Nominees for WHC Board of Directors

172nd Annual Meeting

Rachel Erlebacher

Rachel is thrilled to be nominated for the WHC Board of Directors; she also serves on the 2239 Steering Committee. She grew up in Poughkeepsie, NY and received her B.S. in Environmental Science from Cornell University and an M.P.P. from Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. She moved to D.C. in 2016 to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and since 2020 has worked for the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Agriculture Subcommittee, where she drafts annual and supplemental appropriations bills to fund the Department of Agriculture and the FDA. In her free time, she enjoys running marathons, flying trapeze, baking, and hiking.

Emily Gerson

Emily is a third-generation member of WHC, where she was consecrated, became a bat mitzvah, and was confirmed and married by Rabbi Weinberg. WHC leadership is a family tradition as her father, Stephen Porter, served on the WHC board as well. Emily attended the Holton Arms School in Bethesda and earned her bachelor’s degree in French and Art History from the University of Michigan. She received her medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. After medical school, she completed her residency training in dermatology at Brown University, where she served as Chief Resident. Emily has been working in private practice in the Washington metropolitan area since 2003. She is a Diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology and a member of the American Academy of Dermatology. She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at George Washington University. She has been voted a “Top Doctor” in Washingtonian numerous times and was chosen as the Best Dermatologist by Bethesda Magazine. Emily and her husband Marc have two boys, Alex and Theo.

Stephanie Gold

Stephanie and her family have been WHC members for over 15 years. She is a partner at Hogan Lovells, where she has practiced higher education law for over 25 years and leads the firm’s widely recognized national and international Education practice. She advises universities, colleges, independent schools, education associations, education companies, and investors on compliance, transactions, investigations, and litigation. Stephanie grew up in Western Massachusetts and enjoys returning to Cape Cod for vacations. She first moved to Washington, D.C. after she graduated from Brown University, and she returned after she graduated from University of Michigan Law School. Stephanie and her husband David Mendel live in Bethesda. Their children Jonah, Zoe, and Aliza all attended the Early Childhood Center at Macomb, Religious School, and Upper School, and they became b’nei mitzvah at Temple.

Sofia Haft

Sofia serves as the Director of Communications at Anduril Industries, a defense technology company working to reboot the arsenal of democracy by modernizing defense. She is also a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Most recently, Sofia served as the Chief Strategy Officer of Task Force 59, a new unit integrating artificial intelligence, unmanned systems, and mesh networks into the Fifth Fleet based in Manama, Bahrain. Sofia was an early employee of Snapchat — building a variety of teams in news, political partnerships, and global public policy. Most recently, She served as Head of Policy Partnerships in order to address critical topics facing youth around the world. For her various efforts in this role, she was recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30 for law and policy. Sofia has a degree in International Studies and Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations from the University of Chicago, where she was also captain of the varsity swimming & diving team. She is a proud UChicago alumnus and remains involved as a board member of the Institute of Politics. Sofia is passionate about solving complex issues facing our country through the use of technology, strategic messaging and public-private partnerships. She is also a loyal consumer of Compass Coffee.

Matthew Reiskin (Second Term)

Matthew is a third-generation member of WHC and has helped on Temple projects including the design and construction of an educational pavilion for Bread for the City and housing repairs on Mitzvah Day. Matthew is an architect and Principal at SmithGroup, a national Architecture and Engineering Firm. He is the design manager of a system of traumatic brain injury rehabilitation clinics at military bases across the country, as well as ambulatory, polytrauma, and spinal cord injury rehabilitation facilities for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has also managed the design of hospitals, office buildings, and apartment buildings in Chicago, Los Angeles, and D.C. Matthew is a Board member of the American Technion Society, supporting the Israel Institute of Technology. He has a B.A. in Political Science and Master of Architecture degree from the University of Michigan. Matthew and his wife, Christine, have two children, Noah and Julia, and reside in a house designed by Matthew’s father.

Randi Sadugor (Second Term)

Randi has been a member of Washington Hebrew Congregation for more than 30 years and is a past president of the Women of Washington Hebrew Congregation. Prior to her term as President, Randi was an active member of the Women of WHC’s Board of Directors, serving as membership chair and working on the Boutique’s silent auction. Randi received her bachelor’s degree in Finance at the University of Maryland, College Park and became a Certified Public Accountant. Following her career as an accountant, Randi worked as a teacher at the RJW ECC for 14 years. In addition to her roles at WHC, Randi also serves on the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and is the co-chair for the Lion of Judah in Women’s Philanthropy.

Ranit Schmelzer (Second Term)

Ranit has been a member of Washington Hebrew Congregation for over 10 years. She participated in the inaugural SEA Change cohort, which seeks to identify and address issues of diversity and equity within WHC and to work side-by-side with communities of color to address racial inequity. Professionally, Ranit has worked for more than 25 years at the intersection of communications, policy, and advocacy as a lead strategist and spokesperson in the Executive Branch, in Congress, and in the advocacy world. Today, as President of Schmelzer Strategies, she advises non-profit organizations, universities, and foundations on comprehensive communications strategies. She serves on the boards of Impact100 DC and My Dorm Room. Ranit and her husband Adam Krinsky live in Bethesda. Their children, Colin and Jenna, became b’nei mitzvah at Temple, participated in confirmation, and served on the WHECTY Board.

Kimberly Walker Vogel (From Executive Committee to Board)

Kimberly is a third-generation member of Washington Hebrew Congregation. She is currently Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, has been a Chair of Mitzvah Day, and has served on many other Temple committees. Kimberly attended WHC Religious School, became a bat mitzvah and was confirmed at WHC, was married by Rabbi Lustig, and has celebrated all major life cycle events with the Temple. As President of The Walker Group, a real estate advisory business in Bethesda, Kimberly provides real estate consulting solutions to healthcare, association, and non-profit clients. She attended the University of Maryland. Kimberly and her husband Howard have a daughter Charli who attended the Rabbi Joseph Weinberg Early Childhood Center, became a bat mitzvah, and was confirmed at Washington Hebrew.

Andrew Lazerow (1-Year Term)

Andrew is a lifelong member of Washington Hebrew Congregation, becoming a bar mitzvah at Temple. Professionally, Andrew is a partner with the law firm Covington & Burling LLP. He specializes in private antitrust litigation and antitrust counseling in the pharmaceutical, financial, and technology sectors. He is also actively involved in pro bono work for underprivileged individuals. Andrew received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law School. With his wife Susie Lazerow, he has two teenage girls, Bea and Mae, who became a bat mitzvah at Temple He enjoys tennis, skiing, and red wine.