LEADERSHIP

JWT’s Leadership advances the ideal that the lives and experiences of Jews in America, in all its diversity, should be represented on stage and documented for posterity.

Our Honorary Board includes Honey Kessler Amado, Nancy Berman, Cambria & Howard Gordon, Janice Kamenir-Reznik, Faye Moskowitz, Gina Nahai, Joy Picus, Gail Twersky Reimer, and Rosanne Ziering.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

RONDA SPINAK (Artistic Director) created JWT’s At-Homes Salon Theatre Series and since has curated and produced more than 45 original Jewish-themed salon shows, as well as adapted many of the pieces performed. Spinak developed and produced Ovation-recommended Not That Jewish at JWT’s The Braid, which ran for 16 months, garnered an LA Drama Critics Circle nomination, and then moved to off-Broadway. She also produced Rain Pryor’s hit show Fried Chicken & Latkes and Vicki Juditz’s Ovation-recommended Sacred Resistance. Spinak co-wrote Stories from the Fringe, putting the stories of women rabbis on stage for the first time. Since then, she and her team have interviewed on videotape 180 national and international women rabbis, and in partnership with Jewish Women’s Archive have made many of the interviews available online at www.jwa.org. She has written for Rugrats, and her plays include Oscar Wilde’s Wife, a favorite at the Ashland New Play Festival. She is on the board of the Alliance for Jewish Theatres and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. She feels blessed to be working with so many creative people who give their hearts and souls to JWT.

LYNNE HIMELSTEIN has dedicated herself to the Jewish community, assuming leadership positions on the board of National Women’s Philanthropy.  In great demand as a speaker on Jewish philanthropy, she has traveled around both the United States and Israel, inspiring people to give to Jewish organizations.  She is currently the chair of Lion of Judah Endowment for the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and member of the board of Jewish Women’s Archive.

PATRICIA LINDEN  is formerly the Director of Financial Management at the RAND Corporation, a non-profit policy research organization based in Santa Monica. She brings 30 years of financial management experience to her role on the JWT Board and she holds an MBA from UCLA. Prior to RAND she worked in public accounting for nine years with a specialty in entertainment and non-profits and worked in the film production and sports entertainment industry for six years prior to joining RAND in 1984.

Jackie’s career has included several professional areas including film production, nonprofit development and administration, physical fitness personal trainer and preschool teacher.  She is presently Vice Chair of the Board of Jewish Women’s Theatre, and has served as a volunteer for seven years. Jackie co-founded the Los Angeles Children’s Museum, reopened  today as The Discovery Cube LA.  Jackie is currently developing several film projects.

Olivia Cohen-Cutler is an attorney whose nearly 40 year career includes senior executive positions in the areas of labor and employment relations, entertainment business affairs and broadcast industry content at Disney/ABC Television.  Since 2000, she served as Senior Vice President, Standards and Policy, ABC, Inc where she led the Broadcast Standards and Practices Department which is responsible for the acceptability of all entertainment programming and commercial material on ABC Networks. She has served as Chair, the MorningStar Commission founded by Hadassah advocating for strong and diverse media portrayals of Jewish women, a member of the Board of Directors for the Jewish Women’s Archive, and as an advisory Board member for the Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA Hillel. Olivia earned her JD cum laude from Boston College Law School, and received her BA and an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Simmons College.

Jennifer Roth Krieger has worked in local politics for nearly 30 years, beginning with NYC Mayor Ed Koch. Her professional life in Los Angeles includes working on children’s issues for County Supervisor Ed Edelman, serving as Deputy Mayor under Richard Riordan and currently working as Special Assistant to City Attorney Mike Feuer.  Raised just outside of New York City, she has long embraced her Jewish identity – most recently as a Wexner Fellow, member of the Jewish Women’s Initiative and as an active member of the Nashuva community and University Synagogue. She joined the Jewish Women’s Theater Board of Directors in 2018. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband Dr. Lauren Eric Krieger, where they have raised their three children – Samantha, Noah, and Ezra.

SHARON LANDAU brings to JWT 20 years of non-profit leadership experience helping programs and organizations scale and thrive. As a non-profit Director and consultant, she engaged multidisciplinary stakeholders to design, pilot, scale and evaluate innovative programs improving contraceptive access at local, state and national levels that became replicable models.  She launched Pharmacy Forward, the nation’s first leadership program for pharmacists in reproductive health. She previously worked in management consulting for Kaiser Permanente and as clinic manager for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. She holds a Masters in Public Health from UCLA and is an alumnae of CA Women’s Policy Institute and Center for Collaborative Planning’s Leadership Institute.

JODIE KAY is a licensed architect, and works in downtown Los Angeles managing construction of culture and entertainment venues for Cumming, an international  project management and cost consulting company. When she’s not working at her day job, she is volunteering for Jewish Women’s Theatre, and spending time with her family and friends.

JANIS C. NELSON has worked in the entertainment industry for over 40 years. She is an entertainment attorney with the law firm of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams + Sheppard, LLP in Beverly Hills, representing production companies, financiers, producers, writers, directors and actors working in theatre, film, television, publishing and new media. She has served on the boards of several prominent arts and media organizations, including Women in Film, Los Angeles Ballet and Dance Camera West. She began her career at the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center in New York City and she is a graduate of Barnard College and the UCLA School of Law.

ELISA WAYNE served as President of the Women’s Conference, campaign chair, vice president of Organizations Assembly and board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles; creator of a young leadership program and board member for the Los Angeles Jewish Home; co- chair of the School of Jewish Communal Service Advisory Board and mentor at Hebrew Union College; Lion of Judah Endowment Fund; and alumni member of the National Young Leadership Cabinet. She has received several awards and honors for her leadership in the Los Angeles Jewish community and is recognized as an effective fundraiser and creative talent. Elisa works as a Senior Attorney with the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review and is an active member of the California State Bar. She sits on the Los Angeles Jewish Home subsidiary board of the Gerontology Education and Research Organization (GERO) affiliated with the Boren School of Gerontology at UCLA. Elisa is a writer and comedienne who appears at numerous comedy venues including the Hollywood Improv, Second City, Flappers and the Comedy Union. She is an ardent supporter of theater and dance, and a long time subscriber to the Ahmanson Theater, UCLA-Reprise, the Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall. A graduate of the University of Michigan with a BA in Psychology and a JD from Southwestern University, Elisa is a mother of two daughters. She enjoys golfing, blogging, spinning and snow skiing.

JWT ADVISORY COUNCIL

LIZ ALTMAN is a native Southern Californian. She received a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and a JD from SMU. She has volunteered for various organizations and currently is a captain of a tennis team. Liz produces the popular South Bay Salon for JWT and lends the organization her expertise in real estate. When she is not devoting her time to JWT or playing tennis, she works for a real estate management and development company, where she has been a vice president for the past 20 years. Prior to that, she worked as an in-house real estate attorney for two major retailers. She is licensed to practice law in Texas. She is married and has two adult children.