Ron Werner – President
Ron Werner is President and Co-founder of HW Home, Inc., a Colorado-based lifestyle home furnishings retailer and design source. Prior to founding HW Home, he was a Sr. Vice President at Investments with Smith Barney. Werner currently serves as President of Alexander Muss High School in Israel; VP of AMHSI on Jewish National Fund-USA’s National Board of Directors; and is a member of the Nefesh B’Nefesh (Israel) Board of Directors.
As an alumnus (1982) of AMHSI, Ron refers to his time at the school as the most important part of his educational experience. Werner previously served as President and Chairman of Jewish National Fund-USA’s Mountain States Board. He is also a proud member of the organization’s World Chairman’s Council and King Solomon Society.
Robert Benedon – Day School Partnerships
Robert Benedon (Cherry Hill, NJ) has a private practice in Periodontics and Adult Restorative Dentistry and is a Clinical Professor of Periodontics at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Dental Medicine.
Bob credits his USY Pilgrimage trip to Israel in 1972 as the genesis for his Zionist passion. He has held Leadership positions in Solomon Shechter Day School Association, Kellman Academy, Congregation Beth El, and the Jewish Federation of Southern NJ. He is currently Chair of the Southern New Jersey AIPAC Leadership Council and the Global Connections Committee of the Jewish Federation of Southern NJ. He began his involvement in JNF in 2005 on the Southern NJ Board of Directors, joined and later Chaired Makor. He serves on the JNF National Board of Directors, Finance Committee, Major Gifts Committee and now the AMHSI National Board.
Bob is looking forward to his involvement in the AMHSI national board, as Chair of Day School Partnerships, combining his passion for Day School Education and Immersive Israel Experiences for our youth. Bob's three sons are Solomon Schechter, Akiba Hebrew Academy and Muss Alumni.
Jackie Danilewitz – Financial Aid and Scholorships
Jackie Danilewitz (Haverford, PA) is originally from South Africa. Jackie sits on the JNF USA Philadelphia Board, and Executive Committee and is a Sapphire Society member. Jackie is a proud parent of an AMHSI-JNF alumnus (2015), and sits on the Alexander Muss High School - JNF-USA Board of Directors.
Michael Feldman – Muss Chair Program
Michael Feldman (Laguna Beach CA) worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. In retirement he has found his true vocation: Getting Jewish youth to Israel. Michael has served on his synagogue's board. He and his husband are active in various philanthropies in Orange County related to the arts, University of California and human rights. He has been a member of the Orange County, CA JNF board since 2016 and joined the roster of Muss Chairs several years later. Michael's commitment to Israel and getting American students to Israel runs strong and deep. Although he never attended AMHSI, his first trip to Israel was a seven week program at age 16 which is when the seed of Zionism was first planted in his heart.
Karl Kaplan – Research and Business Development
Karl Kaplan (Mahwah, NJ) is the Managing Director of The Timna Group, LLC, a New Jersey-based investment firm founded in 2009. Karl co-founded OSG Billing Services in 1992 and served as the COO until 2013. Karl serves on the boards of Lunavi. Karl has been active in JNF since 1997, is a past member of the JNF of Greater New York Board of Directors, and a member of JNF’s Century Council. Karl’s interest includes Israel education and the next generation. Karl is married to Tracy and they have 3 children. Their eldest, Jack, is an AMHSI-JNF Alum of the 2018 Fall Semester session, Max is an AMHSI-JNF Alum of the 2020 Fall Semester session, and Ari is an AMHSI-JNF Alum of the 2021 ROOTS summer program. Karl serves on the AMHSI-JNF National Recruitment Committee as the Chair.
Alison Karp – Marketing Co-Chair
Alison Karp (New York, NY) is a leader in the communication and media planning space for over twenty years. Alison is the President of L’Equipe L’oreal and Executive Director of their Wavemaker content and technology agency. She has proven especially adept at consumer-centric, touch-point agnostic, communication planning, stemming from her “consumer needs”-based philosophy. She also has an uncanny knack for conveying otherwise complex media stories in a digestible, succinct, and compelling manner.
Alison is a 1991 alumna of AMHSI-JNF, serves on the Strategic Planning as well as the National Sales & Marketing Committees. She lives in New York City with her husband, Dan.
Ellen Kelman – Student Life and Well-Being
Dr. Ellen Kelman (Scottsdale, AZ) is a licensed psychologist who has been in private practice for over 25 years. She works with children, adolescents, and adults, dealing with issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as many other disorders.
Dr. Kelman has a B.A. from Pomona College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Arizona State University. She is the Adult Program Director for Stepping Stones of Hope, a nonprofit organization for grieving children and their families. She serves on Jewish National Fund’s Disabilities Task Force, is a member of Circle of Sapphire, and the World Chairman’s Council and she is the Chair of the Student Life and Well-being committee for AMHSI.
Michael Kessler – IAE and ZIonist Education Continuum
Currently serving as the President of The Douglaston Companies, Michael Kessler (Dix Hills, NY) has been with the organization for more than 30 years, overseeing and managing the three companies’ financial teams.
Mr. Kessler focuses on securing financing for projects and oversees the financing and accounting aspects of each project’s full life cycle from inception through disposition. Mr. Kessler is also a key advisor and member of the Executive Management team and shares responsibility in supervising the organization’s insurance and risk management, Human Resource and Information Technology departments. Michael graduated Cum Laude from SUNY-Albany’s Business School with a B.S. in Accounting. He is a member of the NYS Society of Certified Public Accounts, and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Michael Kessler serves as Chair of Makor, JNF's National Ambassador group, is involved in preserving Israel’s heritage sites, and is a member of Go North - a campaign to build the Galilee through strategic investments in education, youth programs, tourism, and business networks. Mr. Kessler is involved in a range of non-profit organizations, was President of the Dix Hills Jewish Center, and received the UJA’s community leadership award in 2011 together with his wife, Ronnit.
Bob Levine – Board Member
Bob Levine (Teaneck, NJ) is a senior partner at the New York City accounting firm Levine Schaeffer Fink & Moss, P.C., and has a personal law practice as well. Bob has served as President of his synagogue, as Chairman of the Board of the American Zionist Movement, and Treasurer of Mercaz, the Conservative movement’s Zionist organization. Involved with JNF since 1968, he has held a number of leadership positions including National Treasurer, Vice President of Campaign, and has chaired the Budget and Finance, Labor Relations, and Missions Committees. As a mission leader, he has brought over 650 individuals to Israel to see the country through JNF’s eyes. Bob was the recipient of JNF’s 2010 Gould Legacy Society Heritage Award and is a Negev Society and World Chairman’s Council member.
Guy Miasnik – Strategic Planning
A serial tech entrepreneur and investor, Guy focuses on early-stage ideation, incubation, and investment in security, public safety, enterprise SaaS and EdTech markets. Guy was a co-founder and CEO of three companies, the largest of whichwas AtHoc, a ventured backed company focused on emergency communication for public safety, acquired in 2015 by BlackBerry. At BlackBerry, Guy was a Division President, Chief Strategy Officer, and member of the executive team, where he contributed to BlackBerry’s turnaround to become a $1B security software business.
Guy has been active in the nonprofit space for over a decade, with a specific focus on education, entrepreneurship, and Jewish life. Guy is on the boards of Hausner and Kehillah day schools in the Bay Area, and JNF’s Alexander Muss high school in Israel. Guy is currently a board member of the Jewish Community Federation of the SF Bay Area as well as committee member of its $2B Endowment Fund. Guy serves on various advisory boards and initiatives at Harvard Business School, and, with his wife, Michal, are Honorary Trustees of the Center for Jewish Life at Princeton University and sponsors of Princeton’s TigerTrek to Israel.
Guy earned his MBA at Harvard Business School, his bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from the Technion and a Law degree (LLB) from Tel-Aviv University. Guy, born in Israel, has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 23 years with his wife and three children. In his free time, Guy enjoys biking, hiking, traveling and photography, and is currently training to be a private pilot.
Guy joined the AMHSI board after his daughter, Noa, participated in Muss' semester program in 2022 and called it the "most impactful experience of [her] life." Guy is excited to bring his passion for education, Jewish life, and Israel to his AMHSI board service.
Wendy Miller – Mid-Atlantic Region
Wendy Miller (Baltimore, MD) is a 1984 graduate of the University of Maryland, School of Nursing. Wendy has held several leadership positions within her community, including the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School board, the Beth Tfiloh Congregation Board, Chair of Israel Bonds of Maryland, Women’s Division 2013-2015, Chair of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, Associated Women Campaign in 2018, and has been a National Women’s Philanthropy board member, JFNA, since 2018. Wendy is also on the Baltimore Regional Board serving as the Muss Chair. Wendy has been married to Dr. Jeffrey Miller for over 36 years and has three children and two grandchildren.
Lori Miller – Impact Fellowship
Lori Miller (Phoenix, AZ) is a Michigan native with deep roots in the Phoenix Jewish Community. She is excited to shift her focus from being a parent of an AMHSI Impact Fellow, (Hannah Miller, Summer 2017), to an AMHSI National board member helping to position AMHSI for the future.
Lori graduated from University of Illinois College of Law and was a practicing attorney for ten years. She and her family previously lived in Tampa, where she has been active in both Jewish communities as a volunteer and lay leader. She was also an active board member of the American Diabetes Association both in Tampa and Phoenix for many years. Since 2010, she has dedicated her time to leading initiatives for the Phoenix Jewish Community. Her most recent involvement includes serving on the Phoenix Jewish Federation Women’s Philanthropy Board and Chairing the 2019 Women’s Ignition Luncheon. Lori is passionate about Swift Youth Foundation and has led fundraising initiatives for the organization. Additionally, Lori has been a lay leader, volunteer and event host helping the Jewish National Fund Phoenix team with many initiatives.
AMHSI has been a part of Lori’s life for many years; coincidentally, her brother was an instructor there in the 1980's after he made Aliyah. Lori travels to Israel often and is committed to educating our youth about Israel and its rich history to prepare them for leadership roles on college campuses and beyond. She has most recently channeled her passion for developing the next generation of leaders by helping local teens navigate the complex college application process.
Nina Paul – Community Engagement
Nina Paul has channeled her passion for Israel into Jewish National Fund-USA for three decades. She was a founding member of Sapphire Society and helped create one of the largest regional groups in the country as President of the Southern Ohio and Kentucky Region Board.
Nina is the National Vice President of Major Gifts and a member of the World Chairman Council, King Solomon Society, a former president of JNF-USA Women for Israel, a member of Makor, JNF-USA's National Ambassador Group, and is on JNF-USA’s Task Force for Disabilities.
Nina sold her jewelry business in 2007 and currently sits on the boards of several non-profit organizations, both within and outside of the Jewish community.
Joel Reinstein – Israel Operations
Joel Reinstein (Israel) is an attorney, originally from the United States. He sits on the Board of Governors at Ben Gurion University and is a supporter of Yerucham. A long time AMHSI-JNF supporter, lay leader, parent and a grandparent of 2 generations of alumni. Joel continued as an AMHSI-JNF Board member, as part of the 2013 AMHSI-JNF merger, and is a former Chair of the Alumni Committee.
Jack Roldan – Marketing Co-Chair
Jack Roldan (Denver, CO) is the owner and founder of See Deep Consulting, a customer experience and digital agency. Raised in Southern California before returning to Colorado, he is a champion of higher-education, personal development and philanthropic endeavors positively impacting individuals and communities. From leading young professionals on a JNFuture mission to engaging the local Denver Jewish community as an active Mountain States Regional Board Member, he has a passion for philanthropy, people and Israel and is a member of JNF's President's Society.
Mark Sachs – Interim Treasurer
Marc Sachs graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising.
After graduation, Marc started his advertising career at 360, Inc. in Atlanta, GA as a copywriter. He stayed there two and half years until McCann Erickson, NY hired him to work on the MasterCard Priceless campaign. While in NY, he also worked for clients such as Motorola, Smith Barney, the launch of the first XBOX, Microsoft, and many others.
In 2002, Marc came back to Texas when hired by GSD&M as a Senior Copywriter. In Austin, Marc wrote TV campaigns for the PGA Tour, Dial Soap, Charles Schwab, and the World Golf Hall of Fame. While in advertising, his work was recognized by Cannes Lion (short list), Adweek, Art Director’s Club of NY, Communication Arts, and others.
In 2005, Marc switched careers and joined Republic National Distributing Company. In his 18 years with the company, Marc has excelled in 10 different roles of the business. In January of 2021, Marc became a Partner and joined the Board of Directors.
Marc received his MBA from SMU in 2012 and lives in Dallas with his wife of 22 years, Paige. Together they have 3 children Tucker (18), Sallie (15) and Bo (12).
Marc is proud of his efforts to give back to his community. He has previously held positions on the board of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of North Texas and Temple Emanu-el, Dallas. He and Paige are also members of both the UT Chancellor’s Council – Ashbel Smith Circle and the President’s Associates. Paige and Marc have endowed a scholarship for UTNY and he currently sits on the national board of the Alexander Muss High School in Israel.
Susan Sacks – Vice President and Partnerships
Susan Sacks (Deerfield, IL) is a native of Long Island, New York. She attended Jewish summer camps throughout her youth as a camper, counselor and senior staff. Susan earned a BS in psychology and Secondary Education from SUNY Oneonta, as well as an MSW from Hunter College in NYC. She spent her professional years as a school social worker in the NYC schools, as well as on university campuses, and then in Human Resources for a financial institution.
Susan is an active leader in the Chicago Jewish community. She is passionate about partnering with organizations whose core mission is to engage Jewish teens centered around Israel, experiential education and contemporary Jewish Rock music. Susan serves on the board of directors for JUF and JF Board of Chicago with emphasis on community engagement, family services, teen education and Israel. She is an active member of the Foundation for Jewish Camp Board and is a member of the board of directors of JewishRockRadio.com.
Susan and her husband, Marc, were co-Chairs of the Jewish National Fund Chicago 2018 interfaith mission to Israel. They were also honored during a Tree of Life dinner in Chicago. She has been an active member of the the Chicago Board of JNF for close to 20 years.
Susan is very excited to be a member of the Alexander Muss High School national board, as well as the Jewish National Fund-USA national board, where she can combine her passion for Israel, education and teen engagement. Susan, Marc and their 3 adult sons and daughter-in-law are based primarily in Chicagoland, as well as in San Diego.
Brian Seitz – Southeast Region
Brian Seitz is a native Atlantan, who attended AMHSI in Fall of 1991. Brian currently owns and operates Plymouth Funding, a private real estate investment firm in Atlanta. Brian is passionate about Jewish education and community affairs, serving on various boards, including the Epstein School and the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. Brian has also been active in both Maccabi USA and the JCC Maccabi Games, participating in 8 sets of games both nationally and internationally. Brian just recently joined the AMHSI board and looks forward to spreading the Magic of Muss to others!
Jerry Sokol – Legal
Jerry Sokol (Miami, FL) is a partner with the international law firm McDermott Will & Emery, based in the firm’s Miami office, and is the Global Head of Healthcare at the firm.
Jerry is a corporate attorney who deals primarily on health care transactions. He is ranked in Chambers USA, listed as one of the best lawyers in America and is on the Super Lawyers list. He is also on the Nightingale’s best Transactional Attorneys List. Jerry is involved in many charitable organizations, including his position as a board member of the Alexander Muss high school in Israel and as a past Founding President of the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center. Jerry spearheaded the historical effort of building a new JCC in Miami Beach.
Both Jerry and his wife, Allison, are AMHSI-JNF alum and proud parents of 4 HSI Alumni as well.
Myron Stayman – Financial Aid and Scholarships
Born in Chicago to parents from Ukraine, Myron was raised in Ohio and graduated from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania. He started his career as a CPA and went on to serve as a senior executive of both public and private companies. Myron’s career pivoted thirty-eight years ago when he joined Merrill Lynch, where he is currently active with the title of Managing Director. He has been recognized as a top advisor multiple times by publications like Barrons and Forbes in their best in state listing. Proudly married to Debbie LCSW and blessed with three children and eight grandchildren, Myron is active in community affairs and currently serving on both the JBF national board and AMHSI. Past activities include serving as president of the oldest synagogue in Miami and board and officer positions in a variety of organizations.
Alayne Sulkin – Parent and Alumni Engagement
Alayne Sulkin is publisher and editor-in-chief of ParentMap, a Seattle media company that provides daily digital access to essential parenting information, along with a monthly news magazine, targeted annual periodicals and a highly regarded lecture series
Alayne currently serves on the Shalom Hartman Institute, Brothers for Life, and StandWithUs boards, and is actively involved in amplifying other Jewish organizations in Seattle such as One Table, UW Hillel, and Jewish National Fund / Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Alayne and her husband, Robert, have three adult children, Arielle (Adam), Eli and Maya, and two grandchildren, Levi and Stella.
Bob Werner – Honorary Chair
Bob Werner (Aventura, FL) was a Sr. Vice President of the Werner Company, the world’s leading producer of climbing products, for over forty years. Mr. Werner is an RPI graduate in metallurgical engineering, and applied his expertise in metallurgy, material science and manufacturing by developing new alloys, and improving aluminum extrusion and fiberglass pultrusion processes to expand the company’s product line and product safety. Bob is a veteran of the Korean War, where he applied his engineering skills developing a unique process to accelerate repair of tank engines. He has devoted time working on national ladder safety standards and trade association activities. For his service as Chair on the ET Committee’s international seminar on extrusion technology for twenty years, Bob was named the Chairman Emeritus.
Bob and his wife Florence (z"l) are Alumni of the AMHSI-JNF adult seminar, and parents and grandparents to AMHSI-JNF Alumni. Currently, his son Ron serves as President of AMHSI.
In retirement, Bob works with many non-profit organizations applying his business experience. He has served as AMHSI-JNF Board Chair, as well as Secretary and Treasurer, Israel Tennis Centers President, and Beit Issie Shapiro’s Southern FL Chairman. Bob served for years on the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Board and is currently a member of their finance and audit committees. He is Past President of his Synagogue.
Bob is Honorary Chairman of AMIIE/AMHSI, and a current AMIIE Board member and Secretary. He and his Co-Chair, Jack Roland, are winding up their year of service as the Co-Chairmen of the AMHSI 50th Anniversary celebration.
Joe Wolfson – Board Chair
Joseph Wolfson (Philadelphia, PA), an attorney with Stevens & Lee in Philadelphia, PA, currently serves as Chairperson and is a past President of the Board of Directors of Alexander Muss High School (AMHSI-JNF) in Israel. Joe is a former state prosecutor for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office. An active member of the Jewish community, Joe is currently First Vice President of JNF-USA’s national board, a past President of JNF-USA’s Philadelphia Board, Chair of the Executive Committee of JNF-USA’s World Zionist Village, former Chair of Makor, and a member of JNF-USA’s President’s Society and Century Council. Joe also is a past President of the Reading, Pennsylvania Jewish Community Center.