Board of Directors
The Board of Directors are responsible for overseeing Wise Readers to Leaders! From forming the vision of our program to planning events and fundraisers to advising staff, our Board helps drive our mission forward. They are a group of passionate, dedicated professionals who come together quarterly to strategize and plan for Wise Readers to Leaders. Each of them are experts and trailblazers in their own fields, providing a variety of different backgrounds and skills to help our program thrive. Here is a bit about each of our amazing Board Members!
Andrea Sonnenberg, Chair
Andrea Sonnenberg is Co-Founder and CEO of Wise Readers to Leaders, a non-profit literacy and enrichment program for underserved students. Andrea is an attorney, who has practiced in the corporate, entertainment and nonprofit sectors. She also is the Vice-President of Administration for Latitude Real Estate Holdings where she oversees Human Resources. She is the Chair of the Board of USC Hillel and serves on the Board of the Jewish Community Foundation. Inspired by her son’s untimely death, she has become a mental health advocate, working to educate, increase awareness, and influence policy and decision makers through public speaking and open conversation. She along with her husband have created the Bradley Sonnenberg Wellness Initiative at USC Hillel which offers individual professional counseling, peer-to-peer support, and wellness programming, along with the creation of a mental health curriculum for replication on college campuses across the country. Andrea produced a podcast entitled, “Getting Thru“ which shares stories of young people’s resilience despite mental health challenges, offering hope and inspiration to those struggling while also demonstrating pathways to success.
Andrea graduated cum laude from the USC Marshall School of Business in Finance and received her J.D. from Loyola Law School.
Lauren Campbell, Vice Chair
Lauren Campbell was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from U.C. Berkely, Lauren worked in Chicago for several years before pursuing her M.B.A. at Chicago Booth. Lauren returned to L.A. to work for Nestle USA and worked there for 20 years in a variety of roles in Marketing, International Business, Corporate Strategy and Innovation. She is presently CMO of Firefly Recovery, an athletic recovery company.
Lauren has three children and is very active in philanthropic pursuits. She served on the Friends of Lanai Board, the Head of School Leadership Council at Viewpoint School and 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. Lauren is also an advisory board member of Influential.
Jeremy Rosen, Secretary
Jeremy Rosen is a partner at Horvitz & Levy LLP, where he specializes in civil appeals in state and federal appellate courts. His cases have involved numerous important issues regarding anti-trust, environmental law, class actions, wage and hour law, employment law, breach of contract, intellectual property, California’s Unfair Competition Law, CEQA, the enforceability of arbitration clauses, hospital peer review, the scope of public employee whistleblower protection, and the application of the primary assumption of risk doctrine. He is also nationally renowned for his proficiency in numerous issues arising under the First Amendment and California’s anti-SLAPP law. Using that knowledge, Jeremy has helped a wide variety of clients – including churches, private businesses, and individuals – defeat lawsuits that seek to impose liability on clients for exercising their rights of petition, free speech, and free exercise of religion. 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 was involved in 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.
Glenn Sonnenberg, Treasurer
Glenn Sonnenberg is President and CEO of LaSalle Debt Investors, Inc., a real estate investment firm specializing in debt products. He also is President if Latitude Real Estate Holdings, a real estate equity investment company. Previously, he was CEO of Prudential Carbon Mesa and ING Real Estate Investors.
Glenn serves on the Board Directors of several community non-profits including Bet Tzedek—the House of Justice, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Wayfinder Family Services, the Children’s Institute, the AJC, Wise Readers to Leaders, and the Center Theatre Group. Glenn is co-chair of the annual USC Law School Forum on Real Estate Law and Business and serves on the Board of Counselors of the USC Law School. Glenn has been awarded the Bet Tzedek Founder’s Award, the USC Alumni Award, the Los Angeles Jewish Federation Maimonides Torch of Justice, the Claremont McKenna College Debate Award, the USC Libraries Ex Libris Award and the USC Law Real Estate Lifetime Achievement Award.
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.
Laurie Bahar was born and raised in Los Angeles. 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. In 2000, Laurie left the retail business to manage her husband’s pediatric gastroenterology practice in Encino and has continued to do so ever since.
Laurie has long been civic minded, starting with her work at Lanai Road Elementary School in Encino where she helped found the Friends of Lanai Booster club; she later served as its Treasurer and then President. Between her medical office and Treasurer work, Laurie turned herself into an “accidental” freelance bookkeeper, and currently does this work for several private and non-profit clients.
Over the years, Laurie’s passion for social justice has grown, and she now is involved in a range of philanthropic endeavors. She manages two private foundations and sits on the board of Wise Readers to Leaders, a literacy program dedicated to closing the achievement gap for low-income youth. Most recently, Laurie’s become an active participant in the SAM initiative, a local group who’ve pooled financial resources and experience to fund and support programs that promote social change and benefit women, children and families.
Laurie lives in Encino with her husband, Ron Bahar, and two dogs who help fill her empty nest while her older son attends law school and her younger son is in college.
Nicole Brooks was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She graduated from UC Berkeley and thereafter got a Master’s in clinical psychology from Pepperdine and is finishing a Doctor of Psychology program at Reiss Davis. 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 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.
Andrea Cayton is a philanthropic/charitable leader and community organizer. She serves on the following Boards: Vice President of the Holocaust Museum Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Jewish Federation, WISE Readers to Leaders, and the Auschwitz Birkenau Foundation. In addition to Andrea’s leadership roles, she provides philanthropy to the Boston Children’s Hospital, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and the Cayton Children’s Museum by ShareWell. She is actively involved in numerous research foundations/universities throughout the United States and Israel.
Andrea earned her bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After graduation she returned to Los Angeles to work in graphic communications. Shortly thereafter, she joined her father at his firm, Goldrich + Kest Industries, a privately held real estate company based in Southern California.
A native of Southern California she was born to Doretta and Jona Goldrich z”l of Beverly Hills. She is married to Barry Cayton. Her and her husband have three children, Garrett (26), Lindsay (24) and Derek (19). Along with her sister, Melinda Goldrich, they direct and bestow grants from the Cayton-Goldrich Family Foundation. While she has been very active in her philanthropic pursuits, she spends an equal amount of time as a lead supporter at her children’s schools. She has been instrumental in the areas of fundraising/programming and has chaired numerous annual campaigns and events.
A proud member of Stephen Wise Temple who enjoys outdoor life, she can often be found hiking the trails around her home. Her main objective is to continue her late father’s work to educate future generations on the Holocaust.
Steven Fishman has lived in Los Angeles his entire life and attended UCLA (’78). He and his wife Jodie have three children all of whom live in Los Angeles, and seven grandchildren. Steve has been very involved in the Jewish Community for a long time and has served as the president of Stephen Wise Temple and Schools where his family has been a member for the past twenty five years. He remains active on the Wise board and also a number of committees. He also serves on the Board of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, is Chair of the executive committee of AIPAC in Los Angeles, and an Aipac National Council member, former co-chair, along with his wife Jodie of the Los Angeles Birthright Council for eight years. Steve is a board member of Wise Readers to Leaders, a member of the National Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College, a member of the Overseers of the Los Angeles Campus of HUC, a board member of the Impact Forum, and a National board member of FELNET, and a supporter of JINSA. He is also a trustee of the Washington Institute. He is the managing partner of the Encino accounting firm of Fishman, Block + Diamond, LLP, and has practiced for 40 years.
Martine Singer is the President and CEO of Children’s Institute, a social impact organization that works in communities impacted by decades of racism and underinvestment. CII helps children and families achieve educational success and emotional wellbeing through early education, counseling, parenting support and other resources. She oversees one of LA’s oldest and largest child and family agencies, managing an annual budget of over $90 million and 1,000 staff. Martine previously served as President and CEO of Para Los Niños, and 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 a Master’s of Business Administration from the Yale School of Management. Besides Wise Readers to Leaders, she serves on the boards of Eisner Health and, the California Behavioral Health Association.
Rabbi Ron Stern
Rabbi Ron Stern has been serving Stephen Wise Temple for 21 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. In addition to serving as a pastoral, pulpit, and educational rabbi of Stephen Wise, he also directs the Center for Tikkun Olam—the department that directs all of Wise’s social and community justice work. As such, 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: Reform CA (Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism); Save the Syrian Children, IsraAid, and the VA’s homelessness initiatives. Wise also works with the Los Angeles Jewish Federation Real Estate Division, the LA Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way to engage the professional real estate community in solutions for homelessness. Through their involvement in a range of social service organizations Wise seek to leverage 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, now expanded to six campuses, 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.
Debbee Klein Schwartz
Debbee Klein Schwartz has spent her 30 year career as a talent & literary agent, representing television writers, producers & directors. She has worked on several large projects including Stranger Things and Hannah Montana. Debbee is born and bred in Los Angeles. Debbee is married to Robert Schwartz, President of the LACC Foundation, but Robert was formally an entertainment lawyer. Debbee and Robert have 2 sons, Carey, who co- owns and runs an entertainment marketing firm and Casey, an investment banker. Their daughter in law, Courtney is in fashion PR.
Lori Goodman, Philanthropist and Community Volunteer
Lori Goodman, originally from Toronto, Canada, has been a member of Stephen Wise Temple for 43 years. She joined the Temple Board of Directors in 2017, its Executive Committee in 2020 and is a member of the Development and Tikkun Olam Committees.
She has volunteered with Wise Readers to Leaders, assisting in the classrooms and reading stories to scholars. Lori was instrumental in arranging a field trip for 140 Readers to UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance to participate in a interactive and educational arts experience sponsored by Design for Sharing. Lori also serves on the Anti-Defamation Art Works committee.
She has been on the board of Wise Readers to Leaders since 2020 and is grateful to be a part of such a wonderful organization helping underserved children to succeed and flourish.
Nancy Epstein, Teacher and Life Coach
Nancy Epstein is a long time Los Angeles resident and recent Stephen Wise Temple member. She is passionate about working with children. She has expertise in early childhood development and has created early childhood programs for churches and synagogues across Los Angeles. Additionally, Nancy sits on the Board of Vista del Mar and has been is an active and dedicated volunteer. She mentors underserved teens and acts as a life coach as well. And shares our dream of creating a Readers to Leaders campus at the Vista del Mar site!