Samis Foundation Board Members

Victor Alhadeff is a Seattle native and retired software executive. Victor serves as the Chairman of the Grants Committee.

Eli J. Almo Is a Seattle native and President and CEO of Era Living, which owns and operates independent and assisted care retirement communities.  Eli and his wife Rebecca established the Aljoya Professorship, an endowment to promote gerontological research at the University of Washington School of Nursing. Eli is former Chairman of the Asset Management Committee.

David Azose is a Seattle native and CEO of Azose Commercial Properties, a full-service property management, real estate leasing and sales company.  Dave currently serves as Vice President. Dave is a great-nephew of Sam Israel.

Dana Behar is a Seattle native and a founder of Discovery Bay Investments which specializes in private equity investing, consulting, and real estate brokerage.  Dana is also a Director of First Federal, a publicly traded savings and loan company, where he serves on their loan and audit committees. Dana serves on boards of Forterra (land preservation), Capitol Hill Housing (affordable housing), Seattle Sephardic Network, and Lid I-5 (civic effort to lid interstate I-5 as it passes through downtown Seattle). Dana joined the Samis board in 2012, is Chair of the Asset Management Committee, and is the great-nephew of Sam Israel. 

Jerome Cohen Is a Seattle native and business and real estate attorney with Holmquist and Gardiner, PLLC.  Jerry is a board member and secretary of the Washington Higher Education Facilities Authority, and a member of the South Seattle College President’s Council. He is father to 2 graduates (now grown) of the Jewish Day School where he was previously on the board. Jerry is currently the chair of the Samis Board of Trustees.

David Ellenhorn grew up in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon.  He is a partner at Ogden Murphy Wallace, specializing in corporate and real estate law. Dave currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Trustees.  

Barry Ernstoff is an attorney in private practice who practiced in Seattle and now does so in Israel since he made Aliyah in 1985.  Barry was president of the Seattle Hebrew Academy and Secretary of the Seattle Jewish Federation. In Israel he is active in the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, and his synagogue leadership. Barry was one of the founding trustees of the Foundation appointed by Sam Israel.

Eli Genauer is a Seattle native. He served as the longtime President of Eilat Management Company, which provides property and asset management for privately held commercial retail property in the Puget Sound Area.  Eli is a member of the Jewish Funders Network Board of Trustees. Eli is Vice-chair of the Asset Management and Trusteeship Committees. He is an avid collector of antique Jewish books and has written extensively about his collection in scholarly journals.

Eddie Hasson is a Seattle native.  He is a CPA and retired partner of the accounting firm Hasson Laible & Co.  Eddie is currently serving as Treasurer of the Samis Board of Trustees, and is a nephew of Sam Israel.  

Connie Kanter is the CFO/Sr. VP, Finance and Business Affairs at Seattle University. She spent most of her career in finance at high technology manufacturing companies and is a business leader recognized for her skills in financial management and strategic planning.  Connie received her undergraduate degree with honors from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and her MBA from Booth School at the University of Chicago. She is a Certified Public Accountant. Connie has served in a variety of leadership positions in the Jewish community including the boards of Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, Kline Galland Center and Seattle Hebrew Academy.  She was a member of the UJC Young Leadership Cabinet and Wexner Heritage Program. Connie joined the Samis board in 2010 and currently serves on the Grants Committee as vice-chair, Finance and Audit Committee, and Planning Committee.

Al Maimon is a Seattle native who spent his professional career in operations research and management science and information systems design and implementation at Boeing.  Now retired, he is a student of Sephardic Jewry and is active in many Jewish community affairs including president of the Seattle Sephardic Network and Sephardic Adventure Camp, and was previously involved with the Federation, Jewish Family Services, Seattle Hebrew Academy (he was a graduate of the first class, and his children and grandchildren have followed), and Sephardic Bikur Cholim.  Al is the past president of the Foundation and is the chair of the Planning Committee.

Rabbi Ron-Ami Meyers was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, and has lived in various cities across the US and Israel.  Rabbi Meyers is the spiritual leader of Congregation Ezra Bessaroth Sephardic synagogue in Seattle that is more than 100 years old.  Rabbi Meyers currently fills the role of “Rabbinic Trustee” on the Samis Board. He has been in Seattle for 8 years and is returning to Israel, as an Israeli citizen and as the second Samis trustee in Israel.  

Lucy Pruzan was born and raised in Uruguay and has lived in Seattle for more than 60 years.  Lucy is a retired nurse who, along with her husband, Herb, invests in real estate and new and emerging companies in the Pacific Northwest.  Lucy served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, among her many other volunteer activities. Lucy is the former Chair of the Trusteeship Committee.

Greg Roer Is a Seattle native who along with his wife, Dorothy, is the owner of Roer & Company CPA firm, specializing in tax and trusts. Greg is also the Director of Seattle Campus of Golden Gate University Graduate School of Taxation. He is the past president of Seattle Hebrew Academy, Founder and Board Member of Minyan Ohr Chadash. Greg joined the Samis board in 2016 is the Chair of the Trusteeship Committee and a member of the Audit/Finance Committee.  Greg is a great-nephew of Sam Israel.   

Ernie Sherman is a Seattle native and owner of Pacific Plumbing Supply Co which has branches in Washington and Alaska.  Ernie splits his time between Hawaii. Seattle and Camano Island. He is one of the original Samis Board Members and is a member of the Asset Management Committee.

Alex Sytman graduated from Garfield High School in 1956 and from The University of Washington Medical School in 1963. He is married to Leatrice (Lucy) Israel Sytman, a niece of Sam Israel, and they lived in New York, Fort Lewis and Los Angeles before returning to Seattle in 1970. Alex was Sam’s doctor during the last months of Sam’s life. Alex and Lucy Sytman have ten grandchildren and as of 2018 one great grandchild.

Samis Foundation Staff Members

Rabbi Rob Toren began working at Samis in 1997 as the foundation’s first Grants Director. He has served as Executive Director since 2010. Rob, an ordained cantor and rabbi, served as Jewish educator at the Cleveland JCC and as director of educational planning for the Cleveland Jewish community prior to moving to Seattle. A graduate of Harvard College, his educational background also includes 2 years in Israel as a Mandel Jerusalem Fellow, whose purpose was to develop leadership in Jewish education for Diaspora communities.

Adam Hasson has been working in commercial real estate at Samis Land Co. for over 20 years.  Since 2013 as the Director of Real Estate, he has been responsible for asset management of a diverse portfolio including residential and commercial properties, timber and agricultural land.   As many of Samis’ holding are in the Pioneer Square Historic District or designated Landmarks by the City of Seattle, he is involved in historic preservation and is on the board of The Alliance for Pioneer Square and the Pioneer Square BIA. Adam is a great-nephew of Sam Israel.

Amy Amiel began working at the Samis in 2007. As the Senior Program Officer, Amy brings more than two decades of Jewish philanthropic experience to the foundation. Prior to joining Samis, Amy served as the Director of Special Projects for JESNA and was concurrently the Founding Director of Bikkurim: An Incubator for New Jewish Ideas.   A graduate of Barnard College and Columbia University, Amy was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and today, serves as a mentor to young professionals across North America working in the Jewish community. Amy is a New York native who has lived in Seattle for more than a decade.

Linda Sullivan began working at Samis in 2000 and has served as the Chief Financial Officer since 2015. She is a CPA with over 30 years of experience. Her background includes not-for-profit, real estate, software, loan underwriting and public accounting.

Linda McClure began working at Samis in 2009 and currently serves as Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director, Senior Program Officer and Executive Administrator. She assists with operations and tasks large and small, including beneficiary correspondence, event planning and the day to day running of the foundation.  If you don’t know with whom to speak at Samis, contact Linda.

Peggy Longeway has been with Samis for 18 years as the Executive Administrator to the board of directors and executive staff.  She is also the HR Administrator and Office Manager. Prior to working at Samis, she was the Business Manager for 17 years at Friedman Properties in Chicago.

Peggy Brill has been an organizational consultant to foundations and non-profit organizations in Jerusalem for over 35 years, primarily in the fields of social welfare, environmental protection, and Jewish education and communal service. She is currently a senior consultant in the development of major civic projects in Jerusalem, including the Derekh Milton Bike Ring originating in Park HaMesila and Israel’s first aquarium. She studied government and music, international relations, social work, philosophy and Jewish education at Connecticut College (BA), Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (MA Studies), Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work (MSW), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Mandel Institute Jerusalem Fellows Program respectively.