IsraAID is honored to have a prestigious and extremely committed board that are passionate about global challenges, and help guide our staff as they tackle them.
Chairperson of the Board
Meira has been active in the world of non-profits and their management for over 30 years.
She holds a BA in General History and Art History from Hebrew University, and studied Management at the Lahav School for Executive Education Tel Aviv University. For 15 years, she served as the Coordinator for Special projects and events at the JDC-Brookdale Institute, as well as the Manager of their Middle East program meant to enhance the quality of health care systems in the entire region. She co-chaired the Israeli NGO Aid without Borders from 2000-2002, and has spent the last 10 years fighting for Human and Human rights in Israel and Palestinian territories. In addition to chairing the board of Directors, Meira has organized IsraAID workshops, conferences, and forums, as well as co-lead programs in the field.
Mully has over 25 years experience in Business management and the public sector.
Born and raised in Israel, He holds a Masters Degree in Political and Public Administration Studies and a Bachelor Degree in Political Studies, both from Tel Aviv University. He served as Deputy Mayor of the Ramat-Gan Municipality from 2003-2009, Chair of IMC – The Israel Management Center from 2003-2007, and Chair of Rabin first in Labour (R.A.) from 1991-1995. Today, Mully is the Chairperson of both the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development-AJEEC, and the Beit Zvi School of the Performing Arts. In addition, he is a Board Member of,the Israeli Academic College, and Lahav L.R. Real Estate Ltd. In his capacity as Board Member, Mully has directly assisted in some of IsraAID’s relief and reconstruction projects in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, as well as IsraAID's post trauma and development activities in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and Japan after the Tsunami in Tohoku region-2012.
Dr. Edward Rettig
Ed Rettig is the owner of Ed Rettig Consulting specializing in International Public Policy and Development; Jewish Advocacy; American Jewish - Israel Relations; Israeli Democracy and Human Rights; Organizational Dynamics
Born in the United States, Ed immigrated to Israel in 1972. He holds a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received a Wexner Graduate Fellowship to study at the Hebrew Union College where he received rabbinical ordination. Ed also holds a doctorate in Modern Jewish History from the Hebrew Union College. He has published on freedom of speech, the laws of libel and issues of democracy, contemporary developments in the Middle East as well as on the American Jewish Community and its ties with Israel. Prior to his current position he directed the Israeli office of the American Jewish NGO American Jewish Committee and served as Associate Director. Ed served as an attorney in the Israel Ministry of Police and on the boards of IsraAID, the Israeli Coalition for International Assistance, and human rights associations in Israel as well as Shomrei Mishpat – Rabbis for Human Rights. He was the founding co-Chair of the revived Israel Chapter of the international Society for International Development and serves as chair of the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education. Ed blogs at www.Famliarworries.com.
US Chairman of the Board
Sherry Weinman has been a volunteer leader in the Los Angeles Jewish community for 30 years.
As chairman of the board of IsraAID (US), Sherry has supervised the start-up of the first U.S. office for IsraAID, in Palo Alto, California, including the hiring of its first Executive Director and additional senior staff. Sherry came to IsraAID through her association with AJC, one of IsraAID’s primary American Jewish organizational supporters. Sherry was President of the Los Angeles Regional Office of AJC from 2005-2008 during which time she established its first young professionals group, ACCESS. Currently she serves on AJC’s Los Angeles Executive Council and national Board of Governors. Sherry also serves on the Advisory Board of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management of Hebrew Union College where Jewish professionals are trained for nonprofit and for-profit enterprise. Additionally, she is a member of LA’s Sinai Temple and serves on its membership committee, working closely with professional staff and clergy including senior Rabbi David Wolpe, named the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post. As a communications professional, Sherry was an executive producer, creator and writer of television news and information programs in Los Angeles and the U.S. for more than 25 years. She has produced programming for America’s major networks including ABC, CBS and CNN. Sherry was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated with honors in 1975 from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Currently, Weinman is training at the Feldenkrais Institute of New York to be a Feldenkrais Method Practitioner.
US Board Treasurer
Mr. Sheldon Weisel is the General Counsel for Saul Urban, providing corporate strategy and legal advice to the senior management.
Sheldon has been practicing law in Washington, DC for 40 years, first as a real estate lawyer Shaw Pitman and more recently with Goulsten & Storrs. During this time Sheldon represented developers, lenders, investors and others in a broad range of transactions including acquisitions, new development, financing, joint ventures, leasing, and workouts. He has extensive experience in many different real estate sectors including multifamily, retail, office and hotels. Sheldon has worked with Frank Saul for over 20 years on numerous transactions. He has been recognized by Chambers and the Washington Legal Times as one of the leading real estate lawyers in Washington, DC. Mr. Weisel has a BA and JD from UCLA.
US Board Member
Rick Matros is Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sabra Health Care REIT.
US Board Member
Orit Atzmon is a clinical psychologist based in Palo Alto, CA.
US Board Member
Harvey Brown is a CPA and consultant based in New York and the former CEO of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
US Board Member
Susan Levey Bender
US Board Member
A lifelong Community Volunteer and Philanthropist, Susie Bender is a native Houstonian, raised in Fort Bend County.
Susie has held leadership position in a multitude of Jewish and non-Jewish organizations throughout the Houston community, and has participated on the boards of many non-profits. Susie is a past president of Women’s American ORT, a lifetime Hadassah member, a past Vice President of Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services, past chair of Cattle Baron’s Ball Houston, past president of VICTORY (an arm of American Cancer), past President of Congregation Beth Yeshurun Sisterhood and the past chair of multiple fund raising events for all of the above, as well as for the St. John’s School. Presently, Susie is the immediate past chair of AIPAC Houston, the AIPAC Houston co-Political Chair, sits on AIPAC’s National Council, an advisor on the VICTORY Houston Board, and an advisor on the Congregation Beth Yeshurun Sisterhood Board. Mrs. Bender received the AIPAC Houston Leadership Award in 2018. Mrs. Bender holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, with a concentration in Marketing. She has been married to Scott Bender for 43 years, they have three sons, 2 daughter-in-laws and 6 grandchildren.
US Board Member
Mr. Barsade has thirty years of experience as an entrepreneur and an attorney. He is now using those skills to help entrepreneurs create and build their new businesses, and in the world of not-for-profit organizations.
Jonathan Barsade is a Board Member and President of the America Israel Friendship League (“AIFL”). Mr. Barsade was the Founder and CEO of EXACTOR INC, the next-generation provider of a fully automated, end-to-end compliance solution for secure, safe, and accurate sales tax record keeping and filing. EXACTOR was acquired by Intuit, Inc., the developers of TurboTax and QuickBooks. After working on his own private practice for 10 years, in the mid-90s Mr. Barsade joined Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, one of the top six law firms in the country, and helped to form and establish their technology practice group. In late 1998, Mr. Barsade helped form GREAT DOMAINS, INC., where he played an instrumental role in creating the infrastructure for the first and most successful domain name brokerage environment and writing the rules by which domain names are resold in the secondary market. In 2001, GREAT DOMAINS was acquired by VeriSign. After GREAT DOMAINS, Mr. Barsade was the founder and CEO of FPBA Group, LLC, the developers of the COMMFLASH technology, which was the pioneer of full-page ads in the burgeoning online commercial advertisement industry. The company and technology were acquired by DoubleClick, and immediately resold to Google, Inc. Mr. Barsade was a founder of LITTLE MISSMATCHED, a pioneer of non-matching socks sold in odd numbers. Over the years LITTLE MISSMATCHED evolved into an iconic lifestyle brand whose mission was to enable girls of all ages to express their individuality and creativity. The company was acquired by Delta Galil Industries. As founder and CEO of EXACTOR, Inc., from 2006, Mr. Barsade led Exactor from concept through commercialization until its final acquisition by Intuit, Inc. Mr. Barsade was also a Founding Member and President of NACSP (National Association of Certified Service Providers), an organization founded to advance automated sales tax collection and administration; promote the use of Certified Service Providers, certified by the States; educate the public and the retail industry about the role and benefits provided by Certified Service Providers; facilitate training, education, and research in computerized multistate sales tax compliance; and assist the States in maintaining and enforcing appropriate standards for Certified Service Providers and in obtaining and enforcing appropriate certification marks.
US Board Member
Michael Kadisha is a social and environmental impact entrepreneur who focuses his efforts on technologies that solve global inefficiencies.
Michael is the managing principal of Treedom House, a social impact investment fund directing its knowledge and resources into sustainable, long-term growth companies that leverage technology to solve global inefficiencies. Michael’s investment thesis capitalizes on and enables businesses that synergize both economic and social value creation. As part of this mission, Michael has founded a venture called Treedom, a software suite that will create a community for volunteers, NGO’s, non-profit organizations and corporations, who wish to support and promote a social, civic, or environmental value. Michael’s family was instrumental in expanding the boundaries of wireless telecommunications with the founding of Qualcomm. Michael and his brothers have chosen to leverage their influence in the industry to promote technologies that are green, sustainable and socially responsible. Treedom House has recently designed and developed a volunteer management software, in-house, that will launch in the Los Angeles Unified School District in September, and will grow to other educational districts around the country soon after. Michael and his family have been deeply involved in Israel relations for many generations. They have been donors to many organizations including: Hadassah, Magbit, The Hope Foundation, IsraAID, United Hatzalah, AIPAC, The Wings Foundation, The Cord, and several more.
US Board Member
Debbie Rudy is a community activist based in Austin, Texas.
Debbie Rudy chaired Austin's AIPAC Executive Council from 2013 through 2016. She currently chairs Austin’s pro-Israel political network. Prior to beginning her board service in 2016, Debbie was a member of AIPAC’s first Leadership Institute class. She served on National Council from 2011 until her appointment to AIPAC’s Board of Directors. Her passion is promoting a strong US-Israel relationship and growing our movement in her adopted hometown. Since Debbie became a lay leader in AIPAC in Austin eight years ago, club membership in Austin has seen more than a tenfold increase. Debbie also serves on Austin's ADL Board of Directors and is a member of ADL's National Commission. Prior to life in Austin, the Rudys lived in Chicago's South Suburbs, where Debbie was president of the Stone Jewish Community Center, served on the Board of Directors/Executive Committee of JCCs of Chicago, and the board of NCJW, South Cook. She chaired PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) at Temple Anshe Sholom. Debbie and her husband Ricky moved part-time to Austin about nine years ago to escape Chicago winters. As amateur musicians, mild weather and live music attracted them to a city whose unofficial motto is "Keep Austin Weird". They now are full time, proud Texans. Debbie and Ricky share three sons and a daughter, three daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, and two dogs. They enjoy their grandchildren, Asher and Sadie.
US Board Member
Dr. Brad Somer is the President and a senior partner at the West Cancer Center and Research Institute, a nationally renowned cancer center in the midsouth United States.
Dr. Somer joined the team in 2002 and has been involved in every level of leadership at the cancer center. He is actively involved in clinical research, often participating as principal investigator in research trials. He has served on the boards of the Community Oncology Alliance, the UT/West Institute for Cancer Research, and other organizations related to cancer. He has served on various cancer related national committees including the ASCO scientific committee, and for the NCCN. Dr. Somer graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine with the top award at graduation in “outstanding Scholarship, devotion to patient care, and concern for colleagues”. He was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honors society. He did his internship and residency at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania and his fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center. Dr. Somer has been President of the Jewish day school in Memphis, has been Vice President of his synagogue and has served on the boards of the JCC and Memphis Jewish Federation in the past. Dr. Somer is married with 5 children.