Lake Chapala Jewish Congregation

Board of Directors 2022-2024

Maureen Sullivan, Immediate Past President

Maureen Tarnopol Sullivan is the new President of the Board of Directors of the LCJC.  Maureen attended public schools in Detroit and upon graduation, entered Michigan State University.  Teaching the visually handicapped was her major and she completed her student teaching at the Michigan School for the Blind, during the same period when Stevie Wonder studied there.

Five years of teaching Special Ed, brought her to Omaha, Nebraska where she met Michael Sullivan, her soon-to-be husband.  Together they worked and saved every penny to allow them to quit their jobs and travel and study in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. When their savings needed replenishing they returned to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,  where Michael worked for the government and Maureen spent five years providing therapy to children and families at the Adams County Mental Health Clinic.

In an effort to improve her skills, Maureen continued her education at University of California Berkeley, earning a Master’s degree in Organization and Planning in the school of Social Welfare.  With degree in hand, she entered the field of Jewish Communal work, first at the San Francisco JCC, then the Peninsula JCC and finally as the Executive Director at Kol Emeth, a Conservative Synagogue in Palo Alto. During their time in the Peninsula, Maureen and Michael became parents to Adam and Anna, who still live in the Silicon Valley.  

A few years after their first visit to Ajijic, they took the plunge and bought a home in Lower La Floresta.  Travelling back and forth to the U.S. worked well for a while but this year the decision was made to settle here for at least nine months of the year.  

Maureen is also a dedicated volunteer at Northern Lights, and receives great satisfaction from working with glass in her free time.


Robin Hayden, President

I am Robin Hayden, your newly elected treasurer.  I moved to Ajijic with my husband, Neal, in late 2017.  I am a retired CPA from Washington state.  I am looking forward to getting to know all of you and doing my part for this diverse congregation.  I served as treasurer in two prior synagogues, which together gives me about six years of experience as a synagogue treasurer.  I have served on a variety of non-profit boards over the years, so I understand what makes a board run well and what causes issues.  I believe a board member’s first allegiance is to the congregation the board serves. I believe board members need to be a united front once the board has decided.  I believe everyone has a right to their own opinions, and those opinions deserve respect whether or not one agrees with them.

In terms of the books and records of the synagogue, other than violating individual privacy, I believe the books and records belong to the congregation.  I am happy to answer any questions I can while respecting the privacy of individuals.  The synagogue operates year around, so it needs financial support year around.  Those who come to shul infrequently, still want the shul to exist when they desire to come. As result, I believe dues need to cover the year around expenses. If a member needs reduced dues, they should speak with the membership committee chair, who will work with them to find a dues level that is affordable.  That information will be passed on to me, so I can know how much dues income to expect and help plan synagogue spending accordingly.

Ellen Siegel, Vice President

Info Pending


Treasurer: Mariann Schick

Mariann Schick first came to Lakeside as a 10-year-old with her parents and has been visiting ever since.  Mariann is from Philadelphia where she graduated from University of Pennsylvania Law School and continues to practice as a labor arbitrator.  She joined LCJC when she permanently moved to Lakeside.

Carol Bensman, Member at Large

Info Pending


Betty Shiffman, Member at Large

Info Pending


Mel Goldberg, Member at Large

Info Pending


Phyllis Avalon, Member at Large

Info Pending


Louise Drummond, Member at Large

Info Pending