Board of Directors

2019-2020 Board of Directors Executive Committee:

President Fred Helms
President Elect Gary Susswein
Treasurer Keith Vance
Secretary Wendy Tomlinson
VP Facilities Neal Bluazvern
VP Fundraising Jyll Vertuno
VP Education Brooke Hersh-Thompson
VP Religious Affairs Sara Blatt
VP Membership
VP Development Robert Cullick
Immediate Past President Greg Yamin

At Large Board Members:

Debbie Cohen
Paula Falk
Fred Fox
Pearl Kaplan
Bobby Lopez
Sandi Neiman
David Reed
Bob “Rose” Rosenzweig

Board Members by Virtue of their Position:

Sisterhood Co-Presidents Cindy Fudman
Brotherhood Co-Presidents Craig Rosen
Past President’s Rep Joe Steinberg
USY/Kadima President

Board Biographies:

Sara Blatt

Sara and her husband David feel privileged that they have belonged to CAA for almost 30 years. As a member, Sara has been able to have a spiritual, social and educational home here and even celebrate becoming a Bat Mitzvah, something she was unable to do when she was 13. She is grateful to have the responsibility of coordinating the large cadre of Torah readers in the CAA family for Shabbats and holidays. She has served on the Board as a general Board member, VP of Membership, and VP of Fundraising. She is very exited to undertake her new position as VP of Religious Affairs and knows that any success she has in this endeavor will be a result of our amazing Agudas Achim community.





brooke headshot
Brooke Hersh-Thompson

One of the values Brooke holds most dear about our congregation is how we welcome any who wish to come and be part of our community.  TTo honor that value, she is proud to serve the CAA board as VP of Education and as a member of the inclusion committee. Her Jewish leadership chops were first honed as a leader in BBYO and later as an active member of UT Hillel and SDT. After college, she spent some time as a Jewish Community professional in Dallas at the Aaron Family JCC before returning to UT to pursue her PhD in child psychology.  It was during this time as a graduate student that she began to attend CAA, feeling so thankful that the Agudas community had a warm and welcoming place for her to attend the various chagim as a nonmember. This experience left no doubt as to which congregation she would later join with her husband, Brian, and their two young daughters Evan and Ayla who both attend CAARS. She’s blessed to have built a life where she gets to be with her children, work part-time as a licensed psychologist in a small private practice, and give back to the spiritual home that has given her so much.

PEARL KAPLAN: Pearl has been a member of CAA since moving to Austin from El Paso in 2006.  Having Shabbat dinner with her family–especially her grandchildren–is the highlight of her week. She is excited to be part of the CAA board and  hopes to help with fundraising and social action.




Greg Yamin

While Greg and his wife Sharon  are both from San Antonio, they both graduated from  U.T. Austin. They were married at CAA in San Antonio, and have been members of CAA Austin since 1981.  Since joining the congregation, Greg has worked hard to successfully blend his work time at his family-owned business, A-Plus Energy Management and Air Conditioning with being able to serve his community. He has found his greatest pleasure serving the community youth and helping with the continued maintenance and planning of the congregation buildings and grounds.  Throughout the years he has been both a Boy Scout Troop Leader and Cub Scout Pack Leader with the JCC organization for over 9 years.  He was the Kadima advisor for 6 years and BBYO advisor for 3 years.  His three children, Josh, Jackie, and Stephanie,  have all been b’nai mitzvahed and confirmed at CAA Austin.  It has been his pleasure to serve the congregation in the past and looks forward to serving in the upcoming years.