Beth El Board of Directors

Officers of the Board

President – Linda Samuels

Linda was born and raised in Norfolk and attended Taylor Elementary, Blair Jr. High and Maury High Schools. She has been married to Stanley Samuels for over 50 years (himself a former Beth El president) and they have three daughters and six grandchildren. Linda attended The Women’s College of the University of North Carolina for two years and graduated from Old Dominion University with both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Medical Technology (now renamed Clinical Laboratory Medicine). She worked for over 40 years as a Medical Technologist/Clinical Laboratory Manager for DePaul Hospital, the University of Virginia Hospital, The Group for Internal Medicine and Sentara Medical Group. For the last six years, she has taught as an adjunct Assistant Professor at ODU in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine. She is a Past President of The Jewish Community Center of Tidewater (now the Simon Family JCC), has served on the Women’s Cabinet of the Jewish Federation of Tidewater and on the Board of the Tidewater Community College Women’s Center. She is a member of the Beth El Singers and Sisterhood. In her “spare” time, she enjoys reading, travelling, music and playing canasta with longtime friends!  You can reach Linda at

1st Vice President – Alex Pomerantz

Alex Pomerantz has always had a passion for helping the Jewish community. Originally from Maryland, Alex moved to the Tidewater area in 1993 and was actively involved as a lay leader in the Tidewater Jewish community for 19 years. In 2011, Alex turned his passion into a career as a Jewish professional. Alex has put his passion to work for the Simon Family Jewish Community Center, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and now directs that passion and efforts to the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) as the Director of Virginia. Alex’s other passion is to help make Beth El the best it can be. As 1st VP of Beth El Alex does everything he can to move Beth El in the right direction for its members and the community. Please feel free to contact Alex with any questions you have. You can reach him by email at

2nd Vice President – Barbara Rossen

Barbara Rossen grew up in Norfolk. When her family arrived here from California, they went to B’nai Israel in order to be with her grandparents, who were members there. Although two of her brothers had their Bar Mitzvahs there, Barbara used to sneak over to Beth El during the holidays to be with her cousin. As a girl she was not expected or encouraged to study for a Bat Mitzvah. After the “gentrification of Ghent”, her Grandparents moved from 19th Street and her family joined Beth El. When she first married in 1974, she and her husband became members of Beth El. Her two sons and her daughter attended Beth El Religious school and each celebrated their B’nai Mitzvot at Beth El. Barbara studied and finally became a Bat Mitzvah with an adult class of 10 in 2008. She has served as Sisterhood Co-President and is currently our 5th grade Religious School Teacher.  You can email Barbara at

3rd Vice President – Eric Mazur

Eric Michael Mazur, Ph.D., is the Gloria & David Furman Professor of Judaic Studies, professor of religious studies, and the Religion, Law, & Politics Fellow of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan College. He is the author, co-author, editor, and co-editor of various books, chapters, articles, and encyclopedia entries on issues related to religion and American law, religion and popular culture, and American Judaism. He has been quoted in more than a dozen newspapers and news Web sites, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Baltimore Jewish Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor, TV Guide, the Washington Post, and XM Radio, as well as newspapers in California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. Before completing his doctoral work, Eric served as a public interest lobbyist in Washington, D.C., where his portfolio included issues related to civil rights and the separation of church and state. Eric grew up in Newport News and graduated from the University of Virginia (B.A., 1987; M.A. 1989). He is married and the father of two.  You can email Eric at

Immediate Past President

  • Betsy Karotkin


  • Avraham Ashkenazi
  • Clay Barr
  • Marvin Friedberg
  • Stuart Held
  • Jody Wagner


  • Bernie Grablowsky

Assistant Treasurer

  • Jeff Chernitzer


  • Mark Kozak


  • Beth Berman

Gabbai Representative

  • Ina Mirman Leiderman

Sisterhood Representative

  • Ashley Zittrain

Men’s Club President

  • Howard Horwitz

Past Presidents’ Representative

  • Irwin Kroskin

Board Members ending 2019

  • Brad Bangel
  • Adam Foleck
  • Laura Gross
  • Jay Kossman
  • Sandra P. Leon
  • Deb Segaloff

Board Members ending 2020

  • Eric Anderson
  • Michael Efland
  • Leslie Hecht-Leavitt
  • Jenefer Snyder
  • Burle Stromberg
  • Sam Werbel

Board Members ending 2021

  • Linda Bress
  • Alonzo Cobb
  • Jodi Dobrinsky
  • Marcus Friedman
  • David Kamer
  • Carol Smith