brenda johnston

Brenda Johnston

Brenda Johnston immigrated from the U.K. to the U.S. in 1964, and has lived in New York, Miami Beach, San Francisco, Atlanta, West Hartford, New Hampshire, and Sarasota. While she lived in the U.K. she fulfilled her WW ll childhood dream of riding and training race horses. In 1980 she fell in love and married Ted Johnston, a fellow lover of Israel. Outside of her careers in PR and Real Estate, she became heavily involved in Jewish organizations, including Hadassah, UJA, ORT, SMJF, NHJF, and Jewish National Fund as a proud member of the Sapphire Society. She feels blessed to spend three months a year in Israel volunteering with Jewish National Fund projects and with TIKVOT, where she helps wounded IDF soldiers and victims of terror attacks recover through sport.


Susan and Jack Steenbarger

Susan and Jack met 12 years ago on Rosh Hashanah in Sarasota and have been married for 10 years sharing a life of involvement and generosity to the Sarasota community.  Jack served in the United States Air Force during the Berlin Airlift, he was appointed to the Republican Committee for Secretary of State and Review of Ohio’s Elections Laws. He also spent 30 years in the broadcast industry as a multi radio station owner in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Ohio. Susan was on the administrative team at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Vice-President of Operations - Special Projects for the Sisters of Mercy in Detroit Michigan, and Chief Executive Officer, Hospital Construction Services in West Bloomfield, Michigan.


Community volunteering has been important to both of them and they support many organizations including Lakewood Ranch Chabad, Temple Beth Shalom, Temple Emanuel, American Heart Association, Aviva, Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, various arts programs and organizations in the community, and more.

Guest speaker

Joseph Telushkin

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

New York Times Bestselling Author

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin is a lecturer and bestselling author of more than 15 books on Jewish ethics and literacy, including Jewish Literacy, the bestselling book on Judaism of the past 25 years. Rabbi Telushkin was named one of the 50 best speakers in the U.S. by Talk Magazine


Edie Chaifetz • Saranee Newman • Ros Mazur