Commission Members


Gary P. Alexander

Appointed by Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle

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Andy Bauman

Appointed by Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston - Sworn-in on January 19, 2016

Andy Bauman is a member of the Sandy Springs City Council, representing district 6. Councilman Bauman established the popular Sandy Springs Farmers Market, which is currently managed by Heritage Sandy Springs. He has also enjoyed a successful career as an attorney.

Mr. Bauman is active within the community serving as the first alumni member of the Board of Directors of the Emory Federal Credit Union. He has participated in the American Jewish Committee leadership-training program, and served as a coach for the Northside Youth Organization. He is an active member of Temple Sinai.

Councilman Bauman completed both undergraduate studies and law degree at Emory University. He and his wife, Dr. Debbie Bauman, have two children and live in the Lake Forrest Summit neighborhood.

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Rabbi Peter S. Berg

Appointed by Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle

Rabbi Peter Berg became the fifth Senior Rabbi of The Temple in July of 2008. He is thrilled to serve this diverse and multi-generational congregation as a spiritual leader. Rabbi Berg is passionate about Jewish learning and meaningful worship, and he is an advocate for social change.
 
Prior to coming to The Temple, he served as rabbi of Temple Beth Or in Washington Township, New Jersey and as the Associate Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, he served Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, New York as a rabbinic intern and at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia, as its Youth Director. 
 
Rabbi Berg worked for three years with the Union for Reform Judaism as a rabbinic intern with the National Director of Program. In this capacity, he helped to develop innovative programs for our Reform movement and to coordinate worship and special programs for several Biennial conventions. Additionally, for three summers, Rabbi Berg served as the Education Director at URJ Camp Harlam in the Poconos. Rabbi Berg recently completed his term as Chair of the national Program Committee for the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
 
Over the years, Rabbi Berg has spent a great deal of time working with advocacy groups on issues such as separation of church and state, the death penalty, civil rights, religious freedom, welfare reform, hate crimes, and the environment. He has served on numerous communal and advisory boards, including: the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Mental Health Association, Dallas for Children, the Westwood Area Clergy Association, The New York Service for the Handicapped, and UJA Federation of Dallas,  Northern New Jersey, and Atlanta, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).    
 
Rabbi Berg currently serves on the Board of the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, The Federation of Greater Atlanta, and the Jewish Family and Career Services.  He is a member of the Camp Coleman Clergy Advisory Board, the Greater Reform Area Clergy Council, and the Rabbinical Association of Atlanta.  
 
A native of Ocean Township, New Jersey, Rabbi Berg holds a degree in Education and Human Development, with a focus in human services, counseling, and Judaic Studies, from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He earned his M.A. in Hebrew Literature and his rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and Jerusalem, where he was a Steinhardt Fellow. Rabbi Berg also holds a certificate in Chemical Dependency and Spiritual Counseling and is a trained Disaster, Fire, and Police Chaplain.  In 2009, Rabbi Berg was inducted into the College of Preachers at Morehouse College.  Rabbi Berg was a member of the 2012 Leadership Atlanta class.  
 
In 2013, Rabbi Berg was named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of the top 50 most influential rabbis in the United States of America.  
 
Rabbi Berg lives in Atlanta with his wife Karen, a teacher and tutor, and their three children.  

Chuck Berk

Appointed by Governor Nathan Deal - Sworn-in on December 16, 2015

Berk is the president and CEO of BCR Properties. He previously owned R.S. Andrews of Tidewater and was vice president of Sears Home Improvement. Berk is the chairman of the Israel Bonds Atlanta board and co-chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition of Atlanta. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University. Berk and his wife, Bonnie, have two children and four grandchildren. They reside in Atlanta.

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Dr. Claire D’Agostino

Appointed by Governor Nathan Deal - Sworn-in on December 16, 2015

D’Agostino is a past president and current board member of Temple Sinai. She sits on the board of Birthright Israel and is a member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. D’Agostino is also a Leadership Atlanta graduate. She earned a master’s degree and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Georgia State University. D’Agostino and her husband, Robert, have three children and five grandchildren. They reside in Sandy Springs. 

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Jody Franco

Appointed by Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston - Sworn-in on January 19, 2016

A native Atlantan, Jody Franco has been a volunteer in the community since she was a teenager. In the late 1970’s, she was the first paraprofessional hired by Jewish Family and Children’s Services to coordinate services for several hundred Soviet Jews who arrived from the former Soviet Union. A decade later, she was elected president of the agency and also was awarded the Abe Schwartz Young Leadership Award by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
 
Her affection for the written word has manifested itself in many ways. In the past, Jody taught high school English and for the past 30 years, she has been a partner in The Write Time, a company that writes and produces high-end customized newsletters for corporations. In addition, Jody is a Braillist certified by the Library of Congress. For the past 12 years, she has been a weekly volunteer reader for the Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS) for the Visually Impaired. And for the past two and one-half years, Jody has produced a monthly one-half hour radio program for GaRRS called ‘Out and About’.
 
Several years ago, Jody created ‘Jody’s Wrappers’, a group of volunteers who wrapped gifts in December, with all proceeds benefiting Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with cancer. 
 
Over the course of seven years, many thousands of dollars were raised and subsequently utilized for scholarships. Another fundraising endeavor was Jody’s co-chairmanship of a successful $9.2 million capital campaign for Hillels of Georgia to build the Marcus Hillel Center on the Emory University campus. 
 
For the past several years, Jody has been a docent with the “Anne Frank In the World” exhibit, first in Decatur and now in Sandy Springs.

Dr. Robbie Friedmann

Appointed by Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle

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Evan Jacobs

Appointed by Governor Nathan Deal - Sworn-in on December 16, 2015

Jacobs is a speech language pathologist at Lakeside High School in DeKalb County. She is a member of Congregation B’nai Torah. Jacobs earned a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Georgia. She and her husband, Mike, have three children. They reside in Brookhaven.

Sara Kogon

Appointed by Governor Nathan Deal - Sworn-in on December 16, 2015

Kogon is the founder of West 44, LLC. She sits on the national council of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the executive council of the Atlanta chapter of AIPAC. Kogon is involved with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, the Jewish Women’s Fund, the William Breman Jewish Home and the Epstein School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Emory University. Kogon and her husband, Ross, have four children. They reside in Sandy Springs.

Rabbi Philip Kranz

Appointed by Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston - Sworn-in on January 19, 2016

Philip N. Kranz served as Senior Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Atlanta from 1980 until his retirement in June of 2006, when he became Rabbi Emeritus. Prior to coming to Atlanta, he served for nine years as rabbi of the historic Chicago Sinai Congregation. Rabbi Kranz remains active at Sinai, teaching, writing and overseeing collection building in Temple Sinai's Rabbi Philip N. Kranz Learning Center. Married to Nancy Weston Kranz since 1971, Nancy and Rabbi Kranz are the parents of two married daughters, Rebecca Friedman and Abigail Ornstein.

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Michael Morris

Appointed by Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston - Sworn-in on January 19, 2016

Michael A. Morris is the owner and publisher of  the Atlanta Jewish Times, Atlanta’s premier Jewish periodical. It is published weekly and has been in continuous circulation for more than 85 years. Immediately before purchasing the AJT at the end of 2014, Michael was the interim director of the Friends of the IDF for the Southeast Region. In past endeavors, Michael was one of the founders of travelgirl magazine, where he was involved in strategic direction, management, circulation and advertising sales. Travelgirl is a national publication that focuses on women, travel, lifestyle and interviews; it was first published in 2003 and has been in continuous circulation since then. In Michael’s early career, he founded and operated GMA Partners, a NASD-regulated investment banking and stock brokerage firm. He also was the assistant to the controller of Wolf Camera and an assistant trader on the OTC trading floor of Merrill Lynch.

Throughout his career, Michael has balanced business and philanthropic interests. He sits on the boards of two family foundations and serves on the board of the AEPi Fraternity Foundation. He also sits on the boards of several charitable organizations, including the Georgia Aquarium, Friends of the Israel Democracy Institute and Friends of the IDF for the Southeast Region. He is an honorary director of the Jewish National Fund’s Southeast Region and is on the Parents Council of Washington University, which his oldest daughter attends.

Michael’s many past civic and charitable involvements include the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council in Washington, to which he was appointed by President George W. Bush; the Board of Visitors of the Shepherd Center; the Board of Advisors of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School; the CDC Foundation’s National Advocacy Council; the board of Temple Emanu-El, for which he was chairman of the endowment committee; the national board of ARZA; the board of Zoo Atlanta; and the board and executive committee of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce for the Southeast, now Conexx. In addition, he has served as a trustee for the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and chairman of its Young Leadership Council and as a trustee for the Atlanta chapter of the American Jewish Committee and chairman of its ACCESS young leadership division. In most of his roles in those organizations, Michael has worked diligently to raise money for capital campaigns, endowments and ongoing operations and has in many years raised more than $1 million.

Michael is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta’s Class of 2001 and has received awards for outstanding young leadership from the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. He is also a proud alumnus of the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet. Michael received his master of business administration degree with honors from the Goizueta Business School of Emory University in 1992 and earned a bachelor of science from Vanderbilt University in 1985. He has four daughters, Jacqueline, Alexandra, Lydia and Hannah.

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Lisa Olens

Appointed by Governor Nathan Deal - Sworn-in on December 16, 2015

Olens works in the economic development division for Georgia Power. She sits on the board of directors for SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Congregation Etz Chaim. Olens previously sat on the boards of the Cobb County Community Foundation, the Jewish Family and Career Services and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. She is a graduate of Leadership Cobb and recipient of the W. Wyman Pilcher Jr. Award for community service. Olens was also awarded SafePath’s Hearing Children’s Voice Award for Service, the Jewish Family and Career Services’ Herbert Cohn Meritorious Service Award and was an honoree of the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Tribute to Women of Achievement. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University and a master’s degree in Finance from Georgia State University. Olens and her husband, Sam, have two children. They reside in Marietta.

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Elizabeth Price

Appointed by Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle

Liz Price is the firm’s Professional Personnel Partner. In this position, Liz is responsible for the firm’s hiring, training, development, compensation and promotion of associates as part of the firm’s overall integrated approach to talent management. She also serves as the firm’s Alumni Relations Partner. From 1986 to 2008, Liz was a trial attorney at Alston & Bird and served as trial, regional and national coordinating counsel in major national products liability matters.

Liz is a past president of the Atlanta Bar Association, was a member of the board of governors of the State Bar of Georgia and is the President of the Atlanta Bar Foundation. Liz is the past chair of the Southeast Region of the Anti-Defamation League and serves on its National Commission and National Executive Commission. She is on the board of the NALP Foundation and serves on the Georgia Holocaust Commission and the Board of Trustees of Pace Academy. She is listed in Super Lawyers magazine, has been selected as one of the Top 50 women lawyers in Georgia and is listed in Best Lawyers in America. Liz served in the U.S. Army as an interrogator/Arabic linguist for three years.

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Mark A. Scheinfeld

Appointed by Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle

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Robert Wittenstein

Appointed by Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston - Sworn-in on January 19, 2016

Robert Wittenstein is Senior Vice President of Data Services at Optum Health, a company that focuses on improving the healthcare system by combining data and analytics with technology and expertise. His thirty-five year career in I.T. has been spent working to improve healthcare through the application of technology.

In 2005, Wittenstein joined a small group of Dunwoody residents who began the effort to create the City of Dunwoody. He later served as a member of its first city council. He subsequently served on Dunwoody’s Charter Review Board and as a member of the Zoning and Land Use Code Rewrite Committee. 

Wittenstein serves on the Executive Board of the Anti-Defamation League, the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency. ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all. Robert has served on the ADL Southeast Regional Board for over twenty years. Wittenstein currently serves on the executive board of the Dunwoody Nature Center and is President of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association. 

Wittenstein grew up in DeKalb County, attended DeKalb County schools and Paideia School. He has a B.A. degree from Drew University.

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Ex-Officio Members
Teya Ryan
President & Executive Director, Georgia Public Broadcasting

Mike Roby
Commissioner, Georgia Dept. of Veteran Services

Representative Sharon Cooper
Legislative Liaison