2017 Triangle JGS Executive Committee



PRESIDENT: Mike Kalt was born in Detroit and is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan. He also holds a PhD in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill.  Mike recently retired from SAS Institute after a 31-year career as a Technical Support Manager and Instructor. He has been a genealogy buff since 1984, and has been actively involved as a volunteer with JewishGen since the mid-1990's, working on JewishGen's Yizkor Book project and Holocaust data base.  He also maintains the town pages for Stryj and Grodek Jagiellonski for JewishGen's KehilaLinks project. In 2001, he traveled to Poland and Ukraine to visit his ancestral shtetls. Mike served as president in 2015.

VICE-PRESIDENT:  Barbara Freedman grew up in Philadelphia, and has lived in the Research Triangle area since 1972. She received an A.B. cum laude from Bryn Mawr College and an M.S. in library science from Drexel University. After a career at Burroughs Wellcome Co., she "retired" to a career of family and volunteering. Barbara has been active in the Raleigh Jewish community for many years, and has served as president of Temple Beth Or. She is a member of the Temple Beth Or board, and also on the board of the Raleigh Hebrew Cemetery. Barbara and her husband Mitch have two sons and three grandchildren. Her family tree is for them.  Barbara has served on the TJGS Board.

SECRETARY:  Roxanne Abrams-Cancel was born and raised in the SF/Bay Area of CA.  Roxanne attended both UC-Berkeley and CSU-Chico where she received her BA in Social Welfare and Corrections.  She worked for state government for 20 years in various departments and positions.  Working in the Office of Criminal Justice Planning as the Sexual Assault Program Evaluator she participated in funding decisions and authored annual reports for the Governor’s Office. She ended her career as a correctional counselor in a women’s prison and was fortunate to retire early. She and her husband moved to Maui and became immersed in volunteering for a myriad of non-profit organizations and enjoyed living in Paradise for 7 1/2 years. They moved to Cary in 2001 and happily found a different type of paradise on the mainland. Roxanne became interested in genealogy at age 14 at her cousin’s wedding where she nudged her great-aunts and uncles into helping her fill out their family tree on an opened and flattened paper sack.  She would give anything to still have that in her possession. Roxanne has served as Secretary for TJGS for three years.

TREASURER:  David Zendels was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is a first generation American. David received his BME from Cooper Union in 1959 and his MBA from the University of Bridgeport in 1966. He worked 9 years for GE and after that he was employed for 13 years by Huyck Corporation. He started at Huyck  in manufacturing, switched to finance, and rose to be the corporate treasurer. Huyck moved their corporate office to Wake Forest in 1973 and David and his family have lived in Raleigh for the past 42 years. He has been active in the Jewish community, serving as chair of Jewish Federated Charities, Israel Bonds, president of Beth Meyer Synagogue and board member of the Raleigh Hebrew Cemetery. He has also volunteered for many activities in the general Raleigh community. David became interested in family genealogy in 1992 when Lee Iacocca started The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. He started by contacting his 15 first cousins to gather family information and now has over 1000 names on his family tree.  David has served as TJGS Treasurer for more than three years.

Retired as TJGS Director as of Dec. 2016) :  Thomas Krakauer was born in 1942, a first-generation American. His parents got out of Germany in 1937 and moved to Boston, New York, a rural community outside of Buffalo.  He received an A. B. in Biology in 1964 at the University of Rochester, a Masters at the University of Miami, and a Ph.D at the University of Florida where his research specialties were amphibians and reptiles. In 1970, he became a teacher at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia and shortly thereafter discovered that working with the community in the museum world was what he really wanted to do. That began a 30-year career as a science museum director including 20 at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Thomas’ late wife’s interest in family history triggered his curiosity about the history of his family and the stories of the emigrant generation.  Tom has served as a TJGS director since the group’s founding.

DIRECTOR:  Jane Green was born and raised in New York and went to school in Providence, RI and Atlanta, GA.  She then lived in Washington, DC before returning to New York City, then lived in Connecticut for 20 years before moving to North Carolina twelve years ago.  Jane practiced law in GA, DC and NY. More recently, Jane has worked as a freelance journalist, as a marketing director for a large law firm, and as a consultant.  Actively involved in numerous volunteer charitable and civic organizations over the years, she acted an advocate for the Simsbury, CT Democratic Party on a number of local and national political issues, culminating in her election to and service on its planning and zoning commission.  Jane currently sits on the board of directors of Carolina Ballet.  Her interest in genealogy stems in part from a lack of knowledge about her family history beyond her parents other than names and a few special photographs of great-grandparents. She is intrigued by her resemblance to those ancestors and now wants to learn more. Jane has served as a TJGS director since the group’s founding.

DIRECTOR: Deborah Long was born in Chicago and attended the University of Illinois at
Champaign-Urbana and received her master’s degree at UI-Chicago. She moved to South Florida in the 1970s, taught English as well as real estate license law, and earned her doctorate in adult education. She moved to Chapel Hill in 1996 with her IBM engineer husband and daughter.  She is currently a teacher on a variety of real estate subjects. She has been researching her family’s Holocaust story since she was 10 years old, but her efforts really took off in 2009 with trips to her ancestral villages in Poland and Hungary. She was able to locate long-lost cousins in Sweden, Hungary, Canada and Israel, and continues to search for more relatives. She is the founder of the TJGS and served as its president from 2013-2014.

DIRECTOR:  Albert Gershman was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and is a graduate of the City College of New York. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.  Albert has held many positions including 26 years as principal engineer of research and development for Keyspan Energy. He is a past president of ENTELEC, The Energy Telecommunications and Electrical Association. He is currently the owner of XIS Controls, a supplier of replacement parts for access control equipment. At age 16 (1962), Albert created a 188-person tree of known individuals. He returned to this tree some 30 years late and today, it has almost 3600 individuals. Albert has discovered numerous family stories, including a host of Holocaust survivors. Albert Lives in Fuquay-Varina with his wife Nadine and a bunch of cats. He enjoys listening to his wife sing when she performs as a member of the North Carolina Master Chorale. They are members of Beth Shalom in Cary. 


​DIRECTOR:  Alice Riley is a native Californian with a B.A. in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara and an M.A. in Middle East Language and Literature from the U of Washington. She worked for 10 years for the U. S. Government throughout the Middle East and Hong Kong where she met and married her husband, Brian, 36 years ago. Traveling with Brian, she worked in education in Oman, Zambia, Hong Kong and the UK and moved to Raleigh nearly two years ago. Although she started her genealogy quest in North Carolina with her father’s roots, this soon shifted to the challenge of trying to learn more about her mother’s European ancestors. It was information on JRI-Poland and other Jewish genealogy sites that led her to her great grandparents’ Polish marriage certificate and other significant discoveries about her Polish, German and Romanian roots. The best part of the genealogy quest for Alice has been finding family around the U.S. and Israel and sharing the search with them. Alice attended International Jewish Genealogy conferences in Paris and Jerusalem and is looking forward to the 2018 conference in Warsaw. In addition to her keen interest in genealogy Alice has also spent many years breeding, showing and judging Tibetan Spaniels.