Professional Team

Under the direction of the Board of Directors, the Professional team carries out the Foundation’s grantmaking, manages the program of evaluation, and shares models of success and key learnings to improve the field of Jewish education.

Professional Team

Barry Finestone

barry_finestone_156x200Barry Finestone is President and CEO of the Jim Joseph Foundation. The Foundation supports Jewish education for youth, teens, and young adults in the U.S., with more than $440 million granted in its first 11 years of operation. Prior to the Jim Joseph Foundation, Barry was Executive Director of the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund. He moved to the Bay Area in 2010 to become CEO of the JCC of San Francisco, where he oversaw dramatic growth and built it into the second largest JCC in the country. Earlier in his career...More

Dawne Bear Novicoff

dawne_bear_novicoff_156x200Dawne Bear Novicoff is Chief Operating Officer of the Jim Joseph Foundation. In this role, Dawne is responsible for ensuring effective execution of the Foundation’s grantmaking and oversees the Foundation’s internal operations regarding grants management and administration, planning and staffing. She also manages a portfolio of grants that include initiatives in the area of Early Childhood Education; Israel Education; Jewish Service Learning and educator training within institutions of higher education. Prior to her position at the Foundation, Dawne worked for 10 years at the Jewish Community Federation in San Francisco as the Director of...More

Josh Miller

josh_miller3_156x200Josh Miller is Chief Program Officer of the Jim Joseph Foundation. In this role, Josh is responsible for the planning and development of the Foundation’s grantmaking strategies to ensure achievement of its mission and goals. Josh also manages a portfolio of special projects and major grants that have strategic implications for the Foundation. His current areas of focus include: building effective multi-funder collaborations, cross-portfolio evaluation and research, organizational capacity building, and new approaches to investing in educational technology and digital engagement. Prior to transitioning into the field of philanthropy in 2008,...More

Mary Seabury

mary_seabury_headshot_156x200 Mary Seabury is the Chief Financial Officer of the Jim Joseph Foundation, a private foundation with assets of over $1 billion.  She manages Finance, Tax, and Accounting.  She was the founding CFO and established the financial basis and internal controls for the foundation’s granting function and diversified investment portfolio when the foundation was created in 2006. Mary coordinates with Cambridge Associates, the Foundation’s investment consultant, to manage the diversified investment portfolio of marketable securities, hedge funds, and private equity funds.  She provides the Board of Directors and operations...More

Stacie Cherner

stacie_cherner_156x200Stacie Cherner is a Senior Program Officer at the Jim Joseph Foundation. Stacie has an extensive background in the non-profit world, including working on a wide variety of program evaluations with SRI International’s Center for Human Services and Education. For the past few years, Stacie worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation facilitating the collaborative efforts of three grantees to improve the use of analytic data in school systems. She has also worked with Teach For America directing the implementation of national assessments of student achievement. Stacie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from...More

Aaron Saxe

Aaron_SaxeAaron Saxe joined the Jim Joseph Foundation team as a Program Officer in April, 2015. Aaron grew up in the Bay Area and has been an active member in the Jewish community both professionally and personally. Most recently, he worked at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund in San Francisco as a Philanthropic Advisor, serving a number of roles in the Endowment, Development, and Marketing departments. He spent three years as Program Director at Camp Alonim, a residential Jewish camp in Simi Valley, CA. His other professional experience includes financial services...More

Steven Green

steven_green_156x200Steven Green is Director of Grants Management/Program Officer for the Jim Joseph Foundation and has been working for the Foundation since June 2011. His focus at the Foundation includes facilitating grantmaking operations, management of the administrative team, external budget review and analysis, and a portfolio of grants. A native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Steven is an alumnus of Young Judaea Year Course and received his B.A. in Political Science and a Minor in Jewish Studies from Emory University. While in the Atlanta community, he served for two years as...More

Seth Linden

seth_linden_headsho_156x200tSeth Linden joined the Jim Joseph Foundation as a Program Officer in October of 2015. He has been an educator, teacher, and social entrepreneur for 20 years. He is founder & former CEO of Tutorpedia, Inc. and co-founder & former Executive Director of Tutorpedia Foundation, providing 1-1 tutoring and mentoring to K-12 students in the Bay Area. Prior to Tutorpedia, Seth taught and tutored math, science, and test prep at public and private schools in Atherton and Oakland, CA and Providence, RI. Seth is a licensed bartender, a seasoned artist, an...More

Jeff Tiell

jeff_tiell_156x200 Jeff Tiell is a Program Officer at the Jim Joseph Foundation, where he has worked since January, 2015. In 2012, he moved to the Bay Area to accept an AmeriCorps VISTA position with the Oakland Unified School district. Jeff has most recently worked for, a social change organization focusing on utilizing the skills and experience of those in mid-life and beyond to improve communities. In his role at Encore, he was responsible for providing strategic and operational advice to grantees and organizations. Additionally, Jeff participated with American Jewish World Service Global Justice Fellowship and also...More

Sossena Walter

Sossena Walter, CPA, joined the Foundation in August 2017 as its Director of Finance and Accounting. Previously, Sossena served as the Controller at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.  She has extensive accounting experience in non-profit organizations, including the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco and the San Francisco Ballet. Sossena has a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and is a Certified Public Accountant. Originally from Ethiopia, Sossena has lived in the Bay Area for most of her life.  In her free time, Sossena and...More

The Jim Joseph Foundation invests in promising Jewish education grant initiatives. We partner with effective organizations that seek to inspire young people to discover the joy of living vibrant Jewish lives.