Ellen Nemhauser, Co-President
Ellen Nemhauser is in her second year as Co-President of the Women’s Rabbinic Network. She is currently working at The Center for Israel Education at Emory University as a rabbinic fellow, developing and disseminating curriculum for teaching Modern Israel. She has served as the Director of Education at two Atlanta congregations, one Conservative and one Reform. She holds a BA in Music Education from the University of Toronto. Ellen was ordained in May 1993 and remained to complete the Masters of Education Year. After ordination, Ellen worked for the UAHC (now URJ) in the Department for Jewish Education and then served as director of the CCAR/HUC-JIR Joint Commission for Continuing Rabbinic Education. She has enjoyed working as a curriculum consultant for three URJ Camps and numerous congregational schools. In her current volunteer work, Ellen serves as co-chair on a Jewish Federation Task Force, on the executive board on the JCRC, and on the Board of Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta. She lives in Sandy Springs with her husband, their youngest child and her two older children (when they are home on school breaks).
Elizabeth Zeller, Co-President
Elizabeth Wood is the new Director of Learning and Innovation for NFTY, having recently made the switch from congregational life to the Jewish organizational world. She has spent most of her life in and around the youth world and is thrilled at this chance to work on the national level, directing the program and Judaic content of NFTY for teens across North America. Most recently, she was the Associate Rabbi Educator of the Reform Temple of Forest Hills in Queens, NY. There she served young families, engaging them for the past five years, and previously she served Temple Beth El in Tacoma, WA as their Interim Soloist and Educator after her ordination in 2009 from HUC in Cincinnati. Liz works with Faith in New York (PICO) on community organizing issues. She lives in New York City with her fiancé David and their puppy Rory.
Lynne Goldsmith, Treasurer
Lynne Goldsmith has served Temple Emanu-el in Dothan, AL as rabbi since her ordination at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati in June of 2007. While serving as student rabbi in pulpits in Seminole, OK and Newark, OH, she developed a passion for small congregations, and their various and sundry challenges. Prior to her rabbinic studies, Lynne was employed in accounting for 25 years. She is excited to be using her knowledge of accounting again to work with the Women’s Rabbinic Network.
Lynne believes passionately in Jewish education for all ages. She is also active in the community, especially in inter-faith relations. She serves on the boards of the local women’s shelter, the board of Catholic social services, and on the Ecumenical Council, a multi-faith organization dedicated to erasing poverty in the Dothan area. Lynne is married to Rob Goldsmith, and they live in Dothan, AL. They have two adult sons, Michael and Daniel.
Adrienne Scott, Secretary
Rabbi Adrienne P. Scott is the associate rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Houston, TX. She was ordained in 2004 from the Cincinnati Campus. At Beth Israel, Adrienne has enjoyed working on building the inclusion committee to make the congregation a place for all. Her husband David also works at Beth Israel in the capacity of Interim Director of Engagement and Director of Lifelong Learning. With a strong passion for pastoral care and counseling, Adrienne has recently joined the Texas Children’s Hospital Ethics Committee. Currently, Adrienne serves as a Vice-President of the Houston Rabbinical Association. In 2004 Adrienne was recognized by the Houston Woman’s Magazine as one of Houston’s 50 most influential women. She is passionate about exercise and is an avid Crossfitter and runner. She has completed 2 full marathons and 3 half-marathons. She is the proud mother of Beryt and Ezra, students of the Shlenker Day school, which is a part of the Beth Israel campus.
Audrey Pollack, Membership and Outreach VP
Audrey Pollack is the rabbi of Solel Congregation in Mississauga, Ontario. She received her B.A. in Comparative Religion from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and was ordained from the HUC-JIR, Cincinnati. Prior to coming to Solel Congregation Audrey served Temple Israel in West Lafayette, Indiana for 13 years, and before that as associate rabbi in Denver, Colorado and Glencoe, Illinois.
Audrey was part of the first cohort of STAR Rabbis Good to Great program, a year-long innovative continuing rabbinic education program offered by STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal). In 2010 she was awarded a Clergy Renewal grant from the Lilly Endowment for a sabbatical in Israel. Her sabbatical time was spent in studying text at the Shalom Hartman Institute and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and learning to play the oud.
Audrey finds spiritual sustenance in music and frequently leads tefillah with singing and playing the guitar. She also writes feminist midrash and creative liturgy. Several of her feminist commentaries appear in Beginning the Journey: A Women’s Commentary on the Torah, published by the Women of Reform Judaism and in A Women’s Torah Commentary: 54 Women Rabbis On the Weekly Torah Portions, published by Jewish Lights Publishing. She is passionate about women’s spirituality and is a strong advocate in support of Jewish women’s causes.
Leah Berkowitz, Networking VP
Leah R. Berkowitz is the rabbi of Vassar Temple in Poughkeepsie, NY. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and an ordainee of HUC-JIR/NY in 2008 where she also earned a Master of Arts in Religious Education. Leah has served as the assistant/associate rabbi at Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, NC, and as a member of the faculty at Gann Academy, a pluralistic Jewish high school in Waltham, MA. She was a committee chair for the new CCAR Machzor and is currently on the CCAR Journal Editorial Board. Leah blogs at: thisiswhatarabbilookslike.wordpress.com.
Amy L. Memis-Foler, Convention and National Events Co-VP
Amy L. Memis-Foler is beginning her ninth year at Temple Judea Mizpah in Skokie, IL as a solo rabbi. She has spent her whole rabbinate in the Chicago area since ordination from HUC-JIR/NY in 1993. She served for nine years at Congregation BJBE in Glenview and five years at Temple Sholom of Chicago, at both congregations as an assistant-associate rabbi. Other professional interests and positions of leadership include her work with ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America), OSRUI (Olin-Sang Ruby Union Institute) and the Chicago Association of Reform Rabbis. Amy is also a Commissioner on the Village of Skokie’s Human Relations Commission. She is a past WRN Regional Representative for Chicago and co-chaired the WRN Convention in Chicago in 2007. She is very much looking forward to working with her co-Vice President of WRN’s National Events, Sharon Young Marcus, whom she has known since 1976 when they were in Girls Bunk #2 at the URJ Camp Harlam.
Sharon Y. Marcus, Convention and National Events Co-VP
Sharon Young Marcus has been Associate Rabbi at Park Synagogue, with buildings in Cleveland Heights and Pepper Pike, Ohio since 1999. Prior to that Sharon served as Assistant Rabbi at Fairmount Temple in Beachwood, Ohio for five years. At Park Synagogue Sharon’s work focuses on the Religious School, Youth Programs, and women’s studies. Sharon grew up in Philadelphia where she was very involved in NFTY and attended URJ Camp Harlam. She is a 1988 graduate of Brandeis University and was ordained at HUC-JIR/NY in 1995. Rabbi Marcus is Past President of the Greater Cleveland Board of Rabbis and a past Board of Trustees member of The Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland and the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland. Sharon resides in Shaker Heights, Ohio with her husband, John, and their two daughters, Rebecca and Noa.
“It is my honor to serve as co-vice-president of National Events with Amy Memis-Foler who has been my dear friend since the summer of 1976 at URJ Camp Harlam.”
Kelly Levy, Communications and Marketing VP
Kelly Levy currently serves as the assistant rabbi at Temple B’rith Kodesh in Rochester, New York. Ordained from the HUC-JIR’s New York campus in 2014, Kelly moved to Rochester to begin her rabbinic career. She previously served as student rabbi at Temple B’nai Israel in Albany, Georgia, as well as a chaplain intern at Mount Sinai Hospital’s palliative care unit. A native of Texas, Kelly earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Texas Tech University in 2007. She grew up attending the URJ’s Greene Family Camp and enjoys returning whenever possible! Kelly and her husband David are proud pet owners of Frank (dog) and Bean (cat). As well, they are expecting their first child in September 2016.
Loren Filson Lapidus, Social Action and Advocacy VP
Loren Filson Lapidus is associate rabbi at The Temple in Atlanta, GA, where she has been since her ordination in 2008. After graduating with a B.S. in science from Pennsylvania State University, she decided to pursue a career in the rabbinate, and while at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati she completed a Master of Education in Administration through a joint program with Xavier University.
In Atlanta, Loren serves as the treasurer for the Atlanta Rabbinical Association and is on the board of several community organizations: ADL-Southeast Region, AJC-Atlanta, Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta, and MACoM: Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah, which opened in November 2015. When time allows, she writes on her blog “ImA Rabbi.” Loren is married to Rabbi Micah Lapidus, who is the rabbi for The Davis Academy. They have two children, Hadara (2011) and Caleb (2013).
Joui Hessel, CCAR Representative
Joui Hessel is the East Coast Recruitment Associate for HUC-JIR and also serves on both the adjunct and clinical faculty for the NY School of Education at HUC-JIR.
Joui served Washington Hebrew Congregation, first as a pulpit rabbi and then as Rabbi and Director of Religious Education and Jewish Engagement, overseeing one of the nation’s largest supplemental religious schools. She was ordained from the HUC-JIR/NY in June 2001. Joui also received a Masters Degree in Jewish Education in 1999 from the HUC-JIR. She received her Bachelors Degree in Secondary School Education from The University of Georgia.
Joui has co-authored The Hanukkah Family Treasury, published by Running Hill Press. She has also been published in the CCAR’s recent publications The Sacred Encounter (2014) and Mishkan T’fila for Youth (2014), Moment Magazine (June 2007), as well as in a book on parenting young adult children,Mom, Can I Move Back in with You: A Survival Guide for Parents of Twentysomethings, published by Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium. Joui has also offered the opening prayer at the United States House of Representatives and on behalf of the National Day of Prayer. She serves as a board member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, representing the Women’s Rabbinic Network. She participated in the Principal’s Center at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education this summer to study “Leadership: An Evolving Vision.”
Joui lives in Old Greenwich, Connecticut with her husband, Jimmy Hexter.
Alysa Mendelson Graf, Immediate Past President
Alysa Mendelson Graf is the rabbi at Port Jewish Center in Port Washington, NY. Prior to coming to PJC, Alysa served Temple Israel in Westport, CT as its Assistant Rabbi, then Associate Rabbi for almost a decade. Alysa was ordained at HUC-JIR/NY in 2004. She wrote her rabbinic thesis on the use of comedic devices in the Bible, with a special focus on the books of Esther and Jonah, and the first six chapters of the Book of Samuel.
Alysa grew up in Scarsdale, NY. She is a 1993 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in European History. In college, she volunteered at the peer-support hotline at the University and at a rape-crisis center in Philadelphia. After college and a year living in Colorado, Alysa attended Fordham University School of Law, where she was a senior editor of the Environmental Law Journal and the chair of the Family Crisis Mediation Clinic. After graduating law school in 1997, Alysa worked as a matrimonial attorney in Manhattan before deciding to pursue her long-time dream of becoming a rabbi.
Throughout her rabbinate, Alysa has been an active member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and of the Women’s Rabbinic Network. She was also selected to be a STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal) Fellow.
Alysa is married to Adam Graf. They have three sons, Gideon, Solomon and Rafi and reside in Port Washington.
Mary Zamore, Executive Director
Mary brings a great deal of experience and depth of commitment to the WRN, having been a member as a student and since her ordination in 1997 and serving as a co-president from 2007–2009.
Mary is the Editor of The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic, (2011 CCAR Press), finalist National Jewish Book Awards, and she continues to teach at synagogues and JCCs across the country. Mary has served congregations in Westfield, Morristown and Washington, New Jersey and is looking forward to her new role with the WRN. She is currently the interim director of Mentoring for the CCAR and working on a new book with the CCAR Press.