Donald Baum, President – Donald, who has experienced a range of congregations, has said that he derives the most joy and feels the strongest connection to the uplifting, contemporary Judaism he discovered at Kol HaNeshama. He became a Bar Mitzvah and was confirmed in a classic Reform temple in the Sacramento of his boyhood. He affiliated with a Reform temple after moving to Philadelphia, marrying Diane and starting a family. Much later, upon relocating to the Midwest, he and his wife and two sons became actively involved in a Conservative synagogue. From their first visit to KH six years ago, Donald and Diane responded to Kol HaNeshama’s song-filled services and environment of congeniality and warmth. They joined KH, began attending services and events regularly, made many friends and accepted roles of responsibility. Donald accepted Board membership in 2020 and was elected President in March 2021.
A Professor Emeritus from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Donald taught for 40 years in universities, including Temple University in Philadelphia and UNO, where he served for seven years as Chair of the Economics Department. The numerous journal articles he has authored are primarily in the area of public finance and public economics, which uses the concepts of economics to evaluate and explain government taxes and expenditures. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of California at Davis and a PhD in Economics from Claremont Graduate School.
Ellen Honig, Vice President – Ellen Honig is a wife and mother to two wonderful men. She now has the great pleasure of being a grandmother to two wonderful grandchildren. She is a Registered Nurse, a Certified Case Manager and has a Masters of Business Administration. Her career in the Health Industry has been varied encompassing Public Health, Hospital Administration, Medical Supply Sales and Healthcare Computer Software. Ellen has been on the board of KH for a year and one half. She currently serves as Vice President and is actively involved with the Education Committee.
Joe Rosenthal, Treasurer – Joe is a native New Yorker. He and his “college sweetheart”, Michelle, moved to Florida six years ago. While not overly religious, Joe has found a home in KH. He enjoys the music and feels a true sense of belonging. He strives to apply his can-do organizational skills and ideas to KH and the Sarasota community. He retired as Executive Director of Information Technology from Educational Testing Service. Retirement for Joe includes tennis, golf, pickleball, fishing and travel. Joe is a volunteer, at heart, applying his photography skills for Sarasota-based non-profit organizations and is currently serving as Chair of VillageWalk-Sarasota Recreation Committee. He is currently Treasurer of KH, and previously served as treasurer for a NJ-based artist’s cooperative.
Ranita Gomez, Secretary – Ranita grew up in a Conservative home in Detroit Michigan where her family was a member of Congregation Beth Abraham. She and her husband were married there in 1980. She graduated with an education degree from Wayne State University and had a varied teaching career that included High School Physical Education and coaching (swimming and gymnastics), elementary school special needs, and finishing her career with 14 years as the Educational Director of Congregation Kol Ami in Tampa Florida. The Gomez’ joined K-H when they moved to Sarasota and she has served on many committees, chaired Ritual for many years, and has been a many-times board member. She is currently secretary. Ranita has traveled extensively including 5 trips to Israel. In retirement she enjoys hiking (mostly on the AT), swimming anywhere (oceans, rivers, lakes, pools), and folk dancing with the Sarasota Grapeviners.
Adrienne Friedman – I grew up in north Jersey (Passaic) in an orthodox synagogue and an orthodox home. I got a speech pathology degree from Trenton State College (now known as College of New Jersey). I worked as a speech pathologist for two years in Philadelphia and two years in Columbia, South Carolina. Then my husband, Rich, a dentist needed an office manager in his practice in Lawrenceville New Jersey. I spent over 40 years as a front office manager. Rich and I married in 1968 and adopted one daughter. Robyn passed away in August 2018. We love Sarasota.
Bobbi Goldwater – Bobbi started her career as a kindergarten teacher in New York City. After moving to Maryland and taking some time to raise two young children, she became CFO of Goldwater Communications, a direct marketing company. During her 20-year tenure as CFO, she also found time to volunteer with numerous organizations, focusing her efforts on early childhood development. She now lives in Sarasota and spends her time volunteering, playing golf and pickle ball, cooking, knitting, and doting on her two grandchildren.
Marcel Infeld – Marcel has had several professional careers, including high school science teacher as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia; HMO administrator; health care consultant; and real estate broker. Marcel is fluent in Hebrew having lived in Israel as a child, and raised in an ultra-orthodox home. This has led him to teach several adult education courses, including Hebrew reading, Torah trope, and Tanakh classes. Marcel and Donna Infeld just celebrated 35 years of marriage; they have one adopted daughter. This is Marcel’s first year on the board; he currently serves as the chair of the website committee.
Alvin Levine – Al grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey in an Orthodox family. His maternal grandfather was a gabay in their Shul. He attended the Plainfield Hebrew Institute after his secular classes and participated in their Junior Congregation where his grandmother served the refreshments. He was Bar Mitzvahed in the local Shul. After that, his family joined a new conservative congregation where he was married. He attended and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and became a CPA. Joining a small Firm Al became a Partner where he worked for 51 years and saw the Firm grow in size and stature.
Besides helping to raise two successful daughters, Al participated in local political and not for profit activities. He served on the Board of Health and then, the Board of Education, which built and financed a new high school. He was a long-time member of the local Rotary Club and served as Vice President of the local United Way. He was a founder and then President of the Shimon and Sarah Birnbaum JCC and also a founder and President of the Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties Jewish Family Service. Al was the first Treasurer of a merged conservative congregation and eventually its President. Al found time to travel and, so far, has visited 47 countries. He played tennis for many years and, in recent years, Pickleball. He is also a bridge player. This is his second year as a KH Board Member.
Linda Milberg – Linda spent 20 years of her working life as a wholesale distributor ending up running an $800,000,000 company. After that she turned her focus to consulting with entrepreneurs and not for profits to help them reach the next level. Retired now she is an artist, a challah baker, an adult swim instructor and a doting grandmother. Rooted firmly in the tradition of philanthropy she and her family support several organizations that are near and dear to their hearts. She has been a member of the board since 2019, serving as president in 2020.
Naomi Schwartz – Naomi was an educator in her professional career teaching chemistry and health education. She has been involved in volunteer work in many capacities in both religious and secular organizations. She created and led the Berkshire Council for Soviet Jewry in the 1970s and 80s and helped settle the largest number of Soviet Jewry immigrants for a small city in the United States in the 90s. She has always been involved in politics on the local, state, and national levels. She has belonged to the Knesset Israel synagogue in the Berkshires for 51 years and is a member of Kol HaNeshama for 10 years. This is her first time on the KH board. Naomi enjoys painting in her spare time.
Glenda Auerbach Spitzer – Glenda Auerbach Spitzer has had several professional careers, including middle/high school math teacher and Marketing Research Director for various products and services, ranging from cleaning supplies to pharmaceuticals and a lot of other things in between. Glenda grew up in the synagogues of north Jersey, albeit the social butterfly more than the daven-er. Glenda found KH just two years ago, upon meeting Rabbi Jennifer she realized she found a new home. This is Glenda’s first year on the board.