Board of Trustees

Ronen Glimer, Secretary, is an experienced marketer and community-builder and has dedicated much of his professional career to creating innovative experiences and places in Brooklyn and beyond. Together with his wife, Amy Abrams, he is founder of Artists & Fleas, a bi-coastal retail marketplace created to provide local artists, designers and entrepreneurs a platform to launch and grow their businesses and to give the public an exciting shopping experience to discover new brands and new work. He spent several years building and marketing consumer brands and developing a national marketing organization to support those products. He is a graduate of Columbia College. His children have been attending Luria since 2009. Ronen serves on the Committee on Trustees and the Executive and Strategic Planning Committees. 

Shannon Frank Green, President, is General Counsel of Blue State Digital, a marketing and advertising agency. Previously she spent 10 years as a commercial litigator, and enjoys helping organizations solve problems large and small, with an emphasis on risk management and dispute resolution. She has JD and LLM degrees from Duke University School of Law. Shannon and her husband Isaac are Prospect Heights residents and proud parents of Luria students Rosemary and Solomon. Shannon serves on the Executive Committee. 

Roni Gross is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Hiltzik Strategies, a strategic communications and consulting firm specializing in corporate communications, individual strategic counsel, and crisis management. Prior to co-founding the firm in 2008, Roni served as CFO of Freud Communications for its New York and Los Angeles offices. He previously worked at Swiss Re in the Alternative Risk Finance group, spent several years at JP Morgan Chase as an Investment Banker and began his career as an Actuary at AIG.  Roni graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in Mathematics and holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He lives in Clinton Hill with his wife Alissa and three children, who all proudly attend Luria. Roni serves on the Committee on Trustees and the Strategic Planning Committee. 

Belle Guttman was drawn to Luria Academy seven years ago, and her daughter has been a flourishing student here since then. Belle works at Amazon Web Services where she runs a team of Solutions Architects who support New York City’s startup community. Belle’s expertise encompasses large integration projects, technically complex engagements, and the thrill of designing new systems. Prior to joining AWS, Belle did a stint at Huge, a digital advertising agency, where she learned to appreciate the aesthetics of design. She has served on a number of boards and committees that have helped grow and shape the Luria community as well as the broader Jewish community. Belle serves on the Marketing Committee. 

Rick Kiley, an 18 year experiential marketing veteran, is the founding partner of SoHo Experiential, and has led the agency from its infancy to the 13 year-old award-winning group it is today. Through a combination of quality insights, thoughtful creative, flawless execution, and a dedication to delivering gross-profit based ROI, SoHo has built a strong reputation for excellence, ranking as one of Event Marketer’s Top 100 agencies for nearly a decade.  Rick has conceived and implemented groundbreaking experiential campaigns for clients such as Rémy Cointreau, The Macallan Scotch Whisky, Citibank, Google Play, Proximo Spirits, Miller Coors, Godiva, NBC Universal, Barilla, and many more. Rick is a magna cum laude graduate of Skidmore College with dual majors in Theater and Mathematics. He and his wife Meital are proud parents to two children, Asher and Lyla, who are currently attending Luria. Rick serves on the Finance and  Strategic Planning Committees.

Denise Lamdan is a Senior Fundraising Professional with more than 15 years of experience in strategic fundraising at UJA-Federation of New York. She has managed a number of different teams with multi-million dollar fundraising goals. Currently, Denise leads the Wall Street & Financial Services Division which is responsible for raising approximately a quarter of the organization’s annual budget. Denise oversees a team of 13 professionals responsible for 6 fundraising events throughout the year including the annual Wall Street Dinner (2,000 attendees). Denise holds a degree from Lafayette College and studied abroad at Tel-Aviv University. It was her experience abroad in Israel where she caught the Jewish Professional Fundraising bug and has not looked back since. Denise resides in Prospect Heights, with her husband Shai and their two sons, Aviv and Nadav, who both attend Luria Academy. Denise serves on the Development Committee.

David Lowin is the Executive Vice President at Brooklyn Bridge Park. In that role he has been responsible for overseeing the real estate development program that will generate the funds to maintain and operate the Park. David also oversees the Park’s concessions program and the long-term strategic financial planning. From October 2016 until April 2017, David served as the Interim President of the Park. Prior to joining Brooklyn Bridge Park, David worked for the Clarett Group, a private development firm. David has also previously served as the Vice President of Planning and Development at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, and as an Associate Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. David holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn with his wife, Tamara, and two children, Sophie and Eitan, who proudly attend Luria. David is the chair of the Space Committee. 

Rachel Peckerman, Vice President Rachel Peckerman has experience working in higher education, and as a public defender in Brooklyn, representing hundreds of indigent defendants and acting as lead counsel in several trials. She has a JD from NYU School of Law, a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and is completing her MSW at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work.  She is currently doing her field work at a mental health clinic. Rachel has served as a Vice President of the board of a Manhattan synagogue. She holds a Grand Diplome from the French Culinary Institute, and has worked as a private chef. Rachel and her husband Michael Gurary moved to Brooklyn in 2013, in order to be near Luria, and love being a part of this wonderful community.  Michael worked with Luria Academy on negotiating the 235 St Marks Avenue Lease. They are parents to Luria student Lev and Luria-hopeful Arthur. Rachel serves on the Executive and Strategic Planning Committees and chairs the Committee on Trustees. 

Naomi Portnoy is an experienced educator who is dedicated to the growth and development of students with diverse learning styles and backgrounds.  Naomi began her career as a New York City Teaching Fellow over a decade ago. Since then she has taught in range of settings. She spent many years at an inner-city high school, teaching English and History to students with special needs and students at risk of academic failure in inclusive classrooms.  After marrying her husband Ori and spending a year traveling around the world, Naomi taught for several years as a Learning Specialist at SAR High School, where she worked directly with individual students to help them become confident, skilled, and successful learners. Naomi currently works as an independent provider of Special Education Teacher Support Services through the NYC Department of Education.  Naomi has a master’s in Adolescent Education from Pace University, and a bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Naomi and Ori live in Prospect Heights and are proud parents to two Luria primary students. Naomi serves on the Development Committee. 

Soonae Sakow is an active commercial real estate operator and developer, together with her husband Jason. They own commercial real estate properties throughout the city, which has included building offices for Children’s Aid Society and clinics for Urban Health Plan in the Bronx and The Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center in Brooklyn.  As a volunteer, Soonae has chaired several large fundraising events for various charitable organizations including Congregation Beth Elohim (where she served as a Board Trustee 2013-2015), Girls Leap of Boston’s annual fundraiser and Luria Academy of Brooklyn. She is also a proud and longtime supporter/patron of the American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theatre, Wildlife Conservation Society, Columbia Linguistics Society, NYU Parent Gift Fund and various underprivileged children’s groups. Soonae currently holds an officer’s position as Event Chair in both the Commanderie de Bordeaux and LBV Wine Society (a woman’s only wine society), and is a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs and International Business and Wine Society. Soonae and Jason have been Park Slope residents since 1996, enjoying an active role in the community, and raising their three children: Jacob, Silas and daughter Emily. She is very proud to be serving as Luria’s Chair of the Development as well as a Board Trustee. Soonae serves on the Space and Finance Committees and chairs the Development Committee. 

David Salama, Treasurer is the CEO of FlyCleaners, a tech enabled dry cleaning and laundry service. After a career spent in both finance and technology, David is now focused on revolutionizing the way people clean their clothes. David and his wife, Evelyn, were looking for a school that incorporated a rigorous dual curriculum with a progressive educational approach. Drawn in by Luria’s dedication to the unique education of each child, they enrolled their daughters Barbara in 2012, Rhonda in 2016,  and are counting down the days till they can send their daughter Ruby as well. David serves on the Executive and Strategic Planning Committees and chairs the Finance Committee. 

Ruthie Schulder is the co-founder and CEO of The Participation Agency, an experiential team reinventing the agency model.  With an international portfolio of clients, Ruthie’s work has helped drive multimillion-dollar campaigns for Fortune 100s, tech startups, and emerging cities seeking innovation. Ruthie was named Inc.’s Millennial CEO Rising Star and is one of Ad Weeks’s ’39 women who are disrupting marketing’.  Under her leadership, The Participation Agency has won a CLIO, an Ex Award, and consecutive placements on Inc.’s Fastest Growing Private Companies list. Ruthie and her cofounder are also behind “Let’s Work”, a monthly gathering for women to rethink networking. Ruthie holds a BA from Barnard and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.  She is a proud Luria parent to twins Libby and Erez in the primary school. Ruthie serves on the Marketing Committee.

Daniel Septimus is the CEO of Sefaria, an orga­ni­za­tion launched in 2013 to create digital infrastructure for the future of Jewish study, commen­tary, and conver­sa­tion. Previously, he served as CEO of MyJewishLearning, Inc., where he was a founding editor of and founder of Daniel is on the Board of Directors of Encounter and 70 Faces Media. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Manchester, and Yeshivat Har Etzion. Daniel lives in Ditmas Park with his wife Becky Porath and four children — Lev, Eva, AJ, and Ilan — all of whom attend Luria.

Mamie Kanfer Stewart is the Founder of Meeteor, a coaching and training company helping organizations run effective meetings. Prior to founding Meeteor, Mamie consulted with non-profit organizations on staffing and strategic planning. She received an MBA from Stern Graduate School of Business at New York University and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. Mamie is currently the board chair of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. Previously she served on the boards of Moishe House, InterfaithFamily and Slingshot. Mamie and her husband have two children who have attended Luria since 2012. Mamie serves on Executive and Strategic Planning Committees and chairs the Head of School Support and Evaluation Committee.

Tamara Mann Tweel, Ph.D. is the Director of Strategy at Hillel International’s Office of Innovation (OOI), where she developed Civic Spirit, a civic leadership program currently piloting in Jewish and Catholic independent schools in New York. She is seminar faculty at Columbia University’s Center for American Studies, where she teaches courses in the history and ethics of American social welfare and citizenship. Prior to joining OOI, Tamara worked as the Associate Director of the Freedom and Citizenship Program at Columbia University, a program that offers New York City public high schools students a chance to study political philosophy and actively engage in civil society. Tamara received her doctorate in history from Columbia University and a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School. Tamara serves on the Committee on Trustees.

Ora Weinberg has over a decade of professional experience in strategic planning, specializing in philanthropic advising, grants management and organizational development.  Ora has worked as a consultant to early and mid-stage non-profits helping them lift the standard of excellence surrounding their organizational practices. She has guided organizations through a variety of internal planning processes, including program development, fundraising strategy, evaluation design, staff management, and board development. She is dedicated to helping her clients build confidence in their mission and become more pragmatic in how they operate their organizations as well as how they impact the community around them. Ora has also held volunteer leadership roles in a number of organizations whose primary focus is creating inclusive school environments for children of all backgrounds, abilities and disabilities. Ora serves on the Head of School Support and Evaluation Committee. 

Founders of Luria Academy

Moshe Banin
Sam Boymelgreen
Alisa Boymelgreen
Jacob Septimus