Meet Our Team
Our talented team demonstrates skill navigating multicultural Jewish spaces and facilitating critical identity discussions.
Our talented team demonstrates skill navigating multicultural Jewish spaces and facilitating critical identity discussions.
Rachel Bernstein is a mortgage broker and a native of San Francisco. After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Rachel worked as a development associate for Brandeis Hillel Day School. She has been a loan consultant for the past 10 years specializing in first time and seasoned home buyers, as well as investment property purchase and refinance.
Rachel has two children, Kobi and Ella.
Andy Cheng grew up in the Bay Area but spent twenty years on the East Coast/Midwest. Shortly after joining Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, Andy converted to Judaism, became a Bar Mitzvah, and now serves on the Board of Directors. Professionally, Andy has spent nearly twenty years in marketing, sales, and general management roles within small businesses as well as subsidiaries of global organizations. He is currently part of Apple Inc.’s Worldwide Developer Relations team. Andy has also co-authored business case studies and been a business school guest lecturer. He has a B.A. from Boston College and an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University.
Denise Davis, MD is a University of California San Francisco Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Associate Director for Faculty Development at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Center for Excellence in Primary Care and a Fellow of the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare. Dr. Davis is an educator, mentor, speaker and consultant, coaching medical professionals to improve communication in healthcare. Denise received a 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award from the UCSF Academy of Medical Educators.
Denise is an involved member of her Conservative synagogue and has served Camp Bechol Lashon both as a co-director and as a Torah reader. Denise has extensive experience on the boards of Jewish nonprofit organizations. She lives in the Bay Area with her daughter, Aviva Ruth.
Steve Edwards is a partner with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in the Orange County office. He is a retired Partner of O’Melveny & Myers, where he was co-chair of the Project Development and Real Estate practice group. Steve has been active in virtually all aspects of the acquisition, sale, exchange, financing, ground leasing, leasing and development of improved and unimproved real estate for both individual and institutional clients.
He graduated from Lehigh University, New York University School of Law, and was a Root-Tilden Scholar.
Steve has been active on the Board of Directors of Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach, and is a past president. He has served on the boards of a variety of charitable organizations, including the Orange County Jewish Federation and The Rose Council. Steve and his wife Jill live in Laguna Beach. They have three adult children and three grandsons.
Jill Edwards is a retired registered physical therapist. During her 20+ years of practice, she developed and created multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs for patients with chronic pain.
Jill has been involved in non-profit organizations all of her adult life. She has served as Board Chair for The Friendship Shelter, The Wellness Community, and Women of Temple Bat Yahm, as well as serving on the boards of several other non-profit organizations. She has volunteered for Be’chol Lashon in fundraising efforts for the organization, with emphasis on the Abayudaya community of Uganda.
Jill and her husband Steve live in Laguna Beach. They have three adult children and three grandsons.
Judith Gigliotti is a fine art photographer, creating evocative portraits of nature. Her subjects include vivid fresh flowers, beach scenes around the world, dramatic cityscapes, and the sea. Through her lens these subjects tend to take on an epic quality, like something from a dream or a movie. Her painterly photography plays with light, color, composition, form, and scale to reveal more than just the natural world; her images seem to reveal something about all of us.
She also devotes significant energy to volunteering and fundraising, including her sister’s Camp Painted Turtle (a Hole in the Wall camp), Habitat for Humanity and Be’chol Lashon. She is active in supporting the Abayudaya Jewish community in Uganda, traveling there each year, helping to developing economic development projects and life-saving medical services.
Originally from Chicago, Judith studied at Boston University, California College of The Arts, and the Sorbonne. Judith gains her energy and inspiration from her seven children, ages 18 to 37, thirteen grandchildren, and Pat, her wonderful husband of 38 years.
Katherine Haynes-Sanstad was the Executive Director of Diversity for Northern California Kaiser Permanente. She has over 25 years of experience in marketing, communication, public health research, health care, philanthropy, and futures research. She served as a Director in the Institute for the Future’s health care practice, Planning and Operations Officer for the California Health Care Foundation’s Quality Initiative, and Director of the TIE Core for the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. She has also reviewed grants for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center, Tides Foundation, and Magic Johnson Foundation and served on the boards of Bay Area not-for-profits.
She has over thirty years of experience in marketing, communication, public health research, health care, philanthropy, and futures work. Recently, Katherine served as Executive Director of Equitable Care for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, using human-centered design to transform care.
A Jew by choice, Sanstad, served as president of Congregation Beth El, a 500-family synagogue in Berkeley, her spiritual home since 2001. Sanstad served as the congregation’s vice president, chaired the religious school committee and led the search to hire Rabbi Yoel Kahn.
Nzinga Koné-Miller is a Senior Vice President at M+R, a strategic consulting firm that helps nonprofits build movements, raise money, and create political change. A team and account lead, project manager, and strategist, Nzinga has over a decade of experience helping nonprofits use digital technology to mobilize their supporters. Formerly a member of the trailblazing nonprofit consulting and technology firm Carol/Trevelyan Strategy Group (CTSG), Nzinga has managed digital implementation and devised fundraising and advocacy strategy for a variety of organizations including Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, California Academy of Sciences, The Nation magazine, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Studio Art from Williams College.
Nzinga has been active with Be’chol Lashon for over 14 years. She is a member of Congregation Beth Sholom, in San Francisco. Nzinga and her husband Michael have two children.
Danielle Helene Meshorer is Manager of Venture Philanthropy and Giving Circles at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund in San Francisco (JCF). Danielle directs established and new venture philanthropy opportunities including the Jewish Women’s Fund, LGBTQ Jewish Pride Fund, Next Generation Giving Circle, impacting investing forum, as well as other collaborative giving opportunities. Prior to working for JCF, Danielle was the Be’chol Lashon International Director and director of the Abayudaya development project. Danielle started her long relationship with the Institute in June 2003 and is delighted that she has transitioned into an advisory role in order to continue to help Be’chol Lashon realize its goals and increase impact.
Danielle graduated summa cum laude in anthropology and psychology from the University of Vermont and received an M.A. in international and inter-cultural management from the School for International Training with a concentration on conflict transformation across cultures and sustainable development. During her graduate work, Danielle was working and living in Israel during the start of the Second Intifada, first working with the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies in Tel Aviv and then shifting to work full time at the Palestine-Israel Journal in Jerusalem. She also lived and worked in Cameroon teaching and working on economic development projects.
Danielle married Gregg Dessen in June 2007, and they are the proud parents of Zoe and Maya.
Orren Perlman, M.D. is a psychiatrist in private practice in San Francisco and Petaluma, CA. After completing his psychiatry residency at Harvard Medical School in 1994, he became an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF, teaching medical students and serving as the Unit Chief for the first LGBT focused psychiatric in-patient unit in the country at San Francisco General Hospital. In 2000 he focused his work exclusively in private practice, with an emphasis in attachment based psychotherapy, and integrative medication management.
He is also an award winning poet and memoirist, his work having been featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association and Jewish Currents magazine. He lives in the Bay Area, raising his Camp Be’chol Lashon alum and Guatemalan-born son, Edgar.
Karen Robbins is a social worker, organizational development and management consultant. She has worked in the non-profit sector since 1969 and served for 20 years with the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, including 7 years as the Executive Director.
Retired from her professional role, currently she is Volunteer Coordinator with Mill Valley Village, an organization that helps older adults maintain active and independent lives in their own communities.
As a volunteer, she has worked as a mediator with Marin County Juvenile Probation and has served on and led many organizational boards and committees, including terms as board chair of the Women’s Foundation of San Francisco, and chair of the Marin County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission.
She holds a B.S. degree in Social Work from Simmons College and an M.A. in Organizational Development, and is a certified mediator. She is a resident of Mill Valley, California.
Nancy was raised in a traditional Jewish community with a large extended family in Worcester, MA. Inspired by her rabbi growing up, Rabbi Alexander Schindler, to live Judaism through Tikkun Olam, Nancy is a lifelong student of Torah, and was the Education Director at Congregation Sherith Israel for 20 years until her retirement in June 2018. Nancy, a mother, stepmother and grandmother, is married to August Gomes, a Cape Verdean American, and together they raised Nasoan and Aumijo.
Nancy is currently enrolled in the Graduate School of Education at University of San Francisco (USF), Masters of Human Rights Education program. She also holds a BS in Economics from USF (’86) and also studied Sociology at Clark University (’63-’67) and Journalism at Boston University (’67-’68). A lifelong volunteer who gives back to her community, especially focusing on Food Insecurity, leads a soup kitchen, Hamotzi, that has feed 100 people every Sunday for the past 25 years.
Jen Traeger-Hirschfelder is a partner in United Skates of America, the world’s largest roller skating center company. With over 45 years of experience in roller skating and facility management, they provide affordable participatory family recreation to kids age 4-14 and their families. USA has 19 locations in 11 states. She is also a managing partner of the Traeger Family LP that owns and leases property to United Skates of America Inc., family entertainment centers, and commercial real estate properties.
She is involved in Sparks Igniting Young Minds and Bodies, which aims to stimulate young minds in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and physical fitness through hands-on activities that center around roller skating, including reconstructing a roller skate to learn engineering concepts or using math concepts taught in the classroom to understand how music played at the rink has a psychological effect on speed as well as the physical fitness benefits of skating.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin and received a master’s in accounting from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. She is married to Adam Hirschfelder and has two children.
Sarah Weinberg earned her Masters in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Her marriage and family therapy practice focuses on working with individuals, couples and families from a “family systems” therapeutic model, seeing each person within the construct of their larger social system. She specializes in adolescent identity development and multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religious blended families. She also consults in schools as a cultural competence counselor.
Sarah started her career as a Jewish educator. She spent her 20s developing and directing the Club 18 teen program at the JCCSF, providing a space for teens to explore and express their identities through a variety of social, educational and leadership activities.
Sarah was raised in San Francisco in a large, blended multicultural family and is raising her two sons in the same fashion.
Natasha comes from a family of Bene Israel Jews. Growing up in Toronto, she had an Ashkenazi Jewish day school and synagogue experience, along with a unique Indian Jewish homme and festival experience. She credits her parents and grandparents for instilling great pride in her heritage by sharing their personal stories and the remarkeable history of the Bene Israel community. Still, finding her place in the broader Jewish community was a journey. She and her husband were fortunate to find a warm and welcoming community in New Jersey, where she became active in synagogue life and a member of the Board of Trustees at her temple. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, she and her family were captivated by the wonderful clergy and warm community at Peninsula Temple Beth El, where she recently joined the Board of Trustees.
Natasha has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s in Human Resources. She brings global HR, Talent, and Organization Effectiveness experience in both established and entrepreneurial companies and is the Founder of ZEST People and Talent Advisors. She helps her clients connect strategy and people to scale organizations, enable teams, and grow leaders.
Natasha’s exploration of the evolving Jewish community continues as she blends her professional expertise and personal experiences to explore multiple facets that make up identity and the path to inclusion.