Ron Klein, Chair
Ron played a significant role in the drafting and passage of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010. He proposed and persuaded lawmakers to include sections in the law that provide significant enforcement authority to the United States government against businesses that violate the law, but do business directly or indirectly in the United States.
As the vice chair of the Mideast Subcommittee, he had numerous meetings and opportunities to travel and engage with government and business leaders in Israel. As co-chair of Holland & Knight’s Israel Business Initiative, he is working with firm attorneys, clients and others in identifying and facilitating investment and business collaboration opportunities between Israel and the United States.
Barbara Goldberg Goldman, Vice Chair
Barbara is the founder of the nationally recognized Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County and has served as its Chair and now Co-chair since its inception in 1991. Barbara served on the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County for thirteen years and was its chair for five of those years. During the Carter administration, she served at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Community Planning and Development, where she worked with Congress on housing and economic development policy and programmatic legislative programs and initiatives.
Barbara, who holds a Master of Arts degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Maryland, also has served on many affordable housing and related panels and forums throughout the United States.
She served as Co-Chair on Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett’s transition team’s Affordable Housing Task Force, and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s transition team’s Workforce Housing Task Force. She also co-chaired The Affordable Housing Task Force of Montgomery County, and served on the Housing and Economic Development Subcommittee on Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s Commission on Housing Policy. Barbara co-chaired Barack Obama’s Jewish Community Leadership Committee in 2008 and again in 2012.
A graduate of Leadership Montgomery, Barbara is the recipient of a number of awards including Montgomery County’s 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award. She currently serves on the Strathmore Hall Foundation Board, Save A Child’s Heart Board, and American Jewish Committee Washington, DC Board. Past affiliations include Montgomery County’s Community Development Block Grant Advisory Board, Montgomery County’s Charter Review Commission, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Maccabi USA, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, and the Jewish Social Service Agency of Maryland, Washington and Virginia.
Beth Kieffer Leonard, Treasurer
An accountant by profession, Beth Kieffer Leonard is managing partner of Lurie LLP, one of the top 100 accounting firms in the United States. She was president of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation from 2006-2008, where she served as treasurer as well as Business and Professional Campaign chair in 2014. She received the Tychman Family Young Leadership Award and participated in the first Harry Kay Leadership program, an intensive leadership development program modeled after the Wexner program.
She received the Presidents’ Award from the Women Presidents Organization and the Advocacy Award from the Women’s Business Development Center. Beth has been on The Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors since 2008.
David Adler, Secretary
Since joining Adler Group in 1997, David, a licensed general contractor, has been involved in all development and construction projects. Currently, he is working on high-rise multifamily commercial and retail projects, primarily in the South East.
David lives in Miami with his two children Samson and Mason. He is committed to community service and education initiatives, David is a dedicated member of the Young Founders Club at Mount Sinai Medical Center, a past member of the Florida International University Foundation Board of Directors, and is the past Treasurer of the Jewish Museum of Florida. Additionally, he is actively involved with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center.
Israel “Izzy” Klein, Political Chair
A veteran of both sides of the US Capitol, Izzy worked as the top communications aide for Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and then-Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). Prior to co-founding the Klein/Johnson Group, Izzy spent nearly a decade first as a senior principal at a large public affairs firm, and then as managing partner at a boutique lobbying firm.
Izzy works closely with Senate and House Democrats across a dozen top committees and in the leadership on policy, political, and communications priorities. He also has deep relationships with several regulatory agencies, think tanks and other third party groups, in addition to DC and national media outlets.
For Schumer, Izzy led communications efforts on a broad portfolio of issues after relating to New York, the Senate Finance, Banking, and Judiciary Committees. He also served as Schumer’s deputy staff director at the Joint Economic Committee during the 2008 economic meltdown, where he helped the Committee tackle crucial economic policy issues relating to the housing and credit crisis, foreign direct investment in the US, and energy independence.
Izzy held several senior staff roles for Senator Ed Markey, including Press Secretary and led then-Congressman Markey’s homeland security efforts post-September 11.
A native of West Orange, New Jersey, Izzy holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. He is a board member of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, the Junior State of America Foundation and is a mentor with 1776.
Izzy lives with his wife, Sarah, their twins, and a very large fluffy dog in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Ada Horwich, Finance Chair
Ada is active in numerous community organizations including the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. She also sits on the board of the Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at UCLA.
Ada and her husband, Jim, chaired the Jewish Federation General Campaign in 2006 and 2007. She was the president of the Women’s Alliance for Israel PAC and she chaired the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Southern California where she currently serves on the national board of directors.
Diane (Dede) Feinberg, Governance Chair
A member of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Board of Governors, she serves as deputy chair of the Unity of Jewish People Committee. She is also the former vice chair of the United Israel Appeal.
Dede was the chair of the missions committee for JFNA, the National Women’s Philanthropy International Lion of Judah conference, and NWP’s major gifts committee. Dede and her husband, Kenneth, were North American co-chairs of the 2009 Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Washington, DC.
Dede was a trader on Wall Street for five years specializing in high technology stocks. For the past several decades, her strong leadership and organization skills coupled with her devotion and commitment to Jewish values have been benefiting local, national and international Jewish organizations as well as strengthening the U.S.- Israel relationship.
Among the honors she has received are the National Women’s Philanthropy Kipnis Wilson/Friedland Award; National Capital Philanthropy Day Exceptional Volunteer Fundraiser; Whitney North Seymour Award of Outstanding Public Service; UJA of Greater Washington Campaigner of the Year and the Montgomery County Department of Family Resources Can Do Award.
Marc R. Stanley, Member at Large
A trial lawyer, political activist, Jewish community leader, and philanthropist from Dallas, Texas, Marc R. Stanley has 34 years of experience as a leading trial lawyer and 40 years of experience in government and public service, including his appointment as chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority by Texas Gov. Ann Richards. Secretary of Defense William Cohen appointed Marc to the Board of Visitors of the Air University of the United States Air Force. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Marc to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. Marc chaired the National Jewish Democratic Council from 2008 – 2014 and The Legacy Senior Living Communities (Jewish senior living in Dallas) from 2015 – 2018. He has also served in leadership positions on many national Jewish organizations and current sits on the board of the Israel Policy Forum.
Susie Stern, Member at Large
Susan K. Stern is a community activist and political advocate in New York and nationally. She was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Her work focused on Human Trafficking. For her work on human trafficking, she was selected as one of New York New Abolitionists.
She is a Commissioner and Immediate Past Chair of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service. She serves on the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
Michael has been heavily involved in a multitude of charities and nonprofits. He is a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations representing the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, and sits on the board of directors at both the American Friends of Tel Aviv University and Mount Sinai.
In addition to being a loving husband, father and grandfather, he is also a proud Miami Hurricane, and has been since graduating from the University of Miami in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Carol Becker is the owner of William Greenberg Desserts, a famous kosher bakery in New York’s Upper East Side. Carol previously served as Vice President of Marketing at Shaw Ross International Importers in the importing division of Southern Wines & Spirits from 1996 until 2008 when she became owner of William Greenberg Desserts.
Carol is active in multiple Jewish organizations. She currently serves as Perspectives Chair for the UJA-Federation of New York. She is also a member of the New Leadership Network of AIPAC and on the Boards of New Jewish Home and JCC Krakow. Carol is also involved in multiple other organizations such as the Washington Institute, the Harmonie Club, and the Quogue Club.
Carol received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from Syracuse University, where her one of her two daughters goes to school. Carol lives in New York City.
In addition, he has prosecuted several important environmental, mass tort and civil rights cases during this period. He has led the firm’s practice involving improprieties in the marketing of prescription drugs and the abuse of marketing exclusivities in the pharmaceutical industry including handling several landmark cases involving the suppression of generic competition in the pharmaceutical industry. For this work, the Law 360 publication recognized him as a “titan” of the plaintiffs’ bar.
A life member of the board of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, Michael served three terms as its president, two terms as co-campaign chair, and one term as president of its endowment fund. Michael was a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council from 1995 to 2004, having been appointed to that position by President Bill Clinton.
Michael sits on the boards of several organizations, including the International Board of Governors of Hillel; the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; and Moment magazine. He is co-owner of Mid- Atlantic Media, which publishes the Washington Jewish Week and the Baltimore Jewish Times, and serves on the board of the holding company for Congressional Bank. Michael was the founding partner of Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman, an accounting firm in Bethesda, Maryland.
Michael and his wife reside in Chevy Chase, Maryland. They have three children and a grandson.
He currently is vice chairman of the D.C. Jazz Festival. He was one of two founders of the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the national association of climate professionals, and is a fellow of The American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel.
Peter and his partner, Lisa Hook, reside in Washington, D.C., Miami and San Francisco.
Prior to BGSA, Benjamin founded 3PLex, the Internet solution enabling third-party logistics companies to automate their business. Prior to 3PLex, Benjamin advised transportation and logistics clients at Mercer Management Consulting.
Benjamin is an active civic leader who is committed to giving back to the community. As founder and chairman of GesherCity, he boosted young adult volunteerism, expanding the organization to over 100,000 members in twenty locations. Benjamin has also served on the boards of several nonprofit groups, including the Palm Beach United Way, the Palm Beach Federation, the Palm Beach Young Presidents’ Organization, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Jewish Community Center Association and the Middle East Forum.
Steven Grossman is a former treasurer and receiver-general of Massachusetts and candidate for governor of Massachusetts. Steve previously served as chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party from 1991 to 1992, president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) from 1992 to 1996 and chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1997 to 1999. In the spring of 2015, Steve became the CEO of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a Boston-based nonprofit focused on strengthening inner city economies that was founded by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter.
Prior to his involvement in politics, Steve worked at Goldman Sachs. In 1975 he left Goldman Sachs to work in his family paper supplier business, the Massachusetts Envelope Company, now known as the Grossman Marketing Group.
In 2012, Asset International magazine name Steve one of the 100 most influential institutional investors worldwide.
Elaine Hamilton is executive vice president and officer of numerous high-tech and biotech companies in Silicon Valley including Geron, NetApp and Marvell Semiconductor, and currently sits on the advisory boards of two startup companies. She is vice president and chief operating officer of Hamilton Financial, which she owns along with her husband, Michael. Her community service includes sitting on the board of the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, NOVA Workforce Investment and The Silicon Valley Starting Arts group. She also is on the board of directors for the Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley.
She has been recognized as a Federation Lion of Judah and a Friend of the Rabin Center in Israel. Elaine has a bachelor’s degree in education and psychology from the University of Iowa and master’s degree in organization development from University of San Francisco.
Michael excels at assessing vacant property potentials and handling asset acquisition and the disposition of developed and undeveloped real estate. Michael scrutinizes the risk and use of capital involved in the evaluation of investment opportunities. He has built over 10,000 residential homes, developed over 11,500 residential lots, and has been involved in the construction and/or ownership of over 1,200,000 square feet of commercial property.
Karen Spar Kasner
Karen and her husband served as chair of the Parents’ Fund at the University of Pennsylvania from 2004-2010. She was also former President of the JCC of Mid-Westchester. Karen has been honored and received several awards including from UJA-Federation of New York, Jewish Board for the Centennial of Hawthorne Cedar Knolls, WJC and the JCC of Mid-Westchester. She is married to Jay, has two sons, a grandson & a granddog.
In her tenure as vice president of strategic planning, she helped to further diversify the company by successfully procuring cellular telecommunication contracts and handling a portfolio of stock investments. In 1990, Marcia founded Jose Eber Inc., a small national hair care company, and while serving as CEO, she created a cross-disciplinary program, “the Campaign for Love Without Violence,” to educate and encourage self-esteem among victims of domestic violence.
She later became involved in then planned giving and endowments committee, the caring commission and caring cabinet, the board of directors and the executive committee. Marcia is currently a member of the finance committee, the Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal’s Israel Task Force, the campaign steering committee, and the priorities cabinet. She co-chaired the general campaign from 2011 to 2013.
A seasoned practitioner of American foreign policy and politics, Joel has nearly 20 years of federal experience in government, advocacy and both chambers of Congress.
From 2008 to 2014, Joel was a leading advocate on national security and foreign policy issues at Ploughshares Fund and J Street, where he promoted American diplomacy to resolve the Iran nuclear crisis, to restrain nuclear proliferation, and to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Joel served as a senior aide in the U.S. Senate from 2006 to 2008, joining Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) as a Brookings Institution legislative fellow and later joining Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) as national security adviser. In 2008, Joel won the “Congressional Staffer of the Year” award from the Military Officers Association of America.
Earlier, from 1999 to 2005, Joel was a career official at the State Department, Energy Department, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He won numerous awards, including the State Department’s Superior Honor award. During this time, he ran programs to promote solar energy deployment, economic reform in the Middle East, and support for the war on terrorism. He began his federal career as a Presidential Management Fellow. He also served in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica as an environmental education volunteer.
A fixture in the national media on foreign policy, including frequent television appearances on MSNBC, CBS, Fox, BBC and CNN, Joel also writes for HuffPost, has published opinion pieces in Politico, Foreign Policy and The Hill, and has been quoted by the Associated Press, Daily Beast and Washington Post.
Joel holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brandeis University and a master’s degree in public policy and management with a minor in business administration from Carnegie Mellon University. He lives with his wife, Nilmini, three daughters and his mother-in-law in Chevy Chase.
Jim has served on a number of nonprofit boards including as president of Temple Israel in Boston; president of the Jewish Community Relations Council-Boston; board member of the American Jewish Committee (Boston) since 1990; chairman of the advisory committee to WBUR; board member of Cambridge College; and a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Married to Mimi Wishner Segel, he has four children. Jim graduated cum laude in government in 1967 from Harvard College; received his MPA from the Kennedy School at Harvard in 1976; and his JD from Boston College Law School in 1972.
He serves on the board of the Israel Policy Forum. He also served on the board of the Council on Foundations, where he chaired the Committee on Ethics and Practice and sat on its executive committee. He is a founding trustee of the World Faiths Development Dialogue and has received a number of honors from professional associations and universities.
Jeffrey, who holds a Ph.D., previously served as the senior vice president and chief operating officer of UJA-Federation of New York. Other past positions include executive roles at Altro Health & Rehabilitation Services in New York, Miami Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged and Jewish Family and Children’s Services in Miami. Jeffrey also served with the city, state and federal governments. The author of over 120 publications in both professional journals and outlets such as The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, he served as an adjunct associate professor in the masters and doctorate programs of New York University School of Social Work.
His book, The Art of Giving: Where the Soul Meets a Business Plan, co-authored with Charles Bronfman, was published by Wiley/Jossey-Bass in October 2009.
Diane Werner began her career in account management at Ogilvy & Mather and then went on to found WB&E Realty, a real estate management firm. She is the founding Chair of Mosaic of Westchester, an organization dedicated to making the Westchester Jewish community more LGBTQ inclusive.
Diane serves on the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. She is a past President of Westchester Hebrew High School and serves on the Board of the Westchester Jewish Council. She is currently Chair of the Committee for Diane serves on the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Shared Society in Israel for UJA-Federation of New York.
Diane received an MBA and MA in Journalism from Columbia University. She and her husband, Michael, have four sons and live in White Plains, New York.