The JCC’s Bulletin dates back to the 1930s, when it was a premier source of news for the local Jewish community. We are proud to continue this tradition of keeping our JCC community informed via our virtual Bulletin.
The bulletin circa 1974
On Thursday, June 18th, the Joan & Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center of Staten Island installed three new board members at the organization’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting took place virtually. The newest members of the Board of Directors are Bryn Biren, R. Randy Lee, and Ana Oliveira.
“This past year has shown us that we are only as strong as our Board of Directors,” said CEO David Sorkin. “Through the COVID-19 crisis, we were incredibly lucky to have the support of our Board, who guided us through these turbulent times. We are incredibly grateful to our current board members for stepping up to the plate and are excited to welcome our newest members.”
Incoming CEO Orit Lender noted, “I am so happy to welcome back our old friends Bryn and Randy. We are also looking forward to working more closely with Ana, who has been a fantastic volunteer with our Sunrise Day Camp program. I want to thank our newest members and our entire Board for volunteering their time and talents—we appreciate everything you do to help the JCC continue to serve the Staten Island community.”
Please see the bios below of our new board members:
Bryn Biren was born and raised in Staten Island, where her parents were among the founding families of Temple Israel. After graduating from Curtis High School, Bryn pursued a career as a teacher, receiving a B.S. in elementary education from the George Washington University and a Master’s in education from Richmond College. She feels lucky to have spent her entire 34-year teaching career as an early childhood teacher at P.S. 54. During her time there, she also served as the school’s Project Arts coordinator and was in charge of the annual musical program at graduation.
Bryn married her husband Richard in 1974. They, along with their children Brooke and Adam, and their five grandchildren, remain active in the local Jewish community. In 1982, Bryn and her husband were part of the first New Leadership Group at the JCC. For 25 years, she served on the JCC’s Board of Directors. She also co-chaired the JCC Camp Committee for 10 years and chaired the Family Park Committee for 10 years. In 2015, the JCC honored her with a First Generation Award at the annual Nancy Avis L’Dor V’Dor Award Lunch.
Bryn’s service to the Staten Island community has also included volunteering at Project Hospitality, where she chaired the Underwear and Socks Campaign, making blankets and scarves for patients at RUMC with Temple Israel’s Knitting Club, and much more. She was honored by the UJA for co-chairing the annual UJA Community Breakfasts. She has also served as a member of the Council of Jewish Presidents and the Council of Jewish Organizations (COJO). She currently serves on the CSI Hillel Society Board of Trustees. At Temple Israel, she served for 3 years as Sisterhood President, has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1989, served as Outreach Facilitator from 2008-2014, and served as Temple Israel President from 2014-2018. She is currently a trustee of the Dr. Ronald Avis Foundation. Bryn has demonstrated her commitment to preserving a strong future for the Jewish community on Staten Island through her work at Temple Israel, the JCC, and beyond.
In her spare time, Bryn loves to take classes, make beaded jewelry, and do yoga and Pilates. She enjoys taking cruises with her husband and taking family vacations to their favorite resort in Pennsylvania. Bryn considers the greatest accomplishment of her life to be her children and grandchildren.
R. Randy Lee
R. Randy Lee has been involved in every phase of the real estate development and building business for over 50 years. During the same period, he attended New York University and Brooklyn Law School, earning a B.S. (Real Estate/Finance) Degree in 1965 and JD (Law) Degree in 1969. Using his training as a lawyer, developer and homebuilder, he became one of the most active and experienced low-rise housing builders and developers in New York City. During this period, he has been a principal in the site development and/or construction of more than 5,000 market rate and affordable residential units, as well as several Low-Income Tax Credit rentals and commercial projects
R. Randy Lee is past Chairman of the Building Industry Association of New York City, as well as a current Senior Life Director of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). He has served NAHB in many capacities over the years, in particular as Chairman of its Legal Action Committee. He also helps to manage an extensive nationwide pro-active litigation program for NAHB. Mr. Lee has been the recipient of many local, state and national awards over the years, and was elected to the New York City and New York State Builder’s Association Homebuilders Hall of Fame in 2002 and 2004, respectively. He also received the JCC’s Allan Weissglass Distinguished Leadership Award in 2008.
Mr. Lee also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation and he has served as Chairman of SINY, NYS Title Attorneys Bar Association and the Urban Affordable Housing Coalition. As a then long-standing Vice President of the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, he helped manage the development and construction of its flagship building – a $40 million dollar effort. In 2014 he founded and Chairs the SI/NYC Real Estate Developer Roundtable Luncheon group.
In addition to Mr. Lee's business, charitable and trade association responsibilities, he has been a visiting lecturer at the New York University Real Estate Institute, Columbia University Graduate Real Estate Program, and was on the faculty of the National Judicial College. He has also contributed articles to the Wall St. Journal, New York and National Law Journals, New York State Bar Journal, New York Post, Real Estate Weekly, Real Estate NY and The Empire State Report. His record of accomplishments has frequently been recognized by the national, local and trade press. Both he and his developments have been featured in the New York Times, Daily News, Staten Island Advance, Builder Magazine, Empire State Builder, Real Estate Weekly, Crain's New York Business, NY Construction News and Industry magazine.
Mr. Lee and his wife Eileen have two daughters, Jennifer and Michelle, and four grandchildren, Rachel, Jared, Nathaniel, and Elliot.
Ana Oliveira is a Senior Vice President, Market Executive for Investors Bank, where she currently oversees 40 branches in the New York market.
Ana joined Investor Bank in 2010 when the Bank acquired Millennium bcpbank where she was serving as a Regional Manager in the Retail division. Before joining Millennium, she spent 10 years with Penn Federal Savings Bank which was acquired by Garden State Community Bank (a division of NYCB) in 2007, where she served as 1st Vice President and Regional Manager in Northern New Jersey.
Ms. Oliveira places a strong focus on serving the local communities in her New York market. Ana is currently the Board Chair of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. She has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Queens Theatre, New Jersey City University Foundation and the Portuguese American Chamber of Commerce in NJ (PACCNJ). In addition, she served as the Treasurer of the Portuguese American Congress (PAC) of NJ.
Last year, Ms. Oliveira was honored at the JCC’s Sweet Sunrise Gala for her volunteer work with the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island. In July of 2019, Ms. Oliveira received a “Pace e Bene” Award from St Francis College, was also recognized as one of the Top Women on Wall Street receiving a “W.O.W.” award in May of 2019, and received the “Neighbor of the Year” Award from the North Brooklyn Angels in March of 2019. In June of 2017, Ms. Oliveira was honored with the Community-Corporate Responsibility award by City & State. In April 2016, she was honored as the Business Woman of the Year by the Federation of Italian American Organizations. Ms. Oliveira was awarded the Brooklyn Business Cornerstones Award by the Brooklyn Borough President in 2015. She has been the past recipient of the Women’s History Celebration Award from the Greater Chamber of New York and was also recognized as a Brooklyn Woman of Distinction.
Ana graduated from East Side High School in Newark, New Jersey before earning her Bachelors of Arts in English and Journalism from New Jersey City University.
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