Board of Directors

July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008
Sandra Epstein, Ph.D., President

Sandra has served on the JFCS/East Bay board since 2004. She brings to her position of president a forty-year record of professional accomplishment in geriatrics and education that spans both sides of the San Francisco Bay. From 1984 to 2004, Sandra served as administrator/COO of the Jewish Home for the Aged in San Francisco. During this time, she was elected to the board of directors (and to the position of secretary) of the Association of Jewish Aging Services. In 1994, Sandra was chosen as the Outstanding Professional in the Jewish Community by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Sandra is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received both her master's and her doctorate in higher education policy and administration from the University of California at Berkeley.

Ben Hamburg, Vice President

Ben joined the JFCS/East Bay board in 2005. He is an attorney with the Hamburg Law Corporation in Berkeley. His practice focuses on business and real estate transactions and litigation. In addition, he serves as a neutral mediator. Ben obtained a B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1975, and a J.D. from the University of California Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law in 1979. Ben lives in Oakland with his wife, Sandy, and has two daughters, Alison, a graduate of Wesleyan University, and Rachel, a student at Pomona College.

John Alexander, Treasurer

John joined the JFCS/East Bay board in 2004. He is a licensed marriage family therapist, and works as a strategic account executive for Health Solutions Group, working with Fortune 500 companies designing health and wellness solutions. Previous experience includes directing a nonprofit case management and mental health service program for teens and young children. John lives in Albany, and has two children, Zachary, who has worked as a counselor at Camp Kee Tov, and Remy, who has spent several summers at Camp Tawonga.

Rhoda L. Agin, Ph.D., Secretary

Rhoda has been on the board since early 2006. She is a professor emerita of communicative sciences and disorders at California State University East Bay (Hayward) and the owner-director of Communication Associates in Albany. She specializes in voice and speech training for individuals and corporate workshops. Rhoda completed her doctoral training in craniofacial anomalies and laryngeal physiology at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago.

Wayne E. Batavia

Wayne joined the JFCS/East Bay board in December 2007. Since 1991, he has served as the president of Batavia Land Company, a real estate consulting and development company. Wayne has previously served on the boards of Temple Sinai in Oakland, the former East Bay Foundation for Diabetic Children, and the Diabetic Youth Foundation. Wayne also served for six years as a planning commissioner in the city of Piedmont. He has been married for more than twenty-five years, has two daughters, and resides in Piedmont. Wayne holds a B.S. in business from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.S. in business, emphasis in economic equity analysis and advanced appraisal, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Adina Ben-Zeev

Adina joined the board in 2007. She works for Wells Fargo as a vice president in wholesale marketing and customer strategies. She has previously conducted and managed marketing and market research programs including projects focused on children and new product development. She is also involved with Contra Costa Jewish Day School. Adina received her B.A. at Brandeis University and her MFA in Studio Arts at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Rabbi Andrea Berlin

Rabbi Berlin joined the board in July 2006. She has been with Temple Sinai in Oakland since 1998. She previously served as a chaplain in Cincinnati at the Jewish Hospital, Weil's Funeral Home, and Four Courts Retirement Center. She received ordination from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in 1998.

David Biale

David has been a member of the JFCS/East Bay board since 1999 and served as president from 2003 through June 2006. He is the Emanuel Ringelblum Professor of Jewish History and director of the Program in Jewish Studies at UC Davis. In addition to his academic work on Jewish intellectual and cultural history, he writes regular columns for the San Francisco Chronicle Insight section. David lives in Berkeley with his wife, Rachel, who worked as a clinician for JFCS/East Bay for ten years in the 1990s. They have two children, Noam, who lives in New York, and Tali, who recently graduated from Wesleyan University.

Bob Feller, CPA

Bob has been on the JFCS/East Bay board since 2002. He is the vice president of finance at, a web advertising network. He began his career as a CPA and has previously held various corporate finance and accounting positions at, Arthur Andersen, United Technologies, Compaq, and Clorox. Bob holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a B.A. in economics from the University of Michigan. Bob has actively participated with various philanthropic organizations and agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area, including serving on the board of the Los Gatos Jewish Community Center and working with Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, and the Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay. Bob is married to Nessa Vinokur Feller, another University of Michigan graduate, and lives in Orinda, California. The Fellers have a son, Noah, and a baby daughter, Sasha.

Leo Hmelnitsky

Leo joined the board in 2007. He is employed by AXA Rosenberg, an investment management firm in Orinda. Leo is responsible for trading in U.S., Canadian, and Latin American equity markets, and for transacting in foreign exchange securities. He has previously worked for Schwab Capital Markets and Goldman Sachs. Leo earned his master's degree from New York University's Stern School of Business with concentrations in both business administration and computer science. Leo is married to Anna Levin, another NYU graduate; they live in Walnut Creek with their two children, Adina and David.

Scott Kleinman

Scott is the vice president of marketing and membership at the World Affairs Council of Northern California. Prior to entering the nonprofit sector, Scott spent more than ten years in the private sector in senior marketing and business development positions at IDG (publishing), Scient (internet consulting), and Tranax (technology). Scott holds an MBA from Stanford University and a B.A. in history from Yale University. He has been a JFCS/East Bay board member since 2003.

Rick Maisel, Ph.D.

Rick joined the JFCS/East Bay board in 2007. He is a clinical psychologist specializing in work with children and families and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Alliant International University in San Francisco and at the Wright Institute in Berkeley. Rick has taught at many Bay Area universities and has provided training and supervision for numerous Bay Area nonprofits. He is the author (along with David Epston and Ali Borden) of Biting the Hand that Starves You: Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia (Norton, 2004). Rick maintains an active private practice in Berkeley and Walnut Creek and has two delightful young daughters.

Ruth Phillips

Ruth was the program director of the JCC of the East Bay from 2000 to 2006. Previously, she served for over twenty years as the director of a federally funded program for low-income single parents and re-entry women at the College of Alameda. Her other professional experience includes career counseling, women's studies instructor, and teaching at Head Start. She earned her B.A. from Roosevelt University in Chicago and her M.A in psychology from the University of San Francisco. Ruth joined the board in 2007.

Janis Plotkin

Janis has been on the board since 2005. She programmed and produced the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival for twenty-one years and is now is film programmer of documentary and world cinema for the Mill Valley Film Festival. She also teaches film classes at Stanford University and San Francisco State University. She received a double master's in social work and Jewish community studies from the University of Southern California and Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles.

Mark Reisman, MD

Mark is a physician with Kaiser Permanente in the East Bay. He also serves as an assistant clinical professor at UCSF Medical School. In addition, he volunteers at San Francisco General Hospital, where he supervises medical students and residents. Mark attended the Medical College of Wisconsin and did his residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He joined the board in 2007.

Monica Salusky, Esq.

Monica has been on the board since 1982. She is a former board president and has been on most of JFCS/East Bay's committees over the years. She currently serves on our Center for Older Adult Services advisory committee and is involved with the Kavod Society. She is married to John Sutherland and has two children, Alexis and Erica. Monica is a California licensed attorney and real estate broker; she makes her living syndicating senior housing and healthcare properties.