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Volunteer Leadership Award

This annual award highlights the importance of volunteerism in our community and honors Kol Shofar volunteer leaders who exemplify the value of service to our community. Kol Ha’Kavod!
Volunteerism and service are foundational to our sacred community and deeply woven into the fabric of Kol Shofar. In recognition of this core value and the many exemplary volunteer leaders with whom we are blessed, the Board of Directors established the Diane Cohen Zack Volunteer Leadership Award in 2014. The Board was inspired to name the award after one of those exemplary leaders, Diane Cohen Zack. This award celebrates her legacy of volunteerism and serves as a tribute to her mother, who impressed upon Diane the importance of teaching and leading by example through service – the building blocks of a thriving, sacred community.
Diane has served the larger Jewish community and Kol Shofar in many ways. In 1995, she joined the Board of Directors and volunteered in numerous leadership roles, including her tenure as Board President from 2005 -2007. She was an integral part of our leadership team serving to envision, build, finance, and mobilize our community in the renovation and expansion of our beautiful building. Her work demonstrates the importance of every member contributing their unique skills and their time to support our community.
Kol Shofar volunteer leaders who receive this honor consistently demonstrate the importance of volunteerism in our community and the value of hands-on efforts, teaching and motivating. They are living examples of our congregation’s mission. We are grateful for this leadership and enduring support. 

Jeff Samuels, 2023 Recipient
Jeff joined Kol Shofar in 2013 and soon after, took on the leadership role as chairman of Bridges to Israel. His leadership skills and commitment to fostering stimulating conversation with scholars and leaders on Israel, also garnered him an invitation to join the Board of Directors at Kol Shofar. About six years ago, Jeff decided to create a Kol Shofar Men’s Club, supporting congregants transitioning into retirement. Due to Jeff’s efforts, our Men’s Club now includes almost 80 participants and features activities at least weekly. Jeff’s many contributions to our congregation have enhanced the lives of many Kol Shofar members. His work truly demonstrates the power of volunteer leadership making our congregation better.

 In 1987, he became the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks in the US Patents and Trademarks Office after a Presidential nomination and Senate confirmation. In 1990, he served as Acting Chief. Jeff was later appointed as the David L. Brennan Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Intellectual Property and Technology at the University of Akron, a position he held for 16 years.

Steve Tulsky, 2022 Co-Recipient
Seeking a place to say kaddish for his mother in 2006, Steve found his way to Kol Shofar after wandering for many years in the unaffiliated wilderness. Wanting to get closer to the Kol Shofar community after several years of unengaged membership, he made himself available for shul volunteer opportunities, which resulted in his participating in a Rabbi Search process in 2010. An invitation to join the Board soon followed, where his experience as a financial executive qualified him to serve as Treasurer from 2012-2014 and then President from 2014-2016. Now retired from the Board, he continues to serve on the Finance and Audit committees, and recently served as Co-Chair of the Clergy Needs and Search committee which recommended our current Senior Rabbi and Cantor.

Steve grew up on the south side of Chicago under the Jewish tutelage of conservative Congregation Rodfei Zedek. He earned his undergraduate degree at Duke University and his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After five years working in various aspects of Radio/TV, he followed his long-time California dream to the Bay Area in 1981, where he shifted his career to transportation finance in both corporate and consulting settings. In the early 2000’s he became interested in the nonprofit sector, and for the past twelve years has worked exclusively advising charitable organizations. As a side avocation, he has taught financial management topics to adults for many years, and he is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco teaching Museum Management to students in their Masters in Museum Studies program.

Cynthia Ulman, 2022 Co-Recipient
Cynthia is a long-time congregant who brings a wealth of leadership experience and strategic thinking to Kol Shofar. As Vice President of Strategic Planning on the Kol Shofar Board from 2011 to 2016, she led the development of a strategic plan and a new membership revenue model with a multi-year implementation plan. She has served on the Executive Committee, Personnel Committee, and multiple Search Committees.  She also enjoys pitching in on the small things that build community - making meals, giving rides, leading a service, and welcoming newcomers.

Cynthia is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She has worked as an executive, advisor, facilitator and board member for numerous nonprofit organizations over the years. In her current consulting practice, Cynthia strengthens the capacity of nonprofit boards and executives to excel in strategic planning, leadership, governance and collaboration.

Pat Carlone, 2021 Recipient
Pat is a longtime member of Kol Shofar, having joined our community in 1986.  He has been a chairperson of the Ritual Committee, served on our Kol Shofar Board, been involved with Panim el Panim, served as one of our representatives on the Marin Organizing Committee, helped plan our High Holy Day services, and also has been a member of the Thursday Morning Minyan.  He spearheaded a number of initiatives with Marin Interfaith Climate Action and acted as Kol Shofar’s liaison for this work. He advanced Kol Shofar’s commitment to sustainability primarily through his work on our waste reduction efforts and sponsorship of community events to build awareness of today's climate crisis.  

Environmental work has been his passion, and we are grateful for Pat’s commitment to our sustainability and climate future.  Pat is a graduate of the Environmental Forum of Marin Master Class 44 and sits on the Boards of Directors of Sustainable Marin and of Resilient Neighborhoods, where his focus has been on lowering household carbon footprints and preparing local neighborhoods to organize for climate emergencies.

Pat is a retired high school teacher and mathematics instructor with the West Contra Costa Unified School District and Contra Costa Community College, respectively.  He enjoys accomplishing things for the good of the community and the people around him. Being CERT trained, he currently coordinates preparation and response to climate emergencies with fellow residents of his San Geronimo neighborhood.

Nana Meyer, 2020 Recipient
Nana joined Kol Shofar in 1988. Her volunteer work has focused on supporting our rabbis and a robust ritual experience for all at Kol Shofar. She has served on and chaired the Ritual Committee. She is known as our loving Shabbat morning Gabbai. Nana has a special love for rolling and setting the Torah for Shabbat and Holiday Torah readings. In 2013, she joined Rabbi Zerach Greenfield, a New York Torah scribe in putting the first letters in our new Torah. Nana has also served on the Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. 

Nana grew up as a Rabbi's daughter in a small "one shul" town. That feeling of a congregation as a family drew her to Kol Shofar. She has worked hard to include students and teens in all our programming.  

We are grateful for the loving, welcoming presence Nana offers congregants, sharing her passion for Judaism and learning.

Dr. Gail Dorph and Rabbi Shelly Dorph, EdD, 2019 Recipients
We were proud to honor this amazing couple as their contributions to Kol Shofar are many and varied. Gail has worked with the Gemilut Chesed Committee, as co-chair of the Ritual Committee and Panim el Panim leader. She is passionate about her work with the Marin Organizing Committee and motivated many others to work in the community organizing arena. Both Gail and Shelly have had long careers as educators. Gail was the Founding Head of the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute, where she continues to teach. She directed the School of Education at the American Jewish University, received her Master's degree from Columbia Teachers College, and earned a Ph.D. from the Jewish Theological Seminary. 

Shelly participates in Shabbat and Festival services. He also was our Mashgiach/Kosher Supervisor when Kol Shofar opened its kosher kitchen. With such a strong educator background, it is natural that he has taught on the faculty in Beit Binah, as well as in our Lunch + Learn and Hartman iEngage programs. 

Shelly has held distinctive positions as Head of School for three institutions: Los Angeles Hebrew High School, Golda Meir Day High School (Founding Head), and Jewish Community High School of the Bay. As Director of National Raman, he helped develop the Ramah Day Camps. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary and holds a PhD in education from Teacher's College at Columbia University. 

Learning is one of the bedrock tenets of Judaism, and we are indebted to them for their generous commitment. 

Mark Friedman, 2018 Recipient
Mark Friedman joined Congregation Kol Shofar in 1993 and went on to see his three children celebrate their B’nei Mitzvah with the congregation. He gained the title as the Maestro of our Annual High Holy Day Campaign inspiring our community to give deeply. 

Mark has been a leader in fundraising for the Synagogue, supporting the Capital and Annual Campaigns, we well as the Gala. He is known for encouraging, training, and educating fundraisers. His behind the scenes work includes ensuring that new members and guests to our Shabbat services feel welcome, included, and find a meaningful path into the Kol Shofar community.  

Mark ran his hedge fund firm from 1993 – 2007 and continues to manage his investments. He shares his experience by running a summer internship programs for youngsters interested in the art of investing. Mark loves tennis, traveling, reading, and cycling.

Susan Schneider, 2017 Recipient
Susan came to Kol Shofar as a young girl in the 1970s and quickly developed a love for Shabbat morning services. These years have given her a rich history in the rituals of Kol Shofar, and she graciously shares her experience. She is known for reading Torah during Shabbat services and at Morning Minyan, coordinating Minyan leaders, writing beautiful Kol Torah columns, rolling Torahs for Shabbat morning, leading all parts of Shabbat morning service, and leading davening on the High Holidays. 

Susan attended UC Davis, lived in Israel, and worked for 20 years as a pediatric nurse in Mill Valley. She adores the Grateful Dead and is an avid fan of the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors. Susan is a warm host, welcoming people to her Shabbat and holiday tables. 

Susan is a quiet and influential leader, and we are grateful to have her in our community.

Ron and Rhea Brown, 2016 Recipients
Ron and Rhea touch so many parts of the Kol Shofar lifecycle as a team. They both have contributed to the ritual life of the shul through leadership in all aspects of Shabbat services, Morning Minyan, the Ritual Fair with Beit Binah, and so much more. Rhea has led the Gemilut Chesed team for over 22 years, providing meals, rides, visitation, and shiva support during times of illness and hardship. She is known for coordinating loving acts of kindness to members in need. These mitzvahs have impacted lives across our congregation.

Ron has served as our Board president, Building Committee Chair, Interim Executive Director, and liaison to the Marin Organizing Committee. He has served as team leader and participant for the Congregation Kol Shofar volunteer tutors when the congregation adopted Laurel Dell Elementary in the San Rafael School District.

Steve Sockolov, 2015 Recipient
Steve Sokolov has been a significant part of the community. His commitment to Judaism includes his work on the Board of Directors at Kol Shofar and his past service on the Board of Jewish Vocational Services. At Kol Shofar he has led in many capacities – working on our Annual High Holy Day and Capital campaigns, the Gala, and Legacy Committee. He is the driver behind Kol Shofar’s softball team, tirelessly recruiting and coordinating. He lovingly serves as our cemetery liaison and is active with our Chevra Kadisha (holy society), performing the mitzvot that enable our members to face the loss of a loved one with dignity and tradition.

Steve spent many years in his family’s business, Rochester Big & Tall, getting his education at the Retail School of Hard Knocks. He is now a Co-Founder of the men’s luxury clothing brand, Left Coast Tee. Steve is an avid baseball fan and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Most notably, he was once hit with a flying bat, broke his clavicle, and attended another game the next night.

Fri, April 12 2024 4 Nisan 5784