Meet our Executive Board

Executive Board

Cliff Spungen

President

Cliff Spungen has been actively involved at Beth El since he and his wife Jan joined about 20 years ago. He has held many positions at Beth El including Board Member, Executive VP, VP of Membership, VP of Fundraising and Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Men’s Club President, Vice President, and Treasurer. Cliff’s first activities at shul have included leading the Couples Club with Jan (Per Cliff, “We met so many friends there!”) and helping with the creation of Beth El’s main sanctuary (you can thank/blame Cliff for the pews/depth of the bima!). Cliff is a lifelong Pittsburgher; he grew up in Squirrel Hill and attended Pitt for both college and Law School. Cliff and Jan’s daughter Leah was a bat mitzvah at Beth El and is currently in medical school. Cliff is employed as an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board.

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Warren Sufrin

Executive VP

Warren Sufrin has lived in Pittsburgh for most of his life.  After graduating high school in three years, he lived on a kibbutz in Israel for six months where he learned Hebrew and worked.  He then attended Boston University, graduating with a business degree in management information systems.  During his junior year, he again went to Israel, attending Hebrew University.

Warren worked in the information systems field for over 30 years.  He is currently the Director of Information Technology at Jewish Family & Children’s Service in Pittsburgh.  He also is an owner of Twin Property Solutions – a real estate business, involved in rentals and in improving neighborhoods by renovating run-down houses.

Warren met his wife, Adele, at the Pittsburgh JCC in 1985.  They were married in 1987 and now have two sets of adult twin girls, Ilana and Rena, and Leah and Dana.

Warren is an active blood donor, having given over 100 pints of blood over the years.  He has also run blood drives at Beth El multiple times, and hopes you’ll join him next time!

Warren has been involved in volunteer activities in the Pittsburgh community for many years.  Most recently, he served as co-president of the Men’s Club at Beth El Congregation and has been the synagogue’s Recording Secretary, VP of Fundraising, VP of Education and VP of Administration.  He is a former President of Bnai Zion, Pittsburgh Region and served on Bnai Zion’s national board.  He is the former Campaign Chairman of the Tri-State Region of Israel Bonds.  Warren also served on the board of Camp Ramah in Canada.  And Warren has been active in the United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, having served on their Board of Delegates and on their Overseas Funding Committee.  Finally, Warren served as past Regional President of Tri-State Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (FJMC), the umbrella organization for our own Men’s Club, and served as a member of the international executive committee for FJMC.

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Susie Seletz

Volunteerism VP

Susie Seletz was raised at Beth El and after thirty years away, is delighted to have returned to her home shul. During these years, she and her husband, Carl, lived in London for ten years, where their two daughters were born, as well as New York, San Francisco, and most recently Columbus. Each move was made immeasurably easier and more rewarding by having become active in synagogue life.

Professionally, Susie worked in the consumer products field, for Clairol and Procter & Gamble, and is presently a culinary instructor for Cooking Matters, having embarked on something completely different as a second career. She is serving Beth El as Vice-President of Volunteerism.

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Tracy Gross

Fundraising VP

Tracy and her family have been members of Beth El since 1998.  She has served on the board of trustees, on the nominating committee and as a volunteer for a variety of events and initiatives for Beth El over the past 17 years.  She currently serves as the VP of Fundraising. When Tracy isn’t volunteering at Beth El, she is the Chief Marketing officer at United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

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Bonnie Gordon

Membership VP

Bonnie is currently Beth El’s Membership Vice President and sits on the shul’s executive board. Bonnie grew up at Beth El celebrating her Bat Mitzvah, her wedding and the birth of her two children, Max and Lydia, surrounded by Beth El’s community.  A Bingo fundraising volunteer for 6 years, Bonnie has chaired the Pancake Festival Fundraiser and helped open the doors to Stay ‘n Play, an indoor play space for young toddlers that is open to the community.  Bonnie met her husband, Greg, on a Birthright Israel trip.  After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Public Relations and Finance, Bonnie and Greg lived in Washington D.C. before moving back to Pittsburgh to raise a family.

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David Sirota

Financial VP

David and his wife joined the Beth El family upon the birth of their son in 2008. He has served as Treasurer and is currently Beth El’s Financial VP and member of the Executive Board. He also has served on the Board of Trustees. When not volunteering at Beth El or assisting with his son’s sports and after-school activities, David is an independent Organizational Change Consultant.

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Bryan Neft

Treasurer

Bryan and his wife, Julie, both grew up in Pittsburgh and are transplants to the South Hills where they live with their three children, Simon, Justin and Zoe, and dog, Hailey. They joined Beth El in 2001. Bryan has been on the Board of Directors since 2007 and has served as Assistant Financial Secretary and on the executive committee since 2014. Bryan has been involved with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh as a board member and with the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh as chair of its Young Adult Division and more recently as a member of the Funding Committee. Bryan practices law at the downtown firm of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP, where he represents litigants in commercial disputes, toxic tort litigation, personal injury matters and federal false claims act matters.

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Beth Pomerantz

Financial Secretary

Beth Pomerantz has been a lifelong Pittsburgher with strong attachments to Beth El. Her grandmother Mary Miller was among the youngest of the Mothers’ Club that founded Beth El, and someone in her family has always belonged to the shul. While Beth prefers ‘being a worker bee,’ she has chaired several projects and is an essential part of keeping the shul’s office running smoothly. Upon her retirement from the Mt. Lebanon school district, she worked bingo here at Beth El all evening long, every Tuesday. Beth has also served as Secretary of Sisterhood and the Women’s League Regional Newsletter Editor. She is presently Beth El’s Financial Secretary, Book of Remembrance Chair, Gift Shop Chair, Morning Minyanaire and is responsible for the creation and distribution of shul emails. When asked about her positions at Beth El over the years, Beth replied, “Oy! Too many hats, so please feel free to jump in and lend a hand. We’d love to have you join us.“

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Geri Recht

Assistant Financial Secretary

Geri and her husband Steve have been members of Beth El since 1994 when they were expecting their first child.  Since then Geri and her family of 5 have used Beth El for all family life cycle events including baby naming, nursery school, religious school, b’nai mitzvahs, and shiva services.

Geri has served on the Board for BENS nursery school including President, served on the Board of Trustees, and as a volunteer for a variety of events over the years.

When Geri isn’t at Beth El, she is an Account Director for Willis Towers Watson where she has worked for 25 years as an actuary and Consultant.

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Bill Spatz

Recording Secretary / Youth Commissioner

Bill Spatz is a native of the South Hills. He grew up in Mt. Lebanon and now lives in Upper St. Clair with his wife, Helena, their sons Danny, Zack and Benny, and their dogs Teddy and Atticus. Bill has been active in the Pittsburgh and South Hills Jewish community for many years. He served as chair of the Jewish Federation’s Maimonides Society and Young Adult Division. He is currently chair of the South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh’s community council. Bill has served on Beth El’s Board of Trustees and also serves as Beth El’s Youth Commissioner. His greatest hope is to help strengthen his children’s Jewish community, so it will always be a part of them.

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Lynda Abraham-Braff

Sisterhood President

Lynda Abraham-Braff and her family (Dexter, Pamela & Sharyn) have been members of Beth El since 1994. She is returning as co-president of Beth El’s sisterhood after holding this position approximately 14 years ago. She has served on the nominating committee, chaired many Beth El events and works as a volunteer in different programs in the shul. Lynda has been in the Pittsburgh area since 1986 and was originally from Philadelphia. She received her BFA from Philadelphia College of Art and her MEd in Special Education from Penn State University. Lynda is a Special Education teacher for Wesley Spectrum High School; a special needs program. She also volunteers with Wesley Spectrum Services. Lynda and Dexter’s girls attended Beth El’s Religious School and completed their post-Bat Mitzvah studies through high school with SAJAS/JSite. Sharyn also received her teaching certificate through the Gratz program. Pamela is pursuing her PhD in Marine Science at Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Sharyn is studying Music Therapy at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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