Board of Directors 2022-2024
President: Maureen Sullivan
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.
Vice President: Susana Greenberg
Susana Greenberg has served as Vice-President of LJJC since 2019. She has been a member of LCJC since 2018. Susana also serves as Editor of the El Shofar and a member of the Bylaws committee.
Treasurer: Robin Hayden
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.
Secretary: Maureen Davis
Maureen Davis has served as Secretary since 2020 and a member at large from 2019-2020. Maureen and her husband Greg joined the synagogue when they moved to Ajijic in 2012.
Maureen has also chaired Passover and the Seder since 2018, served on the Bylaws committee and the Jewish Film Festival committee and is very committed to ensuring the continuation of LCJC serving the Jewish community at Lakeside.
Member at Large: Joe Gottesman, Past Pres.
Joe was in private practice in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Mesa Arizona for over thirty five years with special interests in sports medicine, pain management and electrodiagnostic medicine. Before making Chula Vista his permanent home five years ago, Joe lived intermittently between Arizona and Ajijic for twelve years. Joe enjoys travel, fine dining, kayaking and keeping abreast of medical developments.
Member at Large: Jan Braverman
Jan moved to Ajijic a year ago from Cleveland, Ohio where she was a teacher and speech pathologist at several Orthodox Jewish day schools. She loves the people of Mexico and of course, the weather. Jan continues to do private consulting here with children who need to work on their English, reading, writing and speech.
Member at Large: Betty Schiffman
Born in South Carolina, as a child I moved with my family where I grew up with my only brother, Edward. After high school in Tampa, I attended the University of South Florida and graduated with a degree in elementary education. I taught 5th and 6th grades for about 8 years, during which I met and married Bob Shiffman, a young navy officer. We traveled a great deal as a navy family with three children, each born in a different location: Corey in Milton, Florida; Susannah in Charleston , SC, and Melinda in Harrisburg, PA. His last tour was in Louisville, KY where I was able to return to graduate school, obtaining first an MA in Linguistics (ESL focus), and a PhD in English Composition and Rhetoric from the University of Louisville. Thus began my career as a college English professor, teaching freshman composition, literature, and film studies. I retired in 2015, and we began our preparations to move from Louisville to Ajijic.
Member at Large: America Cardenas
America Cardenas was born and raised in Guadalajara. She is an accountant and since the pandemic, has been working at the family business. She started attending the synagogue in 2020. “To serve is a way to enrich life, wherever I can serve I will put my best. I converted because my soul vibrates and delight with Judaism.”
Member at Large: 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.
Member at Large: Heidi Waldmann
After living in Minnesota for 24 years, Heidi and her husband Jim move to Ajijic in 2021. They joined the synagogue shortly after. Heidi was ordained as a Reconstructionist rabbi in 2005 and served as a rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Philadelphia and a chaplain in Minnesota.