2018 Annual Meeting

Our Annual Meeting will take place on Sunday June 3, at 9 a.m. The meeting is an opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate, schmooze, nosh, and also attend to our synagogue's important business, including voting on new board members.

Parents, please note that we are offering free childcare (for ages 0-8) in the CBS Family Preschool during the meeting. You must register your child(ren) in advance so that we know how many childcare providers to staff.

Deadline to register for childcare is Tuesday, May 29. Please register a spot for each child.


DATE: Sunday, June 3.

TIME: 9 a.m..

PLACE: Koret Hall


CBS Board of Directors Slate of Nominees



First Term Candidates:


Chelseaa Bush

Chelseaa Bush was born and raised in San Francisco. She attended a SF Hebrew day school from nursery through 12th grade and is grateful to her mother for giving her this deep Jewish background. Chelseaa attended UC Berkeley and then law school at Stanford. She is now a trademark and copyright attorney at a large, national law firm.

Chelseaa has four children, including identical twin girls. They were all born within a span of three years (amazingly, that is humanly possible!) and so the Bush house is always busy! All four children have attended the CBS Family Preschool where Chelseaa has served as room parent and has helped lead the parent committee for a number of years. Chelseaa now serves on the CBS Education Committee. Chelseaa hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps by helping provide her children--and other members of the CBS community--with an enriching connection to their Jewish heritage.


Rafael Burde

Raf grew up Orthodox in Johannesburg, South Africa. He and his wife, Clara Brenner, have lived in the Bay Area since 2011 and were married by Rabbi Glazer in 2017. They were attracted by Beth Sholom’s respect for tradition blended with a progressive determination to make modern Jewish life appealing and meaningful.

Raf currently heads expansion for the Bay Area bike share system, Ford GoBike, and is proud to be bringing an affordable, sustainable, integrated regional mobility option to the Bay Area. He holds an MA from Stanford University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. He is particularly excited to work alongside Rabbi Ain and the Board to represent and nurture the young adult segment of the community.


Abigail (Abby) Levinson Marks

Abigail Levinson Marks is a San Francisco native who grew up at Beth Sholom and attended its religious/Hebrew school from pre-kindergarten through Confirmation (10th grade) and beyond. Abby’s parents were married by Rabbi Saul White, and many remember Abby’s grandmother, Sarah Cohen Levinson, as a fixture in the CBS community for decades.

When Abby was growing up, her parents were active in synagogue life, and her father, David Levinson, served on the Beth Sholom Board for many years. Abby and her late husband, Milton, were married by Rabbi Lew in 2001. Their children attended the Beth Sholom Family Preschool and are currently in the religious school (two as students, one as a madrich). Her older son was bar mitzvahed at CBS in 2016, and her younger two will have their b’nei mitzvah here in 2019. Abby is a clinical psychologist with a private practice working with children, adolescents and adults, and specializing in (among other things) family illness and loss.

She has worked in a variety of community mental health and training settings in the Bay Area, teaching and developing collaborative therapeutic programs within schools and medical institutions. She has a great interest in community outreach, and in building strong community and collaboration between different organizational and individual stakeholders. In 2014, Abby co-founded and now directs the Milton Marks Neuro-Oncology Family Camp, a collaborative non-profit project with UCSF, which provides an annual weekend arts-based family camp that brings respite and healing to families with a parent who has a malignant brain tumor.

Second Term Candidates:


Jim Abrams

Jim Abrams joined Beth Sholom in 2004. He is a partner at Greene Radovsky Maloney Share & Hennigh LLP, where he specializes in commercial, multi-family, and winery real estate and financing. Prior to practicing law, he had a 10-year career in government and banking. Jim serves on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid at Work.

Jim provides pro-bono legal services to a number of nonprofit organizations including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Northern California Community Loan Fund and the Community Music Center. In addition to spending the High Holy Days at Beth Sholom, he enjoys attending lectures, art tours, baseball games, wine tastings and musical events at or with members of Beth Sholom. He can often be spotted at the symphony, opera, ballet, art openings, falafel stands worldwide and sometimes even playing clarinet.


David Madfes

David Madfes was born in San Francisco and has lived here his entire life. He graduated from the University of San Francisco with a BS in Biology. He earned his Secondary Teaching Credential and an MAT in Biology. With three careers behind him, he is retired from teaching science, mathematics, and computer technology from Lowell and Lincoln High Schools.

David is also retiring from the United States Naval Reserve (retired with rank of Commander), and is semi-retired from work as a general contractor. David and his late wife, Tania, joined CBS over 40 years ago and became active members. He feels that the Board provides an opportunity for him to help guide the congregation in ways that make it appealing to a wide variety of interests, thereby increasing membership and participation.


Harris Weinberg

Harris Weinberg has been a member of CBS since his arrival in San Francisco in 1977; he joined the shul just days after his move from Vermont. Harris was born and raised in an Orthodox immigrant community in Louisville, Kentucky — a true fact notwithstanding the widespread belief that such communities did not exist in cities of that size or locale.

This is Harris’ third term on the CBS Board. He first served in the early 1980s, and then again in 2009; he accepted this third appointment in 2015. Harris was, long ago, a trial lawyer; he has been a full time mediator for the past 25 years. Harris is married to Dana Corvin. He is the father of three grown children, all of whom live in San Francisco and all of whom were raised and became b’nai mitzvah at CBS. He is blessed with five grandchildren.


Nominees by Petition:

Separate from the Board’s nominations for directors, Section 5.2 of our CBS bylaws provides for nomination of additional board candidates by petition. Each petition for nomination must be signed by 10 members in good standing. We have received five petitions for nomination, and are providing the biographical information of the nominees by petition below.


David Golden

David is a native San Franciscan. His grandfather Morse immigrated in 1881, and had a large tailor shop near Union Square until 1906. David lives with his wife Keiko who converted at CBS. Keiko is a Makor Or participant and a CBS ritual committee member. For over 10 years, she has organized Koret High Holiday Services. Their daughter, Sarah, went to CBS preschool and Hebrew school. They are CBS members since 1997.

In support of Israel, David assisted the JCRC in building out the shul-based Israel Action Committees. He serves on the Board of the American Friends of LIBI.

David has an SM degree from the MIT Sloan Management School. His profession is to empower organizations with efficient and effective business systems, a mix of business consulting and software development. He has organized dozens of professional and MIT alumni events. He’s been a behind-the-scenes organizer for numerous political campaigns including Jeff Adachi’s inaugural campaign. Prior to MIT David worked in Washington D.C. as a policy analyst, striving to protect the US defense technology base, and drafted the DoD position for PRM-43 during the Carter administration.

He joined CBS at a golden period, and is looking forward to bringing that into the present. Rabbi Lew (z"l) said in the HaRuach Vol 3. No.3 Elul 2004, "What was true of the Mishcan would become the dugma."

Rabbi Lew also said, "... it is that in the course of building a place that expresses our core spiritual values and serves as the locus for a spiritual community, those values begin to clarify themselves and that community begins to take shape."

David is delighted to join the current Board and work towards shaping such a community.


Irène Minkowsky

Born in Brussels, Belgium, Irène have lived most over adult life in America and is a proud American citizen. She and her husband, Robert, raised their children, Benjamin and Rafaela, in San Francisco, and at Beth Sholom where they have been members since 1985.

As a second generation Auschwitz survivor, Irène is endlessly inspired by retaining a positive outlook on life and humanity in the face of darkest times. CBS, in particular the Minyan group, has been a tremendous support for her during the loss of her parents. Irène is ready to give back to Beth Sholom for the support it has provided her family over the years.

As a physician, she is blessed with being a good listener and a healer. She strives to excel in guiding people through complex decision making with compassion. She has high ethical standards.

In Greek the name, Irène, means Shalom or Peace and she states that she will always try to keep peace at CBS and to resolve differences by finding reasonable compromise.


Len Yaffe

Len Yaffe has been a member of Beth Sholom for 25 years, and he and his wife Ruth were married by Rabbi Alan Lew in 1995. He has previously served on the Board from 2010-2013, while head of the investment committee, and from 2016-2017, while on the Executive Board and head of the finance and investment committees.

He has spent his career at the intersection of two of his passions, the stock market and medicine. He was a medical stock analyst from 1982-2002, primarily with Montgomery Securities, and since 2003 he has operated a healthcare investment fund, Kessef Capital Management.

Len’s goal for returning to the Board centers on his desire for helping to improve financial discipline and to assist in the next phase of growth of the congregation. Len holds a BS and MD from Northwestern University.


Lissa Rechtin

Lissa and her husband, Adrian Mirvish, have been members of Beth Sholom since 1984. Their three sons, Ezra, Judah and Asher, grew up running around the synagogue, making friends with children and adults alike. Their entire family has very strong attachments to Beth Sholom as a welcoming, warm community.

Lissa has extensive experience with administrative procedures within non-profit settings. During her 10-year academic career, she was chair of philosophy, head of the Humanities program, a member of the faculty senate and did research in professional ethics and its applications in non-public settings. During her 25 years of work as a child psychiatrist with Kaiser Permanente, she led an adult psychiatry clinic, co-chaired one of the hospital ethics committees, and was the founder and medical director of one of Kaiser’s three northern California autism clinics.

Lissa looks forward to joining the Board and including her voice to represent the diversity of opinions that we enjoy within Beth Sholom.


Maureen Samson

For more than 40 years, Maureen and her husband Michael have made Beth Sholom the center of their spiritual, social and community life. They have assumed an array of planning and leadership roles at CBS, while their children, Rebecca and Ted, attended Hebrew and Sunday school, celebrated their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and travelled to Israel with their confirmation class.

Currently a member of the Achshav Yisrael Committee, Maureen has chaired several committees of her own; planned successful fundraisers and events; co-organized the Shechinah Program, which supported homebound, ill and bereaved congregants; delivered hot meals through Chicken Soupers; and served as an executive board member and as the synagogue’s first female president. During her tenure, the synagogue’s finances were in order - with a substantial reserve.

A graduate of the University of Colorado with a Master’s degree in social work from SFSU, Maureen has focused her career on working with seniors and caregivers. She has supervised a conservatorship program, provided case management and therapy, facilitated support groups for seniors and caregivers, planned, organized and lead community educational programs.

Maureen understands that the key to a healthy vibrant synagogue is strong responsible financial oversight and management. She recognizes that the Jewish community has changed but believes that CBS can maintain our Jewish values and traditions and rebuild our community by listening to and learning from our members, supporting our new rabbi and working together to develop relevant programs, activities and committees composed of congregants and board members. Maureen also aspires to reconstitute the Shechinah Program, providing an invaluable support network for congregants experiencing significant life changes.

We are grateful to each of the candidates for their willingness to serve our congregation.

At the Annual meeting, each member in good standing who is present will be entitled to one vote, with up to two votes per household if both members of the household are present. Our bylaws do not allow for voting by proxy or mail (see Section 5.6).

Pursuant to Section 5.5 of our bylaws, members will first vote to approve or disapprove of the Board’s slate of nominees. If a majority of the votes cast are to disapprove the Board’s nominees, a second ballot will be taken. During a second ballot, each member will have the opportunity to cast votes separately for any individual nominated and may vote for a total of six candidates. Each member can vote only once for any of the nominees. Voting will take place by secret ballot and the President of the congregation will appoint three members of the congregation to count the votes (see Sections 5.3 and 5.4).

We look forward to seeing you on June 3 as we come together as a community to contemplate the past year, look ahead to a bright future, and learn more about our board candidates.