Board of Directors
|Cece Feiler, President|
|Ashley Waterman, Treasurer|
|Rochel Blachman, Secretary|
|Michael Berenbaum, Ph.D.|
|Rabbi Stan Levy|
|Gesher Calmenson, Founder|
Samara Hutman, Executive Director
Eleanor Cohen, Holocaust Bnai Mitzvah Project, Project Administrator
Mara Fisher, Fulfillment Coordinator
Gesher Calmenson, Founder. Gesher retired in 1995 from a 30–year career in publishing to work in Jewish education. In 2003 he founded Remember Us. He is the Education Director Emeritus of Dor Hadash Religious School, Congregation Ner Shalom, Cotati, California, and a Jewish Family Education Fellow (1999–2002). Gesher served as Chairman of the Regional Educators Council, Bureau of Jewish Education, San Francisco (2001–2002), and was a leader in Jewish Family Room, a multi–generational home–based family education program (2002–2005). He served as a school assessment specialist of NESS, a program to encourage excellence in synagogue schools. In his home community he serves as the chairman of the Sonoma County Yom Hashoah Commemoration Committee, mentors bar/bat mitzvah students, and tutors special needs and gifted students in Jewish studies. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Upstart Bay Area, an incubator and training center for Jewish innovation. Gesher writes,
"We are at a unique point historically and culturally. Our most important work is preparing our young people to be the active stewards of an emerging Jewish future which none of us can yet see. Our success in this enterprise depends on teaching our young people to embrace, be motivated by, and relate passionately to our history."This is the ongoing work of Remember Us.
Cece Feiler, President. Cece Feiler is the current Board President of Remember Us and Co-founder (with her daughter Jamie and a small group of Harvard-Westlake students and mothers) of The Righteous Conversations Project. She holds an MA from USC in Counseling and Psychology and was a practicing Marriage and Family Therapist for over 15 years. Feiler is a longtime active supporter of The Jewish Federation, including the last 14 years as a Lion of Judah. As the child of Holocaust survivors, and in their honor, Cece has been passionately involved in passing the history, the relevance and the important lessons to the next generation. Says Cece, "I am here for my mother Helen Freeman and for my father Joseph Freeman z"l. I am here for my children. And, I am here for the generations ahead who we hope will look to the work we did at this meaningful moment in Jewish history for guidance and inspiration."
Samara Hutman, Executive Director.
Samara Hutman has recently taken on the role of Executive Director of Remember Us. Hutman has steered the organization on a path of expansion and outreach, building the foundation for partnerships with educational and artistic institutions throughout the city.
Hutman first joined Remember Us as a volunteer in 2007 after her daughter, Rebecca, participated in The Holocaust Bnai Mitzvah Project. “Our family was deeply moved by the experience,” said Hutman, who served Remember Us as board president for three years. “It was a simple yet powerful act of remembrance for a child we never knew but whose memory became a part of our family story. And in the name of Victoria Farhi and her family, we were moved to act for good and righteousness. To quote Rabbi Irving ‘Yitz’ Greenberg, ‘It is thus that we turn cruelty and oppression into a source of energy... we show that love and memory can overcome hatred and evil, amnesia and apathy’.”
Hutman is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and studied at New York University’s film program.
Elly Cohen, Project Administrator. Elly was formerly the Outreach Coordinator for the seniors program at the Sonoma County Jewish Community Center. A longtime active volunteer in the Jewish community, her involvement includes serving as a cantorial soloist and music coordinator for her congregation, serving on the board of directors of several Jewish organizations, and teaching religious school and adult education classes.
Mara Fisher, Fulfillment Coordinator. Mara Fisher graduated from UCLA in 2010 with a Bachelors Degree in Art History. Prior to joining the staff at Remember Us, Mara worked at a contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles and spent a year as Artwork Editor for GRAPHITE Interdisciplinary Journal of the Arts, a student journal published by the Hammer Museum. Mara is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors and the strength of her grandmother Ruth and her surviving sisters has been an inspiration and driving force for her since she was very young. Mara writes: "Being involved with Remember Us has allowed me to connect with my grandmother's stories from a broader lens by understanding the common thread that runs through those who experienced the Holocaust firsthand. I am honored to work with the RC Project because I believe in the vitality of oral history and the transformative effect that personal narrative can have on a young person's perception of the past and their motivation towards the future."