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The ERDI Foundation Team

Simone Szalmuk-Singer


Board member since 2019.  Appointed CEO in 2021.

Simone has extensive leadership experience in the for-purpose sector. In addition to her role at the ERDI Foundation she sits on various boards. Simone is co-vice President of Jewish Care Victoria, the largest Jewish services provider in Victoria offering aged care, disability, and social services. She is on the Advisory Board of, an international organisation focused on providing a platform to foster unity, support, and celebration of Jewish heritage. Simone is a Senior Fellow in the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies Fellowship Program. Simone is immediate past Co-Chair of the Australian Jewish Funders and co-founded Jewish Women of Words, an online platform empowering and amplifying women writers.

Simone has extensive training in Adaptive Design and women’s leadership. She is also a 21/64 Certified Advisor for intergenerational philanthropic conversations. For many years, Simone worked as a lawyer, specialising in employment law. She is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jeffrey Pinch


Board member and Chairperson since 2014.

Jeffrey Pinch began practising law in 1981 and has worked at Marshalls + Dent + Wilmoth lawyers since in 1983.

He has extensive experience in commercial law, conveyancing, corporate and start-up companies, hospitality and tourism and property law.

Ricky Jeffs


Board member since 2014.

Ricky Jeffs offers over 35 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. He has managed hotels across Accor Asia Pacific and Marriot International.

As a member of the ERDI Board of Directors Ricky Jeffs and the Board, share a vision to transform the current business portfolio to premium branded hotels that push the boundaries on design and function, while providing an exceptional guest experience.

Jeffrey Appel OAM


Board member since 2014.

Jeffrey Appel is Chairman at SBA Law and specialises in commercial structures, commercial litigation, mergers and acquisitions generally, with an emphasis on large scale and complex commercial litigation including contract law, trade practices, building disputes and finance issues across a range of industry sectors.

Jeffrey is Chair of the Gold Patrons Division of the Jewish National Fund Victoria.

Jeffrey was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2014 for services to the community, particularly in the field of social welfare.

Michael Naphtali AM


Board member since 2014.

Michael Naphtali offers expertise in corporate advisory and investment services, having founded Hindal Corporate in 1996 which was sold to Credit Suisse in 2008. Michael remained as an Executive Director of Credit Suisse for over 10 years.

Michael was the CEO and director of the Pratt Group and Director with Hill Samuel, the predecessor to Macquarie Bank. He received a Member of Order of Australia (AM) for service to the community through executive roles with environmental, educational, sporting and Jewish organisations.

Michael continues to serve on a number of private company and NFP Boards.

Peter Riley


Board member since 2014.

Peter has extensive experience in public accounting as a partner in KPMG and subsequently as founding partner of the Pitcher Partner Melbourne firm retiring in 2010. Peter has held non-executive roles thereafter as a member of many for profit business boards across a range of sectors both as a board member and often as the Finance Committee Chair.

Peter serves and has served on multiple not-for-profit Boards in the Private Ancillary Fund and medical research sectors.

Peter is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and of CPA Australia and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Philip Zajac


Board member since 2014.

Philip was the inaugural CEO of the ERDI Foundation and proudly held the role of Foundation Ambassador. Philip has worked with ERDI for more than 25 years.

Philip is deeply involved in the Jewish community, organisations and charities. He is currently the President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria.

Rachel Fenn


Rachel Fenn joined the ERDI Foundation in April 2023 and has a wealth of experience and strong passion for the for-purpose sector. 

She has held senior management roles in the areas of disability, social & community services and education, and contributed as a dedicated volunteer with charities supporting children with chronic and acute illness.

Rachel supports strong governance processes and all aspects of grantee engagement with the ERDI Foundation to ensure that working with us is as easy as possible. Rachel enjoys engaging with our grantee organisations and is the first point of contact for all enquiries.

Peter Adler


Born in Australia and moved to Israel 40 years ago. A resident of Jerusalem, Peter Adler has been involved in a professional capacity for over 25 years in philanthropy focusing on Israel and the Jewish World and has been deeply involved in the Israeli Third sector. 

Peter is the former Chair of the Forum of Foundations in Israel, has been a consultant to Keren Hayesod, JDC and the UIA Canada and continues to act as Israel Projects consultant to European, Australian and Israeli Foundations. Peter has been involved in supporting and contributing to hundreds of projects based in Israel.

Matt Davoren


Matt Davoren has been Chief Financial Officer of ERDI since 2019 and has 20 years’ experience providing a full range of accounting, audit, advisory and corporate finance services to both private businesses and public companies.

Matt previously held senior finance roles across hospitality, hotels and property groups after spending the first 8 years of his career at Deloitte.

Matt is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and a holds a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance.