Our Board of Directors

Meet our 2018/19 Board of Directors


Gwen Harrison -  President

“Over the years, NSTE has given my family a sense of community in a modern Jewish context. I want to support and promote this community so that others may enjoy the same.”

Gwen Harrison is serving her third year on the NSTE Board, becoming Vice President in October 2016 and appointed as President in May 2018. She dedicates as much time as she can to fulfil her NSTE responsibilities each week.

With 23 years’ experience as a Patent Attorney, Gwen brings analytical and organisational skills to the Board.

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Education, NSTE Meah Hebrew & Religion School, Chair of Executive

Current Projects / Task Forces

  • Strategic planning

Volunteering – NSTE

  • Lay leadership


Mark Ginsburg –  Immediate Past President & building Committee Chair

“Community is important. It has given so much to me, so I want to give back and contribute to creating a vibrant, sustainable and loving and caring community.”

Mark Ginsburg has been on the NSTE Board for eight years, having served as President for three years.  He is currently the Chair of the Building Committee and Immediate Past President.

Mark has a strong background in management and strategic planning roles across the IT industry.  Mark is also a jazz musician, performing locally and internationally.

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Consultation with the Board of Directors and Executive, supporting IT operations in the NSTE Office, serving as NSTE representative on the Apples & Honey Pre-School Board, and assistance with a number of board project initiativies.

Current Projects / Task Forces

  • Building our Future Capital Appeal and Building Project, NSTE Security Committee.

Volunteering – NSTE

  • Friends of the Garden Team, Kitchen Krew, Audio visual support for events, Chorister, Building maintenance, Community Wellbeing volunteer.


Edward Baral - Vice President

“As a member, I was incredibly impressed with the approach that the board transition team was taking with the Community Conversations held in 2016.  At a time of significant change, it would have been tempting to find quick solutions but most organisational mistakes are made in haste and our board took the brave decision to step back, engage deeply with our members to truly understand their needs and wants before committing to a path forward. 
I respect and admire this considered and strategic approach and was keen to find out more about the team behind it. The more that I discovered, the more that I wanted to join them and help our community to navigate our way into a successful future.”


Edward Baral and his family have been members at NSTE for 12 years and recently celebrated his son, Harry’s, Bar Mitzvah.  With Harry actively involved in the Teen Torah Tag Team and Netzer and Edward’s daughter, Lee, enrolled at Meah and preparing for her Bat Mitzvah, Edward is actively involved in communal life.

Edward joined the NSTE Board in late 2016, becoming Vice-President in 2018.

Currently, Executive Manager, Commercial at Westpac, Edward has a background in E-commerce, marketing, and digital media.

Portfolio Responsibilities
•    Membership & Marketing

Volunteering – NSTE 
•    Shammash
•    Warden
•    Capital Appeal Support and as otherwise called upon


Geoff Wolf - Vice President

"NSTE is at a unique point in its history and I am honoured to join the Board of Directors and make a contribution to the organisation that has provided so much to my family  and the community."

Geoff and his family have enjoyed a lifelong association with NSTE, with his parents being founding members and Geoff meeting his wife, Jenny, in the early days of our youth groups. In later years, Geoff and Jenny married on our campus (incidentally it was the last wedding in the former Sanctuary, now occupied by the Preschool!), and they saw both their daughters attend the Preschool and experience their B’nei Mitzvah with us.

Geoff’s background is in the hospitality and hotel industry and he is currently involved in the retirement and aged care sector.

He was appointed as Vice President in May 2018.

Portfolio Responsibilities

Yet to be advised

Current Projects / Task Forces

Yet to be advised

Volunteering – NSTE

I have been an NSTE member for most of my life and have helped in a variety of capacities over the years including:

  • Volunteering at the NSTE fetes that were held in the now Westfield carpark

  • Arranged a Bar/Bat Mitzvah reunion function for the Jubilee events

  • Assisted at Senior Citizens Concerts


Barry Gottheiner - Treasurer/Secretary

“I enjoy giving back for what I get out of our warm and welcome community.”

Barry Gottheiner has recently joined the NSTE Board, after selling his food and confectionery importing and distribution company in mid-2016 and entering retirement.

With experience serving on synagogue boards in South Africa and Queensland, Barry now dedicates approximately 20 hours per week to his NSTE duties.

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Finance, Administration, General executive responsibilities

Current Projects / Task Forces

  • N/A

Volunteering – NSTE

  • Kitchen Krew


Ruth-Anne Cohn - Board Member


“I am a proud Progressive Jewish woman and I am thrilled to be adding value to the sustainability of NSTE. Having five children, it is critically important to me that NSTE continue to thrive and be an organisation that provides worship, education, community and tikkun olam to meet the needs of all demographics throughout their various lifecycle stages.”

Ruth-Anne Cohn joined the NSTE Board in 2014 and assumed the role of Vice President from 2015 to 2018. Her commitment to NSTE is driven by a passion to support and enhance this community, it’s Spiritual Leaders, Board of Directors and Office team. 

With a strong background in Human Resources Management, Ruth-Anne has led HR teams in multi-national corporations both in Canada and Australia. Ruth-Anne uses these skills across various channels within the NSTE community.

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Human Resources for Spiritual Leadership & Office Team
  • Boomers & Beyond Task Force Board Liaison
  • Member engagement 

Current Projects / Task Forces

  • Boomers & Beyond Task Force
  • Spiritual Leadership Team selection
  • Administration Team HR Support

Volunteering – NSTE & Beyond

  • Boomers sub-group involvement
  • Shabbat Dinner support


Bruce Goldsmith - Board Member

"I care about ensuring the strength of the only diverse, inclusive and innovative Progressive Jewish community on the north shore."

Currently the CEO for the Jewish Communal Appeal (JCA), Bruce has has the task of finding funding for 23 constituent organisations  - but he still finds the time to manage the Transition portfolio and fulfil Shammash and warden duties with NSTE each week.

He has been an NSTE Member since 1996 and on the NSTE Board for two years.

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Board Member

Current Projects / Task Forces

  • N/A

Volunteering – NSTE

  • Shammash
  • Warden

Tony Abo - Board Member

Tony Abo has been a member of NSTE since he and his family moved to Sydney in 1998. He has served in the NSTE Board since May of 2016. Tony serves the NSTE community as Gabbai, Shammash, lay service leader and Torah reader, B'nei Mitzvah tutor and is the primary convenor of B’nei Mitzvah rehearsals. Tony works closely with Rabbi Nicole, assisting in the coordination of the B’nei Mitzvah program at NSTE. He is also a member of the NSTE choir and regular volunteer in the planning and execution of Temple activities.

Beyond his roles at the Temple, Tony is a software developer, delivering applications that facilitate response of emergency services for police, fire, and medical, and the administration of those services.


Julia Selby - Board Member

"I hope to contribute to the long-term sustainability of NSTE for future generations, building on the work of others to maintain its welcoming presence as a Progressive synagogue for our community, as well as demonstrating a commitment to the wider community through tikkun olam. "

Julia has been associated with NSTE since her parents joined as founding members in 1961, when she was in primary school.  She became a member herself over 20 years ago when she returned to Sydney after living interstate and overseas as her career developed. Since 2017 Julia has chaired NSTE’s Jews for Social Action (JSA). 

In her career, Julia worked in student administration and management at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) from 2004-2015, and was also Company Secretary from 2008-2016. Prior to joining NIDA, she had a long career with the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), including serving overseas as a Trade Commissioner, as well as having a range of roles in Australia.

Julia’s not for profit board experience includes being on the board of an independent school for more than 10 years.

Portfolio Responsibilities

·       Governance, NSTE Programming Committee

Current Projects / Task Forces

·       Governance – policy updates

Volunteering – NSTE

·       Jews for Social Action

·       Warden


Jennifer Ruskin - Board Member

"I am looking forward to the opportunity to give back to the community that has provided a Jewish home in Sydney for my family."

Jennifer Ruskin joined the Board in 2018. She has engaged in different aspects of the NSTE community, including playgroup, Meah and the Community Families Club, for about six years. 

Drawing on her career as an academic in work-integrated learning and social entrepreneurship, as well as prior experience as a manager in the non-profit space, Jennifer brings facilitation, research and program development skills to the Board.

Portfolio Responsibilities -
To be confirmed

Current Projects / Task Forces 
Jennifer has done some previous work with emerging initiatives at NSTE related to extending program opportunities geographically and leadership development. She will continue work on these and other initiatives. 

Volunteering - NSTE 

  • NSTE Playgroup
  • Young family service activities


Ingrid Amoils - Board Member

"I am delighted to have been invited to join the Board. I will strive to make a valuable contribution to the future of our community, with a particular focus on Meah Hebrew and Religion School, based on my experience in supporting leadership development, advancing strategy and as a past teacher and a parent at Meah. I cherish our community.  This is a wonderful way to support future growth."  

Ingrid Amoils joined the Board in 2018. Originally, qualified as a Chartered Accountant in South Africa, Ingrid is now the co-founder of Bamboo Associates, which is focused on high impact, practical growth strategy for owner/manager businesses.  

She has accumulated significant business coaching experience for the last nine years in Australia, with a specific focus on leadership, management, and advancement of strategy.  Although not a qualified teacher, Ingrid has a love of teaching and has taught in many different environments including lecturing a business course at the University of Cape Town, lecturing accounting to adult evening classes, and teaching Hebrew and Jewish studies at Meah and for the NSW Board of Jewish Education.   

Portfolio Responsibilities -

  • Education
  • Meah Hebrew and Religion School

Current Projects / Task Forces -  

  • Support to Meah Director including refinement of Meah resources and support processes
  • Support NSTE Board strategic planning process    

Volunteering (within and outside of NSTE) -

Within NSTE, as requested. Outside NSTE, since 2008, Ingrid has been a trustee of the Friends of Mthimkhulu Trust, based in South Africa, which provides support to vulnerable children.