Israel Policy Forum is growing our team to provide an even more impactful voice and credible resource for leaders in the Jewish community and in Washington.   

We are thrilled to announce the election of new board members: Sheldon Alster, Sharon Bergman, and David Sherman.  They join a national board of respected, thoughtful communal leaders who share our vision of a secure, Jewish, and democratic Israel and who are driven by our organizational values: Intellectual Integrity, Forthrightness, Partnership, Zionism, and Perseverance. 

We are also excited to announce our new staff members:

  • Sierra DeCrosta, Manager, Programs and Partnerships

  • Snezhana Valdman Orlando, Director, Finance, and Administration

  • Aaron Weinberg, Manager, Government Relations

  • Emily Yehezkel, IPF Atid National Organizing Fellow 

Israel Policy Forum is also currently hiring for a Development Associate and Communications Associate in New York.  Click here for more information.

We are growing with an extraordinary team of lay and professional leaders and a committed network of supporters, friends, and partners. 

With thanks for your support and encouragement,

Susie Gelman
Board Chair

David A. Halperin
Executive Director

New Board Members

Sheldon Alster is a Senior Counsel in the New York office of the international law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton. Sheldon’s practice focuses on taxation and related matters including the tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, private equity and real estate and has extensive experience in international matters. Sheldon has long-standing and close ties to Israel where he attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for a year. He frequently visits Israel where he has close family. Sheldon and his wife, Riitta, have a son in New York and daughter with a growingfamily in Los Angeles.

Sharon Hakakian Bergman is the Associate Director of Academic Programs at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Institute, a major hub of scholarly and creative activity, advanced research, and higher education in the Gulf, where she has worked for the last 10 years. She completed her Master of Business Administration at NYU’s Stern School of Business with specializations in Strategy and Leadership & Change Management and her Master of Arts degree at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in global affairs and public health with a focus on the Middle East. She received her Bachelor of Arts from NYU’s College of Arts and Science in Journalism and Middle Eastern Studies and spent a summer studying at Tel Aviv University. Sharon has served on a number of non-profit boards including ACCESS, the American Jewish Committee’s young leadership program, as well as her elementary Jewish day school Gottesman RTW Academy in New Jersey.

David A. Sherman is the Chairman of Benj. E. Sherman & Sons, Inc., a Chicago-based real estate firm, which he joined in 1986. The firm has 100 employees focusing on apartment ownership around the country. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and received his MBA from the Harvard Business School. David is the immediate past Chairman of the Israel Action Network, the leading national organization combating the boycott, divestiture, and sanctions movement attempting to delegitimize Israel.

New Staff

Sierra DeCrosta is the Manager of Programs and Partnerships at Israel Policy Forum. In her role, she serves as a point of contact for the organization to the Jewish communal world, oversees IPF’s programming and works to create and deepen partnerships for meaningful collaboration. Prior to joining IPF, she worked as a Policy Associate at Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. She holds a BA in International Studies and Dance from Manhattanville College, and a Master’s degree in International Relations from New York University’s Center for Global Affairs.

Snezhana Valdman Orlando is the Director of Finance and Administration at the Israel Policy Forum. Previously, she was the Director of Finance and Administration at the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women. She received a B.A. in Politics from New York University. Originally from Moldova, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband.

Aaron Weinberg is the Government Relations Manager at the Israel Policy Forum. Aaron has previously served in the office of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) as Legislative Assistant covering issue areas such as foreign policy, defense, immigration, civil rights, democracy reform, and international women’s issues. In the 2016 election cycle, Aaron served as Director of Jewish Engagement for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) under Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Aaron has also worked for the American Jewish Committee (AJC), American Zionist Movement (AZM), West End Strategy Team, Shalom Hartman Institute, Obama for America, and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Emily Yehezkel is the National Organizing Fellow for IPF Atid. Previously, Emily served as a Jewish educator, program facilitator, and marketing coordinator at the University of Rhode Island Hillel. She received her bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language/English Interpreting from Kent State University in 2018 and currently resides in Great Neck, New York.