Contact Us

Project Kesher
729 Seventh Avenue, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Tel: 212.600.0970

  • Staff
  • Board
Karyn G. Gershon

Karyn joined Project Kesher as its Executive Director in 1994 and has overseen its dramatic growth. Trained as a lawyer, Karyn was a litigator with Katten Muchin & Zavis from 1986–1994. She is a graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University School of Law. She was a fellow at the Wexner Heritage Foundation. In 2004, Karyn was named one of the Jewish Chicagoans of the Year by The Chicago Jewish News. After living in the Chicago area for more than 20 years, Karyn now lives in New York City - and is loving it!

Lily Katz

Lily Katz is Project Kesher's Development Associate. Lily received a BA in International Affairs, with a concentration in the Middle East from The George Washington University, in May of 2017. During her time in Washington D.C., she worked and interned for numerous organizations, including NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, The Global Women's Institute at GW, the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Beth Caunitz 

Dr. Beth Caunitz practices general and cosmetic dentistry in New York City.  She received her DDS from New York University College of Dentistry and completed her residency at St. Barnabus Hospital in the Bronx, New York, where she also served as Chief Resident.  Prior to becoming a dentist, Beth earned a BSN from New York University School of Nursing and was a pediatric nurse at New York University Hospital. Beth has served as President and active member of the Parents Association of the Heschel School in New York City. Beth has participated in several Project Kesher delegations to Ukraine and was elected to the Board in 2014. She and her husband Daniel Budofsky have three children and currently reside in Manhattan and Connecticut.

Jennifer Daniels

Jen Daniels is Founder of JenW Collection, a jewelry and accessories design company. Earlier in her career, Jennifer was a Vice President in High Yield Sales with Salomon Smith Barney, and an Associate with JP Morgan. She also traveled to Korea to teach English with the Princeton in Asia program. Jennifer holds an MBA from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University. Jennifer has been an active volunteer at The Heschel School, UJA Federation of New York and Wesleyan University.  She traveled with Project Kesher to Russia and Ukraine multiple times and is co-chairing PK’s 2015 Annual Benefit. She joined the Board of Project Kesher in 2012. Jen lives in New York City with her husband and three children. 

Barbara Glickstein

Barbara Glickstein is a public health nurse, health reporter and media strategist. She is co-director of the Center for Health Media & Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York. She produces and hosts Healthstyles, an award-winning, weekly program on public radio in New York City. Glickstein is the Outreach Strategist, Campaign Builder and Researcher for Carolyn Jones Productions and working on her newest project, Dying in America. Barbara has traveled frequently to Russia, Ukraine and Israel with Project Kesher. She joined the Board of Project Kesher in 2007 and is its current chair.

Sheila Lambert

Sheila enjoyed a twenty year career at The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation with progressively responsible positions including Vice President of Human Resources and Senior Vice President & Publisher of Moody's Investors Service. Her extensive philanthropic experience focuses on Jewish continuity and helping underserved and disadvantaged populations, particularly women and children. Sheila is the Founder and Board President of Bottomless Closet and President of the Manhattan Jewish Community Center. She was a Founder and former Board Chair of Summerbridge, a Director of the Jewish Children's Learning Laboratory, a Vice President of the Board of Congregation Rodeph Sholom, in Manhattan, and a member of the Advocacy Council for the Citizen's Committee for Children. She was elected to the Board of Project Kesher in 2003, and is a former Board Chair.  Sheila and her husband Bill live in New York City and have residences in Fire Island, and Aspen. 

Kate Epstein Mankoff


Kate Epstein is an award-winning TV reporter/anchor turned producer, who lives to tell a good story. After working for several affiliates across the country, she traded in her anchor hairspray and "TV red blazers" for the chance to work in corporate production in New York City. Here, Kate has interviewed everyone from Beyoncé to Barbara Walters, field-produced for the Discovery Channel and Fine Living Network and even worked various gigs with the Department of Homeland Security. These days Kate serves as Executive Producer for a full-service field and post production design studio in Soho. She has also produced the videos for Project Kesher's Benefits in 2014 and 2015, and is thrilled to join the Board this year. Her favorite role, though, is being mom to her fabulous and fairly comical twin boys, Avi and Ethan. Kate and her husband, Steve, live with their guys on Manhattan's Upper West Side; when not chasing them, they both enjoy a good read and, on a really great day, a good nap. 

Rita Ungar Moser

A daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Rita has been active in The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City and The American Friends of Yad laYeled in Israel.  She is involved in various Jewish and non-Jewish philanthropic organizations as well as the local Jewish community.   She has participated in several Project Kesher trips to the former Soviet Union with Project Kesher, and was elected to the Board in 2012Rita and her husband Nathan reside in New York City and have four children, Rachel, Allison, Michelle and Steven.

Rabbi Karen Perolman

Rabbi Karen R. Perolman began working at B’nai Jeshurun in 2008 as a Rabbinic Intern and started serving as Associate Rabbi in July 2013. She serves as Rabbi in Residence for the Rabbi Barry H. Greene Early Childhood Center and the B’nai Jeshurun Religious School. Rabbi Perolman received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Jewish Studies in 2004 from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Following graduation, she worked for Rutgers University Hillel as a Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellow. She later attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York where she received her Master’s Degree in Hebrew Literature. She was ordained by HUC-JIR in 2010. While in Rabbinical school, Rabbi Perolman worked as an educator at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan and was the Rabbinic Intern at Columbia/Barnard Hillel.
Rabbi Perolman credits her involvement with NFTY and URJ Camp Harlam with her desire to pursue the rabbinate, including a pivotal summer traveling with the NFTY in Israel program. These youth experiences nurtured a deep love of Reform Judaism, social justice and Zionism. The daughter of a career Army Judge Advocate, Rabbi Perolman was born in Bremerhaven, Germany, and lived in cities throughout the U.S. until her family settled in Ellicott City, Maryland. Rabbi Perolman is a voracious reader, which fuels her passion to understand the relationships between food, spirituality, politics, Judaism, feminism, and social justice.

Arleen Priest

Arleen is office manager and bookkeeper for the Aaron Priest Literary Agency.  She was on the Board of Trustees of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York for 20 years where she was honored for 20 years of service as co-chair of the Hungry and Homeless Committee and food coordinator for volunteers providing food for a local homeless shelter. Arleen and her husband have been honored by Israel Bonds and Jewish Theological Seminary. They lived in Scarsdale, New York for 30 years where Arleen was a ceramicist, and recently moved to Manhattan. She also resides part time in Westerly, Rhode Island. She has two sons and two grandsons.  Arleen was elected to the Project Kesher Board in 2007 and has enjoyed traveling to the former Soviet Union.

Deborah Roberts

Deborah is involved with various charitable organizations but her favorite remains Project Kesher.  Deborah traveled with Project Kesher on its Voyage on the Volga trip in 2004 with her daughter.  She returned in 2007 with her mom for the Summit on the Black Sea. A Board member since 2007, Deb has co-chaired Project Kesher's Annual Benefit since 2011.  She is married to her best friend, David Roberts, and the mother of three children, Lauren, Andrew and Michael.

Deborah Shapiro

Deborah Shapiro is a certified Special Education Mediator with the New York Peace Institute helping students and their families navigate the complicated New York City school system. She received her BA from Tufts University and her JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.   Deborah practiced corporate law at Schulte Roth and Zabel for seven years and was in-house council for Caribiner Communications, an NYSE publicly traded company.  Deborah has served as Chair of the School Auction and the Chair of the Benefit Dinner at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School.  She also is a member of the Department of Medicine’s Chairman’s Circle at NYU, a member of the Board of myFace and a Trustee of the College of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University. Deborah traveled with Project Kesher on the 2008 Torah Return trip to Ukraine and is thrilled to be on the Board with good friend Jen Daniels starting in 2015.  She and her husband Steven Shapiro have three children, Allie, Sophie and Talia and currently reside in Manhattan.  

Debbie Wasserman

Debbie Wasserman is the President of Steel Wheels Consulting, LLC which consults in all aspects of non-profit management and provides executive coaching. With 18 years of senior experience, Debbie is a recognized expert in strategic planning, organizational and human resource development, and program implementation.  She previously served as the Executive Director of the Israel Policy Forum, an independent and non-partisan organization that supports U.S. efforts to advance peace diplomacy in Israel, the Northeast Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, and Special Projects Director and Executive Committee Liaison for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  She is on the Board of the JCC of Manhattan and served as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the White House Project. Debbie joined the Board of Project Kesher in 2002.

Sandra Wasserman

Sandra is the President of Wasserman Investors and the Director of the Sandra and Bert W. Wasserman Family Foundation. She has an extensive background in financial planning and interior design. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Baruch College, Hillel Baruch, Gurwin Geriatric Foundation and Suffolk Jewish Community Center, and is a member of UJA's Lion of Judah in New York and Florida. Sandra joined the Project Kesher Board in July 2008 and, with her daughter Debra, is the organization's first mother-daughter Board pair.

Janet Winter

Janet Winter is a graduate of Brown University and New York Law School. She practiced medical malpractice defense law as a partner at Bower and Gardner followed by Bartlett, McDonough, Bastone and Monaghan, and she now works as an Administrative Law Judge for the City of New York. Janet served on the School Board at Friends Seminary. Inspired by the work of her father who championed the rights of Soviet Jews in the 1960’s, Janet is excited to be on the Board of Project Kesher. Janet lives with her husband John in New York City, and they have two boys, Alex and Matthew.

Past Board Chairs


Eunice Ward

Named one of “Chicago's Thirty Tough Lawyers” by Chicago Magazine in 2002, Eunice Ward is an experienced divorce litigator who has practiced family law for her entire legal career and has hands on experience with the divorce courts, judges, and mediators. She is known for positive, straight-forward attention to her cases and has sound, successful trial experience. Eunice has been influential in the custody area of the divorce bar; she assisted in writing the law on joint custody and worked for its incorporation into the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Eunice received her J.D. from IIT – Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1979 and is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.  Eunice Ward joined the Project Kesher Board in 1998 and served as Board chair from July 1998 through June 2001.

Sheila Friedland

Sheila Friedland is a Director of the Elaine Gorbach Levine Charitable Foundation, dedicated to helping families, with particular focus on emotionally disturbed youth and Jewish women and girls in the United States, Israel and the former Soviet Union. She is the former Executive Director of the Westchester Jewish Council and was a staff member of the Jewish Museum of New York.  Sheila has also served on the Board of trustees of Temple Israel Center.  Sheila became active with Project Kesher after a trip to Chernigov, Ukraine, in 1997, where she received leadership training. She has been involved in the organization ever since and joined the Board in 1998 and served as Board chair from July 2001 through June 2004.

Sharon Ufberg

Dr. Sharon Ufberg is the co-founder of Elevate Gen Y, a company she created with her daughter, Alexis Sclamberg in 2013 to create live events and online programming to empower women in their 20s and 30s to inspire and empower them to live meaningful lives and give back to their communities and the world. She is the health and wellness editor for Napa Valley Life Magazine and contributes to publications including The Huffington PostWomen eNewsWomens Media Center, Gender Across Borders, and Dr. Ufberg has been featured across the media, including Fox TV News, Martha Stewart and WBAI radio, and We Heal New York magazine. Dr. Ufberg has served as a delegate to the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women.  Dr. Ufberg serves on the Council on Chiropractic Education, is an Adjunct Professor at Beth Israel Medical Center’s Continuum Center for Health and Healing in New York City, and lead consultant for Good Advice Works, the company she created in 2011. Sharon joined the PK Board in 2001 and served as Board chair from July 2004 through June 2007.

Rita Kashner

Rita Kashner is an activist, philanthropist, novelist and short-story writer. She has a B.A. from Smith College and a Masters in English Literature from Brandeis University. She teaches contemporary Jewish literature and leads poetry-writing workshops for women in domestic violence shelters in Westchester. Her publications include three novels, Bed Rest, To the Tenth Generation, and The Graceful Exit, numerous stories and articles in magazines and journals, and book reviews for The Washington Post and Newsday. Rita joined the Board in 2000 and served as its chair from July 2010 through June 2013.  Rita has also served on the Project Kesher-Israel Board.

Nancy Solomon


Nancy Solomon is a past President of Congregation Rodeph Sholom, a reform synagogue in New York City. Prior to that she served as Chairman of a multi-issue children's advocacy organization, Citizens' Committee for Children of New York, where she is still active. Honored by Project Kesher in 2011, Nancy has traveled to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus numerous times with Project Kesher, joined the Board in 2005, and is a past Board Chair. She introduced Project Kesher to Temple Beth El in Helena, Arkansas, the spiritual home of the Solomon Family that donated two Torah Scrolls when it closed its doors after 150 years. Nancy resides in New York City and Fire Island.



Sallie E. Gratch

In 1986, Sallie Gratch closed her private practice in family therapy and took a giant step forward into the peace movement, participating in peace walks in the (then) Soviet Union and becoming a passionate advocate in America to support the emerging interest in Jewish renewal.  In 1989, Sallie founded Project Kesher to provide a solid organization through which to formalize her activities around Jewish renewal.  She chose the word “kesher” meaning “connection” internationally to underscore the importance of bringing people together from both sides of the world to promote learning, understanding and mutual respect.  In 1994, Sallie, in partnership with her friend and today’s CIS Director Svetlana Yakimenko, organized Project Kesher’s historic International Conference of Jewish Women held in Kiev, Ukraine.  In 2006, she founded the Women’s Founders’ Collective to provide a global support network for women founders of non-profits. Sallie has received leadership awards from the Simmons School of Social Work, Women’s eNews, and the National Association of Social Workers. Sallie and her husband Alan live in Evanston, Illinois and spend summers at their log cabin in Montana.  They have three children and 10 grandchildren.