Welcome to the Board of Trustees 2024

Yasher koach to the 2023-24 Board of Trustees. Special thanks to outgoing board members – past president Miriam Korn Haimes, VP-Legal Gordon Braverman and trustees Audrey Levitin, Lynn Rubin, and Debra Caplan – and to outgoing president Michael Sag (who will continue on the board as immediate past president).

Welcome to these new board members – Shirley Grill, Risa Bernstein, Josh Kline and Suzanne Grobman.

Meet the New Trustees

Shirley Grill, Term expiring 2025
“We joined Shomrei Emunah in 1987 with a 5-year-old and a newborn.  While on a short maternity break, I spent Sundays attending Shomrei’s Hebrew School with my son. It had problems; I told the president and shortly thereafter I became VP of Education! And thus began my journey as part of Shomrei.

Shomrei has been a fundamental part of my life—as an immigrant and a child of survivors, putting down roots is my pattern—and I put my roots down at Shomrei. At Shomrei I have been in many officer seats—Education, Programming, Social Action and even President.

A meaningful part of my life at Shomrei is the incredible opportunity Shomrei provided me to repair our small part of our world—Tikkun Olam was the portal that served as my vital link to Shomrei.  While I never left Shomrei, I took a short break to explore other community work—even a stint on the Montclair BOE. In 2014 I came back to the Education Committee because of my deep belief that if we build a wonderful school “they will come.” And we have and families are coming to Shomrei.

In my life outside of Shomrei I am a Human Resources professional who coaches and consults with Leaders and Executive Teams globally to create healthy and high performing organizations.  And for a number of years, I travelled a good deal—and coming home to Shomrei always anchored me in my community.

More personally, I am married to David who joins me occasionally at Shomrei; I have a son Matt, a daughter Allie (both of whom grew up at Shomrei) and a daughter-in-law Caitlin.  Our newest addition is our granddaughter Louisa — Matt and Caitlin’s child. She is the love of our life!”

Risa Bernstein, Term expiring 2026
Risa Bernstein has been a proud member of Shomrei for more than 30 years, joining with her husband Sol Bernstein, shortly after the birth of their first of 3 sons. She is joining the board with great commitment and energy for the future of Shomrei, which seems brighter than ever.

Professionally, Risa retired recently after a thriving career as a senior healthcare communications executive. She is an entrepreneur who has helped build (in partnership), two successful healthcare agencies under the Omnicom umbrella of companies, Accel Healthcare (now integrated with TBWA) and Flashpoint Medica (now DDB Health), where she served as President of each, during her tenure. In 2022, Risa was inducted into the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame, highlighting the entrepreneurial role she played in bringing women to the forefront of Agency pioneers building business, brands, AND people/careers.

She has been married to Sol for 34 years and counting. And she is the very proud mom to 3 sons, Benji (and wife Gabi), Ari (and wife Dara) and Coby (and partner Sam).

Josh Kline, Term expiring 2026
Josh came to Shomrei on Rosh Hashanah 2014, the very first week he and his wife, Jessica, and his 5-and-a-half-month-old, Charlie, moved to New Jersey. They never left. Since then the Klines have had two more children, Noa and Jameson, and all 3 have gone through Shomrei preschool and are now in JLC.

When he isn’t busy with his family or organizing Shomrei adults only events, Josh is a Leadership and Business Coach working with both individuals and corporate teams. He does one one-on-one coaching as well as group workshop training and facilitation for Fortune 500 companies.

Josh went to Syracuse University and is originally from Baltimore, MD, so he is a sports fan of all teams from those places.

Suzannah Grobman, Term expiring 2027
Suzanna only really knew for sure that Montclair was the place she wanted to call home after she found her place at Shomrei. From volunteering for kiddush, participating in Zamru, being a member of the Education Committee, and helping with young family programs — she has been happy to say “yes” to most Shomrei asks because of how much she has gained from being a part of this community.

Suzanna’s original background is in costume design, and she currently has her own bathroom fine fragrance start-up that she shares with her brother. She loves projects, branding, and design, and looks forward to continue bringing her creative energy to the programming at Shomrei!

Suzanna lives with her husband Travis Weiss, as well as her daughter Rafa (former Shomrei Preschooler, and now in Kindergarten at Golda Och Academy), and son Mack who starts Shomrei Preschool in the fall.

Latest posts by Shomrei Emunah (see all)

What do you think?