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Our Team

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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

Lily joined Project Kesher as its Associate Director of Development in 2017. Lily received a B.A. 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 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.


shira pruce

Shira Pruce is an activist and a passionate nonprofit professional. She is the former Director of Development and Communications for the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and the former Director of Development and Communications for Women of the Wall. Shira has also advanced the work of MASLAN- the Negev’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Support Center and the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance. Shira served on the Project Kesher Israel board from 2009-2015. She has her BA in Women and Gender Studies from Douglass College, Rutgers University, and she is a Rutgers University Institute for Women's Leadership scholar and mentor. After living in Israel for 13 years, she has recently moved back to New Jersey with her family.


Maya Shalom

Maya is Project Kesher’s 2019 Summer Intern. She is originally from New York City, and is a current student at the University of Chicago, where she is studying Mathematics and Economics. She is very excited about the this summer opportunity at Project Kesher because it combines her passions for female empowerment and recognition of Jewish heritage, while also gaining technical and collaboration skills that would be valuable in any field.




Roz blanck

Roz has lived in the Detroit Metro area all of her life, venturing to Ann Arbor, Michigan for college and law school. Although she practiced law, her true passion is Jewish organizations, especially the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and its agencies. Roz is currently on Federation's Board of Governors and its Israel and Overseas Committee.  She also serves on the boards of JFNA's National Women's Philanthropy, ORT, Detroit's Jewish Women's Foundation, Detroit's Jewish Fund and Brilliant Detroit (creating kid success neighborhoods in the City of Detroit.) When not focused on her family including her 1-year-old granddaughter, she leads Bookstock, Michigan's largest used book and media sale and the David Horodoker Organization, a landsmanshaft begun in Detroit in 1909 by emigres from David Horodok, Belarus.  She has traveled to Belarus three times with the David Horodokers.

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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. In 2019 she founded Barbara Glickstein Strategies, a training and development company that provides innovative approaches to training in media, leadership  and advocacy skills. Glickstein produces & hosts HealthCetera, a podcast that provides evidence-based health news, analysis and commentary. She is the Nursing Consultant and Advisor for Carolyn Jones Productions. She worked on the documentaries The American NurseDefining Hope and the multimedia project Dying in America

Glickstein is one of 50 women selected for Take The Lead’s 50 Women Can Change the World in Journalism. 

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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. Sheila and her husband Bill live in New York City and have residences in Fire Island, and Aspen. She was elected to the Board of Project Kesher in 2003, and is currently serving as the interim Board Chair for 2018-2019. 


elisabeth lerner

Raised in New York City, Elisabeth holds both a JD and MBA specializing in Trusts & Estates and Non Profit Law. She as been active with several Jewish and non Jewish charitable organizations specifically in the area of arts and education, as well as the local Jewish community. Elisabeth travelled with Project Kesher to the Ukraine in Fall 2012. She joined the Board of Project Kesher in 2018.

Kate Epstein Mankoff

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 2014-2019, and was thrilled to join the Board in 2014. Her favorite role, though, is being mom to her fabulous and fairly comical twins, Avi and Eliana. Kate and her husband, Steve, live with 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. 


bobbi mark

Bobbi Mark is currently Chief Advancement Officer at The Browning School in Manhattan. Prior she served for almost two decades in leadership roles as an educational fundraiser in record-breaking capital and annual campaigns at Barnard, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Riverdale Country School, and Yale, her undergraduate alma mater, where she was also the first woman to Chair the Yale Alumni Fund. For her long-time volunteer service to Yale, she was awarded the Yale Medal in 2010. Prior to becoming a professional fundraiser, she worked for several major New York book publishers in prominent editorial and marketing positions, both before and after receiving her MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, from which she also received a certificate in Public Management. She has also held volunteer positions as Chair of the Board of Chess-in-the-Schools and Chair of the Development Committee for Women’s Health Research at Yale.  She lives in Manhattan and Litchfield, CT.


Rabbi karen perolman

Karen R. Perolman has been serving Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, New Jersey since 2008, as a Rabbinic Intern, Assistant Rabbi, and now as the Senior Associate Rabbi. She studied at the University of Maryland at College Park followed by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York where she received her Masters Degree in Hebrew Literature, followed by Rabbinic Ordination in 2010. Karen credits her involvement with NFTY, URJ Camp Harlam, and the Maryland Hillel community with her desire to pursue the rabbinate, including a pivotal summer traveling with the NFTY in Israel program. Karen participated in the Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship and currently serves on the Board of Project Kesher. She is a regular contributor to The Wisdom Daily and has written for other online publications including Kveller, Romper, and Reform Karen is a voracious reader which fuels her passion to understand the intersections between food, politics, Judaism, feminism and social justice. Find her online @rabbikrp.


Dr. Kathleen M. Pike

Dr. Kathleen M. Pike is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and The Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). She serves as Director of the Global Mental Health WHO Collaborating Centre at Columbia University and Deputy Director of the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program.  She is also Senior Supervising Psychologist in the Center for Eating Disorders at CUMC.  Dr. Pike has lived and worked in both Japan and Italy and has collaborated on numerous multi-site trials focused on translational science and capacity building in mental health.  She has held a Faculty Fulbright Award for research on eating disorders, an area of expertise where Dr. Pike has led pioneering work on risk factors, treatment development and dissemination.  Dr. Pike serves as the Vice Chair of the Advisory Board for the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and is a Trustee of the International Rescue Committee. 

Arleen Priest

Arleen priest

Arleen Priest is office manager and bookkeeper for the Aaron M. 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 and a soup kitchen.

She and her husband Aaron lived in Scarsdale, New York for 30 years where she was a ceramicist. They moved to Manhattan in 2009.  She also resides part time in Westerly, R.I.  She has two sons, and three grandsons. Arleen was elected to the Board of Project Kesher in 2007, and was the 2015 honoree for the Annual Benefit. Traveling to the Region has been the highlight of her association with Project Kesher—in 2010 to Belarus, 2012 to Ukraine, and in 2016 to Moscow and Odessa where she brought a Torah donated from her synagogue in White Plains to celebrate her and Aaron's 55th wedding anniversary.


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 2007Deb 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.


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


Sallie e. gratch

Sallie E. Gratch is Project Kesher's founder and served as its first Board Chair.  It was Sallie's trips to Russia and Ukraine to promote peace that led to her decision to create Project Kesher to support the rebirth of Jewish life through the active engagement of women.  In addition to founding Project Kesher, Sallie founded the Women's Founders Collective as a resource for women who found organizations and want to ensure both the organizations' ongoing success and a healthy transition for those who were instrumental in their creation.  Sallie received her undergraduate degree at Bard College and her Master's in social work at Simmons University.  

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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.

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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.

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 the novels Bed Rest, To The Tenth Generation, and The Graceful Exit, stories and articles in magazines and journals, and numerous book reviews for The Washington Post and Newsday. A long-time board member and past board chair of Project Kesher, Rita has also served on the Project Kesher-Israel Board.

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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 CenterGender 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.

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nancy soloman

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.