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ChaiVillageLA is about helping people
to live well and joyfully within a community
of friends, support and Jewish values.
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        Meet the ChaiVillageLA Team

 


Richard Siegel, Chair Richard Siegel ChaiVillageLA, Chair      
Richard Siegel recently retired as the Director of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles. Prior to this, from 1978-2006 he served in various positions at the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, the last 15 years as Executive Director. His work at the NFJC helped put Jewish culture on the communal agenda as an important medium for the Jewish conversation and the expression of contemporary Jewish identity.  He is the co-editor of The Jewish Catalog (JPS, 1973), the best-selling guide to the Jewish counter-culture of the 60s and 70s, and The Jewish Almanac (Bantam Books, 1981), as well as other books, chapters and articles, on Jewish life and culture. Richard was recently appointed as a Senior Resource Fellow at Community Partners where he is consulting on a number of projects relating to Jewish community and culture. In addition to his work on ChaiVillageLA, he is also working with his wife, Rabbi Laura Geller, on a book tentatively entitled The Next Jewish Catalog: Getting Good at Getting Older.
 


Terry Pullan, ChairTerry Pullan
ChaiVillageLA, Chair
Terry Pullan held senior management positions for over 20 years with Merrill Lynch Realty, Prudential California Realty and Fox & Carskadon Real Estate.  In 1996 Terry founded Genstar Media as one of the first companies to design personal websites for the real estate industry.  In 2008 his company was acquired by Dominion Enterprises, a privately held company headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia.   Terry lives in Rancho Park where he has immersed himself as an active volunteer in the community.  He has been a leader for many years at Temple Isaiah where he served as President. He also served as President of the Westwood School Booster Club, was a founding member of the Westwood Neighborhood Council and is a member of the Hebrew Union College Board of Overseers.  Terry and his wife, Andrea, have two daughters, Lara and Sasha.
 



Ellen Isaacs, Co-Chair & ResearchEllen Isaacs
ChaiVillageLA, Co-Chair
Research Committee,
Vice Chair
Ellen Isaacs practiced law for 15 years, then founded a project at Public Counsel-the public interest law office of the Beverly Hills and LA County Bar Associations--in which she recruited lawyers, architects and accountants to provide free legal and other professional services to community-based nonprofits seeking to build affordable housing for their constituencies. When her two children with husband Lary were approaching their teenage years, she returned to the workforce as the co-cordinator of a special project in the UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs to create a college-going culture among disadvantaged and underrepresented students in middle and high school.  Ellen also worked as Transportation Policy Director for former Assemblymember Mike Feuer and as Director of Metro/City of LA Government Relations responsible for ensuring coordination on rail, bus and major infrastructure projects.  Most recently, she was contracted to serve as Transportation Policy Director in the office of LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin.  Ellen is the author of several articles on subjects ranging from affordable housing, and the half-cent LA County sales tax for transportation projects, to a review of bus stops in Paris, and a cautionary tale about aging in a high tech world.
 
 


Andrea Pullan, Co-Chair
Andrea Pullan
ChaiVillageLA, Vice Chair
Andrea Pullan has spent all but four years of her life living in Los Angeles. She has over 30 years of experience in the real estate field, both in sales and co-owning two real estate website companies with her husband, Terry Pullan.  Both real estate companies were sold and she went on to her latest business venture, owning Gallery Judaica, an internet and storefront Judaic artist gallery business  which she sold in 2014.  She has also spent her adult life in a variety of volunteer leadership roles, as Co-Chair of the Westwood Charter School Booster Club and Chair of the Palo Alto Districtwide Fundraising Committee.  She is currently Chair of the LifeQuest Committee at Temple Isaiah, and Vice-Chair of ChaiVillageLA, as well as serving on the Programming and Services Committee. Andrea’s daughter, Lara, and son-in-law, Yoni, live in Northern California and her daughter, Sasha, lives in Venice, CA.
 
   
 
 
 Lynn_Flanzbaum, Treasurer
Lynn Flanzbaum
Treasurer
Lynn Flanzbaum is a 2005 graduate of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at the Jack H. Skirball campus of HUC-JIR, where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Jewish Education.  As the director of the Tartak Learning Center, Lynn consults with students, alumni, and Jewish professionals on lesson planning, classroom management, program design and content and curriculum development.  Lynn was born and raised in Providence, RI. She received her bachelor's degree in Near Eastern Judaic Studies from Brandeis University and her MBA from Northeastern University. She served as a Trust Operations Manager at a large New England bank for 10 years. In 2013, she took on the additional role of Business Manager for the Jack H. Skirball campus.  In this capacity, Lynn assists the Dean in monitoring the campus budgets and serving as the liaison between the Los Angeles campus and the College-Institute's national business office in Cincinnati.  


Barbara Joyner, Programs & Services
Barbara Joyner
Programs and Services Committee, Co-Chair
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Barbara Joyner spent much of her 30 year career in Hospital Administration focusing on issues related to the quality of care provided by Medical Staff members.  She served as Regional Director of Medical Staff for three affiliated hospitals in the Los Angeles area, managing nearly 3,000 physician staff members. Barbara holds a Master's degree in Health Systems Administration, and has served as a mentor to students pursuing Bachelor's and Master's degrees at California State University Northridge.  Taking up running later in life, she has completed numerous marathons, half-marathons and triathlons, most taking place after her 50th birthday.  Retired for six years, Barbara and her husband Dale spend much of the year traveling.  They have two young adult sons. 
 


Sandra Sternig Babcok, Programs & Services
Sandra Sternig Babcock
Programs and Services Committee, Co-Chair
Sandra Sternig Babcock received her Ph.D. from UCLA in Special Education and spent her 40 year career serving children and adolescents with special needs in order to assure that they received the services required to create the most positive outcomes possible. She created programs at the community college level for learning disabled students, served as President and CEO of the Dubnoff Center, a nonprofit special education school, outpatient mental health and residential facility, taught teacher education courses at local universities and served on many local, county, and state committees on special education and mental health issues facing Los Angeles youth.  Sandra is a 30 year member of Temple Emanuel. She served on the Board of Directors from 1990 to 1996 and during that time served as the Vice President of Education. Sandra is retired and enjoys spending time with her family and especially her 3 year old granddaughter. 

 


Michael Hirschfeld, Fundraising
Michael Hirschfeld
Fundraising Committee, Chair
Michael Hirschfeld has over thirty years experience in the not-for-profit community.  Michael has experience in fund development, the stewardship of existing donors, and the creation of programs to involve the next generation of organization funders.  For over twenty years Michael managed the community relation's portfolio for a large Los Angeles-based charity.  In that capacity he managed advocacy projects, organizing citizen advocates.  Working with the Board of Directors he developed a system for an efficient board rotation, nurtured a strong active, decision-making board and executive committee, and groomed future board participants, involving a wide demographic within the community.  Michael served on citizen review committees for Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Unified School District.  Additionally, he served as President of his professional association, the largest of a nationwide group of like organizations.  He is the recipient of both a career achievement award and an advocacy award from his peers.  Now retired, Michael is an active volunteer with Executive Service Corps of Southern California.  Michael has a Bachelor's Degree from San Diego State University.
 
 

 


Diane Vanette, Membership
Diane Vanette
Membership Committee,
Co-Chair
Diane Vanette was born in Pittsburgh, PA and moved to Nashville, TN when she was 12 years old. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a major in Music Education and had a career in the music industry for many years. After moving to Los Angeles in 1987 she received an Masters Degree and became a licensed MFT for over twenty years. Diane converted to Judaism in 1989.  Diane is a member of Temple Emanuel and has served on the Board. She has been a member for 14 years and is the VP of Programs as well as a leader in One LA. She is retired and now devotes herself to repairing the world.  Diane is married and she and her husband have one married son and two grandchildren.
 
 
 
 

 


Janet Hirsch, Membership
Janet Hirsch
Membership Committee,
Co-Chair
Janet Hirsch was born in Zimbabwe and moved to Los Angeles in 1987. Janet currently serves on the Boards of Temple Isaiah, the Southern California Education Fund, as well as the University High Education Foundation.  She is very active with One LA (IAF) and is the Chair of Temple Isaiah’s social justice group (Am Tzedek: Isaians pursuing Justice).  Janet converted to Judaism in 1993 and her family joined Temple Isaiah in 1995.  They have two children in college. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Devorah Servi, Director
Devorah Servi
Director
Devorah Servi's tenure as ChaiVillageLA's Director began in March, 2016.  She previously served in the synagogue world as the Member Engagement Director at Kehillat Israel, Western Regional Director of the Reconstructionist Jewish Federation and Director of Gemilut Hasadim (Acts of Lovingkindness) at Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore.  Devorah also earned a California teaching credential while a DeLeT Day School Teacher Leader Fellow at Hebrew Union College.  She taught General Studies for 5 years, including at an ultra-orthodox school.  Devorah traveled to India as a 2014-2015 American Jewish World Service Global Justice Fellow to learn about grassroots efforts to end early marriage and violence against women, girls and LGBTs.  Devorah enjoys hiking, teaching swimming, creating art and songs, and being the proud great-aunt of Sofia and Isabel.  Her work with ChaiVillageLA is dedicated to the blessed memory of her mother.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Rabbi Laura Geller, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills
Rabbi Laura Geller
Temple Emanuel of
Beverly Hills
Rabbi Laura Geller is an Emerita Rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills, California. She was among the first women to be selected to lead a major metropolitan synagogue. Prior to being chosen for this position in 1994, she served as the Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress, Pacific Southwest Region. Among her accomplishments at AJCongress was the creation of the AJCongress Feminist Center, which became a model for other Jewish feminist projects around the county. She came to AJCongress in 1990 after fourteen years as the Director of Hillel at the University of Southern California.  Rabbi Geller has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including being named one of Newsweek’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America and the California State Legislature’s Woman of the Year Award. She was featured in the PBS Documentary called “Jewish Americans.”  She is a frequent contributor to the Jewish Journal and the Huffington Post and she served on the Editorial Board of The Torah: A Woman's Commentary.. She is a Rabbinic Fellow of the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and an alumna of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality Rabbinic program.  She serves as a mentor for the Clergy Leadership Initiative, a project of CLAL.  She was ordained by the Hebrew Union College in 1976, the third woman in the Reform Movement to become a rabbi.

 


Rabbi Zoe Klein, Temple Isaiah
Rabbi Zoe Klein
Temple Isaiah
Rabbi Zoë Klein is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Isaiah and has served this congregation since 2000. She graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Psychology and received ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1998.  She is the author of the novel Drawing in the Dust, which was published by Simon and Schuster in 2009, of which Publishers Weekly wrote, “Insight into the world of biblical excavation in Israel raises Rabbi Klein's debut novel from a Jewish Da Vinci Code to an emotionally rich story of personal and historical discovery."  Rabbi Klein has written articles for numerous publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Tikkun, and Torat Hayim. She has written chapters in a number of collections including Women’s Torah Commentary, Teen Texts, and Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation. Her poems and prayers are used in houses of prayer around the country. Rabbi Klein gives numerous presentations and is a keynote speaker and a panel participant at various assemblies all over the country. She is a resource for reporters in regional newspapers and has appeared as a commentator on the History Channel in “Digging for the Truth.” Her second novel, Origin of Color, is scheduled to be published later this year.
 
 
 
   
 

 
 
 
 
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