Jess 2015

Jess Lorden

Executive Director

Jess Lorden is excited about beginning this new challenge and new career as Congregation Kol Ami’s Executive Director.

Jess graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in political science and business management from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1983, and received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 1986. Upon her graduation, Jess served as a law clerk to Chief Justice James G. Exum, Jr. of the North Carolina Supreme Court. After completing her clerkship, Jess served as an associate with Brown & Wood in New York City. In 1989, Jess moved in-house joining IBM Corporation where she proudly served for twenty-five years. Most recently, Jess was Vice President, Associate General Counsel for IBM’s Sales & Distribution business unit. Jess’ responsibilities included the provision of legal support across IBM’s worldwide sales organization for mergers & acquisitions, human resources and employment law and business offering development, as well as support for IBM’s State & Local government business in the United States.

Jess has dedicated considerable personal time to her two favorite institutions, Congregation Kol Ami and Binghamton University, and to fundraising for the White Plains Fastpitch Organization. Jess’ civic involvement has been recognized with multiple service awards from the President of the United States.

Jess has been a Kol Ami congregant for more than twenty years and has been an active volunteer for more than ten years. After serving as a member of the Religious School Committee for several years, in 2004 Jess became a Co-Chair of the Religious School Committee. In 2006 Jess became a Kol Ami Trustee. Jess served as the Secretary of the Kol Ami Board for three years before becoming a Vice President in 2012. In her capacity as Vice President Jess chaired the Financial Commitment Task Force and Co-Chaired the By-laws Task Force. Most recently, Jess has served as overall leader for the initiatives we have undertaken in support of the Coachman Family Center. Jess is thrilled to bring her energy and talents to Kol Ami in a professional capacity.

Jess is a long-term member of Binghamton University Dean’s Advocacy Council becoming Vice-Chair in 2012. Further, since 2009 Jess has served as an Adjunct Professor teaching a mid-winter pre-law seminar. In 2013, Jess was elected as a Trustee of the Binghamton University Foundation. In 2014, Jess was elected to the University’s Executive Committee.

In her spare time, Jess enjoys spending time with her family, working out, gardening and reading. Jess continues to try to find the time to pursue her lifelong interests in watercolor painting and pottery.

Jess resides in White Plains, NY with her husband, Dave and their two children, Sarah and Robby. Sarah is a graduate student at Penn State University and Robby is an undergrad at Binghamton University.

  fpo-headshot-125w Ilene Miller
Assistant Director
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Felice Miller Baritz
Religious School Director


Felice Miller Baritz has been the principal of the Kol Ami Religious School since 2004. She had also worked as a head teacher in the Kol Ami early childhood program. As an active volunteer at Kol Ami, Felice has been involved in running various events and working on many committees.

Felice brings 20 years of creative energy and experience from the business world working as director of product development for licensing at Elle Magazine and as a marketing consultant. Felice was the founder and president of The Studio Group, Inc.

Felice holds a B.S. degree in special and elementary education from Boston University and has done work in early childhood education and intervention. She is a certified North Star life coach. A committed community volunteer, she has served as PTA president and is active in the White Plains school district. She lives in White Plains with her husband Marc and sons Jake and Andrew.



Pam Pass
Religious School Assistant Director




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Nan Blank
Early Childhood Program Director

Nan Blank has been an Early Childhood Educator for over 30 years. Joining Kol Ami’s senior staff twelve years ago she brings with her a wealth of experience in early childhood and family education. Nan teaches our First Friends class for families with young children.

Nan comes from a Reform Jewish background, growing up in Temple Beth-El of Great Neck, New York. She has served in a number of lay leadership positions. Before moving to Rye Brook with her husband and children over 20 years ago, Nan developed holiday programs for families of young children at Temple Emanuel of Andover Massachusetts where she also served as both Sisterhood President and Vice President of the Temple. A former member of Larchmont Temple, she served as WRJ President and was responsible for developing the Cradle Roll Holiday Programs at the Temple. Nan is a former member of the Camp Commission for URJ’s Eisner and Crane Lake camps for 12 years and has taught parenting classes for Parenting Horizons in New York City.

Nan holds a BS in Psychology and Special Education from Russell Sage College and an MS in Special Education and Early Childhood Education from the Bank Street College.

Nan and her husband Wesley, an Obstetrician/Gynecologist in NYC and a practicing Mohel, live in Westchester and have three wonderful daughters and two adorable son-in-laws and three precious granddaughters!



Office Staff

Madiha Tubman                                 Controller 
Stacy Krantz                                                         Administrative Assistant to the Rabbis
Beatrice Pogal Assistant to Controller, Network Administrator
Dan O'Connor Administrative Assistant
Kay Osborne Yad B'Yad Administrative Assistant