Who We Are
We are professionally managed by our Executive Director and Board of Directors, and supported by volunteer committee members. JIFLA is an active member of the International Association of Jewish Free Loans, a professional support organization for over 50 Jewish interest free loan funds throughout the world. We are active in the Atlanta Jewish community and proudly partner with fellow Jewish agencies. We are a 501c3 qualified non-profit organization.
Board of Directors
Laura Kahn Travis, President
Laura is a Senior Vice President in the Commercial Banking Group of Bank of America. Laura earned a BBA at the University of Georgia & an MBA from Columbia University in New York. She has an extensive background in the financial services industry, specifically in Corporate & Investment Banking, having previously worked for SunTrust Banks and the Prudential. Laura is a Big Sister under the auspices of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Atlanta and a former member of the Executive Board of Yeshiva Atlanta High School (Atlanta Jewish Academy).
Lori Woolfson, Treasurer
Mrs. Woolfson has a Masters of Accounting from the University of Texas: Austin. She has many years of accounting experience in accounting, auditing, operational efficiency consulting and management. Lori currently serves as the PTO treasurer at the Epstein School. She also does property management and consulting at the Woolfson Eye Institute. Lori is married to Dr. Jonathan Woolfson and is the mother of four school-age children. When not busy with work and carpool, Lori enjoys playing ALTA tennis.
Merrie Edelston, Loan Committee Chair
Merrie Edelston has extensive experience in consumer lending from her past experience as a senior loan and regulatory compliance officer at a major credit union. She has significant experience as a computer systems project manager. Her volunteer experiences include serving on the Board of Trustees of the Greenfield Hebrew Academy, as well as PTSA President. She currently volunteers with Jewish Family & Career Services, Congregation B’nai Torah, as well as serving on the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta Financial Independence Task Force. She has a business – economics degree from SUNY at Oneonta.
Jay Kessler, Marketing and Community Engagement Committee Co-Chair and Loan Officer
Jay is president of Lib Properties, a mortgage brokerage firm. He is a native of Atlanta, married with 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren. His many volunteer activities include serving on the Executive Board of the Atlanta Community Jewish Center, the Jewish Federation Board, the Executive Board of Torah Day School, and President of Temina High School. He greatly enjoys volunteering in the disabilities department of the Marcus Jewish Community Center.
Jeff Gladstein, Marketing and Community Engagement Committee Co-Chair
Jeff is a native of Atlanta and is an entrepreneur. He is CEO of Highlands Capital Advisors, LLC and CEO & CTO of Turnaround Atlanta, LLC. He invests in and develops real estate, commercial and residential. Jeff frequently serves as an expert witness in litigation involving banking, business and real estate.
Jeff served as chair of the scholarship committee of the camping initiative of the Atlanta Jewish Federation from its inception in 2014 through the 2017 camping season. Jeff also served two (2) terms as a member of the URJ Camp Coleman board. Jeff’s philanthropic interests in addition to Jewish camping includes families in need and homelessness.