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Board of Directors


Board members can be reached as a group at

Emma Lugo: Chair     

Emma is a community activist and programmer at KBOO community radio.  As a trans, queer woman she became involved in organizing within the transgender community and also served as a panelist and organizer on a range of queer community projects including the Transgender Day of Remembrance Interfaith Vigil.  Emma is married to Nini and they share their home with six cats.  Professionally she comanages their landscape business with her wife and sister.   On air Emma co-hosts the radio program Transpositive and Prison Pipeline and serves as the Treasurer of KBOO.  Emma has been a member of Shir Tikvah for five years and hosts Torah Chat on Saturday mornings before Torah study.          

Seymour Hanfling: Vice Chair 

I grew up in religious Jewish family in the Chicago area attending a Conservative congregation.  I spent three and half years in the Peace Corps (Sri Lanka and Liberia) and ended up in Portland when I ran out of money and needed to get a job.  It has worked out well. My wife, Julia, and I followed Rabbi Ariel as Shir Tikvah was being created so that our daughters, Naomi and Mira, could experience a diverse progressive congregation. Both our daughters attended Nashira and had their Bat Mitzvahs here. I retired in 2018 after a long, varied career in education. I am happy to have joined the Board during our transition to a new facility and excited by the opportunities offered through our collaboration with the Eastside Jewish Commons.


At Large:

CJ Alicandro

CJ Alicandro (they/them pronouns) has been living in Portland for over a decade now. They have degrees in social work from Portland State University and work in behavioral health and union organizing. Their 7yo son attends Shir Tikvah's Nashira Project when he's not on Roblox. When CJ isn't at shul, you can hear them singing showtunes loudly and often. 

Bruce Birk, MD   

I was raised in Texas by Canadian immigrants and attended a large, Reform synagogue where my father was active in their leadership. I have lived in Portland since 1999 and am a Pediatrician at a local group practice. We have been  members of CST for 14 years plus. I am a devotee of Jewish music and have played guitar with services and Nashira. I am also the Mohel for our shul and the community at large. Beyond that I love to fix things, practice Tae Kwon Doe, and golf (poorly).  It has been my pleasure to serve on the board since 5778. I have worked on many projects including our security plans, the EJC, our use of technology, and much more.

Hillary Barbour 

Hillary has been a member of Congregation Shir Tikvah from the beginning. In that time she has been a Nashira teacher and a regular Torah chanter at Shabbat services and High Holidays. Her daughter, Piper, is a 3rd grade Nashira student. Hillary is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Burgerville where she oversees the company’s participation in the Pacific Northwest’s food and business economy. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, and is a founder of the Rocky Butte Farmers Market. She loves backpacking, gardening, and doing just about anything outdoors.       

Nehama Bennet-Teasdale       

I was born of Jewish parents in St. Louis, Missouri but had no Jewish upbringing. We moved to San Diego when I was 12 and I spent my teen years at the beach.  As an adult I was attracted to Judaism through Jewish dance and the public lighting of the Hannukah menora. In 1998 my husband and I made aliyah and lived in Israel for 15 years. We returned to Portland to be part of our grandchildren’s lives in 2013 and joined Shir Tikvah. I’ve taught Kita Alef and Hebrew Through Movement in Nashira for 7 years. That’s my passion! I’m also active in Torah study, Talmud study and Tephilot.  

Sonia Acharya

Sonia and her family have been members of Shir Tikvah since virtually the beginning. She is a proud supporter of the Portland Jewish Academy and works as a Senior Research Associate at OHSU.

Angela Michtom       

Angela joined Shir Tikvah with her family in 2006. She has volunteered over the years during the Purim Shpeil, for Hannukah events and coordinating early fundraising/community building events.  She is excited to be in the role of Board Member during this momentous time in Shir Tikvah's history. You can find her on many a weekend evening onstage at ComedySportz Portland.  

Dov Meir                     

My mother was Jewish, my father, not. They co-founded the Redwood City Unitarian Fellowship in the ‘60s, where I eventually taught Sunday School, while being very interested in my Jewish roots. More than any of the religions I explored as a Unitarian, I was mostly a  Buddhist during adulthood. In 2016 I was introduced to Shir Tikvah, and every day since then I have become a little bit more of an observant Jew, and a student of Rabbi. I am part of the Kesher group, connecting members to information and answers about activities at Shir Tikvah. And I try not to miss Torah study and especially our Shabbat Tefilah. I am a former IT project manager, with a graduate degree in digital security acquired along the way. I love to read and sit in my tiny patio garden that I share with a Wisteria I’ve named Rachel. My daughter Olivia lives with her husband and two cats, in upstate NY. Grandchild potential is high. 

Jenn Bildersee
The large Philadelphia Reform congregation where I grew up was a poor fit.  But in 2014 Portland with no local Jewish friends, I worried my two kiddos might think I was personally inventing all the stuff about mitzvahs and seders. I went looking for Jewish community.  I’m so grateful for what Shir Tikvah is, and that it’s here.  As an Education Committee member I aim to represent Nashira families on the board.  But as a single parent and occasional introvert, what I’m most interested in is supporting low-barrier opportunities for everyone to comfortably access programming, connect with others, and deepen their Jewish learning (as I hope to continue doing).  In other news I like to read, travel, hike, and stay up late.

Wed, February 8 2023 17 Shevat 5783