The DFI board represents leadership from across the community, with broad knowledge of Jewish communal issues and staff needs. We work to strengthen our professionals who in turn enhance relationships in our organizations and community.

Staff & Board

Cindy's pictureCindy Goldstein, Executive Director, 410-843-7563

Cindy started working with DFI in 1998, recruiting and training graduate students to prepare them to enter the field of Jewish communal service, and then in 2007 transforming DFI to provide continuing education and leadership training to current Jewish Communal professionals serving at all levels and in diverse Jewish agencies, organizations and synagogues in order to help them succeed in their jobs and advance in their careers.

Cindy has a dual Master’s degree in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary and in Social Work from Columbia University. Prior to moving to Baltimore in 1996 she was awarded a FEREP for grad school and worked as a Campaign Associate in Connecticut at the Hartford Jewish Federation, followed by positions at the Hartford JCC in Senior Adult Programming, and as Executive Director of the Connecticut Valley Region of United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism.  She has volunteered in a number of capacities in the community, including the University of Maryland Hillel Board, Hadassah, and Beth Israel Congregation. Cindy participated  in the Jewish Coaching Academy and also received a training certificate from the American Society for Training and Development.

Aviva Cohen, Inter-Communications Coordinator, 410-843-5987

Aviva Cohen joined the DFI as the Publicity and Social Media Strategist in February 2016. A Baltimore native, she has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly six years. Aviva completed her Masters in Integrated Design at University of Baltimore in 2018.


Shirley photoShirley Hott, Administrative Assistant, 410-843-7560

Shirley’s work experience is in the railroad transportation industry, CSX Railroad; healthcare industry, Detroit Osteopathic Hospital and Sinai Hospital; and non-profits, the Visiting Nurse Association and the American Massage Therapist Association. She is a Maryland State licensed massage therapist. She was on the Board of the American Massage Therapy Association and chaired the Outreach Committee hosting multiple events in various locations in Maryland and Virginia.

For relaxation she enjoys doing crafts, especially making porcelain dolls and knitting. Her education includes the secretarial sciences and computer sciences including a number of software packages (Microsoft, Corel, PageMaker and Interleaf). Her recent education is in web design and multi-media software (Adobe PhotoShop, Illustrator, Flash and Dreamweaver).

Board Members
Berry Sachs, Chair
Emily Gaines Demsky, Vice Chair
Josh Bender
Randi Benesch
Ken Davidson
Joshua Frederick
Jody Harburger
Andrea Lieber
Jennifer Mendelsohn Millman
Rachel Plotkin
Howard Reznick
Deverah Routman
Ilene Vogelstein

Past Presidents
Joanne Gold, Immediate Past Chair
Liz Minkin Friedman
Alan Bernstein z’l
Jill Max
H. Ted Busch
Florene Goldner
Laurence Katz
Fritzi K. Hallock
Marlene B. Kuntz

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