NCJW CNS Board of Directors

NCJW Chicago North Shore is governed by a Board of Directors which sets the policy and direction of the organization, contributes to the achievement of programmatic goals, and fulfills a variety of fiduciary responsibilities.


President: Jan Schwartz 

Jan is a retired Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who had 40 years of clinical experience in Minneapolis, Minnesota before retiring. Early in her career, she developed and directed a low/no cost counseling center for the uninsured at a neighborhood agency, followed by being the Director of The Rape and Sexual Assault Center. She had a successful private practice for thirty years, specializing in multiple areas, including treating post-traumatic stress disorder. When she and her husband moved to Chicago in 2016 to be closer to family, it became an opportunity to begin her second career as a volunteer in the fight for social justice. Jan is a team builder who is very interested in building partnerships in the community. As NCJW’s Co-State Policy Advocate IL, with the support of both NCJW Illinois sections, she began two coalitions, Promote the Vote Illinois, and Promote Equity Illinois in order to join forces within the community to have the greatest voice possible in fighting voter suppression and the threat of losing civil rights. Both coalitions quickly grew to have over thirty organization coalition partners and many supporting organizational partners. Only a team, a very large one, can make a difference.

Treasurer: Kim Sterling
Kim Sterling is the vice president of professional services for the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, with responsibilities in marketing, communications, publications, and events. In addition to a career in not-for-profit management, she has been active in her community as a volunteer. She is a leader in Sister District Greater Chicago, a progressive organization focused on state legislatures. She lives in Wilmette with her husband, enjoys time with her son when he is home from college, and always has a book loaded up on her kindle.


Secretary: Robbie Schreiber
Robbie is serving her 2nd term as NCJW CNS Secretary, having joined NCJW after Election Day in November 2016. She is a volunteer teacher of Citizenship Education for immigrants preparing for their U.S. Citizenship interview. She tutored Beginner ESL for five years, and she’s a past board member of Congregation BJBE where she also taught Hebrew classes for 10 years. Looking forward to another great year of leadership and learning with NCJW CNS!


Financial Secretary: Sarah Hirsen  Sarah is a retired attorney who also serves as the section’s representative on the Reproductive Health and Access Coalition, where she advocates for reproductive rights and justice. Sarah lives in Chicago and is an avid reader and baker and active member of Anshe Emet Synagogue.




Bonnie Braverman: Bonnie is a life long Chicagoan who lives in Logan Square. She is an attorney and works for a multinational insurance company handling complex professional liability claims. She is an avid reader of fiction and loves to collect art and other interesting pieces at flea markets, second hand shops and antique stores.



Bev Copeland: Bev is very interested in keeping children safe, improving women’s lives, and freeing our communities from gun violence. Bev lives in Morton Grove with her husband and is a proud mother and grandmother. Bev received the NCJW CNS Advocate of the Year Award in 2019.



Zehava Frankel: Having a strong Jewish identity coupled with the desire for social justice pointed me in the direction of NCJW. The values of the organization align with my values. Having the strength and guidance of so many like minded group of women I hope to use my talents to work towards positive changes in our community, state, country and the world.



Donna Fishman:  Donna Fishman, MPH is a public health professional and has served in many capacities for NCJW Chicago North Shore including president, vice president for community service, co-chair for suburban salon, and staff for Next Generation. Nationally, she served as IL State Policy Advocacy chair, and on the nominating, program support, and resolutions committee. Donna is excited to provide strategic direction to community services and link our “on the ground” work with our advocacy work.

Amy Kleinman: Director of Education  Amy L. Kleinman comes to the NCJW Board after completing five years as Board Chair for Chicago Youth Shakespeare, a nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative Shakespeare programs and productions for teenagers. Amy joined NCJW in 2020 and has served on the steering committee for Spotlight since 2021. Amy is also on the steering committee of the Women of Temple Sholom. Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Amy graduated from Northwestern University. For nearly 20 years, she was a director in the meeting planning department of the American Bar Association. She lives in Lincoln Park with her husband, a retired attorney. Her adult son, a college theater professor, and her daughter, a special education teacher for early childhood learners with Dyslexia, also live in Chicago. As a life-long learner, Amy participates in a film group, a book club, and adult education classes, and takes dance and yoga. She loves theater and is thrilled to be back attending in person.

Sue Rifas: Retired from the Jewish Federation-Jewish United Fund of Chicago in 2015 after having served in a number of positions, the last of which was Vice President of Operations. Served as Co-Chair of NCJW CNS Jewish Community Against Sex-Trafficking (JCAST Chicago); participant in NCJW CNS Court Watch program. Currently Chair of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (JWF); am a founding Trustee of JWF and previously served as its Grants Chair and Advocacy Committee Chair. Love movies and have been taking a film class through Oakton Community College Emeritus Program, love cats and was a volunteer with PAWS Chicago.


Amy Rubin: Director of Programming & Strategy Amy Rubin recently retired as JCFS Chicago’s Senior Director of Jewish Community Services where she was responsible for programming focused on domestic violence, sexual abuse, harassment, addiction, and other issues that impact Jewish homes and families. Amy is a lifelong passionate advocate for the health, safety and well-being of women and girls. She lives in Old Town Chicago, escapes to her home in Arizona during the winter, is an avid reader, and enjoys spending time with her two granddaughters.


Diane Schaar: I am a transplant from the South Suburbs and South Cook Section, moving to Burr Ridge to be closer to family. A retired Pediatrician, I worked on the far South side of Chicago for over 40 years. My passion is the health and well-being of children and their families, stressing the need for greater equity in health care and educational opportunities in a safe environment that will help our children become successful adults. I also spend time as a volunteer for DuPage CASA, am an avid reader, baker and ice cream maker, dog lover and find absolute joy in watching my grandchildren grow. I look forward to serving on the board and helping to move the goals of our section forward.

Elaine Seeskin: Elaine was a long time member of NCJW St. Louis and joined CNS five years ago when she moved to Chicago. Since becoming a member of the CNS section, Elaine has been active in Promote the Vote and in developing and editing the speaker slide deck for Reproductive Justice initiative with other members of the team.
Elaine is a freelance medical writer and editor who develops continuing medical education programs, primarily on the treatment of viral illnesses, including HIV, hepatitis, and COVID-19. She is also an active member of Anshe Emet synagogue, where she is a regular Torah reader and is part of the Na’aseh social action group. Elaine is married and the proud mother of 3 adult children (and 2 daughters-in-law) and grandmother to Ari, Ansel, and Naomi.

Holly Smith: Director of Communications  In the fall of 2012, along with her husband, son, and dog, Holly moved to Evanston from Shorewood, WI, where she had been teaching English and linguistics and working on her PhD at UW-Milwaukee. A few years ago, she decided to leave academia and has never looked back. She started taking art classes, and has been pursuing more creative work, volunteering in her community, and gratefully savoring the everyday.