Board of Directors
John Gertz, Chairman
John Gertz received an M.A. in psychophysiology from Haifa University and Technion in 1981. John holds duel Israeli-American citizenship and was decorated for distinguished service in the Israeli army.
He moved to San Francisco in 1981 to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of California at San Francisco. At the same time, he began a career in film and TV production,
Founding Zorro Productions. Gertz has been responsible for Zorro motion pictures, TV series, stage productions, and over a thousand licenses.
Gertz has served on many nonprofit boards and committees, including Tehiyah Day School, Berkeley-Richmond JCC (president), Israel Bonds, Jewish Federation, AIPAC, American Friends of Technion, Beth El Synagogue, and Operation Exodus. John is a Wexner Fellow. He recently completed a third term as Chairman of the SETI Board, which specializes planetary and space science.
Gertz lives in Berkeley with his wife, Susan. They have four children in their blended family.
Ofra Daniel, Artistic & Executive Director
Ofra has over 10 years of experience in arts management, marketing, organizational and creative leadership. Her goal is to direct theatre inspired by Jewish heritage and Israeli culture. Ofra has produced original theatre works such as “What If?,” “Edges,” “Levin Cabaret,” “My Best Friend,” and “Other Faces of Love.” Ofra is an accomplished playwright and has written several of the plays produced by Jewish Circle Theatre.
Ofra is a graduate of Tel-Aviv University theatre faculty. She studied theatre directing at the Seminar Hakibozim College and performed with the Beit Lessin Theatre Company in Tel Aviv. In 2000, she was awarded the excellence scholarship for artistic achievement in Israel.
Joyce Ahern, Treasurer
Joyce Ahern is an active and avid theatergoer. She is a devoted student, reader, gardener, and since her retirement from school administration has been an ardent traveler.
She earned Bachelor’s, Master’s, and two graduate Library and Information degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as a Master’s in Comparative Literature.
She taught at UC and was a school administrator, children’s and school librarian for over thirty years.
Joyce was a co-founder of Tehiyah Day School in 1978 and served as an officer on the board for many years. She had the pleasure of being the Jewish Community Library’s children’s librarian. She was also the founder and acting director of the East Bay School for Girls.
Over her career an as educator, she gained experience in both public and independent schools, and in nonprofit organizations in San Francisco and the East Bay. Joyce is delighted to be working with the vibrant Jewish Circle Theatre team.
Seavan Sternheim grew up in the United States in an American-Israeli family and made Aliya following completion of his undergraduate degree in business.
After serving in the Israeli military and beginning his finance career in Israel, Seavan moved back to his hometown of Palo Alto, California.
Seavan has over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and is a senior executive at an investment management firm. Seavan has an MBA from Santa Clara University.
With encouragement from his wife, Seavan began acting for fun over five years ago, starting with an improv class in English. He instantly fell in love with improv and decided to further his acting experience.
After meeting Ofra Daniel, Seavan joined Bama Ivrit, JCT's Hebrew language community acting group. Seavan has performed several times doing improv, as well as in Shvavei Chayim (original monologues) and Kassit Tel-Aviv.
Udi is a Bay Area hi-tech professional with over 20 years of experience in marketing and business development in global markets. He joined the Jewish Circle Theatre in 2009. Since then he has been instrumental in guiding the theatre's strategy and marketing activities.
Udi earned his Bachelor's Degree in Cinematography and Political Science from Tel-Aviv University and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the Technion.