2023-2024 JFS Board of Directors Announced

The JFS Board of Directors announced the 2023-2024 slate of officers and directors at its June meeting. Officers include President Bruce R. Matza, Vice President Tom Cytron-Hysom, Treasurer Fred Dulles, Secretary Kate Searls, and Past President Steve Levin. Returning directors include Zoey Alch, Linda Alter, Joel Glaser, Mitzi Gramling, Peggy Kipp, Sloane Kohnstamm, Stan Lapidos, Susan Levey, Sarah Levine, Jamie Maddeaux, Mickey Minsberg, Andy Rapoport and Stuart Sanders. Joining the board are Andrea Backes, Gerard Engelen, Julia Wolfe and Masha Yevzelman.

New board member Andrea Backes is the administrative director with the University of Minnesota where she has served in leadership roles for almost 35 years. In her current role, she applies strategic approaches to operational effectiveness and efficiencies in human resources, payroll, financials and facilities resources. Most recently, she has led business development, resource acquisition and marketing strategy to create for-profit entities within the higher educational environment, including a microbial cell production facility and a corporate training entity that teaches current cGMP skills, guidelines and best practices to supplement corporate procedures and protocols.

Andrea has served on the JFS finance committee since 2022.

Gerard Engelen is the founder and owner of an analytical chemistry lab that tests chemical residues in crops and supplements. He was born in the Netherlands but has been in the United States since 1989.

Gerard and his wife Debbie, who he met in Israel in 1984, live in Highland Park and are members of Adath Israel Congregation. They have two sons. One lives in Israel with his wife and new son. His other son is launching his career in law in New York City.

Julia Wolfe has led the Healthy Aging Initiative of Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health for six years. Her professional experience includes communication and organizational change consulting for a Fortune 50 company. She worked in direct social service for more than a decade, including serving as case manager for both homeless youth and people living with HIV, managing a battered women’s shelter, and providing substance abuse and mental health counseling in public schools.

She is passionate about eliminating disparities and oppression. Her life is guided by her Jewish cultural background with its emphasis on learning and being of service to others.

She has been a nomad for most of her life but is now happily settled in Minnesota.

Masha Yevzelman is an attorney and shareholder at Fredrikson & Byron, where she chairs the firm’s Tax Disputes and Litigation department. Masha went to law school at the University of Minnesota and received her undergraduate degree in History and Philosophy from Macalester College. Masha was born in Kiev, Ukraine and immigrated to Minnesota in 1992. Upon arriving in St. Paul, Masha and her family were lucky enough to benefit from many of JFS’s services. Masha now lives in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities with her husband, two boys (ages 14 and 9), and dog.