Who We Are


Board of Directors


Susan Cohen


Susan Cohen was born in Brooklyn, New York, to non-Deaf parents who raised her and her younger siblings in a traditional Conservative Jewish household where the family celebrated the holidays and kept kosher. Not having the Hebrew education that her siblings had, her desire to learn about her Jewish heritage, Hebrew and Jewish spirituality led her to completing her synagogue’s Adult B’nai Mitzvah program. In addition to leading its Deaf Access Committee, she participated on its Search Committee for the synagogue's first Program Director and on her daughters' Confirmation Committee. After their children completed their religious school education at Temple Beth Ami, she and her husband left behind 18 wonderful years of synagogue membership to give greater attention to Washington Society of Jewish Deaf. She served on the WSJD Board of Directors as its secretary for two terms from 2011-2017. In retrospect, she says, “I enjoy being an active part of the WSJD team, building ruach (spirit), and bringing together the community for shared learning opportunities." Susan is the Project Coordinator of the Maryland Deaf Culture Digital Library and Head of Adult Services/Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community for the Montgomery County Public Libraries. She and her husband, Jeff Cohen are proud of their two grown non-deaf daughters, son-in-law, and sweet fur granddog who they enjoy spoiling. She and her husband, Jeff enjoy traveling and discovering new ventures together.


Michael Pearlman


Mike, who hails from Des Moines, Iowa, settled his roots in Silver Spring and is a proud father of Katelyn. Katelyn has been raised in an interfaith household. Judaism has been a strong part of his family growing up. His father was a temple administrator and a grants writer. Mike is currently involved in the public sector along with some consulting. He received his bachelor of science degree in criminal justice/political science from RIT and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore.


Vicki Lowen


Coming soon!



Hillel Goldberg


Hillel Goldberg, son of Rabbi Goldberg, was born in New York City. He moved to Rutland, Vermont at age two and graduated from Austin School for the Deaf in Brattleboro, Vermont. He received his B.A. in Psychology and Secondary Education in Social Studies from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. He worked at Gallaudet for 23 years as Program Coordinator for Student Union, Director of University Center, Coordinator oil Auxiliary Services, and is currently Coordinator, Office of Student Conduct. Hillel received his M.A. in Special Education from Ball State University in Indiana while he worked for Indiana School for the Deaf as Director of Student Development Center and Ean of Students from 2000-2006.

He has led spiritually engaging ASL High Holy Day services and provided support to lay leaders for WSJD for several years. In the past, he presented several Student Leadership Programs training sessions to Our Way organization and coordinated Shabbat Weekend Camp in Maryland. Almost every year, Gallaudet students ask Mr. Goldberg how to set up Hillel, the student organization at Gallaudet, because of his first name. In fact, the Hillel Club organization was not founded by him.


Jeffrey Dunefsky

Director: Outreach

Jeffrey Dunefsky, a New York native, received his Jewish education at PS 47. He later transferred to Lexington School for the Deaf. At this school, he attended a class once a week to study Judaism and had a bar mitzvah. As a member of WSJD for over 25 years, he has held different positions on the Board of Directors. He served as its treasurer from 1986-1988, vice president from 1988-1992, and member at large from 1996-1997. He took on active roles in WSJD over the years by assisting in the development of its programs, such as high holy day services. For the 2016-2019 term, he currently is one of the three Directors on the WSJD Board of Directors with a focus on Outreach. He also is member at large for the Jewish Deaf Congress (JDC) and is assisting its Board of Directors in the planning of the 2017 conference. He earned his associate of applied science degree in medical lab technology from NTID and a bachelor of science degree in biology from Gallaudet University. He lives with his wife, son and daughter.


Director: ADA Accommodations

Steve Brenner

President Emeritus

Coming soon!


Jeffrey Cohen

Past President

Jeff and his wife, Susan, are the proud parents of two adult daughters. When their daughters were of Hebrew School age, they joined Temple Beth Ami, a Reform Jewish congregation in Rockville, Maryland. They worked closely with the Temple’s clergy, the religious school, and the community to ensure that their needs and that of its Jewish deaf members of Temple Beth Ami are met. Jeff served on the Temple’s Board of Directors for five years, on the Rabbinical Search Committee, and as the Temple’s financial secretary, as well as with the Deaf Access Committee. Jeff served two terms as president of WSJD from 2011-2017. Jeff currently works as an adjunct professor at Gallaudet University. He received his B.S. degree in Social Work from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Master in Information Systems from University of Maryland, University College.


WSJD Staff

Caring Committee

Helping Our Community

Terry Bittker, Judy Jonas, Liz Katz, Irene Leigh, Tracey Rattner, and Marcia Zisman

WSJD Liaison

to Hillel at Gallaudet

Hillel Goldberg

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