Board of Directors
Sarah Gribetz, Co-Chair
Tikkun Olam and a commitment to social justice have long been important to Sarah. The Gabriel Project Mumbai speaks to these values and inspiration to get involved was immediate. A career educator Sarah has incorporated these tenets into her teaching. In the late 1990’s she spearheaded a fundraising drive with her fourth grade class for Kosovo refugees for which the students raised $25,000. Sarah is currently involved as a mentor to new teachers as well as curriculum development, with an eye on the mental health and stability of all students. Sarah is an ardent supporter of educational equity for all children.
Sarah Gribetz is a NYC based educator whose career has spanned the gamut of educational fields. She served as a fourth grade teacher at the Dalton School, taught among the founding teachers of the Heschel School, was Director of Lifelong Learning at the Park Avenue Synagogue and was an Academic Program Manager at CUNY where she acted as a coach to principals and teachers in NYC public schools as well as the director of its College Now summer program. She taught Hebrew on Abundance Farm in Northampton, Massachusetts, an initiative in Jewish farming and education. Most recently Sarah served as the Interim Director of Education at the Park Slope Jewish Center as it transitioned to and landed permanently on a virtual platform. Similarly she serves as an interim teacher during the pandemic at Yavneh Day School in Los Gatos, California.
Molly Pollak, Co-Chair
Molly Pollak fell in love with Hindi film. She traveled to India to see all the places she had seen on screen and she fell in love with India. While there, Molly visited the Gabriel Project Mumbai and fell in love with the work they are doing. Then, she went back and volunteered at the Gabriel Project school and realized that she had to do more.
Molly Pollak developed and teaches the pedagogy curriculum at Yeshivat Maharat. Molly taught English at the Dalton School, Ma’ayanot and SAR High School. She has done teacher training and mentoring at Dalton, Ma’ayanot, YCT and Drisha and Drisha’s Ha-Sha’ar program. She taught a seminar on teaching methods for the Beit Midrash fellows at SAR, and co-presented workshop on “Alternative methods of teaching Tanach.” She has done extensive work on using technology in the classroom. Molly holds a BA in English from Barnard College, a masters in English from Columbia University and is ABD from New York University.
Valerie Gerstein, Vice-Chair
While on a study mission to India with Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet, Valerie was introduced to the Gabriel Project Mumbai and immediately felt empowered by Jacob Sztokman’s vision and the work in the slums of Mumbai. Upon returning home her to her family, Valerie’s stories about the slums became her children’s stories and when Liza became interested in helping the children she had heard about and saw in photos, their family’s commitment to GPM deepened and Liza became the GPM Youth Ambassador to the board, Valerie joined her in supporting this mission.
Valerie’s leadership at UJA-Federation of New York spans many of the lifecycle stages and aspects of the organization. Valerie currently serves on the Center for Youth Philanthropy committee and the Global Jewish Safety Net Committee providing emergency as well as strategic support to communities around the world. Within UJA’s Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal, Valerie joined the inaugural group of the Beginning Jewish Families Task Force. Valerie serves on the boards of Hazon, The Jewish Theological Seminary’s Center for Pastoral Education and NYU’s Bronfman Center/Hillel. Valerie lives in NYC with her husband and two daughters, Mia and Liza.
Aviva Fisher Rosenberg JD, Board Chair Emeritus
Aviva has been working as a lawyer for the last 20 years, specializing in health care law. She has lived throughout the United States and made strong connection to the Jewish communal organizations in all locations. She is passionate about international health and development work. Aviva joined the GPM board after visiting our development initiatives in India.
Aviva is co-founder and co-president of Gaucher Community Alliance, a non-profit patient advocacy organization for rare disease. Through her work with the Gaucher community she is the first American to be appointed to the Board of the International Gaucher Alliance. She is past chair of the Weschler Leadership Program for Pittsburgh Jewish Federation and current chair of the Israel Scholarship Committee. She has served on her synagogue Board in Pittsburgh. Aviva lives with her husband, three boys and two dogs in Squirrel Hill.
Audrey Axelrod Trachtman became involved in GPM soon after its inception. After a career in international strategic planning and finance, she recognized the multiplier effect of a dollar invested in poverty work in the third world. On a personal level, GPM’s origins as a Jewish charity made the case that much more compelling.
Audrey is currently the President of AMIT Children, an educational network in Israel that serves over 41,000 students and provides opportunities for success for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. She previously held the positions of Treasurer and Vice President of Strategic Planning.
She is a member of the Board of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist alliance. where she has served as Treasurer, Vice President of Advocacy and Vice President of Programming. She was Conference Chair of the 2002 and 2008 International Conferences. Audrey has also served on the Board of her local synagogue and is a founder of the Kol Echad partnership minyan in New Rochelle.
Previously, Audrey was Vice President of Finance and Strategic Planning for Philip Morris and General Foods Latin America and recipient of the YWCA Women of Achievement Award. She is a CPA and received an MBA from the Wharton School.
Dr. Shlomi Ravid
Shlomi strongly believes that every Jew today should embrace a project of Tikkun Olam that expresses our commitment to all of human kind. To Shlomi, GPM is a current expression of Jewish destiny.
Shlomi is the founding director of the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education, an organization dedicated to exploring the meaning of Jewish Peoplehood today and to nurturing Jewish collective consciousness. It is the culmination of over thirty years of working with Jewish communities throughout the world. His PhD is from Tel Aviv University and focused on the relations between norms and values in social systems. Shlomi live on Kibbutz Glil-Yam with his wife Linda, their four children, and two grandchildren.
Gladys Delman Teitel
In January 2014, Gladys traveled to India with her oldest daughter and husband to celebrate her daughter's Bat Mitzvah. While there, they volunteered with GPM as part of the trip and came home inspired by the life changing work that GPM is doing. Since then, Gladys and her husband have travelled to India twice, with two more of their children (they hope to take their youngest son to India as well) on their Bnei Mitzvah trips to volunteer with GPM. Since Gladys' maternal family hails from the Bene Israel Jewish community of Mumbai, these trips have been a very special chance to explore family roots in India with her children. It has also been so meaningful to be involved, even in some small way, with the life changing work that GPM is doing in Kalwa and the villages. Gladys joined the GPM board in 2015 and is now involved with the Youth and Outreach Committee.
Gladys is a graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in Islamic/Middle Eastern Studies and Journalism. She is also a graduate of Touro Law Center. As a law student, Gladys spent three summers with Touro in India, studying International Human Rights Law, Comparative Law and Religion and traveling throughout India and Southeast Asia. Gladys has seen first hand the immense challenges that children face in India's slums and is honored to join with GPM. Gladys lives in Stamford, CT with her husband and four children.
Alan Goldman JD
Alan helped create the Gabriel Project Mumbai as a nonprofit organization in early 2012. Since then, he has served as a Board member. He is thrilled to be a part of Gabriel Project Mumbai's life-changing work.
Alan has spent most of his career in the nonprofit sector, focusing on fundraising. He is currently Associate Director of Gift Planning at Oberlin College. A native of Brooklyn, NY - long before it was hip - he has lived in suburban Cleveland since 1996. He has a BA in Political Science from Columbia, an MSW from Wurzweiler School of Social Work, and a JD from Case Western Reserve.
His greatest joys are his wife Sara, his three sons, and his grandson.
Lenore grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and one of her first childhood memories was watching retrospective footage of the civil rights struggles. This began her longing for the world to be a kind place for everyone. With a BA in psychology from UGA, Lenore earned her MSW from Wurzweiler School of Social Work, with a certificate in Jewish Communal Service. She lived in Israel for five years where she practiced Social Work with vulnerable populations.
While raising her five children in Stamford CT, Lenore focused on different volunteer opportunities in her community. Her husband Ilan is a doctor who spent six months in an AIDS mission in Africa that sparked Lenore’s interest in literacy promotion, leading her to volunteer with SHINE and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. Currently Lenore coordinates over 100 volunteers in a literacy program at the Stamford Public Elementary Schools with over 100 volunteers and she also works for the Friendship Circle of Stamford, an organization that runs programs for children with special needs and their families. GPM has spoken to her heart since the day “I heard of the wonderful things the organization is doing”.
Scott was initially inspired to get involved with the Gabriel Project Mumbai due to its combination of applying Jewish precepts such as Tikkun Olam to areas of dire need together with its incredible and measurable on the ground impact in India. GPM appealed to him as a true practical expression of making the world a better place. Also, after working in the field of Holocaust memory for 30 years he was aware of the historical import and potent power of personal stories, and knew there were inspiring stories in India waiting to be told as well. He sees GPM as a vehicle for bringing these stories to light.
Scott Miller was a founding staff member at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he worked for 30 years (1989-2019), and is the co-author (with Sarah Ogilvie) of Refuge Denied – The St. Louis Passengers and the Holocaust. Scott managed and was spokesperson for the Holocaust Museum’s Rescue the Evidence initiative – the program to build the collection of record on the Holocaust through the acquisition of primary source and original research materials. In this capacity Scott was appointed, in 2001, the Director of the Benjamin and Vladka Meed Registry of Holocaust Survivors – the Holocaust Museum’s names-information and tracing center. In 2006, Scott assumed his latest position as Director of Curatorial Affairs, overseeing the museum’s archival, artifact, photo, film, music and oral history collections. In addition to Refuge Denied – The St. Louis Passengers and the Holocaust, publications include “Teaching About Denial of the Holocaust,” in Journal of Social Education, (Vol. 59, Oct. 1995) and, co-edited with Randolph Braham The Nazis’ Last Victims: The Holocaust in Hungary.
Scott has an MA in Jewish History from the Jewish Theological Seminary, did extensive graduate course work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has a BA in History from Columbia University. Scott lived in Israel for six years in the 1980s (in Jerusalem, studying at the Hebrew University and teaching at Young Judea Year Course; on Kibbutz Sa’ad as a volunteer; and in the development town Hazor HaGlilit teaching high school English.) In 1982, Scott went to the Soviet Union to visit and bring Hebrew language materials to refusnicks. Scott also worked for seven summers on the staff of Camp Ramah. Scott is a native New Yorker; currently lives in Washington, DC.
Liza Gerstein, GPM Board Youth Ambassador
GPM is proud of initiating 'Youth Ambassadors" to our board. This role encourages young passionate people to be involved with the work done behind the scenes in creating impactful and development initiatives. Youth Ambassadors to the GPM Board are instilled with the love of service and the importance of working hard to make a difference.
Liza Gerstein has been advocating for the children in the slums and rural villages since her mother returned from a Jewish Leadership study mission in India. The weekend after she learned about GPM, Liza requested her friends, who were celebrating her 8th birthday, donate to help children in India. In addition to the gifts of her generous friends, Liza and her sister, Mia donated to GPM following the flooding in Mumbai during the summer of 2017. Liza has a pen pal named Monika in the Ashte Village where GPM operates. They send mail and gifts to each other and often talk live on video calls learning about each other’s lives. Liza and her friends have donated the funds to ensure that Monika can attend a boarding school as her parents migrate for work for multiple months throughout the year. Liza looks forward to meeting Monika in person one day!
Liza attends the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in New York City.
Carmi Abramowitz was on the GPM Board from its inception in 2012 till the end of 2020 and is a senior project manager with over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, software development, and engineering. His has worked on large projects with Fortune 50 companies such as Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, as well as projects with other organizations. Carmi holds a BA in Psychology and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.
Over the years Carmi has been involved in helping to promote various causes ranging from the Chazon Yeshaya soup kitchens and vocational training programs in Israel, to Soviet Jewry, to lobbying senators and representatives in the USA. For the past 5 years Carmi has served on the Board of Education at Yavneh Academy in Paramus, NJ, where he has headed the Hebrew language committee. He is a member of the Youth Committee at his local synagogue, and resides with his family in the United States in Bergenfield, NJ.
An advocate of the "Tipping Point" philosophy, Carmi believes that small changes can have a big impact.
Jeffrey is a dual Israeli/US citizen, currently residing in Denver, CO with his wife and 4 children. Mr. Loewenthal is a serial entrepreneur who has worked with several start-ups as well as consulted for more established organizations. Mr. Loewenthal is a Founding Board Member of PORAT (People for Orthodox Renaissance And Torah) and is also Chairman of the Board of his own companies that operate BrightStar Care and Meineke Franchises.
Adrian Sackson has been involved in a number of international volunteer programs in a variety of capacities. In 2009-2010, Adrian lived in India, where he volunteered for a local grass-roots human rights organisation in the state of Gujarat. Adrian has also worked as a group leader for short-term educational volunteer programs in Ghana, Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala. His first international volunteer experience was as an English teacher in Vietnam.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Adrian received his B.A. in philosophy and Judaic studies at Monash University. After moving to Israel in 2005, Adrian worked for three years as an educator at the Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad in Jerusalem. He holds an M.A. in Jewish philosophy from Tel Aviv University, and has studied at a variety of institutions, including the Shalom Hartman Institute, the Pardes Institute, and Yeshivat Ma'aleh Gilboa. Adrian speaks a little Hindi and Gujarati, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Jewish philosophy at New York University.
Mr. Micah Joseph, a prominent member of the Jewish community in Mumbai is the Director of Administration & Quality at Dr. Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, a Charitable Trust. Micah is an active member of the local Jewish community in Mumbai and was honorary Chairman of the AJJDC and Chairman of the local JCC. Micah is involved in local grass root social justice organizations and active in synagogue, organizational and Jewish communal life in Mumbai.
Elise is an experienced nonprofit, Israel programming and development professional. She worked at Taglit-birthright israel during the project's early years and later as Israel Experience, Missions and Communications Representative at the Israel office of the United Jewish Israel Appeal of Great Britain. At the UJIA, she was responsible for short and long-term Israel Experience programs, as well as donor missions and public relations. Currently, she is a fundraising manager at Orr Shalom for Children and Youth at Risk, a leading Israeli non-profit. Elise strongly believes in creating meaningful, hands-on Jewish engagements for youth and adults through the "voluntourism" community experience.
Elise has a BA in French and Spanish from Leeds University, and an MA in Specialized Translation from the University of Westminster, London. Elise was born in Manchester, UK and moved to Israel in 1998. She lives in Modiin with her family where she is active in community life.
Dr. Chaim Trachtman
Dr. Trachtman is the Director of Pediatric Nephrology at New York University Langone Medical Center and a Professor of Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. His professional memberships include the American Society of Nephrology and the Society for Pediatric Research and he serves as an ad hoc reviewer for many professional journals. He is the recipient of research grant awards, the principal investigator in numerous NIDDK- and industry-sponsored clinical studies and the author of multiple articles, chapters and abstracts. Dr. Trachtman serves on the Medical Advisory Board of the National Kidney Foundation serving Greater New York and is a Fellow of the National Kidney Foundation.
Dr. Jack Zeller
Dr Jack A Zeller is retired Pathologist and former director of Laboratories at the Washington DC Veterans Administration hospital center. Dr Zeller is the founder and Past President of Kulanu Inc which is a Jewish large volunteer organization dedicated to supporting emerging and forgotten Jewish communities. Now living in Israel, Dr Zeller was a long standing member of the social action committee of his synagogue at Tifereth Israel in Washington DC. Dr Zeller remains actively involved in Kulanu which works almost exclusively in third world countries. Both Dr Zeller and his wife Dr Diane Zeller became board members of the American Association for Ethiopian Jews in 1985 prior to originating Kulanu in 1993.
Rachel Karlin is a seasoned technical writer who devotes her free time to volunteer at soup kitchens, teen shelters and environmental causes. Rachel has successfully balanced her professional life in the high-tech industry with her dedication and passion for advancing social justice issues. At her current position in a multinational hi-tech company she is an ambassador for the community relations projects and strives to spread awareness about volunteering opportunities to other hi-tech employees. She has an MA from Wayne State University in Technical Communication and an MA from Bar Ilan University in Creative Writing. Recently she joined Gabriel Project Mumbai as Director of Alumni Relations and is a source of great guidance as the latest member of the Gabriel Project Mumbai Advisory Committee.
Having completed a Philosophy Degree at the University of Manchester, UK, where he focused largely on the Indian Philosophy modules, All for the Kids Founder and Director, Bradley Cohen, lived in Asia for 6 years, including a year in India and Nepal. He spent much time volunteering in orphanages, most prominently in Bihar – India’s poorest state. He knows the local culture and has close contacts with local people running social justice projects.
Bradley volunteered in an orphanage in Malawi, Africa and has raised money and awareness for children’s charities in Africa and Israel. Bradley has experience running volunteer service programs in the developing world. He lives in Jerusalem with his family.
GPM is proud of the outstanding people who serve on the Board of Directors and Advisory Board