Leadership Team

The North American co-chairs of the 2013 General Assembly are Susie and Michael Gelman and the Israel chair is Ronny Douek. They are looking forward to warmly welcoming you to Jerusalem.


Susie Gelman

Susie Gelman serves as the North American Co-Chair of JFNA’s 2013 General Assembly.  During the past 35 years, she has served as President, Vice President for Campaign, Secretary, Major Gifts Chair, and Campaign Chair for Young Leadership.  She has chaired or co-chaired many Federation activities including Super Sunday, the Capital Campaign for the 90s, and the Israel Emergency Campaign.  She serves as an Endowment Fund Trustee.  Other local, national, and international leadership positions include Inaugural Chair of the Birthright Israel Foundation, co-chair of UJC (now JFNA) Israel, co-chair of the 2003 UJC General Assembly in Jerusalem.

Susie is a member of the Board of Governors of Hebrew University, member of the Brandeis University Board of Trustees, and past president of Georgetown Day School Board of Trustees.  She participated in the Wexner Heritage program and received the Jerome J. Dick Young Leadership Award and the JCC of Greater Washington’s Benjamin Ourisman Memorial Award for Civic Achievement.

Michael Gelman

Michael Gelman serves as the North American Co-Chair of JFNA’s 2013 General Assembly. Michael is immediate past chair of the executive committee of The Jewish Federations of North America, having previously served as the organization’s treasurer.

Michael served three terms as president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, two terms as the Federation’s co-campaign chair, and one term as president of its Endowment Fund.  He was a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council from 1995 to 2004, having been appointed to that position by President Clinton.  Michael was appointed by Maryland Governor Glendening to the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents, serving from 1996 to 2000.

Michael was the inaugural chairman of the board of The Israel Project and currently serves on its executive committee.  He also sits on the boards of several organizations, including Jewish Agency for Israel, Hillel, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, University of Maryland College Park Foundation, American Jewish International Relations Institute, Moment Magazine, and Congressional Bank.

Ronny Douek

Ronny Douek serves as the Israel Chair of JFNA’s 2013 General Assembly. Ronny Douek is an Israeli businessman, founder of an international ship building and dredging company, as well as the largest vineyard in Israel, Arava Vineyards Ltd. Mr. Douek devotes much of his time to social activity and philanthropy. He has served as chair of Sheatufim—The Israel Center for Civil Society since 2006. Sheatufim works to strengthen the vitality of the State of Israel by promoting a civil society that is pluralistic, proactive, influential and collaborative. He is also a member of the Social Investors Impact Group, a collaborative initiative of Sheatufim and JFN. Ronny is the founder and chair of Zionism 2000 for Social Responsibility, a grass-roots movement striving for the development of social responsibility among citizens and businesses in Israel. In 1998, he received the President’s Citation for Volunteerism for his contribution to the community. In 2004, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appointed him chair of the Israel Anti-Drug Authority. Ronny sits on the board of the Rashi Foundation and has served as co-chair of UJC-Israel’s Advisory Committee.