Meet Our Board
Board of Directors
Barbara Goldstein, HERC Executive Director
I was born in New York City and moved to Florida in 1986. I have lived in Tallahassee since 1989 with my husband, Ron, and two children, Michael and Stephanie. The State of Florida requires that the Holocaust be taught in schools in all grade levels, and in 2006 I was one of the founders and co-chair of the Tallahassee Holocaust Education program sponsored by National Council of Jewish Women, Tallahassee Section to assist with this unfunded mandate. I developed meaningful programs and forged partnerships with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and the Leon County School District to bring Holocaust education to our teachers and students district-wide.
The great success of the Holocaust Education Program lead to establishing The Holocaust Education Resource Council, a Non-Profit Organization whose mission is to provide guidance and support for students, teachers, and the community about Holocaust education and teaching tolerance. In April 2008, I received the Woman of Achievement award from Congregation Shomrei Torah Sisterhood. It is appropriate because my voice is the one heard by Leon County educators from the classroom to the board room when I began questioning how or even if local kids were being taught about the Holocaust.
Thanks to my voice, there is now a group of dedicated volunteers who promote and organize an essay and art contest designed to teach school children about the Holocaust and the dangers of intolerance; and also a treasure trove of books and tapes worth thousands of dollars that is available to every Leon County teacher to use in teaching about the Holocaust. I have a very personal interest in this mission as my parents are Holocaust Survivors and an inspiration to never forget their remarkable story.
E-mail Barbara or call her at 850-443-9649
Steve Friedlander, HERC Treasurer
For many years, I have tried to maintain a presence in Holocaust education. Several times, I asked my father, a Holocaust survivor, to speak at Rickards and Chiles high schools, the schools I taught at. Even as a (now retired) math teacher, my background as a second-generation Holocaust survivor gave me the duty of passing on important information about the causes of hate and the consequences of that horrible trait. Now that we are three generations past the Holocaust and survivors are passing on, it is more important than ever to make sure the lessons of the Holocaust are not lost.
Rick Murgo, Interim Chair
Richard Murgo served as Dean of Social Sciences at Tallahassee Community College, retiring in 2021. Dr. Murgo joined the faculty of TCC in 1994 as an assistant professor, later becoming professor of political science. He subsequently became the college’s Director of Academic Enrichment, latterly promoted to Associate Dean of Social Sciences. Dr. Murgo was selected as the Dean of the College of Social Sciences in 2017. He holds master’s degrees in political science from Florida State University and in Applied Economics from the University of Central Florida. He received his Ph.D. from Florida State University. Dr. Murgo served as faculty Senate President 2005-2006, has served as the dual enrollment education coordinator of the statewide Florida Boys State and Girls State programs, and was advisor and co-founder for the TCC Model United Nations program at Tallahassee Community College. He founded and developed a faculty exchange program with Tianjin Foreign Studies University, as well as developed partnerships with other colleges for students study abroad programs in China and the Czech Republic. Dr. Murgo has also served on the United Nations Association of American Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Community Colleges Committee. Dr. Murgo served has served as president, treasurer, and currently vice president of the National Model United Nations Board of Directors. He is a current member of the Executive Board of Directors of the Florida Political Science Association, a former board member for the Florida College System Activities Association, a current member of the Holocaust Education Resource Council board of directors, as well as a member of the Board of Directors for Tallahassee Southern Model United Nations Association. He is the political contributor for WXTL, ABC News affiliate for Tallahassee and Southern Georgia. Dr. Murgo has presented numerous papers including, “United Nations Human Rights Treaties: Obligations and Compliance” and most recently, “EU-China Relations: Balancing Economic Opportunities with Political Challenges”. Richard Murgo is the recipient of the 2012 NICSOD Excellence in Teaching award, as well as the 2011 recipient of the Tallahassee Community College Club Advisor of the Year award.
Karen Asher-Cohen, Interim Vice Chair
Karen Asher-Cohen is a founding shareholder of the Radey Law Firm. Karen regularly represents insurers before the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. As a former Director of Insurer Services and Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Insurance, Karen has a keen insight into the issues pertaining to operating as an insurer or other licensed entity in the State of Florida, as both counsel and as an expert witness.
Karen received her B.A. in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts in 1979 and her J.D. with honors from Florida State University in 1982. Karen has a varied background in public service beginning with her career at the Florida State Attorney’s Office in 1982. Karen served as a Statewide Prosecutor from 1984 to 1986. In 1986 she began working for the Florida Bar. Karen left the Florida Bar in 1991 to work as a senior attorney with the Florida Public Service Commission.
In 1993, Karen began her career with the then Department of Insurance as a senior attorney/ prosecutor in the Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation, working on complex receivership mat- ters. Karen moved through the ranks, and as Director of Insurer Services, her responsibilities includ- ed oversight of six bureaus including Property & Casualty Insurer Solvency, Property & Casualty Forms and Rates, Life & Health Insurer Solvency, Life & Health Forms and Rates, HMOs, and re- sidual markets. She was directly involved with applications to write all lines of business in Florida, the resolution of rate and form filing issues, as well as the oversight of market conduct examinations and investigations. Additionally, Karen represented Florida as a founding member of the Interna- tional Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC). Karen ultimately became Deputy Commissioner before departing in 2000 to enter private practice.
Judy Alexander, At-Large Board Member
I became involved with HERC when Barbara Goldstein explained what the group’s mission is and how they are accomplishing it. I realize now, more than ever, we must educate students and citizens in general about the Holocaust and its far-reaching consequences. The results of the 2022 poll made it clear there are many who think it never happened, or it was exaggerated, or it was caused by the Jews. Enlightening people and changing those alarming statistics is of utmost importance, and I enjoy working with HERC in that endeavor, so history will never repeat itself.
Anita Parish, At-Large Board Member
I am a widow, having moved to Tallahassee in 2010 after retiring and just before the birth of my twin grandsons. I am fortunate to have been able to care for them as much as I have over the years. I have a Master of Arts in Christian Education and served three different Presbyterian congregations over a period of 30 years as Director of Christian Education.
In my first church in DeLand, Florida, I led a study on Jewish Christian Relations which led to the formation of the West Volusia Holocaust Council with members coming from my church and DeLand’s Temple Israel. We were able to offer an annual Yom HaShoah at Stetson University, provide programs for the community, and loan trunks of materials to teachers. Not only did we start something very meaningful in the community, but also we formed wonderful friendships as we worked together.
My heart was touched during this time, and I developed a passion to try to understand better the development of anti-Judaism by the early Christian Church, taking graduate courses and studying scripture so that I could educate others. A quote from a Presbyterian General Assembly paper said, “The study has helped us to feel the pain of our Jewish neighbors who remember that the Holocaust was carried out in the heart of ‘Christian Europe’ by persons many of whom were baptized Christians.”
I continued my journey when I left DeLand and did what I could to teach and participate in Holocaust education in Winter Haven, Florida, and Shreveport, Louisiana. I am very pleased to be a part of the wonderful work of HERC now and honored to be a member of the Board of Directors.
Avi Wygodski, At-Large Board Member
My legacy is being a second-generation Holocaust decedent. My mother was in 3 concentration camps and a sole survivor of a large Jewish family who was confined in the Vilna Ghetto. After the liquidation of the Ghetto my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many cousins were all murdered, mostly shot in Ponary. I feel a special responsibility by making sure that this event in history, is understood and is passed on from generation to generation. I was born in Tel Aviv, where my father and mother fought for Israel’s independence. They said if Israel was a country before World War II there would not have been a Holocaust.
Betty Jensen, At-Large Board Member
Betty Jensen started her professional career as a faculty member at Tallahassee Community College. In 1995, she started the process of centralizing all areas servicing international students and launched the Office of International Student Services to include recruitment and admission, immigration and academic advising, and cultural programming. As the Director of ISS, Betty led the rigorous process for TCC to obtain Department of State J-visa designation, secured funding for annual international student scholarships, one of which was endowed and renamed in her name. Betty retired from TCC in 2017 but her commitment and passion for the international education field brought her back to Florida State University where she is an F1 International Student Adviser and J1 Exchange Student Adviser.
Betty’s proudest accomplishment is developing and implementing the first Florida International Leadership Conference in 2007 (FILC) which annually continues to bring international and domestic students from colleges and universities in Florida for a weekend full of leadership development activities in Central Florida.
Betty has served in different roles at the state, regional and national levels for the National Association of International Educators – NAFSA as well as serving on several local boards, including Tallahassee Sunrise Rotary Club and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. Betty has traveled extensively and has led travel groups to different countries. Betty is originally from Trujillo, Peru, and her high school exchange student experience brought her to Tallahassee! She enjoys biking, hiking, and traveling.
Carol Berkowitz, At-Large Board Member
Carol Berkowitz holds a Master’s Degree in Gerontology from the University of South Florida and a Juris Doctorate from the Florida State University College of Law. Before retirement, she was an Adjunct Professor at the FSU College of Social Work, teaching nonprofit budget management and gerontology courses. Prior to teaching, she had an extensive career working in the area of long-term care public policy for seniors. She is the former the Executive Director at the Office of Public and Professional Guardians housed under the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. Other leadership positions held were with various state-wide associations including the Florida Health Care Association (FHCA), LeadingAge Florida and the Florida Dental Association. Carol has volunteered for numerous local and statewide nonprofit boards. Of all of her accomplishments, she is most proud of her two sons, Adam and Robby.
Jared M. Ross, At-Large Board Member
Jared serves as President of the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association (FBWA) having joined the association in January 2022. Prior to joining FBWA, he was with the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates (LSCU) from January 2011 through December 2021. He joined LSCU as the Florida Director of Legislative Affairs and was promoted in 2012 Vice President of Governmental Affairs, overseeing the League’s advocacy efforts in Alabama and Florida. In August 2013, Jared was once again promoted to Sr. Vice President of Association Services and in January 2020, he was promoted to President of LSCU, overseeing all Association Services activities.
Jared has more than 18 years’ experience lobbying and as an association executive, having served as Chief Legislative Aide in a private lobbying firm for 2 years, Director of Public Policy for the American Cancer Society’s Florida Division for over 4 years, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates for 11 years, and now with the FBWA.
Jared graduated from The Florida State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and from The Florida State University College of Law in 2006 with his Juris Doctor degree. He is also a member of the Florida Bar.
Jared resides in Tallahassee, FL with his wife Heather, their daughter, Hannah, and their son, Jacob. He serves on the board of Hillel at FSU and President of the FSU Jewish Alumni Network.
Jeffrey E. Lickson, MSW, PhD, At-Large Board Member
I grew up in Stamford and Ridgefield, CT, earned a BA from Johns Hopkins University, an MSW from University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work, and a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems from Florida State University. I was a social worker in child welfare for the City of Baltimore and State of New York, supervised school social work interns, taught child welfare courses on the faculty of the FSU School of Social Work, and administered community mental health services for children and the elderly for Florida’s (DHRS) Mential Health Program. After moving to Houston, TX in 1984, I was an instructional designer for Exxon Company, USA, and president of XYZ Designs, Inc., a management and training consulting company from 1986 to 2016. There I provided instructional design and management consulting services for healthcare, aviation, government, hospitality, manufacturing, high technology, petroleum industry, community college and university clients. I completed interviewer training for the SHOAH Visual History Foundation in Burbank, CA and conducted video interviews with 12 Holocaust Survivors in Houston in 1987-1988. My wife Nancy and I raised our children, Bill and Jennifer in Tallahassee. Both are now married, and we have three grandsons and two step granddaughters. Our children and two grandsons live in Tallahassee and are the reason we returned here in 2014. After retiring in 2016, I served as a board volunteer with the Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas (FAVACA), as a board member of 21st Century Council, and am a member of the Advisory Council of the FSU College of Social Work Institute for the Study of Communities, Families and Children. Earlier in 2022, I volunteered as part of a HERC Transition Team to help HERC prepare implementation plans for its expansion, and in June, as part of a Holocaust teacher training, presented my search for lost family in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Susan Turner, At-Large Board Member
Susan Levin Turner was born and raised in Jasper, Florida, about 80 miles east of Tallahassee.
Grew up Valdosta Hebrew Congregation in Valdosta, GA.
She graduated from University of Florida with a B.A.E. degree in 1969, teaching Headstart Program in Jacksonville, FL and then elementary/middle school for five years.
She married Stephen Turner, an attorney in Tallahassee and member of one of the founding families of Temple Israel. Susan and Steve are very proud parents of 3 children and 3 grandchildren: Shawn and wife Sally, Serrin, wife Sharon and son Oscar, and Marisa Harkavy, husband Jason, daughter Reese and son Oliver.
She had a private catering business for five years and was also the Food Editor of Tallahassee Magazine for five years. She opened Food Glorious Food in November 1982. The restaurant has been the recipient of many awards, including: “Best of Tallahassee”, Best Outdoor Café in Florida, 14 Golden Spoon Awards, including Best of New South Cooking.
Her recipes have appeared in the Tallahassee Magazine, the Tallahassee Democrat, Gourmet Magazine and The New York Times.
She has been very involved civically: President of the Junior Museum Guild, chairman of the first Market Days as the Fair Grounds.
President of National Council of Jewish Women, Member of Junior League of Tallahassee, Board of Telephone Counseling and Referral Service, Board of Refuge House, Board of Big Bend Hospice Foundation, serving as chairman of Spring Fling for 13 years; member of Producer’s Guild FSU Film School, Women for FSU, Board member of STAC Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center, the Human Trafficking Organization. Advisory Board for Center of Study and Promotion of Communities, Family and Children at FSU. Board member of Tallahassee Symphony.
Named one of “The Twenty-Five Women to Know” by Tallahassee Democrat.
Having grown up in the only Jewish family in Jasper, I am extremely proud of my Jewish heritage and to have been honored by HERC as the first recipient of their Humanitarian Award. HERC has always played an important with role against antisemitism and hatred, and is even more relevant and critical at this time in combating the continuing increase of growing danger to Jewish communities around the world through education and awareness.
Sam Kimelman, At-Large Board Member
After being on the board of HERC during the formation of the organization, Sam Kimelman has returned to the board of directors of HERC following an approx. 10 year hiatus.
Sam has an extensive background in accounting and financial management with over thirty years of experience managing all aspects of accounting functions, including Financial Reporting, General Ledger, Payroll and Cash Management. His past experience in government, auditing, and small & large business helps him understand the big picture and plan appropriate strategies to achieve results.
Sam has served on the boards of many organizations and is looking forward to resuming on the board of HERC. Sam’s father, aunt and their parents, aunts, uncles and cousins are survivors of the Shoah. At the age of 11, his father was taken from his childhood home in Romania and spent 18 months in a labor camp in the southern Ukraine.
“As the generation of Holocaust survivors and liberators dwindles, the torch of remembrance, of bearing witness, and of education must continue forward.” Dan Gillerman.