about us

Executive Board

Francine Semaya


I served as President of CBI from July, 2012 – June, 2014 (5772-5774), while simultaneously serving as Religious Committee Chair. After serving on the Board of Trustees as Immediate Past President, I have continued to serve in the newly created position as Trustee for Religious Life.  Previously,  I  served as 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President of the Congregation, Chair of the Religious Committee 2001-2002, June 2007-2013; Trustee 1994-2000, 2005-2012; Chair of the Board of Education 1994-1996, 2000; Chair of the Membership Committee, 1998-1999; Member: Religious Committee 1993-2002, 2005- present. Board of Education 1993-2002, Cantor’s Negotiating Committee 1996-1997, 2007-2008; 2011-2012; Rabbi's Contract Negotiating Committee –2007- 2008; 2011-2012; 2012-2013; 2015 - 2016; 2018-2019; Constitution Committee 1999-2002, 2004-2005, Legal Committee 1999-2002, Sisterhood 1988-present, Walk for Israel Committee 1994, Introduced and Chaired Annual Parent Participation Day 1994-95, 1998. High Holy Day Chair – 2007- present.  It was an honor and a privilege to be President of CBI and I look forward to serving each and everyone of our members again as President of CBI.

The Semaya family have been a members of the Congregation since 1988.  Our three children grew up at CBI, and after celebrating their B’nai Mitzvot, were Torah readers for Shabbat and the High Holy Days. We have celebrated Auf Rufs and baby namings at CBI as our wonderful family continues to grow.


Dr. Eric Menell

 Vice President, Operations

It is an incredible honor to be nominated once again to represent the synagogue as Operations Vice President.  I have been part of the CBI family since 2004 and am looking forward to the opportunity to serve for another term as a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees.

I have recently overseen projects at CBI including the Komar Entryway addition, new office, new multi-purpose / Adult Education room, restroom renovations, hallway renovations, classroom upgrades and numerous security improvements. I have also spearheaded efforts to improve the efficiency of the synagogue's operations. 

Professionally, I am a high school history teacher and hold my doctorate in Educational Leadership. My previous professional and volunteer experience includes extensive work with Jewish non-profit agencies, including senior leadership roles in youth programming, operations, facilities, marketing, special events planning and recreation.


Danielle Liss

Vice President, Education

Danielle Liss and her family have been members of Congregation B’nai Israel for nearly 4 years. Her children, ages 8 and 12, currently attend SHMA and her 8-year-old  also attended Gan Yeladim when they first moved to the area. Danielle serves on the CBI Board of Education and often volunteers at SHMA activities. She has also been involved in planning various CBI events such as Rabbi Goldberg’s installation and the last two family Chanukah celebrations. Danielle has worked for nearly 20 years at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. She resides with her family in Fair Haven.


Richard Sussman

Vice President, Finance 

Rich Sussman and his family have been members of CBI since 1990.  His three children, Nina, Jeff and Jodi all attended the Gan, Hebrew School and Hebrew High School at CBI.  Rich has a BSE from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Rich worked on Wall Street for 26 years prior to retiring.  Since retiring from Wall Street, Rich has gotten involved with local non-profit Board participation as well as working as an expert witness in financial arbitration cases.  Rich has been VP Finance for the last two years and is looking forward to continuing to serve as VP Finance.


Martin Grodman


Martin Grodman and his family have been members of Congregation B’nai Israel for 3 years. His wife Mikki is the shul’s librarian (return your books!).  Their 2 children Sofie (age 10) and Olivia (age 7) are both graduates of Gan Yeladim and currently attend SHMA.  Martin is the nephew of Eddie and Helene Grodman (long time members of the shul) and cousin of Lauren Grodman, first grade teacher at SHMA.  He is the National Sales Manager of American Brass and Crystal headquartered in Union, NJ.  He volunteers in youth soccer and softball, and is the Vice President of the Oceanport Soccer Association.  The family resides in Sea Bright. Martin is running for the position of Treasurer on the Executive Committee.



Tara Siers


Tara Siers and her husband Kevin Kimball are the fourth generation of the Siers family at CBI.  Tara was in the first graduating class of Gan Yeladim and attended Hebrew School and Hebrew High School at CBI.  CBI has been a big part of her family upbringing as her parents were both actively involved for many years. She has been involved at CBI in different capacities including working in the Education office and teaching Hebrew School. Throughout the years Tara has been involved with various CBI fundraisers and planning of events.  Tara has been Secretary of the Executive Committee for the last two years and looks forward for two more.