Board of Trustees

2021- 2022 Board Members


Karen Wasser Beraha–Karen has lived in Providence since 1985.  She has three sons who graduated from Alperin Schechter Day School prior to enrollment at Classical High School. Her previous volunteer activities include the Camp JORI board, and the board of Temple Emanu-El.  She has served on numerous committees at the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island, Alperin Schechter Day School and Temple Emanu-El.  Karen is a retired Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and worked as a pediatric nurse and nurse practitioner in Illinois, Missouri, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.  She enjoys cooking, reading, exercising, relaxing at the beach, and spending time with her grandchildren.



Lesley Bogad – Lesley Bogad is the proud, single parent of Micah J, a JCDS fourth grader in 2021-22.  For the past 20 years, she has made a career in teacher education at Rhode Island College where she is professor and chair of Educational Studies, affiliated faculty in Gender and Women’s Studies, and the co-Director of the Youth Development program.  Her academic work focuses on schooling for social justice and building community.  Lesley is a California native, an avid gardener, and a Jewish day school alum. Her superpowers include making beautiful tables in Google Docs, helping teachers and students find their “why,” and quoting Hamilton lyrics.

Brauna Doidge  – Brauna grew up in Toronto, Ontario and has been living in Providence, RI for the past seven years with her husband, Paul Nahme, and their three kids, Eli, Benjy and Clara.  Eli, Benjy and Clara are all current students at JCDRSI. Brauna is trained as an attorney and has worked in law, non-profit management and now works as the Senior Director of Finance and Administration at the Dorot Foundation. Brauna recently finished serving a 3 year term as president of Congregation Beth Sholom. She remains a board member at Congregation Beth Sholom and will be serving on the board of the Jewish Alliance as well as JCDSRI.  She is looking forward to learning from the JCDSRI board! 

Rachel Friedberg, Treasurer  – Rachel is the mother of three JCDSRI alumni, one now at Wheeler and two in college. She previously served on the JCDSRI board for eight years, including positions of treasurer and acting president. Rachel teaches economics at Brown University.

Robyn Furman –  Robyn has been connected to the school since the days it began as Solomon Schechter Day School. She is the parent of four Alperin Schechter Day School alumni.  Previously, Robyn worked in early childhood and elementary education. Now she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, two of whom attend JCDSRI and another one who will begin Kindergarten in the Fall.

Deb Herman – Deb Herman is an alumni parent of 3, and has kept JCDSRI close to her heart since her children graduated from the school.  During the day she is a clinical-research psychologist, at night she spends as much time as possible creating upcycled functional art.  She is very excited to be a board member and become more involved in the school!

Kenny Hersh – Kenny returns to the JCDSRI Board after a long hiatus. He previously served on the Board of Alperin Schechter Day School, two years as Treasurer. Kenny’s three children graduated from ASDS and all are sending, or going to send, their children to Jewish Day School as well. Kenny and his wife Leah are the owners of American Wallpaper and Design Center in Fall River, MA and are the proud grandparents to ten grandchildren, 3 of whom attend JCDSRI.

Shoshana Jacob, President – Shosh is a current parent of a 4th grader and a JCDSRI alumna who now attends PCD.  Shosh and her husband Josh recently moved to Providence to be closer to the JCDSRI community. She grew up in Providence and attended the Alperin Schecter Day School (now JCDSRI) for 9 years.  Shosh loved this school and attributes her love of Judaism and fondness for Jewish day schools to JCDSRI. She is thrilled that her children get to attend the same school (albeit more innovative) that she attended. Shosh is a Jewish Communal Professional and has worked at many synagogues doing various things from teaching in religious schools, to being a youth director, and even a young family outreach coordinator. She is currently the Interim Youth and Family Program Director at Temple Emanu-El in Providence.

Rashmi Licht – Rashmi  is the parent of two JCDSRI alumni and a current third grader. She is Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery (Urology) at Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She served as the Co-Chair of the 2015-2016 Annual Campaign.


Mara Ostro – Mara’s three children all attended JCDSRI and are now attending the Wheeler School. She is a speech pathologist and a graduate of Jewish day school herself. She previously served as JCDSRI Board President and the Chair of the Head of School Support Committee.

Judy Rosenstein – Judy grew up in Providence and after college settled here with her husband, Jay. Judy is the parent of three Providence area day school alumni – two from PHDS and one from JCDSRI/ASDS. She is the grandmother of four granddaughters all of who attend Jewish day schools, one at JCDSRI. Judy is a former board or officer of JCDSRI, the JCC, Jewish Alliance and others. She is “pretty much” retired as Benny’s Toy Princess and now is a Baby Cuddler at Women and Infants Hospital.

Baruch Sachs, Vice President – Baruch is the proud father of Zemer, a JCDSRI alumnus, and Ziva who is in fourth grade. He and his wife have lived in Rhode Island since 2005. Neither one can believe they have been here that long. Baruch is a management consultant for Pegasystems where he specializes in customer experience and strategic digital transformation for large enterprises and in general tries to ensure his customers are successful. He travels globally for his work and enjoys gaining the perspective this brings to his life.  In the free time he is able to wrestle away he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking and reading.

Yitz Schleifer  – Yitz is the parent of a JCDSRI alumnus who is now attending Moses Brown and three current JCDSRI students, a third grader, a first grader, and a Pre-Kindergartener. He and his wife Talya moved to Providence for medical residency and have stayed, as they couldn’t imagine living anywhere as perfect for raising their family. Yitz is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Bradley Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.

Nathan SherNathan has been a parent at JCDSRI for 6 years and has been in Providence for 8, but he’s been employed in New York City for all that time. For the last 15 years, Nathan has worked at a Construction Management company in Manhattan, where he serves as Director of Estimating. Nathan hails from Sydney, Australia and is also a citizen of Israel, where he lived for nearly 10 years of his life, first as a child and later, as an adult. Nathan is married to Rabbi Michelle Dardashti and they are the proud parents of Eden (JCDSRI alumna), Miya (4th grade) and Lavi (Kindergarten).

Penney Stein – Penney was the Head of School from 1999 – 2006, when JCDSRI was the Alperin Schechter Day School. She also served as a teacher and Admissions Director for many years before becoming Head of School. Penney began her long history with our school as a founding parent; her son was a member of the first graduating class.

Rachel Mersky Woda – Rachel comes from a long line of Jewish educators and communal professionals and has spent the last 25 years working with a wide variety of non-profit organizations at the local, regional and national level including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, the Union for Reform Judaism, the Bureau of Jewish Education of Rhode Island, the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island and Camp JORI. She has spent time working with all aspects of these organizations including fundraising, leadership development, and strategic planning while spending significant time in areas of experiential Jewish education. Rachel was in the inaugural cohort of Fellows in the Institute for Informal Jewish Education at Brandeis University and is a certified Reform Jewish Educator from the Union for Reform Judaism. Rachel is currently the Director of Youth and Family Engagement at Temple Beth-El.  She is also an associate with Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, a consulting firm that helps non-profit organizations with financial and human resource development. She lives on the East Side of Providence with her husband, Craig and their sons, Jordan and Elias who are alumni of JCDSRI.

Howard Voss-Altman – Rabbi Howard has been a rabbi in Rhode Island since 2015.  For the past five years, he has served as the Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth-El, and is now proud to be the rabbi of Temple Habonim in Barrington.  Rabbi Howard grew up in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, and graduated from Duke University in 1982 with a B.A. In Political Science and received his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1985, where he was an Associate Editor of the Law Review. As an attorney, he specialized in labor relations and employment discrimination. Rabbi Howard was ordained from the Cincinnati Campus of HUC-JIR in 1999 and served as an Assistant Rabbi of North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, Illinois from 1999 until 2002.  He then became the rabbi of Temple B’nai Tikvah in Calgary, Alberta, where his rabbinate focused on building a strong spiritual community, pastoral care, and community and social justice issues. Rabbi Howard serves on the Board/Steering Committee of the Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty and is active in local community and justice initiatives. Rabbi Howard and his spouse, Annie, have been married since 1992. Annie is a practicing attorney, currently working as a public defender for the State of Massachusetts. They have three children, Emilie, Judah, and Adi. As a family, they enjoy theater, cinema, travel, music, and, especially, visiting Disney World.