Board of Directors
Steven Douglas, President
Steve is a fifth generation Oaklander and partner in his family business, Douglas Parking LLC. In addition to serving on the JCC Board, Steve is a member of the Guardsmen, a philanthropic organization dedicated to raising funds for underprivileged and at-risk children in the Bay Area. His community work includes the Board of Directors of the National Parking Association, The Oakland Museum of California, the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, the Jewish Federation of the East Bay, the Lake Merritt/Uptown Business District and Temple Sinai. He is passionate about baseball, and in particular, the Oakland A’s. He lives in Oakland with his wife and two children. Steve has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2013.
Laura Chick, Vice President
Laura was born in New York City, but spent most of her life in Los Angeles. She attended college at UCLA and USC, and enjoyed a long career in public office in Los Angeles, both appointed and elected. She served as a Los Angeles City Councilmember for eight years, and worked as Los Angeles City Controller and as Inspector General for California’s stimulus funds. Laura moved to the Easy Bay in 2011 after she retired, and has two daughters and two granddaughters. Laura has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2016.
Aaron Fischer, Vice President
Aaron grew up in the East Bay, and attended preschool at the JCC in Oakland. As a teenager, he participated on a Gold medal-winning basketball team in the JCC Maccabi Games. Aaron graduated from UC Berkeley, and spent several years in New York City and Washington DC before returning to the Bay Area, where he works as a lawyer, mostly in the areas of disability rights and civil rights. Aaron, his wife and two children now live in Berkeley. His daughter attends preschool at the JCC East Bay. Aaron has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2016.
Juliette Linzer, Vice President
Juliette was born in New York City and has lived in the Bay Area since 1990. She has a BA degree in Science, Technology, and Society from Cornell University and an MS degree in Health Policy and Management from Harvard University. She runs her own consulting business focusing on program evaluation and management consulting. She and her husband live in Oakland with their son, who has attended the JCC’s Camp Tzofim and Maccabi Sports Camp. Juliette has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2016 and is thrilled to be a part of this dynamic and expanding organization.
Julie Elis, Secretary
Julie first walked into the JCC in 2011 as a preschool parent and immediately knew this was an incredible community resource. Julie is a Director at Room to Read where she oversees international education programs around the world. Julie and her husband, both transplants from Pittsburgh, PA, live in North Berkeley with their two daughters who both go to the JCC Afterschool. Julie has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2013.
Mark Moss, Treasurer
Mark has worked as a volunteer in the Jewish community for over 20 years. He has served on the finance committees of Temple Sinai and the Contra Costa JCC. He was the Board treasurer of the Crowden Music Center. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of the East Bay and is the chairperson of their "Create a Jewish Legacy" program. Mark also sings with the Oakland Symphony Chorus and with the Temple Sinai Choir, and is an accomplished bridge player. Mark has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2015.
John Ifcher, Immediate Past President
In addition to his service on the JCC East Bay Board, John is the Co-Chair of Fundraising for the Claremont Middle School PTA. During the day, John is a professor at Santa Clara University, where he teaches economics and researches the impact of income on happiness and how people make decisions on behalf of others. John has two children and in his spare time enjoys cooking, running, and hanging out with his family. John has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2009.
Tamara Abrams currently serves as a Trustee on the Board of Tehiyah Day School where, during her tenure, she co-chaired the Incoming Head of School search team and the Annual Meeting Planning Committee. She has 13-year old boys who are both very active in basketball and baseball. Tamara manages a small family foundation focused on improving the lives of Jews locally and around the world. Tamara recently concluded 15 years working on domestic violence policy issues as an attorney for the California court system. She also taught a seminar on domestic violence at Golden Gate University School of Law. In her previous employment she headed the legal program at the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention in San Mateo County. Her first legal work was preparing companies for initial public offerings at a boutique law firm in Palo Alto. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, backpacking and spending time with friends.
Nathan (Nat) Bitton
Nat was born and raised in London’s East End and was the first from his large family to attend university. He graduated from the University of London with an honors degree in Law, and has led a successful career in sales management for most of his working life. Nat and his wife have lived in California for over 30 years, and have two daughters. Nat has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2016.
Arthur is the JCC East Bay’s longest serving board member. His JCC journey began when he helped acquire our 1414 Walnut Street property. He has served as Vice President and President of the Board, helped to renovate the JCC, and stewarded the Jewish Music Festival. Arthur is a Senior Vice-President of Ritchie Commercial. He and his wife live in Berkeley and are the proud parents and grandparents of two children and four grandchildren. Arthur received his bachelor's in art from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, and his Master's in city planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He is a Commander (retired) in the USCGR. Arthur, a past president of Congregation Beth El, past Board member of the Jewish Federation of the East Bay, is a member of Congregation Beth El and the Berkeley Breakfast Club, and enjoys singing both with the Beth El chorus and the Berkeley Broadway Singers. He has served on the JCC East Bay Board from 1986-2005 and from 2007 through today.
Leah, a fifth generation San Franciscan, has served on the Board of the JCC East Bay since 2007. Before this, Leah played an integral role in launching the Young Leadership Division of the Jewish Community Division of the Greater East Bay. She belongs to Temple Sinai, and lives in the East Bay. She loves attending Board meetings for the opportunity to interact with her fellow board members whom she says are “engaged, thoughtful, smart and act without ego.”
Shirley Issel was raised in Walnut Creek, attended UC Berkeley, and holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from Smith College. For over 35 years she has provided in-depth, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, working with troubled couples and individuals, and has run for and won three terms of the Berkeley School Board. She got her first taste of Board work when she was the chair of the Social Action Committee at Congregation Beth El, where her two children received their religious education. There, she was involved with creating a monthly dinner for the homeless, a program that still exists today. Shirley has been on the Boards of Congregation Beth El, The Berkeley Unified School District, and the vibrant Mendocino Music Festival (2007-2010). Her time on the Board of the Steering Committee of the Jewish Music Festival brought her closer to the JCC East Bay.
Josh joined the JCC East Bay Board in 2005, when his daughter was in the JCC Preschool. He served as Board President for four years beginning in 2009 and became a passionate spokesperson for the JCC. Under Josh's leadership, the Board and staff rebuilt the JCC's capacity, leadership, Preschool and Afterschool programs, and fiscal vitality. Josh is an investor and entrepreneur, long time Aikido student and teacher, and co-founder of the San Francisco FlameThrowers (a professional Ultimate Frisbee team). He lives in Berkeley with his wife and two daughters.
Janet, a graduate of Bryn Mawr College,grew up in New Jersey and worked as a reporter and editor covering fashion and style for 20 years, in New York and Paris. Janet lives in North Berkeley with her husband and daughter, and thinks the East Bay is “the best place to be.” Janet has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2016.
Hillary Reinis grew up in Beverly Hills, graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Dramatic Arts about 47 years ago, and has lived in Berkeley ever since. She and her husband, Jonathan, a Broadway theater producer, were members of Beth El, where their twin daughters were B’nai Mitzvah. She has extensive experience in the theater world, as an associate for Jonathan Reinis productions, as a manager for non-for-profit theater companies, and as a Board member of the Aurora Theatre company. Currently, she is the managing partner for a family-owned shopping center in Los Angeles. With a passion for world travel, she thrives on a balanced diet of viewing excellent theater and playing frequent tennis games.
Maxim hails from Los Angeles and now lives in Berkeley where, after earning degrees in Comparative Literature and Architecture, he founded and runs the real estate investment firm Maximanagement. He serves on the Board of Directors of YEAH!, a local homeless shelter for youth; he is a member of the Marin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Planning Committee, and he is past president of the Berkeley Rotary Club, through which, as chairman of its Peace Committee, he is at work disseminating tools to have courageous conversations across differences. In his spare time, Maxim does yoga, cycles and travels. He and his wife Karen have two children: Jonah and Julia, both living in NYC. Maxim has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2010.
Originally born in Detroit, and raised in Los Angeles, Michael lives in Oakland with his wife and daughter. In addition to his board involvement with the JCC East Bay, Michael has served as co-chair for annual giving for the graduating class of 1996 of Haverford College for the past five years. During his free time, Michael enjoys cycling and coaching his daughter's soccer team. Michael has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2011.
Greg Terk is the Policy, Government and Public Affairs General Manager (PGPA) for Chevron Downstream & Chemicals (DS&C). Previously, Greg was the PGPA manager for Chevron International Products (IP). Greg spent six years on the faculty of Saint Mary’s College as Advertising and Public Relations instructor. He has a B.A. from Saint Mary’s College of California, and received a M.A. in Communications Management from The Annenberg School at USC, earned a certificate in Executive Management from Babson College, and holds a graduate credential in Executive Coaching from the Graduate School of Psychology at John F. Kennedy University. He has been on the Board of Seneca Family of Agencies and Family Life Center. Greg and his wife, Natasha, have two children, Lucas (16) and Danica (12). They enjoy travel, skiing, lacrosse, and hobby farming.
Natalie first became involved with the JCC East Bay in 2012 when she enrolled her son at the Oakland afterschool program. However, her family’s involvement goes back to the 1980s when her husband was a budding camper at the JCC’s Camp Tzofim and her mother-in-law served on the JCC East Bay Board. Professionally, Natalie is a benefits consultant who designs and manages employee benefits and wellness plans for large organizations. She lives in Oakland with her husband and three children. Natalie has served on the JCC East Bay Board since 2013 and is excited to be part of the JCC’s bright and dynamic future.