Board of Directors
Sara Bloom, Chair
Sara Bloom is the chair of the board of directors. She is also the vice-chair of Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School. From 2004 to 2008, she was a weekly columnist for The New York Sun focusing on raising children in New York City. She has been a regular guest on CBS Morning News and FOX News, as well as a frequent guest lecturer at local schools and community centers throughout the city. Before this, she was the Features Editor, and then the News Editor at the Forward, America’s national Jewish newspaper. From 2002 to 2005, Ms. Bloom chaired the board of one of the eight centers of the 92nd Street Y, the Makor/Steinhardt Center. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, on the Board of OneTable, and on the Board of Trustees of the Areivim Philanthropic Group. She graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University, where she studied history. Ms. Bloom lives in New York City
Adam Semler, Treasurer
Adam Semler is the treasurer of the board of directors. With a background in finance, Adam has been an independent director of York Capital Management since July 2014. He joined York Capital, an investment management fund, in 1995 and held several positions with the firm, most recently holding the position of a chief operating officer and member of its managing partner until he retired in 2011. Previously, he worked at Granite Capital International Group, where he was responsible for the accounting and operations function for their equity products. Adam is a C.P.A. charter holder and holds a B.B.A. from Emory University. He currently resides in Chappaqua, New York.
Reverend Karim Camara
Reverend Karim Camara is a trustee of the board of directors. He is a spiritual teacher/pastor, author, speaker, and coach dedicated to helping individuals and organizations discover their purpose and reach their potential. He currently serves as Pastor of Abundant Life Church, Brooklyn, New York, and a high-ranking New York State government official, as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services.
In addition to serving as a Pastor and government official, he is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Camara Strategies International (a Brooklyn-based personal and organizational development company, and MayByrd Media, a digital marketing agency.
Karim is a John Maxwell Certified Coach, Speaker, and Trainer. With over twenty- years of experience in human development, Karim Camara is passionate about helping individuals and organizations reach their highest potential. Karim and his endeavors have been seen on major, nationally known news outlets.
Beryl P. Chernov
Beryl P. Chernov is a trustee of the board of directors. Beryl is currently serving as National Executive Director of the Israel Cancer Research Fund. Prior to his new role, he served as the Executive Director of the Park Avenue Synagogue for 19 years. Beryl was also the founding director of the Weinberger Jewish Family Center at the Sid Jacobson JCC (Roslyn, N.Y.) and the Director of Education and Youth Programming at the Fair Lawn Jewish Center (Fair Lawn, N.J.). Beryl received his bachelor’s degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary in Jewish Philosophy and a master’s degree in School Administration from Hofstra University. Beryl actively serves on many boards and is a frequent speaker and consultant to organizations that enhance Jewish life or causes. Some of those organizations include the Board of Governors of the North American Association of Synagogue Executives, the Metropolitan Association of Synagogue Executives (where he served as a former President), the Steering Committee of Camp Ramah Nyack, the Coordinating Council for UJA/Federation Synergy, and the President’s Parent Council of Goucher College. Beryl is the proud parent of Sara, Nora, and Abby.
Amy Feinblatt is a trustee of the board of directors. She is currently a SoLuxe Printing Services representative in New York City. Previously, she worked in production for a women’s apparel manufacturer. Amy graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in retail and consumer science. Amy has been a consistent supporter of Hebrew Public’s work and has volunteered at Harlem Hebrew and Hebrew Language Academy.
Allyson Galishoff is a trustee of the board of directors. Allyson is an Oncology Social Worker at The Mount Sinai Hospital. She previously worked as a school counselor at Inwood Academy for Leadership from 2010-2014. A passionate philanthropist, she has held fundraisers such as Tunnels to Towers Climb to support first responders and service members as well as for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. She is married to Alan Galishoff with whom she has two children.
Hillary Leibowitz is a trustee of the board of directors. For the past two decades, Hillary Leibowitz has been involved in The Chabad of The East End. She and her husband Daniel generously donate to many of the hospitals in the New York metropolitan area. Hillary is on the Weill Cornell-New York Presbyterian’s Women’s Health Symposium Executive Steering Committee. She is a stay-at-home mom to her three children, Austin, Caroline, and Eliza. Prior to parenthood, Hillary worked as a teacher at the Stephen Gaynor School and Birch Wathen Lenox, both private schools in Manhattan. She received a master’s degree in special education from Hunter College and bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Sam Mark is a trustee of the board of directors. Sam is the Senior Portfolio Manager at Poetic Group, an investment manager focusing on residential real estate credit opportunities. Mr. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University. He currently resides in Englewood, NJ with his wife and two children.
Dr. Basil Smikle Jr.
Dr. Basil Smikle Jr. is a trustee of the board of directors. He has been a political strategist and policy advisor for almost 20 years with local, national, and international experience. He lectures at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, Teachers College, and was most recently the Distinguished Lecturer of Politics and Public Policy at the City University of New York’s School of Labor and Urban Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics and Education and an MPA from Columbia University and received a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University.
As a thought-leader and political strategist, he is a familiar face on CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets where frequent appearances highlight his insights on electoral politics and public policy. In 2015, Basil was appointed Executive Director of the New York Democratic Party during which time he was the “second-highest-ranking Democrat” in the State. Basil worked closely with elected officials and community leaders to manage electoral and fundraising strategies for the State.”. He was a senior aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton on her Senate staff where he Advised Senator Clinton on state-wide policy and politics. Mrs. Clinton called Basil a “key advisor and tremendous public servant…who makes sure all voices are heard”.
A life-long New Yorker and raised in the Bronx by Jamaican immigrants, he is inspired by his father, a retired textile worker, and mother, a long-time public school special education teacher. Basil is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons, and 100 Black Men of New York where he helped start the Eagle Academy in the Bronx which has grown to 6 schools in New York and New Jersey. He is also a founding Board Member of the Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School and sits on the Board of the NYC Center for Charter Excellence.
Lynette Tulkoff is a trustee of the board of directors. She is the founder of Hudson Park Realty, a New York City real estate development and consulting firm, focused on commercial real estate opportunities.
With over 30 years of experience, Lynette has worked on a diverse range of transactions in New York and Washington D.C., as well as her native South Africa. During this time as both a principal and agent, Lynette originated and structured many notable real estate transactions, including 1010 Avenue of the Americas and The Corner at the corner of 72nd and Broadway in Manhattan. Lynette was awarded the REBNY’s Henry Hart Rice “Most Ingenious Deal of the Year” award for the negotiation of the purchase, assemblage, and joint venture of 1010 Ave of the Americas, a 400,000 sq ft multi-use development. Lynette acted as owners’ representative for the development, leasing, and management of The Corner, a 250,000 square foot mixed-use development on the Upper West Side of Manhattan completed in 2010. Lynette is the principal owner of commercial property in the outer boroughs of NYC. Lynette graduated cum laude with a BA from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and has a master’s degree in Theater from New York University and is a Fulbright Scholar.
Meredith Verona is a trustee of the board of directors. Meredith is a partner in a three-generation family business that owns, develops, and manages residential and commercial properties in New York. Born and raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan where she still resides with her family, Meredith is an alumnus of The Dalton School, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University Teachers College where she received her master’s degree. After which, she taught high school English in both private and public schools in Manhattan. Meredith’s passion for education and working with children has kept her active in child advocacy, Charter Schools around the country, and NYU’s Hasenfeld Children’s Hospital.
Thom Waye is a trustee of the board of directors. Currently, he is Chief Strategy Officer for Chabad on Campus. Previously he was managing partner at Sigma Capital Partners, and prior to that, he worked at ComVest Venture Partners, AIG Capital Partners, Motorola, and Unisys. He is the former staff head of the Recanati-Kaplan Foundation. He has been a major and consistent advocate and connector for Hebrew Public. Thom has a background in business, finance, strategy, and philanthropy. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Judy Winitzer is a trustee of the board of directors. She is vice president of brand management at Live Nation Entertainment. She previously served as vice president at Global Merchant Services, leading an account management team that builds network-wide relationships with the largest global hotel chains in the US. Additionally, Judy served as Director of Travel Partnership at American Express. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Barnard College and has a master’s degree in marketing from Yale University. She resides in New York and is married to Ori Winitzer.
Noemi Zibuts is a trustee of the board of directors. She was born in Lithuania and spent her high school years living and studying in Israel. Upon her return to Lithuania, she taught Hebrew at a Vilnius elementary school, which she reflects upon as a tremendously rewarding experience. After her family immigrated to the U.S., she pursued a career in finance and is currently serving as Managing Director in Markets and Securities Services at Citibank. Throughout her professional career, she has been a champion for diversity and inclusion. Noemi joined the board of Hebrew Public in 2016 and is looking forward to dedicating her energy, professional experience, and leveraging her network to further the growth and success of Hebrew charters nationwide.