Federation Leadership

Danny Grossman

Chief Executive Officer

Danny, a successful business owner and entrepreneur, has served extensively on the Federation’s Board of Directors, Endowment and other committees, as well as on numerous Jewish and non-Jewish boards. He brings decades of experience as a leader in the Bay Area’s Jewish and civic communities, and many years of business and public sector leadership. Previously, he was CEO of SLOW Food for Fast Lives and CEO and founder of Wild Planet Entertainment. He also served for seven years in the U.S. Foreign Service, as a diplomat overseas and at the Department of State. He holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University and received his B.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University. 

Joy Sisisky

Chief Philanthropy Officer

Before joining the Federation, Joy served as executive director of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York. Previously, she was selected as the 2007-2008 Ralph I. Goldman Fellow in International Jewish Communal Service at JDC, for which she lived and worked in Ukraine and Ethiopia. Joy is co-founder of Do Good Ukraine!, an organization dedicated to building civil society through volunteerism in Ukraine. Earlier, she served as the associate director for national women’s philanthropy at United Jewish Communities, where she worked with Jewish federations in the development of gender-based fundraising. Joy graduated from Brandeis University and earned a double M.A. in Jewish Communal Service and Public Administration at the joint program of Hebrew Union College and the University of Southern California.

Beth Cousens

Chief Impact Officer

Beth leads the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies to amplify the Federation’s impact on our community. She comes to Federation after working across non-profit and Jewish communal settings in community development and program measurement. Most recently, she supported impact and Jewish engagement professionals throughout all Jewish Federations as an Associate Vice President with The Jewish Federations of North America. Earlier, she led a consulting business focused in strategic research and evaluation. She received a PhD in Near Eastern and Jewish Studies from Brandeis University as a Wexner Graduate Fellow and her BA from the University of Michigan. She also studied at Tel Aviv University, Baltimore Hebrew University and the University of Maryland, from which she received her Master of Social Work.

Kerry Philp

Managing Director of Marketing and Communications

Kerry oversees all aspects of marketing and communications and brings over a decade of experience working with local, national and international companies and nonprofit organizations. Most recently she worked with the United Nations World Food Programme in Rome, Italy. Previously, she oversaw marketing initiatives for Schwab Charitable, which raised over $1 billion annually, benefiting over 100,000 charitable organizations. Kerry served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Albania and Guinea and holds an M.A. from Stanford University and a B.A from Allegheny College.  

Rebecca Randall

Managing Director of Philanthropy

Rebecca oversees the organization’s philanthropy advisory practice, including stewardship of donor-advised fundholders and supporting foundations, and building new collaborative opportunities for philanthropists and organizations. She previously served in various roles at Common Sense Media where she stewarded relationships with donors and foundations and developed partnerships with school districts and organizations across the country.  As Associate Vice President of the United Way of the Bay Area, she led various committees comprised of multiple stakeholders, in order to drive community impact. She also spearheaded a state-wide initiative called Success by 6, which focused on school readiness. She holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire.

Wendy Verba

Managing Director, Community Impact

Wendy leads the Federation’s partnerships with Jewish organizations and works with them to build “cultures of belonging” across the Jewish landscape. She also facilitates grantmaking and manages a portfolio of agency relationships, including overnight camps.  Previously, she worked as an independent consultant with such clients as the Federation, Jewish Vocational Services, the San Francisco Foundation and the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, to help them design, fund, and launch programs that improve life in the Bay Area.  Wendy has served on the boards of UpStart, the PJCC and the Berger Institute for Work, Family and Children. She received an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in History from Claremont McKenna College. 

Kate Sylvester

Director of Human Resources

Kate leads the overall human resources function, focusing on practices that support building a diverse and inclusive workplace. Kate has nearly two decades of experience serving non-profit, cultural, and academic institutions. Most recently, she led human resources at SFJAZZ and spent four years managing and recruiting at SFMOMA. Her career began in recruiting at The Sierra Club, continued in HR roles at Simmons University and the Dominican University of California, and has included contract HR support for Stanford and Harvard Universities. Kate is a graduate of the University of Vermont and holds an M.S. in Communications Management from Simmons College.

 

Board of Directors 2021 - 2022

Ann Peckenpaugh Becker
Chair, Board Nominating Committee

Valli Benesch
Treasurer
Chair, Finance Committee

Andy Cheng* 

Barry Cohn*
Chair, Capital Planning Committee

Dan Cohn
Treasurer
Chair, Finance and Administration Committee

Marc Dollinger

David Friedkin*

Steven Ganz

Judith Goldkrand* 

Sam Goldman

Jim Heeger
Immediate Past Chair 

Fred Isaac

Kenny Kahn*

Natasha Kehimkar*

Moses Libitzky

Jessica Minkoff

Lindsey Newman*

Varda Rabin

David Rak
Chair, Community Impact Committee

Tali Ronen
Secretary
Chair, Governance Committee

Laura Rooklin* 

Susan Saal

Lynn Sedway

Arthur Slepian
Chair

Susie Sorkin
Vice Chair

Bob Tandler

Michelle Tandowsky

Jamie Weinstein
Chair, Endowment Committee

Jerry Yanowitz

* New member for FY21-22