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ChaiVillageLA is about helping people
to live well and joyfully within a community
of friends, support and Jewish values.
HomeWho We Are





Meet the ChaiVillageLA Leadership Team




Richard Siegel
ChaiVillageLA Chair,
Fundraising
Richard Siegel recently retired as the Director of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles. Prior to this, from 1978-2006 he served in various positions at the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, the last 15 years as Executive Director. His work at the NFJC helped put Jewish culture on the communal agenda as an important medium for the Jewish conversation and the expression of contemporary Jewish identity. He is the co-editor of The Jewish Catalog(JPS, 1973), the best-selling guide to the Jewish counter-culture of the 60s and 70s, and The Jewish Almanac (Bantam Books, 1981), as well as other books, chapters and articles, on Jewish life and culture. Richard was recently appointed as a Senior Resource Fellow at Community Partners where he is consulting on a number of projects relating to Jewish community and culture. In addition to his work on ChaiVillageLA, he is also working with his wife, Rabbi Laura Geller, on a book tentatively entitled The Next Jewish Catalog: Getting Good at Getting Older.



Terry Pullan
ChaiVillageLA Chair, 
Finance
Terry Pullan held senior management positions for over 20 years with Merrill Lynch Realty, Prudential California Realty and Fox & Carskadon Real Estate.  In 1996 Terry founded Genstar Media as one of the first companies to design personal websites for the real estate industry.  In 2008 his company was acquired by Dominion Enterprises, a privately held company headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia.  Terry lives in Rancho Park where he has immersed himself as an active volunteer in the community. He has been a leader for many years at Temple Isaiah where he served as President. He also served as President of the Westwood School Booster Club, was a founding member of the Westwood Neighborhood Council and is a member of the Hebrew Union College Board of Overseers. Terry and his wife, Andrea, have two daughters, Lara and Sasha.



Ellen Isaacs
ChaiVillageLA 
Co-Chair,
External Networking
Ellen Isaacs practiced law for 15 years, then founded a project at Public Counsel-the public interest law office of the Beverly Hills and LA County Bar Associations--in which she recruited lawyers, architects and accountants to provide free legal and other professional services to community-based nonprofits seeking to build affordable housing for their constituencies. When her two children with husband Lary were approaching their teenage years, she returned to the workforce as the co-cordinator of a special project in the UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs to create a college-going culture among disadvantaged and underrepresented students in middle and high school.  Ellen also worked as Transportation Policy Director for former Assemblymember Mike Feuer and as Director of Metro/City of LA Government Relations responsible for ensuring coordination on rail, bus and major infrastructure projects. Most recently, she was contracted to serve as Transportation Policy Director in the office of LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin.  Ellen is the author of several articles on subjects ranging from affordable housing, and the half-cent LA County sales tax for transportation projects, to a review of bus stops in Paris, and a cautionary tale about aging in a high tech world.



Andrea Pullan
ChaiVillageLA 
Co-Chair
Andrea Pullan has spent all but four years of her life living in Los Angeles. She has over 30 years of experience in the real estate field, both in sales and co-owning two real estate website companies with her husband, Terry Pullan.  Both real estate companies were sold and she went on to her latest business venture, owning Gallery Judaica, an internet and storefront Judaic artist gallery business which she sold in 2014.  She has also spent her adult life in a variety of volunteer leadership roles, as Co-Chair of the Westwood Charter School Booster Club and Chair of the Palo Alto Districtwide Fundraising Committee.  She is currently Chair of the LifeQuest Committee at Temple Isaiah, and Vice-Chair of ChaiVillageLA, as well as serving on the Programming and Services Committee. Andrea’s daughter, Lara, and son-in-law, Yoni, live in Northern California and her daughter, Sasha, lives in Venice, CA.



Lorna Belman
Member-At-
Large
Lorna Belman was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. After graduation and marriage, she and her husband Mike made Aliyah to Israel. The move was simultaneously a rejection of the values of the Apartheid regime and support for the growing State of Israel.  Seven years later, they moved to Ohio and eventually to California. Lorna's first job in the United States was interviewing a cross-section of "Older Americans" in Cleveland and eliciting information on their satisfaction in areas like health care, community support, and activities of daily living. In California, Lorna worked for thirty years as a Speech Pathologist in public schools, where one of her proudest innovations was a program utilizing retired teachers to help under-achieving students. Relatively new to Temple Isaiah, Lorna and Mile were long-time members of a Santa Monica synagogue where Lorna served as a board member and board president.  Happily retired, she enjoys spending time with her three children and seven grandchildren as well as serving in several roles in the village.



Connie Bennett
Member Recruitment
and Renewals
In time to begin her senior year of college Connie Bennett transplanted herself from Akron, Ohio to USC and says she's been flourishing in the California sunshine ever since. After marrying a native Californian and giving birth to two more of them, she and her family settled in Beverly Hills.  Her two sons each graduated from Beverly Hills Unified School District in thirteen years but she continued teaching there for more than forty years.  When not teaching children, Connie directed tours for seniors, "by land and by sea," to almost ninety countries-- so if you think you've seen her somewhere, you probably have! Connie is a member of Temple Emanuel and would be happy to welcome guests from ChaiVillageLA.



Barbara Joyner
Programs
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Barbara Joyner spent much of her 30 year career in Hospital Administration focusing on issues related to the quality of care provided by Medical Staff members. She served as Regional Director of Medical Staff for three affiliated hospitals in the Los Angeles area, managing nearly 3,000 physician staff members. Barbara holds a Master's degree in Health Systems Administration, and has served as a mentor to students pursuing Bachelor's and Master's degrees at California State University Northridge.  Taking up running later in life, she has completed numerous marathons, half-marathons and triathlons, most taking place after her 50th birthday. Retired for six years, Barbara and her husband Dale spend much of the year traveling.  They have two young adult sons. 



Dale Joyner
Co-Treasurer
Dale Joyner comes to ChaiVillageLa as interim treasurer with 10 years experience as treasurer of Temple Isaiah and 25 years as a CPA. As the initial recipient of Isaiah's Hineni award, he is often the first to step up and offer assistance. ChaiVillageLA has been a natural fit and offered the expansion of newfound friendships. When not "balancing the books," he can be found traveling with his wife, Barbara, to some new adventure.



Susan Lava
Co-Treasurer
Susan Lava was born in Brooklyn and lived in New York until fifteen years ago, when her employer asked her to relocate to California. Susan's first career in New York  was as an elementary school teacher and a teacher of developmental and remedial reading. She returned to school for her second master's degree and a career change.  She has been a CPA since the mid '80s and is licensed in both New York and California.  She worked in public practice for about 10 years and then worked in industry.  Her last position and the one that brought her to California was as the CFO of a company that produced TV commercials.  She is semi-retired with a small CPA practice.  She was very active in her Long Island temple as the founder of the nursery school, as a board member and as president of the Sisterhood.  Her three children and seven grandchildren live in three different cities: New York, Chicago and Sydney.



Susan Levine
Member Engagement
Susan Levine moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 2015 with her husband, Rabbi Joel Levine, after living in Florida for over 30 years.  While living there she served as the community Family Life Educator for the Commission for Jewish Education and then as the Cultural Arts and Special Events Director at the Jewish Community Center of the Greater Palm Beaches.  Prior to Florida, Susan lived in Washington, DC, where she was the owner of a large secretarial temporary help company.  In addition to her love for ChaiVillageLA, she is also an active docent at the Skirball Cultural Center.  She and Joel are members of both Temple Emanuel and Temple Isaiah.



Sue Rosenblum
Marketing and Communication
Sue Rosenblum worked in corporate marketing departments for 15 years, first in NY and later in  LA, where she was the Vice President of Marketing for Neutrogena. In 1993 she started her own management and marketing consultancy, helping small companies with strategic planning and business-building. Sue received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She has also used her marketing skills to help LA nonprofits, serving as Board Chair for Mar Vista Family Center, Grant Screening Board Chair for the Everychild Foundation and as an executive director coach. Sue also served on the Temple Isaiah Religious School Committee, the Temple Isaiah Board and the Capital Campaign Committee.  Sue and her husband Dave are the proud parents of two adult children, Lauren and Eric.



Peter Siegel
Member-At-
Large
Peter M. Siegel lives in Beverly Hills with his spouse, Hope C. Stevens; both are active members of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. Pete is a member of the board of directors of TEBH and one of the founders (and contact point) for Naaseh v'Nishma, a group of TEBH members supporting refugees and others in need--by doing. Pete and Hope have two children: Seth who lives just outside London with his brilliant spouse, Polly; and Sarah, who lives in the San Francisco area with her wonderful fiancé, Paresh. Pete has participated in not-for-profits as part of Jewish life (for a campus Hillel, a Jewish Federation and synagogues) as well as his work life (in California, New York and internationally).  Pete is currently enjoying semi-retirement, having worked in university Information Technology management positions for his entire career (after a stint working for a living, as a programmer).   



Martha Sklar
Member Recruitment
and Renewals

When Martha Sklar was 8 1/2 years old, a big change occurred in her life.  She and her family left Old Havana and immigrated to the U.S., first settling in Detroit and later moving to Chicago.  In Chicago, she received her BA, MA and Ph.D. in mathematics education and then taught in both urban and suburban settings.  After her first son was born, she and her family moved to LA, where she has lived for 48 years, making her almost a native.  Martha’s professional life in L.A. included teaching at Los Angeles City College and then serving as the Transfer Center Director followed by Dean of Academic Affairs. After retirement, she became more active in community organizations such as the League of Women Voters-Los Angeles, where she is currently co-President.  Martha’s interests include theatre, music and travel—she has been on all seven continents.    




Sandra Sternig Babcock received her Ph.D. from UCLA in Special Education and spent her 40 year career serving children and adolescents with special needs in order to assure that they received the services required to create the most positive outcomes possible. She created programs at the community college level for learning disabled students, served as President and CEO of the Dubnoff Center, a nonprofit special education school, outpatient mental health and residential facility, taught teacher education courses at local universities and served on many local, county, and state committees on special education and mental health issues facing Los Angeles youth.  Sandra is a 30 year member of Temple Emanuel. She served on the Board of Directors from 1990 to 1996 and during that time served as the Vice President of Education. Sandra is retired and enjoys spending time with her family and especially her 3 year old granddaughter. 


 

Rabbi Laura Geller
Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills
Rabbi Laura Geller is an Emerita Rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills, California. She was among the first women to be selected to lead a major metropolitan synagogue. Prior to being chosen for this position in 1994, she served as the Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress, Pacific Southwest Region. Among her accomplishments at AJCongress was the creation of the AJCongress Feminist Center, which became a model for other Jewish feminist projects around the county. She came to AJCongress in 1990 after fourteen years as the Director of Hillel at the University of Southern California.  Rabbi Geller has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including being named one of Newsweek’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America and the California State Legislature’s Woman of the Year Award. She was featured in the PBS Documentary called “Jewish Americans.”  She is a frequent contributor to the Jewish Journal and the Huffington Post and she served on the Editorial Board of The Torah: A Woman's Commentary.. She is a Rabbinic Fellow of the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and an alumna of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality Rabbinic program.  She serves as a mentor for the Clergy Leadership Initiative, a project of CLAL.  She was ordained by the Hebrew Union College in 1976, the third woman in the Reform Movement to become a rabbi.



Rabbi Zoë Klein
Temple Isaiah
Rabbi Zoë Klein is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Isaiah and has served this congregation since 2000. She graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Psychology and received ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1998.  She is the author of the novel Drawing in the Dust, which was published by Simon and Schuster in 2009, of which Publishers Weekly wrote, “Insight into the world of biblical excavation in Israel raises Rabbi Klein's debut novel from a Jewish Da Vinci Code to an emotionally rich story of personal and historical discovery."  Rabbi Klein has written articles for numerous publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Tikkun, and Torat Hayim. She has written chapters in a number of collections including Women’s Torah Commentary, Teen Texts, and Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation. Her poems and prayers are used in houses of prayer around the country. Rabbi Klein gives numerous presentations and is a keynote speaker and a panel participant at various assemblies all over the country. She is a resource for reporters in regional newspapers and has appeared as a commentator on the History Channel in “Digging for the Truth.” Her second novel, Origin of Color, is scheduled to be published later this year.


Devorah Servi, Director
Devorah Servi
ChaiVillageLA Director,
Caring Services
Devorah Servi's tenure as ChaiVillageLA's Director began in March, 2016.  She previously served in the synagogue world as the Member Engagement Director at Kehillat Israel, Western Regional Director of the Reconstructionist Jewish Federation and Director of Gemilut Hasadim (Acts of Lovingkindness) at Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore.  Devorah also earned a California teaching credential while a DeLeT Day School Teacher Leader Fellow at Hebrew Union College.  She taught General Studies for 5 years, including at an ultra-orthodox school.  Devorah traveled to India as a 2014-2015 American Jewish World Service Global Justice Fellow to learn about grassroots efforts to end early marriage and violence against women, girls and LGBTs.  Devorah enjoys hiking, teaching swimming, creating art and songs, and being the proud great-aunt of Sofia and Isabel.  Her work with ChaiVillageLA is dedicated to the blessed memory of her mother.



Kelsey Fong
Communications
Coordinator
Kelsey Fong just graduated from the University of Southern California where she studied Sociology and Web Technologies. She is a Los Angeles native, growing up just a few miles from Dodger Stadium. Since middle school, Kelsey has enjoyed volunteering for various nonprofit organizations such as Project Angel Food and Inner City Arts and she also participates in a friendly visitor program, which pairs elders with volunteers one on one. Kelsey is happy to be part of the ChaiVillageLA team and to continue cultivating her passion for social justice. She plans on becoming a paralegal, serving those most in need. In her free time, Kelsey loves hanging out with her 95 pound German Shepherd, cooking with her mom and taking photographs of LA's beautiful sky.

Steering Committee (top of page) from left to right:  Ellen Isaacs, Susan Levine, Sue Rosenblum, Susan Lava, Peter Siegel, Sandi Sternig-Babcock, Terry Pullan, Lorna Belman, Richard Siegel, Andrea Pullan, Martha Sklar, Devorah Servi, Barbara Joyner, Dale Joyner. Not Shown: Rabbi Laura Geller, Rabbi Zoë Klein, Connie Bennett.