The Campaign for

Young Israel's Future

Updates

On February 17, 2021, delegates from Young Israel congregations across North America have the opportunity to choose new leadership.

The NCYI Future slate is comprised of a group of Young Israel leaders who are seeking board positions to ensure that the National Council of Young Israel is a strong, productive and relevant organization that supports the interests of our branches. We are dedicated to enhancing the vibrancy of Modern Orthodoxy, Religious Zionism and the State of Israel.

Platform

Our slate’s platform is as follows:

  1. Strong Leadership. We intend to be responsible and proactive stewards of this iconic organization by managing operations effectively, being transparent in our efforts, and constantly soliciting and responding to feedback of the branches.
  2. Service to Synagogues. Our primary focus will be to provide assistance to Young Israel branches by significantly enhancing the services the organization provides and fostering active cooperation and sharing of knowledge among branches.
  3. Constitutional Amendments. We will seek to amend the NCYI constitution to protect our synagogues and establish best practices in organizational governance:
    • We will enact an amendment to prevent NCYI from seizing property of the branches.
    • We will establish term limits for officers and board members, as well as a limit of no more than one officer per branch serving at any given time.
  4. De-Emphasizing Advocacy and Politics. We will dramatically reduce the amount of public pronouncements made by the organization while continuing to responsibly address matters of concern for the Jewish community. We will also establish protocols so that any future public pronouncements better reflect the consensus views of all branches and members.

We hope that the Young Israel community will support us as we seek to ensure a positive future for NCYI.

Slate

Our slate features 17 qualified candidates from 17 different Young Israel branches.

President David Warshaw (Oceanside, NY)

David Warshaw, a third generation Young Israelite, has been an active member of YI Oceanside for 20 years, having served as Second Vice President, First Vice President and President, in addition to several committee chairmanships.

Professionally, David has served as Executive Director of Young Israel of Flatbush and Young Israel of West Hempstead, and has held executive positions with Jewish National Fund, American Friends of Yeshivot Bnai Akiva and Yeshivat Shaalvim.

Chairman David Schultz (Century City / Los Angeles, CA)

David Schultz has lived in Los Angeles, California for the past 35 years, during which time he has been actively involved in the Los Angeles Jewish community. David is a current member of the board of directors of Young Israel of Century City, where he serves on the shul’s legal committee. In 2019, he was honored with the shul’s Keter Shem Tov award for his service to Young Israel of Century City. From 2012 to 2017, David served as an Associate Vice President of the National Council of Young Israel. David has also been a member of the board of directors of the Orthodox Union’s West Coast Region, of Beth Jacob Congregation, Beverly Hills, California, and of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy.

David currently works as a litigation attorney in Los Angeles, specializing in intellectual property litigation and business disputes.

1st Vice President Harold Aspis (Scarsdale, NY)

Harold Aspis is a former president and co-president of the Young Israel of Scarsdale (New York) and has served as Co-Chairman of the Nominating Committee, Co-Chairman of the Journal, Co-Chairman of the UJA Campaign and Co-Chairman of the Rabbi's Contract Negotiating Committee. In his professional life, he is an arbitrator and lawyer for select clients, after having served as the general counsel of two companies, as the Senior Vice President and Legal Counsel to a merchant bank and as an associate in a New York law firm.

2nd Vice President Charles Miller (Woodmere, NY)

Charles Miller has served as president of the Young Israel of Hewlett. Subsequently, he served on the National Council of Young Israel board in an officer position. His duties also included serving as the NCYI liaison to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Mr. Miller also served on the Iran Task Force, tasked with lobbying Congress and the US administration on the 2015 Iran Deal. Presently, he is an active member of the Young Israel of Woodmere.

He is a practicing criminal defense attorney in New York where he has operated his own law office since 2004.

Treasurer Robert Levi (Shomrei Emunah / Silver Spring, MD)

Bob Levi has been an active member of Young Israel Shomrai Emunah of Greater Washington since 1994. He served on its board of directors, chaired its Youth Committee, co-chaired its Adult Education and Constitution Committee, and served as president. Bob also served as chairman of the board of the NCYI from 2012-2017. Bob worked for Congress for over a decade and, subsequently, has worked in government relations, representing federal employee organizations, for the past 28 years.

Financial Secretary Ari Pearl (Hollywood, FL)

Ari Pearl serves as the Treasurer and is an Executive Board Member of the Young Israel of Hollywood, FL. Ari has been an Executive Board Member for 5 years and was a Member of the General Board for 9 years prior. He is involved in all aspects of the Shuls Governance as well as being a Gabbai and Minyan Leader.

Ari also served on the Board and the Executive Board of Brauser Maimonides Academy in Hollywood for many years. He currently sits on the Board of Katz Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton and serves as the President of the Hollywood Community Kollel.

Recording Secretary David Gross (Plainview, NY)

David Gross will be completing his term as President of Young Israel of Plainview this Shavuot. David grew up in Plainview and has made his home in Plainview with his wife Sarah and 3 children for 16 years. David has served as an officer and trustee at YIP for over 10 years. David is passionate about using technology to help run an organization effectively. He has done this in his volunteer role with YIP and in his professional career as VP of Product Management at ION Commodities, a leading software provider in the financial and energy sector.

Associate VP Steven Cohen (Oak Park, MI)

Steven Cohen has served in a variety of capacities within the Young Israel of Oak Park and its predecessor, the Young Israel of Greenfield, including officer positions of Financial Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Membership Secretary, and Recording Secretary.

Mr. Cohen’s work has brought together Detroit’s YI branches, including a softball league, joint dinners, and the merger of YI of Oak Woods with YI of Oak Park. He was responsible for raising the $1.7M to build YI of Oak Park’s new building in 2000, as well as several other fundraising and programming projects.

In other community matters, Steve has served on the Board of the Mikveh Israel organization, is a lifetime Board member and past President of Yeshivat Akiva and has represented the Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Metropolitan Detroit in a variety of legal issues.

Associate VP Adam Cohen (Great Neck, NY)

Adam has been a Young Israel member his entire life, beginning from childhood at the Young Israel of Great Neck, to young adulthood at the Young Israel of the West Side, and now back in Great Neck. He held leadership roles in both shuls, as an officer on the executive board, general board, nominating committees, ad hoc committees, and as gabbai. He attended Achva Israel as a teenager.

Professionally, Adam is a partner at the law firm of Walden Macht & Haran LLP, where his practice focuses on white collar defense, government and internal investigations, corporate disputes, and good government litigation.

Associate VP Elimelech Tenenbaum (Las Vegas, NV)

Elimelech has been a member of Young Israel Aish of Las Vegas since moving to the area 5 years ago from Los Angeles and has served on the board for 2 years. As an engineering professional, a safety expert, and a business development manager, he has been able to contribute to everything from scheduling and fund-raising, to building expansion and occupant safety. As a representative of YI, he enjoys broader participation in the LV Jewish community including Chabad's Friendship Circle and Chai Five, Boy Scouts the community Eruv, Kollel and Girl's High School.

Associate VP Mark Semer (New Rochelle, NY)

Mark Semer served as president of Young Israel of New Rochelle (YINR) from 2014-2017. Prior to his tenure as president he served as a vice president and financial secretary. Mark, his wife Simone and their four children have been members of Young Israel of New Rochelle since 2003.

Professionally, Mark is a partner at Kekst CNC, a leading strategic communications firm, which he joined in 1993. In addition to his work developing and implementing communications strategies for major corporations and investment firms, Mark has been engaged by many Jewish non-profit organizations to help them address serious challenges.

Associate VP Mark Trencher (West Hartford, CT)

Mark has served as VP of YI of Bensonhurst, past President of YI of West Hartford, past president of Hebrew Academy of Greater Hartford, and is currently president of the Hartford Vaad. Upon retirement from his business career in insurance and finance, he established Nishma Research in 2015 as a resource to conduct research in the Jewish community.

Associate VP Aryeh Davis (Lawrence/Cedarhurst, NY)

A member of Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst for 25 years, Aryeh has been heavily involved with YILC for a number of years, serving in numerous positions, culminating in both President and Chairman of the Board.

Professionally, Aryeh is the General Counsel for Hawkes Financial LLC/Acadia Woods Partners, LLC, New York based investment partnerships that are involved in the financial industry with an emphasis on technology-based venture capital.

Associate VP Jonathan Abbett (Brookline, MA)

A lifelong Bay Stater, Jon has been a member of Young Israel of Brookline since 2003. In that time, he has served as Programming Chair, Membership Chair, and Vice President, including over 10 years as a board member. He has also served on YIB's Governance and Rabbinic Search committees.

Professionally, Jonathan leads user experience design at Activate Care, a Boston healthcare technology company, and hopes to use his skills in user research, product design, and web technologies to enhance the Young Israel movement.

Associate VP Owen Rumelt (West Hempstead, NY)

Owen, a 30+ year resident of West Hempstead, has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Young Israel of West Hempstead for more than 20 years. He has served as the Chairman of the shul's Youth Committee and UJA Committee, as well as its Corresponding Secretary, Vice President and President and is currently the Chair of the shul's Governance Committee and a member of its Yom Hashoah Committee. Owen is also a long-term Trustee of the West Hempstead Public Library. Professionally, Owen is a partner with Cary Kane LLP, a leading union-side labor law firm.

Associate VP Jonathan Wogan (Memphis, TN)

Jonathan Wogan is currently serving his second run as President of Young Israel of Memphis, TN. Jonathan has been involved in the leadership of YIOM for the past seven years, as either First VP, President, or Immediate Past President. Additionally, Jonathan has been on the Board of Trustees of the Margolin Hebrew Academy for 11 years and currently is the Secretary. As a founding member of The Memphis Kollel five years ago, Jonathan is also the Treasurer of The Memphis Kollel Executive Committee.

Professionally, Jonathan is founder of Wogan Group and its various affiliates, managing over 4,000 apartment homes throughout the United States.

Associate VP Andy Gross (East Brunswick, NJ)

Andy has been active in the Raritan Valley Jewish Community since arriving in East Brunswick, with an emphasis on YIEB and the Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva. He currently serves as president of YIEB after serving in a multitude of roles ranging from programming to finance.

After growing up in Paramus, NJ, Andy graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in finance and information systems and has an MBA from Rutgers University. He has worked for several technology and consumer products firms.

Supporting Branches

The following 45 Young Israel branches have already committed their delegates to the NCYI Future slate.

Avenue J
Bal Harbor
Bedford Bay/Madison
Brookline
Century City
Cherry Hill
East Brunswick
Fair Lawn
Flatbush
Forest Hills
Fort Lee
Great Neck
Hewlett
Hollis Hills
Holliswood
Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale
Kew Gardens Hills
Las Vegas
Lawrence Cedarhurst
Long Beach
Memphis
Merrick
New Hyde Park
New Rochelle
North Beverly Hills
Northridge
North Riverdale
Oak Park
Oceanside
Passaic-Clifton
Pelham Parkway
Plainview
Queens Valley
Scarsdale
Sharon
Shomrai Emunah (Silver Spring)
St. Louis
Stamford
Staten Island
Sunnyside
Teaneck
West Hartford
West Hempstead
West Side
Woodmere

We welcome other Young Israel branches to join us. If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact us at hello@yifuture.org.

Get Involved

If you are a member of a Young Israel synagogue, please contact your congregation's president and ask that your local delegates vote for the NCYI Future slate. Share a link to yifuture.org or include the PDF summary of this page.

If you are not a member of a Young Israel synagogue, share a link to yifuture.org with friends or family who are YI members.