Board of Directors

Judy Kleppel, President, Philadelphia PA – an American trained physician, Dr. Kleppel has 10 years of experience volunteering in Israel in the areas of health and trauma. Judy brings hands on experience in negotiating and carrying out volunteer opportunities in Israel to the Skilled Volunteers for Israel Board of Directors. Dr. Kleppel has learned to network and continue her relationships with Israeli organizations when she returns to Philadelphia where she works as a Rehabilitation Physician. In addition, she performed community based fundraising for Israeli nonprofits from the USA based on her personal knowledge and enthusiasm for their mission.

As a volunteer and board member, Dr. Kleppel brings the knowledge and experience of what it takes to succeed and add value to an organization’s mission in another country. She expects to help Skilled Volunteers for Israel create opportunities for other people with professional skills to meet the needs of a range of organizations in Israel.

Saul Gamoran, Past President, Seattle, WA – President of Eastgate Partners. Mr. Gamoran has over 20 years of broad based experience in business, finance, distribution, sports and entertainment licensing ,media and technology services, and public service. As President of Renaissance Strategies, a consulting firm, he specialized in entertainment and sports licensing, securing numerous strategic partnerships for Fortune 500 companies. Institutional investors retained him to develop new revenue streams and distribution channels, establish strategic relationships, and turn around troubled companies in their portfolios. Mr. Gamoran served as Chief Executive Officer of during an exponential growth period. He secured strategic investments and partnerships, and strengthened and scaled the business in all metrics, including revenue, profitability, and cash flow. Under his leadership, Rivals launched a subscription service, nationally recognized as the first Internet premium content subscription program. He spearheaded a worldwide content distribution partnership with Yahoo, and negotiated the sale of proprietary technology and intellectual property to ventures in Japan, UK and the U.S. Prior to Rivals, Mr. Gamoran was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Play-By-Play Toys, where he provided leadership and strategic counsel to the largest toy distributor in the amusement industry. He initiated and achieved market penetration throughout Europe and South America. Mr. Gamoran began his career as a deputy prosecuting attorney in King County, Washington. He earned his law degree as well as a B.S. in Speech at Northwestern University.


Allen Poteshman, Treasurer, New York, NY –  Senior Vice President at the D.E. Shaw group in New York City where he specializes in the quantitative analysis of data in the financial markets.  Prior to joining D.E. Shaw, Allen was a finance professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where his research focused on the option market and the interaction between the option and the stock market.  He holds a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Chicago, a Ph.D. in philosophy and a masters degree in physics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelors degree in physics and philosophy from Yale University.  Allen will bring his expertise in the collection and analysis of data to provide strategic and financial insight to Skilled Volunteers for Israel.  He is an active member of Temple Shaaray Teflia in New York City where he is especially interested in programs that focus on engaging Israel and post-30s adults.

Marla N Gamoran, Secretary & Executive Director, Founder, New York –   Marla divides her time between New York City and Jerusalem. Following a career in non-profit management and workforce development, Marla completed the PresenTense Global Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs in 2010 and soon after ignited her lifelong passion for Israel by establishing Skilled Volunteers for Israel where she serves as Executive Director.

Born in Chicago, Marla completed a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Illinois, Champaign and a Masters in Business Administration from DePaul University.  She lived in Israel for two years after completing her BA, for a year on Kibbutz Yahel in the Arava and one year teaching English in the Negev development town of Sderot.

Marla has volunteered for her synagogue, served as the President of the Madison Wisconsin chapter of Hadassah and serves on the University of Wisconsin Madison Hillel Board, the American Reform Zionists of America (ARZA) Board and is an ARZA delegate to the American Zionists of America board.

Annette Hochstein, Jerusalem Israel – Annette Hochstein served as President of the Mandel Foundation-Israel from 2004-2010. She is a member of the founding group of Mandel Foundation’s endeavors in Israel, including the Mandel Leadership Institute. A policy-planner by training, she established the Institute’s policy studies department. Ms. Hochstein has contributed to major policy-analytic projects, including the West Bank Database Project and the Commission on Jewish Education in North America. She was trained in public policy at the New School for Social Research (M.A. degree), MIT (as Humphrey Fellow), and at the University of Michigan.

Ron Hoffman, Toronto Canada/Miami Florida – Ron has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Toronto and practiced as a civil and matrimonial litigation lawyer for 17 years.

He served as for 24 years as Vice President of Emerging Markets for Gamma-Dynacare Laboratories and led the organization in its drive to develop new or enhanced uninsured revenue strategies through the identification and sale of new tests, new product offerings and new business relationships. Ron is an active Jewish communal leader and has served as President and Vice President of JNF Toronto/JNF Canada; President of the Reena Foundation; President of the Canadian Foundation For Masorti Judaism in Israel; Vice President of the Kolel Legacy Fund, through which it sponsors educational programs presented by the Prosserman JCC in particular, Member of Toronto’s advisory committee for the Melton Educational Programme; Vice Chair of Facing History And Ourselves, Canada, the Canadian version of a U.S. parent entity.

Ron is also a member of the Advisory Committee for Toronto’s Jewish-Christian Dialogue, is an active member in the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center and participates in the Florence Melton School of Adult Studies in Miami and Toronto.

Rabbi Alan Iser, Philadelphia – Rabbi Iser is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Theology at St. Joseph’s and Villanova University. He also teaches summers at the Conservative Yeshivah in Jerusalem.  He is a former pulpit rabbi and Hillel Director. He received his rabbinic ordination from J. T. S. and holds a Masters degree from the Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard and a B. A. from  Washington University in St. Louis.


“All of the children and the staff have given me such a warm welcome and I have never felt like a stranger in their midst. I can sincerely say that I have felt part of the volunteer team throughout the short time I have been here. I am very grateful to all of its members and am keenly aware that in other volunteer situations it can often take a much longer time to feel at home.”

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