Wise Readers to Leaders – Board of Directors2018-08-13T19:33:42+00:00

Board of Directors

Back Row, Left to Right: Barbara Friedrich, Glenn Sonnenberg, Jeremy Rosen
Front Row, Left to Right: Laurie Bahar, Andrea Cayton, Lauren Campbell, Andrea Sonnenberg, Karen Weiss, Rabbi Ron Stern 
Laurie Bahar was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, she returned to Los Angeles where she worked in advertising media. Following that, Laurie worked for a retail jewelry chain, developing and running a comprehensive employee training program.

Laurie has long been civic minded, starting with her work at Lanai Road Elementary School in Encino when her oldest son was only a year old. She helped found the Friends of Lanai Booster club and later served as its Treasurer and then President. Through her hard work, she helped turn Lanai Road into one of the best public elementary schools in Los Angeles. For the past two years Laurie has also worked as a library and literacy volunteer at Garden Grove Elementary School in Reseda through the Jewish Federation’s Koreh LA program. She currently works in private foundation management as well as serving as the office manager for her husband’s medical practice.

Laurie lives in Encino, and is married to Ron Bahar. They have two children, Ethan and Matthew, who attend Viewpoint school.

Nicole Brooks was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She graduated from UC Berkely and thereafter got a masters in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine followed by a Doctor of Psychology from Ryokan College. She is currently in private practice in LA, conducting individual, couples and family therapy sessions as well as teen group counseling sessions and parenting classes. She is affiliated with the renowned Maple Counseling Center where she sits on its Board of Directors. She is the Co-Founder of the non-profit Your Voice that works to eradicate the stigma of mental health issues among college students nation-wide. And even created an App that aids in determining children’s shoe size.

Nicole is the mother of four children, the oldest of whom sits on our Teen Executive Board and is an active participant in the program.

Nicole feels strongly about the importance of literacy and its effect on broader issues and is thrilled to bring her passion, energy and commitment to literacy improvement to Wise Readers to Leaders.

Lauren Campbell was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley, she moved to Chicago to work in Financial Services. After many years, Lauren returned to school and received her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in Finance and Marketing. She then moved back to Los Angeles to begin work at Nestle USA. Lauren has spent the past 17 years working for Nestle in Marketing, International Business, Corporate Strategy and Innovation.

Lauren is also very active in philanthropic pursuits. She served on the board at her children’s schools for 9 years, during which she chaired the direct giving campaign and corporate sponsorship program. She also chaired the Youth Education Committee at Leo Baeck Temple for many years. Currently, Lauren is an advisory board member at the USC Marshall School of Business Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab and also chairs the Parent Education Committee at her children’s school, Viewpoint School. Lauren is also an advisory board member of Influential.

Lauren is married to Bowen Campbell and they have three children, Hudson, Stella and Clara.

Andrea Cayton was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she returned to Los Angeles to work in graphic communications. Thereafter she worked in design and customer service at a real estate development firm.
Andrea is very active in philanthropic pursuits. She has been a lead supporter at her children’s schools in the areas of fundraising and programming and has chaired numerous annual campaigns and fundraising events. She sits on its women’s leadership cabinet of the Jewish Federation and is on the Board of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Andrea is currently responsible for the organization and management of a private family foundation in Los Angeles.Andrea is married to Barry Cayton and they have three children, Garrett, Lyndsey and Derek.
Barbara Friedrich has been an educator since 1975. She began her career in the inner city and has always been an advocate for at risk students. In 2000 she left the classroom to become a Literacy Coach. Barbara began her administrative career in 2002. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to open a new school, Stanley Mosk Elementary. In collaboration with her staff, Barbara created a Professional Learning Community where all stake holders play a valuable role in the education of all students. She was named Principal of the Year by the Chatsworth Chamber of Commerce and ACSA, Region XVI. In 2011, her staff voted her the number one principal in LAUSD. Before retiring in June 2016, Barbara led her school to become one of two LEGO Model Schools in the United States. Wise Readers to Leaders was a natural fit for Mosk Elementary. Partnering with Temple Stephen Wise, opened the doors to reading and self-esteem for so many of her low income, mostly Hispanic students. Being asked to join the Board of Directors of Wise Readers to Leaders was a true honor.

For the past several years, Barbara has has been a speaker for NO Kid Hungry, on behalf of the Breakfast in the Classroom Program. No Kid Hungry is working to provide this program to students in need in California and across the country.

Steven Fishman I have lived in Los Angeles my entire life, and attended UCLA (’78). My wife Jodie and I have three children all of whom live in Los Angeles, and six grandchildren. I have been very involved in the Jewish Community for a long time and most recently served as the president of Stephen Wise Temple and Schools where we have been members for the past twenty one years. I serve on the Board of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, am an executive committee member of AIPAC in Los Angeles, and an Aipac National Council member, co-chair, along with my wife Jodie of the Los Angeles Birthright Council for the past eight years. I am a trustee of the Washington Institute, an active Elnet member and on the finance committee at Hillcrest Country Club. I am the managing partner of the Encino accounting firm of Fishman, Block + Diamond, LLP, and have practiced for 40 years.
Jeremy Rosen is a partner at Horvitz & Levy LLP, where he specializes in civil appeals in state and federal appellate courts. Mr. Rosen is also the director of the Pepperdine University School of Law Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic. The Clinic represents individuals in the Ninth Circuit who are identified by the court as needing pro bono counsel. Among the many organizations he is involved with, Mr. Rosen is the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Public Participation Project. The Public Participation Project (www.anti-SLAPP.org) is a national non- profit organization dedicated to protecting citizens from lawsuits designed to chill their ability to communicate with their government or speak out on issues of public interest.

Mr. Rosen has received numerous recognitions for his work as a lawyer. Most recently, the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal selected him as one of the top 100 lawyers in California and Public Counsel recognized Mr. Rosen as one of its pro bono attorneys of the year for his work in coordinating attorney members at Stephen Wise Temple in providing substantial pro bono assistance for numerous underprivileged children in need.Mr. Rosen received his J.D. and L.L.M. in International and Comparative Law from the Duke University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. He received his B.A. from Cornell University where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Upon graduation from law school, he served as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Ferdinand F. Fernandez on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for the Hon. Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr. on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Wendy Schwartz was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Westlake and then the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After college, Wendy completed the Interior Design program and UCLA. She has operated her own businesses since 1998; First as a jewelry designer and manufacturer and, since 2000, as a partner at Cuffhome, LLC an interior design firm and custom furnishings, wallpaper and lighting manufacturer.

Simultaneous to her career, Wendy has been raising three children. They attend Curtis School and Harvard Westlake School, where Wendy has been active in both annual giving fundraising and a number of leadership Parent’s Association positions. She has supported various arts and literacy based philanthropic efforts including K.A.M.P. at the Hammer, Determined to Succeed, Freedom School, and Nick Melvoin’s campaign to win a seat on the District 4 School Board. In addition, she and her family actively support the homeless crisis by fundraising for the United Way and the environment with their support of Plastic Oceans. Wendy is thrilled to increase her civic commitment by joining the board of Wise Readers to Leaders this year. Wendy is married to Ron Schwartz. Ron works at Lions Gate Entertainment where he heads Worldwide Home Entertainment Operations.

Martine Singer is currently President and CEO of Children’s Institute, overseeing one oversees one of region’s oldest and largest child and family organizations. Martine is a veteran of Los Angeles’s nonprofit sector, with extensive nonprofit management experience and a passionate commitment to improving the lives of children in LA’s most underserved communities.

At Children’s Institute, she manages an annual operating budget of $66 million and more than 800 staff. She also guides the agency’s $75 million Building on Success fundraising campaign, an effort to expand CII’s comprehensive clinical, early childhood, youth development and family support services, and build a new campus— designed pro-bono by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry—in the historic community of Watts.

Martine previously served as President and CEO of Para Los Ninos, as well as held executive positions with several global media companies, serving as the founder and publisher of the first foreign-language edition of The New York Times, and launching the Los Angeles Times’ award-winning online service in 1993. A native New Yorker, she holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Andrea Sonnenberg is currently the Executive Director of the Wise Readers to Leaders, responsible for founding and operating the program. Wise Readers to Leaders currently operates at Stephen Wise Temple, Milken Community Middle School, and American Jewish University in West LA serving over 200 underprivileged children. She also is the Vice-President of Administration for Latitude Management Real Estate Investors.

Andrea serves on the Board of the Wise Readers to Leaders, as its Chairman, the Advisory Board of Para Los Niños Charter School, the Board of New Jewish Community High School, the Board of USC Hillel, where she co-chairs the Jewish Alumni Association and the Women’s Leadership Cabinet of the Jewish Federation. She is a volunteer attorney for Bet Tzedek Legal Services, specializing in senior citizen legal issues and for KIND Legal Services providing counsel to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the US. She has been a Girl Scout leader for 10 years. And has served on the Executive Boards of both Curtis School and Harvard-Westlake School Parents’ Associations. She was the founding Co-President of the Sisterhood at Stephen Wise Temple.Andrea graduated Cum Laude from the USC Marshall School of Business in Finance in 1983 and received her JD from Loyola Law School in 1986 where she was a Moot Court Champion. Upon graduation she practiced law for several years as a litigation associate at Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro. Subsequently, she was a Senior Attorney at Paramount Pictures, in the motion picture department, negotiating talent agreements, rights acquisitions and providing legal counsel to movie productions.Andrea is married to Glenn Sonnenberg, also an attorney and president of Latitude Management Real Estate Investors. They are the proud parents of Jake, Lauren and Bradley.

Glenn Sonnenberg is President of Latitude Management Real Estate Investors, Inc., managing institutional and high net worth capital in real estate investments throughout the United States. The company has sponsored three value debt funds with over $1B in equity commitments. He has been directly responsible for the acquisition, management and/or disposition of over $7.0B of real estate and debt investments in the United States and Canada.

Mr. Sonnenberg serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committees of Bet Tzedek—the House of Justice, Para los Niños and Stephen Wise Temple. He is a Governor’s appointee to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and of Hillcrest Country Club and serves as President of the USC Friends of the Libraries (producers of the annual Scripter Award). Glenn is co-chair of the annual USC Law School Forum on Real Estate Law and Business and serves on the Board of Councilors of the Law School and the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Glenn was awarded the Bet Tzedek Founder’s Award in 2009 and a USC Alumni Award in 2006.
Prior to founding Latitude Management, Mr. Sonnenberg was Managing Director of Prudential Carbon Mesa, President of ING Real Estate Investors and Executive Vice President and co-CEO of Kearny Street Real Estate Company (a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley).

A graduate of the University of Southern California, B.A. 1977, History, magna cum laude, phi beta kappa, Mr. Sonnenberg also received his J.D. in 1980 from USC. Mr. Sonnenberg began his career as a real estate and finance partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Allen, Matkins, Leck, Gamble and Mallory. He frequently speaks on real estate investment and finance and coaches middle school debate. He and his wife, Andrea, have three children ─ Jake, Lauren and Bradley.

Rabbi Ron Stern has been serving Stephen Wise Temple for 20 years. He is the Co-Founder, along with Andrea Sonnenberg of the original Wise Freedom School which has become the Wise Readers to Leaders independent program. He was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1990. In addition to serving as a pastoral, pulpit, and educational rabbi of Stephen Wise, he also directs the Social Justice Program. Rabbi Stern is charged with the task of broadening and deepening the social justice commitment of the congregation. He has expanded the reach of the congregation into several partnership organizations including: The Fulfillment Fund, Imagine LA, and LA Voice. As a member of the LA Voice/PICO organizing network, Stephen Wise has become a major voice in the interfaith community working to strengthen the infrastructure of our city for all of Los Angeles’ citizens. This includes public school advocacy as well as the establishment of coalitions with Latino and Black communities in our city. Stephen Wise Temple’s relationship with the Mayor, the City Council, the School Board and the LAUSD superintendent serve to supplement its effectiveness in the city. The Wise Readers to Leaders project is one more step towards the vision of establishing this congregation as a force for meaningful, progressive change in the city of Los Angeles.
Karen Weiss was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California. She graduated from USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism and then went on to receive her MBA at USC’s Marshal School of Business. After completing her education, Karen worked as a Marketing Executive for GTE. She oversaw the marketing of one of the first interactive television projects offering internet style content through the television.

After getting married and starting a family, Karen became involved in various philanthropic concerns including representing her neighborhood on the first Westside Neighborhood Council, serving as a board member on the Cedar Sinai Women’s Guild and serving as a cabinet member for the Jewish Federation Women’s Philanthropy. She also served on the Executive Board of Curtis Elementary School and held various leadership positions for Harvard Westlake’s Parents Association. Additionally, Karen chairs the Capital Improvements Committee for her homeowner’s association. Recently, Karen started her own Interior Design business.

Karen is married to Edward Weiss and they have a daughter named Shelby.