Essential to our work is close involvement with adults and teens in our community, and stakeholders abroad. To facilitate this we rely on a trusted Advisory Board, our Youth Action Team, as well as our Board of Directors.

The Maya Gold Foundation is governed by a nine member Board of Directors.  Each Board member brings a commitment to this work and unique skills and qualities which we value deeply.  We also rely on an Advisory Board comprised of community members who support our efforts, and a group of local teens that offer guidance and insight.

Back row, from left: Phoebe Lain, Mathew Swerdloff, Nicolas Swerdloff, Paul Alexander, Sarah Dukler

Front row, from left: Jeff Corbin, Elise Gold, Noelle Adamo, Lynn Bartlett

Mathew Swerdloff, EdD, President
Nicolas Swerdloff, JD, Vice-President
Elise Gold, LMSW, Treasurer
Jeffrey Corbin, MD, MPH, Secretary
Noelle Adamo, MSW
Paul Alexander
Lynn Bartlett, MS Ed
Sarah Dukler
Phoebe Lain

Rick Alfandre
Robert Bard
Steve Casa
David Dukler
Ami Fixler
Kaline Kelly
Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, DD
Som Paneru
Michael Russo
Sarah Snow
Shir Yaakov Feit

We especially value and want to empower local teens to be active with the Foundation. In order to foster this collaboration, we have empowered an eleven-member Youth Action Team.  Action Team members range in age from 13 to 18 and come from the New Paltz and Rondout Valley school districts, as well as the Oakwood School and Simon’s Rock.  These young people are integral to helping us realize our Mission and achieve our goals. The Youth Action Team has developed its own Core Purpose: Give Youth a Voice, and we look forward to working with them to help them achieve it.

Hannah Kathryn Goichman, President
Amelia Jade Verderosa
Lianna Maley
Julian Lewis
Kaylin Vermilyea

Amelia Jade Verderosa, Hannah Goichman, Lianna Maley.
Not shown: Julian Lewis, Kaylin Vermilyea


Mathew Swerdloff
is the Executive Director of Educational Support Services at the Hendrick Hudson School District, in Montrose, NY, and serves as the President of the Board of the Maya Gold Foundation.  Mathew is also an Adjunct Professor at Manhattan College where he teaches in the School Leadership Program, and teachers internationally through the Masters in Education Program at SUNY Buffalo. Mathew earned his doctorate in instructional leadership in 2013 and has served on various educational non-profit boards over the last 20 years.  He can be reached at

Nicolas Swerdloff is the Managing Partner of the Miami office of the law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He started with the firm in 1983, in New York, and is admitted to the bars of the States of New York and Florida as well as to the bars of multiple federal courts, including the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. His practice focuses on complex litigation and arbitration, both international and domestic, involving financial services, securities, professional liability and foreign sovereign disputes. He can be reached at

Elise Gold is the Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Orange County and serves as the Treasurer of the Board of the Maya Gold Foundation.  Elise is an Adjunct Professor at SUNY New Paltz, holds a Masters of Social Work, is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, a Certified Psychodramatist, and brings over 30 years of experience in human services to our organization.  She has been active in the areas of social justice and human rights for many years. She can be reached at

Noelle Adamo is a mother, community organizer, writer and social worker based in New Paltz, NY. She earned her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and is committed to social change and to building a community of caring individuals in support of young people.  She brings a deep, personal commitment to this work to the Board. She can be reached at

Paul Alexander is the owner of Paul Alexander Construction Company, in Woodstock, NY.  Paul brings a passion for social change to the Board, and experience working in a variety of settings in bringing about healing and transformation for individuals and communities. He is a life-long resident of Ulster County with strong community ties and relationships. He can be reached at

Lynn Bartlett has been an educator in the New Paltz School District for over 25 years.  She has traveled abroad extensively, and has a Masters Degree in Teaching from CUNY Hunter College.  She has worked over many years with youth in the early stages of English language acquisition, and has strong relationships and ties in the local community. She can be reached at

Jeff Corbin is a board certified psychiatrist, who brings over 20 years of clinical and community health experience to our Board. A consulting psychiatrist at Medical Associates of the Hudson Valley in Kingston, Jeff has been in private practice in New York City since 2002. He was previously Medical Director, Green County Department of Mental Health, and staff psychiatrist at Green Chimneys Residential Treatment Center in New York. Originally from Queens, Jeff did his Residency in Psychiatry at St. Vincent’s Hospital, and received a Master of Public Health from the Mailman School at Columbia. Dedicated to reducing the stigma of mental health, Jeff has worked with teens in crisis and is well versed in the issues facing adolescents today. He can be reached at

Sarah Dukler is excited to continue her work with the Maya Gold Foundation, putting her skills to use and working with the close community both at home and in Nepal. She is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo hoping to pursue work in creating cross-cultural tolerance through the arts. While she is not hiking or working, you can usually find her at home having a staring contest with her rabbit. She can be reached at

Phoebe Lain has been passionately working with youth for over 20 years. This began when she became a counselor at a nature camp during her teen years, which sparked a lifelong interest in this age group. Phoebe attended Ithaca College and Empire State College; she graduated from Empire State College with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication in 2007. From 2013-2016, Phoebe worked for a small foundation in Florida, one that has many similarities to The Maya Gold Foundation. For that foundation, her main responsibility was to run a community center for at-risk youth and their families. She has also worked with youth through nature and art programs for elementary students, high and low ropes programs, and 4th and 5th grade homeschooling programs. Phoebe’s passion for working with youth, her experience working with a similar type of foundation, along with her desire to help to continue to spread Maya’s vision and spirit, made being a board member of The Maya Gold Foundation a wonderful fit. She has recently moved back to her 9th generation family farm in Orange County, and is working on creating events and education programs on the farm.



Rick Alfandre, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is a prolific architect who, over the past 22 years, has built more than 200 projects ranging from high performance residences, churches, retail spaces, and multi-million dollar hotels and resorts. As the founder and CEO of Alfandre Architecture, he is an expert in the design of energy-efficient, site and climate responsive buildings that are durable, with an eye towards the whole life costs. A leader in the green building movement in upstate New York, Mr. Alfandre was recently re-elected chair of the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Green Buildings Council, and is also a founding member on the steering committee for the Hudson Valley Branch. He launched EcoBuilders Inc. in 2009 to provide full design/build services to his clients. Rick is National Council of Architectural Registrations Boards (NCARB) certified, and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Robert Bard began his career in the late 1970’s playing music on the streets and in the clubs of New York City. He graduated from Columbia College in 1981 and studied music at Mannes School of Music shortly thereafter. He worked for 15 years as a composer and music director for CBS-TV and was nominated for 8 Emmy Awards during the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Since relocating to New Paltz, NY, 22 years ago, he has  performed with numerous ensembles, taught music to youth, and has dedicated much of his time to community building through the arts.

Shir Yaakov Feit is a singer, composer, designer, producer, teacher and Aba. Shir Yaakov engages Jewish, multi-faith, and non-affiliated people around the world, building spiritual communities, facilitating and inspiring communal music, and helping people connect with their inner wisdom and truth. He works in formal and informal educational settings as a spiritual leader, teacher, and musician. Shir Yaakov is the spiritual leader of Kol Hai in New Paltz, NY. Kol Hai’s Shabbat and Holiday gatherings draw upon Shir Yaakov’s extensive experience as a musician, and reflect his unique ability to blend ancient and emerging wisdom to create a spiritual cultural Judaism that is contemporary, alive, and innovative. Shir Yaakov has recorded and released four albums of original music and co-founded and performs with The Darshan Project. He has served as Creative and Music Director for Romemu, New York City’s largest Renewal synagogue; Director of Engagement at ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal; ritual consultant for Eden Village Camp; and, visiting faculty at Academy for Jewish Religion. He is currently a student in the Rabbinic Track of the ALEPH Ordination Program and training with Roshi Bernie Glassman’s Zen Peacemakers to bear witness and more fully enter the stream of socially engaged spirituality

Kaline Kelly has been immersed in the healing arts from early childhood. She is a senior teacher and holds master certification in Asokananda’s Sunshine Network of Thai Massage and Ayurvedic Bodywork in Thailand and New Zealand. Kaline has lived and taught in a tribal community in Thailand for more than 18 years and has studied with several Thai massage masters and indigenous healers. In addition to Thai massage, her experience includes osteopathic studies, reflexology, massage therapy, polarity work, Breema, allopathic medicine, Native American healing techniques, holistic yoga and shamanic study. Through her deeply heart-centered practice, she invites others with loving inspiration into the essence of true healing. Kaline teaches Thai massage internationally in Thailand, Central America, New Zealand, Europe, Nepal, and the United States.

Rabbi Jonathan Kligler graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, in 1989, and in 2014 was awarded their doctor of divinity degree. His undergraduate education was at Wesleyan University, where he received a B.A. in 1978 with a self-made major entitled “Therapy and Education Through Movement.” Prior to becoming a rabbi, he worked as a mime, dancer, musician and storyteller, teaching and performing for children. For decades he has practiced the art of improvisational dance, performing and teaching adults. As a recording artist he has five CDs to his credit, including Let My People Go: A Jewish and African American Celebration of Freedom with Kim and Reggie Harris (Appleseed Recordings, 2005), and most recently On Holy Ground: Music of the High Holy Days at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation (2013). Rabbi Jonathan is the author of Hineni: Essays and Torah Commentaries from 25 Years on the Bimah (Blue Thread Publications, 2013). Rabbi Jonathan lives in Woodstock, where he serves as the Congregational Rabbi of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation.

Som Paneru has been the President of the Nepal Youth Foundation since 2012, having succeeded NYF founder Olga Murray. Som’s creative and imaginative leadership style, his thorough understanding of Nepal’s cultural, economic and social issues, and his unruffled, positive nature have been instrumental in broadening the organization’s extraordinary impact on the lives of the children of Nepal. As president, Som oversees all NYF projects, ensures good governance, and manages fundraising worldwide, including the establishment and support of various NYF global chapters. The son of a farmer from the legendary Ghorka District, Som is a product of NYF’s scholarship program. He studied math and science at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. After graduation he taught school in poor Nepali villages. Som later earned a master’s degree, with distinction, in International Child Welfare from the University of East Anglia in the U.K.