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The Kehilat Hadar Board

All incorporated non-profit organizations are required by law to have a board of trustees that is formally and legally responsible for them. For religious congregations, the members usually invest the trustees with the authority to run the congregation by electing them to serve on the board, and the trustees are therefore accountable to the members.

As of February 2018, Kehilat Hadar’s board oversees the community’s strategic vision, high-level planning, and fundraising efforts, and it also works with four committees who oversee strategy and execution in different areas. (Learn more here.) New trustees are elected at Kehilat Hadar’s statutory annual meeting, at which voting members can vote either in person or by proxy. After each election, the board determines which of the trustees will serve as officers for that year.

View the bylaws (revised as of 8/8/2019)

Board Members

Emily Scharfman
President, 2018-

Emily lives on the UWS with her husband John, her son Eli, and her daughter Odelia. She has been a lawyer in the tech start-up space for over three years. She has been involved in KH since 2005, as well as Mechon Hadar (now Hadar Institute). She was also a Wexner Heritage Fellow.

Before college, Emily spent a year on the Nativ program, including spending 5 months at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Emily holds a BA from Yale and a JD from NYU.

Steven Melzer
Vice President
, 2018-

Steven is Director of Strategic Initiatives at The New School, exploring the future of higher education. He has worked over a decade in strategy, planning, and operations in the K-12 education space, leading school budget strategy, class size policy, and curriculum logistics at the NYC Department of Education; operations including HR, organizational strategy, finance, and IT at Expeditionary Learning, a national education reform nonprofit; and education technology and process innovation at Uncommon Schools, a public charter school management organization. In the private sector, he was a business strategy consultant with IBM and operations advisor with Amplify, an education technology firm. Steven also serves on the executive board of The LAMP, a media literacy nonprofit.

Steven has participated in Kehilat Hadar since 2005. He has served the community on the Shavuot retreat team, Scotch Whisk(e)y club, and Purim trivia night team. He dreams of running a kosher deli and perfecting the art of smoking meat and curing fish in a tiny NYC apartment he shares with his infinitely patient wife, Tracy. Steven received his BA in economics, political science, and music from Columbia; and his MS, focused on nonprofit management strategy and education policy, from Hunter College.

Meir Schecter
, 2018-

Meir has been coming to Hadar on a regular basis since 2002. He has attended all but the first Hadar Shavuot Retreat. He has been arranging the classes given at the retreat since 2007 and has taught a class at each retreat that he has attended. He has been on the Shamash Team since its inception. Meir is the first, and current, CEO of the Hadar Scotch Club/Whisk(e)y Society.

Meir started his 45+-year professional career working for NASA on the Apollo program. Software that he developed was instrumental in the safe return of the Apollo XIII astronauts. He later worked on Skylab and various other satellites. Subsequently, he worked on US Navy defense systems, and finally went to work as a consultant to governmental pension systems.

Meir is married to Mary Federico and has four children and fourteen grandchildren. Nine of his grandchildren live in Israel and Meir enjoys visiting them at least twice a year. Meir also enjoys golfing and travelling with Mary.

Tamar Zeffren
Secretary, 2023-

Tamar is Director of Archival Partnerships at the American Jewish Historical Society. She consults locally and internationally and volunteers with a number of professional associations.

Miri Pomerantz Dauber

Miri is currently the associate director at Jewish Book Council, where she has held various roles since 2004. Her work involves creating and implementing programs, conferences, and events; providing resources for various constituents; assisting with the broad strategies of running a not-for-profit; and focusing on community development, all with a focus on Jewish literature. 

Aaron Kasman

Aaron has been an active member of the Kehilat Hadar community for over 15 years, and has served as board member and on KH's steering team. He currently acts as KH's technology leader and co-chair of fundraising.

By day, Aaron works as a Product Manager at Google where he brings diverse teams together to build tools to solve tough business challenges -- always with a focus on effectively managing change. 

Rabbi Ashira Konigsburg

Rabbi Ashira Konigsburg is the Chief Operating Officer for the Rabbinical Assembly and Chief Program Officer for United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. In this combined role, she is leading the Conservative Movement in reenvisioning the future of Jewish life and Jewish communities for the next generation. Rabbi Konigsburg graduated with an MA in Talmud and Rabbinics and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. A native of South Florida, she spent her undergraduate years at the University of Maryland and has spent many summers in a variety of roles at Ramah Darom in Georgia, including directing the climbing program. Ashira currently serves as a member of both the Board and Steering Team of Kehilat Hadar. Find her on Twitter: @ashirak.

Board Meeting Minutes

Please email to view earlier sets of minutes.

Wed, May 29 2024 21 Iyyar 5784