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Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the managing body and trustee of the Congregation and is responsible for assuring the financial health of Rodef Shalom.

The Board of Directors and committees at Rodef Shalom are vital to the health and growth of the congregation. There are currently over 20 committees covering everything from membership, marketing and finance to ritual, education, programming, and social action. 

The Rodef Shalom culture is one of cooperation, collaboration and community input. Through participation on the board or committees, our members have an opportunity to share their voices concerning plans, programs and policies of our synagogue and to participate in its future.

The board and committees, in partnership with our staff, help accomplish the mission of our congregation.

Rodef Shalom Board of Directors

David Seligman​ President
Nora Murrell Vice-President
Jason Steele Treasurer
Amy Finkelstein Secretary

Marcus Oginsky​

Immediate Past President​
Hannah Baldwin At-large
Traci Bekelman At-large
Matt Clary  At-large
Rena Dulberg At-large
Liam Flannagan  At-large
Michael Harmon  At-large
Barbara Pearl  At-large
Joyce Raynor  At-large
Elly Valas At-large
Sam Walsh At-large

 

David Seligman 

I grew up in Denver, but I did not attend Rodef as a child. When I moved to Massachusetts for college and law school, I was convinced that I would never move back. But after my wife Izzi and I had our first daughter (Ruthie, 8), while I was working as a consumer protection lawyer in Boston, we began to see the benefits of being closer to home. In 2015, we moved back to Denver, where we had two more daughters (Miriam, 6, and Dalia, 3). I am a worker and consumer rights lawyer and the Executive Director of Towards Justice, a non-profit legal organization that principally represents workers in impact litigation across the country to address systemic injustices in the marketplace and abuses of corporate power. I also advocate for policy reforms at the city, state, and federal levels. I love the Buffalo Bills, the Colorado Rockies, ice cream, and whitefish salad—but more than anything, I love my family and our three energetic, curly-haired, little daughters. Even if you haven’t met me yet (and you will!), you’ve likely seen them around shul.

Nora Murrell

I am a vintage seamstress YouTuber.  I’ve been primarily focusing on anything between 1920 through the early 1950s.  I am also a hardened, seasoned pilot’s wife with a history of sudden fixation on a new hobby or topic that eventually will be utterly abandoned.  This experiential and journey based approach to life has resulted in many inexplicable college degree changes and career changes that have absolutely paved the way to who I am today.  It’s not exactly clear how I went from a political science degree, to teaching middle school science, to being a labor doula, to sewing on youtube, but this wildly edited bio is now still too long.  I am regularly at Rodef with my wonderful family: Michael ‘Hawk’ Murrell (the pilot husband), Tiernan, and Alice.  Please always feel welcome to come up and say Hi.  I’m the red head that is endeavoring to look like she stepped out of a time machine.  You can’t miss me.

Jason Steele

Jason Steele was born in Buffalo, New York and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from the University of Delaware with a degree in History, Jason moved to Denver in 1997, where he worked as a computer systems consultant. In 2005 Jason married Dr. Janna Steele, an Israeli-American. In 2011, Jason left his job in computers to become a full-time freelance writer covering credit cards and award travel. Jason and Janna live in the Mayfair neighborhood with their daughters Ilana (15) and Evie (10), and their son Ari (6).


 

Amy Finkelstein

Amy grew up in Birmingham, Alabama.  She graduated from Brown University, where she studied public policy and hispanic studies.  After a year in Israel and a few years working in the disability rights community in Atlanta, Amy finally made her move west to California for law school at Stanford University. She met husband Myles Steiner at Stanford. Amy and Myles lived in Anchorage, Alaska for a year before moving to Denver in 2006.  Amy has been working as an attorney for children involved in the child welfare system for 11 years.  She represents kids of all ages in foster care in Jefferson County. Amy and Myles have two daughters (Julie and Emily) who are proud graduates of Rodef's preschool.  Both girls are currently students at Denver Jewish Day School.

Marcus Oginsky

Marcus grew up at Rodef Shalom. He met his wife Heather at Rodef, got married at Rodef, and have raised their two children Bluma and Zehariah there.  After his 3-year term as President of the board, he continues to serve as a board member and an active participant on multiple committees.  In his professional life, Marcus is a hospitalist physician at three metro area hospitals for a private practice group that he helped found.  Marcus is also a volunteer camp doctor with Ramah in the Rockies.  In his free time he enjoys gardening, beer making, woodworking, and home improvement projects. 

Hannah Baldwin 

Hi, I'm Hannah (she/her)! I'm a pie-baking, quilt-making, dog-cuddling, union-organizing writer with a background in journalism and marketing. When my fiancé, Eyal, and I joined the shul after moving to Denver last year, we found a warm, inclusive community so I'm excited to chair the Membership Committee and welcome other new members. I can't wait to meet you.   

Traci Bekelman 

Traci is an anthropologist and a professor in the Colorado School of Public Health. She joined the Rodef Shalom community in 2008, and the Board of Directors in 2022. She has been an active member of the Education committee and the Disability, Awareness and Inclusion committee. Traci and her husband joined Rodef Shalom because they love the haimish atmosphere and strong sense of community. All of her children attended preschool and had their B'nai Mitzvah at Rodef.

 

 

Matt Clary 


 

Rena Dulberg

Originally from Albuquerque, Rena now considers Denver home. Rena received her BA in Psychology from Occidental College and an MA in Conflict Resolution from University of Denver.  After nearly 10 years in higher education as both faculty and administrative leadership, she served as VP of Community Engagement at ThinkImpact, an international social enterprise. Later, she worked as Innovation Lead of Entrepreneurs & Ventures at UpStart Labs. She became a certified Design Thinking facilitator through the Stanford D School and in 2017 and later founded BOOSH LLC, where she serves as Lead Consultant. BOOSH supports nonprofit organizations with innovation through Human-Centered Design. Rena currently serves as Education Committee Chair and sits on the Board of Trustees for Congregation Rodef Shalom. In her spare time, she and her husband are designing their dream home and wrangling two kids, ages 8 and 5. 
 

Liam Flannagan 

I have been attending Rodef since 2018 and have been a board member since 2020. I am a software engineer supporting the first crewed mission to Mars. When I'm not at Rodef or working, you can find me hiking, reading science fiction, or learning Muay Thai. I'm always interested in talking about the Red Sox or the Avalanche.

 


 

Michael Harmon 

 

 


 

Barbara Pearl 

Barbara Pearl has been a member of Rodef Shalom for 15 years, worked in the office for three years, and is pleased to serve on the board for the first time. She worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 20 years, specializing in oncology. She is married to Professor Fred Greenspahn and is a parent of five children and grandmother of 10. Rodef Shalom continues to be a significant part of her life.

 

 

Joyce Raynor 

Joyce Raynor grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and received her BA in Hebraic Studies from Rutgers University. She also holds an MA in rabbinic literature from the University of Judaism (now the American Jewish University) and a PhD in archaeology from Duke University’s Department of Religion. Joyce was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America as a Conservative rabbi.

Joyce has served on Duke’s staff at archaeological excavations in ancient Galilean synagogues and Tzippori. She has worked as a curator at the Israel Museum and the National Maritime Museum, Haifa. Since her return from Israel, she has worked at Golda Och Academy in West Orange NJ as a Bible and Rabbinics teacher, high school principal and head of school. Prior to her recent retirement and move to Denver to be close to her children and grandchildren, she served as head of school of the Dr Miriam and Sheldon G Adelson Educational Campus in Las Vegas NV.
 

Elly Valas

I’m Elly Valas and I’m a Denver native. My parents, Harry and Lee Valas, were founding members of Rodef Shalom. My father and some of his friends even laid the tile in what is now the Mizel Museum building. I was a retailer for many years and then became a small business consultant. Since retiring six years ago I have been raising puppies that eventually become service dogs for Canine Companions. As a passionate traveler I’ve been to all seven continents, over 35 countries and 49 states in the US. I just returned from Iceland and Greenland. My next travel goal is to visit as many of the 439 US National Parks Sites as I can. I love the vibrant multi-generational make-up of Rodef. I smile at the young families and their children filling the building on Shabbat and holidays. We definitely exemplify Dor l’Dor—from Generation to Generation.
 

Sam Walsh

Samantha (Sam) Raizen Walsh is the Director of Development at Denver Jewish Day School, which she was thrilled to join in 2019. A native of Denver & alumni of the school, after graduating with a BA from Brandeis University, Sam spent a few years in London and NYC before returning to Denver in 2010. She has dedicated her career and volunteer time and energy to strengthening the Denver Jewish community. She and her family (husband Russ, and kids Avi and Tali) love the Rodef community and are overjoyed to be part of helping it grow and thrive.

 

 

Past Board Presidents

Myron Wilkoff
Jerome Kesselman
Tibor Stern
Sol Cersonsky
Harry Pells
Robert J. Pells
Jonas  Kiken
Walter Stark
Robert Rottman
Leonard Rivkin
Isadore Katz
Marvin Shamon
Noah Perlis
Richard Martin
Steve Zimmerman
Allan Rosenbaum
Marilyn Bogan
Elaine Tinter
Roni Ogin
Debbie Ginsburg
Barbara Shecter
Della Levy
Barbara Robbins
Andrew Brock
Scott Fisher
Ron Rubin
Carl Boymel
Marty Zimmerman
Chandra Rosenthal

Wed, December 7 2022 13 Kislev 5783