Board of Directors


  • Lisa Friedman


  • Yaron Simler


  • Guy Miasnik

    First Vice President

  • Ronit Alcheck Bodner

    Vice President 

  • Jill Blair


  • Karen Strobel

    Member at Large

Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School is a nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Directors composed of parents and community members. The responsibilities of the Board include strategic planning, financial oversight, and formulation of school policies, which are implemented by the staff. Members are elected to two-year terms at the school’s annual meeting.

Click on board member’s name to read their bio.


Karen Alter is currently the COO for the CocoTerra Company, an early-stage venture creating a breakthrough “food-tech” appliance. She has spent the majority of her career in the technology world, moving to California to join Intel in 1992. At Intel, she lead groups focused on marketing, communications and integrated business functions such as pricing, forecasting, revenue management and factory planning. Since 2000, she has worked primarily as a CMO or COO at a number of startups in spaces as varied as electric cars, solar power, enterprise software and mobile apps. She received her AB (in Government) and MBA from Harvard University. Karen has a long history with the Hausner Board, having been a community member for eight years (including four years on the EC), and a parent member for four. She has also served on the Boards of the Palo Alto JCC, Hillel at Stanford, and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, and recently stepped down from the Common Sense Media Silicon Valley Advisory Council. Karen lives in Palo Alto with her daughter Sophie, a Hausner graduate.


Sheira Ariel has been a parent at Hausner since Fall 2008. She completed her third year as the Chair of Parent Kesher in June 2015; prior to that role, she spent two years co-leading the Parent Kesher Speaker Series. Sheira also served as a member of the Jewish Community Federation’s South Peninsula Regional Impact Grant Initiative Committee. Sheira holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business  in both Psychology and Management and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Sheira’s professional passion is to help organizations engage their employees, and she currently consults part-time. She draws on her in-depth understanding of individual and group behavior as well as her strength in quantitative and qualitative analysis when working with clients on various employee communications, change management, and organizational effectiveness initiatives. Sheira lives in Mountain View with her husband, Jonas, and her three boys Avi, Liam, and Ilan, a third grader at Hausner.

Secretary, Executive Committee COMMUNITY MEMBER

Jill has spent her career engaging in and bridging the public, private and independent sectors, including nonprofits and philanthropy. She has worked as a researcher, analyst, advocate, consultant, social entrepreneur and business owner. Her passion and skills are in helping organizations and their leaders build a healthy, joyful, creative, values-based culture, skilled at using information and experience to achieve meaningful results. With a deep dedication to civic engagement and democratic practice, Jill has launched and led two philanthropic affinity groups – the Grantmaker Forum on Community and National Service and PACE – Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement. She was a founding partner of Informing Change, a California-based evaluation and consulting firm that provides information-based consulting to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and leaders.

In February of 2017 after ten years of working as an independent consultant, Jill accepted a one-year assignment as Senior Fellow for Strategy & Organizational Effectiveness with the Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City. Reporting to and supporting the CEO on issues of strategy, culture, practice and performance, Jill is particularly excited to have joined the Center at a moment when JCCs, like other Jewish legacy institutions, are facing critical questions of social value and relevance given changing times and needs. In addition to her service on the Hausner Board, Jill serves as a member of the Strategy Committee of the Seattle CityClub; and the Governance Committee of Palo Alto Players.  She also serves proudly as a mentor for the “Scoop” Jackson Leadership Fellows program, a leadership development program which she helped design. Jill and her lifetime partner and wife, Fay Twersky, share their joyful lives with their two amazing children, Jaz, a Kehillah graduate, and of course, David-Nathan, a proud Gideon Hausner alum.


Before joining Hausner’s Board of Directors in 2017, Ronit served on the L’Dor VaDor Campus Expansion Committee, as well as the Risk Management Committee. Since 2005, Ronit has been involved in real estate management and development. She is a principal and the General Counsel of Alcheck Properties, a real estate investment and development company with residential, commercial and industrial properties throughout California. Before that, she was in-house legal counsel at Intel and prior to that a litigation associate at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP. Ronit earned her law degree from UCLA School of Law and her Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She has been involved with numerous Jewish organizations throughout the Bay Area and was an early member and board member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She also serves as a Commissioner on the Los Altos Planning & Transportation Commission.
A daughter of Israelis, Ronit was born and raised in Los Altos where she and her husband, Zack Bodner, currently live with their three children, all of whom will attend Hausner for one glorious, reduced schlepping year in 2017-2018 spanning kindergarten through 8th grade.  She enjoys hiking, traveling and trying new restaurants.

Anessa Farber is currently the Fiscal and Administrative Officer for San Mateo County Health Department’s Public Health, Policy and Planning and Emergency Medical Services Divisions. She has worked in the County of San Mateo for thirteen years in multiple roles, including analyzing the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Mental Health Services, helping the County Manager start the Community Corrections Partnership to implement Public Safety Realignment and implementing multiple child welfare program and process improvements for Juvenile Probation. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Political Science and returned four years later to obtain a Masters of Social Work from the same university, specializing in Program Evaluation and Program Planning. Anessa and her husband George are the proud parents of three Hausner students – Gabby (8th), Raya (5th), and Nathan (K)–and long standing members of the community, having both graduated from Gunn High School in Palo Alto. All of the kids’ grandparents and great-grandparents live within a five mile radius! When not working, parenting or spending time with kids and friends on Hausner campus, Anessa loves to go to theater and concerts, travel, and listen to audiobooks.

President, Executive Committee


Lisa has been an active volunteer during her nine years as a Hausner parent, helping to support the school in small and large ways. For two years, she co-chaired Parent Kesher’s Staff Appreciation efforts and served as a room parent for more years than she can recall. Since joining the Board in 2014, she has chaired the Governance Committee and served on the Strategic Planning Metrics Committee. Lisa has spent two years on the Executive Committee, as Vice President, First Vice President and now President. Lisa spent twenty years working in the nonprofit and foundation worlds, focusing on programs that strive to improve the lives of at-risk youth. Most recently, she was the Program Manager for the Hans and Elizabeth Wolf Foundation and the Morgan Family Foundation, where she helped design and implement giving strategies and evaluate program success. Prior to that, she was the Associate Director of Adolescent Counseling Services, where she oversaw fundraising, marketing, evaluation and strategic planning.
Lisa grew up in New York City and came west to attend Stanford, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Lisa lives in Palo Alto with her husband, Jim Harris, and their daughters, Addie, a Hausner graduate, and Franny, a fifth grader.


Abi brings an extensive background in nonprofit management and fundraising and a passion for ensuring all young people have the opportunity to reach their personal potential. She has worked in a variety of youth development and educational organizations in Boston, Chicago, and the Bay Area. She started out managing youth programs in low-income communities in Chicago and then shifted her social impact focus to non-profit administration and fundraising. She is currently the Executive Director of Health Connected, the primary provider of reproductive health education in San Mateo County schools.


Abi holds a BA in Psychology with a minor in Education from UCLA and received her MBA with a concentration in Public and Nonprofit Management from Boston University. She has also completed the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.Abi was born and raised on the Peninsula. She is a member of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills (where she grew up) and is a member of Camp Newman’s Advisory Board (where she also grew up). She lives in Palo Alto with her husband, Andrew Cheng, and her two sons, Jordan and Noah, both of whom speak Mandarin fluently, and her dog, who does not speak Mandarin fluently.

Guy has been Managing Director, Healthcare Investment, at Ganot Capital since 2009. He has extensive financial and strategic experience with healthcare companies. At Ganot, Guy oversees investments in biopharmaceutical and medical device companies as well as buyouts of healthcare service companies. Guy currently serves on the board of directors of eight portfolio companies, ranging from healthcare services companies with thousands of employees to med-tech and biotech startups developing life-altering, cutting-edge technologies. Prior to joining Ganot, Guy worked in global healthcare investment banking for eight years, focused on M&A, most recently at Lazard. Guy also served as a combat medic, infantry, in the Israel Defense Forces. He graduated from Tel Aviv University with degrees in law and economics, and received an MBA from Columbia University. Guy lives in Los Altos with his wife Gili and their three children, Ari, Ellie and Adam, all current Hausner students.

Nittai Malchin currently works as an Investment Banking Analyst at GCA Advisors, a global middle-market investment banking firm. Prior to beginning his full-time career, Nittai received a Masters in Accounting from the University of Michigan (Ross School of Business) and a BS from the University of Southern California. As a Junior in High School, Nittai founded One Love Advocates, a non-profit organization aimed towards improving the quality of education in Haiti following the catastrophic 2010 earthquake. As part of his efforts, he raised over $20,000 and led two trips to Haiti, putting time and resources towards developing a mobile computer program for tent schools in the Port-au-Prince area. Nittai is a Hausner graduate, having attended the school K-8. His three younger siblings, Talia, Yahli, and Leo, all attended Hausner as well.

Vice President, Executive Committee PARENT MEMBER

Guy Miasnik is a serial hi-tech entrepreneur. He currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for BlackBerry and part of its executive leadership team. Prior to that Guy was a Division President, a position he held after the acquisition of his last company, AtHoc, by BlackBerry on September 2015. Guy was the co-founder and CEO of AtHoc, a Silicon Valley startup backed by Intel and Greylock, that became the leader in networked crisis communication for governments and high-risk industries. Prior to AtHoc, Guy co-founded and served as CEO of Kinetica Ltd., a software services firm (acquired), and served as an officer in the Israel Defense Force (IDF). Guy holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the Technion. He is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and Advisory Board Member for the Harvard Business School Center of Entrepreneurship. Guy served on the Executive Board of the Technion’s Program for the Advancement of Technological Manpower, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of talented yet underprivileged high school students in Israel. Guy and his wife, Michal, have three children including a Hausner alum and two current students.


An innovative and entrepreneurial manager in the philanthropic sector, Adin has nearly 20 years of success in building, implementing, and directing visionary and strategic efforts bringing about positive social change. He has held senior roles at several philanthropies – most recently at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund (JCF) in San Francisco – where Adin developed and implemented new strategies, initiatives, programs, research, collaboration and processes to bring about positive change and impact. Adin holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University, and a Strategic Public Sector Negotiation certificate from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Guy recently founded a social startup that provides parenting support. Previously he held senior product management and engineering positions at Facebook and PayPal including leadership of Facebook Payments and Facebook Groups engineering teams. He also provides executive coaching support to select clients and volunteers with a number of educational and political organizations. Guy received a B.A. in Computer Science summa cum laude from The Israeli Institute of Technology. He is a loving father of two wonderful children. His daughter Sheira is a seventh grader at Hausner.

Immediate Past President, Executive Committee


Since moving to the Bay Area in 1998, Tali has been actively involved in the Jewish community, devoting her time to organizations such as the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Community Federation, where she chaired the South Peninsula Impact Grant Initiative Committee. Tali is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program. In her eight years on the Hausner Board, Tali has served on the Nominating Committee and chaired the Development Committee and the Head of School Support and Evaluation Committee. She has served on the Executive Committee for five years, as First Vice President and then President.

Born and raised in Israel, Tali holds a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Administration and Organization from Tel Aviv University. She also has a Masters of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development from the University of San Francisco. Tali worked as an Human Resources Manager for several years before committing her time to volunteer work. In addition to her many volunteer activities, Tali teaches Pilates from a private studio. She and her husband Amit, live in Mountain View with their two children, Maya and Ittai, both Hausner graduates.


Amber Rosen is the Deputy Chief of the San Jose Branch of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. She has been a federal prosecutor for more than 20 years, specializing in white collar fraud. She did a stint in the appellate division, arguing cases before the Ninth Circuit, and is now a supervising attorney. Originally from Michigan, she moved permanently to California in 1995. Amber attended Harvard University for college and went to law school at UC Berkeley. She lives in Los Altos with her husband and two daughters. She previously served on the Hausner Board while her children were in preschool. Both daughters are Hausner graduates who currently attend Mountain View High School.


Kim is an attorney at Jorgenson, Siegel, McClure & Flegel, LLP, specializing in estate planning and administration. She began her legal career at Heller Ehrman LLP, where she regularly counseled organizations, including Hausner, regarding labor and employment matters. Kim earned her law degree from New York University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  She served on the Board of Directors of Congregation Kol Emeth and was a founding member and Managing Director of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Kim lives in Los Altos with her husband Alex and their two children.


Ron Sandel is a business executive and an active member of the Bay Area Jewish community.  He is currently VP of Growth and Operations at Chegg, an education technology company focused on improving learning outcomes for High School and College students. Previously, he spent five years at Yahoo, where he led strategic operations in the Office of the CEO.  Ron earned a BA in Economics from Brandeis University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is an involved father of four, three of whom currently attend Hausner.


Dr. Yaron Simler is a seasoned executive with global, multidisciplinary management experience for public and private high-tech companies. Yaron was CEO in his last three positions at telecommunications, mobile, networking, and video infrastructure technology companies. Most recently he began working at Stanford University as a senior client executive for Stanford Health Care. A native Israeli, who grew up secular, Yaron is married to Rabbi Serena Eisenberg, the Executive Director of Hillel at Stanford. Through the relation with Serena, Yaron was introduced to the richness of pluralistic, progressive and egalitarian Judaism.

Yaron’s five boys attended Jewish Community Day Schools, in Berkeley California, in Providence Rhode Island, and the younger two at Hausner (classes of 2013 and 2017).  His family has affiliations with several synagogues, including Kol Emet, Beth Am, Etz Chaim, and Congregation Hod V’Hadar in Kfar Saba, Israel. Yaron participated in the OFJCC Gvanim program, and is an active alumnus. Yaron holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley, as well as B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University.


Karen Strobel has spent her career researching settings that promote and support adolescents’ intellectual, social and emotional development. She has worked with schools, after school programs and university researchers to capture the qualities of young leaders, engaged learners and collaborative problem solvers. Currently, Karen is the Director of Assessment at Castilleja School in Palo Alto. Prior to her time at Castilleja, Karen was a senior researcher at the John W. Gardner Center at Stanford where she led research projects designed in partnership with teachers and community leaders.


Karen received her BA from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Child and Adolescent Development from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education. Karen lives in Palo Alto with her husband Jon Bernstein, and their sons, Gabriel, a Hausner fifth grader, and Daniel, a Hausner graduate.


Tzipor Ulman, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Science is Elementary, an effective non-profit whose vision is that all children know science is awesome and use its principles to better their lives. Science is Elementary (SiE) effects systemic change in elementary school science education by teaching students, training teachers, and engaging the scientific community.
Tzipor has been active in Jewish communal fundraising since her youth in Israel, walking door to door to raise money for the blind. In college and graduate school she was active in UJA, AIPAC, and Hillel, founding new programs and increasing funding for student groups. Tzipor and her husband Dan live in Los Altos with their two sons, Ben, a Hausner graduate and Gil, a seventh grader. She holds a PhD in physical chemistry from Stanford University and a BSc in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University.


Emily Waldorf holds a BA in Art History and French from Scripps College and an MA in French from Middlebury College. While her background is in the art world, Emily’s most recent focus has been as a community volunteer. In addition to her work on the Hausner board, where she chairs the Development Committee, Emily also serves on the Board of Directors of the Ambassadors for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Emily co-chaired the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center Gala in 2015. She has chaired the Early Childhood Education Fundraising Committee at the OFJCC and currently co-chairs the Preschool Committee. Emily has also served as a trustee of Scripps College. Emily and her husband Greg Waldorf have three children, two of whom are current Hausner students. She is also an avid equestrian and competes on the local hunter circuit.


Matthew Weeks is Co-Founder and CEO of HealthyOps, a Healthcare IT Informatics company serving hospitals, clinic systems and other healthcare service delivery organizations. He also serves as chairman of a money transfer company and advisor to several other technology companies. Matthew began his career in San Francisco and has spent over 30 years in financial services, including commercial and retail banking, consumer behavior and analytics, brokerage and investment banking and software services targeting small and micro-businesses, including Moodys, BofA, Wells, and Intuit. Later he co-founded or led companies in the interactive, mobile and social media sectors and in the emerging online and mobile payments marketplace. Matthew is active in the startup and venture community as a mentor, start-up guy, connector and consigliere.

A native of Palo Alto, Matthew has been a member of Temple Beth Am almost since its inception, receiving his Bar-Mitzvah with Rabbi Sydney Akselrad. He attended Gunn High School before earning a degree in English Literature at Amherst College and subsequently an MBA in Finance and The Entrepreneur Program Certificate at USC’s Marshall School of Business, where he has served on the National Board for over 20 years, has served as President of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, and is a President’s Ambassador.Matthew lives in Redwood City with his wonderful wife Sharon Brown and their daughter Rebecca, a Hausner graduate.