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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 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 Israel's Technion, and a master’s degree in business management from Ben-Gurion University. He and his wife, Naomi, have three children.

Vice President, Dan Suissa

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.

Benson Goldstein

Benson’s term as Board Member of MDSC began in May 2019. He is an attorney with extensive experience in the areas of taxation, legislation, federal regulations, and mediation of individual and business conflicts. Benson’s over 35 year career includes private law practice and professional positions with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. House of Representatives. He has a law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a B.S. in accounting from New York University. Benson and his wife, Erin, have two 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.

Men's Club President, Albert Moyal

Albert’s term as President of the Men's Club and Board Member of MDSC began in November 2018. Originally from New York, Albert has been a member of the MDSC community for almost 30 years. He is a biomedical/electrical engineer with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration where he works on the approval and clearance of various medical devices. Albert also works as a math and science tutor for students with learning disabilities, and is a part-time instructor in Tae Kwon Do. He and his wife, Allison, have two children (who attend MDSC's Sephardic Roots Talmud Torah program!)

Board Member, Shelley Amsellem

Shelley's term as a Board Member of MDSC began in December 2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Shelley is the oldest of four sisters and is quite proud of her French, Moroccan and Syrian heritage! She attended Brooklyn College, where she majored in French and Russian, and completed her Bachelor's degree at the University of Maryland after moving to DC. She taught French to middle and high school students, and later worked in her family's restaurant business. Shelley and her husband Claude have three children (and 10 grandchildren) and she enjoys hiking, tennis, playing cards, and reading.

Board Member, Fariba Aslemand

Fariba has been a member of Magen David Sephardic Congregation and an active member of the sisterhood since 2007. She was born and raised in Iran and moved to Maryland to attend college and dental school at the University of Maryland. Fariba is a general dentist in Rockville with her own practice and over 25 years of experience in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. She is an active member of the ADA, AGD, and GWAWD. She and her husband, Farid, have two children.

Adam’s term as a board member of MDSC began in 2019. He was born and raised in Rockville, Maryland, and has been a longtime member of the congregation. Adam graduated with a BS in Geographic Information Science from the University of Maryland in 2018. He is currently an IT consultant and owner of SYBR Technology Solutions.

Board Member, Adam Bensimhon 


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, December 7 2021 3 Tevet 5782