About the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees charts the long-term future of the Hebrew Day School. It is responsible to ensure that the School is healthy and vibrant not just this year or next year but five, ten, and twenty years from now. Within Jewish tradition, the Board follows the model of Honi Ha-Ma’agel, who legendarily planted trees whose fruit he knew he would not eat himself but which would feed a later generation. The Board’s official name—the Board of Trustees—reflects this orientation. The School is held in trust for Jewish children yet unborn.
As a legal matter, the Board of Trustees is vested with full authority to govern the School. In keeping with its mission, the Board exercises those powers sparingly. After all, the Trustees are not the members of the School community best equipped to make most of the decisions that the life of the School requires.
Instead, the Trustees focus on three core responsibilities.
- First, the Board hires, supports, evaluates, and if necessary discharges the Head of School.
- Second, the Board equips the School’s professionals with the resources, financial and otherwise, that they need to pursue their mission today and keep the School healthy into the future.
- Third, the Board represents and seeks opportunities for the School in the wider community. Trustees are ambassadors for HDS wherever they go.
The Board must attend to these responsibilities with its eye constantly on the long term. If the Trustees commit the School’s operations to the right professional leader, manage the big-picture finances responsibly, and diligently pursue opportunities for the School in the wider world, HDS should be healthy and vibrant when today’s Gansters have Gansters of their own.
2020-2021 Board Members
Julia Berman is a Franchise Development Director at Franworth in Ann Arbor. She was the co-founder of the Jewish Young Professionals group in Ann Arbor under the Federation’s umbrella and held leadership roles on the American Movement for Israel board at the University of Michigan Hillel. Julia is a HDSAA alumna.
Michael Fried Retired as Chief of Administration of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. Currently, he is an active mediator through the Dispute Resolution Center, is Treasurer of the board of Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, and is a board member of the Michigan Israel Business Bridge. His daughter was in the the second graduating class of HDSAA and his four grandchildren are all HDSAA alumni.
Greg Gafni-Pappas is the immediate past President of the Board of Trustees. He is an emergency physician in Ann Arbor and core faculty for the combined University of Michigan/St. Joseph Mercy Hospital emergency medicine residency. He is a current HDSAA parent.
Samantha Hendren is the Secretary of the Board of Trustees and a colorectal surgeon at the University of Michigan, where she cares for patients, teaches, and does research on the quality of healthcare for colorectal cancer. She is the parent of two HDSAA alumni, classes of 2014 and 2016.
Lauren Katz is a founding partner at the Literacy, Language, and Learning Institute in Ann Arbor and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Bowling Green State University. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor and on the Board of Directors of Beth Israel Congregation. Lauren is a current and alumni HDSAA parent.
Jennifer Lewis is a professor of mathematics education at Wayne State University, and serves on the faculty of the Mandel Foundation for Jewish Education. Prior to her graduate studies, Jenny taught in public schools for ten years. She is the proud mom of four HDSAA graduates.
Paul Metler is the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees and co-president of Senior Planning Advisors, an independent financial advisory firm that specializes in retirement planning. Prior to being a financial advisor, Paul was a Clinical Psychologist who practiced both as a clinician and Chief Clinical Officer for a Medicaid Prepaid Inpatient Health Plan. Paul is also a very proud parent of two HDS alumni.
Gil Seinfeld is the President of the Board of Trustees and a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School. He has served on the Leadership Council for the University of Michigan’s Center for the Education of Women. He has three children: one is currently enrolled at HDS and two are alumni of the school.
David Eduardo Schteingart z”l
Muriel Cohen z”l