Andrew Altman - President

Greetings, and welcome to KI’s Lay Leadership page. I’m humbled and excited to be the President of the Congregation. 

It’s an honor to follow in the footsteps of Janice Schwartz-Donahue and our other past presidents, whose council and friendships I’ll rely on heavily. 

My husband Lee Chudzinski and I joined KI in 2007 when our son Berel was still young. We immediately felt a warm welcome and developed personal bonds with leadership and fellow congregants. Lee and I were married by Rabbi Sussman - twice in 2015! (Long, happy story!) Our son celebrated his Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation with our family here on KI’s bimah. We’re committed to KI and its future.

I’ve had a long and fortuitous journey here. I grew up in neighboring Springfield Township, attending and becoming Bar Mitzvah and Confirmand at Beth Tikvah B’nai Jeshrun. I graduated from Emory University in 1983 with only a vague idea of what I wanted to do with my life.

My first job after college was as an au pair for a family in Paris who spoke no English. I returned home after a year and used my French fluency to secure a job as a pastry apprentice for a Parisian Chef who had just arrived in Philadelphia. I ended up working in restaurants for four years, including at Frög and Deja Vù in the front and back of the house. I absolutely loved the camaraderie among staff and the connections I made with diners. Ultimately, however, the restaurant life was not my style, and I started looking for something more meaningful.

By chance, a job door-to-door canvassing with Greenpeace presented itself to me, and within a few days, I had found my new calling. I realized I could earn a living while practicing Tikkun Olam, a practice I thought could be volunteer only. 

Eventually, I took on many roles, including an executive, board member, fundraiser, and consultant for 23 years in the nonprofit sector, including for Greenpeace, Clean Air Council, Brat Productions, Pennsylvania Wind Energy, Philadelphia Family Pride, White Dog Community Enterprises, and others. 

I quit all of that the day Berel was born and was blessed with several years of being a stay-at-home dad and part-time consultant. When Berel started full-time school, I once again plunged into full-time work, moving from the macro to the most micro I could find: youth education.

I returned to school and earned a Masters and dual certification in Elementary and Special Education from Arcadia University in 2012. I now teach 6th-grade English Language Arts and Social Studies at Elkins Park School in Cheltenham School District, where I sponsor the Newspaper Club and the student-led Inclusion Club. 

Having served on a multitude of KI Committees, including Rabbinic Search, Transition, Spring Celebration (Chair in 2021), Finance, Investment, Education, and Hazak (Co-Chair), while volunteering with Hamotzi and other programs and serving as Associate Treasurer and Vice-President, I feel both prepared and inspired to be the next President of KI. I have a feeling my hobby of juggling will come in handy.

I feel privileged to work with such a talented and kind team of clergy, staff, lay leaders, and volunteers. To build our tomorrow together as a congregation, we will research, brainstorm, discuss - maybe debate a little if we’re lucky, plan, and create the KI of the future, all with open hearts and open arms.

Contact Andrew via email: kipresident@kenesethisrael.org

2022/2023 Lay Leadership

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President: Andrew Altman

First Vice President: Jim Rosenthal

Vice President: Arlene Holtz

Treasurer: Isaak Kruger

Secretary: Marijke Shenkman

Director: Susan Fried

Director: Elyse Herman

Director: Donna Keller

Director: Karen Langsfeld

Director: Mark Pitkow

Director: Pamela Saltzburg

Director: Jonathan Schmalzbach

Women of KI: Lynore Eisman

Religious Practices: Lise Schwartz

Investment: Stan Singer

JQuest/Quest Noar: Allison Levine

BOARD OF TRUSTEES  (PP=Past President)

Richard Abt

Wendy Ankrom

Myrna Asher

Harris Baum, PP

Susan Becker

John Behrend

Ellen Bildersee

Barbara Bronstein

Jan DuBois, PP

Andrew Eimer

Noah Eisenman

Marvin Finkelstein

Morton Freedman

Robin Fine-Furman

Elaine Glass

Joseph Gordon

Emily Greenberg

Tracy Greenbaum

Alan Kane

Joseph Karlin

Connie Kay, PP

Leonard Korman

Evonne Kruger, PP 

Arnold Meshkov,PP

Norma Meshkov, PP

Alan Meyers

Robert Michaelson

Diane Miller

Jack Myers

Ryan Perlman

Iris Raylesberg

Sharon Rhodes

Carey Roseman, PP

David Rosenthal

Robert Saltzburg

Karen Shain Schloss

Evan Schwartz

Adam Segalow

Karen Sirota, PP

Ellen Sklaroff

Denise Yarnoff Soloff

Peter Soloff, PP

Paulette Sterman-Soroko

Liz Kaufman Taylor

Amy Wapnitsky

Dorothy Wasserman

Richard Weiss, PP

Susan Zaslow

WRJ / WOMEN OF KI

Lynore Eisman, President

Sue Fried, Programming VP

Paulette Sterman-Soroko, Programming VP

Carole Levitan, Membership VP

Mickie Levin, Advertising VP

Patricia Coley-Segal, Secretary/Treasurer

Sondra Polish, Recording Secretary

Diane Miller, Corresponding Secretary

Mindi Glachman, Past President

Click here for list of Past KI Presidents