Board of Trustees


President: Elizabeth Lacher

Executive Vice President: Lisa Folb

Vice President for Development: Elizabeth Lacher (acting)

Vice President for Programming and Committees: Ruth Ann Whalen

Vice President for Engagement: Ruth Ann Whalen (acting)

Treasurer: Ben Galison

Secretary: Deb Smith-Cohen


Bob Fenster

Mort Goldstrom

Jordan Gross

Andrew Harris

Wendy Kantor

Bert Katz

Kathy Laskey

Kevin Luman

Peggy Nelson

Frank Newman

Jim Rose

Joanne Schamest

Joe Scholnick

Jay Silverberg

Rebecca Trager

Alex Ukoh

Risa May – Immediate Past President

Committees at NVHC

Want to get involved? Click on any of the Committees listed below for more information; the person to contact is listed and would be happy to hear from you! Click here for a downloadable list of all of our committees and groups.

Unsure where to start? Click here to fill out a simple form that will tell us more about you and someone will reach out to you with more information.



Dedicated to serving the needs of our congregation, supporting our temple youth, and supporting the Jewish community. Sponsors monthly Sunday Family Breakfasts, supports periodic Mitzvah Days, acts as ushers during the High Holy Days, and sponsors the annual Purim Carnival. 

Contact: Bob Fenster, 

NVHC Cares (Caring Committee)

NVHC Cares (Caring Committee).   Helps celebrate joyful beginnings when a congregant has a  new baby and other simchas, and offers solace and support through difficult times such as  illness, surgery or a death in the family by providing cards, meals, challah and supportive calls.   NVHC Cares has several active teams who provide specific types of support to members in need (see below).  If you are interested in helping or need support, contact the chair.

  • Calls. This team is made up of volunteers, each taking 2-week rotations throughout the year, to make calls to congregants who have a celebration or needs support. 
  • Cards. Congregants are sent a card when experiencing short- or long- term illness, bereavement, or celebrating a life-event like a birth, adoption, or conversion.
  • Challah. We have a team of volunteers ready to deliver a challah so that congregants can observe Shabbat even when experiencing short-term illness, bereavement, or the addition of a family member. 
  • Chaverim. Volunteers who provide more extended companionship to members of our community who need visits from an occasional friendly face. 
  • Chevrah Kadisha.  Helps families in mourning arrange funerals, Shiva Minyans, and follow-up.  
  • Meals. This team of volunteers responds to a request to provide meals to congregants who need help making sure that their family is fed during short- or long-term illness. 
  • Rides. We have volunteers at the ready to help our community get to events at the Synagogue

Contact:Lisa Folb, ShowClick Here to View Contact Information

NVHC Change (Social Action Committee)

 Supports NVHC’s commitment to make our community and the world a better place (tikkun olam) by enabling and enhancing NVHC participation in social justice, service, advocacy and learning, and facilitates partnerships with other community organizations such as Cornerstones, VOICE, and the JCRC.  NVHC Change has several active teams working on specific initiatives (see below).  If you are interested in joining the NVHC Change mailing list to receive updates on our Social Action initiatives, contact the chair. 

Contact: Ellen Ranard, Chair, ShowClick Here to View Contact Information

  • Afghan Refugee Team
  • Ukrainian Refugee Team
  • Green Team
  • Racial Justice Team
  • Food Insecurity/Shelter Meal Team

Afghan Refugee Team

Supports an extended Afghan family (three households) resettling in Northern Virginia.

Contact: Ken and Kathy Laskey

Ukrainian Refugee Team

Supports two Ukrainian families resettling in Northern Virginia.

Contact: Ellyn Krause Pontell and Dave Pontell

Green Team

 Identifies and implements specific solutions to reduce NVHC’s carbon footprint, promote sustainability initiatives and solutions throughout the different aspects of congregational life and educate members of all ages on what they can do at NVHC, their homes, and businesses to enhance sustainability. 

Contact: Ken Gubin, Chair, ShowClick Here to View Contact Information

Racial Justice Team

Engages with NVHC members and the broader community to promote racial justice and equity.  

Contact: Andy Lacher

Reproductive Rights Team

Explores ways to support reproductive rights.

Contact: Ellyn Krause Pontell and Dominique Cytryn

Food Insecurity/Shelter Meal Team

Organizes meals and volunteers for Cornerstones Hypothermia Shelter and Embry Rucker Shelter and works with Helping Hungry Kids to support food packs for local elementary schools. 

Contact: Bess Eisenstadt

College Outreach

College Outreach Committee   Prepares and sends packages to college students to celebrate  the Jewish holidays, and to continue their connections with the NVHC community. 

Contact: Judy Naiman, ShowClick Here to View Contact Information

Silver Line

Provides activities for congregants aged 55+. Monthly dinners and activities are planned.

Contact: Marsha Sheinman, Chair, ShowClick Here to View Contact Information

Women of NVHC

Supports and furthers the highest ideals of Judaism and the goals of NVHC by promoting camaraderie, esprit de corps, spirituality and participation in tikkun olam – repairing the world – within our Congregation and the greater community. 

Contact: Peggy Nelson ShowClick Here to View Contact Information

Rebuilding Democracy Project

Seeks to engage NVHC members and others to rebuild democracy by creating a space for open and honest conversation, inviting engaging and relevant speakers, and inspiring action.

Contact: Rabbi Michael G. Holzman, ShowClick Here to View Contact Information

Photography Club

For those members interested in photography this club offers a monthly opportunity to develop skills and to utilize them while sharing work, getting advice on all sorts of photography.

Contact: Mort Goldstrom,

Golf League

Organizes golf outings in a league format.

Contact: Sy Sherman,

Worship & Music

Adult Choir - Kol Shirah

 Sings at High Holy Days and other times during the year at services and in concert.

Contact: Cantor Susan Caro, ShowClick Here to View Contact Information

Worship Committee

Works with the clergy on matters related to worship services. Sponsors clergy-led classes that explore Jewish prayer and worship.

Contact: Susan Trivers, Chair, ShowClick Here to View Contact Information


Distinguished Speaker Series

Arranges for scholars, journalists, and public figures to speak at NVHC’s Speaker Series Program.

Contact: Eric Forman,

Kehilat Limmud & Tamid

(Religious School) Judaics and Hebrew instruction for grades K-12, including Torah Corps (B’nai Mitzvah preparation) and Confirmation classes. Sunday mornings, mid-week late-afternoon and early-evening classes.

Contact: Rabbi Ashley Barrett,

Lifelong Learning (Adult Education)

NVHC offers classes and discussion groups on a wide variety of topics, Torah Study, and Hebrew and Judaica classes for adults.  

Contact: Rabbi Michael Holzman

Youth Engagement & Education Committee

 Supports all youth programs for any child 0-18 and the adults  that come with them. This includes early childhood programming, Kehillat Limmud, and Tamid; collaborates with the Youth Engagement Professional; recommends religious school policies.

Contact: Kevin Luman,


The Boutique at NVHC

Offers an array of Judaica, including ritual objects, jewelry, mezzuzot,  b’nai mitzvah gifts, items for Chanukah and Passover. Operated by Women of NVHC volunteers.  Open some Sunday mornings or by appointment.

Contact: Fay Gubin and Lisa Folb,  ShowClick Here to View Contact Information. Online store at 

Technology Committee

Proposes policy, sets priorities, and develops plans for the management and evolution of the congregation’s technology infrastructure.

Contact: Bruce Johnson and Stu Williger,

Finance Committee

Submits yearly operating budget to the Board of Trustees, reviews monthly financial performance, and prepares long-range financial planning for the congregation.  Oversees allocation of financial assets and investments. 

Contact: Judith Naiman,

Strategic Development Committee

Assures NVHC’s long-term financial sustainability and growth by providing leadership and governance for successful development activities.

Contact: Jeff Dlott,


Governance Committee

Reviews, evaluates, and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees on procedures and policies regarding governance of NVHC. 

Contact: Ellen Ranard, ShowClick Here to View Contact Information

Pulpit Committee

The Pulpit Committee serves as liaison between the clergy and members of the congregation in instances where congregants prefer to communicate with clergy via an intermediary.  It also provides the Personnel Task Force with feedback about clergy from randomly chosen members of the congregation as part of regularly scheduled performance reviews.  The objective in both instances is to help strengthen the sacred partnership between the congregation and the clergy, in support of congregational goals. 

Contact: Eric Eisenstadt,

Personnel Committee

Supports the performance review process for professional staff and maintains the Personnel Handbook.

Contact: Hana Newcomb,