Philip Blumenthal, President
Philip Blumenthal joined the Gesher board in 2013. Philip grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where he attended Jewish day schools for all but two of his elementary and high school years. He was active in Hillel at Boston University, where he majored in Classical & Religious Studies. Philip works in business strategy for the educational technology firm Blackboard. He resides in Annandale with his wife, Rachel, son, Seth (Gesher Class of 2020), and daughter, Maya (rising 5th grader).
Jason Levy, VP for Strategic Planning
Jason Levy is a University of North Carolina and Boston University School of Law graduate, and received an LLM in International Law from UC-Berkeley School of Law. He is an active-duty Commander in the United States Navy and currently serves as the U.S. Department of Defense Oceans Policy Advisor, developing maritime and airspace policy for the Secretary of Defense. He joined the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps in 2001, and has served on shore duty in Japan, Washington State, Hawaii, and California. His fleet assignments include Multi National Corps – Iraq, Carrier Strike Group ONE onboard USS CARL VINSON; and U.S. SIXTH Fleet in Italy.
Prior to his career in the Navy, he was an attorney with McDermott, Will & Emery specializing in regulatory affairs. Jason and his wife, Alison, have lived in Arlington for three years and are members of Agudas Achim. Their daughter, Shoshana (Gesher Class of 2020), and their son, Isaiah, previously attended San Diego Jewish Academy and Oakland Hebrew Day School.
Julie Wallick, VP of Development
Julie Wallick moved to Reston 12 years ago to marry David Selden. Julie is a Principal of Wallick Communities, a real estate company based in Columbus, Ohio, and on its advisory board. Wallick Communities specializes in affordable housing and senior living. She is a licensed Ohio real estate broker and is active in professional associations including the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition.
Julie Volunteers with and supports several non-profit organizations including Washington DC metro Jewish Federation and Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation. When not entrenched in the world of real estate she spends time with her family, reads, cooks, travels and exercises. Julie is a graduate of University of Cincinnati and completed postgraduate work at Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University, Chicago.
Daniel Strouse, Treasurer
Daniel Strouse is an attorney at the law firm of Cordatis LLP, representing Federal contractors across an array of issues such as bid protests, regulatory compliance, and claims against the government. He primarily represents small and mid-sized companies. Daniel is an active member of the Public Contract Law Section of the American Bar Association.
During law school, Daniel was a Board Member for the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Jewish Law Students Association; and, as an undergraduate at The George Washington University, Daniel was active in Hillel.
Outside of the office, Daniel spends his time with his wife, Laura, daughter, Abigail (rising Gesher 3nd grader), son, Eytan (rising Gesher 1st grader), and dog, Zeke (no Gesher affiliation). Daniel and his family are members of Congregation Olam Tikvah.
Seth Feldman, Secretary
Seth Feldman grew up in the Maryland suburbs of D.C., where he attended the C.E.S. Jewish Day School. He met his beautiful and talented wife Leslie, while they both attended college at Johns Hopkins University, and got married while he was finishing his dental degree from the University of Maryland. He practiced as a general dentist in the Boston area for 4 years, and then went back to school to specialize in orthodontics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Their eldest daughter, Alicia was born in Nashville in 2007 and is currently finishing sixth grade at Gesher. Ilana was born in 2010 and is finishing second grade at Gesher. The family moved to Fairfax in 2008, and Seth practices orthodontics in Falls Church, Virginia. The family attends Olam Tikvah, is active in the JCCNV, and is proud to be part of the Gesher community.
Vicki Fishman, Immediate Past President
Vicki Fishman is an attorney, founder of Fishman Law, PLLC, practicing primarily in the areas of Wills, Trusts and Estates. Prior to starting her own firm, she worked for Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLC, a boutique litigation firm in Washington, DC. Vicki received her BA in Religion from Swarthmore College and her JD from the University of Michigan Law School. Vicki also participated in the Wexner Heritage Program, and has long as been actively involved in the Jewish communities here at Gesher and beyond. Vicki lives in Falls Church with her husband Simon, and their four children; two Gesher graduates and two current students.
Heidi Freeman graduated from Northwestern University in 1993 with a B.A. degree in Biological Sciences. That Fall, she started teaching Biology at her high school alma mater, The Madeira School, and has been doing so ever since. She added Environmental Science to her teaching repertoire when she earned an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University in 2004. In addition to teaching, she has various other roles at Madeira. Her past board experiences include being Recording Secretary on the Olam Tikvah Preschool Board and Membership Vice President on the Olam Tikvah Sisterhood Board. Heidi and her husband, Ben, have two daughters: Ahava (Gesher Class of 2016) and Devorah (Gesher Class of 2019). Ahava’s first year at Gesher was the first year in the current building (2007-2008), which was very exciting! Heidi and her family have loved being part of the Gesher community for over a decade and she is looking forward to working with everyone.
Barbara Kaplan is the National Director of Lung Health Education at the American Lung Association in Washington, DC. She has been the architect behind many successful nationwide health education programs, empowering people living with chronic lung disease to become more active and healthy. Barbara educates communities on policies and practices that reduce the burden of lung disease, recognizing the cultural differences that impact a person’s health and access to healthcare. She received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of North Texas, an M.P.H. from George Washington University, and is a champion for healthy lungs and healthy air. Barbara and her husband Seth have been proud Gesher parents since 2011.
Adam grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida where he attended Jewish Day School. A graduate of the George Washington University and the University of Denver College of Law, Adam is a partner at Dennis, Stewart & Krischer, PLLC a private law firm in Arlington, Virginia. In addition to serving on the Gesher board since 2014, he is Past President of the Arlington County Bar Association, sits on the boards of the Arlington County Bar Foundation and the Arlington Alcohol Safety Action Program and is the current chair of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Committee of serving Arlington County. Adam also serves as a substitute judge in Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts.
Adam and his family belong to Agudas Achim Congregation. His wife, Jennifer, retired in 2018 after 25 years in the United States Air Force and currently works at BAE Systems. Their son, Noah, graduated from Gesher in 2019 and daughter Naomi is a rising 8th grader.
David Margolis is a Lead Financial Analyst with AT&T. He attended George Washington University and graduated from Quinnipiac University with a B.S. in Accounting. After graduation, David worked in public accounting and completed his CPA certification, and has held many accounting/finance positions with AT&T and affiliates (SNET, SBC) for over 30 years. David was born and raised in Connecticut, transferring to Virginia in 2013. He joined the Gesher board in 2017. David is a member of Olam Tikvah and has 2 daughters, one in Alexandria and one in LA. He has held many board positions at various organizations over the years.
Irene Mills graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. degree in Accounting and a minor in Political Science in 1992. She is a CPA who works for George Mason University as Associate Director of Budget in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Prior to that, she worked in public accounting and private industry.
Irene and her husband Greg have two daughters, Sophie (Gesher class of 2014) and Lea (Gesher class of 2019). In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, reading and going on day trips. Irene looks forward to contributing to Gesher’s continued growth and progress.
Sharon Rosenblatt is a native of Washington, D.C. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. Shortly thereafter, she completed a Master’s Degree in Learning Disabilities from Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island. Having completed her teacher training and having acquired her certification, she began teaching at a public school for troubled adolescents in Montgomery County, Maryland. Her entry into Jewish Day School education began when Shulamith Elster hired her to establish a Learning Disabilities program at Charles E. Smith JDS in Rockville, Maryland. Following a move to Virginia with her family, Sharon was hired by Marilyn Davis to test incoming Kindergarten students at a fledgling Jewish Day School in Alexandria, Virginia. Never looking back, Sharon spent over 30 years of her career teaching at Gesher Jewish Day School. Having retired from teaching, she lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, Arnie. She has two sons with families of their own who have been gracious enough to give her seven grandchildren!
Jonathan Stahl is a native of Fairfax, VA, and a graduate of Gesher Jewish Day School and Charles E Smith Jewish Day School. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality from Syracuse University. Jonathan is the Vice President of Ballpark Operations & Guest Experience for the Washington Nationals. In his current role, Jonathan oversees the Nationals’ guest experience department, food service, parking & transportation, retail, and event execution.
Prior to working for the Washington Nationals, Jonathan worked for Kimpton Hotels and Renaissance Hotels in various front office positions. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his dog Bogey Lowenstein.
Ilana Rothberg is a graduate of the University of Maryland (B.A. in Business and Marketing). She served in a variety of roles at Capital One, including marketing and sales strategy, product and project management, and recruiting. In 2019, Ilana served on Gesher’s Head of School Search Committee. She is an active Parent Ambassador and room parent at Gesher. Currently, she serves as Vice President of Member Engagement at Agudas Achim Congregation of Alexandria. Ilana resides in Arlington with her husband, Ira, and their boy/girl twins, Rahm and Havi (rising 1st graders).
Josh Kraushaar is the political editor of National Journal, where he writes a twice-a-week column and hosts a weekly podcast interviewing behind-the-scenes operatives on the campaign trail and on Capitol Hill. He is a co- author of the Almanac of American Politics, former editor-in-chief of the Hotline and currently supervises the overall political coverage at National Journal. He is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared as a guest commentator on FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, National Public Radio and C-SPAN.
Kraushaar is also a frequent commentator on issues impacting the American Jewish community. He is a regular guest speaker at synagogues and Jewish community centers in the Washington area. Along with Ha’aretz Washington correspondent Amir Tibon, he served as a scholar-in-residence at Agudas Achim Congregation last year, leading discussions on political polarization, the impact of social media on political discourse, and the future of American Jewry.
Josh is a Gesher alumnus (class of 1994!) and lives in Annandale with his wife, Hannah, and two children, Shana and Avi. Shana is a kindergarten student at Gesher, and Avi, who just turned three, looks forward to attending Gesher soon.
Paul Mandell is a native of South Philadelphia and has lived in Northern Virginia since 1984. Paul is married to Cookie who is the Director of Membership Engagement at Temple Rodef Shalom. They have five adult children who attended Gesher. Paul is a Realtor with RE/MAX Gateway and specializes in commercial and residential real estate servicing the entire Northern Virginia region. Paul received his B.S. in Animal Sciences from Rutgers University. Paul is a proud Eagle Scout and former volunteer firefighter. Paul and Cookie are members of Temple Rodef Shalom and live on Potomac Vegetable Farms in Vienna.
Amy Lummer, PTO President
Amy Lummer is a Community Engagement professional at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia and is very active in our local community. She has a Master’s Degree in Education from George Mason University and has a passion for giving our youngest learners strong roots. Amy and her husband Dory met at Johns Hopkins University as undergraduates and live in Springfield with their children Moira (rising 4th grader) and Owen (rising 1st grader).