Michele Fischer has proudly served on the SOJC Board for the past several years and is currently serving as co-President of SOJC. Having been a member of Southwest Citizens for A Temple when that group merged with the Williamsburg Jewish Congregation to form SOJC, and a member of SOJC for 20 years, she brings a unique knowledge and understanding of our roots and struggles in building the Jewish community in the Southwest Orlando area. During that time she has organized fundraisers, catered Family Friday Shabbat Dinners and served as chairperson of marketing and membership drives.
Jeff Sikora has served on the SOJC Board of Directors for multiple terms and this year as co-President. Jeff is the Technology Committee chair and manages the SOJC web site and the weekly email blast. This is his sixth year of teaching Religious School for the Second Grade Class. His wife, Risa, teaches the First Grade Class and is the SOJUSY Youth Director. Jeff and Risa have two sons, Grant and Chad, who are very active within SOJC’s Religious School, Youth Programs, and Services.
1st Vice President
Vivian Kerstein and her family have been members of SOJC for 15 years. The first four years, Vivian served as co-president of the PTA for the religious school and she has been a board member for six years, mostly serving as First Vice President, on the Marketing and Membership Committees, and as the SOJC Newsletter coordinator/designer. Her husband Rich Waldor served on the board for two years as a board member and then as Vice President. Her daughter Simone Schiffmacher attended the Religious School, became a Bat Mitzvah under the expert tutelage of Cantor Ramsay. Simone was a member of the Cantorial Corps, Beit Hamidrash and traveled to Israel with Taglit-Birthright. Simone receives her Master in Fine Arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art, May 2014. Vivian’s son, Max Waldor, was a student at the Religious School since age 5, became Bar Mitzvah in 2009, volunteers as an assistant for the Religious School, is a member of the Cantorial Corps and SOJUSY (SOJC’s USY group), and created the Holocaust Memorial at Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation in the building’s hallway and on the SOJC website. You probably know Vivian as one of the face painters for the Purim Carnival each year. “I am proud to have contributed to the forward progress of a warm synagogue family.”
2nd Vice President
My family and I have been members of SOJC for four years. We have celebrated many simchas and life events with you during this time, and have come to feel that SOJC and our second family here are an extension of our home. During my two years on the board I have served as Education chair during a time of positive transition, and have served as a helping hand to Jeff Sikora on the Technology Committee, making sure you get your weekly SOJC Happenings emails and Rabbi Skolnik’s Torah Sparks. I attend the monthly board meetings and look forward to two more years of helping my Jewish community to succeed.
3rd Vice President
My husband and I are founding members of SOJC. We have lived in Orlando for over 20 years and have watched the growth in the South Orlando community. I have been involved in many of the SOJC committees including fundraising and membership. I help set up and clean up the Friday night Onegs, help with fundraisers, and welcome our members on the High Holidays and work on the committee that distributes aliyot and honors for the high holiday services. I look forwarded to sitting on the board again and serving SOJC.
My family joined SOJC in 2013, and we felt so at home and part of a great new family. During both Rabbi Skolnik’s classes and while attending Services with my loved ones, we felt so comfortable and accepted. I knew then that I had to give back to the SOJC community by helping in any way I could. I have served on the Board as the Treasurer for the last two years. I am truly honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve our community so that I can use my knowledge and resources to benefit SOJC.
Born and raised in Newport, R.I., I was fortunate to grow up and celebrate my Bar Mitzvah in historic Touro Synagogue — the oldest in the nation. My family joined SOJC shortly after moving to Orlando in 1998 from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. My two wonderful daughters each became a Bat Mitzvah here at SOJC. Since 2002, I’ve served on SOJC’s Board of Directors and I’ve chaired SOJC’s Strategic Planning Committee, as well as its Rabbi Search Committee. In my professional life, I’m the CEO of the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association (FNGLA) which represents the interests (in Tallahassee and our nation’s capital) of Florida’s 2,000 leading nursery, landscape and garden center businesses.
Cheryl Nathan Weiner
Immediate Past President
I have been actively involved at SOJC since joining in 2004. My husband Michael, our son Jacob and I moved to Orlando from Seattle where we were active members of a conservative synagogue and Jacob attended the Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle. Since joining SOJC, it has become a second home for us like no other synagogue we’ve ever joined. Jacob attended the SOJC Religious School until he became a Bar Mitzvah and he was a member of SOJUSY. I learned to read Torah in 2005 in order to read at Jacob’s Bar Mitzvah. I enjoyed the experience so much I became a member of Cantor Ramsay’s Adult Cantorial Corps. I have served on SOJC BOD for several years including co-President and Treasurer. I am serving on the BOD in order to be more involved in the everyday workings, as well as the long-term goals, of SOJC. I am enjoying my responsibilities relating to my role on the BOD as well as the interaction with the rest of the BOD members.