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Board Members

Darkhei Noam is led entirely by a group of lay leaders including its co-chairs, board members, gabbaim, laining and davening coordinators. We strive to make Darkhei Noam a warm and inclusive spiritual home and encourage everyone to introduce him or herself to our lay leaders at kiddush on Shabbat.


Rabba Wendy Amsellem is a long-time member of Darkkhei Noam and joined the Board in 2020. She teaches ‬Talmud and Halakha at Maharat, is the Director of the Beit Midrash Program, and is the Editor of Yehivat Maharat’s Keren Journal. She is the former Director of the Dr. Beth Samuels Drisha High School Program, was the Rosh Kollel of the Drisha July Kollel, and is an alumna of the Drisha Scholars Circle. She has been a Wexner Graduate Fellow and a Mandel Jerusalem Fellow. 

Emmanuel Bloch has been a member of Darkhei Noam since 2012 and joined the board in 2020. Emmanuel is married to Sarah Bloch-Elkouby, who heads the Hospitality Committee, and they have three children - Tsofia, Liorah, and Oren. Emmanuel is an attorney-at-law and a doctoral student in Jewish Philosophy.

Talia Hurwich pictureTalia Hurwich joined the board in 2018. She serves as a gabbai, is a member of the hospitality committee, and former davening coordinator. During the week, Talia works as a Doctoral Candidate at NYU in Education and Jewish Studies. There, she researches and has published several works on comics, graphic novels, and game design in the educational setting (including, but not limited to, Jewish settings) and teaches philosophy to undergraduates. In her spare time, Talia enjoys reading fiction, playing games, and spinning fire.

Naomi Kadish joined Darkhei Noam in 2018, joined the board in 2022, and is the current gabbai coordinator. She currently works at Palantir Technologies as a Privacy Engineer.

Eric Kaplan has been a member of Darkhei Noam since 2013. He previously served as the Friday night coordinator, and serves on the Strategic Planning and Scholar-in-Residence Committees. He works as a project manager at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is married to Renee Stern Kaplan.

Michelle Kraus (Co-Chair) has been a member of Darkhei Noam since 2015, joined the Board in 2020, and is serving as the chair of the Bikkur Cholim committee. Michelle is a social worker who provides advocacy services for children and adults with disabilities in a public interest law firm.


Ayelet (Yelli) Lobel has been a member of Darkhei Noam since 2019. She became the women’s davening coordinator in 2022, and joined the board in 2023. When she is not avidly recruiting new daveners, Yelli works at Goldman Sachs as an algorithmic trader. She is married to Ari Allen.

Harris Mevorah has been a member of Darkhei Noam since 2019 and joined the Board in the fall of 2021. Currently, he is a Senior Associate at KPMG in their Financial Services consulting practice. In his time at Darkei Noam, he has helped organize Young Professionals events and is always eager to meet prospective members.

Sharon Samet has been a member of Darkhei Noam since 2013 when she moved to the UWS. She is a member of the hospitality and shiva committees. Sharon is a social worker who spent most of her career researching the relationships between substance abuse to other psychiatric disorders. She currently teaches in a social work graduate program. Sharon is married to Yaakov Stern, and they have three children and two grandchildren.

Rabbi Mikey Stein joined the Board in 2020. He is a faculty member at the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School and received ordination from YCT. He and his wife, Shevy Baskin, are parents of Ezra and Asher.

Naomi Steinberger has been a board member since 2020. She has been a member since the inception of Darkhei Noam. Naomi is co-chair of the mix and match lunches/dinners, is a member of the scholars in residence committee and the COVID-19 planning committee. Naomi is Director of Library Services at The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary. She is married to Chaim, who served on the board and was co-chair in 2009-2011. They have two grown children and two grandchildren.

Sara Timen has been a member of Darkhei Noam since 2014 and joined the Board in 2019. Sara is a middle school teacher at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School. She and her husband, Seth Wolfman, are proud parents of two amazing daughters. Sara coordinates children's programming for the soul. 

Chaim Trachtman is a pediatric nephrologist with a faculty appointment at the University of Michigan. He is a consultant for clinical trial designs and implementation. He is the editor of the book, Women and Men in Communal Prayer: Halakhic Perspectives (KTAV,JOFA) and contributes to Lehrhaus and Times of Israel. He is a member of the board of Yeshivat Maharat. He is married to the president of AMIT and has five children who have given him six fantastic grandchildren.

Paul Wachtel picturePaul Wachtel (Co-Chair, Treasurer) joined the Board in 2018 and serves on the space and by-laws committees. He has been a Professor of Economics at the Stern School of Business at NYU for over 45 years, is married to Claire, has two grown children and four grandchildren.

Avi Zollman has been a member of Darkhei Noam since 2009 and a member of the board since 2018. He's married to Sarah, and neither of them were involved in the shul's move to their block of 85th Street, though they both deeply appreciate it. Professionally, he works on large-scale communications and engagement strategy.

Tue, April 16 2024 8 Nisan 5784