The Jewish Collaborative of Orange County draws its strength and creativity from its leadership. Meet our leaders.
Cheryl was born in Fullerton and raised in Anaheim in a Conservative Jewish home. Celebrating the Jewish holidays was not only fun and joyous for Cheryl, but extremely meaningful. Her deep connection to Judaism stimulates her desire to celebrate the holidays with a strong emphasis on traditional Jewish foods. Cheryl earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Foods and Nutrition at Cal Poly Pomona, and obtained a Masters Degree in Public Administration at Brandman University. Although a native SoCal gal, Cheryl lived in Europe for 10 years (England and Belgium), and took every opportunity to travel. As a new resident in Laguna Woods, Cheryl’s first act was to join the Yacht Club: she loves to sail!
Shawn Wood, Family Programming Leader
Shawn has 15 years’ experience in synagogue leadership, serving as a board member and Chair of Community Outreach for Beth Shalom of Whittier and a board member and Chair of Religious Life for Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach. His non-profit experience includes serving as a board member and Transgender Community Liaison for Human Rights Campaign, Orange County, Long Beach, and Palm Springs Chapter. After high school, Shawn served in the Navy and then earned his bachelor of arts degree in psychology and social behavior from the University of California at Irvine. His experience raising three young children has given Shawn a passion for creating quality Jewish programming in Orange County for families. Shawn lives with his husband and three children in Laguna Beach.
Esther Rosenblueth-Wright moved from Oregon to Laguna Woods in 2017. She holds a B.A. and M.A. degrees in Education. Esther served as a public school teacher and administrator in the San Francisco public school system. She was also a university lecturer at San Francisco State University. As a self- employed national consultant, Esther traveled throughout the U.S. providing seminars and workshops for teachers, published four books for teachers, and was keynote speaker at several national education conferences.
Esther is a former President of the San Francisco Learning Disabilities Association and former Vice President of the California Learning Disabilities Association. She also served on non-profit boards focused on spiritual growth and families of children with special needs.
Rabbi Marcia Tilchin, Founder and President
Rabbi-Cantor Marcia Tilchin is the founder and spiritual leader of the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County (JCoOC), a non-profit organization created to help OC Jewish residents and their families connect their personal passions with Judaism. Marcia received her cantorial degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City and rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Between 1998-2015 Marcia served Conservative congregations in Upper Nyack, New York and Tustin, California before launching her own initiatives.
Rabbi Tilchin’s commitment to helping people find what is meaningful to them within Judaism is a signature of her compassion-driven spiritual leadership, service and interfaith engagement. Currently Marcia sits on the board of the Interfaith Youth Alliance (IYA) and is the Executive Director of the Orange County Alliance for Just Change (OCAJC). She and Professor Scott Spitzer learn important lessons daily from their children, Avi, Sheindl and Yaira.
Jackie Menter, Executive Director
Jackie Menter has more than two decades of experience working in the organized Jewish world, holding high-level positions within the American Jewish Committee and Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS). During her 10 years at JFFS, Jackie built the NextGen young leadership program and established the Shalom Family outreach program. As Managing Director of Financial Resource Development for JFFS, she was responsible for oversight of the Federation’s campaign operations. Jackie leads the Jewish Collaborative’s social justice efforts focused on providing relief for refugees at home and across the globe. She has been an Orange County resident for 25 years, and her fervent devotion to hesed and helping the voiceless have elevated the Jewish social justice presence in the county. In addition to her social justice work, Jackie is also an accomplished cellist.
Board of Directors
- Rabbi Marcia Tilchin, Board President
- Simon Madorsky, Treasurer
- Bonnie Widerman, Board Secretary
- Shawn Wood, Board Member