Spokane Area Jewish Family Services is located in the building of Temple Beth Shalom. We are extremely grateful to TBS for donating office and program space, and for all of their ongoing support.

1322 East 30th Avenue
Spokane, WA 99203
Office: (509) 747-7394
Cell: (509) 413-8254

Neal Schindler, Director

Neal Schindler

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Neal Schindler has lived in the Northwest since 2002. He worked in journalism in Seattle before moving to Spokane to earn a master’s degree in counseling from Eastern Washington University. Neal has provided counseling and social services to diverse populations since 2010. He was raised in a Reconstructionist congregation and is currently a member of Congregation Emanu-El. He loves his work as director of SAJFS. The Jewish values that are most important to Neal include humor, resilience, community, food, intellectualism, and healthy skepticism. He lives with his wife, son, and two cats in West Central Spokane.


Meet the SAJFS Board of Directors:

Marti Martin, President
I’ve been a member of the Spokane Jewish community since 1991 and am happy to live in the Pacific Northwest. I served for many years on the Temple Beth Shalom board as both a member at large and president. In 2003 I became a board member of SAJFS and eventually served as president for three years. I’m happy to be serving once again as a board member helping to serve those in need in our wonderful community.

Julie Morris, Vice President
In addition to her work on behalf of SAJFS, Julie is a retired teacher, a member of Hadassah’s National Portfolio Council, and chair of the Hadassah Foundation, and she sits on the board of the Spokane Therapeutic Courts Foundation.

Anne Vogel, Treasurer

Lenya Treewater, Secretary
Lenya has been a dance/movement therapist in the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years. After completing her training at the State University of New York at Brockport and at Antioch New England Graduate School, Lenya moved to Oregon. As DMT had little presence in the Pacific Northwest, Lenya helped to found the Oregon Study Group, which continues to be a strong network of Oregon therapists. She worked mainly with mental health populations in various settings until she moved to Seattle and focused her work on the elderly. She has lived in Spokane for several years and is an active member of the Jewish community.

Miriam Berkman
A position as a counseling psychologist at Eastern Washington University brought me to the Spokane area in 1992. I have been actively involved in the Reform Jewish community and have served as president of the board for Congregation Emanu-El (CEE). Coming off the CEE board, it was a natural transition to now serve on the board for SAJFS. I grew up with a strong sense of social justice developed by my parents’ words, deeds, and commitment to Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). I hope to bring the skills I have honed over the years to develop relationships, honor all peoples, and thoughtfully engage in meaningful decisions that affect the Spokane community at large, and the Jewish community in particular.

Holly Thompson Duffy
Holly works as an Environmental Protection Specialist for Indian Health Service.

Meryl Gersh
I have been a member of the Temple Beth Shalom community for more than 32 years, having served on the temple board, and a long time ago, as a Sunday school teacher.  I welcome the opportunity to participate on the SAJFS board as it gives me the chance to “walk the talk” that I try to impart to my physical therapy students every day: the obligation and privilege of a professional to serve one’s community. 

Lucy Gipstein
Lucy is a retired schoolteacher.

Dale Severance
Social services has always been close to my heart.  As a social worker through most of my professional life I have found serving others enriches my life as it can also enrich others. I can remember how excited I was when JFS first started and I am honored to now have the opportunity to serve on its board.  

Larry Weiser
A longtime director of University Legal Assistance at Gonzaga, Larry retired in 2015 after 35 years of service to his alma mater. He has a lengthy history with Gonzaga Law, going as far back as 1973 when he started as a student. Larry spent his entire Gonzaga Law career as director of the Elder Law Project, and the last 10 as director of the Clinic. While he taught different classes, he was best-known for his expertise in Elder Law, Dispute Resolution, Negotiation and Mediation, and Administrative Law.

Nancy Wickre
Nancy was born in New York City and moved to Spokane in 1982 after living in Nashville and Portland. She worked as a nurse practitioner with a specialty in diabetes and retired in 2019. She enjoyed volunteering for several years on Temple Beth Shalom’s Senior Tea Committee and is excited to join the board of this worthwhile organization.