Sandor Samuels, Founding Board Chair
Professor Samuels was appointed as Bet Tzedek’s President and Chief Executive Officer in November 2010, after having served on its Board of Directors for almost 16 years, including a two year term as Board Chair. Professor Samuels left his position at Bet Tzedek in August 2014 to pursue his passion for teaching. Prior to his appointment at Bet Tzedek, he spent more than 30 years in the financial services industry, including 18 years as the Chief Legal Officer of Countrywide Financial Corporation and, following Countrywide’s acquisition by Bank of America Corporation, as the general counsel of Bank of America’s Home Loans and Insurance division. In 2006, Professor Samuels was named as one of the top 25 lawyers in the San Fernando Valley, California; in 2005, he was named Outstanding Corporate Counsel of the Year by the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Corporate Law Department Section; and in 2004, he received the Luis Lainer Founder’s Award from Bet Tzedek Legal Services.
Michelle K. Wolf, Founding Executive Director
With close to three decades of experience working in the Jewish, non-profit and governmental sectors, and with a focus on social services/special needs, she is uniquely positioned to provide the professional leadership to launch this program. She was previously the Transitions Coordinator at Bet Tzedek from 2012-2014, and in that position, she created a 42-member coalition of agencies intersecting the developmental disabilities and aging worlds. Previously, she was Director of the Caring for Jews in Need department at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. She also writes a monthly column for the Jewish Journal on special needs/social services issues.
Yolande Erickson, Board Member
Yolande Erickson, Esq is the Conservatorship Program Attorney with Bet Tzedek Legal Services. She is a member of the firm’s elder rights practice and is an internationally recognized expert in conservatorship law. She has been instrumental in the practice’s Family Matters project, which helps families with intellectually disabled young adults as they reach legal age and also helped create Bet Tzedek’s Transitions project to address the legal and social needs of intellectually disabled individuals and their aging caregivers. In 2013, she was awarded the Jack J. Skirball Community Justice Award from Bet Tzedek.
Dr. Yechiel Shalom Goldberg, Board Member
Yechiel Shalom Goldberg, PhD, is a financial planner with Fraser financial Group. After 25 years studying and teaching Jewish thought and Kabbalah and helping students envision and achieve their academic goals, Yechiel left the university, to pursue a second career helping families envision and achieve their financial goals. Yechiel is particularly passionate about helping families with children or adults with special needs create and implement financial plans that address the special financial needs that accompany caring for a loved one with special needs.
Janice M. Jager, Board Member
Janice M. Jager, herself the parent of a special needs child, is a pharmacist with a doctorate degree from the University of Southern California. With more than 30 years of clinical experience, Janice specializes in geriatrics and long-term care, and is the consummate advocate for her patients. She brings both a clinical perspective as well as a parental compassion and nurturing to her work, and carries a large supply of humor to everyday living.
Stanley Kandel, Board Member
Stanley Kandel was raised in Los Angeles, received his B.A. degree in mathematics from UCLA, and in 1969 his J.D. degree in law from U.S.C. Practicing law for 18 years, he specialized in real estate and general business law. He practiced litigation and transactional law, representing, among others, title insurance companies, contractors, real estate developers, and business owners. He contributed to the Continuing Education of the Bar text on real estate, published real estate articles in statewide legal newspapers, and taught an upper division course on urban real estate at U.S.C. He has sat on the boards of the Jewish Federation Council, Builders of Jewish Education, American Jewish Congress, LA Museum of the Holocaust and is a past co-chair of the Middle East Commission (now the Israel Commission) of the Jewish Community Relations Committee. He is a past President of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, and currently sits on its Board. He also sits on the board of Jewish Family Service and the Advisory Board of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management of the Hebrew Union College.
David Pollock, Board Member
David Pollock is a Managing Director and Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley. He and his team serve high net worth individuals, corporate executives and foundations by offering investment consulting and wealth management services. Before joining Morgan Stanley, David worked at J.P. Morgan, where he was a member of the J.P. Morgan Securities Portfolio Manager Program (PM Program), an exclusive group of advisors who have completed a screening process to manage discretionary assets, and are subject to ongoing qualitative and quantitative reviews. David initially joined E.F. Hutton & Company in 1977, and then went to Oppenheimer & Co., from 1979-1990, serving in both wealth management and investment banking capacities. He moved to J.P. Morgan Securities' predecessor firm, Bear Stearns, in 1990. Money Magazine named him as one of the top brokers in the United States in 1987. A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, with a B.A. degree in Economics and History, David was a board member of the Jewish Federation Council of Los Angeles and Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. He graduated from the Wexner Heritage Program, and served on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. He served as Chairman and now is an Advisory Board Member of the Milken Institute Israel Center.
Adynna Swarz, Board Member
Adynna Swarz has served in the nonprofit community for nearly 15 years and currently works as a consultant specializing in aiding small to mid-size nonprofit organizations. She has previously worked at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, first as the Planning and Research Associate and then as the Director of Caring for Jews in Need, and also worked at the BJE, Etta Israel Center and The New England Friends of the IDF. Adynna received her MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a Certificate in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and her BA in Sociology from Brandeis University.
Elisa Wayne, Board Member
Elisa Wayne, Esq. is a Social Security Disability attorney with 25 years’ past work experience as a senior attorney adviser for the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, Social Security Administration. Recently retired from government service, Ms. Wayne’s Social Security law practice focuses on the needs of the disabled and includes the representation of claimants at hearings before Social Security Administrative Law Judges throughout the western United States. In addition to her legal expertise, Ms. Wayne has extensive leadership skills and has served in numerous fundraising and social action positions on behalf of the Los Angeles Jewish Community, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Jewish Home, and the School of Jewish Communal Services, Hebrew Union College. Ms Wayne is an alumnae of the National Young Leadership Cabinet, United Jewish Appeal and a recipient of the Allenberg-Handler Young Leadership Award from the Los Angeles Jewish Federation. Ms. Wayne serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of the Jewish Women’s Theater at the Braid in Los Angeles. In addition to being the proud mother of two children, Ms. Wayne is a published writer and stand- up comic.
Gabrielle Zadra, Board Member
Gabrielle Zadra is an investment consultant focused on private market investing at Cliffwater LLC. At Cliffwater, Gabrielle serves as a fiduciary and advisor to universities, foundations, and pension funds. Outside of work, Gabrielle has been active in advocating for educational and therapeutic services for children with special needs. She served as a member of the statewide Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Intervention in 2016 and 2017 and worked on passing legislation with the 2017 state budget to increase the availability of services to young children with special needs. Gabrielle has been active in community organizing and fundraising efforts in the Los Angeles area for almost 20 years. Prior to earning a M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson, Gabrielle worked for labor unions on organizing and collective bargaining efforts in the healthcare sector. Gabrielle earned a B.A. in history and women’s studies with high honors from Oberlin College. Gabrielle and her partner have three beautiful boys including twins who were born prematurely. Her twins are graduates of the UCLA Intervention program and one continues to have special needs.