Board and Committees

CBI depends on the volunteer work of our members! 

Text content

Board of Directors

President: Chris Kelly
Chris Kelly has been involved in the synagogue in various capacities for nearly 20 years, most recently re-joining the board in 2013. She is currently a member of the executive, religious practices and Chevra Kadisha committees, and has previously served as a director, the newsletter editor, a member of the education committee, and the Family Education director. She works at MCLA in the Institutional Advancement department, which raises money to provide financial aid for students and support college programming.  Chris is also the legal guardian of her handicapped sister who lives in Cohoes, NY.  In her spare time (if there is such a thing when one is president of a synagogue), she likes to read (especially mystery / thriller fiction), paint, garden, observe the antics of her flock of chickens, and play with the family’s three dogs (a large St. Berdoodle, a lazy English Bulldog, and a Scottish Terrier puppy).
Second Vice President: Natalie Mendelsohn Matus
Natalie Mendelsohn Matus is a development professional who has worked primarily in the field of education and has extensive background in the Boston Jewish Community.  She holds a BA from Brown University and an MSW and MBA from Simmons University (formerly Simmons College).  She is currently the Director of Leadership Development at Miss Hall’s School, an independent day and boarding school for girls in Pittsfield.  Previously, she was the Associate Head for Institutional Advancement at Solomon Schecter Day School in Newton, MA, a Jewish day school for children from preschool through grade 8.  She worked for 16 years at Simmons College School of Management, first teaching market research and then in development.  As a long-time member of Congregation Beth Elohim of Acton, MA.  Natalie served as President, Vice President of Development, and President of the Sisterhood at various times.  She is a lifetime member of Hadassah,  Natalie and her husband Roger live in Pittsfield, having moved there full-time two years ago after being weekenders for many years.  They have two grown daughters, Gabrielle and Kira, and two young, adored grandsons, Arthur and Ethan, who live with their parents in Hong Kong.  They have deep roots in the Berkshires, thanks to Natalie’s parents, who began tenting in the summers in the Berkshires in the early ’50s before eventually retiring here.
Clerk: Paulette Wein
Paulette Wein was born and raised in North Adams and has been a member of Congregation Beth Israel her whole life.  She graduated from Champlain College in Burlington, VT in 1977 and then lived in Boston (where she was the Assistant to the Director of Boston University Medical Center) until moving home to North Adams in 1991.  Since 1991, she has been working as Assistant to the Director of Mass MoCA, a job she loves.  When she lived across the street from our Church Street location in the ’90s, Paulette was talked into being a weekly “minyanaire” with a fun group of other CBI members, many of whom have died, sadly.  Her parents (and her grandparents before them) were very active in our synagogue.  Her mother, who grew up in Springfield, MA was involved in Sisterhood and took every class that was ever offered at CBI.  At age 77, she proudly made her Bat Mitzvah in this very sanctuary, together with Chris Kelly – it was an unforgettable occasion, led by Rabbi Pam Wax.  Paulette’s father served as President of CBI for many years when Paulette was a kid, attending services every Saturday (when it didn’t interfere with Drury High School basketball games).  He took seriously his role as an annual speaker during Yizkor services, reciting the names of deceased CBI members, including the four young men who were killed in battle.   As for Paulette, she made her Bat Mitzvah at CBI in 1970 and has been a board member and member of our Cemetery Committee for many years.  She was co-chair of our recent Gala celebrating our 125th anniversary and has been active in other social and fundraising events, such as organizing our tag sale fundraisers. 
Director: David Lane
David Lane is a theatre and visual artist who splits his time between North Adams and Calgary, Alberta.  He has been involved with CBI for many years, participating in the Take and Eat program, holiday events, and led a spiritual painting workshop on the grounds, once upon a time.  His daughter Sophie is pursuing a degree in Jazz voice and composition at McGill in Montreal and his daughter Hannah lives with her Mom in Minnesota where she is a Junior in high school; both girls attend the CBI Hebrew School program.
Director: Michael Smith
Michael Smith and his family have been a member of CBI for over 15 years.  He and his wife Pam live primarily in Poughkeepsie, NY and also belong to a conservative synagogue.  Temple Beth El, in Poughkeepsie.  He has been a member of the Temple Beth El board and served in many capacities including the community Chevra Kadisha, over the last 20 years.  He’s also the current Treasurer and Past President of the Jewish Federation of Dutchess County.  He is the local rep for Israel Bonds, and is very invoved with AIPAC.
Prior to Covid, Michael and Pam traveled annually to Israel where Michael volunteered in a pediatric dental clinic serving low income children of all religious faiths.  Michael and Pam served Jiminy Peak as ski patroller’s for 10 years and they are both avid skiers, scuba divers, hikers, bikers and nature lovers.  They’ve traveled extensively and have been to six of the seven continents.  He has been a dentist for almost 40 years and recently retired.  Pam and Michael have two children, both living in California, with a new grandchild due to arrive in January.  Both Pam and Michael love the CBI community and are looking forward to helping in any way they can.
Director: Lisa Youngling Howard
Lisa Youngling Howard has been a member of CBI since 2011.  She lives in Williamstown with her two children, Noah and Molly Howard.  Lisa is a psychiatrist who specializes in working with young adults.  She works at Smith College Counseling Service and Gould Farm in Monterey, MA.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, travel, and paddle boarding.
Director, Past President: Darlene Melville Radin
Darlene Radin, Ph.D has been married to Dr. Len Radin for 47 years.  They have three children, Chaya, Michelle, Katie-Rose and two grandchildren, Katherine and Clark.  She taught English ad Communication at Mass. College of Liberal Arts for several years.  Darlene was Co-President and then President at CBI from 2008 – 2010, and has been on the Board of Director for 25 years.  She has been a member of the women’s Hevrah Kaddish for over 30 years, and has been chair for 10 years. 
Director: Ben Rudin
Ben Rudin has been a member of CBI since moving to North Adams in 2005.  He currently serves on the Chevrah Kedisha committee, and has previously served on the education committee.  He also hgolds the unofficial position of Chanukah party latke fryer.  Ben is a primary care physician with Adams Internists.  He lives in North Adams with his wife Alice, and their children, Ethan , Julian, and Rose.  He can often be found hiking on the weekend with his two dogs, Meadow and Rocky.

Currently active committees and groups include:

Cemetery Committee, chaired by Joe Apkin

Chesed (caring) Committee, Led by Jane Shiyah

Education, currently led by The CBI Board

Female Chevra Kadisha (burial committee) – currently on pandemic hiatus, chaired by Darlene Radin

Green Team / Environmental Care Team, in need of a chair (could this be you? let us know!)

Immigrant / Refugee Support Committee, chaired by Cindy Polinsky and Laura Schoenbaum

Male Chevra Kadisha (burial committee)  – currently on pandemic hiatus, chaired by Len Radin

Membership and Public Relations, co-chaired by Robin Brickman and Alice Cande

Newsletter, Editor – Oliver Jones

Photography- Len Radin (View CBI photos here)

Take and Eat (Meals on wheels program) – currently on pandemic hiatus, led by Lauren Gotlieb

If you have suggestions, comments, or questions, or if you want to join one of these committees you can reach out to the committee chairs via phone or email (if you have a CBI roster) or you can email our office at



CBI Board Covenant