Biz INS and OUTS


Carlos Galindo-Elvira was recently appointed director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Arizona Office. Galindo-Elvira has been a strong community partner for ADL, as a participant in the organization’s Glass Leadership Institute in 2009 and as a past recipient of ADL Arizona’s Al Brooks Community Leadership Award. Most recently, he served as the chief development officer at Valle del Sol, a nonprofit agency providing healthcare, human services and leadership development programs in Phoenix. Prior to joining Valle del Sol, Galindo-Elvira was a special assistant to former  U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini in the areas of civil and human rights, Department of Justice, and Hispanic and Native American affairs. He also worked for the Pinal County Recorder’s Office as the Voter Outreach Program coordinator. Galindo-Elvira served as mayor and vice-mayor for the Town of Hayden, as a council member since 1987 as a magistrate pro tempore for the Hayden Magistrate Court. |


Deb Rochford was promoted to executive vice president at Jewish National Fund (JNF). In her new capacity, Rochford remains based in Phoenix and in addition to overseeing the Las Vegas and Arizona communities, is responsible for the Southwest region, which encompasses Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

“This is the most important and meaningful job I have ever had,” says Rochford. “What defines me as a person is my dedication and love of Israel. I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face because I work with a great staff and for an organization whose mission I believe in 100%. I firmly believe the work we do is vital to the future of the state of Israel and am proud of the accomplishments we have achieved. It’s my honor and privilege to work every day for Jewish National Fund.” |


The Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center hired Megan Rich as director of youth and camping. She will provide guidance and support to The J’s K-5 and teen programs, including Club J, afterschool enrichment classes and holiday and summer camps. Rich has more than 20 years of experience developing camp and youth programs. She most recently served as director of outdoor centers/program, including camps, for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. In addition, she is a certified member and associate visitor of the American Camp Association. |


Hillel Jewish Student Center at Arizona State University kicks off the new school year with two new employees.

Josh Traulsen, director of student life, focuses on leadership development, programming, and Birthright trips. An Arizona native, Traulsen is excited to return to ASU as part of the Hillel team. Traulsen was program director for the Arizona Hemophilia Association, where he ran camp programs for children with bleeding disorders and worked with young adults within the community.

Madeline Dolgin, innovation specialist, focuses on freshmen engagement, Shabbat innovation, and increasing opportunities for professional development/mentoring/career readiness. Dolgin is a native of Scottsdale and recently graduated from New York University, where she was active with NYU’s Hillel, the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. As a Hillel engagement intern sophomore year , Dolgin hosted the first student-led Shabbat dinners. She also sang in the Reform community’s “Shabband” for holidays and Shabbat services. |


Fred Wabnik was recently elected board president of the Jewish Tuition Organization. Wabnik has been on the JTO board for two years, is past board president of Jewish Free Loan and has served on the boards of the American Jewish Committee and Beth El Congregation.

JTO Executive Director Linda Zell was selected for Scottsdale Leadership Class 31. Each year Scottsdale Leadership selects applicants with leadership qualities who will further develop their civic passion and have a positive impact on their community. Zell has been executive director of the JTO for the past 10 years. When she started with the JTO, its fundraising efforts raised $300,000. This past year the JTO’s fundraising initiatives brought in more than $4 million. |


Jewish Free Loan Associate Executive Director Ellen Sacks was selected by Take the Lead Arizona to participate in the inaugural class of “50 Women Can Change The World” leadership program. Take The Lead prepares, develops, inspires and propels women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025. It’s today’s women’s movement – a unique catalyst for women to embrace power and reach leadership parity.


Rabbi Moshe and Esti Schonbrun are the new Jewish Arizonans on Campus family at the University of Arizona. Together with Sophie Gibly, who has been a member of the JAC team in Tucson for the past year, they will lead educational and social programming. Rabbi Moshe was born and raised in Brooklyn and has spent the last 12 years learning in some of the most prominent Talmudic centers of the world, including the Talmudic Research Center in Passaic, NJ; Mir Yeshiva, Jerusalem; and Beth Medrash Gevoha, Lakewood, NJ. Rabbi Moshe is also a graduate of the rabbinical training program Ner Le’elef. Esti hails from Spring Valley, NY, received her master’s degree in social work from Long Island University and has worked primarily with chemically-dependent adolescents.

Rabbi Leib and Devorah Bolel joined the JAC team to serve as directors of jLIVE, JAC’s Young Professional program. The Bolels spent the last six years in Des Moines, where Rabbi Leib served as rabbi of Beth El Jacob Synagogue. Born and raised in Gateshead in the northeast of England, Rabbi Leib received his rabbinic ordination through the Ohr Lagolah Graduate Semicha Program at Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem and furthered his studies at the Jerusalem Kollel. He holds a bachelor of Judaic Studies from Ohr Somayach Tanenbaum College and earned his MBA from Walden University. Devorah, originally from Jerusalem, oversaw the synagogue’s pre-school in Des Moines. |


Morgan P. Crowder, M.S., was named director of finance and Monika L. Radford, PHR, SHRM-CP, has been named Human Resources Manager at Jewish Family & Chidren Services of Southern Arizona.

Crowder has more than 15 years of experience in financial roles within complex operations. She was an U.S. Air Force officer in charge of funding mission-critical programs, including humanitarian relief efforts and wartime operations. Crowder holds a master’s degree in management and a certificate in teaching finance.

Radford has more than 13 years of human resources management experience in developing strategies and procedures aligned with business objectives, organizational development and talent management.


Kathy (Kat) Rodriguez joins the Tucson Jewish Community Center as assistant director of digital marketing and communications. She worked as a marketing specialist at the University of Arizona Medical Network for seven years. Rodriguez holds an associate of arts degree from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a masters in business education from American InterContinental University in Chicago.

Eva Romero is the Tucson J’s new grant writer. Born in the U.S. and raised in South America, she repatriated to attend the University of Iowa. Her book, Film and Democracy in Paraguay, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan this year and she will be co-directing her first documentary film on women and women’s rights in South America. She received her PhD from the University of Arizona, where she taught a range of Hispanic cultural studies and language classes.

LeeAnn Perry-Walker was hired as membership relations coordinator. Perry-Walker worked for The J in 2003 as catering and sales director. She left to pursue a career in the hotel industry and obtained her culinary degree at Pima Community College. Perry-Walker was director of catering at Lodge in the Desert and the Hilton El Conquistador Resort and catering manager at La Posada Lodge and Casitas.

Andrea Wright, operations coordinator, holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Grand Canyon University. Prior to The J, Andrea worked at A Place to Call Home, BBVA Compass Bank and Living Interiors.


James A. Whitehill was recently elected president of the board of trustees of the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. Whitehill has served as a JCF trustee since 2008. Whitehill, a native Tucsonan, is a practicing attorney with Whitehill Law Offices, which he founded 20 years ago. He is certified as a specialist in real estate law by the State Bar of Arizona; has concentrated his practice on real estate, business and estate law for more than 25 years; and has received numerous legal and community awards. Whitehill has served for 20 years on the board of directors of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and is an active member of Arizona Town Hall. Board member Goggy Davidowitz is a newly elected vice president. New board members include Caron Mitchell, Stephen Rodgveller and James Shiner. |


Rabbi Leo Michel Abrami, who retired from Beth Emeth Congregation of the West Valley 10 years ago, has been called back to lead the congregation. During his years away from Beth Emeth, Rabbi Abrami led High Holiday services for unaffiliated coreligionists in Phoenix and the West Valley and taught courses for the Bureau of Jewish Education. Rabbi Abrami, who is a trained counselor and psychoanalyst, will be available for personal counseling on Monday mornings and on appointments. Beth Emeth is offering a special incentive for first time members. | 623-584-7210 |


Rabbi Nate Crane and Cantor Dannah Rubinstein recently joined the clergy team at Congregation Or Tzion. Upon earning his rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and master of arts in rabbinic studies from the American Jewish University, Rabbi Crane began his career at Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Deerfield, IL in July 2014 as the director of lifelong learning. He also served as associate director of Camp Wise at Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles and as rabbinic intern of Congregation Or Tzion in Scottsdale. He returns to Congregation Or Tzion as associate rabbi and education director.

Cantor Rubinstein grew up in an observant Jewish home in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. She attended Brandeis University where she received her bachelor of arts in music, with a minor in film and Judaic Studies. After a brief business career, Cantor Rubinstein returned to study at Gratz College in Philadelphia, where she received her master of arts in cantorial studies and Jewish music in 2008. Following experiences as a Torah reader, b’nai mitzvah program coordinator, tutor and cantor with congregations in Pennsylvania, she spent six years as cantor of Temple Beth Shalom in Vero Beach, FL, where she added choir director and religious school educator to her resume. |


Matt Resnik, co-founder of SMILE Biscotti, recently received the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult Autism Award during the Autism Society of America’s 47th annual national conference in New Orleans. “This national honor is an exciting and humbling one for Matt and our family,” says Denise D. Resnik, Matt’s mother. “SMILE Biscotti is demonstrating that when given the chance to succeed, people with autism can be productive contributing members of our communities. It’s a social enterprise built on hard work and skill. No charitable or government dollars have been involved.”

Resnik is the first recipient of the award. After graduating from high school, he co-founded SMILE Biscotti with his parents in 2013 to develop work skills, learn to support himself and save for his own place to live. Since then, SMILE Biscotti (an acronym for Supporting Matt’s Independent Living Enterprise) has sold more than 150,000 biscotti online and in a growing number of retail locations across the country. |


Rodney Glassman is now Of Counsel at Beus Gilbert PLLC, where he does strategy work locally, nationally and internationally for Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow, Mobile Mini Inc., Phoenix International Raceway (NASCAR), the Brewer Companies (Arizona’s largest new-construction plumbing company), Phil Francis (former CEO of PetSmart), John Whiteman of Empire Southwest and the Whiteman Foundation, and CASE (Central Arizonans for a Sustainable Economy, which represents over 20,000 working families across Arizona). |


The Grand Canyon Resort Corporation hired hospitality industry veteran Brian Siegel as CEO. Siegel brings more than 30 years of hospitality and tourism industry experience to Grand Canyon West and Hualapai Tourism, along with years of insight into Native American business enterprises. Prior to accepting the post, Siegel spent more than 15 years working as an executive with two of the nation’s premier tribal tourism destinations: director of hospitality at Menominee Casino Resort and food and beverage director the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center and Oneida Casino. Siegel also worked for the Hollywood Casino in Columbus, OH and in various locations for the Marriott Corporation, where he started his career. |


U.S. Rep. David Schweikert presented the Small Business Spotlight Award to Desert Stages Theatre, honoring the nonprofit community theater’s 21 years of artistic contribution to Scottsdale. Given to a select number of businesses to honor their exemplary hard work and ongoing community giving, the award is part of Congressman Schweikert’s effort to showcase small business in Arizona. |


At the end of September, Levi Catering will close their Café at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Center and relocate their catering business to 3375 E Shea Blvd., Phoenix. After 10 years of running the Café, this move will enable the company to focus on expanding their catering services. From their new location, Levi Catering will be available for all types of kosher catering at any venue that permits services from outside  catering vendors, including Valley of the Sun JCC.


Patty Perea Kane, MD recently joined the Aleph Center, a holistic mental health practice in Tucson, as a general psychiatrist treating adults patients. Dr. Kane earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University and a master’s degree in religion from Yale University. She attended medical school and residency at the University of Arizona, where she cofounded a volunteer medical clinic serving Central American refugees. Dr. Kane received the Roy N. Killingsworth Memorial Award for Excellence in Psychiatry and the Community Scholar Award for the Outstanding Senior in Community Medicine. The College of Medicine and UA Alumni Association honored her with the Leo B. Hart Humanitarian Award. She also received the Robert Moore Award from Compass Behavioral Health, recognizing an individual who “exemplifies exceptional values, beliefs, dedication and high ethical standards in the field of behavioral health.” |

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