Jonathan Plaut practices law in Massachusetts and New York and has conducted over 100 jury trials, bench trials and arbitrations including as an Assistant District Attorney for Norfolk County, Massachusetts. Jonathan speaks Japanese and practiced law in Tokyo. Jonathan is a graduate of Tufts University and Boston College Law School. Jonathan plays acoustic guitar, bass guitar and viola and is the lead singer for the rock band, Jane's Great Dane (www.JanesGreatDane.com).
Ellen Smith is an Associate Professor and Director of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University, and an affiliated faculty member in Brandeis’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. Trained as both a professional historian and a museum curator, she has produced over three dozen books, articles, and museum exhibitions on American Jewish history and American Jewish women’s history; on Yiddish theater and Jewish new year postcards; on portraits of colonial American Jews; on historic immigrant synagogues; and three major exhibitions on Boston Jewish history. She is the co-author and editor, with Jonathan D. Sarna, of The Jews of Boston,and was the chief consultant to the Emmy award-winning WGBH (PBS) television show of the same name. Ellen sits on numerous national and local boards, is a past Curator of the American Jewish Historical Society, and a past president of the Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center. She has lovingly served with the Vilna Shul over 20 years as a board member, consultant, and educator. In 2015 was advisor to the Heller/Hornstein Team Consulting Project team that produced recommendations for the Vilna Shul’s expanded presence and impact that the Shul has since implemented. Ellen is also deeply involved in the hospice movement, and she and her husband are avid fly fishers and cold water conservationists. They live in Newton MA with the left-behind pets of their adult children and grandchildren (who now live in Canada and Paris.)
Elisa was born in Argentina and received her Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Buenos Aires. Shortly after graduation Elisa, was invited to join Chas. T. Main engineers in Boston where she specialized in Power generation and Transmission Systems worldwide. After four years with the firm, Elisa joint RMD Inc., a then three people electronic instrumentation start up where she held the title of Director of New Product Development. The Company grew to be 160 people by the time it was acquired and went public in 2006. Over the span of her high tech career, Elisa became an avid collector and expert of Decorative Arts and acquired a RE Portfolio which she still manages. Elisa lives in Boston and Cotuit (summer), has a daughter Victoria (and husband Michael) and a grandson Andrew in the Bay Area and a son Oliver in NY City. Following on her parents tradition, Elisa contributes to several organizations, mostly associated with Jewish causes in the USA and Israel.
Abby Fierman is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She has worked in the OB/GYN department at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) since 2006. Abby is also a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Prior to working at EBNHC she worked at Boston IVF in Quincy, MA. Abby was formerly a member of the Organizing Committee of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.
Abby received her Bachelor’s in Science from Bates college in Maine and her Bachelor’s and Master’s in nursing from Columbia University in New York City.
Abby is a native of the Boston area. She was raised in Newton, MA and now lives with her husband Mike and their two sons, Tyler and Jack, in the South End. Abby and her family are members of Temple Shalom in Newton where she also serves on the Parent Advisory committee.
Mr. Greenfield is a Partner at Court Square, which he joined in 2013. He has over thirty years of technology experience and has served in various senior executive capacities across the industry. Between 2007 and 2013, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avid. Prior to Avid, Mr. Greenfield was CEO of GXS from 2003 to 2007. During the same period, he also served as an Operating Partner with the technology-focused private equity firm Francisco Partners. Previously, Mr. Greenfield served as CEO of Peregrine Systems and as President and CEO of MERANT (formerly INTERSOLV).
He currently serves on the board of directors of ANCILE Solutions, Encompass, Research Now, Rocket Software, Diebold Nixdorf, Donnelly Financial Solutions and was formerly a director of AFS Technologies, Avid, Epocrates, GXS, and Vocus. Mr. Greenfield received a B.S. degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Master of Science Administration from George Washington University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Jim has run a successful high technology sales firm in the Boston area for many years while maintaining a strong interest in architecture, contemporary art and photography. A degreed Architect, Jim is currently a Sales Advisor for a Boston luxury Real Estate firm where he is able to use his design and business experience to guide clients in real estate decisions.
A believer in Jewish community, Jim sees the Vilna as important in creating a Jewish connection in Boston, as well as a physical jewel. He sees the Vilna historical building as a unique opportunity to connect future generations to a Jewish heritage. He has been an active member of many of our committees and successfully chaired a past Tribute Benefit Event. He and his wife moved to downtown Boston after raising their family in Andover and are founding members of the Vilna’s Downtown Social Club. Jim received his BA from Washington University in St. Louis and his Masters in Architecture from Syracuse University.
Gloria Lieberman is one of the world’s renowned experts on antique jewelry. She founded Skinner’s Fine Jewelry Department in 1980 and served as director for 31 years. Her skillful marketing and management of the department resulted in the achievement of international world record prices for estate and heirloom jewelry, gaining valuable recognition for Skinner. Gloria is also a leading auctioneer and appraiser at Skinner and responsible for a wide range of marketing activities throughout the country.
A frequent lecturer, Gloria has participated in many educational seminars including the University of Maine’s Antique Jewelry Seminar and New York University’s Jewelry Appraisers Conference in Tucson, Arizona, and has been invited to speak on behalf of the Society of Jewelry Historians at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. In addition, she has discussed artist-designed jewelry before the New York University Jewelry Studies Program and the New York State Appraisers Association. Locally, Gloria has lectured for the Boston Center for Adult Education, the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, Harvard University’s Extension Program, Brandeis University, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Rhode Island School of Design’s (RISD) Decorative Arts program. Gloria also regularly serves on the vetting committee for the Palm Beach Antiques Show.
Her television appearances include the BBC’s The Great Antiques Hunt, the PBS series Antiques Roadshow, and the Boston-based series “Chronicle”. Gloria has interviewed with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Yankee Magazine, Maine Antique Digest, and other art and antique publications.
Marcia has served as Vice President of the Leifer Family fund since its founding in 2014.
She is active with several Jewish organizations in Boston. She is involved at CJP serving on the Boston Haifa Committee and involved with the Miriam Fund and Women’s Philanthropy. She served as the chair of the Creative Arts and Sciences Committee at Solomon Schechter Day School and is a volunteer for their development team. She is currently an Ambassador for Israeli Stage, on the AIPAC Greater Boston Council and she also served on the Board of Jewish Brother Big Sisters of Greater Boston. Marcia has traveled extensively to visit JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) operations in Israel and around the world.
Marcia and her husband Alan are the parents of four grown children and one grandson. Marcia is a native of Central Florida and a graduate of the University of Georgia.
Sari Anne Rapkin’s career in public accounting and non-profit involvement in Greater Boston spanned over 35 years. Recently retired, Sari served as an Assurance Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in their Private Company Services practice. Her clients included privately-held and private equity backed companies in the retail, distribution, manufacturing and services industries, as well as several prominent not-for-profit institutions in Greater Boston.
Sari currently serves on the boards of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston, Jewish Arts Collaborative, Jewish Big Brother Big Sister, Jewish Family Service of Metrowest, Jewish Federations of North America, and Mayyim Hayyim. Sari serves on the Heller School for Social Policy and Management Board of Overseers at Brandeis. Sari is also actively involved in Our Generation Speaks.
Sari was the 2011-2013 Chairperson of the Board of Directors at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). As one of three co-chairs of the Strategic Planning Committee, she played an instrumental role in the creation of CJP’s Strategic Plan. She also served as the chair of the Organizational Development Committee. As Treasurer, she served as the chair of the Budget & Finance Committee for four years. Sari also co-chaired the 2006 – 2008 class of CJP's Acharai Leadership Development program.
Sari is originally from Rochester, New York, and is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. She resides in Needham and is a member of Temple Beth Avodah in Newton.
David is a co-founder of the Vilna's Havurah on the Hill, Young Professional Monthly lay-lead Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat and catered dinner with a different speaker each month. He is a Faculty member at Emerson College in the department of Communication Studies is the Founder and CEO of the Boston tech PR firm, BIGfish PR, an award-winning tech PR agency headquartered on Newbury Street, which represents publicly traded companies, sovereign nations, professional athletes and white-hot start-ups, including Amazon's Ring video door bell, MIT Technology Review and the nation of Iceland. In addition to running BIGfish, he is a limited partner at GreatPoint Ventures, a lecturer at Harvard University, a mentor at TechStars and a curator for Summit Series in Boston.His Twitter handle is @DavidGRichard and his professional profile can be found on LinkedIn.
Stephanie Saunders, a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, is a visual artist and owner of Stephanie Saunders Art Gallery. The gallery is located at 164 Newbury Street, Boston’s iconic shopping street and exclusively sells her own paintings.
Rabbi Seicol currently serves as the Interfaith Chaplain at Massachusetts Eye & Ear and per-diem on-call Chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is recently retired from a small part-time congregation – Temple Israel of Dover – on weekends in Dover, NH. Prior to this Rabbi Seicol served as an Intentional Interim Rabbi working with congregations in transition and spent 2½ years as Rabbinic Advisor and then Interim Director of MIT Hillel . For the majority of his professional career, Rabbi Seicol provided Geriatric Chaplaincy services for 21 years to facilities in Phoenix and Boston.
During his time in Geriatric Chaplaincy, Rabbi was a founding member and Chair of the Forum on Religion Spirituality and Aging in the American Society on Aging, a founding member of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains, a frequent speaker on the local and national level, and the author of many articles on spiritual issues in aging.
Rabbi Seicol was a lecturer on such topics as: the role of memorial services in senior living settings and hospitals, spiritual care and support for persons with Alzheimer’s and their families, understanding the spiritual dimensions of life transitions and communal systems, the history and development of American Jewish humor, and storytelling as a way of understanding Jewish theology.
Cynthia B. Shulman, a life-long volunteer, was the first woman to serve as Board Chair of Hebrew Senior Life. She has previously served as Vice-Chair of the Board and President of the Woman’s Auxiliary. At Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), she served as Chair of the Board, Campaign Chair, and President of the Women’s Auxiliary. She is now serving on this Women’s Philanthropies Board. A long-time member of Temple Emanuel Newton, Cynthia was the President of the Sisterhood and President of the New England Branch of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. She served on the Board of Brandeis University (1088-1998), was President of the National Women’s Committee, and is currently a Brandeis Fellow.Cynthia is a board member of the Rashi School and on this advisory council of the Vilna Shul.
Rabbi David Starr, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Tzion, a Program for Israel Literacy, and a Research Associate of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, Brandeis University. He previously served as Scholar in Residence for Israel Education & Programs at Gann Academy, the pluralistic Jewish high school in greater Boston. He was the founding Dean of Me'ah and Vice President at Hebrew College, and teaches on the faculty of the Wexner Heritage Program. He lectures on topics related to history and religion. David is currently writing a biography of Solomon Schechter and a study of Me'ah and its impact on adults and community. He holds a doctorate in history and Jewish studies from Columbia and rabbinic ordination from JTS.
Larry received his medical degree from Yale, and following post-graduate training in kidney diseases and transplantation at Yale and Harvard, pursued a career in academic medicine for many years, including time on the faculty at the University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard. His focus was basic and translational research in autoimmunity and transplantation. Until recently, Larry was co-director of the Center for Transplantation Sciences at MGH, and the Harold and Ellen Danser Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He recently reduced his activites at MGH to part-time and assumed the position of Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Early Development for a new biotech company of which he is also a Founder, Rheos Medicines, that will be developing new treatments for autoimmune diseases and cancer. Despite having lived in Boston for many years, Larry is a lifelong ardent New York Yankees fan, dating back to age 7 when his father took him to Yankee Stadium, and he saw Mickey Mantle hit a home run. He and his wife Barbara have been married for 33 years, and spend as much free time as possible sailing, hiking and seeing the world.