Board of Trustees

//Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees2018-06-26T15:45:30+00:00

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.  In our first year we both participated in the Leadership Training program followed by Mitzvah Day Committee leadership (Susan) and Board Building Trustee (Dan).

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.  As the sole employee of my company, I perform site evaluation, program development, feasibility studies, preliminary budgeting, design, construction documentation, and construction administration services.

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 a social worker who has worked as an administrator in child welfare, mental health, and public health organizations.  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 1-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 sixteen 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.

Marina Stephens

Program VP

Our family came to Santa Barbara from Toronto when our youngest child Anton was 10. We are an interfaith couple, but Len strongly encouraged our son to embrace Judaism. Anton was very enthusiastic about becoming a Bar Mitzvah. We found CBB and it truly embraced all of us, as a family, with all our quirks and particularities. We feel very grateful to be a part of the CBB community.

I was born and grew up in Sankt Petersburg, Russia. At the age of 18, together with my family, I immigrated to the United States. I attended University of Houston, receiving my BS in Communications in 1983 and JD (honors, law review) in 1993. I practiced with international law firms Mayer, Brown & Platt and Baker & McKenzie. I specialized in natural resources, emerging markets and project financing. I am married to Len Homeniuk – a gold mining executive, and the family has lived in Central Asia and Canada until 2009.

Together with my husband and business partner of many years, I worked on creating Centerra Gold Inc., a company that went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2004. I continued to advise the company, as an international legal advisor in charge of government relations for the next four years. After the family moved to Santa Barbara, CA in 2009, I became General Counsel for Trade Ideas, LLC, a private analytical trading platform company based in Encinitas, CA.

In 2011, my husband/business partner Len Homeniuk and I launched a new international gold mining company, Polygon Gold Inc. Currently, I serve as Executive Vice President and General Counsel, as well as a Member of the Board of Directors for this company.

Len and I have three children. Jessica Stephens – 23, a Claremont McKenna College graduate currently working for Google, Inc., Madeleine Stephens (LB ’11) and Anton Homeniuk (LB Grade 5).

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. This year begins my third stint as Financial Vice President having done so 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

I just completed a two year term as CBB’s President and am proud to serve as Past President this coming year.

I 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 I attended law school at UC Berkeley, my husband Alex and I have lived here ever since then. Our pride and joy is our family: son Alex III and his wife Amanda, who are parents to our precious grandkids, Alex IV and Eloise; daughter Rose, who works in healthcare consulting in San Francisco; and daughter Hannah, who just graduated from college and will also work in San Francisco for a media and marketing firm. After Iretired from my job as a business litigation attorney, I devoted my time to volunteer and non-profit work at CBB and in many other community and education based organizations. I also currently serves as a hearing officer for the SB County Assessment Appeals Board as well as on the County Civil Service Commission.

Alex and I have been members of Congregation B’nai B’rith for over twenty-five years, were married here, and have loved being a part of the CBB family. I have served on the CBB Board of Trustees in a variety of capacities for over ten years and am especially honored to be a part of the Board during this wonderful time in CBB life!

Michael Baker

Building Trustee

Lynne Glasman

Corresponding Secretary

Next year will be 50 years since we moved to the Santa Barbara area. 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 have been married for 53 years and 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–the best job 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.

Sarah Porat

Early Childhood Education Trustee

I am a spirited advocate of Beit HaYeladim Preschool and serve as the Early Childhood Education Trustee on the CBB Board of Trustees. My son is a BHY graduate and my twin daughters are currently at BHY in their final year of preschool.

I enjoy my work as a therapist with UCSB’s Alcohol & Drug Program. I graduated from UCLA (B.A. Psychology) and Pepperdine University (M.A. Clinical Psychology), and am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I lives in Carpinteria with my husband, Eyal, and our three children.

My favorite memories at CBB are Havdalah at Family Camp, Tot Shabbat with the fabulous BHY community, and enjoying s’mores during the BHY summer campout! I am excited to make more memories this year!

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.

Nancy Collins

Jewish Learning Programs Trustee

I have been a member of the CBB community for 12 years. I joined the Board of Trustees in 2010, first as a Member-at-Large and now as the Jewish Learning Programs Trustee.  My children attended BHY Preschool (where I chaired the Parent Committee), and they are now attending CB3 and Academy. CBB feels like home to our family, and we are so happy to be a part of this wonderful community.

I am a Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UCSB, where I have been teaching and conducting research since 1997.  My area of speciality is Social Psychology, and my research focuses primarily on understanding close relationships and the link between  relationships and health. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in statistics, research methods, and close relationships.  I earned my B.A. at UCLA and my Ph.D. at USC.

Our family moved to Santa Barbara in 1997 when I accepted my position at UCSB.  We are thrilled to have landed in such a beautiful and caring community. My husband, Michael Purvis, is a small business attorney in private practice, and also a real estate broker. We have two wonderful children who have grown up at CBB.  Lily (age 14) attends Santa Barbara High School, where she plays soccer and lacrosse. Ben (age 12) is about to start Santa Barbara Junior High, where he hopes to participate in theatre and engineering.

Dan Meisel

Social Action Trustee

I grew up in the CBB community and returned as an adult with my young family.  I have served on the Board for three years, initially as an At-Large, and then Social Action Trustee.

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 film festivals, in theaters, and on national television networks.

I am an avid soccer fan and youth coach.  In addition to co-leading CBB’s Social Action Committee, I Chair the Board of the Anti-Defamation League’s Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties Region, and the ADL’s National Task Force on Education Equity, and I serve on the boards of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation and Youth Interactive.  Amy and I have three sons.

Bethy Fineberg

Fundraising Events Trustee

Rachel Wilson

At-Large 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”).

Harvey Wolf

At-Large Trustee

My wife, Janet, and I have known each other for over 50 years and celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary this year.  We are the proud parents of three grown daughters and the doting grandparents of three grandchildren.

In over 35 years as members of CBB we have celebrated with the community baby namings, B’nai Mitzvahs, Confirmations, marriage ceremonies, the blessing of our re-built home, and mourned the loss of our parents.  We have always cherished the warmth and support that the CBB community has bestowed upon us.

I have practiced law in Santa Barbara for over 35 years specializing in the fields of construction, real estate, and business.  I handle transactions, mediations, arbitrations, and trials and have been a real estate broker for over 30 years.

Rachelle Geiger

Women of B’nai Brith (WoBB) Trustee

My late husband and I moved to Santa Barbara from Jackson, Mississippi in August 2008, and one of the first things we did was join CBB. We had both been very active in our Jackson congregation and I still maintain a membership in that Temple. In Mississippi, I served as President of the Sisterhood on two occasions. In addition to serving as Sisterhood President, I was the Temple treasurer for two years and then served as the Temple Comptroller overseeing our different funds and assuring that each fund was used as intended and moved money between funds when necessary. 

I have a Masters Degree from The University of North Florida in Counseling Psychology. For a number of years I worked as a Social Worker for The Hebrew Home for the Aged in Jacksonville, Florida. I moved to Jackson, Mississippi when I married my husband, Sydney and worked in his Structural Steel Company as the Executive Vice President. In that position I sought jobs for us to bid on, dealt with contractors and handled securing Health Insurance for our employees. Many years before it was fashionable, we paid for health insurance for all of our employees. For a price determined by the insurance, they could add their families. Syd and I both served the Temple as their Building and House Chairpersons. He oversaw repairs and maintenance on the building and I took care of anything relating to the kitchen, hired and oversaw the help and met with Bar/Bat Mitzvah families and arranged the help they needed for the event and told the custodian how to set up the social hall.

Since coming to Santa Barbara I have been active in Sisterhood (now WoBB), served on their Board, worked with others on the Sisterhood Cookbook and helped cook for various events.

Max Gaynes

SBORTY President

Maia Lowenschuss Palmer

Music Trustee

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.

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 2017-18 CBB Board of Trustees.