Steven Amerikaner


My wife Phyllis and I have been members of CBB since we moved to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles in 1982.  Our son David celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at CBB in 1992; our daughter Kate celebrated her Bat Mitzvah at CBB in 1995.  Kate is a member of the CBB Adult Choir, and for a number of years Phyllis worked with Aaron Ettenberg on the scripts for the annual CBB Purimspiel.

I am a partner at the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a national boutique law firm with 240 lawyers that specializes in natural resources, intellectual property, and government relations.  My work concentrates on representing property owners, builders and developers in securing land use approvals from local and state government, including the California Coastal Commission.  My professional career began in 1973, after my admission to the California Bar.  For eight years between 1982 and 1990, I served as Santa Barbara City Attorney.

I was born in New York City (Queens) and grew up on Long Island.  After attending public high school, I graduated from Harvard College in 1969 and Harvard Law School in 1973.  I met my wife in Los Angeles in 1975, we married in 1977 and moved to Santa Barbara with our two young children in 1982.  Phyllis was born in Memphis and grew up in Atlanta.  She attended University of N. Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Tarheels!) and has worked for many years as the Librarian at the Goleta Center for Girls Inc.  We have a wonderful daughter-in-law (Kristina) and two grandchildren, Molly (2010) and Bennett (2013).

Josh Narva

Executive VP

My connection to CBB began with how welcomed we felt as a family when my wife Jamie and I moved to Santa Barbara in 2011. Both of our boys spent a year at BHY, are currently enrolled in Netivot, and my wife has been in various leadership groups, has run the Purim carnival, and served on CBB’s nominating committee.  It has been a pleasure for both of us to be a part of this community.

As the global head of talent at Sonos, Josh oversees the company’s recruiting efforts around the world.  This includes managing recruiters and hiring cycles across the United States, multiple locations across Europe, China, and Australia.  The Talent team covers university recruiting (including an internship program), executive recruiting, technical recruiting, and all other hiring. At various points during his tenure at Sonos, Josh has also overseen related functions within HR including on-boarding, training and talent development, and community outreach.

Prior to Sonos, Josh was the VP of People at MarkLogic, an enterprise software company in the Bay Area founded and incubated by Sequoia Capital, where he worked for eight years.  There he oversaw all facets of HR for this high growth company. Earlier, he was also the head of recruiting at Harmonic Communications, another Sequoia Capital investment. Josh began his HR career as an Associate in the information technology practice of the global executive search firm of Heidrick & Struggles.

After college (Lafayette College in Easton, PA) and before a career in human resources, Josh was a research intern at the Institute for Social and Economic Policy at the John F. Kennedy school of Government at Harvard University.

Dan Rothschild

Administrative VP

My wife Susan and I joined CBB in 2007, just weeks after relocating from Las Vegas.  We were members of small congregations in previous years and we have been pleasantly surprised at the warmth, friendliness, and relative intimacy of Jewish community at CBB.

I have practiced commercial architecture since the early 1980’s in Denver, Las Vegas, and Santa Barbara specializing in corporate clientele and a national railroad, specifically.

I was born in the Mojave Desert, raised in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, and schooled in Chicago prior to raising my family in the Denver area.  I was raised in a Conservative household and comfortably settled into Reform Judaism after my marriage to Susan.  Susan is currently managing the Executive Education program for the graduate school at Stanford.  I have been a member and president of two small congregations.  My adult children live in Maine and Texas as a psychology professor and an electrical engineer.  I am a proud grandparent of a two-year old granddaughter.

Mimi Dent

Education VP

Our family became involved at CBB in 2006 when we enrolled our toddler in BHY.  The teachers and community embraced our young and growing family by showing us that they truly cared about every detail in our lives, modeling textbook communication and limit setting for preschoolers, and helping to introduce and instill Jewish customs and values into our home.  It was this interest and commitment to our family that made us feel so connected to this congregation.

I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish at UCSB in 1998, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in 2000, and a Master of Science in Nursing Education from Western Governors University in 2017.  I have worked as a Labor and Delivery Nurse at Cottage Hospital for the past seventeen years and feel lucky to have such a fulfilling career.

A perfect day in my life begins with a run or group fitness class, a cup of coffee that is preferably brewed by another, and then I am ready to embrace whatever the day brings in my life that is complete with my husband, John, and three beautiful daughters, Sarah, Sophie, and Sadie.

Rachel Wilson

Program Trustee

I have been a member of CBB for more than 37 years. My husband Walt and I were married by Rabbi Kendall in 1980, our children attended Beit Ha Yeladim and Religious School, had their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and attended Confirmation all at CBB. I have been on the Board for eight years serving as Social Action Trustee for three years and Membership VP for the last five years.

I am an attorney practicing with my own law firm, Wilson & Pettine, LLP, in downtown Santa Barbara. I have spent my entire 35 year career in Santa Barbara focusing on family law (dissolutions of marriage, pre- and post-marital agreements, mediation and custody, and support matters), guardianships/conservatorships, and estate plan matters.

I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and moved to California when I was 9 years old. My parents and entire extended family were  holocaust survivors and my first language was Yiddish. I grew up as an orthodox “valley girl” and was very active in the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization. I attended UCSB and Southwestern University Law School. Walt and I met while we were both attending UCSB and we married after I attended law school and Walt started a local business in Santa Barbara, The Alternative Copy Shop. We have two wonderful children, Sophie, 24 years old and Henry, 22 years old, along with a very funny and lovable chocolate Labrador Retriever named Leo (and often referred to as a “chocolate babka”).

Rich Parisse

Financial VP

I have been an active member of Congregation B’nai B’rith since 1975, joining when my family and I moved here from the Boston area. I have been a frequent member of the Board of Trustees since the early 1980’s serving as President from 1985 until 1987. Last year I began my third stint as Financial Vice President having served previously in this position in the 1990’s and again from 2013 until 2015.

I am an engineer and entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics currently working as an independent consultant. I am a member and immediate Past President of the Board of Santa Barbara Hillel. My wife, Toby (Z”L) and I were married for almost 51 years and were blessed with three wonderful children and four grandchildren. I married Martie Levy in September 2015.

Diane Zipperstein

Development VP

I am starting my third year of service on the CBB Board of Trustees. I joined originally as an at-large Trustee, later becoming Vice President for Programming. I now proudly serve as Vice President for Development.  In addition to the CBB Board, I also currently serve on the ADL and Girl’s Inc. Boards in Santa Barbara.

I am an attorney and practiced law for many years with various large banks and financial institutions, specializing in corporate finance and mergers/acquisitions.

I have been happily married to my husband Steve for 32 years. We have three daughters (Emily, Margot and Hilary) and two sons-in-law (Eric, married to Emily; and Rob, married to Margot).

Laura Habecker

Membership VP

I came to UCSB from the San Fernando Valley and fell in love with Santa Barbara. I was fortunate enough to meet my awesome husband Dan here  and raise our two children in Santa Barbara.

I have been in Medical Sales for over 20 years. I’ve worked for Abbott and more recently entered into the space of genetic testing. I was previously working in prenatal testing and recently I began working for a new start up company selling pediatric genetic testing.

Before my husband Dan and I were married we attended a “Basic Judaism” class. Now 25 years later my children have graduated through all stages of CBB life from early beginnings at BHY, Religious School, Confirmation and as Madricha. I love anything community! I enjoyed being involved and feel very grateful to all that CBB has given to me and my family. I look forward to my board position and contributing in a meaningful way.

Judi Koper

Past President

Judi Koper is honored to continue to serve as Past President this coming year.

Judi came to Santa Barbara in 1980 to study political science at UCSB and fell in love with this community.  Except for the three years that she attended law school at UC Berkeley, she and her husband Alex have lived here ever since then. Their pride and joy are their family: son Alex III and his wife Amanda, who are parents to their precious grandkids, Alex IV and Eloise; daughter Rose, who works in healthcare consulting in San Francisco; and daughter Hannah, who is also in San Francisco working for a media and marketing firm. After Judi retired from her job as a business litigation attorney, she devoted her time to volunteer and non-profit work at CBB and in many other community and education based organizations. She also currently serves as a hearing officer for the SB County Assessment Appeals Board as well as on the SB County Civil Service Commission.

Judi and Alex have been members of Congregation B’nai B’rith for almost thirty years, were married here, and love being a part of the CBB family.  Judi has served on the CBB Board of Trustees in a variety of capacities for over ten years and loves being on the Board during this wonderful time in CBB life!

Michael Baker

Building Trustee

Lynne Glasman

Corresponding Secretary

This year is my 50th year in Santa Barbara. Most of those years we have been temple members and have seen children & even a grandson have b’nai mitzvahs & being confirmed.

My professional life was quite eclectic, including doing teaching and research at various levels (1st grade through graduate students). I also have done a number of program evaluations for various educational institutions (SBCC, Santa Barbara School District, and American Jewish University to name a few).

A third generation Los Angelina, I moved to Berkeley where I lived for almost 11 years, obtaining my BA, MA & PhD (as well as my MRS). I will have been married for 55 years this Thanksgiving 2018,  have 3 wonderful children, 3 marvelous in-law children, and 6 incredible grandchildren. No longer professionally employed, I spend considerable time being an active grandmother and volunteer–the best jobs in the world!

Ellen Chase


I joined CBB 27 years ago when I first moved to town.  My daughter went to religious school, was involved in youth group and the madrchiam programs, and I went through the adult B’nai Mitzvot program at CBB.

I am a CPA with Nasif, Hick, Harris & Company, LLP, working primarily in the area of Trusts and Estates.  I was raised in Ohio and lived in the DC area for 10 years before moving to Santa Barbara 27 years ago.  I worked in manufacturing and technology planning for 25 years prior to becoming a CPA.

I’m married and have a daughter, 3 step daughters, and 3 granddaughters.

Alan Levy


My wife Lisa and I have been members of CBB for about 20 years, but I also grew up in town, became a Bar Mitzvah here, and you can see a picture of me on the wall in a nice sky blue robe with my confirmation class.  I have been Caring Community Committee Chair since 2002 and currently serve on the Board of Trustees as Parliamentarian.  I also serve on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara as Vice President and Chair of the Jewish Family Service Committee.  Since finishing a Ph.D. in Physics at UCSB in early 2006, I have been working as a Systems Engineer at Raytheon Vision Systems in Goleta.

Summer Foster

Early Childhood Education Trustee

I first became acquainted with CBB when my husband, James and I were married by Cantor Mark Childs in 2013. From there we were welcomed with open arms to the CBB community and then by the BHY community. I am very fond of BHY and everything the school has to offer. I spent the last two years acting as the Parent Association Chair so I know firsthand that BHY is a very special place.

I am the lucky mother of 3 boys. Crosby will be 6 years old in August and is a BHY alum, Rockwell just turned 4 and has another year at BHY, and Bixby just turned one and will be starting at BHY next year. I am currently a stay at home mother and I love being home with my boys. I feel so fortunate to be able to stay at home with my boys and experience the daily adventures in their young lives.

Prior to being home with my children, I was and still am an educator. I have taught at a number of elementary schools throughout Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, in grades 2nd through 6th. I earned my BA in Psychology from UCSB in 2003. I have my Masters in Education and an elementary teaching credential from UCSB’s Teacher Education Program. I also earned my administrative teaching credential through Santa Barbara County Education Office’s PASC Program. I have always loved working in education and couldn’t think of a more rewarding career.

I grew up in Santa Monica and came to sunny Santa Barbara in 1999 to attend UCSB. I love everything about Santa Barbara and couldn’t imagine a more wonderful place to raise my family. I enjoy walking along our beautiful beaches, reading, working out, and spending quality time with my family.

Geren Piltz

Recording Secretary

I officially became a member of CBB in September of 2007, though I began attending events in 2005. I was asked to join the Board in my current role beginning in July of 2009.

In my career, I’ve been a professional in retail marketing and branding, radio broadcasting, education recruitment, project management, technical support and documentation, organization workflow, and client communications.

I feel fortunate to have been born in Goleta, raised in Carpinteria, and now to live in Santa Barbara. I’m a 2004 graduate of UCSB, where I focused on Dramatic Art and Linguistics. Holly Chadwin and I were married in May of 2007, and welcomed our daughter, Shira Pearl, in December of 2012.

Valerie Edelheit

Religious Practices Trustee

I first came to CBB as a guest of my then boyfriend, now husband Aaron Edelheit. I had never felt so welcome in a synagogue before and felt at home right away. Since moving to Santa Barbara 2 years ago with my family, CBB has been like a second home to me. I love the warmth of the community, the strength of the leadership, and feel honored to serve as a volunteer.

I am a nutritionist that focuses on chronic disease prevention. After receiving my MSPH from Emory University in Atlanta, I spent 2 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke prevention working on Policy change and communication. I am now taking some time off from public health to raise my young children.

I was born in the USSR, and raised since age 5 in Los Angeles. I have been married to Aaron Edelheit for 7 years, we have two young children, Nora (3.5) and Max (1.5), and one more little one on the way (September 2017). I love to cook, travel, hike, and run.

Danielle Drossel

Jewish Learning Programs Trustee

My family joined CBB in 2016, when we returned to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles.  My husband Louie and I are the proud parents of two kids, Henry (age 6) and Shoshana (age 3).  Henry graduated from BHY and is just finishing his first year in Netovit.  Shoshana is currently in her second year of preschool at BHY.

Louie and I first fell in love with Santa Barbara (and each other, coincidentally) when we moved here in 2000 to attend college at UCSB.  We met during the first week of freshman year and got married 10 years later.  After graduating college, I moved back to the LA area to attend law school at Pepperdine University.  Louie stayed in Santa Barbara for two years, working for a small start-up company.  In 2006 I convinced Louie to join me in LA with the promise that we would return to Santa Barbara one day.  That opportunity came in 2016, when I got offered a job working as an attorney for Santa Barbara County.  Louie owns an office products business and was able to relocate the business to Goleta.

My professional career as an attorney began in 2008, when I was admitted to the California State Bar.  I have spent the past 10 years representing local government agencies.  I was first employed at a private litigation firm as outside counsel representing the County of Los Angeles, before moving to “in-house” counsel positions at Los Angeles and then Santa Barbara County.  My law practice has focused on litigation, civil rights, employment, and land use law.

Our family is thrilled to be living in Santa Barbara and we are so grateful to be a part of the CBB/BHY/JLP community and for the wonderful friendships we have made as a result.  I am so honored to serve on the CBB board as Jewish Learning Programs Trustee!

Franny Taran Freund

Social Action Trustee

I joined the CBB community as a teenager when my family moved to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles. For the next two decades I occasionally attended services with my parents at “their temple”.

Now as a mother of two young children, I’ve reconnected with CBB and am happy to call it “my temple”. I joined the Social Action Committee, co-chaired Mitzvah Day, and worked with the Netivot program as a curriculum writer and mentor.

In the fall of 2018 I had the privilege of participating at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial Conference. I was inspired by the organization’s emphasis on Social Justice and Audacious Hospitality. I am honored to work with our SB Jewish community on these issues.

Bethy Fineberg

Fundraising Events Trustee

Jill Feldman

At-Large Trustee

My family joined CBB when we moved to Santa Barbara in 2002 from Dallas, Texas.  My husband, Arnie Brier, is from Santa Barbara and celebrated his bar mitzvah and his confirmation at CBB.

We immediately felt at home at CBB and I joined the board in 2005.  I served for 9 years as At-Large Trustee, Religious School Trustee and Education VP.  I am so happy to be rejoining the board this year as At-Large Trustee.

I am the President of Strategic Development Associates.  Our clients include start-ups, mid-sized companies, and large national companies with a focus on technology, and our areas of specialization include consumer insights, market validation, and industry and competitive analysis.  I founded SDA in 1997, following roles within the wireless telecom industry with AT&T Wireless Service and Verizon Wireless. Prior to that, I was an Associate in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Merchant Banking Departments with Merrill Lynch Capital Markets and a Business Analyst with McKinsey & Company.

Since 2008, I have also served on the faculty of University of California, Santa Barbara teaching courses in the College of Engineering’s Technology Management Program.  I received a BSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Go Blue!) and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  I’m also currently serving as the Chair of the University of Michigan Industrial and Operations Engineering Advisory Board.

Arnie and I have been married for 27 years and have two amazing children, Zoe (age 25) and Ethan (age 21).

Dan Cerf

At-Large Trustee

Robin and I have been married for 35 years, we moved to Santa Barbara from San Francisco in 2012.  Happily we joined CBB that same year. Born and raised in San Francisco, I attended public school and graduated from SF State College with a BA degree in Economics and Business. Robin and I married in 1983. We are parents of three sons Jordan, Brad, and Josh.

Professionally I am a businessman, I am the President and CEO of ” SF Party” a retail and wholesale party supply and concessions company that I started in San Francisco over 35 years ago.  I recently finished my four year term as a Board Trustee with the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. My goal has been and continues to be giving back to the community and trying to make a difference. Robin and I are passionate about modern contemporary art, we have been collecting for 36 years.

I am joining the Board of CBB as a Trustee At Large.  The reason I am joining is the tremendous sense of welcome, acceptance, and of community that I feel every time I walk through the synagogue doors. My board  plan is open and simple, I hope to be of value and to make a difference during my term.

Dan Meisel

At-Large Trustee

I grew up in the CBB community and returned as an adult with my own family.  I have served on the Board since 2013 in At-Large and Social Action Trustee positions.

I am an attorney and writer/producer of film.  I formed Kapok Pictures, LLC with my writer/director wife Amy Wendel, and our projects have screened at Sundance and many other festivals, in theaters, and on television.

I am an avid soccer fan and youth coach.  In addition to co-leading CBB’s Social Action Committee, I have served in multiple leadership roles of the Anti-Defamation League’s Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties Region as well as ADL’s National organization.  I also serve on the boards of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation and Youth Interactive.  Amy and I have three sons.  We do our best to keep up with them.

Natalie Gaynes

Women of B’nai Brith (WoBB) Trustee

I have the distinction of probably being the oldest and longest standing CBB member on the WOBB (Sisterhood) Board.  My parents moved to Santa Barbara when I was three years old (that was a lot of years ago) and immediately joined the synagogue. I remember attending Sunday School in the little synagogue on Garden Street as well as being confirmed at the Santa Barbara Street Synagogue.

When it was time for me to find a Jewish husband I took myself to Los Angeles where I met a wonderful man, Ken Gaynes, and we were married in six months. We lived in Marina Del Rey for six years where our children were born. At that point we decided that we had enough of the traffic and congestion and it was time to pick up roots and get out of there.

Santa Barbara was the perfect place to settle down for life.  Since my son, David was just five years old when we arrived, joining the synagogue was one of the first things we did so he could attend religious school.  When my daughter Melanie was of age, she also attended religious school and both children continued their education through Bar and Bat Mitzvah and on through Confirmation.  My husband and I have both been very active in this congregation for all of our years here as the success of the congregation was very important to us. My husband was on the temple board serving for several years in different capacities as well as being in a group which spearheaded our Sunday Morning Live and Best Darn Breakfast program which is still going strong.

I’ve been a very active member of WOBB and worked in the gift shop as long as I can remember.  Unfortunately, my husband passed away five years ago, but I carry on the tradition of helping wherever I can be of service.

Fortunately, both of my children settled in Santa Barbara where they are raising my four grandchildren.  I enjoy the hands-on experience of being in my grandchildren’s lives as they are being raised.  So far, my two oldest grandchildren have taken an active role in the synagogue life here in Santa Barbara which gives me great pleasure and satisfaction.

Max Gaynes

SBORTY President

Maia Lowenschuss Palmer

Music Trustee

Ann Pieramici

Communication Trustee

Our connection to CBB began with our children who attended Beit HaYeladim preschool soon after our family relocated to Santa Barbara from the East Coast in 2001. I immediately got involved with the preschool, co-chairing the auction and serving on the Board as preschool trustee.  My involvement grew to leading interfaith outreach and serving on the nominating and gala committees.  CBB provided our family with a wonderful community and dear friends. I feel like I’ve come full circle, joining the temple Board when my oldest daughter started preschool and returning just as she leaves for college.

I’ve worked over the past two decades as a public relations consultant and freelance writer in both the private and non-profit sectors.  I honed these skills while working for the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC and the Hearst Corporation, Forbes, Inc. and Young & Rubicam Advertising in New York City.  I serve on the Boards of MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation and the Foundation for Santa Barbara High School.  I am a past Board trustee of Crane Country Day School and the San Marcos AAPLE Academy. I’m also active with the National Charity League, a mother-daughter philanthropic organization.

Born and raised in Baltimore, I graduated cum laude from Syracuse University and completed post-graduate coursework at Johns Hopkins University. I love living in Santa Barbara with my husband, Dante, our daughters Arin and Lily and our golden retriever, Cesare.

Daniel Hochman

Shomrei HaBrit (Guardian of the Covenant)

I am connected to CBB by music, prayer, friends, community, and volunteering. I also have a multi-generational family history with the Synagogue.

I call myself a professional volunteer, having spent more than two decades in service to the community in which I live. Educated in Economics, Business, Math, and Music, I have been fortunate to manage a hotel, design and install hardware dependent telephone systems, manage real estate investments, and teach college prep AP, while also being a professional musician, actor/singer, and energy worker. I have been blessed to lead congregations, trade organizations, parks, Y’s, and to serve the city of Santa Barbara as a charter member of the Creeks Advisory Committee and as a Park and Recreation Commissioner.

I am a 2nd generation Santa Barbarian, born as one of the last baby boomers. I played soccer and rode horses when I was younger, and went to college to get my Master’s. I am ecstatically married to Mandy, who loves me more than perhaps I deserve. We look forward to maybe getting another dog someday.

Nancy Sheldon

At-Large Trustee

Nancy worked in banking for 13 years with UBS in New York before moving to Santa Barbara with her husband, Mike, in 2001.  They have 4 children, who have grown up in the temple, ages 15, 14, 12 and 8.

Nancy has spent the past 15 years in the non-profit world. She has been on the executive board of MOXI for over 10 years and chaired the capital campaign for the building. She is also on the Board of Crane School and chairs the Development committee.

Nancy has chaired the Foodbank Gala for several years alongside Diane Zipperstein. Nancy comes back into service at CBB after serving as the head of the Beit Ha Yeladim Parent Association and the  Preschool Trustee on the Board of Congregation B’nai B’rith.

Aaron Ettenberg

Honorary Board Member

My wife, Ina, and I have been members of CBB since our move to Santa Barbara in the summer of 1982. Both our children, Michael and Sharna, received their Hebrew names in our sanctuary, made life-long friends at Beit HaYeldim, had their Bar and Bat Mitzah at CBB, completed our religious and Hebrew school programs and were married by our clergy! So, we’ve had a long and close connection with this fabulous congregation. Ina has served, and continues to serve, as a mentor and educational advisor for teachers in our religious school, and I finally left the board a few years ago after having completed 26 years (yikes!) as a member of our Board of Trustees. During those two-plus decades of Board service I held almost every position including a rewarding two-year stint as President. I was sincerely humbled to have been recognized with the Viola Girsh Award for commitment and service to the congregation and for having been named a life-time “honorary” member of the Board.

I continue to remain involved in leadership through membership on a variety of ad hoc committees although my time is somewhat limited by my current responsibilities as President of the Santa Barbara Hillel community board of trustees.

In my spare time I serve as Distinguished Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UCSB where I conduct research and teaching in the exciting field of neuroscience.

Honorary Board Members z”l

Marlyn Bernard Bernstein z”l
Ruelene Hochman z”l

CLICK HERE to download a printable roster of the 2018-19 CBB Board of Trustees.