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Our Leadership

Board of Trustees 2022-2023

Adrienne Cohen - President
Matthew Cabrera - 1st Vice President
Andrew Levine - 2nd Vice President
Andrew Robben - Treasurer
Alex Chazen - Secretary
David Yudis - Immediate Past President
Lesley Salazar - Adult Programs Trustee
Brian Brenner - Membership Trustee
Jerry Friedman - Religious Life & Policy Trustee
Patty Seyburn & Brad Pivar - Strategic Planning Trustee
Danielle King - Youth Education & Programs Trustee
Ellen Rasch & Charlie Nightingale - Trustees-At-Large
Sandra Chakmak - Women of Temple Bat Yahm President
Steve Fink - Parliamentarian (Non-Voting)


Leadership Council 2022-2023

Gwen Gluckman & Rob Greenfield - Adult Ed Chairs
Jill Edwards - Caring Committee Chair
Kim Greenhall - Capital Campaign Chair
Sally Spiro - Clergy Relations Liaison
Ellen Rasch - ECE/TBY Preschool Liaison
Barry Katz - Facilities, Security & IT Liaison
Leora Fogel & Greg Shavitz - High Holy Days Taskforce Chairs
Mark Brown - Interfaith Taskforce Chair
Jonathan Treussard - JCAL Parent Taskforce Chair
Debbie Margolis - Legacy & Endowment Chair
Ellen Phillips - Social Action Taskforce Chair
Emily Leach & Sarah Young - Youth & Youth Families Events 

Adrienne Cohen - TBY Board of Trustees President

Adrienne Cohen grew up in Orange County when the Jewish community was smaller and more spread out. Her parents Char and Sam Salkin nurtured her Jewish identity and encouraged her participation in Jewish activities. She was the president of Shoshana BBG and was active in the Temple Beth Tikvah youth group. She maintains several friendships from her B'nai Brith and Beth Tikvah days. Her first trip to Israel was with NFTY where she celebrated her 17th birthday and became a Bat Mitzvah on Masada.
In August 1995 Adrienne Cohen joined Temple Bat Yahm. She gave birth to her first daughter Sara shortly thereafter. Her daughter Haley was born three years later. Both daughters participated in Parent & Toddler classes at the Temple and were graduates of TBY Preschool. They then went on to religious school and each had their Bat Mitzvah at TBY. Adrienne counts their b'not mitzvah as two of the most joyful days of her life.
Adrienne started her journey as part of TBY leadership on the Membership Committee before Sara’s Bat Mitzvah. She later served as membership chair and religious life chair. Modeling participation at Temple for her daughters has always been important to Adrienne as she strongly believes that we all have a responsibility to contribute to and support our Jewish community. In addition, the connectivity and friendships that come with active participation feels wonderful.
Adrienne is an insurance defense and coverage lawyer who runs a 10-attorney firm with offices in both Southern and Northern California. She is both honored and humbled to be the President of Temple Bat Yahm.

Our Staff

Mark Gulner - Executive Director

Mark was born and raised with his twin brother, Scott, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He attended the University of Minnesota and received his degree in English Literature. While attending University he met his wife, Amy, and they have two children, Henry and Margaret, a dog, Max (Munten z’l), and a cat, Arlo. Away from work, Mark enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and, if he can find the time, squeeze in a round of golf. His parents are both retired school teachers and also reside in Orange County.

Prior to joining Temple Bat Yahm, Mark has worked for and with a number of congregations across the country. Most recently he was the Executive Director at Congregation Beth Am in San Diego. Prior to at Beth Am, he served as a Director of Engagement, Director of Membership, Regional Director for United Synagogue Youth and as a Youth Director at historic Temple of Aaron in St. Paul Minnesota.


Laura Gramling - TBY Preschool Director

Laura came from Temple Beth El South Orange County, where she worked 11 years as an inclusion aid, a preschool teacher, and as the assistant director of the Early Childhood Center, before coming to Temple Bat Yahm in July 2014.  The native Californian received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona and a Masters degree in Clinical Neuropsychology from San Diego State University.  Laura worked with head injury patients for the Defense and Veterans Head Injury Program as well as with children prenatally exposed to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.   Laura earned her Early Childhood Credential through Saddleback College and has been very involved with curriculum planning for the early childhood classroom.  In addition, Laura has a passion for our Full Inclusion Program and helping each child to succeed.  She is a member of PACE, CQEL, NAEYC as well as CAEYC.   She has now been our ECE Director for over 6 years and continues to evolve our TBY program to stay up to date with current Developmental and State Standards.

Laura's husband Kevin, is an attorney with Klinedinst Law Firm and regional commissioner with Laguna Hills AYSO, and together they have three daughters.

Laura would love to meet you and your children. Contact her today for a private tour of the Preschool by calling (949) 644-6563.


Rabbi Miriam Philips - JCAL (Religious School) Director

Rabbi Miriam Philips enjoys serving as the Director of Youth Education and Family Engagement (also known as the JCAL Director) for Temple Bat Yahm. JCAL, the Jewish Center for Arts and Learning, encapsulates Rabbi Miriam’s learning philosophy: that children learn best in community and through doing. After all, the world - and Judaism - stand on three things: Torah (love of learning and questioning), Avodah (service to God) and G’milut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness). In Judaism, learning and doing are intertwined.

Rabbi Philips grew up in rural Washington State, where her family had to work to be Jewish, and so started her on her path toward the rabbinate. She also spent part of her childhood in  Seal Beach, CA, from which Orange County town her husband Danny also hails. Rabbi Philips attended Brandeis University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a major in History. After college, Rabbi Miriam volunteered in Israel for a year with Project Otzma (sponsored by the Long Beach Federation) and worked for congregations in the San Francisco Bay Area. For rabbinical school, she attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC) in Jerusalem and LA. While there she earned her Master’s degree in Education.

Before joining Temple Bat Yahm, Rabbi Philips served as the Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Emanuel in Andover, MA, for four years. Then she and her family moved to Silicon Valley so she could take a position as Director of Family Learning at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, CA. Rabbi Miriam and her family now consider themselves home in Orange County and at Temple Bat Yahm.

Rabbi Miriam is the proud (and busy) mom of two children. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, gardening, reading and dancing, which have now become family activities. Her blessing for her children is her same wish for all the children (and human beings) at TBY: may you be curious and kind.


Our Professional Staff

Our lay leadership is supported by a wonderful full-time professional staff under the leadership of our Executive Director, Mark Gulner. With over 60 years of combined synagogue experience the TBY leadership is complemented by an administrative, accounting and maintenance staff whose many talents include a warm welcoming and engaging relationship with our congregational families.

Efrain Banuelos
Facilities Manager
Contact Efrain about the facilities here at TBY or if you have a question about our standing security protocols.

Mel Bordelon
Director of Youth Engagement
Contact Mel for all things Youth Programming and Engagement.

Susan Gunawan
Finance Director
Contact Susan if you have questions regarding the Temple's accounting.

Lesa Hodgkins
Accounts Receivable
Contact Lesa about membership financial status, Preschool and/or JCAL School payments, or high volume ticket sales.

Debbe Katz
Clergy Administrator
Contact Debbe about clergy appointments, bereavement
simchas, oneg sponsoring, or Cantor's Concert.

Beth Swift
Front Desk Receptionist
Contact Beth about Shabbat, High Holy Days, programming and events scheduling, reservations and ticket purchases, Yahrzeit changes, Tributes, or general information.

Hilary Rosen
Director of Communications
Contact Hilary if you have questions regarding advertising, marketing and publicity, or social media, or facilitiy rentals and scheduling. 

Matthew Ross
Technology Integration Specialist
Matthew is responsible for helping produce the digital presentations of our online learning and religious services and recordings.

Thu, June 1 2023 12 Sivan 5783