Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees was elected during the Annual Meeting on Sunday May 13, 2018.
Jeff Berkowitz, Board Member. I grew up in suburban upstate NY near Utica where my family belonged to Temple Beth El, a conservative synagogue. I attended Hobart College where I studied sociology. After college, I spent a year volunteering in Israel in the now defunct Sherut La’am program. I returned from Israel to attend dental school at the University of Buffalo and subsequently completed my residency at Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo. In BuffaIo, I met my partner Kristin Wright who was attending law school. Kristin and I moved to Burlington in 1995 where I joined Timberlane Dental Group as a general dentist. We were married the next year in Buffalo (Kristin’s hometown). In 1996 we moved to Charlotte, VT where we are currently raising three teenagers, Emma, Jerry and William. Our family joined Ohavi Zedek in 1998 around the time of my daughter’s birth and my father’s passing. Our family discovered wonderful support in the greater Burlington Jewish community while we attended services daily for 11 months. Our three kids celebrated their B’nai-Mitzvot at Ohavi Zedek where my two oldest studied with Rabbi Jan. It was during this time that I made my connection to Rabbi Jan. My past leadership experience includes three years of service on the board of Ohavi Zedek. In addition, I served as president of the Vermont State Dental Society as well as 8 years as a board member and as a delegate to the American Dental Association. I am excited by the vision Rabbi Jan has for Ruach haMaqom and look forward to assisting in any way possible with this mission under Rabbi Jan’s guidance.
Alan Matson, Treasurer, has been a member of Ruach haMaquom since November 2016. He and his wife, Dale Azaria, joined RhM because of the spirituality and community provided by a renewal synagogue. Alan also has a strong interest in the history of the Jewish community in Burlington and finds the AG building a most special location worth preserving for future generations.
Away from RhM, Alan's career has been entirely within the financial sector. He has worked as a stock trader, a fixed-income portfolio manager and more recently has worked on two start-up companies that have had a financial data focus. These two start-up companies, Lionshares & eSecLending, have both succeeded in disrupting their business niches and continue to be successful. For the past 23 years Alan (and family) have lived in Burlington, Vermont, while his career has often had him 'commuting' to New York City. For the past several years, Alan has also been a leading member of the Keep BT Local Cooperative that attempted to purchase (unsuccessfully) Burlington Telecom from the City of Burlington.
Jen Berger is an artist, educator, and community builder. She has lived in the Old North End for over 10 years and is thrilled to be involved in merging the history and future of the Jewish community in Burlington.
Shanna Ratner, Vice President, is the semi-retired Principal of Yellow Wood Associates, Inc, a consulting firm specializing in rural community and economic development in the United States since 1985. She brings skills in strategic planning, feasibility assessment, facilitation, and creation of multiple forms of wealth to share with the board and the congregation. Shanna began studying with Rabbi Jan shortly before the establishment of Ruach HaMaquom and has been a member of the women's Torah study group for several years. Raised as a conservative Jew, Shanna ignored her Jewish identity for 25 years and was drawn back after the birth of her son which led to her engagement with Ohavi Zedek. She continues to support OZ as well as RuH and is delighted to see the ways in which RuH is drawing new energy into the greater Jewish community as well as becoming a community in its own right.
Loredo Sola, President. I have been married to R. Jan for 37 years. During this time I have experienced a deepening relationship to Judaism and the importance of my relationship to spirituality. I converted in the mikvah in the basement of our synagogue about 14 years ago. I am in love with Jewish Renewal and I have been deeply committed to the vision of a Jewish Renewal community in Burlington.
I am a director of software engineering at Dealer.Com and I was the past chair of ECFiber.net, a successful municipal fiber utility in central Vermont. I am in charge of the RhM website and associated cloud infrastructure.
Michael Jetter, Michael moved from New Jersey to Burlington in January, 2017. He soon began frequenting Ruach haMaqom Shabbat Services and seasonal events. As an AmeriCorps alum, employee of the city’s school district, and frequent volunteer in the community, he lives his belief in the importance of civic engagement.
While in college, Michael became more interested in exploring his Jewish heritage, eventually participating in Taglit Birthright Israel through his university’s Hillel. That exploration continues today as a member and board member of the synagogue.
Bob Fishel, Secretary, ...