Board of Directors
Barry Berkowitz, President
Barry works for Google and has been an active member of the Jewish community. He is on the Board of Meira Academy, has served on the board of directors as the Treasurer of Congregation Emek Beracha for several years, and was a former Board Member of NCSY on Long Island, NY. Barry's sons Jason and Aaron are in 4th and 1st Grades and his daughter Sara is in 1st Grade. Barry lives in Palo Alto with his wife Erica and their three children.
Karen Kerem, Vice President
Karen Kerem and her family joined the SPHDS community three years ago. She is married to Yaniv and is the proud mother of Maor (1st grade), Adin (preschool), and Eitan (class of 2031). Karen graduated with an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. She received her BA in Psychology and International Studies from SUNY Binghamton. Karen practices independently as a career coach and change management consultant.
William Kornfeld, Treasurer
Bill grew up in New York. After receiving Bachelors degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics and a Ph.D. in computer science, all from MIT, Bill moved out to Silicon Valley more than 30 years ago to start a company. He has been (mostly) here ever since, although his consulting business has taken him to far and sundry places. He lives in Palo Alto with his wife, Patti. They have one daughter who is currently in her last year at Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law. Bill is passionate about Jewish continuity and believes that the strength of the link from generation to generation is through education.
Lea Grossman, Secretary
Lea Grossman comes from a family that has been involved in community building and Jewish education in the USA in one form or another for generations. Lea is originally from Atlanta, GA (though she was born in Israel and began her schooling there), but she and her husband moved to Lakewood, NJ when they got married. They relocated to Palo Alto four years ago in order to continue the family tradition of community building. Lea has a Bachelors in Psychology and received her Masters in Business Administration from Kennesaw State University. She currently works as the Vice President - North America for Pyrus, a software service that helps companies with task management and streamlining and automating workflows. Though relatively new to the Bay Area, Lea is no stranger to SPHDS, having grown up hearing stories about it from her mother and aunts who all attended SPHDS when they lived in Santa Clara. As the mother of four daughters (all of whom are in SPHDS), it's especially important for Lea that her children see strong Jewish (and female) role models who are involved in the community and who try to give back to the community as much as they can.
Stephen Kloder, Director
Stephen Kloder grew up in Atlanta, GA and has been living in Silicon Valley since 2013. After studying Computer Science at Georgia Tech and University of Illinois, he worked at various tech companies: fulfillment center software at Amazon, document understanding at Microsoft, co-founding AttorneyFee (now part of LegalZoom), and experiment platforms for Google. He currently builds machine learning models for payment
systems at Square. In his previous homes, he was involved with chesed efforts at Champaign Urbana Jewish Federation, and the Executive
Council of the Capitol Hill Minyan in Seattle.
Leo Lazar, Director
Eran Leib, Director
Eran Leib grew up in Israel where he served as an officer in Mamram (IDF), married Orit and co-founded Whitebox Security. In 2015, SailPoint Technologies acquired
Eric Roush, Director
Originally from Cleveland, Eric, and wife, Leah, are passionate about the Jewish community and have been involved in numerous Jewish organizations for over a decade, including Chabad, the JCC, and the Jewish Federation. In 2015, Eric and Leah moved to the Bay Area, and they now have three kids at SPHDS – in preschool and elementary school. In addition to the Jewish community, Eric is passionate about the democratization of healthcare and has been working in the medical field for over ten years, designing and developing devices that improve patient outcomes while simultaneously enabling greater hospital efficiency.
Debbie Lindebaum, Director
Debbie worked in the advertising world at agencies such as Y&R, BBDO and Carat. She switched to the other side of the desk and went to work at People Magazine in Sales Development, Marketing and Events. Debbie has been a Marketing and Events Director for several companies. Throughout her life, Debbie had thrown her heart and energy into charities and organizations including chairing Young Leadership for Migdal Ohr (an orphanage in Israel). Debbie has become very active in her community volunteering for numerous non profits and running fundraising events. She served as President of the Parents’ Association of Sephardic Academy of Manhattan and currently serves on their Executive Board. Debbie moved from Manhattan with her husband Leigh and children Liam (age 10) and Leo (age 7) to San Jose 2 years ago. Her sons are at SPHDS in 2nd and 4th grade. She is currently the President of the Parents' Association.
Ilana Kazovsky, Director
Ilana was involved in Jewish education most of her professional career. Prior to retiring in 2019, she was teaching Hebrew language and Jewish History at SPHDS for thirty years. Ilana served on the Committee for the Annual Community Yom HaShoah Event at Temple Beth Am and represented the school and the students at the event. Ilana served as the president of the SPHDS Teachers’ Association, and represented the teachers of SPHDS at board meetings. Ilana was involved in developing and implementing Hebrew language and Jewish History curriculum and school-wide events. Ilana is married to Dr. Leonid Kazovsky, Stanford Professor Emeritus; they have one daughter and three grandchildren living in Minnesota.
Jason Bayer, Director
Jason was born and raised in Los Angeles and moved to the Bay Area where he received degrees in Economics and Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from UC Berkeley. He and his wife Catherine have three kids, two of whom are in the Early Childhood program at SPHDS (Benjamin and Mira). Jason is a software engineer at Google and has worked across the company for the past 16 years.
Oded Shekel, Director
Oded and his wife, Hagit, joined the SPHDS community six years ago. They are the proud parents of Yael (serves in the IDF), Yuval (high-school senior), Yaron (8th grader) and Yishai (4th grader). Oded was born and raised in Israel and moved to The US in 2001. He has a Computer Science degree and has worked as an Executive Product Manager for multiple software companies ranging from small startups to large enterprises.
Aaron Pluemer, Director
Aaron grew up in Sunnyvale attending SPHDS. He graduated in 2010 after 12 years of enrollment, and his parents were SPHDS parents for over 20 years. Aaron attended Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto and served as President of United Synagogue Youth. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from UC Santa Barbara. Aaron is now an engineer at Qualcomm and is pursuing his Masters in electrical engineering. He is still in-touch with former SPHDS classmates.
Naama Hammel, Director
Naama and her family joined the SPHDS community five years ago. She is married to David and is the proud mother of Yaara (SPHDS alum, 10th grader at JCHS), Roei (7th grade), and Tamir (4th grade). Born in Boston and raised in Israel, Naama is an ophthalmologist by training and is currently a Clinical Research Scientist at Google Health developing machine learning models for the detection of diseases from medical images. She completed her medical and ophthalmology training at Tel-Aviv University; her glaucoma fellowship at the Shiley Eye Institute, UC San Diego; and her ophthalmic informatics fellowship at the UC Davis Eye Center.
George Goldenberg, Director
George, an emigre to the Bay Area from Moscow, holds a Masters in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and was formerly a VP of Engineering at Yahoo!. He is currently EVP of Platform and Products at CaaStle, where he created a platform that powers the majority of apparel rental services in the US. George serves on the boards at Meira Academy, The Shalem School, and is a proud parent of two SPHDS students.
Itamar Frankenthal, Director
As an Israeli who has lived in Monsey, Manhattan, Boston, Dallas, Long Island and San Jose, Itamar Frankenthal and his family bring to the SPHDS a broad Jewish and cultural perspective that compliments the diversity of our parent body. Itamar is an electrical engineer, entrepreneur, teacher, and CEO. Itamar is the owner and CEO of Rose Batteries and its subsidiary Energy Sales, Silicon Valley’s leader in custom batteries for mission-critical applications. Itamar also teaches Torah classes at Am Echad and is a professor of battery technologies at San Jose State University. Itamar studied at Yeshiva Shaarei Torah, Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, and Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchananand (RIETS) . Itamar also studied at Yeshiva University, holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the City University of New York and an MBA from Harvard Businesses School. Itamar is the proud parent of three SPHDS students and enjoys cycling, hiking and photography.
Donald Light, Director
Donald grew up in Chicago and his Jewish path has led from the JCC, to Beth Am, to Kol Emeth, and to Emek Beracha where he served as Treasurer at the last two shuls. He believes that Jewish education is essential. He works as a technology analyst for Celent, giving advice on technology for insurance companies. He is married to Linda Diamond, a recognized expert and author on the science of reading. They live in Menlo Park and his adult children live in the Bay Area and Israel. Donald has a BA in Economics from Princeton and an MBA from Berkeley.
Dr. Maly Oron-Benhamou, Director
Maly was born, raised, and attended medical school in Israel. After graduation, Maly relocated to New York City for her residency and fellowship training with her husband, Ori (an SPHDS alum!). While in New York both their sons, Jonathan and Eithan, were born. The family moved to the Bay Area and joined the SPHDS community almost two years ago. Maly is currently working as a Pulmonary and Critical Care doctor for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.