The Board of Trustees of Irvine Hebrew Day School (IHDS) invites you to explore the school and meet its leadership. We are looking to expand our circle of volunteers to include visionaries who are interested in building something truly unique in Orange County. Please contact one of the board members below if you would like more information or wish to be involved with IHDS.

President: Karin Hepner, Ph.D.,
Karin and her husband Absalom moved to Irvine 13 years ago, where they now are in the throes of raising five young children. Both Karin and Absalom attended Modern Orthodox day schools in New York and Los Angeles, respectively, and both dedicated time to learning in yeshivot in Israel before attending college on the east coast and UCLA for graduate and medical school. Moving to Orange County, they recognized the need for a progressive, experiential Jewish education that is committed to educational best practices. As a molecular biologist and research scientist, Karin is excited about adopting the most cutting-edge science curriculum, one part of IHDS’s innovative educational program.

CFO: Andy Elster,
Andy and his wife Beth have been residents of Irvine for over 30 years, where they have raised their four children. Over these 30 years, Andy has held numerous positions on the boards of three different synagogues and served for 16 years on the board of Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School. He brings a wealth of board experience with him as well as a background in programming and software/web development.

Development Chair: Mike Sirota,
Mike Sirota is a Development Professional, his career beginning as the Director of Resource Development for the Jewish Big Brothers Association/Camp Max Straus where he more than tripled fundraising revenue during his six-year tenure. As a fundraiser, he also worked with United Cerebral Palsy, the Jewish Federation, and with Sinai Temple as its Director of Development. Originally from Tuscon and now a resident of LA, Mike attended UC Berkeley and received his credentials in Early Childhood Education/Ecology. For eight years he worked as an LAUSD teacher in the start-up Alternative School and the challenged inner-city Holmes Avenue School. Mike has a deep connection to music, to his Jewish roots, its heritage, and its liturgy. He is a cantor at Temple Ami Shalom in West Covina and is a member of a three-part-harmony folk trio, The Folk Collection. Mike also runs his own business, Permitwiz, providing permit services for sign companies in Southern California. Joining the IHDS board is a reflection of his core value: that we are all one Jewish community, and we must do everything we can to nurture it. Mike is also a proud grandfather to Jack Spitz, a current kindergartner at IHDS, and is deeply committed to the school’s vision and prosperous future.

Board Member: Allan Gindi,
Allan and his wife Carol founded Adoption Network which has evolved into Adoption Network Law Center, currently the largest adoption law center in the United States. He has a Juris Doctorate with academic honors from Western State University and is a proud father of six children. Allan comes from a modest family with simple means. A priority for his parents was to ensure that all four of their children had a Jewish education, from pre-school through high school. Although during his childhood there may have been times of economic challenges, their children’s Jewish education was never a contemplation of compromise. Continuing in his parents’ footsteps, Allan has actively served the local Jewish schools and synagogues as a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Allan has also served on the Board of Directors for Jewish Federation and Family Services of Orange County.