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Leadership

Our congregation’s leaders are a dynamic group of individuals and professionals with a devotion to all things MDSC. Their complementary strengths and talents combine to provide responsible oversight of religious observance, community welfare, and fiscal responsibility.

The leadership of Magen David pledges to preserve the precepts of our founders and maintain the synagogue’s unique Sephardic character. At the same time, the group looks confidently to the future, with the aim of ensuring MDSC’s strengths and relevance for coming generations

Board of Directors

President, Itsik Elimelech  

Itsik’s term as the President of MDSC began in December 2017. Previously, he was a member of the Board of Directors and head of the religious committee. Itsik was born and raised in Israel and joined the IDF in 1985, eventually serving for 29 years. Itsik also held several positions in the R&D agency of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and was responsible for weapon systems development for the Israeli Army. In his last position, prior to retirement, he was the R&D Attaché at the Embassy of Israel in Washington DC. Upon his retirement from the IDF in 2014, Itsik joined IMI Systems Company, and is now the president of IMI USA Defense Company. Itsik holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Technicon, and a master’s degree in business management from Ben-Gurion University. He and his wife, Naomi, have three children.

Vice President, Orly Mechaly

Orly’s term as Vice President of MDSC began in December 2017. Previously, she was a member of the Board of Directors and President of the Sisterhood for three years. Orly was born in Israel and has lived in the DC area most of her life. In her professional career, Orly has been a government contractor for over 30 years working across a broad spectrum of government agencies. She started as a software developer and has since held many positions, including her current role as a requirements analyst. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business and French from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in technology management from American University. Orly and her husband, Frederic Richardson, have three children.

Treasurer, Dan Suissa

Dan’s latest term as Treasurer of MDSC began in December 2017, although he served as President and Treasurer of Magen David in previous years. A native of the Washington area, Dan is a principal and the Managing Partner in the Certified Public Accounting firm of Heymann, Suissa & Stone P.C. (HSS). He began his career as a staff accountant for one of the Baltimore area's largest hospitals and shortly after became a Principal in HSS in 1993. Over the years, Dan’s work with local businesses and individuals has brought peer recognition as evidenced by appearing on Washingtonian Magazine's list of "25 of the City's Best CPAs" and "293 Experts Who Can Help Put Your Financial House In Order." Dan is a Certified Public Accountant and received his BS from Towson State University. He and his wife Andrea have four children. 

Recording Secretary, Debbie Shemony

Debbie’s term as the Recording Secretary of MDSC began in December 2017. Previously, she was a member of the Board of Directors, head of the communications committee and founder of MDSC’s Manna volunteer program. In her professional capacity, Debbie is the vice president of marketing for BBYO, the world’s largest pluralistic Jewish youth organization. Previously, she enjoyed a 15+ year career in high tech marketing in the DC area, most recently working for Texas Instruments as the director of communications. She also serves on the State of Maryland’s Sister State Committee, during which time Maryland and the Negev region in Israel signed a formal relationship. Debbie holds a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University and an MBA from the University of Maryland. She and her husband, Eli, have four children.

 

Sisterhood President, Naomi Elimelech 

Naomi's term as President of the Sisterhood and Board Member of MDSC began in December 2017. Naomi was born and raised in Ashkelon, Israel and served in the IDF for two years. She began her career as a teacher and a dean of students in a high school in Israel, and is also a Holocaust studies instructor, certified by IHSH- Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies to guide delegations in Poland. Upon moving to the United States, Naomi worked as a research assistant at the Embassy of Israel, and currently teaches Hebrew at a Jewish day school in Rockville. Naomi earned her Bachelors in Education from Levinsky College in Israel. She and her husband, Itsik, have three children.

Board Member, Eddie Benaim

Board Member, Daniela Misri

Daniela's current term as a Board Member of MDSC began in December 2017, although she has served on the MDSC Board for 12 years now, holding positions as recording secretary, head of membership committee and head of social committee. Daniela has worked at the Children's Hospital in Washington, DC for over 28 years, and runs her own private practice from home as well, working with children with communication disorders. She studied at the University of Buenos Aires where she received a BA in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and continued her studies at the George Washington University where she received her Masters in Speech and Language Pathology. She and her husband Elias have two children.

Board Member, Emanuele Ottolenghi

Emanuele's current term as a Board Member of MDSC began in December 2017. He is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an expert at its Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance focused on Hezbollah's Latin America illicit threat networks and Iran's history of sanctions evasion. Prior to joining FDD, Emanuele headed the Transatlantic Institute in Brussels and taught Israel Studies at Oxford University. He is a published author, blogger and columnist for leading outlets including The Wall Street Journal and London's The Sunday Times. He obtained his Ph.D. in political theory at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, preceded by undergraduate studies at the University of Bologna in Italy. He and his wife Nicole have two children.

Staff

Executive Director, Andrea Choobineh 

Andrea joined Magen David Sephardic Congregation as the Executive Director in 2007. Prior to that, she was an educational administrator. Andrea taught at numerous synagogues and was the Educational Director at Kol Ami in Frederick, Maryland, where she helped establish the Sunday school. Andrea studied in Israel where she lived for a time at Kibbutz Tel Katzir near Lake Kinneret.  She and her husband Nick have two children.

Past Presidents

Frederic Richardson

Rami Levi

Daniel Myers

Dan Suissa

Charles Dahan

Samy Ymar

Jack Chriqui

Sami Totah a”h

Mark Zurares a”h

Eli Silvera a”h

Albert Emsellem a”h

 

 

Tue, November 20 2018 12 Kislev 5779