Federation Professional Team at Major Gifts Event in Fall 2023

Meet Your Federation Professional Team

 

 

Eileen Freed, CEO

Contact Eileen by Email or call 734-773-3537

Eileen has been with the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor since 2017. During an earlier tenure at Federation from 2005-2013, Eileen served in several roles including Director of Israel/Overseas & Community Relations. From 2013-2016, Eileen was Special Projects & Communications Manager at Zionism Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Eileen has lived in Ann Arbor since 1998 and has served on the boards of several local Jewish communal organizations. She earned her BA at the University of Texas at Austin and her MBA at the University of Houston. She and her husband Gary are proud parents of three grown children, Ben, Michele and Ariel.


 

 

Shane Dennis, Jewish Community Security Manager

Contact Shane by Email or call 734-773-3539

Shane grew up in Lansing, MI and attended Michigan State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Eastern Michigan University. Shane worked as a Police Officer for the City of Ann Arbor for 25 years in a number of positions, including Patrol Officer, Narcotics Detective, Patrol Sergeant, and Detective Sergeant. He was also a member of the local multi-jurisdictional SWAT Team for 18 years. In March 2022, Shane began working for Jewish Community Security, Inc. (JCSI), the security arm of the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit. At JCSI, Shane served as the Security Coordinator for both the Yeshiva Beth Yehudah Boys and Girls Schools in Southfield, as well as at Camp Tamarack. Shane and his wife Keri have a 1-year-old daughter Emma and a 21-year-old son Caleb.


 

 

Robert Deschaine, Chief Financial Officer

Contact Rob by Email or call 734-773-3536

Robert has over twenty-five years of accounting experience working with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, including eight years as Director of Finance at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, MI. There, he was instrumental in updating financial procedures and technology and bringing a collaborative approach to budgeting and other financial operations. Rob lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Laurie of thirty years.


 

 

Amichay Findling, Israel Programs Manager

Contact Amichay by Email or call 734-773-3534

Amichay has seven years of experience as an innovative teacher in Israel, with subject specialties in Hebrew language and the humanities. Most recently, he taught humanities and served as a peer instructor for new teachers at a middle school in Tel Aviv. Prior to this role, he taught at a Hebrew-Arabic bilingual elementary school in Jaffa. An avid reader, Amichay deeply appreciates the profound expressions of real-life experiences found in literature and the arts. He has a special interest in ancient history, texts, and cultures. With his wife Inbal and their three children, Amichay’s family shares a love for the great outdoors, arts and culture. They enjoy exploring nature, visiting museums, and attending the theater together.


 

Osnat Gafni-Pappas, Life & Legacy® Manager

Contact Osnat by Email or call 734-773-3538

Osnat is a native of Ann Arbor, having grown up here since she was three. She received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan and, in 2011, she and her husband returned to Ann Arbor to raise their family after spending several years away. Her previous professional experience was in architecture, both as a designer and as a project manager. Since moving back to Michigan, she has spent much of her time volunteering for various local Jewish organizations, including serving on the board of Beth Israel Congregation, and trying to keep up with her three active kids. In her free time, Osnat enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her family and friends.


 

 

James Griffin, Administrative Coordinator

Contact James by Email or call 734-773-3535

James was raised in Walhalla, SC and earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of South Carolina, first a BA in Religious Studies and then a BFA in Sculpture. He then moved to Seattle, WA where, he spent a decade working with several nonprofit organizations. For five years, James was the Office Manager of Seattle Koyasan Shingon Buddhist temple, a Japanese Buddhist community active in interfaith dialogue. His community passions also include collective housing and arts advocacy. James and partner Jawharah recently celebrated their second wedding anniversary and share a home with two feline rapscallions. James is an appreciator of sculpture and animation, collector of rocks and minerals, and eater of fine chocolates.


 

 

Ariella Hoffman-Peterson, NEXTGen A2 Coordinator

Contact Ariella by Email

Ariella is a current PhD Student in the School of Public Health at University of Michigan. As a life-long Jewish communal lay leader, she has loved serving on the Jewish Young Professionals board since moving to Ann Arbor in 2021. She is excited to continue supporting and growing this special community as a JYP Coordinator. Though Judaism is her main hobby, she also loves comedy specials, traveling, and spending time with her partner, Nadav, and their sweet and sometimes spicy cat, Stella!


 

 

Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Community Relations Director

Contact Asher by Email or call 734-585-5405

Before joining the team in Ann Arbor, Asher served as the Executive Director of the JCRC/AJC of Detroit. He is the founding and current rabbi of Kehillat Etz Chayim of Detroit, as well as the founding director of the Detroit Center for Civil Discourse. A Rhodes Scholar and a Truman Fellow with an M. Phil in Medieval Arabic Thought from Oxford University, Asher has also done doctoral work at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, in Islamic Fundamentalist attitudes towards Jews and Israel. He has written chapters for over 20 books and numerous articles. Prior to moving with his wife, Rachel, and their four children to Detroit, Asher served as president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, and, before that, served as the rabbi of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago. He received ordination from Rav Ahron Soloveichik and Yeshivas Brisk in Chicago, and from Yeshiva University. Asher is a permanent member of The Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Coalition for Black and Jewish Unity.


 

Becky Melamed, Development Associate

Contact Becky by Email or call 734-272-0325

Becky is a Jewish educator and community professional with expertise in professional and organizational development and experiential education. Previously, Becky served as the Director of PJ Library in Metro Detroit, where her leadership energized the program through new innovative programs and increased outreach to new families. Recently Becky worked at a Jewish tech start-up, Jlive: a communal connectivity and event non-profit where she worked in a variety of roles with local and national Jewish organizations. Becky holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education. She and her husband Marc have two sons, Max and Ari, and a golden retriever, Maizey Blue (their favorite child.) They can often be found at Michigan football games, traveling, at baseball games (they have been to 22/30 MLB stadiums) and going to concerts. Becky has dedicated her career to growing and deepening Jewish life in her community and is thrilled to combine her passions working with the Ann Arbor community.


 

Marci Sukenic, Women’s Philanthropy Manager

Contact Marci by Email or call 734-800-4217

Marci Sukenic brings a variety of experiences to her role as Women’s Philanthropy Manager. Formerly the Community Coordinator for Federation’s Chai Mitzvah women’s program, Marci spent most of her prior professional career as a speech-language pathologist, working within the public school system in the suburbs of Chicago. She went on to explore her professional interests in real estate and volunteer work in fundraising. She and her family moved to Ann Arbor in 2015, where she has enjoyed building community and delving into many volunteer opportunities. Her varied experiences and her love for bringing people together is reflected both at work and throughout her days. When not at work, Marci stays busy trying to keep up with her three children.


 

 

Rachel Wall, Communications & Development Manager

Contact Rachel by Email or call 734-773-3533

Rachel has been an active member of the Ann Arbor Jewish community since moving to town in 2012.  She was previously the Director of Federation’s Keshet Hebrew High School program, as well as the Office Manager at Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor. In addition to her Jewish communal work, Rachel has professionally supported adults with developmental disabilities. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Michigan, with a certificate in Jewish Communal Leadership. A member of the Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan, Rachel lives in Ann Arbor with her husband Logan and their three children.