Melissa Sklarz is the current Government Relations Strategist at SAGE, advocating for LGBTQ elders. In 2018, she ran for the NY Assembly in the 30th District in Queens. She is the former President of the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City and former Board Co-Chair of the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA). Fighting for LGBTQ civil rights for 25 years, she was with Mayor Bloomberg when he signed the NYC trans rights bill in 2001 and with Governor Cuomo when he signed the GENDA bill in 2019. Melissa had a speaking role in the film Transamerica, is an alumn of A Wider Bridge's 2018 LGBTQ Leadership Mission to Israel, and plays outfield in the Big Apple Softball league.
Sharon Wilkes is a committed advocate for Israel. She served as Executive Director for the American Jewish International Relations Institute (AJIRI), and has 25 years of experience building bipartisan relationships in the House and Senate. Sharon’s extensive Jewish leadership includes AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, the Women’s International Zionist Organization, the Women’s Young Leadership Cabinet of the United Jewish Federation, and she also recently joined the Board of A Wider Bridge. She is also a successful fashion designer and business owner. Sharon holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law, and a BFA in Fashion Design/Merchandising from the Parsons School of Design, New School University. She is married to Robert Kinberg, an intellectual property attorney, and has two daughters, Michaela and Aliya.
Barry Blecher, Co-Chair is Treasurer of A Wider Bridge. His involvement with AWB began as a two-time Mission participant, in Fall, 2014 and Summer, 2015. He was Chair of AWB’s first Metro Council. Barry is retired from a career as a Consulting Actuary and Partner of PWC and of Towers Watson, where he advised several of the nation’s largest multinational corporations on their overseas pension plans. He is currently an avid student of Modern Hebrew, and is proud of his grade of 94 in Level Gimmel from Hebrew University earlier this year!
Lee Jason Goldberg, Co-Chair is a Vice President at GLC Advisors & Co., LLC, a leading independent investment banking advisory firm in New York City. Previously, Lee was an Associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where he focused on company and creditor representations prior to and during chapter 11 cases. Lee holds a BA in Economics-Philosophy from Columbia University and a JD from Fordham University School of Law, graduating from each cum laude. Lee serves on AWB's NYC Metro Council and in a number of lay leadership roles at UJA-Federation of New York, including chair of UJAPride, and is a member of its Board of Directors and JFNA's National Young Leadership Cabinet. Lee serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the Board of Directors of Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp, and the Selfhelp NextGen Committee. Lee was born and raised in Wellesley, MA, and he and his Havanese, Georgie, work as a therapy dog team with the Good Dog Foundation.
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A Wider Bridge is the North American organization working through education, advocacy, relationship-building and grant-making to create equality in Israel by expanding LGBTQ inclusion in Israel, and equality for Israel by cultivating constructive engagement with Israel.