The Tikvah Board of Directors is comprised of a talented group of individuals who bring many strengths to the organization. They are stewards of the organization’s strategic plan and insure its implementation. They are committed to moving the mission forward and serving its members in the Greater Delaware Valley.
Neen Davis is passionate about helping those with a serious mental illness and their families. She has dedicated her time and talents to this cause the past sixteen years when her son, Ben, first became diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Ben is Neen’s hero.
As past President of NAMI Montgomery County PA (National Alliance on Mental Illness), a current board member of NAMI Montgomery County PA (for the past 16 years), and a current board member of NAMI Keystone PA, Neen is not only familiar with the needs of the mental health community, but has a keen understanding of the importance to advocate for those with the lived experience and their families.
Neen graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science and then received her Masters in Education from Tufts University. Neen is a member of Congregation Beth Or in Maple Glen, PA.
Marissa was born in raised in Philadelphia by a family that instilled in her the importance of serving the community. She grew up attending Tikvah events with a family member which sparked her love for & involvement in the organization. She studied biology at Saint Joseph’s University where she earned her Bachelor of Science. She continued on to earn a Master of Science in education from Drexel University. Throughout her studies at Drexel, Marissa worked as the Program Director at Tikvah.
Currently, Marissa is teaching biology to the students at Benjamin Franklin High School. In addition to sitting on the Tikvah Board of Directors as vice chair, she is the BFHS cheerleading coach & teaches cycling classes at City Fitness Philadelphia to provide mental & physical health to its members.
Michael Solomon is a graduate of Villanova University with a BA in Liberal Arts. He has been involved with Tikvah since its beginning.
Michael currently serves as a Co-President of the members of Tikvah. He enjoys serving on the board of directors and its committees. He has been happily married to his wife Judy Weinberger for over ten years.
He is proud to be a member of Tikvah and serve on its board. Michael is also a member of Nami (the National Alliance on Mental Illness).
“Don’t walk behind me I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” – Camus
Rabbi Ephraim Levin
Rabbi Ephraim Levin is the Director of the Lubavitch House at Penn since 1990 and Assistant Director of Jewish Heritage Programs. Ephraim is associated with the Office of the Chaplain at Penn and advises the student active listening club, Cogwell. Ephraim has been the rabbinical advisor and a board member of Tikvah since 1992. He is also a chaplain at the VA Community Living Center in University City.
Ephraim received a BA in Religious Studies from the Rabbinical College of America, a rabbinical degree from Lubavitch Yeshiva in Brooklyn, in 1989 and a B.S. in Psychology from Georgetown in 1981. Ephraim and his wife, Flora, have five children and currently live in Wynnewood.
Eileen got her B.A. in Psychology & Sociology from Widener University in 1975, and her M.S. in Mental Health Program Evaluation from Drexel University in 1978. She is a certified psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner and served as the President and CEO or CareLink Community Support Services until her retirement in 2020.
Eileen has won several awards and honors, including the Dincin Fellow in Psychiatric Rehabilitation for Standards of Excellence in Psychiatric Rehabilitation (2010), the Schizophrenia Reintegration Award in Social Services, Lilly Foundation (2001), and the Irvin Rutman Award for Leadership and Exemplary Contributions to the Field of Psychiatric Rehabilitation (2001).
Mia Marcovici, MD
Mia Marcovici MD , Board Certified Psychiatrist by The American Board Of Psychiatry and Neurology.
In 2006, together with her late husband Martin Marcovici MD, had the privilege to receive the Righteous Person Award from Tikvah/AJMI.
In 2002 she received The Public Servant Award Of The Year from The Pennsylvania National Alliance of the Mentally Ill, NAMI.
Dr. Marcovici served as Chief Medical Officer at Norristown State Hospital,1998 – 2012.
Biography of Robert Singer—Tikvah member since 1992, and AJMI board member for about 5 years. I am a Temple University graduate with a Biology degree that took 20 years to get, (because I eventually got put on atypical anti-psychotics). I go to most events and have many friends through Tikvah. I am a NAMI member where I was trained to do In Our Own Voice and I facilitate a NAMI Connections group. I have had many jobs through the years but my longest was at PEP Boys where I worked at the Parts counter for 3 years. The events I most enjoy are the Tikvah events that involve Artreach.
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” – Robert Browning
Robert E. Wenger, MD
After a satisfying career as a Penn-trained psychiatrist, I often reflect on the privilege it has been working with individuals who entrusted me with their confidences and life stories. My professional life has been rooted in the public sector where I have served in a variety of roles. I spent a decade, for example, as a psychiatric hospitalist and director of inpatient services while pursuing psychoanalytic education. I also served as Associate Director at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Student Health and Counseling Services.
In more recent years, I have split my time between private office practice and running, first, an adolescent program for youth with serious behavioral issues and, then, leading a residential rehabilitation program for adults with serious mental illness. In the mid-2000’s, I was part of a team helping to establish a residential rehab program at the Veterans Administration for psychosocially impaired, often addicted, homeless Vets. Since that time, I have worked in a variety of psychiatric programs treating addictions and community-based comprehensive health concerns.
But, perhaps, the most instructive element of my professional life arose from personal experience. My wife and I, like so many others, encountered, in our own family, the challenges of coping with the serious developmental and emotional disequilibrium of a child. Despite our combined professional training, we were still unprepared for the hurdles of identifying and securing appropriate care. Learning about medical insurance contingencies and the legal entanglements of securing care was daunting. In addition, awkward societal silences around our circumstances and the stigma of sharing openly led us, finally and thankfully, to NAMI. In this organization, we finally found, through the Family-to-Family training, a support group that, 15 years later, still meet quarterly for support and encouragement.
Through my experience I would like to raise awareness and encourage discussion within the Jewish community of what can be done to afford those with mental health challenges a greater opportunity to live a fuller, more meaningful life.
Abby Gilbert comes to Tikvah AJMI with a wealth of knowledge and expertise about the Philadelphia Nonprofit Community. Abby is particularly expert in community organizing and planning, experiential education, and lay/professional relations. Some Tikvah members may already know Abby from her years managing the Northeast Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) or before that as the director of KleinLife in Northeast Philadelphia where Tikvah holds hosts events from time to time.
Abby’s volunteer roles in the community have included membership on the City of Philadelphia Police District Advisory Board, board service at the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center, also board service with the Northeast Sunrisers Rotary Club . Abby holds a BA in Communications from Temple University where she also did graduate work in Public Administration. She has a Masters degree in Jewish Communal Service from Gratz College. Abby resides in Jenkintown, PA with her husband, Gary Freedman. Abby and Gary have two grown daughters.