Your Board of Trustees

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Eric Schiffer VP, Operations

Eric Schiffer
President

I grew up at TBD with my mom Jane (still a member) and my grandmother Rose, and later re-joined after having my own family.  I had my Bar Mitzvah with Rabbi Front and Cantor Newman here some 30 odd years ago, and then stood proudly with my wife Peggy on the bimah as we celebrated our children, Zachary and Leah’s, B’Nai Mitzvot with Rabbi Myers and Cantor Linder.  This living, breathing example of L’dor v’Dor that I, like many of us here at TBD, have experienced makes ensuring TBD’s future such a necessity.  I have previously served on the TBD Board of Trustees as Program Trustee, VP of Planning and Development, and most recently, as VP of Operations.  It has been, and continues to be, my honor to give my time and efforts to TBD in order to help provide for its well-being.

Professionally, I run a boutique law firm in Costa Mesa called Lex Opus APC (formerly Schiffer & Buus, APC), which specializes in civil litigation and appeals involving business, intellectual property, real estate, and employment matters, among many others.  I have been an attorney for twenty years and am a certified appellate law specialist, handling appellate matters statewide and around the country in both state and federal courts.  In addition to serving on TBD’s Board of Trustees, I am also a member of Southwestern Law School’s Alumni Board of Trustees (my law school alma mater) where I offer expertise in matters involving Academic and Professional Development for law students and alumni.  I was also previously appointed by the Westminster City Council to chair the Personnel Commission for the City of Westminster, which I did for two years.  My greatest and most rewarding role, however, is that of father and husband.  I look forward to working with our clergy, staff, and members to help ensure TBD’s continued success.


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Neil Kornswiet VP, Ways & Means

Neil Kornswiet
VP, Ways & Means

My family and I have been members of Temple Beth David for more than 20 years.  All three of our children celebrated their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs at Temple Beth David.  I am excited to assist the Temple with its fundraising efforts.

In terms of my background, I am both a lawyer and accountant by training.  I currently run a hedge fund located in Fashion Island called Optium Capital LLC.  Prior to forming Optium, I was President and a Director of Pacific Mercantile Bank, a publicly traded bank headquartered in Costa Mesa, CA  I have also been a Managing Director for UBS Investment Bank running loan origination and servicing throughout the United States.  Before joining UBS, I formed and ran three large financial institutions that ultimately became publicly traded companies.

Prior to entering the financial services industry, I was a partner in the national law firm of McKenna, Conner and Cuneo specializing in corporate finance, corporate securities, commercial lending, residential lending and operational matters for some of the largest financial institutions and investment banks in the country.  I received my law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and my undergraduate business degree from the Ohio State University.

Finally, I am involved in many charitable and civic endeavors including the Orangewood Children’s Home, the Arthritis Foundation, and the Sage Hill School, among others.

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Kelley Halbreich VP, Membership

I am currently a Project Manager for the Food and Beverage Division supporting the Disneyland Resort as well as Aulani Resort and Spa and segments of the Walt Disneyworld Resort.  I have held a variety of role during my time at Disneyland but my time served on the Volunt”EARS” Leadership Council is one that I always look back on with joy.  During my time with the Disney Volut”EARS” I led multiple initiatives but the one that makes me smile the most is when I served as the, “Run/Walk Chair.”  During my time in that role we raised $1.2M for CHOC Hospital and $850,000 for Aids Services of Orange County also know as ASF.  I served on the Council from 2002-2004 and again from 2011-2013.

My husband Mitchell Halbreich and I have been married for 16 years and I am the proud Mother of Elizabeth (10) and Vivian (8) both of whom are currently enrolled in the Religious School right here at Temple Beth David.  After Vivian was born finding a Synagogue that fit our family became a priority and Mitch brought us to Temple Beth David.  We joined in the fall of 2012 and it has been wonderful for me and my family.  We have made wonderful friends that has been quite an unexpected blessing for us.  Being somewhat new to Temple Beth David that feeling of being new and not knowing anyone is still quite fresh.  I recognize how important is was to me and my family to have a warm welcome from members of Temple Beth David, it was our deciding factor in joining here.  My goal is to continue that for all prospective members of Temple Beth David.

It would be my pleasure to serve on the Membership Committee in an effort to give back to the place that has become a wonderful touchstone for my family.  
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Adam Bernstein Secretary

Adam Bernstein
V.P. Education

My family joined Temple Beth David approximately eight years ago.  We have three sons, Ben (12), Zach (10), and Aaron (10).  All of our boys have attended TBD preschool and religious school.  We are excited about Ben’s upcoming Bar Mitzvah this summer at TBD!  I am an elementary school principal and my wife is a teacher at a local middle school.  Growing up, I was active with my synagogue in Los Angeles and stayed active in Jewish groups during my years in college at the University of California at Santa Barbara.  My family appreciates the warm and friendly atmosphere at Temple Beth David.  I look forward to being able to serve the congregation as the V.P. of Education.

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Charlie Niederman

Charlie Niederman
VP of Planning & Development

My wife, Cathy, and I have been members of TBD for more than 30 years. We have four daughters, two named at Temple Beth David in the 60’s. Three were confirmed at TBD in the 80’s. Our third daughter, Debbie was married at TBD in the 90’s. I have served on the Temple Board as a trustee and in 5 officer positions and among other Brotherhood positions as Brotherhood Religious Action Chair. I now serve on two commissions of the Union for Reform Judaism, the parent organization of Reform Judaism. I look forward to working with the Religious Action Committee and the Rabbi to help our Temple meet the spiritual needs and aspirations of our congregation as Reform

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Robin-Harrison

Robin Harrison V.P. of Religious Practices

My wife Mulu and I have been married for 24 years. We have two incredible daughters, Candice and Robin (who had her Bat Mitzvah in December 2013). I am currently in my eighteenth year of proudly teaching for the Los Angeles Unified School District.  My greatest loves in life, outside of my family, are classic movies, history, drawing, performing, magic, and occasionally fishing.

It has been an incredible pleasure being a part of the Temple Beth David community for over two years. The extended family I have found here has allowed my own family a closeness it has not experienced before. We have been so proud to share in the joy of being so active in Brotherhood, Sisterhood, choir, and so many other rewarding aspects of life as a member of the Temple.

Being a board member of Temple Beth David, as the Adult Education trustee, allows me the opportunity to be an active, contributing part of the intellectual and spiritual growth of this wonderful place; a part of which I am so honored to have been entrusted. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chuck Brotchner Buildings & Grounds Trustee

Chuck Brotchner
Buildings & Grounds Trustee

My wife Jacki and I joined TBD in1991.  My parents, Leonard and Marjorie Brotchner were members for several years and we decided to join them.  Both of our children, Rachel and Benjamin, were Bat and Bar Mitzvahed at TBD.

I am now retired from a career in education.  During those 39+ years with the ABCUSD, I experienced grades K-12 in both classroom and the office.  In addition to my educational background, I enjoy residential construction and repairs, working on our own home and for friends and relatives.  I just completed remodeling my daughter’s kitchen and she was thrilled with the result.

I enjoy travel and we have been able to visit Israel, China, Alaska, Australia, Europe, Panama Canal and several of our states.

I have prior board experience as the Building and Grounds Trustee having served several years ago.

Our TBD facilities at the present time are in good shape.  The new kitchen is our most recent completed project and will allow us to make our facilities more rent-able for members and outsiders.  I look forward to serving on our TBD Board.

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I have been a member of the Temple Beth David family for 18 years, and on the Board in various capacities throughout the years.  I have served in the Program Chair position and have also been active on the committee since the beginning.

Program Trustee

Program Trustee

 

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Bob Altman & Michelle Sandler Publicity Trustees

Bob Altman & Michelle Sandler
Publicity Trustees

 

Bob Altman & Michelle Sandler (husband and wife) are TBD’s newly-minted Publicity Trustees.  In this role, we do everything we can to get the word out about TBD events.  Michelle has been a member of TBD since 1963, when her parents Art and Annabelle Sandler moved to Los Alamitos and joined the then-fledgling congregation.  In addition to Publicity Trustee, Michelle is also the TBD Librarian, in which capacity she is working to organize and catalog the collection.

Bob, who grew up in Buena Park, joined in 1995 when he married into the Sandler clan.  Bob was a software engineer for 31 years building airplane simulators, before he took early retirement.  Now he’s busier than ever before playing with several bands, singing in (and occasionally accompanying and writing out music for) the choir, and, in his spare time, building a website as a commercial venture.

Bob and Michelle have done publicity several times for the Laguna Folk Dance Festival.  Michelle has done publicity for the Orange County Jewish Genealogy Society (where she has previously served as President and, currently as VP for programs).  We are both happy to help with publicity outreach.

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Lynne Horn Social Action Trustee

Lynne Horn
Social Action Trustee

 

During the past year I have been Program Trustee, working with a committee to bring the synaplexes to the members.  We also did special programs.  I am hoping to be Social Action Trustee so that I can bring positive change to our temple through programs such as:  The Compassionate Cities Program, blood drives, food drives, helping people in need through collecting clothing and other new programs.

I have been a member of the temple since 1980 and have appreciated all that the temple, and its members and staff, have done for me through the years.  I would like the opportunity to continue to give back to Temple Beth David.

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Florence Sudakow Choir President

Florence Sudakow
Choir President

I am beginning my third term as Choir President, and have been an alto/tenor in the Choir for about 30 years now . . . almost as long as my family and I have been members of Temple Beth David. Both of my children, Sarah and James have become Bat/Bar mitzvahs, and my husband Max and I have become B’nai Mitzvahs as adults. I am a past president of Temple Beth David Sisterhood. As Choir President, I not only represent the Choir on the Temple Board, but have helped the Choir rewrite the by-laws, make necessary purchases, such as sound system equipment, music stands, and contribute a significant amount of money towards the purchase of the new piano and to the support of the Temple. Keeping Choir needs up to date enriches the Temple.

 

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