Chairman, Rochester Steering Committee
Ricki Korey Birnbaum, Ed.D., Learning Specialist and Reading Researcher
Ricki is the founder and director of Effective Literacy Methods which is devoted to the development and testing of scientifically based early literacy programs and materials, which are being used in school districts across the U.S. Ricki is also affiliated with the Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester where she has taught courses in reading and reading disorders and has been involved in the area of professional development. She has also conducted research investigating the roles and relationships of the precursors of literacy; and has examined the effects of method of instruction on the literacy acquisition of kindergarten children. She has published and presented papers on the subject. Ricki has also been a member and chair of the Dean's Advisory Committee at the Warner School.
Ricki is active in the Jewish Community in Rochester. She is a member of the board of the Jewish Community Federation and serves on the Committee for Holocaust Awareness and Education. She is also a Lion of Judah and member of Temple Beth El (Conservative).
Ricki is tremendously proud of her husband, Jay, a past president of the Federation who serves on many boards in the Rochester Jewish community, and of her son, Bernard who, with his wife, Lisa, has brought a beautiful grandson, Lucas, into their lives. Ricki loves to play golf and ski and has traveled to Israel on several occasions.
Deborah Musinger Biedenkopf
Deborah Musinger Biedenkopf is Vice President of Finance and Development at Living Communities, LLC., a Rochester, NY-based real estate company that focuses on the senior housing sector. Ms. Biedenkopf works directly with various banks, investors and other lending institutions to obtain financing for new projects, as well as the refinancing of existing capital structures. She also plays a key role in the evaluation of new and existing projects. Ms. Biedenkopf has an extensive background in finance and investment management and longstanding involvement with a family-owned real estate company. From 2007 through 2009 Ms. Biedenkopf was the investment analyst at the Office of Institutional Resources at the University of Rochester, the office responsible for the investment management of the University’s endowment. A Rochester, NY native, Ms. Biedenkopf returned to Rochester in 2007 after working for a private bank in Geneva, Switzerland where she managed a U.S., direct investment, real estate portfolio of approximately $800 million in value, including residential, commercial and self storage assets. Prior to Switzerland, Ms. Biedenkopf was at Deloitte and Touche New York, NY providing business valuation services, including fair market value of equity and intangible asset valuation to diverse businesses globally.
Ms. Biedenkopf has held various positions with the development arm of the United Nations, including project management and research on foreign direct investment. In addition to Rochester, New York City, and Geneva, Switzerland, Ms. Biedenkopf has also worked or studied in Costa Rica, India, Mexico and France.
Along with her experience, Ms. Biedenkopf’s education includes an MBA from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College.
Ms. Biedenkopf has held several leadership positions with The Jewish Federation of Rochester and Temple Beth El of Rochester, NY.
Beth Bruner, Community Volunteer
Beth is a retired elementary school teacher who has devoted the last decade to work with the non-profit social service sector. She has chaired numerous boards including the Jewish Federation, National Council of Jewish Women and the Advertising Council of Rochester. Along with her husband, Josh, Beth coordinates the Effectiveness Initiatives of the Bruner Family Foundation http://www.brunerfoundation.org/ and is active in the Rochester Grant Makers Forum and the national Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO).
Beth, Josh and their Zachary, are members of Temple Sinai (Reform) and Temple Beth El (Conservative). Their first of many family trips to Israel was in 1988.
Howard Crane, Attorney
Howard is a partner of the Rochester law firm of Relin, Goldstein and Crane. He specializes in matters related to real estate. Howard volunteers much of his time with his synagogue, Temple Beth El (Conservative), where he is past-president. He is also active at the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Community Federation.
He has traveled to Israel many times since his first visit in 1973. Howard is married to Leslie and is the father of three children, Daniel, Jeremy, and Ari.
Leslie Crane, Retired School Social Worker & Active Volunteer
Leslie worked for the Rochester City School District for nineteen years as a certified school social worker. Since retiring from this position, she has been involved in a number of volunteer positions at Temple Beth El (Conservative), the Jewish Community Federation, and the town of Brighton Schools.
Leslie first traveled to Israel in 1973, where she met her husband, Howard, on a youth group trip sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Rochester. She returned to Israel in 2001 for a UJC solidarity mission, again in 2003 for the UJC General Assembly in Jerusalem, and several times since. Her greatest interest is traveling to Israel!
Leslie fills her days taking care of her three sons, Daniel, Jeremy, and Ari. She enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Jocelyn is founder and president of the Rochester Research Group. Several of her projects over the past decades have involved the Jewish communal world -- including survey work for UJC [now JFNA], JAFI, and Rochester’s Jewish Federation. She just had “the honor and privilege” of designing and conducting the 2010 “Count Me In” study of the Rochester region’s Jewish community.
Jocelyn’s first trip to Israel was in 1968 while the dust was still settling, and her most recent trip was the 2010 Heart2Heart2 National Women’s mission. In between she participated in several Federation-sponsored missions and volunteered two summers on an IDF base through the Sar-El program. She is a member of Temple Sinai [reform], a past JCC board member still very much involved in JCC camp-related initiatives, and a new Federation board member.
Jocelyn’s husband, Jim Woods, is chairman of Ob/Gyn at the University of Rochester. Her son, Aaron Schaible, is 16 and a rising Jewish leader in the making.