Board of Directors

Dena Cohen is a writer and editor whose main focus has been psychiatry, mental health, and the book publishing industry. She was an Assistant Editor as well as a freelance writer and book reviewer for Publishers Weekly. Her career shifted into medical publishing, where she was Senior Editor of Primary Psychiatry, a psychiatry journal aimed at primary care physicians and psychiatrists, after which she freelanced as a copy editor for numerous healthcare advertising and medical education companies. In 2012, Dena started an online forum for Jews with mood disorders—the first steps in what culminated in founding Refa’enu. Refa’enu was granted non-profit status in New Jersey in January 2014, and Federal non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) public charity in June 2014. Dena is a trained peer-support group facilitator at the Mood Disorders Support Group of New York (MDSG)—after which the Refa’enu mood disorder support groups are modeled—and is also on the advisory board of Elijah’s Journey, an organization dedicated to increasing suicide awareness and prevention in the Jewish community. She writes an op-ed column for The Jewish Standard (under her maiden name, Croog). Her first op-ed column in February 2014—“I have bipolar disorder”—which addressed the need to speak openly about mood disorders in the Jewish community, won an Excellence in Journalism Award issued by the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists. Since then, Refa’enu has been featured in articles and columns in both The Jewish Link of New Jersey and The Jewish Standard. Dena continues with her own writing, which she hopes to see published before the death of the printed word. More information about Dena’s editorial and mental health advocacy achievements can be found at www.denacroog.com.

Jeff Berman, FASAM, MD, is a Diplomate and Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is the Executive Medical Director of Discovery Institute for Addictive Disorders in Marlboro, NJ, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Recently, he was at Bergen Regional Medical Center, NJ’s largest acute psychiatric hospital, where he served as Director of Chemical Dependency Services. Dr. Berman is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult and Addiction Psychiatry as well as Psychosomatic Medicine. He has been certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine since 1988 and is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine. Dr. Berman’s area of special interest in research and teaching is Pain Management and Co-occurring Opioid Dependence. He is also a strong advocate for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for the chronic persistent mentally ill. Dr. Berman participated in NIDA’s clinical trials of buprenorphine/naloxone for treatment of heroin addiction in 2001. Since then, he has developed innovative treatment programs for individuals with co-occurring disorders as well as substance use disorders. Dr. Berman served as Chief of Psychiatry at Fort Leavenworth, KS, including the Department of Defense’s US Disciplinary Barracks located at Fort Leavenworth. He retired from the US Army Reserve after 22 years of service, which included service in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. He is currently the Psychiatric Consultant to the Department of Immigration Health (DIHS), a division of Homeland security. Prior to coming to NJ, he served as Medical Director of Gieisinger Health Care’s Marworth chemical dependency center and consultant to pain management centers in NJ and PA for issues of addiction, pain, and co-occurring mood disorders. He has taken an active role in the medical treatment of HIV patients in all of these clinical settings. He has experience in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, neurology, and anesthesiology. He leads a support group at the JCC in Tenafly for parents of children struggling with addiction and mood disorders.

Ira Friedman retired as a Senior Vice President of MetLife, where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions, as head of the corporate law group, and in privacy law. He served for 3 years as Chair of the Lawyers Alliance for New York, the largest provider of pro bono legal services to non-profit organizations in New York. He continues to serve on Lawyers Alliance’s Board of Advisors and has also been a Board Member of The America-Israel Friendship League, CAJE, Literacy, Inc., and The American Association for Gifted Children. Ira received his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law after graduating Brooklyn College with a BA, cum laude. He and his wife, Rosalyn, live in Teaneck and have three married daughters.

Ruth Roth has been the Director of Admissions/PR at Ben Porat Yosef, an elementary school in Paramus, NJ, since July 2008. Her professional position prior to this was as Vice President of Marketing and Sales for a national insurance company. She was also an active parent volunteer at The Frisch School, serving on the school’s Board of Trustees, and as Frisch Parent Association President. Ruth is currently on the Frisch Board of Education, and co-chairs the Frisch Communications Committee. Other past board experience includes: Executive Board of the Park Slope Center for Mental Health, Board of Education of Yavneh Academy, Fundraising Committee at The Frisch School, and Nominating Committee at The Frisch School. She resides in Teaneck, NJ.

Hannah R. Rothstein is Professor of Management at Baruch College of the City University of New York. She attended Yeshiva University High School for Girls, Brooklyn College (BA), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (MA), and the University of Maryland (PhD). Professor Rothstein is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Research Synthesis Methods, and a Consulting Editor for several other journals, including Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Methods, and Systematic Reviews. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and past president of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology. Professor Rothstein is an active member of the Campbell and Cochrane Collaborations, international organizations that promote evidence-based practice in education, social welfare, and health care. She currently serves on the Scholarship Committee of Footsteps—an organization that provides educational, vocational, and social support to Ultra-Orthodox and formerly Ultra-Orthodox individuals who want to become independent and productive members of society.

Mark J. Schwartz is current Township of Teaneck Councilmember. He is a volunteer firefighter and ambulance corp member in addition to being a Vice President at Yavneh Academy, where his children attend. He recently completed 9 years as Founder and President of Congregation Shaare Tefillah of Teaneck and 6 years on the Township of Teaneck Planning Board. Professionally, he is a real estate management consultant and low income housing provider.

Hillary Wasserman is an NJ Licensed Associate Counselor and NJ-certified K-12 School Counselor. She received her Masters in School Counseling from Hunter College and Certificate in Advanced Counseling from Montclair State University. At the Family Center at Montclair in Verona, NJ, she counseled all ages as well as diagnosed and treated a variety of disorders, including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Hillary has also worked with HIV+ mothers and families at the Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, NJ, as well as conducted individual and group counseling for the Platform to Employment program run by Goodwill Industries. Currently, she is an Associate Counselor at Donna Corbett LCSW and Associates in Rutherford, NJ, where she offers individual, family, and couples counseling using cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic approaches.

Dr. David Yammer is a Licensed Psychologist in New Jersey and in Israel. He maintains a private practice specializing in psychotherapy and psycho-educational evaluations in both Teaneck, NJ, and in Jerusalem. Before moving to Israel, Dr. Yammer was the Director of Student Services at The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in New York City for 21 years. In addition, he was Senior Psychologist for the adolescent suicide project of the Adolescent Study Unit of the Psychiatric Institute of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the doctoral programs in Professional Child and School Psychology at New York University.