Lay Leadership

Our Board

Lori Siegel, President
Mary Ann Wittenberg, President-Elect
Julia Babka-Kurzrock, Secretary, Israel & World Jewry
John Rubenfeld, Treasurer, Finance
David Ratner, Past President

Yuri Grinshteyn                                      Joel Guss
Jenn Leeds
Marcie Hochhauser                  Amanda Regenstein
Tony Lebe


Click here to view Congregation B’nai Tikvah’s bylaws.


  • Chesed (Bert Gunter): The Chesed Committee exists to assist CBT members in times of need. Loosely translated, Chesed means “loving kindness.” Our members are available to help congregants with such things as rides to medical appointments; meal delivery for those stuck at home due to illness; outside leaf raking, gutter cleaning, small fixup projects, and the like for the elderly; help setting up new electronics for the technologically challenged, etc..
  • Education (Julie Jacoby and Brittany Youngman): The Education Committee provides support and assistance to the Director of Congregational Learning in all aspects of education and social functions relating to the Religious School.
  • Finance (John Rubenfeld): The Finance Committee reviews and recommends all significant capital expenditures (i.e. sanctuary remodel, amphitheater renovation, grants, etc.), analyzes the operating/religious school income statements and cash statements, works with staff on annual budgets, considers any lending opportunities (i.e. reducing the interest rate on the mortgage), and addresses any board or congregation questions related to our finances.
  • Fundraising: Our Fundraising Committee focuses its creative energy on raising additional funding to support CBT’s community and activities. Past successful fundraising events include:
    • An annual Gala
    • The annual Taste of Walnut Creek Restaurant Walk, when we stroll through the streets of Walnut Creek sampling tastings from a variety of restaurants along the way
    • Our Legacy Giving program for those who would like to include B’nai Tikvah in their estate plans
    • Our Culture of Giving Capital Campaign with a specific aim of paying down the mortgage on our beautiful synagogue
  • House Committee (Jeff Rackmil)
  • Israel and World Jewry (Julia Babka-Kurzrock): Through an array of youth, family and adult programming, we will build a strong connection between CBT and the people of Israel that will deepen our understanding of Israel’s society, history, history, and culture and encourage travel as well as study opportunities. Our committee has a strong partnership with the Contra Costa Jewish Community Center and its Under One Tent programs, the LGBTQ+ community (Keshet), local Israeli (teen) scouts Shevet Egoz, and other local community/organizations.
  • Keshet (Rebecca Abraham): Keshet @CBT is a social organization that aims to build meaningful connections for LGBTQ+ individuals and families within the CBT community. Keshet welcomes people of all ages, genders, and orientations to find a place in the larger Jewish community.
  • Membership (Andrea Slavet): Our Membership Committee strives to understand the programming needs and wants of our membership and creates programs to thrill them. This committee also welcomes new members, provides opportunities to assist our members, and generally serves as ambassadors of CBT with the express intent of growing and suntanning our membership with innovative programming.
  • Men of CBT (Josh Bevitz): The Men of CBT is our Temple men’s group which strives to serve the men in our community with innovative programming and activities. Past activities have included trips to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco – with a Jewish deli lunch), Bocce ball tournaments, Pizza parties and poker nights. The Men of CBT also perform services for the Temple including helping with projects where appropriate, bar tending at functions and transporting items for our annual High Holiday celebrations.
  • Ritual (Idelle Lipman): The purpose of the Ritual Committee at Congregation B’nai Tikvah is to support the Clergy in its creation and implementation of meaningful Shabbat and holiday services. Committee members encourage participation in synagogue life, provide hands-on assistance for special programs and help shape ritual policies and guidelines. The Committee also acts as a sounding board for congregants to voice their ideas and hopes. Our Ritual Committee seeks to enhance the warm, inviting atmosphere for which our congregation is known.
  • Sisterhood (Mona Epstein): B’nai Tikvah Sisterhood is a social organization that promotes camaraderie and service to the temple and the Jewish community. Sisterhood pitches in by helping sponsor Temple Events, such as fundraisers and religious school activities.
  • Social Action (Jennifer Klatsky & Alison Negrin): Our committee is dedicated to bringing justice to our work, grounded in Tikun Olam (repairing the world) and inspired by our rich tradition and strong values of Teshuvah and welcoming the stranger. We meet once a month via Zoom. We welcome new members, but also welcome folks who prefer to get involved in individual projects.