldenberg Solutions Group, a consulting firm based in Newton, MA, serving business and nonprofit leaders nationally. Drawing on her experience as both a nonprofit executive and a lay leader, her clients trust her to design and deliver effective development and governance strategies, career and executive coaching, management consulting, and board trainings. Jill is the former Executive Director of the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) where she created and directed multiple development capacity-building programs, including Generations, which enabled 45 Jewish day schools to raise over $100 million in endowment funds in five years. She is also the former Associate Director of the Lawyers Clearinghouse on Affordable Housing and Homeless where she led development efforts and founded a legal services clinic for homeless clients at two shelters in Boston. Jill serves on the national steering committee of Jewish Women for Joe and on the board of the Jewish Electorate Institute. She has served as president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, co-chair of a successful capital campaign at the Rashi School, on the board of Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies, and as development and governance chairs for multiple boards. She is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and the University of Michigan. Jill and her husband, Sidney Kriger, are the proud parents of two young adult children.
In 2013, Joel started a music therapy program for Veterans with PTSD, called Healing our Heroes, at the Music Conservatory of Westchester where he is now the President of the Board of Trustees. He was also President of B’nai B’rith Real Estate, and has been affiliated with numerous other industry groups and charities. Joel has financed well over $2 Billion in real estate transactions and has acquired over 3,500,000 square feet of real estate during his career. He has lectured at the Yale University School of Architecture, the University of Pennsylvania, the Wharton Graduate School of Business, Cornell University and has been an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Master’s Program in Real Estate. Joel is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Economics.
Joel co-leads JDCA’s New York Chapter.
Marc Gary is the Executive Vice Chancellor Emeritus of the Jewish Theological Seminary, one of the preeminent institutions of Jewish higher education in North America. Before joining JTS in 2012, Marc had a distinguished career in the law, serving as Executive Vice President and general counsel of Fidelity Investments in Boston, one of the world's largest financial services companies, and BellSouth Corporation in Atlanta, a Fortune 100 telecommunications company.
Marc also served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. office of independent counsel in Washington, D.C. and as a partner and co-head of the litigation section of the international law firm of Mayer Brown and Platt. Marc is a member of the Board of Trustees and chair of the Ethics and Compliance Committee of the Neuberger Berman mutual funds and is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the USCJ Supporting Foundation. He also serves on the board of directors of the lawyers committee for civil rights under law and the UJA Federation of Greater New York as well as on the board of counselors of Equal Justice Works. He is a member of the American law Institute.
Among other awards, Marc is the recipient of the first Chief Justice Margaret Marshall award from the American Constitution Society for Law and Justice, the Judge Laurie B. Zelon Award from the Pro Bono Institute, and a special Commendation from the Supreme Court of Georgia in recognition of his outstanding service to the administration of justice.
Marc graduated from Northwestern University with highest distinction (‘summa cum laude”) and from the Georgetown University Law Center where he was a member of the editorial board of the law review. He also attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Daniel C. Kurtzer is the S. Daniel Abraham Professor of Middle East policy studies at Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs. Following a 29-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Kurtzer retired in 2005 with the rank of Career-Minister. From 2001-2005 he served as the United States Ambassador to Israel and from 1997-2001 as the United States Ambassador to Egypt. He served as a political officer at the American embassies in Cairo and Tel Aviv, Deputy Director of the Office of Egyptian Affairs, speechwriter on the Policy Planning Staff, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research.
Throughout his career, Kurtzer was instrumental in formulating and executing U.S. policy toward the Middle East peace process. Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Kurtzer to the Secretary's Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Governor Chris Christie appointed Kurtzer to serve on the New Jersey-Israel State Commission. Previously, Kurtzer served as an advisor to the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, and as a member of the Advisory Council of the American Bar Association's Middle East Rule of Law Initiative. In 2007, he was named the first Commissioner of the professional Israel Baseball League.
Kurtzer is the co-author of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: American Leadership in the Middle East; co-author of The Peace Puzzle: America’s Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989-2011; and editor of Pathways to Peace: America and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. He has authored numerous scholarly articles and op-eds on foreign policy issues. Kurtzer received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University.
Matt Ratner is a film producer and director. Ratner has produced ten films under the Tilted Windmill banner, and all have premiered to critical acclaim at top-tier film festivals such as SXSW and Sundance, winning multiple awards. STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN, his directorial debut, starring Billy Crystal and Ben Schwartz, premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. He received the award for Best Directorial Debut - U.S. at the Heartland International Film Festival, where the film also received the “Humor and Humanity” award. Additionally, Ratner received the Best First Feature award at the Naples International Film Festival, and the film received the Audience Award at Washington West Film Festival and the Best Screenplay Award at the Napa Valley Film Festival among others. Most recently he produced the indie comedy WE BROKE UP, starring Aya Cash and William Jackson Harper, which premiered exclusively on Hulu.
Matt founded Tilted Windmill Productions with the belief that commercially viable and artistically fulfilling filmmaking need not be mutually exclusive. After graduating from Northwestern University, Matt spent several years working in politics and government, including as the Director of Jewish Outreach for the Ohio Democratic Party during the 2008 Presidential election, and at the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.
Ratner has a variety of philanthropic and civic pursuits and is heavily involved in wildlife and habitat conservation in Africa, serving on the board of Conservancy Guardians USA. He also serves on the Next Generation Leadership Council for the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
As a community leader, Cindy serves on the board of the Allegheny County Airport Authority. She is a past chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh board and past vice-chair of the Jewish Federations of North America board. She also has chaired the Advisory Board of the Pennsylvania Center for Women In Politics at Chatham University and served on the boards of the Pittsburgh Promise, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and WQED Pittsburgh.
Cindy was the founder and chairwoman of the Southwestern PA United Way’s 21 & Able Initiative to address the needs of youth with varying abilities aging out of special education and to promote a right and entrée to work agenda. She was Honorary Chair of Allegheny County 365, a project to dramatically increase inclusion and access for individuals of varying abilities in Allegheny County.
She served as a vice-chair of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's transition team and worked on the Governor's Advisory Board on Education and Workforce Development. She was appointed by Governor Tom Corbett to the Pennsylvania Commission on Women. She was an Elector in the 2012 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Electoral College and on the 2014 Federal Judiciary Selection Panel for the Western Pennsylvania District.
Cindy was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania in 2017, City & State’s 2022 Pennsylvania Fifty Over 50, and City & State’s 2022 Higher Education Power 100. Cindy has completed the requirements for the Ed.D. in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania (Graduate School of Education) and officially receives her degree in August, 2022. She holds an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Wellesley College.
She was a management consultant for over twenty years in the education and non-profit sectors with KPMG and then executive vice president of Pappas Consulting Group, Inc. Representative clients included two state public higher education systems, Loyola University (Chicago), Sonoma State University, SUNY Maritime, Grinnell College, Western Carolina University, Northern Michigan University, University of Kansas, St. Paul’s School, UNICEF USA, National Council of Churches, and Hadassah, WZOA.
Debra Stein is a former New York and Los Angeles based entertainment industry executive, where she held several positions, including Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for LIVE Entertainment. While at LIVE Entertainment, Debra was responsible for the international and home entertainment releases of company financed films with Miramax and for The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day boxed set. Prior to joining LIVE, Debra served as Vice President of Worldwide Communications for M.C.E.G./Virgin; served as Vice President of Publicity for Michael Douglas’ Stone Group Pictures and formed the boutique agency, Stein and Villines. Debra later served as Vice President of Special Projects for Warner Bros. based Morgan Creek Entertainment. After graduating from Hampshire College, Debra became a publicist in New York for ABC, where she worked in their radio division. Debra then joined Arista Record’s publicity department where she worked with label artists Whitney Houston and The Grateful Dead. Debra now resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is a member of the Copper State Leadership Council for the Arizona Democratic Party, the Circle of Friends of the Maricopa County Democratic Party, served as co-chair for Arizona Jewish Women 4 Joe and leads the JDCA’s Arizona Chapter.
Susan D. Wagner holds a J.D. from New York University Law School ('81) and an MA in Judaic Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary ('12). She is a graduate of Barnard College ('78) and the Hillel School of Lawrence New York (’74), an early pioneer in modern Jewish education. Susan began her career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York, then becoming Assistant Commissioner for Legal Matters for the New York Police Department. From there, Susan was appointed the first Director of the Mayor's Office of Housing Coordination, by then Mayor, Edward Koch. She was an integral part of the team that developed and implemented a nationally recognized, affordable housing program. Following her City work, Susan held a number of positions in the private sector which combined her government, legal and political skills before returning to government, serving as the Deputy Comptroller of Nassau County for six years when the Democrats were in office.
Involvement in Jewish causes has been a hallmark of Susan’s life. Susan continues to study Judaism on an academic level at the Hadar Institute, Drisha, Shalom Hartman Institute and various synagogue programs. She served as Chair of the Ritual and LifeLong Learning Committees at Temple Israel of Great Neck, an egalitarian Conservative synagogue; she is an active member of UJA-Federation New York serving on various committees (presently the Global Safety Committee) and chaired a number of fundraising enterprises. She is on the Executive Board of the recently formed New York Jewish Agenda (NYJA) and is on the Advisory Board of IsraAid. Susan is a co-founder of Markers for Democracy, an active grassroots organization dedicated to electing Democrats up and down the ballot www.markersfordemocracy.org. Susan also co-founded Jews Defending American Values (JDAV), a SuperPAC focused on persuading Jews who vote in Florida to elect Democrats, which partnered with JDCA in the 2020 election.
Susan is married to Alan Klinger, co-managing partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. Alan sits on various boards, including the Anti-Defamation League; United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and is a member of Lawyers for Civil Rights. Their two sons are both attorneys and their daughter hold an MA in public administration with a specialty in not-for-profits.