Staff

Laura Cohen Apelbaum, Executive Director

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Laura is a native of the Washington area and has been Executive Director of the Society since 1994. Her work has centered on preservation of the 1876 historic synagogue, building the community’s archives, expanding the Society’s school and family programs, and outreach in the community.

Previously, she worked as an attorney for both the local and the federal government. She has a Masters in Taxation from Georgetown University, a law degree from George Washington University, and a Bachelors degree in American History from Duke University.

Samantha Abramson, Program and Outreach Manager

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Sam began at the Society in 2011 as an intern and volunteer. She holds a Masters in Museum Studies with concentrations in administration and exhibition development from The George Washington University and a Bachelors degree in History with minors in English, Jewish Studies, and Spanish from the University of Minnesota.

Christiane Bauer, Curator

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Christiane joined the staff in 2016. She has a Masters and Bachelors in German History and Jewish Studies from the Free University of Berlin. She is working on her PhD in American History from Ludwig Maximilians University (Munich) and University of Kassel, Germany. She previously worked the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, Germany and the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Mary Ann Dawedeit, Office Manager

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Mary Ann has worked for the Society since 2012. She is a native Washingtonian, and proud to be providing administration, finance, and property management for the Society, as well as working with the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. Mary Ann was previously the operations manager for a local franchise, Wild Bird Centers of America. 

Wendy Turman, Director of Collections

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Wendy has worked for the Society since 2000. She has a Masters in Museum Studies from George Washington University and a Bachelors degree in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She previously worked at the National Museum of Health and Medicine and the Smithsonian Institution.

Claire Uziel, Special Projects Manager (Researcher Assistance, Social Media, Publications)

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Claire has worked for the Society since 2005. She holds a Masters in Library Science, specializing in Archives, Records, and Information Management, from the University of Maryland and a Bachelors degree in Sociology with a minor in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University.