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Staff and Board

Education Director — Zehava Dahan

Zehava Dehan has worked as a Jewish educator in the Bay Area for 25 years, both as a classroom teacher and as an administrator. “For me," she says, "the most exciting aspect of working in a congregational school is the creation of a warm environment through a wide partnership of teachers, parents and students." Her goal is to use that partnership to develop inquisitive, engaged, caring and happy children who will become lifelong learners and compassionate human beings. This, she says, is "essential and central to the mission and vision of Or Shalom.”

Zehava has worked as department head of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at Brandeis Hillel Day School in San Francisco and as a preschool teacher, as well as a classroom teacher to first- through eighth-graders.

"I learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and most from my pupils." (Yehuda haNasi, in Ta’anit 7a)

Music Director — David Cohen-Tzedek

David Cohen-TzedekDavid Cohen-Tzedek was raised in Tel Aviv, where he was a bandleader, songwriter and choral singer, absorbing the variety of musical traditions alive in contemporary Israel.  In 1999, David settled in San Francisco and continued studying cantorial singing, improvisation, composition and voice. Serving as Or Shalom's musical director since 2004, David sings at  services and celebrations and directs the volunteer Or Shalom Choir and Instrumental Ensemble. The ensemble's repertoire includes David's original compositions as well as his arrangements of traditional melodies.

David is dedicated to communal musical creativity. He takes pleasure in discovering meaning in Jewish practice through music-making. He believes that participatory ritual and a rich musical life are essential to a community's spiritual practice.

Administrator Lillian Markind

Originally from the Philadelphia area, Lillian has lived in a variety of places including Los Angeles, Pittsburgh PA, Manhattan, San Francisco, and rural Wisconsin. She returned to the Bay Area 3 years ago and landed in Brisbane, just a few miles down the road. Formerly in biotech, she took many years off from the professional work force and became heavily involved in school volunteering, teaching Zumba, and becoming a substitute teacher. She is currently on the boards of Brisbane Dance Workshop, BEST/PTO, and successfully ran for public office in 2016 to be a Trustee of the Brisbane School District.

She shares her home with her husband Mike Lelivelt, who works for Genomic Health in Redwood City making genetic based cancer tests.  Together, they have David who became a Bar Mitzvah in May and is involved in the SF Players theater group and tap dance. Naomi, their youngest, is 11 and just started middle school. She is busy in dance, gymnastics, and attending Bet Sefer at Or Shalom!

Administrative Assistant/Social Action Fellow Ezra Leventhal

Ezra Leventhal is originally from San Jose. She graduated from UC Davis in 2015 with degrees in Political Science and Religious Studies. After college, she worked in the corporate world while taking volunteer positions furthering her true passion for Judaism and social justice. In her time as a Jeremiah Fellow with Bend the Arc, she met Ben Cohn, who recommended her as his replacement when he left Or Shalom. Ezra was thrilled to leave the cubicle life and make her passion her profession.

In addition to her position at Or Shalom, Ezra teaches Hebrew School at Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont and serves as Administrative Coordinator at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, feminist media analysis, and preparing for her Bat Mitzvah in November!

Board of Directors

The board meets monthly to make the decisions that guide our community.
To place an item on the board's agenda, contact a member of the executive committee. The executive committee is comprised of the president, vice president, immediate past president, secretary and treasurer.

2017-2018 Board of Directors

President: Judy Olasov
Past Presidents: Jurate Raulinaitis
                           Debbie Benrubi
Secretary: Tam Putnam
Treasurer: Janet Jacobs
Adult Education Committee: Jurate Raulinaitis, Chair
Chesed Committee: Saralie Pennington, Co-Chair [Norisa Berardi, Co-Chair]
Fund Development Committee: Seraph White, Chair
Interfaith Action Committee: Margo Freistadt, Chair
Membership Committee: Barbara Bernstein, Chair
Minhag Committee: Joel Rubinstein, Board Representative
Personnel Committee: Leslie Roffman, Co-Chair [Stacy Leighton, Co-Chair]
Religious School Committee: Laura Fankushen, Chair
Teen Havurah: Claire Garcia, Board Representative
Tikkun Olam Committee: Wendy Thurm, Chair
Members at Large: Scott Falcone
                                Chester Hartsough
                                Kelly Kozak

Tue, May 22 2018 8 Sivan 5778