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.

Holden Lee

Chief Financial and Investment Officer

Holden oversees the mechanics and operations of Endowment and Philanthropic Services, as well as the Investment Committee and the Federation's independent investment consultant, Greycourt Advisors. Previously, he was a Managing Director at Cambridge Associates, advising endowments of mission-driven organizations on their investment portfolios and developing impact investing frameworks. Holden's career includes serving as a nonprofit CFO and as a private equity investor. He earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School and an A.B. in politics from Princeton University.

Kerry Philp

Senior Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing

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.  

Roxanne Cohen

Managing Director, Community Impact

A longtime Federation employee, Roxanne oversees the Federation’s Resilience Portfolio, which focuses on the health and stability of our Jewish ecosystem. Key areas include emergency response, community security, leadership development, community relations, health, and human services, capital planning, and global Jewish responsibility. Previously, Roxanne held professional roles with the UJA-Federation of NY, American Friends of the Hebrew University, and the PJCC. Roxanne earned M.A. degrees in Jewish Studies and Social Work and is a fellow in the Mandel Executive Leadership Program. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Peninsula Temple Beth El in San Mateo.

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 2020 - 2021

Ann Peckenpaugh-Becker
At-Large Member

Valli Benesch
Treasurer
Chair of Finance Committee

Dan Cohn
At-Large Member

Marc Dollinger
At-Large Member

Richard Fiedotin
At-Large Member

Steven Ganz
At-Large Member

Sam Goldman
At-Large Member

Jim Heeger
Immediate Past Chair 

Fred Isaac
At-Large Member

Tom Kasten
At-Large Member

Laura Lauder
At-Large Member

Sara Gaviser Leslie
Vice-Chair

Moses Libitzky
At-Large Member

Alexander Fromm Lurie
At-Large Member
Chair of Board Nominating Committee

Jessica Minkoff
At-Large Member

Varda Rabin
At-Large Member

David Rak
At-Large Member

Tali Ronen
Secretary
Chair of Israel Strategy Task Force

Susan Saal
At-Large Member

David Saxe
At-Large Member

Lynn Sedway
At-Large Member 

Arthur Slepian
Chair

Susie Sorkin
At-Large Member 
Chair of Governance Committee

Bob Tandler
At-Large Member

Michelle Tandowsky
At-Large Member

Jamie Weinstein
At-Large Member
Endowment Chair

Carol Weitz
At-Large Member

Jerry Yanowitz
At-Large Member

Howard Zack
At-Large Member