Temple Beth Am 2012-13 Executive Committee
President: Ron Alberts
Executive Vice President: Mike Cohn
Budget & Finance: Laura Landesman Mandel
Education: Dina Hellerstein
House & Grounds: Bradley Temkin
Membership: Linda Salem
Personnel: David Cohen
Programming: Lisa Feldman
Resource Development: Robert Braun
Ritual: Stuart Tochner
Youth: Susan Hetsroni
At Large: Alan Spiwak
Recording Secretary: Janet Metson Urman
Ron moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco in 1981 to begin his law career. He is a partner with the national law firm of Gordon & Rees, LLP and specializes in business litigation focused on life, health and disability benefit disputes. Ron graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Political Science and obtained his JD from UC Davis.
He and his wife Vivian, a past President of Temple Beth Am, have been Temple Beth Am members for 20 years. Their children, Talia and Ariela, attended Temple Beth Am’s acclaimed Pressman Academy from pre-school through middle school. Talia graduated from Northwestern University and Ariela is attending UC Berkeley. Prior to serving as Executive Vice President, Ron chaired the Israel Committee and last served as Vice President of Personnel. In his spare time Ron loves to travel, try new restaurants and see lots of movies. Ron is proud to serve on Temple Beth Am’s Board of Trustees and give back to this engaged and active community that has been such an integral part of his family’s life.
Executive Vice President
Mike originally is from Minneapolis and moved to San Diego at a young age. While growing up in San Diego he was very active in U.S.Y. serving as the first two-term President of Far West Region. Mike went onto become International U.S.Y Membership Vice President. He comes from a long history of U.S.Y involvement starting with his mother who served as secretary of the first U.S.Y chapter.
Mike has been in Los Angeles since his undergraduate days at UCLA. He also received his graduate degree at UCLA from the School of Public Policy. Mike works in the university's administration as the Assistant Director of the Center for Student Programming and Program Director of the Bruin Leaders Project where students can develop their leadership skills as an extra-curricular experience or for academic credit. The Cohn Family are committed Bruins!
Mike and his wife Sherri have been members of Temple Beth Am for eight years. They enjoy the warmth of the TBA Community and the overall deep commitment to Judaism of the shul. They have two children that both attend the Pressman Academy. Rebecca is going into 5th grade and Joshua is going into 2nd grade. They have found their "home away from home" at Temple Beth Am.
Laura Landesman Mandel
Budget & Finance
House & Grounds
Linda and her husband Lee joined Temple Beth Am in 1996, when it came time to send their daughter to pre-school. Stephanie went all the way through Pressman Academy’s ECC and Day School and is now a college sophomore; their son Scott entered the ECC several years later and is now a 7th grader in the middle school.
Linda started her volunteer career at TBA as a Pressman Academy class parent and gift wrap fundraising chair. She subsequently became a member of TBA's Board of Directors and Executive Board and Pressman Academy’s Education Cabinet, and from 2008-2010 held the position of VP of Education. Linda is currently the Membership VP and is honored to serve with the other dedicated, enthusiastic and hard-working members of the Membership Committee.
After spending many years in private practice as a litigation attorney, Linda now provides training and development to other lawyers and staff at Reed Smith LLP, a global law firm, as the Executive Director of its in-house Reed Smith University. Linda received her B.A. in government from Pomona College and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.
Over fourteen years ago Lisa Feldman and her husband Brian Greene moved to the area so that they could be members of Temple Beth Am. Lisa has served on the Pressman Academy Middle School Committee, the Clergy Visioning Committee, the Search Committee for the Third Clergy, the Ritual Committee and currently, in addition to her responsibilities as Program VP, Lisa is the chair of the B’nai Mitzvah Task Force Committee.
Since 1985 Lisa has been at Weizmann Day School, the only Jewish day school in the San Gabriel Valley, where she has served as head of school for the past nine years. Lisa began her career in Jewish education more than 30 years ago and among her various educational positions, Lisa is a former director of the Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy Religious School. Lisa’s accomplishments in Jewish education were recognized in 2011 when she was awarded the Milken Foundation Jewish Educator Award. A former regional president of USY, Lisa was raised in a family with strong ties to synagogue life. Both of her parents were in leadership positions at shul and in the greater Jewish community.
Married for twenty four years to Brian Greene, Executive Director of the Westside Jewish Community Center, Lisa and Brian are the proud parents of three Pressman Academy Day School graduates: Sam, currently a junior at Pitzer College in Claremont, Noah a sophomore at Emory in Atlanta, and Yoni a freshman at Milken Community High School.
Bob and Sandra Braun began attending the Library Minyan in 1982 and joined Temple Beth Am in 1984. Bob has been active in the Library Minyan for many years, serving as “Minyan Master” and Chair of the Ritual Committee. Bob also has served on the Temple Beth Am Board of Trustees, as a member of the Temple Beth Am Ritual Committee and in other capacities for the Synagogue. Sandra and Bob were honored in 2008 by Pressman Academy and remain active in school affairs. In addition to his commitment to Temple Beth Am, Bob is a member of the Legal Division of the Jewish Federation and AIPAC, active in the Masorti Foundation and Schechter Institute, and with various charitable and community functions.
Bob and Sandra’s two children, Benjamin (24) and Jonah (21), both graduated from Pressman Academy. Neither lives in Los Angeles, but they both cherish their relationship to Temple Beth Am and will often return to the Library Minyan.
Bob is a corporate transactional partner with the law firm of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro, LLP, where he specializes in information technology and security, and is a senior member of the Firm’s Global Hospitality Group. He received his A.B. in English from UC Berkeley, and his law degree from UCLA School of Law. When not davening, practicing law, attending meetings, or spending time with Sandra, Bob reads, rides bicycle and occasionally competes in road races and triathlons.
Janet Metson Urman
Janet's involvement at TBA began in 1994 when her oldest child, Mikaela, started at the Pressman Academy preschool. Her first task was to co-chair the Pesach Family Workshop, followed by many years on the Board of Trustees, Executive Board, and the Personnel Committee. Currently she is honored to co-chair the Building Committee and serve as TBA's Recording Secretary.
At Pressman Academy, among her duties, Janet co-chaired the ECC PTA, chaired the Day School Council, and served on the Education Cabinet for many years. Finally, she held the position of VP of Education for three years. During those years, she was fortunate to be selected as a Wexner Heritage Fellow and is grateful for her experiences in the program.
Janet met her husband, Harold, in the library at UCLA where they both studied as undergraduates. They married in 1980, and have two children who are graduates of Pressman Academy Day School, Mikaela (17) and Zachary (14). In her free time, Janet is a practicing architect with a focus on residential design.