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Executive Committee

Effective July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021

The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors is responsible for day-to-day oversight of the administrative and financial functions of the synagogue, subject to the powers of the Board of Directors granted under the Congregation’s By-Laws and under California Law.

PRESIDENT Jeffrey Goss

Jeff and his family have been members of VBS for nearly 25 years. Jeff has served in various capacities on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, most recently as Development Vice President. Jeff is a partner at the accounting firm of Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co., LLP. Jeff’s wife, Karen, is a counselor at the VBS Counseling Center and has been an active volunteer at VBS in many capacities. The Goss’ children, Matthew and Lauren, both graduated from the VBS ECC and are in college working to make the world a better place.

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Eric Kingsley

Eric and his wife Thalia have been active in VBS since 2001. Their three children all graduated from the VBS Day School. Eric served on the Day School Board from 2007-2013, acting as its President from 2009-2011. Since that time Eric has served on the synagogue board. In other aspects of Jewish communal service, Eric has been very active with ADL and served as Board Chair of the Pacific Southwest Region from 2014-2016 as well as serving on its National Commission. By day, Eric is an employment lawyer working on behalf of workers who have been mistreated or not paid properly.

ADMINISTRATIVE VICE PRESIDENT Scott Howard

Scott and his family have been members of VBS since 1972. He and his wife Marcie were married at VBS; their three children, Rachel, Leah and Daniel, all attended the ECC and Day School at VBS. Scott served as an officer on the VBS Day School Board for ten years, followed by his service on the VBS Synagogue Board and Executive Committee. Marcie has been involved as a paraprofessional at the VBS Counseling Center and served as past President of the San Fernando Valley Council of Na’amat. Scott is involved in many non-profit organizations, including the National Council for AIPAC. Professionally, Scott is a CPA and served as a partner in practice with his father Leo for more than 25 years, and now is a partner at SquarMilner.

SECRETARY Moshe Meppen

Moshe has been a VBS member since 2000, and has served on the VBS Board of Directors since 2014. His 3 children graduated from VBS Day School, and together with his wife Debra has been active in the growth of the VBS Day School since 2003, serving on the strategic planning and marketing committees. Moshe serves as the High Holiday Cantor for the VBS Traditional Playground Service and has been the Co-Chair of the VBS Budget Committee for the past 2 years. Professionally, Moshe has been Chief Executive Officer of the biometric technology firm MetaDolce Technologies, Inc. since 2008. He holds a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing and Finance from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

ADULT JEWISH LIFE VICE PRESIDENT Hannah Wachs

Hannah has been a congregant at VBS since returning to Los Angeles in 2015, after six years in Irvine, where she was an active member of Congregation B’nai Israel. While in Orange County, Hannah taught TK for two years at the Merage Jewish Community Center. Before turning to teaching she worked in international television sales and marketing and was a member of Beth Meier in Studio City.

With two kids in religious school and one starting in the ECC, Hannah can often be found coming and going from the parking lot at VBS. She, her husband Jeffrey, and their daughters Sylvia, Judith, and Shoshana rarely miss a meeting of the Playground Minyan or Kids’ Minyan. Hannah is an active member of the ECLC Parent Committee and enjoys attending Sisterhood events and educational lectures at VBS whenever she can.

DEVELOPMENT VICE PRESIDENT Ari Moss

Ari joins the Board of Directors this year to serve VBS alongside his robust history of leadership in the Jewish community including: Los Angeles Jewish Federation’s New Leaders Project; Los Angeles Jewish Federation’s Geller Leadership Institute; Past Board Member of IKAR; Past Board Member of Limmud Los Angeles; Participant in Wexner Heritage Program (2015-2017); Past President and Current Board Member of the Shalom Institute Camp and Conference Center; and Current Board Member of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation. Ari's wife, Simonne, serves as Chair of the VBS ECLC Parent Committee, and his youngest son attends classes at the VBS ECC.

Ari values VBS as a place he can pray with sincerity and experience a transcendent prayerful moment; at the same time, as a place where he has found friends and community. He believes in an innate longing for community, to feel a sense of connection and belonging. As the demands of 21st century life have weakened our bonds and connection to the synagogues Jews have turned to for centuries, Ari hopes to foster a sense of community and connection that we need more than ever. Whether someone attends services daily, weekly, or yearly (or somewhere in between), VBS can be a place where community convenes, where we feel connected and valued.

EDUCATION VICE PRESIDENT Sergio Bicas

Sergio and his family have been active members of the VBS community since 2004. In 2014 he joined the Board of Directors and recently became VP of Education.  He has three children, who have grown up at VBS starting in the mommy-and-me program, and continuing through the ECC and Day School. Sergio and his wife Tamar Dolgen, who serves on the VBS Day School Board and leads the Development Committee, are passionate about Jewish education and Jewish life.  Sergio started the lay-led Playground Minyan traditional egalitarian service in 2007 and regularly leads their Shabbat and High Holiday services. He also serves on the Board of Directors of The L.A. Food Bank and volunteers with Heroes for Life, supporting Israeli soldiers. Sergio Bicas is a serial entrepreneur, investor and executive with over 30 years of extensive global experience in food, pharma and bio-tech, with a specialty in the organic and natural sectors.  He is a graduate of Universidad Ibero Americana with a Chemical Engineering degree. Born in Mexico City, Sergio is fluent in Spanish, English and Hebrew, and enjoys the outdoors, cycling and his small organic vegetable garden.

FINANCE VICE PRESIDENT Saul Gershkowitz

Saul and his wife Robbie have been VBS members since 1990. Their three children, Bryan, Hanah and Micayla, all graduated from the VBS Day School. Saul has served on the VBS Board of Directors for many years and has worked on various committees, including co-chair of the Budget Committee.  His wife served on the Day School board and ran the temple's Feeding the Homeless program. Professionally, Saul is a partner at the accounting firm Brown, Sterman, Reznik & Gershkowitz APC.

MEMBERSHIP VICE PRESIDENT Stephanie Walsh

Stephanie, her husband Allan, and their two children became VBS members in 2004 when their children started attending the ECC. Raised in Minnesota and Montreal, they did not grow up in this community but quickly realized VBS was a welcoming congregation where they wanted their children to grow and embrace the traditions and values of Judaism. Their children graduated from the ECC and Day School, each of them culminating in a 6th grade trip to Israel, experiences that instilled in them an even stronger connection to Israel and to Judaism.  Stephanie was deeply honored to be nominated to the Board of Directors for VBS. In addition to serving as a Trustee on the VBS Day School Board, Stephanie has volunteered for causes close to her family’s heart. She shares her efforts with her kids, including The Annual Walk to End Genocide, Feeding the Homeless and other initiatives tackling Homelessness.

Since graduating from the University of Minnesota, Stephanie has always held professional positions in public relations or marketing. Stephanie held a Senior Management position in Corporate Communications at Sprint until January 2016 when she decided to leave to spend more time with my family. During her 17-year tenure she held a variety of management roles including PR strategy, national media relations, social media and crisis communications.

RELIGION VICE PRESIDENT Ilene Berman

Ilene is a businesswoman and a professional volunteer who originates from Brooklyn, New York. She is the wife of Dennis, mother of sons, Loren and Micah, and the daughter of Myra z'l and Wally z'l Shapiro. While growing up in the San Fernando Valley, she belonged to Congregation Beth Kodesh (CBK) where she was active in USY, holding positions as both Jr. and Sr. Presidents. She was her senior class and school’s Vice President at Canoga Park High School and is a graduate of Los Angeles Hebrew High School. At UCLA, Ilene graduated in Sociology/Ethnic Studies then worked as USY Director and Camp Counselor for CBK. Her involvement with the VBS Day School includes Chair of the Parent Organization’s annual fund-raiser, Grandparent’s Day and Lag B’Omer family picnics. She organized School Board Retreats, served on the finance and long-range plan committees, has been Recruitment Chair, and was heavily involved in the development and marketing of the school. She served as Parent Organization Co-President and concluded her Day School service as President of the Board Trustees. She has previously sat on the VBS Synagogue Board, as well as the Education, House and Grounds, High Holiday Honors and Madrichim committees. Ilene has been Sisterhood’s Recording Secretary, Membership and Program Vice President and President. She is currently on the Sisterhood Leadership Council, Day School Board of Trustees and VBS Education committee. Ilene has sat on the Solomon Schechter Day School National Board as a Director. She has sat on the Encino Community Council as Educational Representative and has served the Jewish National Fund as Young Families Chair and Community Campaign Chair. Ilene is the recipient of the Jewish Federation Valley Alliance Women’s Leadership Award and currently serves on the Women’s Philanthropy Board. Ilene looks forward to once again serving the VBS community and hopes to help with continued growth and strength for our congregation​.

DAY SCHOOL PRESIDENT Roslyn Grinberg

Roslyn is the current President of the VBS Day School Board of Trustees. As a 1985 graduate of the Day School and a lifelong member of the synagogue, she is still inspired by her 6th grade hero, Golda Meir. She earned her bachelor’s degree at U.C. San Diego and later completed her master's degree in public policy at the University of Southern California. Her career began in Atlanta, Georgia where she worked on a state initiative to reform long term care policy.  She eventually moved into the private health care sector at Cohn & Wolfe and then Edelman Public Relations, in New York City, where she led corporate communications initiatives for health care clients.  A few years after Roslyn and David were married they decided to move closer to her family in Los Angeles, where she furthered her career in health care communications at Fischer Healthcare Communications and eventually in house at Amgen. Roslyn has served on the Board of Trustees in various capacities for the past seven years. For the past 4 years she served as the Administrative Vice President. She played an active role in taking the school to new heights while helping lead the Head of School search in 2018, but she still thinks her job has just begun! Roslyn and David have three children: Ily is a 2016 graduate, Shayna is a 2019 graduate and Maya is in 5th grade at VBS Day School.

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT David Spiegel

David and his wife, Michelle, have been active members of VBS for over 25 years. David has been on the Board since 2002 and has been on the Executive Committee as VP of Finance, Education and Administration. David has also chaired the Board Governance Committee and been on several other committees. He has been on the Board of the Pacific Southwest Region on United Synagogue and is on the Ziegler Advisory Board. Michelle is past president of the VBS Sisterhood and has been very active in the Valley Alliance. David is a bowling proprietor in the State of Washington and has been a national officer of the BPAA. David and Michelle have two wonderful grown children, both married: Nicole (Micah) Eigler and Daniel (Elysa); and three fabulous grandchildren, including Daliya and Toby, who attend school at VBS.

Sat, September 26 2020 8 Tishrei 5781