Shark Tank

In light of the fire that has disrupted the Jewish community operations at the JCC campus on Amity Road, the Jewish Federation undertook an expedited planning process.  It is not often in the lifetime of a community that the “pause button” can be pressed to take a step back and evaluate what is working with regard to a key facility and if that campus is best situated to address the current and future needs of the community.

The “Shark Tank” concept featured two task forces, one charged with developing feasible and sustainable strategies to remain in the current JCC building and the other to consider how the community could be served outside of that location.  Both task forces will present to the “Sharks” on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 with the boards of the Jewish Federation, Foundation and JCC present.  It is the goal of the Shark Tank to emerge with a consensus recommendation to submit to the Jewish Federation at its special board meeting on May 17, 2017.

When developing the list of who to invite onto the committees, effort was made to engage across the Greater New Haven geographic spectrum and across involvement in synagogues and agencies.  A list of those who agreed to serve is below:




Nan Birdwhistell-  Nan currently serves on the Jewish Federation Board of Directors.  She resides with her husband, David Rothberg in Branford where they moved after decades of residence in Woodbridge where Nan served as First Selectman.


Rabbi Michael Farbman- Rabbi Farbman serves on the Jewish Federation Board of Directors and as the spiritual leader of Temple Emanuel in Orange and is an active member of the Interfaith Cooperative Ministries and a faculty member at URJ Camp Eisner.


Steven Fleischman- Steve is currently Chairman of the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven and President of Congregation B’nai Jacob in Woodbridge. He serves as Vice Chair of Board of Education, Woodbridge School District.


Jeffrey Hoos- Jeffrey is currently serving as Annual Campaign Chairman of the Jewish Federation, is immediate past-Chairman of the Jewish Foundation, past Chair of Planning & Allocations and is President-Elect of the Jewish Federation.  He resides in Milford.


Steve Miller- Steve Miller is a past-President of the JCC and currently serves on its Board of Directors and is a recipient of the prestigious Kavod Key award.  He resides in West Haven.


Michael Price- Michael Price is an active member of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek and resides in Chester.  He serves on the executive committee of the Union for Reform Judaism and serves on the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development's Culture and Tourism Advisory Committee.  He is a past member of the Jewish Federation and Foundation boards of trustees.


Howard Reiter- Howard has been actively engaged in Jewish life in many organizations and multiple congregations.  He grew up in New Haven, served as past Campaign Chairman and resides in Woodbridge.


Mark Sklarz- Mark served as President of the Jewish Federation, Foundation and JCC and is both past and current President of Congregation Mishkan Israel.  Mark also served as chairman of JCRC.  Mark resides in New Haven.


Robyn Teplitzky- Robyn Teplitzky is currently serving as President of the Connecticut branch of the Anti-Defamation League.  Robyn has held numerous positions both as a professional and lay leader in the Jewish community.  She resides in Woodbridge



JCC President- Scott Hurwitz

Federation President- Norman Ravski

Team Stay


Gail Brekke- Gail serves on the Jewish Community Relations Council, is a member of the Women of Vision grants committee and is a trustee at Long Warf Theater and University of New Haven.  Gail resides in Woodbridge.


Rick Epstein- Rick serves on the board of the Jewish Cemetery Association and is an active supporter of Jewish Family Service, Jewish Federation, and served as president of the JCC and Congregation B’nai Jacob. Rick resides in Milford.


Stuart Katz- Stuart Katz- Stuart serves as the Ways & Means VP at Temple Beth Sholom in Hamden.  He is an active board member in support of Ezra Academy, Camp Ramah in the Poconos and served on the regional board of ADL. Stuart is the past President of Temple Beth Sholom. Stuart resides in Woodbridge


Hap Perkins- Hap served as Treasurer of the Jewish Foundation and has served on the boards of the Jewish Federation and Foundation. He resides in Woodbridge.


Dena Schulman-Green- Dena currently serves as President of Women’s Philanthropy at the Jewish Federation.  She recently completed the Wexner Fellowship Program and is actively involved at Ezra Academy and Temple Beth Sholom. Dena resides in Woodbridge.


Evan Wyner-  Evan served as president of Ezra Academy and is currently the Education Vice President of the Jewish Federation.  He founded the new teen education program, JTE. Evan also served as President of Temple Beth Sholom in Hamden.  Evan is also actively involved in scouting.  Evan resides in Woodbridge.


Out of the Box


Jeffrey Chaffkin- Jeffrey is a past member of the Jewish Foundation Board of Directors and past Investment chairman.  He served as a member of the Foundation/Federation grants committee.  Jeff resides in Woodbridge.


Jessica Halprin- Jessica currently serves on the board of the JCC and is active in early childhood initiatives through Yeladim.  Jessica received the Harry Lender Award for Young Leadership earlier this year.  She resides in Woodbridge.


Jo-Ann Maynard- Jo-Ann Maynard is a board member of the Jewish Federation and of the Jewish Foundation and is an active supporter of initiatives through the Shoreline Advisory Group. Jo-Ann is a volunteer for JCL and served on Planning & Allocations. She resides in Guilford.


David Trachten- David is past Chairman of the Jewish Foundation and served on the board of Ezra Academy.  He is actively involved with family philanthropy through the foundation his parents founded in New Haven.  David resides in Woodbridge.


Milton Wallack- Milt as served as past Jewish Federation President and twice past JCRC chairman and has served on the board of the Jewish Foundation.  He is currently serving on the board of the Jewish Federation.  Milt is actively involved in advocating for Juvenile Diabetes research and serves on JFACT.  Milt resides in Branford.


Leslie Zackin- Leslie currently serves as President of Ezra Academy.  Leslie has served as President of the Jewish Federation, Women’s Philanthropy and served as campaign chair. Leslie is a member of the National Women’s Philanthropy Board at JFNA and resides in Woodbridge.


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