2017 Board

Mishkan’s Rocking Board of Directors is leading our organization as we grow and realize our vision.

Meet the incredible group of smart folks who love this organization and are going above and beyond to put their time, talents, and treasure to ensuring our long-term sustainability. They keep us motivated and grounded as we continue to pioneer new entryways into Jewish life.

Our board’s main role is to help envision Mishkan for the present and future and ensure our financial responsibility and stability. We meet regularly to discuss the nuts-and-bolts of responsible organization running, from 30,000 feet up. If you’re interested in a role on the board, please contact Rachel Cort to discuss!

Learn More

If you’re interested in learning more about the Mishkan Board, we’d love to talk to you.

Email Rachel Cort

James Edward Johnson

James Edward Johnson

Board President

James enjoys carrying his twins on his shoulders and dancing with his wife, Dana. In his work as a lawyer and support manager, James has helped people get permanent residency in the US, a hospital open a hospice care unit, and a company ensure that its supply chain does not include forced labor. James is unusually skeptical and interested in adopting unpopular opinions, which somewhat ironically explains why he converted to Judaism more than ten years ago.

Lisa Portnoy

Lisa Portnoy

Treasurer

Lisa is a Partner with Ernst & Young, currently working with technology companies throughout the Midwest.  Originally from New Jersey and having spent many years in the Bay Area, she has a long history of involvement with many different Jewish organizations as a learner, a volunteer and a board member. She came to Chicago in 2012 where she is also a member of the board of Orot – The Center for New Jewish Learning, and 1871/Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.   Lisa graduated from Franklin and Marshall College and lives in River North where her rooftop is always open for Mishkan gatherings.

Susan Horowitz

Susan Horowitz

Secretary

Susan has over 20 years of experience as a consultant working with Fortune 500 and non-profit organizations in the area of human and organization performance, change management, leadership and governance. A native Floridian, she started her career in New York City as a banker and still prefers New York pizza. She has also lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area and is pleased to call Chicago and Mishkan home. She received her MBA from Tulane University.

Scott Issen

Scott Issen

Scott Issen is President & CEO of Future Founders, a non-profit that believes every youth can become an entrepreneur and has served over 30,000 youth to date. Prior to Future Founders, Scott was Managing Director at the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, which now runs 1871, and provided strategic guidance to high-growth entrepreneurs. Scott has over 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship, management, leadership and fundraising and was named one of the Crain’s “40 Under 40″ list.

Jacob Kaufman

Jacob Kaufman

In addition to being the proud host of the very first Mishkan Shabbat in his living room, Jacob is most proud of his role in creating two wonderful children – Ariel 19 and Josh 17. He is thankful to have experienced a varied and fascinating career – as a lawyer, real estate developer and artist.  Jacob is deeply grateful for the opportunity to add his voice and experience to the growth of the Mishkan community.

 

Daniel Riff

Daniel Riff

Daniel is a Driver Operations Manager at Uber Chicago, where he focuses on compliance and engagement. Originally from the Bay Area, he came to Chicago in 2010 to participate in Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps as a Housing Resource Specialist at Heartland Alliance. He’s a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and co-founded Chicago’s chapter of the Washington University Pride Alumni Network.

 

Jane Charney

Jane Charney

Jane Charney is the director of domestic affairs at the Jewish Community Relations Council. She previously served as the assistant regional director of AJC Chicago, where her portfolio focused on building lasting relationships with leaders in Chicago’s ethnic, religious and diplomatic communities. Jane holds a B.A. in journalism and international studies from Indiana University, and an A.M. in international relations with a focus on nationalism from the University of Chicago. Born in Moscow, Jane came to the US with her family as a teenager. In addition to English, she speaks Russian, Spanish and French. Jane and her husband live in Chicago’s Lincoln Park with their two young children, who are avid Mini-Mishkan participants.

 

Mark Achler

Mark Achler

Mark is passionate about joyful creation – because starting something new should be joyful, building inclusive communities, and empathy.  He practices this as a Managing Director of MATH Venture Partners and as a Guest Lecturer at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business.  He is married to Marcie and they have three wonderful daughters – Emily, Sarah and Haley.

Stephanie Goldfarb

Stephanie Goldfarb

Stephanie Goldfarb is a veteran Jewish community professional specializing in experiential Jewish teen education. Goldfarb holds Masters Degrees in both Gender Studies and Clinical Social Work from Loyola University, as well as a certificate in Experiential Jewish Education from Yeshiva University. Goldfarb is also an accomplished chef and operates her own monthly underground supper club called Seven Species Supper Club (a nod to her passion for the intersections of Judaism and food) from which she donates all of the proceeds to Chicago-based non-profits.

Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann

Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann

As the founding Rabbi of Mishkan, Rabbi Lizzi is also on the board. Read more about her here.