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Executively Speaking: Kehilla Staff Transitions

Michael Saxe-Taller-BESTby Michael Saxe-Taller, Executive Director

When I was learning about Kehilla in preparation for my job interview, a friend (and Kehilla member) talked to me about the people working at Kehilla. I remember that she spoke of them with such appreciation, respect and pride. It is 18 months later and I understand why she spoke as she did. We have an extraordinary staff and clergy, and they are one of Kehilla’s most valued resources.

We are blessed with a staff and clergy that is wise, creative, compassionate and hard-working, and have been committed to Kehilla for a long time. After 30 years,  Founding Rabbi, Burt Jacobson continues to be one of our Spiritual Leaders. Rabbi David Cooper and Communications Coordinator Sasha Gottfried have each been serving the community for almost two decades. Sandra Razieli has been guiding our Bar/Bat Mitzvah program for almost 15 years.  Custodian Josef Straub was been caring for our building from the moment we bought it in 2004. And Hazzan Shulamit Fairman recently completed her first decade of leading Kehilla in prayer and song. This type of longevity and commitment is uncommon in many Jewish communities, and we are lucky to have such dedicated employees.

I am happy to report that our whole staff and clergy are returning in this new fiscal year. As you know, we are in a period of transition and with that, we do have some staffing changes which I want to keep you up-to-date about.

  • As of July 1, Rabbi David and Rabbi Dev have become Co-Rabbis, sharing senior rabbinic leadership for the year 2016-2017.
  • Rabbi Dev is continuing as Director of Kehilla School for this year and will receive additional administrative help from Natalie Boskin, who is moving from her role as School Assistant into a new role as Youth Programs Coordinator. We will begin a search for a new School Director this winter.
  • There is a transition in our Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program, as well. Natalie Boskin will also be taking over much of the day-to-day administration of the program, and BBM Director Sandra Razieli will continue to skillfully oversee the program, though she will be scaling back her hours.
  • Our bookkeeper, Molly Melamed, who has been expertly keeping our financial house in order for several years, has transitioned from being a contract employee to being on payroll as a full- fledged Kehilla employee.

I know that, to a person, our staff loves working at Kehilla and we are all looking forward to another productive and meaningful year of community.

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