About Us » Board


The board of directors is entrusted with the responsibility of assuring a long and healthy future for OHDS. The board comprises parents of current students, parents of alumni and other members of the community, whose interest in OHDS and personal and professional skills enable them to fulfill the duties of fiscal management, long-range planning consistent with the mission, hiring the head of school, and evaluating the head of school’s performance. The role of the board is to guide the institution, set goals and establish policies, while the head of school is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school. The board and the head of school work closely together to ensure that the activities of the school are consistent with the OHDS Hashkafa and mission.

The board welcomes your questions and comments. Please direct inquiries related to board matters to: board@ohds.org




Jo-Ellen Pozner Zeitlin


Jo-Ellen and her husband, Ben, are the proud parents of a 5th grader and a 2nd grader at OHDS. Graduates of Jewish day schools in Albany, New York, and Glasgow, Scotland, respectively, they are firm believers in the importance of Jewish education and community. Jo-Ellen is a professor of management at Santa Clara University, where she teaches courses on leadership, negotiations, organizational theory, ethics, and corporate governance. She is currently researching the role of social and identity movements in market creation, particularly in craft industries. She holds a BSFS from Georgetown University, an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, an MBA from New York University, and a PhD from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. The Zeitlins live in San Leandro and are members of Congregation Beth Israel.


Jessica Minkoff

Vice President

Jessica is an active community volunteer and board member at OHDS. She and her husband Dan have six children; the older four attend OHDS: Leah (8), Noah (6), Zoe (3) and Yossi (1). Jessica just completed a four-year term as president of the board. She has chaired the OHDS Development Committee for the past six years. She brings a wealth of experience, having served on the Head Royce Alumni Council Development Committee, and various Jewish Federation/Foundation boards and AIPAC committees. She is a recent Wexner Heritage Fellow. Jessica has an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master in Architecture from Harvard.  They are members of Beth Jacob Congregation in Oakland.


Dr. Brian Kaye


Brian has been involved with OHDS since its creation. Brian is a physician with a specialty in rheumatology, with a practice in Berkeley and Orinda.  He is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Brian is also very active in the Jewish community. He is a past president and long-term board member of OHDS, co-founder and past president of the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, and past president of Congregation Beth Jacob. Brian has chaired nine head of school or senior rabbinic searches for OHDS, JCHS, and Beth Jacob. He is the parent of two OHDS graduates, including a daughter who was in the first class at OHDS. Brian has a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine.

Ian Blumenfeld

Ian Blumenfeld


Ian is a proud day school graduate and is passionate about the value of Jewish Education. He and his wife, Jen, have lived in Oakland for the past eight years and are active in the Bay Area Jewish community, in addition to being members at Beth Jacob. They are proud parents of three children, one of whom is starting in kindergarten this year. Ian grew up in Toronto, where he lived through his undergraduate work, then completed his graduate work in physics here in the Bay Area. He currently works in technology sector in San Francisco.

Rabbi Gershon Albert

Rabbi Gershon Albert has been the senior rabbi of Beth Jacob Congregation in Oakland since 2014. Originally from Montreal, Canada, he received his rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He believes in the power of Jewish education to transform communities, families, and individuals. In addition to serving on the board, Rabbi Albert is the halachic decisor of OHDS and teaches in the Middle School Workshop-Based Beit Midrash. He is a regional vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America and a member of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, the Rabbinical Alumni Association of RIETS, and the rabbinic advisory committee of Shalom Bayit. Rabbi Albert and his wife, Meira, a Jewish community professional, have four children, the oldest in first grade at OHDS. Their family loves the natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle of Northern California.


Rabbi Yonatan Cohen

Rabbi Yonatan Cohen is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth

Israel, Berkeley’s Modern Orthodox community. He is a frequent teacher

for Kevah learning groups as well as for the Hartman Institute of

North America, and has also served on the faculty of the Wexner

Foundation’s Summer Institute. He has been a guest lecturer on Jewish

Medical Ethics at UC Berkeley and on Jewish Liturgy at the Magnes

Museum of Jewish Art and Life. Rabbi Cohen received rabbinic ordination

from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and he is also a senior fellow of the Shalom

Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He and his wife Frayda have four

children, three of whom attend OHDS.


Leslie Edelman

Leslie has been involved with OHDS for more than 20 years as a parent, volunteer, and board member, and served several terms as board president. All five of her children attended OHDS from kindergarten through 8th grade. Leslie attended Jewish day schools through elementary and high school before earning a B.A. from Barnard and an M.B.A. from Columbia. She and her husband, Raphael, are active members of Beth Jacob Congregation. Prior to moving to the Bay Area in 1993, she worked in marketing for American Express.

Alan Engel

Alan and his wife, Rachel, are the proud parents of two OHDS graduates.  Alan has been an owner operator of apartment buildings in the Bay Area for more than 30 years. He is an active volunteer in the Jewish community and currently serves on AIPAC’s National Council and is very active in pro-Israel politics, developing relationships with members of Congress. He also serves on the board of Beth Jacob. Alan is the past president of the Housing Industry Foundation, which works to prevent homelessness in the South Bay and Peninsula. Alan has a B.A. in accounting from the University of San Francisco. 

Jenna Statfeld Harris

Jenna and her husband, Aaron, have three children with their oldest entering kindergarten this year. Jenna and her family are members of Beth Jacob Congregation and are active in the Gan Mah Tov community there.

Jenna is an Economic Justice attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she represents and advocates for low income clients with disabilities.  She has a diverse legal background, and has previously practiced municipal bond law in San Francisco, tax law in New York, and education law in New Jersey. Jenna brings her significant volunteer experiences with her, including serving as a founding board member of the Shefa School, a Jewish day school in Manhattan for children with language-based learning disabilities, and serving on the Alumni Committee for Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. Jenna has an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Rachel Heitler

Rachel Heitler

Rachel and her husband, Jacob, are thrilled to be part of the OHDS community. Their oldest daughter is a student in first grade and their younger children will hopefully be joining OHDS in the future. Rachel is a Berkeley native. She has served on the boards of the East Bay Federation and Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley. Rachel is a therapist with a private practice in Berkeley. Before starting graduate school, Rachel worked at Nonprofit Finance Fund, a Community Development Financial Institution, where she consulted with organizations on business model change and sustainability.

Devorah Shapiro

Devorah and her husband, Gav, are the parents of two OHDS graduates and a current OHDS middle school student. Devorah is a software developer and consultant working in the field of medical informatics. Over the past 18 years, she has been an active contributor to the OHDS and Beth Jacob communities, organizing a variety of social events and educational opportunities. She has a B.S.E. and M.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania and attended Midreshet Lindenbaum Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.

Ethan Simonowitz

Ethan Simonowitz

Ethan and his wife, Ellen, moved to the Bay Area from New York four years ago. Their oldest son is in first grade.  Ethan is an attorney who began his career in New York and now practices at a firm in San Francisco. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to law school, Ethan did graduate work in Latin American history and lived in South America.  He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in history and Latino Studies. Ethan and Ellen are members of Netivot Shalom in Berkeley.

Seth Timen

Seth Timen

Seth and his wife, Lisa, are the parents of two OHDS students, Arielle (1), Adeena (K), as well as little Benjamin, who looks forward to attending OHDS when he is old enough for school. Both Seth and Lisa are graduates of Jewish day school, and believe in the importance of Jewish education and the greater Jewish community. Seth and Lisa moved to Oakland from San Francisco in early 2019, in part so that their daughters would be able to attend OHDS without a commute. Seth grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in economics. Prior to moving to California, he worked in finance in New York City, and was actively involved in the Challenged Athletes Foundation. He is currently a portfolio manager at Loomis Sayles, and serves on the finance committee of Beth Jacob Congregation in Oakland.