Board of Director Slate 2020 – 2023
Julie Matlof Kennedy, Vice President
Julie Matlof Kennedy is a member of NCJW’s board of directors, where she serves on the executive, development, membership, and governance committees. Since 2004, Kennedy has been teaching at Stanford Law School, as well as law firms, corporations, and nonprofit institutions. Her work focuses on negotiation, leadership, communications, and advocacy. Before becoming a teacher, she was a partner at a boutique litigation firm in San Francisco.
Claire Lipschultz, Vice President
Claire serves on the executive committee of NCJW’s board of directors. She co-chairs NCJW’s Advocacy Network and is also co-chair of the California Policy Advocacy Network as State Policy Advocate. A board member of NCJW’s Sacramento (CA) section, Lipschultz was instrumental in the passage and implementation of key state anti-trafficking laws for which she received NCJW’s 2013 Outstanding Advocate Award and the California Women Lawyers Women of Achievement Award in 2013. She is a graduate of New York University School of Law which she attended as a Root-Tilden Scholar.
Marilyn Colby Rivkin, Vice President
Marilyn is a vice president of the NCJW Board and past president of the NCJW Minneapolis (now Minnesota) section. She serves on the NCJW MN leadership and organizational development committee, focusing on leadership training and program evaluation. In her professional life, Colby Rivkin consults with non-profit organizations and public agencies to help them develop, evaluate, and implement effective programs that improve the health and well-being of youth and families.
Stephanie Rodgers, Secretary
Stephanie is a national board member on NCJW’s national board. She is the co-chair of the Israel committee and sat on the CEO selection task force. Stephanie is also President of her local Parent Teacher Organization and is involved with various local philanthropic organizations.
Paula Garret, Treasurer
Paula Garret has a broad background in leadership positions in not-for-profit organizations. Paula is entering her second term as an NCJW Inc. Board member as the Treasurer for NCJW Inc.; Paula chairs the Finance Committee which includes the Investment Committee and the Audit Committee. In her first triennium on the Board, Paula served on the CEO Search Committee, the Anti-Semitism Workgroup, the COVID19 Taskforce, and the By-Laws Committee. Paula is a past President of the Pittsburgh Section of NCJW and has held leadership and officer positions in the Pittsburgh Section including President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer, and Finance Chair, and has chaired Strategic Planning. Paula currently sits on the board of the Pittsburgh Section and serves as Finance chair. Paula is also Co-Chair of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Pittsburgh and is a Board member of the Jewish Association on Aging in Pittsburgh. Paula is also a Past President of the Tree of Life Congregation and chaired the Donations Planning Committee in the wake of the October 27th shooting; Paula currently sits on the Steering Committee for that congregation.
Paula’s day job, until her recent retirement, was as CEO of a privately held manufacturing company in Pittsburgh which provides commercial and custom lighting for offices throughout the United States. Recent projects include custom lighting for the train platforms at the World Trade Center in NYC and for Grand Central Station, and headquarters/office lighting for Linked In (NYC), for Google offices in CA and for Phillips 66 headquarters in Texas.
Paula currently splits her time between her home, based in Pittsburgh, and a teeny-tiny apartment in Manhattan. In her free time, Paula is a first-time Nana to 7-month-old granddaughter Tori Maya. Paula recently retired to spend more time with family and friends … and to continue as an engaged, enthusiastic Board member of the National Council of Jewish Women, Inc.
Patty Rubin, Assistant Treasurer
Patty recently retired from a 40-year career in public accounting where she focused on providing audit and consulting services to privately owned businesses and nonprofit organizations. Patty retired as a partner at BDO, an international professional accounting and consulting firm. Prior to joining BDO, Patty was a partner at SS&G, a premier regional accounting and consulting firm. Throughout her professional career, Patty focused on providing audit services to major Jewish organizations including social service agencies providing services to both the Jewish community and the greater community at large. In addition, her practice included audit and consulting services for family-owned businesses in a variety of industries.
Patty is a CPA in Ohio where she serves on the boards of AJC, Jewish Family Services Association, and Miami University Hillel. Patty is an active volunteer in a program that promotes financial literacy and awareness for women who find themselves in precarious financial situations. This could be caused by loss of income due to illness, supporting other family members, mental health issues, etc. Through this program, we teach the skills needed to balance your budget and work towards solving these financial issues on a one on one basis. She resides in Beachwood, OH. Her son David and his fiancé Lizzie, live in New York. Her daughter, Abby lives in Detroit and is following in her mother’s footsteps as a social justice advocate.
Beatrice Kahn, Past-President
Beatrice is a lifelong resident of New York City, a lawyer by training and a prolific volunteer activist. Kahn moved to the board’s leading role after serving as vice president of the board for three years. She has been deeply engaged in improving the organization’s financial systems and increasing membership engagement, as well as advocating for the issues the organization pioneers. Kahn was the chair of NCJW’s Trafficking Work Group from 2013-2014 and helped to develop and launch Exodus: NCJW’s Anti-Sex Trafficking Initiative. She has also contributed extensively to training members on board building, fundraising, membership, advocacy, and creating a vision and plan for the future.
Kahn holds a law degree from Emory University and a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University. She lives in New York City with her husband Paul Silverstein and their two sons, Daniel and Josh
Lauren Riese Garfunkel (she/her) is a director of the board of National Council of Jewish Women. She is a passionate advocate of women’s rights and serves as Chair of NCJW’s Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice initiative. Lauren is a staunch supporter of abortion rights and makes herself heard loudly on this important issue. Lauren’s advocacy for women and children is an extension of her work as a parent coach and group facilitator for The Moms Groups in New York City. In this role, Lauren works to foster friendship among new mothers, while supporting them and educating them through this new and challenging chapter of their lives. Lauren has an MS in Education for Counseling from Fordham University and lives in New York City with her husband, 4-year-old son, and twin baby boys.
Laura Monn Ginsburg, Director
Laura runs a public affairs/lobbying company, Apparatus that she started with a friend in 2016 after spending a decade in corporate marketing at software companies ranging from $0 start-ups to $3B multi-national outfits.
Apparatus is a General Benefit Corporation that works to advance social justice and equity and environmental sustainability. Projects range from political campaigns to grassroots and grass-tops lobbying to running multi-channel media and marketing campaigns to creating and leading a statewide campaign to legalize recreational marijuana and end policies of prohibition that have disproportionately affected underserved communities. Laura’s most proud that her women-owned, women-run business has been able to stand out as a good company doing good things for Minnesota.
When not running her company, Laura’s running various nonprofit boards. She currently chairs the board of National Council of Jewish Women MN, chairs the board of the Citizens League, is vice-chair of Move Minneapolis, sits on the board of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, and is a past president of the Junior League of Minneapolis. She finds board service to be a fulfilling way to impact lives through the direct service and advocacy of organizations committed to serving their communities.
Outside the board room and office, Laura lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Elliot, whom she met in her first year at Carleton College. They have a son, Harold, and two dogs far louder than you’d guess by their small statures, Bella and Zoe.
Emily Mathes Kuvin, Director
Emily grew up in the New York City area and has recently moved back to Manhattan. She is a broadcast journalist and a lawyer by training and also spent ten years spearheading fundraising communications for major healthcare systems in Boston. She has lived and worked in rural and metropolitan areas around the country and has a strong family connection to Israel.
Emily is now a professional jewelry designer and runs Emily Kuvin Jewelry full-time. She has had volunteer leadership roles at The Second Step in Newton, MA, dedicated to empowering women and children to rebuild their lives after leaving abusive domestic situations, at the Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and in community theaters. She is also a member of the Cornell Library Council and the Friends of Photography at Cornell committee, which is building a photography collection at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.
Emily has a B.A. and a J.D. from Cornell University, and an M.S.J. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She lives in New York with her husband Jeffrey Kuvin; they have two grown children.
Fran Levey, Director
Fran’s roots in social justice come from childhood in the ‘60s surrounded by a family of involved adults. Also as a child and adult enmeshed in the Reform Movement of Judaism, the value of Tikkun Olam was inculcated in youth group, summer camp, college programs, and synagogue involvement. Fran was a Jewish educator and fund development director for several non-profit organizations, spanning a career of more than three decades. As well, she has been a philanthropic advisor and a film producer and is currently a website and book designer. Fran has been involved in the LGBT community and the battle against HIV/AIDS since the mid-eighties. She has lived in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., Jerusalem, and now has called Miami Beach home with her wife Alice Miller, for almost 20 years.
With NCJW-Miami, Fran served as the Co-Chair of the PACS (grants) Committee, a member of the Board of Directors, one term as President, and returned four years ago as Co-President. Fran has provided leadership and has been instrumental in the creation of NCJW Miami’s Shalom Bayit – JCS’ Domestic Abuse Program, Listen & Engage Leadership Development Program, Rosh Chodesh – A Spiritual Gathering for Women, and the Advocacy Film Series, among others. She is a recipient of the Emerging Leader and Myra Farr Awards, as well as the Hannah G. Solomon Award. She served on the NCJW Israel Grants Committee, participated in an NCJW Israel Mission, and has served twice on the NCJW National Nominating Committee.
Molly Limmer, Director
Molly is the founder and president of 2050 Art Services, a bespoke art and antiquities consultancy firm based in Chicago. Since launching in 2016, Molly has become a world-renowned art advisor and is recognized as one of the foremost appraisers in her field.
Before launching 2050, Molly’s career spanned two decades at Christie’s Auction House. She spent seventeen years with Christie’s New York serving as Vice President, Senior Specialist, and Department Head for Antiquities. Molly continued her Christie’s career in Chicago, as Vice President, Business Development for Christie’s Midwest, working with clients throughout the region, assisting with consignments, appraisals, and advisory services. Molly holds an M.A. in Greek and Roman art from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and a B.A. in Classics and Art History from Brown University. She also studied at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome.
Molly was born a feminist, with a proud and vocal working mother who, as Assistant Dean of the Faculty, drafted the first maternity leave policy at Princeton University, leading all other major colleges and universities in the US to follow suit. Since the birth of her now-teenage daughters, Molly has taken up her mother’s cause, championing working mothers in her former suburban community; Molly’s story was featured in the 2011 book Good Enough is the New Perfect, Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood. Molly activism for women’s issues has taken her to Washington, first as a high schooler in 1989 in support of abortion rights, and most recently marching while donning a pink pussy-cap at the first Women’s March in 2017. Molly has been a brave and outspoken advocate against harassment in the workplace, publicly sharing her own story of harassment in 2018. Molly is grateful for the unflinching support of her husband, Rabbi Seth M. Limmer.
Linda Noonan, Director
Linda currently works with nonprofits and advocacy organizations in western Massachusetts, after 14 years leading the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education as Executive Director to ensure a high-quality public education to prepare every child for success in college, career, and citizenship. Earlier in her career, Linda directed international trade programs at Associated Industries of Massachusetts and served as Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Her civic and volunteer activities include serving on the Westwood School Committee and on the town’s Finance Commission, Permanent Building Committee, and Economic Development Advisory Council.
Linda has served on a number of nonprofit Boards of Directors and represented employers on state task forces and advisory councils related to education and economic development. She is active in and a past Chair of The Miriam Fund at Combined Jewish Philanthropies, in Boston. Linda is a member of the Cornell University Council and the President’s Council of Cornell Women and serves on the Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) state Advisory Council. She holds degrees from Cornell University and the University of Chicago.
Aliza Plotkin, Director
Aliza grew up in the Washington DC Suburbs and was actively engaged in the Jewish Community from the time she was a young child. She graduated from Frostburg State University with a degree in Theater and Psychology in 2006 and moved to New Orleans, LA. Initially working with high school students, Aliza soon returned to her passion of Early Childhood Education and began teaching at Abeona House Child Discovery Center in New Orleans. As Abeona House grew, Aliza became Center Director, training new staff in child development and best practices, and supporting growing a community during times of change. During this period she discovered her passion for working with adults and how important relationships, connection and community are. It is also there, in Post Katrina New Orleans, Aliza became passionate about advocacy and social justice, which lead to discovering NCJW, originally joining the New Orleans section. After moving to Houston in 2014, Aliza quickly moved onto the NCJW Greater Houston Board, including as fundraising and community service Vice President, and is currently finishing her two-year Presidential term.
After the birth of her son in 2015, Aliza started working as a consultant with organizations like Houston Jewish Federation and local preschools, facilitating communities of practices, leading workshops, supporting family engagement, and working as a teacher mentor. She is married to a dedicated Jewish Communal professional, Jason and together they have a 4-year-old son, Isaac who also serves as the youngest member of the Facilities committee at their Synagogue.
Robin Roger, Director
Robin Roger is General Counsel at Engineers Gate, an investment manager engaged in quantitative trading. She joined the company at its inception in January 2014. Previously, she served as General Counsel of other financial advisory companies including Harbinger Capital Partners, Investment Risk Management Holdings (formerly known as Duff Capital Advisors), Jane Street Capital and Moore Capital Management. Roger worked at Morgan Stanley from 1989 to 2006. While there, she served as General Counsel of the firm’s investment bank, the Institutional Securities Division, and performed other roles at the corporate level including Chief Administrative Officer. Earlier in her career at Morgan Stanley, she headed the equity sales and trading and private wealth management legal practice groups. Before joining Morgan Stanley, she was a litigator in private practice. Previously, she clerked for the Hon. John F. Keenan, U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York. She received a B.A. from Yale College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and has three children. She currently acts as pro bono counsel for unaccompanied minors in immigration matters and is an avid baker, hiker, and theater-goer.
Lindsay J. Scheidt, Director
Lindsay is an Attorney at HeplerBroom and focuses her practice in the areas of personal injury and insurance coverage litigation. Prior to joining HeplerBroom, she practiced in personal injury litigation involving automobile collisions, premises liability, nursing home negligence, and construction negligence. As First Chair, she successfully litigated civil lawsuits through jury trials in Cook County, receiving favorable jury verdicts for her clients.
Lindsay was selected to Rising Stars for 2020. This peer designation is awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. Lindsay studied at DePaul University College of Law and the University of Michigan.
Susan Spiers, Director
Susan serves on the NCJW board, where she serves on the governance, Israel, and audit committees and chairs the membership committee. Since 2009, she has been working at the intersection of technology and real estate, launching products for firms such as Deloitte, and growing professional services firms and software companies. Spiers is also on the board of her local Rotary club spearheading its student exchange program.
Emily Muskovitz Sweet, Director
Emily is a social justice advocate and women’s philanthropic leader whose work has focused on issues related to women’s safety and security. Since 2018, Emily has served as the Director of Strategic and External Affairs at the Lefkfosky Family Foundation (LFF), where she is working on advancing women’s reproductive justice and gun violence prevention. Prior to joining LFF, Emily was the Director of Government Affairs and the Jewish Community Relations Council at the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. In this role, Emily oversaw the organization’s advocacy and inter-faith coalition-building work on issues ranging from health care access to refugee resettlement. From 2008 – 2014, Emily served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Chicago (JWF), an organization that creates equity and choice on behalf of Jewish women and girls in Chicago, Israel, and around the world. Prior to joining JWF, Emily was the Project Director for the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and began her career as the Associate Director at a domestic violence organization. Emily was a 2013 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and the 2013 recipient of the Jewish Federation of Chicago’s Samuel A. Goldsmith Award. She lives in Chicago with her husband Jacob and daughters, Adira and Nina.