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.
Nancy Weissmann, Executive Director
Nancy Weissmann joined JIFLA as the Executive Director in March 2016. Nancy manages operations, including borrower, donor and community relations. She works with the board and committee volunteers to continually raise awareness of JIFLA’s important work, and identify opportunities for organizational partnerships throughout the Atlanta area. Contact Nancy at nancy@JIFLA.org to get involved, make a donation or refer a borrower.
Stephanie Gewirtz, Associate Director
Stephanie joined our team in February. Her background in event planning, administration and communication made her a perfect fit for JIFLA’s growing needs.
A New York native, with a degree in Mass Communication from Boston University, Stephanie is no stranger to the Atlanta Jewish community. From her days as a parent of a Beth Jacob preschooler to, working for the Jewish Fertility Foundation and volunteering at Congregation Bet Haverim’s Community School many of you may already know her!
Feel free to contact Stephanie with any questions about JIFLA — she is ready to help!
Elizabeth Schoen, Loan Intake and Accounts Manager
Elizabeth Joined JIFLA as Loan Intake and Accounts Manager in August 2020. Elizabeth brings experience in community engagement as well as school administration to her role, working with JIFLA staff and committee members to put our borrowers first and assist in making the loan process straightforward and efficient. Elizabeth holds degrees from McGill University and NYU and loves to meet new challenges and develop new skills. Through the years, Elizabeth has been an active parent in the TDSA, Cliff Valley, AJA and YOY communities and has sat on the board of Beth Jacob and Yeshiva Atlanta.
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). Laura is an original Board and Loan Committee member of JIFLA.
Adrienne Litt Bishko, Co-President
Ms. Adrienne Litt Bishko began her engagement with JIFLA as a volunteer on the loan committee. Adrienne graduated with a BA from The University of Michigan. She has been widely involved as a board member of numerous synagogues and as a community volunteer wherever she has lived. Prior to joining JIFLA, Ms. Bishko has served as VP of Administration at Temple Emanu-El, Executive Director at Temple Emanu-El, and Executive Director at Congregation Beth Tefillah. Following these engagements, Adrienne formed Adrienne C Bishko Consulting, LLC, specializing in small Jewish non-profits. In addition to her duties at JIFLA, Adrienne currently serves as an Administrative Volunteer at Weinstein Hospice. Adrienne has two married children, and five wonderful grandchildren.
Avi Binstock, Treasurer
Avi is a Senior Manager in EY’s Financial Services Organization. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS in Accounting and Finance. Avi has over thirteen years of audit experience in the asset management industry. Avi has served a wide range of asset managers including hedge funds, credit funds, private equity, real estate, timberland, and business development companies. Avi is a member of the AICPA and serves on the Committee of Hearts for the Southeast Chapter of Hedge Funds Care. Avi is married and has three children under six.
Debbie Kalwerisky, Secretary
Debbie has a background in human resources and financial management and has worked professionally for many years in the synagogue world, most recently as Executive Director at Congregation Ariel, and previously as Executive Director at Congregation Beth Tefillah. She was an active volunteer at the former Greenfield Hebrew Academy and Yeshiva Atlanta schools (now AJA) when her children were younger, as well as serving in many volunteer capacities at her synagogue, Congregation Beth Tefillah. She also served on the Boards of both Yeshiva Atlanta and Beth Tefillah. Debbie recently retired and is enjoying having time to spend with her family. She and her husband have five children and many beautiful grandchildren scattered around the country!
Merrie Edelston, Loan Committee Co-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, Trustee Emeritus
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.
Lisa Marks, Board Trustee
Lisa is an Atlanta native with a long history of community engagement. Lisa’s work at JIFLA began in in 2016. She quickly went from committee member to board member providing the organization much needed support. Lisa serves on the marketing and events committee as well as the liaison to the Jewish Abilities Alliance for Special Needs interest free loans.
As a teacher at the Atlanta Jewish Academy, Lisa is dedicated to inspiring students with learning disabilities to self-advocate and reach their highest potential while elevating and sustaining their self-esteem. Lisa’s dedication and commitment was publicly recognized by the Jewish Abilities Alliance Power of One award for her work in in area of inclusion.