Board of Directors
Gale has had a long and varied career as a professional and lay leader in the nonprofit community. Trained as a lawyer, Gale served for 7 years as Staff Counsel for Stanford University and then for 11 years as Vice President for Legal Affairs at California Pacific Medical Center. She transitioned from the law to nonprofit development and administration, becoming the Director of Development at Gateway High School, and later Chief Program Officer at the Koret Foundation, and Vice President, Development at UpStart.
As a lay leader, Gale has been active in both the Jewish and secular communities. She was the President of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Jewish Community Center and co-chaired the capital campaign for the new JCCSF facility that opened in 2004. She co-founded Gateway High School (now Gateway Public Schools), an award winning charter school, and served as its Board President. Currently, Gale is the Board President of Education Pioneers, a national educational organization that is focused on attracting leadership and management talent into the public educational sector, and serves as the Board President of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the oldest, largest, and most respected Jewish film festival in the world. She is also a board member of UpStart Bay Area and co-chairs the Bay Area Regional Council for American Jewish World Service.
Gale has a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She is married, with four grown children, and one grandchild (whom she looks forward to taking to the UA farm!).
Adam Weisberg is the Diller Teen Initiatives Director. Prior to this Adam served as Camp Tawonga’s Executive Director from 2008-2011 and as Berkeley Hillel’s Executive Director from 2000-2008. Additionally, Adam has worked in a variety of roles in the Jewish community including work with the Council of Jewish Federations in New York, the Jewish Agency in Israel and two years working with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Bulgaria. In addition to serving on the Urban Adamah board, Adam also serves on the board of Wilderness Torah, an organization providing Jewish educational programming for children and adults and holiday based day-long and multi-day festivals dedicated to awakening and celebrating the earth-based traditions of Judaism in order to nourish the connections between self, community, earth, and Spirit. Adam has served as a coach/mentor for young professionals through Hillel, Repair the World, the iCenter, BBYO and the REALITY Check program, a project of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network. Adam is married to Rachel Brodie. They have two daughters, Sophia and Ariella, truly lovely girls in just about every way.
Ellen currently serves as Senior Advisor at the David Brower Center in Berkeley after spending several years as the Center’s first Director of Finance and Operations. The David Brower Center is a vibrant home for the environmental movement, providing office and conference space as well as arts and education programming. Ellen came to the nonprofit sector following a 20-year career in municipal government management. She served as the Assistant City Manager in Emeryville, managing the City’s financial and administrative functions, and also held positions in several other East Bay cities, including Oakland, Albany, Dublin and San Leandro. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Ellen has lived in the Bay Area since 1983. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Goldman School at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Lafayette with her husband, Craig, and is the proud parent of two daughters, Rachel and Grace. Ellen is delighted to have witnessed the impact of Urban Adamah through Rachel’s transformative experience as a fellow in the fall of 2015.
Adrienne Paige Leder-Schriner is an attorney and works as Senior Corporate Counsel at The Clorox Company in Oakland. Originally from Texas, Adrienne has been a Bay Area resident since 2003. Active in the Bay Area’s Jewish community, Adrienne is a Board member of the Jewish Film Institute (parent organization of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival). She is also a committee member of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco’s Israel & Global Committee. Adrienne has also served as a JCRC at-large member, and previously served as a board member of the Young Adult Division of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco. Adrienne lives in Berkeley with her husband, daughter and son. In her free time, Adrienne loves to cook, travel, garden and to explore the great hiking trails the Bay Area has to offer.
Rabbi Adina Allen is a spiritual leader, writer, and social innovator. She is co-founder and Creative Director of The Jewish Studio Project, a new Bay Area-based organization that uses art making as a tool for Jewish learning, self-discovery and social change. Adina was ordained by Hebrew College in 2014 where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Adina has worked for Tufts University Hillel, as a chaplain at Hebrew Senior Life, and as an educator at Brandeis Bardin Collegiate Institute and has taught at Jewish institutions across the country. Adina is a contributing writer to the Huffington Post and her work has been published in Tikkun, The Journal for Inter-Religious Dialogue, and State of Formation, among others. Adina did the Adamah Fellowship (Fall 2005) in Connecticut in the fall of 2005. Adina grew up in Oak Park, IL and received her BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Tufts University in 2005. Adina recently moved back to the Bay Area with her husband Jeff and almost two year old son, Remy.
Eric Antebi is a senior vice president at Fenton, the nation’s leading cause communications agency. He has lead pioneering work for top nonprofits, companies and foundations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Google, The Nature Conservancy, and Tipping Point Community. Before coming to Fenton, Antebi was the national press secretary for the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization, where he served as a national spokesperson and played a key role in developing and executing communications strategy on a wide range of issues from global warming to protecting parkland.
Rachel Biale was born and raised in Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin in Israel, so she spent her formative years digging dirt and weeding. After serving as a youth movement leader and in the army in Israel, she married David Biale and came to the US for college. She received her BA and MA in Jewish History from UCLA and then trained as a clinical social worker, getting her MSW from Yeshiva University. She is the author of Women and Jewish Law (Schocken, 1984) and two books for parents and children in a series titled “Let’s Make a Book about It:” My Pet Died and We Are Moving.Rachel has lived in Berkeley since 1986, where she and her husband, David, have raised their two kids, both adults now. The only dependents at home now are three chickens.
Rachel has worked in the Bay Area Jewish Community for over 20 years, first as a clinician for JFCS of the East Bay, then as Director of Community Education at the Osher Marin JCC and, most recently, as Bay Area Regional Director of Progressive Jewish Alliance. She has served as the Director of Bible by the Bay/Lehrhaus 360, a project of Lehrhaus Judaica, for over 10 years. She also has a private practice of parenting counseling, now in its 25th year, and writes a parenting advice column for Jweekly.com: Parenting for the Perplexed. She also writes and illuminates ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts).
Wendy Buffett, MD is board certified in Integrative and Family Medicine. As a primary care physician for the past 15 years, her interests include helping people make the healthiest choices for themselves in a medical system that is often funded and influenced by big Pharm and the insurance industry. She has been a long-time advocate of preventative practices that use food, exercise, meditation and spiritual practices as the core approach to wellness. She aims to help individuals ask better questions of themselves and their providers as they explore their experience of aging.
She received her BA at Wesleyan University in CT and went to Boston University School of Medicine. She completed her Family Medicine training at UCSF-SFGH program, with an extra year serving as chief resident. She completed her Integrative Medicine fellowship with Dr. Andrew Weil in 2012. She was on faculty at UCSF before joining Sutter’s East Bay Physicians Medical Group in Albany in 2008. Recently she begun a self-imposed sabbatical to more deeply investigate her own relationship with healing and the divine.
Randy Goldstein has spent his entire career working in the fields of energy and the environment with a wide variety of energy sources and technologies – most recently, he was a co-founder, Director and CEO of OptiSolar Inc. He has a BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and a MS in Energy Management and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. His first experience in local food was at Habonim Camp Tavor, where he participated in the growing of some of the camp’s food. He has also spent time in Kibbutzim in Israel. As a supporter of Hazon, he is an active participant in the Hazon’s Israel and California bike rides. He has a small garden in his backyard, and learned his lesson about Zucchinis the hard way this past summer.
Shira Levine is an Online Community Strategist with 15 years’ experience shaping customer relationships with world-class brands including DC Comics, eBay and Zynga through results-oriented community management best practices. Most recently she managed Zynga’s global 300M Facebook fan base. Shira is a tireless crusader for proving a company’s customer community is a key business driver. She is the president of Fanchismo, a strategic online community consulting firm. She currently serves as Head of Community for the sharing economy app Yerdle. Jewishly, Shira has held various leadership positions at the SF Federation. She currently chairs the Federations’ Innovation Committee, which allocates funds to Bay Area innovators, including Urban Adamah. Shira is a past board member of American Jewish World Service and is a past Wexner Fellow, class of 2006. Shira lives in Oakland with her husband, Dan Halperin, and their two sons.
Damon has worked in a variety of marketing roles around technology, food, and wine. He is currently Senior Director of Marketing and Growth at Lolli and Pops, a candy business. He has served in marketing leadership roles for Minted.com, Vine Connections (a wine and sake importer), Amazon.com, and Intuit. He has an undergraduate degree in Biology from Brown University and an MBA from University of California-Berkeley. He lives in Albany with his wife and two daughters. He is a passionate tennis player and active supporter of East Bay after-school gardening programs.
Jack D. Newman, PhD
Dr. Newman is a scientist and entrepreneur with a passion for the world of biology. After earning his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Biochemistry, Jack completed his Doctorate in Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Jack began his career in science in the field of bioremediation, engineering microbial systems to clean up toxic waste. He went on to co-found Amyris, (NASDAQ:AMRS), a fermentation biology-based company that produces a wide range of products including anti-malarial drugs, biofuels, essential oils and renewable personal care products.
As Chief Science Officer at Amyris, Jack built and managed a team of over 100 research scientists creating a culture of collaboration and mission-driven science for a better world. Jack is an inventor of the original technology to produce a cure for malaria using fermentation, work that was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Currently, Jack serves on the board of directors of the Biobricks Foundation, a public benefit company with a mission to ensure that the engineering of biology is conducted in an open and ethical manner to benefit all people and the planet. Jack also chairs the Board of Directors of zagaya, a public benefit company he co-founded to improve the human condition through technology and education.
Jack lives in Berkeley in a multi-generational household that includes seven chickens and a Vizsla.
Susan Steiner Saal
For over twenty years Susan Steiner Saal has maintained an active connection to serving the local community. Susan’s volunteer activities include serving agencies such as Hospice, The Jewish Home for the Aged, Jewish Family and Children’s Services and the Jewish Community Federation through various advisory committees. Currently Susan serves on the boards of the Palo Alto Jewish Community Center and the San Francisco Coalition of Agencies Serving the Elderly (CASE).
Susan is also co-founder of SilverRide, LLC. SilverRide was established in 2006 to enable seniors to have a more connected dignified and independent lifestyle after their “driving retirement”. The company serves hundreds of clients in the San Francisco Bay Area with lifestyle transportation and related services and does hundreds of hours of volunteer driving for the community each year. Prior to starting SilverRide Susan spent five years in Strategic Management Consulting with Deloitte Consulting where she developed expertise in strategic planning, organizational effectiveness, facilitation and team management.
Susan holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Florida and an M.B.A. with an emphasis in Healthcare Management from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. Susan and her husband Nate reside happily in Palo Alto with their 6 year old son Jared and their 4 year old daughter Dalia.
Jennifer Spitzer is counsel in the Family Wealth Transfer Planning and Trust & Estate Administration and Not-for-Profit Organizations practices at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and is resident in the San Francisco office. Ms. Spitzer’s practice focuses on trusts, estates and wealth transfer planning for high-net-worth individuals and families. Ms. Spitzer has extensive experience counseling charitable organizations and individuals on exempt organization law and philanthropy. She has handled litigation and transactional work specific to gift planning, formations, governance and charitable planning. Prior to joining Manatt, Ms. Spitzer was the chief executive officer of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties.
Diane currently serves on the Boards of Lehrhaus Judaica, Stanford University Hillel, the Marin Governance Committee of Brandeis Hillel Day School, the Marin Impact Grants Initiative Committee of the SFJCF, The West Coast Chairmen’s Council for American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and is a Capital Campaign Chair of Congregation Kol Shofar. Diane and her husband Howard have engaged in strategic philanthropic initiatives for Camp Ramah in California, and Brandeis Hillel Day School, among other organizations. Diane served on the inaugural 2013 and 2014 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards National Selection Committees. She graduated from the Wexner Heritage Foundation program and served on the National UJA Young Leadership Cabinet, where she chaired Major Gifts. Diane received her BA from Harvard College and her JD from Hastings College of the Law. Diane and Howard have 3 wonderful children.
Adam Berman is the founder and Executive Director of Urban Adamah. His full bio can be found here.