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Board of Directors

Beth El's Board of Directors consists of 17 lay leaders who are dedicated to its interests, premises, and people. Each member serves either a 2 or 3 year term and is part of the many committees that do the good work of Beth El.

To contact the Board of Directors, please email


Did you know?

  • The board regularly meets 3rd Wednesday of every month 6:30 pm
  • Meetings are open to congregants and public comments can be put on the agenda prior to the meetings
  • Meetings and Agenda are open to all

Board Members

Executive Committee

  • President – Gregory Harris            

  • Executive Vice President – Audrey Wolff

  • Treasurer - Barry Becker

  • Financial Vice President – Eileen Bloom

  • Membership Vice President - Ben Cooper

  • Facilities Vice President – Herb Dreiseszun
  • Secretary – Charleen Holt

  • Education Vice President – Kim Mertens

Board of Directors

  • Heather Baker-Mushkatel
  • Alana Berrett
  • Joseph (Rich) Cohen
  • David Goldfarb
  • Ari Hoffman
  • Brad Ostrow
  • José Tafla
  • Gail Ulan
  • Danny Wittenstein
  • Sara Zilversmit

Board Nominations

Dear Congregant,

The Annual Congregational Meeting will be held on Sunday, May 1 at 9:00 am,
following morning Minyan. The format of the meeting, whether in person, via Zoom or a combination of the two, will be determined closer to the date. You will receive instructions on how to vote by email, or by U.S. mail if that is your preference.

The Nominating Committee carefully considered the needs of the Congregation in their outreach to members willing to serve on the Board of Directors. They looked for people who show leadership and vision for the present and future of Beth El. Board members must be ambassadors within Beth El and to the greater community. The Committee also sought candidates from a broad range of constituencies within the congregation to be sure that the Board is reflective of the vision and aspiration of the membership.

This is the slate of nominees to fill the seven slots available for you to consider as Board members:

Gail Ulan*                                                  Daniel Witenstein
Herb Dreiseszun*                                      Ari Hoffman
David Goldfarb*                                         Bradley Ostrow
Alana Berrett*

*Current Board Members whose terms are up and are willing to serve another term.

A petition of at least 20 members in good standing may offer additional nominations to be delivered to the president or Executive Director by April 12, which is twenty days before the annual Board of Directors election in accordance with the other provisions of the by-laws (available in the office).

Biographies of the above candidates are included. Please plan to attend this important meeting and to cast your vote.


Barbara Becker
Nominating Committee Chair

Gail Ulan, Allyn Kluger, Audrey Wolff, Daniel Rosen, Leslie Feldman, and Susan Ward Harris

Committee members


Candidate Biographies

Alana Berrett

Alana Berrett is an Arizona native, raised in Tucson and established in Phoenix 16 years ago. Alana earned her Bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis, followed by a Master of Public Health, specializing in Epidemiology from the University of Arizona. Alana spent her formative career years as an epidemiologist for Maricopa County and the State of Arizona. Alana is currently a Senior Research Analyst at Health Services Advisory Group, Inc., where she conducts studies of healthcare quality reported by Medicare beneficiaries. In addition to coordinating the CSA @ Beth El, Alana and her husband, Nick, have three boys who are frequently seen around Beth El's preschool and Talmud Torah. This is also Alana's fourth year with the Beth El Blanket Boosters, and she's working to finish another blanket.

David Goldfarb

My name is David Goldfarb.  I am a partner at Gillespie Shields Goldfarb and Taylor.  My family has been members of this Shul for almost 15-16 years.  Both my children Sydney and Joshua celebrated their Bat Mitzvah and Bar Mitzvah here.  I have been on the Board for two terms and am seeking a third term.  I believe we are at a point moving forward where stability is key and the right choices need to be made moving forward to ensure our Synagogue and immediate community continue to improve and thrive.

Herb Dreiseszun
Herb and his family have been members of Beth El since 1948. He has served on numerous committees and has been a Board Member intermittently since 1972. Herb has served in various officer positions, including Treasurer, Facilities Vice President, Executive Vice President (several times) and President. Currently he is serving as Facilities Vice President.

Ari Hoffman 

Cait and I joined Beth El in late 2021. We’ve both appreciated Beth El’s beautiful services and welcoming community. I also live downtown, and am particularly drawn to Beth El’s status as an established Conservative synagogue within Phoenix proper. I am honored to be considered to join the board, and am happy to help out however I can. As someone relatively new to both this shul and the Valley, I am particularly interested in learning about the history and current status of the Valley’s Jewish community generally and Beth El specifically. I hope my time on the board can be a useful learning experience, and that I can help Beth El serve the unique needs of the community.

Brad Ostrow

I was born and raised in Phoenix, and I grew up in Paradise Valley area of the valley. I graduated from Saguaro High School and then went on to attend Arizona State University’s Hugh Downs School of Human Communication where I received my bachelor's degree in business communications.

Growing up, I attended Beth El’s pre-school, and my wife and I are both extremely happy to have our son currently attending Beth El Early Childhood Center as well.

I have been the corporate manager for the Improv, Stand Up Live, and Copper Blues Live Comedy Clubs in Arizona and Florida for ten years. I take extreme pride in my job and extreme pleasure that my job includes bringing laughter to everyone who attends our venues. When not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and have a passion for music, technology, and a special love for all animals.

I am very much looking forward to meeting more members and serving the Beth El community and helping in any capacity that I can.

Gail Ulan

My name is Gail Ulan and I have been a member of Beth El for about 24 years and on the board for the last nine. I am married to Paul Ulan who was on the board for nine years - five as treasurer. We have four children, Emily (25), Sam (22), Ben (20) and Mikey (13) - and are affectionately called the "U Crew." All our kids have participated at Beth El from Preschool to Talmud Torah and are/were active in the various youth groups. Emily has been a camper or Counselor at Camp Ramah for half her life. The two oldest boys have helped with the Beth El summer camps and were Madrichim. Mikey just started as a Madrich this year. Our family has always been active and supported the efforts of both the Preschool and Congregation.

Mikey became a Bar Mitzvah in January and that was the last Bar/Bat Mitzvah for the U Crew. I look forward to working with Rabbi Stein Kokin, Alicia, all the staff, and the new board slate - continuing to support the Congregation to ensure all members feel connected and engaged. Please let me know how we can make your Beth El experience even more positive.

Danny Witenstein

I have been a local business owner for over 30 years and a Beth El member for 24 years. My wife Julie and I have raised our 3 kids as part of the Beth El community starting in the Beth El Preschool, kindergarten, Talmud Torah and Youth Lounge. My Beth El Havurah friends have been a strong support in my life as an extended family. I care deeply about the future of Beth El and I’m happy to serve again as a board member.

Beth El Annual Meeting

May 1, 2022 at 9:00 am 

Details on in-person and virtual attendance offerings is being determined.

Committee Meeting Schedule

BEWL - 2nd Wednesday of the month at 10:00 am

Cemetery - As needed on Sunday mornings

COVID-19 Task Force - As needed

Chesed - Weekly Calls to Members, Weekly email from Committee Chair

Education - Monthly meetings on Sundays at 9:15 am (meeting dates determined at each meeting for next month)

Endowment - meets in May and December

Facilities - As needed

Membership - As needed

Ritual - As needed

Security - Grant committee meets as needed to review progress

Social Action - 1st Wednesday of the month at 6:00 pm




Eileen Bloom - President -
Alicia Moskowitz - Exec. Committee
Rose Hirsch - Exec. Committee
Judy Zola - Exec. Committee
Edlyn Soderman - Exec. Committee
Bonnie Kluger - Exec. Committee
Charleen Holt - Exec. Committee
Jan Freedman - Exec. Committee
Joan Mattisinko - Exec. Committee


Eli Barzilai - Chair -
Herb Dreiseszun - Member
Allyn Kluger - Member


Risa Mallin - Chair -


Kim Mertens - VP -
Audrey Wolff - Member
Alana Berrett - Member
Heather Baker - Member
David Goldfarb - Member
Emily Bogusch - Member
Gail Ulan - Member


Mathis Becker - Chair -
David Amster - Member
Sara Ziskin - Member
Steve Gelbart - Member
Barry Becker - Member
Geoff Gonsher - Member
Kim Mertens - Member
Risa Mallin - Member
Eileen Bloom - Member
Debbie Gordon - Member
Greg Harris - Member
Allyn Kluger - Member
Herb Dreiseszun - Member


Herb Dreiseszun - VP -


Ben Cooper - VP -
Risa Mallin - Member
David Siroky - Member
Steve Winkelman - Member
Roberta Harmon - Member


Allyn Kluger - VP -
Ben Cooper - Member
Mathis Becker - Member
Brian Alpert - Member
Daniel Rosen - Member
Mort Sitver - Member
Sara Zilversmit - Member
Elliot Gould - Member
Dan Kahn - Member
Steve Nathan - Member
John Wolfe - Member
Rabbi Stein Kokin -  Member


Michael Apfel - Chair -
Jose Tafla - Member
Jan Nash - Member
Bill Wolf - Member
Chuck Holt - Member
Daniel Stein Kokin - Member
Ben Cooper - Member

Social Action

Sara Zilversmit - Co-Chair -

Barbara Lewkowitz - Co-Chair
Sara Ziskin - Member
Debbie Gordon - Member
Myra Millinger - Member
Wendy Laskin - Member


Audrey Wolff - Chair -
Greg Harris - Member
Kim Mertens - Member
Linda Barzilai - Member
Barbara Becker - Member


Charleen Holt - Chair -
Audrey Wolff - Member
Rich Cohen - Member

Fri, May 20 2022 19 Iyyar 5782