Susan Siegel


Susan is a former media and marketing professional with long term experience on the advertising agency side as well as the corporate marketing end of business. Susan has worked on a diverse mix of brands and products throughout her career, from package goods such as Kraft Cheese and Just for Men hair coloring to the US Army and Paramount Pictures. Susan has also been involved in the not for profit world working with Save the Children through their media and marketing efforts. She is a graduate of George Washington University. Susan recently became Co-Chair of NCJW NY’s Wednesday Community Kitchen and is  sits on the Back 2 School Store Committee. Susan was on the Board of her local Synagogue in New Rochelle, where she, and her husband Jon, an attorney, raised their two sons. Susan and Jon now live in Manhattan as do their two sons and daughter-in-law.

Lynn E. Judell

Vice President

Lynn Judell is an attorney with Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas LLP, focusing her practice in the area of commercial litigation and arbitration.  Lynn has over three decades of experience representing public and private companies, partnerships and individuals in business disputes and litigation. Lynn received her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law and her B.A. from Pomona College. Originally from California, Lynn currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and son.

Gail Hessol


Gail has been a volunteer for NCJW NY’s Children’s Literacy Program for several years. She established the Reading Tutors program at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center and continues to act as the lead volunteer for the site, coordinating all of NCJW NY’s activities there. Gail spearheaded expanding our program into the summer months at the site, as well. For the last two years, Gail has also served on the Steering Committee of the Back 2 School Store, helping to supervise the participation of community agencies who bring eligible children. Gail’s mother, Marilyn Hessol, was an active member of NCJW NY in the 1960’s.After nearly 40 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Gail retired from Standard & Poor’s Global, Inc. in 2015, where she had been a Managing Director. Prior to joining Standard & Poor’s, Gail was an investment analyst at New York Life Insurance Company. Gail holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University.

Karol W. Todrys


Karol served as a Co-President from 2010 – 2013 and President from 2014 – 2015. She graduated from Cornell University with an AB with Distinction and pursued Ph.D. studies in linguistics at the University of Chicago. As a Learning Leader volunteer at P.S. 151 in Manhattan, she tutored elementary school children and chaired the committee of tutors at the school for eleven years. Karol has also helped run volunteer programs at the Horace Mann School and has been involved in fundraising for the Legal Aid Society and the Yale Parents Annual Fund. She has been a member of NCJW NY since 2005, when she began tutoring in its Children’s Literacy Program. Karol is on the Jackson-Stricks Scholarship Commitee.

Gail Hochman

Gail is President of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc., where she has worked since 1983. She is the President of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (the AAR), the one professional organization of literary and theatrical agents in the U.S., and you can always find her with her nose in a book (or a manuscript). In 2006, she was awarded NCJW NY’s Jane Strauss Award for her dedication to bringing authors to speak at various Council programs. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Her son Jacob is a graduate of Pomona College and lives in Paris, France; her daughter Elena is a graduate of Carleton. Gail is the daughter of long-time Board member Estelle Hochman.

Elaine Mandelbaum

Elaine was most recently General Counsel of Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement of the Citi Institutional Clients Group. Her group was responsible for all litigation, internal investigations and regulatory inquiries and related investigations, sweeps and enforcement proceedings for Citi’s institutional businesses, including investment banking, sales and trading, capital markets origination and private banking.

Prior to starting at Citigroup in 1997, Ms. Mandelbaum was a litigation attorney at the New York office of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, and previously at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. She is a member of the SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society Executive Committee, and is on the Board of Directors of the Legal Action Center and the American Friends of Hebrew University. She is a frequent speaker on topics relating to complex securities litigation, as well as internal and regulatory investigations. Ms. Mandelbaum is a graduate of Yale College and of Harvard Law School.

Susan Sack

Susan serves as Managing Director of Real Estate at the Robin Hood Foundation. Robin Hood is a non-profit organization that fights poverty in New York City by applying investment principals to charitable giving and supporting the strongest, most effective programs helping the city’s poor build better lives for themselves and their families. At Robin Hood, Susan is responsible for the foundation’s Capital Grant Initiative, a program which provides technical assistance and funding to help grantee organizations with real estate and facilities issues. In addition, she manages Robin Hood’s Library Initiative, which builds libraries in public elementary schools across New York City. Prior to joining Robin Hood, Susan was a Vice President in the Merchant Banking division at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she was responsible for financing real estate for the Whitehall funds (Goldman Sachs’ proprietary real estate fund). Before Goldman Sachs, she spent six years as an associate in the real estate department at Sullivan & Cromwell. Susan earned a BA from Wellesley College in 1989 and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. She has served on the board of NCJW NY since 1999.

Melissa L. Steinberg

After graduating from Bowdoin College in 2001, Melissa worked as a high school social studies teacher and then worked in Hollywood for several years as a production coordinator. She then obtained her law degree from Fordham University, focusing in estate law. Melissa served on the board of the Housing Advocacy Project at Fordham, where she recruited and trained law student volunteers to assist New York City tenants with Housing Court disputes. After graduation, she worked as an attorney at the firm of Kittay & Gershfelt for several years before launching her own firm in 2012. In consultation with social workers, physicians, educators and other professionals, Melissa has advocated for clients before the New York City Department of Education to articulate and secure free, appropriate public educations for special needs students. Melissa has also represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service and obtained favorable settlements of tax disputes. Most recently, Melissa served as general counsel to a bankruptcy trustee in the Southern District of New York, and is well versed in the intricacies of consumer bankruptcies.

Leah Greenman Zisfein

Leah has been an active member of NCJW NY’s Advocacy Leadership Committee since 2017, focusing on the areas of Reproductive Justice and Sex-Trafficking. Leah spent 15 years as a litigator in New York at Bower & Gardner, and Law Secretary to Hon. Karla Moskowitz. After moving to Connecticut with her husband and daughter, she was admitted to the Connecticut state bar and resumed work as a litigator at Willinger, Willinger, Tower and Bucci. Her specialties included appellate work, product liability, and nursing home risk management and defense. Leah has served on the Board of her synagogue, The Conservative Synagogue (TCS) is Westport, CT, and held several other leadership positions including Co-President of Sisterhood. Most recently, Leah worked in New York at the law firm of Ledy-Gurren Bass and Siff, PC, retiring in 2017. Leah holds a BA from the State University of New York at Albany and a JD from St. John’s University School of Law.

Priscilla Balch

Management Council Chair

Priscilla joined NCJW NY in 2001 after her retirement from her position as head librarian at Midwood High School in Brooklyn.  She was drawn to the mission of the Eleanor Leff Jewish Women’s Resource Center (JWRC) Steering  Committee to explore, document and celebrate the full range of Jewish Women’s experiences – religious, secular and private.  She has served as JWRC Co-Chair since 2003. In that capacity, she has helped to guide the production of eight Jewish Women Film Festivals and seven conferences as well as numerous cultural programs and events.  She served on the Bylaws Committee during the period of NCJW NY’s reorganization  and currently is a member of the Advocacy Leadership Committee.