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Rabbi Chaya Gusfield

Rabbi Chaya has lived in Oakland for more than 39 years during which time she went from public interest lawyer, to community mediator, to spiritual director, chaplain, and eventually rabbi. Ordained in the Jewish Renewal tradition in 2006, she worked in congregational life and then worked as a hospital chaplain. The glue of all her work has always been the work of accompaniment and finding creative expression as a way to find meaning especially in the more difficult moments of life.

She lives with her partner Judith. Their 38-year-old daughter, Yeshi, lives nearby. She grew up in Champaign Illinois, a university town. Her parents greatly influenced the choices she made in her life: her father was a sociologist and her mother a medical social worker. As a child she spent extended time in India and in Japan and felt deeply influenced by those times.

Through her daughter’s bat mitzvah process at Kehilla Community Synagogue she joined synagogue life, started to learn Torah and started on the path to the rabbinate.

Rabbi Chaya considers herself a play artist, using alcohol inks and doing creative writing. Check out her blog (Chaya’s Garden) and her Art Gallery on her website

Rabbi Chaya really enjoys the sanctuary quiet in their second home in Bodega Bay. She is crazy about ice cream (coffee/Mexican chocolate or anything with chips). She visits Mitchells in the city and Curbside in Oakland. When immersed in studying Torah, she gets lost in the endless possibilities our tradition offers us and is excited to share what she is learning.  She is especially passionate about an inclusive and healing Judaism.


Rabbi Me’irah Iliinsky, MSW

Rabbi Me'irah Iliinsky (that is: i-L-i-i-n-s-k-y...three I’s and one L) graduated from Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2007. She currently leads services for Rhoda Goldman Plaza, and teaches Parshat-ha-Shavua at the JCCSF. She is a sometimes teacher for Kavod v Nichum, an organization promoting traditional Jewish practice at the end of life. As an artist, she hopes to open sacred texts to more people through her paintings. One of her proudest moments is when her Tree of Life is Weeping painting, commemorating the October 27 Pittsburgh massacre, was donated to the Jewish Community of Pittsburgh. Her own path as an adult from being an uneducated Jew to Rabbi included much support along the way. She wants to share that support now with YOU! She has two grown sons, Noah and Alexis. Her cats Leiba and Eden keep her busy.

Explore Rabbi Me'irah's website here:


Spiritual Leader for Or Shalom 2007 – 2022: Rabbi Katie Mizrahi


Amy Mallor
Executive Director

After a months-long nationwide search for the right person to guide Or Shalom toward a stronger future financially and administratively, the Board of Directors is excited to introduce Amy Mallor, our new Executive Director!

Most recently, Amy has been in the role of Executive Director for synagogues in Baltimore, MD, and Glencoe, IL. But Amy is very familiar with the San Francisco and Bay Area Jewish landscape, having previously served as Executive Director with San Francisco’s Congregation Sherith Israel and with Congregation Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame.

When not working, Amy enjoys walking her cockapoo, Mango, being in nature and at the beach, playing golf and pickleball, and reading non-fiction books. She is also learning how to play bridge, so if any Or Shalom folks are bridge players, you may have found a fourth.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire Or Shalom community, welcome back to San Francisco and to Or Shalom, Amy! We look forward to working, praying, and socializing with you in the months and years to come.


Naomi Rodriguez-Finer
Communications Specialist

Naomi Rodriguez-Finer will be working closely with our Executive Director, Amy Mallor to develop a clear and concise voice in all of our communications, making it easier for everyone to engage with our website, register for programs, share OS news on social media, and learn about events going on inside and outside of our community.

Prior to Or Shalom, Naomi worked on the communications team for Congregation Emanu-El, as a coordinator for several post-production film houses and a personal assistant for two touring comedians. She graduated from Brandeis University in 2016 with a BA in Business (specialization: marketing) and Women's Studies. She currently lives in the Presidio and enjoys painting with watercolors, roller skating, and playing pickleball with her family.

Board of directors

The Board of Directors meets regularly to make the decisions that guide our community. To place an item on the Board's agenda, contact a member of the Executive Committee.

FY22, July 1, 2022– June 30, 2023

Executive Committee

Matt Rudoff, President

Meryl Bennan, Vice-President   

Shelley Levine, Secretary

Ross Matican, Treasurer 

Liz Isaacs, Membership

Chana Jacobs, Immediate Past President


Board Members

Stacey Leyton, Personnel Committee Chair

Joel Rubinstein, Minhag Committee Representative

Joshua Babcock, Religious School Committee Chair

Madeleine Levin, Chesed Committee Co-Chair

Debbie Benrubi, Tikkun Olam Committee Chair 

Angelique von Halle, Member At Large

Max Bernstein, Member At Large

Rachelle Resnick, Member At Large


Staff Attending Board Meetings

Amy Mallor, Executive Director

Thu, March 30 2023 8 Nisan 5783