Matan’s growing board consists of individuals who care deeply about the Jewish community and making sure that all children and families have access to the best of what Jewish life and Jewish education have to offer. They are Rabbis, educators, mental health professionals, business associates and parents of children with special needs who are committed to helping Matan achieve its mission.
Rabbi William Plevan, Chair is the Rabbi at Congregation Shaare Zedek on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and a doctoral candidate in Religion at Princeton University As a student, rabbi and scholar he has actively participated in and organized interfaith dialogue efforts between Christians, Jews and Muslims. While studying at the Jewish Theological Seminary, he served as the President of the Rabbinical School Students Association and chaired its curriculum committee for three years. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.
Liane Carter is a free-lance writer who lives in Scarsdale with her husband and two children. She is a Matan parent and an active member of Westchester Reform Temple. Liane is also active with Autism Speaks and her family foundation.
Jason Lieberman received his Masters in Public Administration specializing in Nonprofit Management from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, and his BA from George Washington University in American Studies. Most recently, Jason worked at Chartis Insurance as the Disability Program Manager working to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Jason previously was the Director of Government and Community Affairs for Yachad/The National Jewish Council for Disabilities, an agency of the Orthodox Union, which seeks to include all Jews in the Jewish community regardless of their disabilities. In addition to serving as a member of the UJA-Federation of New York Task Force on Disability, Jason continues to be a sought-after public speaker on issues relating to disability an Judaism, who has spoken in various venues throughout the United States and abroad. Jason lives in New York City with his wife Emily, son Ruby, and dog Isaac.
Rabbi Laurie Phillips is the Director of Education at Congregation Habonim. She has over 20 years of experience in education and holds degrees in regular and special education along with a Master’s in Education focusing on curriculum and supervision. Rabbi Phillips was ordained at Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles in 2003.
Leslie Teicher holds a Masters in Special Education specializing in Learning Disabilities. Leslie is also certified in PAF, an Orton Gillingham Reading curriculum. Leslie has taught in Early Childhood classrooms, Self-contained elementary and middle school classrooms as well as small group and individual instruction. Leslie worked as a Learning Specialist at Manhattan Day School for 5 years. Leslie also serves on the advisory board for The Jewish Lens.
Meredith Englander Polsky, ex-officio, a co-founder of Matan and a 2001 Joshua Venture Group Fellow, served on the Board of Directors of Matan for the past four years. She recently returned to the professional staff as Special Education Coordinator. Meredith holds Masters degrees in Special Education and Social Work. She lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland with her husband, Adam, and their 3 children, Hayden, Lucy and Emma.
Stacy Berrin, ex-officio, a co-founder, earned her BA in Psychology and Biology from Stern College of Yeshiva University, her masters in General Psychology from Queens College, and her Ph.D. in Neuropsychology from the City University of New York. She also served as the research director for a Manhattan clinic specializing in alternative treatments for ADHD. Clinically, for over 12 years, Dr. Wasserman worked in hospitals throughout the New York Metropolitan area conducting neuropsychological evaluations and providing cognitive remediation for individuals with developmental and acquired disabilities. In addition to her professional expertise, she brings a parent’s perspective regarding the need to create more opportunities for children with special needs in the world of formal Jewish education.
Lori Kolinsky, ex-officio, a co-founder of Matan and a 2002 Muehlstein Fellow, is currently the Director of the Manhattan Division at UJA-Federation. Lori began her professional career as a special education teacher in Washington, DC and went on to receive a Masters degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Lori resides with her husband and son in Manhattan.