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Leadership and Staff

Board of Directors

Esther Safran Foer, President

Esther Safran Foer founded FM Strategic Communications in 2002. For 10 years she was the CEO of Sixth & I, where she helped develop a nationally recognized model for young professional engagement within a historic synagogue and cultural center. She was named one of the Forward 50 Jewish leaders. In 2020 she published the post Holocaust memoir I Want You to Know We’re Still Here, which has been translated into 8 languages.

“The Board of Directors and I can’t wait to welcome the local community and visitors from around the world to Washington’s first Jewish museum.”


Alexandra Horowitz, Vice President
Stuart Youngentob, Treasurer
Melissa Hausfeld, Secretary
Sherry Bindeman Kahn, At Large
Marlene Singer, At Large
Chris Wolf, At Large
Albert H. Small, Jr., Special Advisor
Stuart Zuckerman, Immediate Past President

Board Members

Nancy Alper
Andrew R. Ammerman
Gerald Bass
Nancy Robinson Breuer
Stacy Burdett
Jodi Cafritz
Dorothy Canter
Thea Cohen
Diane Lipton Dennis
Ricki Gerger
Elisa Glazer
Howard Morse

Lawrence Neff
Jules Polonetsky
Lauren Racoosin
Lisa Reiner
Dee Sanae
Yolanda Savage-Narva
David Silver
Pat Silverman
Eugene Sofer
Gigi Sohn
Diane Wattenberg

Past Presidents

Robert Shosteck*
Hyman J. Cohen*
Bernard I. Nordlinger*
Hon. Milton S. Kronheim, Jr.*
Henry Brylawski*
William B. Wolf, Jr.*
C. Haskell Small*
Nathan I. Silberberg*
Bernard S. Glassman*
Donald Wolpe*
Dr. Jonathan Grossman*
Dr. Jonathan P. Siegel*
Robert I. Silverman*
Leonard Abel*

Dr. Michael L. Goldstein*
James Goldberg
David Burka
Samuel Flax
Paula Goldman
Richard S. Alper
Frank Gilbert *
Dr. Peggy Pearlstein
Stuart Zuckerman
Sidney J. Silver
Samuel Brylawski
Russell Smith
Howard Morse

*Of blessed memory

Museum Staff

Ivy L. Barsky, Executive Director

Ivy brings 30 years of experience in museum leadership, and with major museum construction and exhibition projects. She served for eight years as CEO of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia and 15 years at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City (first as founding director of education, then as deputy director). She has an M.A. in the history of art from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from New York University.

Ivy is an arts and culture hound, avid reader, and music fan. She always aims to make a dent in the universe.

Ivy Barsky, Executive Director

Anna Barr, Education Manager, School, Youth, and Family Programs

Anna Barr, a Virginia native and recent DC transplant, comes to the Museum with experience in both museums and classrooms. Anna graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in History and a Masters in Education, and looks forward to welcoming learners of all ages to Connect, Reflect, and Act.

In her free time, Anna can be found rooting for any and all DC sports teams, shopping at the Eastern Market, and being a step-mom to her beloved dog Pepper.

[email protected]

Lisa Del Sesto, Education Manager for Programs

Lisa Del Sesto was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history from Kenyon College, she moved to Washington D.C. in 2013 to earn a master’s degree in Jewish Cultural Arts from The George Washington University. She comes to CJM after 6 years at the Bender JCC of Greater Washington as the Director of Arts and Ideas.

Lisa spends most of her free time with her nose in a book only to be interrupted by her other great love of frequenting new restaurants around D.C.

[email protected]

Brady Daniller, Director of Operations

Brady Daniller, a Maryland native, comes to the Museum from the National Museum of American Jewish Heritage with experience in both visitor services and retail operations. As the Director of Operations, Brady oversees the event rental program, visitor services, security, retail operations, and more.

[email protected] 

Jonathan Edelman, Collections Curator

Jonathan Edelman was born and raised in Kansas City, moving to D.C. in 2016 to work with the curatorial team at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He has a Masters in Museum Studies from The George Washington University and a Bachelors degree in Cultural Studies & Communications from Clark University.

Jonathan also serves on the board of the Edlavitch DC JCC and is a member of Adas Israel Synagogue.

[email protected]

Michelle Gleaton, Events Coordinator

Michelle joins the Capital Jewish Museum with over fifteen years of experience in events in both the nonprofit and for-profit realms. She has had the opportunity to pursue her passion all over the world, from California to Israel. Most recently she lived in Germany while coordinating programming for the U.S. military stationed overseas.

She is excited to return to the home of Nationals baseball with her husband and two young daughters (and two cats).

[email protected]

Lauren Hoffman, Curatorial Assistant

A Maryland native, Lauren has spent her life enjoying all the museums and cultural institutions that Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and the surrounding Mid Atlantic has to offer. She received her BA in English Literature and Theory from American University and studied Museum Studies at Drexel University.

When not wandering through museums, Lauren can be found hiking local trails with her dog, Maggie, rock climbing, or reading a book somewhere cozy.

[email protected]

Malki Karkowsky, Chief Advancement Officer

Karkowksy brings nearly 20 years of experience in fundraising and audience development, the majority for local and national Jewish non-profits, including Federation of Greater Washington and Hillel International. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business.

In her free time, Karkowsky enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her husband and three children.

[email protected] 

Sarah Leavitt, Curator

Sarah, who hails from Wisconsin, moved to Silver Spring, Maryland in 2000. She holds an MA in Museum Studies and a PhD in American Studies from Brown University, and has worked in museums for over 30 years.

Sarah comes to CJM most immediately from 13 years at the National Building Museum in DC. Her publications include several books and articles; some of her favorites cover the history of the pregnancy test kit and the TV show Veronica Mars. She is also Event Review Co-Editor for American Quarterly, a member of Temple Shalom, and loves to run when her knee cooperates.

[email protected]

Liora Newman, Education Assistant

Liora Newman, Education Assistant and Avodah Jewish Service Corps member, recently graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in History. She has experience working in both history and education spaces. Her responsibilities include developing resources, activities and partnerships for the Community Action Lab.

[email protected]

Raven Orlikoff, Membership and Development Operations Manager

Raven Orlikoff is a native of Norristown, Georgia. After completing a Bachelor’s in History at the University of Georgia, Raven relocated to Norfolk, Virginia, where she served as Assistant Director of the Hunter House Victorian Museum. Prior to joining the Museum, she worked in development and events at the National Sporting Library & Museum in Middleburg, Virginia.

Raven can often be found exploring the many cultural institutions of Washington, DC as a lifelong admirer of art and architecture.

[email protected]

Maura Scanlon, Communications Specialist

A Northern Virginia native, Maura has more than 20 years of museum communications experience, including three capital projects. Highlights of her career include being a docent at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, promoting the Jewish Museum in NYC, and supporting the opening of the expanded Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut.

[email protected]

Hally Silberg, Education Coordinator

A New York native, Hally Silberg received her B.A. in International Studies from the University of Michigan. After her studies, she pursued teaching opportunities in both New York and Israel. She then relocated to D.C. to attend George Washington University, receiving her master’s degree in museum studies. She joins the CJM team after working for Dumbarton House, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, and The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

When not exploring museums or nature, Hally can be found reading, learning about history, or enjoying new foods in the District.

[email protected]