New Federation Board Members 2023
December 23, 2022

Today we cast a spotlight on the four newest members of Federation’s Board of Governors: Kirstie Henry, Jim Kramer, Robin Raphael and Blaine Schwartz. These four community leaders were selected after a competitive nomination process led by current Board president Shelly Yellen.  “All of these leaders will enhance Federation’s governance,” noted Shelly.  “They each bring to the Board unique individual skills and a shared passion for achieving our mission to ensure a flourishing Jewish Buffalo.”

New Federation Board Members 2023 - Kirstie HenryKirstie Henry is a Deputy Clerk in the US District Court of WNY. She has served for the last year as Chair of Belonging at LiNK Jewish Buffalo, chairing the spring 2022 Belonging Conference. As a person who has chosen Judaism, she is particularly proud of Federation’s efforts to be welcoming. “Sensitivity to the stranger is so central to Judaism,” she writes. “In fact, every Passover, we internalize the bitterness of oppression—a reminder that…we see ourselves as the perpetual strangers in a strange land. That’s really what inclusion means to me and why I am so grateful to explore inclusion in Jewish Buffalo.”

New Federation Board Members 2023 - Jim Kramer scaled e1671565353384Jim Kramer is President of East Aurora based Astronics, Luminescent Systems, Inc. since 1988.  A past member of Federation’s Board of Governors, Jim is eager to return to the Board while also continuing to serve as a member of Federation’s Budget and Finance committee. “Jim brings his business acumen and an attention to detail to our fiscal oversight,” commented incoming President Margie Bryen. “He has been an invaluable member of our finance team and I look forward to working with him as a returning member of the board.”


New Federation Board Members 2023 - Robin RaphaelRobin Raphael spent her professional career as a School Psychologist with the Sweet Home Central School District. As a volunteer, Robin stewarded the transition of Jewish Buffalo’s Inclusion work from the Bureau of Jewish Education to LiNK Jewish Buffalo and was the inaugural Chair of LiNK’s Belonging initiative. Robin along with her husband Alan Gellin recently chaired the second Buffalo Israel Experience. “Robin has been an indispensable partner to the LiNK professional team beginning with her role in planning the Engagement Conference,” reflected Miriam Abramovich, Federation’s COO.  “Her vision is set squarely on ways to make Jewish Buffalo more welcoming and her warmth, skill-set and perspective will be a tremendous asset to the Board as we vision into the future.”

New Federation Board Members 2023 - Blaine SchwartzBlaine Schwartz is a partner in the Real Estate practice group at Lippes Mathias LLP. He joined the law firm after 14 years as Senior Counsel for the largest privately owned commercial real estate developer in the United States. “As the immediate past chair of Jewish Family Services of WNY, Blaine oversaw the organizations professional leadership transition and led significant expansion over the past several years,” said Rob Goldberg, Federation CEO. “His wisdom, deep volunteer experience, and passion for all things Jewish Buffalo, will be instrumental to us as we move the organization forward.”

New Federation Board Members 2023 - New BJF Board members 2023