Team members in our DC office manage marketing and communications, finance, development and alumni relations, teen programming, and registration for international year-round and summer programs. Our diverse team, many of whom are BBYO alumni, works together to perpetuate BBYO's legacy as the world's leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement. To find a specific contact in one of our 40+ regions, please visit the BBYO Near You page and click on the region you’re searching for.
MEET OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
MEET OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BBYO’s International Board of Directors is the organization's governing body, comprised of key Jewish philanthropists, Jewish community leaders, BBYO alumni, Jewish Federation leadership, BBYO’s International Teen Presidents (the Grand Aleph Godol and International N’siah) and local and regional BBYO lay leaders.
Board members are committed to Jewish youth and to building future Jewish leadership, influential in their communities and willing to help guide and assist the organization as it charts its course for the future. The Board of Directors' responsibilities include determining policy, supporting fundraising efforts, approving partnerships with other agencies, and establishing new organization committees and task forces.
Ruth Suzman, Board Chair, Scarsdale, NY
Ruth is a dedicated volunteer, philanthropist, and non-profit advisor. Having earned degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and Yale University, today Ruth works with organizations and programs that help connect young people to Jewish identity and leadership, and those that help people access educational opportunities and engage productively in the workplace. In her local work, Ruth is Chair Emerita of the Board of the Westchester Community College Foundation (Westchester County, NY), and a member of the advisory council to the Westchester Community Foundation. She serves as a member of the Visiting Committee to the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Nationally, Ruth is a board member of the Vanderbilt University Hillel (Nashville, TN), and a board member of Swipe Out Hunger, a national organization committed to addressing food insecurity for students on college campuses in the US. In Texas, she serves on the Advisory Council of the College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin, and the board of directors of the MB and Edna Zale Foundation (Dallas). She is an active member of Westchester Reform Temple. Ruth lives in Scarsdale, NY with her husband, three children and two beloved but poorly trained dogs.
Walter Solomon, Past Chair, Cincinnati, OH
Walter is a BBYO alum and former chapter advisor, and has served on the BBYO International Board of Directors in various capacities since 2008. Walter provides advisory services to Private Equity Funds and sits on the Board of Directors of a number of PE-owned owned businesses. He is the retired VP & Chief Growth Officer of Ashland Inc., where he spent a decade transforming Ashland from a 90 year old regional US oil refiner into a global specialty chemicals company. Prior to Ashland, Walter spent a decade at Procter & Gamble in Brand Management and another decade doing start-up’s in media, health care and software. He is active in the Jewish not for profit world, having served local Federations, Hillels, Day Schools, JCC's and Synagogues. A native of Charleston, SC, Walter is the author of Cubicle Tales, published in 2014 via Amazon.com. He has been married for 33 years and has three grown sons, a delightful daughter-in-law and a miniature golden doodle.
Craig L. Weiss, Vice Chair & Treasurer , Memphis, TN
Craig earned a BA from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990 and MBA from the University of Memphis in 2000. Craig is a co-founder and partner of Tower Ventures. Tower Ventures is one of the largest privately-owned wireless infrastructure companies in the United States with over 400 tower assets in 30 states. In 2005, Craig purchased two Memphis-based security guard businesses and merged their accounts and created Central Defense Security. Craig and his partners have grown CDS to become the largest security provider in the Memphis market. CDS is headquartered in Memphis with branch offices in Little Rock, AR and Nashville, TN. In 2013, Craig and his partners started Central Defense Staffing to provide General Staffing Services for many of the same industries CDS currently serves for security. In 2016, Central Defense Staffing received the Memphis Business Journal’s Pacesetters Award being named the fastest growing private company in the Mid-South. Craig is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Paragon Bank, a Memphis-based Community Bank with over $400 million in assets, 4 branch locations in Memphis, 1 branch in Oxford, MS and a Small Business Capital Group based in Atlanta, GA. In 2018, Craig received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis and was inducted into the FCBE Hall of Fame. Craig is the current Chair of the Board for the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. He also serves on the Executive Committee & Board of Directors for the United Way of the MidSouth. Craig was recently appointed by the Mayor of Memphis to the Board of Directors of the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission. Craig is a past President of the Memphis Jewish Community Center and serves on the National Board for The JCC Association. Craig and his wife, Cathy, have three children, Isaac (20), Ari (18) and Ava (16).
Lois Kohn-Claar, Vice Chair, Scarsdale, NY
After years of working in the field of education and educational technology, Lois now devotes herself to Jewish communal service. Lois chairs the Immersive Jewish Experiences allocation committee for UJA-Federation of NY, where she also sits on the Board of Directors and the Women’s Executive Committee. She is past-chair of UJA-Federation Westchester Women’s Philanthropy and a founding member of the Neshamot Women’s Impact Philanthropy group. She serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Jewish Education Project and is a Trustee for The Leffell School. Lois is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage program. Her first introduction to leadership occurred in the early 80’s in Louisville, KY when she became her BBG chapter’s President and also attended many KIO conventions. Lois holds a BA and MS Ed from the University of Pennsylvania where she currently sits on the Board of Overseers for the Graduate School of Education. Lois and her husband, Gary Claar, have three children. She is also a certified yoga instructor.
David Brown, Secretary, Chicago, IL
David is an accomplished attorney who counsels public companies and closely held businesses on complex matters, including strategic planning, talent development, acquisitions and dispositions, private placements of debt and equity and tax and entity structures. He also serves as chairman of Much Shelist, P. C. and is actively involved in strategic planning and leadership development for the firm. Prior to his appointment as chairman of Much Shelist, David served for thirteen years as chair of the firm’s management committee. He is an active board member of Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) and a past chairman of its Board of Directors. In 2016, David was a recipient of JUF’s Julius Rosenwald Award, its highest honor. David is a current member of the Board of Trustees of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and serves on its Executive Committee. He most recently chaired the Global Operations: Israel and Overseas Council for JFNA, where he worked with and engaged the Federation system on critical overseas issues, particularly in Israel. He is active in AIPAC and is a regular visitor to Israel. David is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and is the current Learning Officer of his YPO Gold Chicago Chapter. As an active teen, David was involved in BBYO as part of the Waukegan, Illinois AZA chapter. He served as Chapter President, Illinois Council Moreh, and District 6 AZA S’gan (vice-president). David and his wife, Suzanne Muchin, live in Chicago and have five children.
Matthew Grossman, Arlington, VA
Matt has served as BBYO's Chief Executive Officer since 2004 and is currently responsible for working with the organization's teen, professional, volunteer and philanthropic leaders to set BBYO's vision and direction. For more than 90 years, BBYO has provided exceptional identity enrichment and leadership development experiences for hundreds of thousands of teens and now ranks as one of the Jewish community’s premier platforms for reaching and inspiring Jewish teens. Matt takes great pride in BBYO's ability to bring Jewish teens together so they can form powerful, authentic relationships with each other and with inspiring adult role models. He plays a key role in hiring the professional team who bring to life the compelling Jewish environments where teens feel pride in who they are, in control of their own destiny and a part of something greater than themselves. With the guidance and mentoring of BBYO's Board of Directors, Matt has helped grow BBYO's budget three-fold, expand AZA and BBG membership to over 33,000 teens across the globe, all while ensuring that appropriate systems and financial controls are in place to support BBYO's fast growing infrastructure. Prior to BBYO, Matt worked for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, playing a key role in the organization’s decade-long renaissance. Matt grew up in Cheshire, a small town in central Connecticut and currently lives with his wife Melissa, daughter Olivia, and son Gabriel in Arlington, VA.
Jonathan Anschell, Los Angeles, CA
Jay Bernhardt, Austin, TX
Laurie Blitzer, New York, NY
Michelle Gerber, West Vancouver, BC
Andy Gutman, Detroit, MI
Rachel Hoffer, Paradise Valley, AZ
Lee Kohrman, Cleveland, OH
Courtney Mizel, Los Angeles, CA
Ruth Perlman, Glencoe, IL
Estee Portnoy, Bethesda, MD
David Rittberg, Washington, DC
Marc Saperstein, Naples, FL
Stacy Schusterman, Tulsa, OK
Jared Wilen, Mt. Laurel, NJ (97th Grand Aleph Godol)
Leora Zabusky, Philadelphia, PA
Emma Zentner, Winnipeg MB, CA (77th Anita M Perlman International N’siah)
If you are interested in joining the International Board of Directors, please contact Stacey Apter.