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Staff

Shuli Karkowsky is Chief Executive Officer at Moving Traditions (she/her/hers).  Both Judaism and feminism have been core facets of her identity since birth; working at Moving Traditions has felt like coming home. Shuli has extensive experience in non-profit management, including at legacy institutions like UJA-Federation of New York and innovative start-ups like 70 Faces Media and Hazon. She joined the nonprofit world after litigating at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Shuli graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland and from Harvard Law School. Shuli is a notoriously voracious reader and eater, consuming nearly all variety of books and food with gusto. She lives in Westchester with her husband and three children, all of whom are so deliciously adorable that they, too, face constant risk of being consumed.

Jennifer Anolik is the Fellowship Director for Kol Koleinu (she/her/hers), a year-long fellowship that gives teens across the country the skills to take part in Jewish, feminist social-changemaking. Jen believes that the leading way to create a better future is to invest in our young people. Before working on Kol Koleinu, she rebooted the 8-10th grade Rosh Hodesh curriculum and has led a Rosh Hodesh group in the Philly suburbs for over six years. Jen is a published poet and third generation Holocaust survivor who sometimes writes articles about antisemitism and online learning. She received her MA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and holds a BA in English from Dickinson College. When Jen isn’t leading fellowships or writing curriculum, you can find her playing multi-hour long strategy board games and working through the menus of all the bubble tea shops in Philly’s Chinatown.

Pamela Barkley, Vice President of Program (she/her/hers), is in charge of overseeing the development and implementation of Moving Traditions programmatic offerings. Pam works with a team of gifted educators to bring the magic of caring connection and Jewish insight to teens, teachers, parents and clergy. She brings over 25 years of experience in facilitation, education, training and coaching as well as a deep passion for finding opportunities for personal growth in herself and others. Pam has a BA from Brandeis University and an MSW from NYU and is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer. When not engaged in all things Jewish, Pam can be found dancing anywhere and everywhere, hiking in the woods listening to podcasts, or walking on the beach with her husband and twin daughters.

Eve Berger is Vice President of Partnerships (she/her/hers), responsible for building the programmatic reach of Moving Traditions in North America through managing our field staff and identifying new partnership opportunities to reach more Jewish youth and their families. Eve believes engaging tweens, teens and their families through their Jewish community lifts us all up and creates lasting connections. She has been a community health educator, camp director and lifelong non-profit professional. She holds a BS in Psychology from Syracuse University and an MA in Health Education with a focus in Human Sexuality from NYU. In her spare time, Eve delights in experimenting with new recipes, curling up with a juicy thriller, chilling with her two adorable cats Buster and Bella, traveling abroad with her husband Jon, hanging out with her two adult children, and lounging at the beach!

Beckee Birger is the Fellowship Director (she/her/hers) for our forthcoming racial justice and Jewish identity leadership program.  Beckee’s passion for social justice has led her through a variety of jobs, such as special education attorney, AmeriCorp program manager, and career advisor at an education non-profit. She believes engaging people of all ages, but especially youth, in political education and community organizing is critical to our future, and she’s proud to celebrate her Judaism through a deep commitment to social change. In her free time, she’s a co-founder of JCUA’s Kol Or Jews of Color Caucus, a co-facilitator of Tzedek Lab’s Political Educators kabal, and she’s an avid board game player.

Rabbi Daniel Brenner serves as the Vice President of Education (he/him/his), where he weaves together ancient wisdom, developmental psychology, social pedagogy, embodied practice, and pop culture to help a diverse network of rabbis, educators, and volunteer leaders who mentor teens. Prior to joining Moving Traditions in 2011, Daniel led educational programs for CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, Auburn Theological Seminary, and the Birthright Israel Foundation. Brenner is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College;he furthered his studies with Rabbi Yitz Greenberg and Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (z’l), and for the last five years he has been obsessed with studying and teaching shtetl dance. He lives with his beloved, Dr. Lisa Brenner, in Montclair, New Jersey and they are the proud parents of three young adults.

Robin Cohen, Chief of Finance and Operations (she/her/hers), oversees Moving Traditions’ Finance, IT, HR, and overall operations functions. Robin believes that strong financial health and a positive organizational culture are vital to Moving Traditions’ success. Prior to Moving Traditions, she was the CFO for Agent Aloha, Inc. and worked for private investment banks and financial services companies in Boston and Philadelphia, specializing in Global Custody and Trust Accounting. Robin holds a BS in Finance from The University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MS in Finance from Boston College. When she isn’t poring over spreadsheets, Robin enjoys checking out new places to travel, baking anything chocolate, and hanging out with her family and their Shih Tzu in suburban Philadelphia.

Rabbi Tamara Cohen, Chief Program Officer (she, her, hers), guides and supports Moving Traditions’ strategy, program development and partnership work in collaboration with her fabulous colleagues. Tamara knows that Jewishly-engaged, intersectional feminists of all genders can and will change the world. She is proud to have initiated Tzelem and Kol Koleinu and to be working on a new project for older teens to navigate issues of race, gender, sex, antisemitism, and Jewish identity today. Tamara is a board member of Women’s March, on her synagogue’s anti-racism task force and a member of the Bnot Esh Jewish feminist spirituality collective. A past participant in the Selah Leadership Program, Gen Now Fellowship and Rabbis without Borders, she is currently studying Movement Chaplaincy. Tamara was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and earned an MA in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in Women’s Studies and English summa cum laude from Barnard College. When Tamara isn’t moving traditions and the Jewish community, she can be found reading and writing poetry, organizing community ritual, walking in Carpenter’s Woods, or having fun with her partner, Dr. Gwynn Kessler and their two children (preferably off screen but also, often, on).

Jillian Finkelstein Brownstein, Development and Communications Manager, (she/her/hers) is truly a “Jill of all trades.” She is responsible for managing Moving Traditions’ communications calendar, social media, and group registrations, and supports the organization’s fundraising initiatives. Jill is also a Salesforce guru. Prior to Moving Traditions, she worked as a marketing professional for several Jewish organizations, including Lilith Magazine, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society, and Tablet Magazine. Jill holds a BA.in Psychology and Women’s Studies, with a concentration in Women in the Global Perspective, and a minor in Jewish Studies from the University of Delaware. She lives in the Main Line Philadelphia suburbs with her husband rescue dog, and baby boy. In her spare time, she can be found managing her dog’s Instagram account, dragging her family to craft fairs, and online window shopping.

Sarah Fox is the Project Director (she/her/hers) who keeps Moving Traditions moving forward by successfully managing its projects to impact Jewish youth, families, and communities. She directs the departmental budget, has an empowering project management style so her team accomplishes a lot, and holds the secret for knowing how to fund a project. With such a broad skillset, she is affectionately known as MacGyver (skills she honed growing up on the prairies of Saskatchewan). At the age of six, Sarah tapped Pierre Trudeau on the back, insisting that he shake her hand. That handshake with a leader compelled her towards a life of leading: youth groups, Hillels, synagogues, and now to her current role leading projects at Moving Traditions. Sarah is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid provider, a trained Project Manager and an aspiring member of the DAR.  She holds a BA, Honours in Religious Studies (minor in Music) from the University of Saskatchewan.  Sarah’s wide-ranging interests are: playing board games with her family, crocheting, singing, chanting Torah, dreaming of Canadian chocolate, and as a board member of the BucksMont Moms of Multiples.

Stephanie Freedman, Director of Organizational Development & Culture (she/her/hers), is responsible for cultivating the staff experience and facilitating organizational success by aligning structural, cultural and strategic realities of work. She is also a trained project manager and serves as a member of the Project Management Office. Stephanie believes that a strong and inclusive culture which demonstrates our organizational values is key to employee success and engagement. Prior to Moving Traditions, Stephanie managed the development and implementation of training for a mission-driven technology company that helps people access income supports and financial wellness services, as well as for a broad-based media company serving business and education professionals. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh and an MS in Organization Development & Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University. In her spare time, you can find Stephanie getting lost in a novel, cooking with love, on neighborhood walks with her pup, having impromptu dance parties with her kids, and visiting her family at overnight camp in the summer months.

Lisa Gersten, VP of External Relations (she/her/hers), is responsible for managing and developing key stakeholder relationships including major individual and institutional funders and supports the CEO and Board in their donor engagement and board development efforts.   Prior to Moving Traditions, Lisa worked as an Assistant District Attorney, senior policy specialist, and most recently spent 11 years as a Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Planning in the legal services industry.  Lisa received her BA from Barnard College and holds a JD from Columbia Law School. She lives in New York City with her husband and has three fabulous daughters.  A lover of Broadway musicals, Lisa also enjoys her morning walks in Riverside Park with her dog Honey and spending time at the Delaware beaches.

Jessica Glassman is an Assistant (she/her/hers) who supports the CEO, leadership team, Board Members and the rest of the Moving Traditions’ staff.  Jess’ work helps to maintain the workflow at Moving Traditions, bringing people together and enabling the operation to run smoothly. She was previously involved in the Jewish youth movement Habonim Dror North America in the Maryland and Philadelphia regions which shaped her belief in youth empowerment through education. Jess holds a BA in Sociology with a minor in Human Development from the University of Maryland. She lives in New Hope, PA with her family and enjoys playing tennis, strolling in the sunshine with her dog Honey, and testing out a new recipe in her kitchen.

Paige GoldMarche (she/her/hers) is a Regional Director who is expanding and supporting the Philadelphia and Mid-Atlantic region. She is also a Kol Koleinu Cohort leader. Paige holds an MA degree in Jewish Communal Service from Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University, a Certificate in Non-Profit Studies from Johns Hopkins University, and a BA in International Development and Social Change from Clark University. When Paige isn’t connecting educators and teens to life-changing curriculum, she can be found hanging out with her wife Megan and amazing kids Bri and Rori, hunting down the best playgrounds in their new neighborhood of Mt Airy in Philadelphia, and appreciating new and funky beers!

Kerrick Goodman-Lucker, Manager of Curriculum Design (he/him/his), inspires Jewish youth through the development of engaging learning experiences.  His guiding question is “How do we empower people to shape their own lifelong learning journeys?” Although his parents both worked in public schools, Kerrick ‘rebelled’ by earning a MA in Museum Education from John F. Kennedy University and working for the Exploratorium and Aquarium of the Bay.  However, he was soon drawn into the classroom to discover how teachers create learning communities. Since then, he has taught and designed curriculum in history, engineering, literature, and economics.  Raised in a secular interfaith family, Kerrick returned to Judaism as an adult. He is so happy to have found a place at Moving Traditions. In addition, he is now embarking on earning a Masters in Social Work to fulfill his dream of being able to support teens and families with challenges to their social and emotional wellbeing.

Andi Kaufman, Chicago/Midwest Regional Director, (she/her/hers), is excited to bring Moving Traditions programs and opportunities to her local community. Andi firmly believes in engaging local teens on a lifelong path of Jewish involvement. A native of Nebraska, she has spent the bulk of her professional career in the Jewish non-profit space. Andi has been heavily influenced by her experiences at overnight camp and in youth groups which she attributes to establishing her strong connection to Judaism. She holds a B.A. in Telecommunications and Jewish Studies from Indiana University and is an alumna of USY’s Nativ program. In her spare time, you can find Andi playing board games, crafting and listening to Broadway showtunes with her husband and twin boys in Buffalo Grove, IL. 

Robyn Kotzker, Counsel and Director of Operations (she/her/hers), serves as in-house legal counsel, directs the organization’s internal operations functions, and leads its project management team. Robyn believes that clear goals, smooth processes, and positive approaches to collaborating with one another enhance everyone’s work experiences and lead to stronger programs for our communities. Before joining Moving Traditions, she spent 13 years in business litigation, having been named by Philadelphia Magazine as a Super Lawyer. She also previously worked to enrich the lives of Jewish teens as a staff member of BBYO. Robyn holds a BA summa cum laude in History and Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from Temple University School of Law, where she served as the Law Review’s Managing Editor. She is also trained in project management. For fun, Robyn gets absorbed in historical fiction novels, loves taking candid and nature photos, and gets her groove on by singing and dancing to music with her two teenagers in their suburban Philadelphia living room.

Lyn Manus is the Finance and Operations Specialist and Office Manager (she/her/hers). She wears many different hats within the organization. Lyn works with the Controller and maintains the Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payables of Moving Traditions and is also responsible for ordering supplies, troubleshooting IT issues, sending contracts and invoices to vendors, and tracking leave time for her colleagues. Lyn has worked with Jewish non-profits over 35 years, including working and teaching at a few area synagogues. Lyn lives in Bucks County, Pa with her husband and 11-year-old cocker spaniel. When not working, Lyn is a self-proclaimed shopaholic who enjoys finding the best bargains at neighboring malls and outlets, kayaking with her husband on the beautiful lakes of Bucks and Montgomery counties, and spoiling her two grown children, two gorgeous granddaughters and dog.

Adalis Marrero is proud of her role as the Controller (she/her/hers) for Moving Traditions and enjoys her work very much. She is in charge of closely monitoring the company’s financial health, and maintains, manages, and analyzes financial statements, and budgets for the daily accounting operations.  Adalis has a CPA license with 25+ years’ experience in corporate and non-profit accounting.  She has worked in performing arts organizations where their main focus was working with youth.  She gets energized by volunteering for food banks and other organizations, taking long walks in parks near her home in Marlton, NJ, cooking Italian dishes, baking, and frequently sharing time with friends and family.

Deborah Meyer, Founding CEO, Emerita (she/her/hers), has dedicated her career to building change-making organizations focused on gender and the Jewish community, including Moving Traditions. She founded the organization in 2005 with then Board Chair Sally Gottesman. The vision: to embolden teens to explore who they are and wish to become as human beings—and to help create the world they wish to live in— by drawing on Jewish teachings and resisting limiting ideas about gender and identity from society and culture. Deborah credits her commitment to feminism, social justice, and Jewish life to her activism as a teen and young adult in the Habonim youth movement and Camp Moshava. Deborah holds an MA from Emerson College and a BA from Connecticut College. She serves on the boards of the Covenant and Hadassah Foundations, and on the Executive Committee of Philadelphia’s Women of Vision. Deborah and her husband, Matt love sharing with friends and family endless pots of her homemade Moroccan chickpea soup, dancing to the beat of (almost) any music anywhere, and exploring Philadelphia’s architecture and green spaces. She survived the pandemic by reconnecting with camp and school friends, and by playing virtual games with Matt and their daughters and sons-in-law.

Debra Michael is the Director of Marketing & Communications (she/her/hers) who helps more people know and love Moving Traditions. Debra prioritizes communicating about causes that matter, especially those that help youth succeed. She is a 15+ years’ MarCom expert—profit and not-for-profit, Jewish and secular, local and national. Debra is a trained Rosh Hodesh group leader and a former Board member of the American Marketing Association Philadelphia. She holds a BA in Communications from Temple University. When she isn’t helping embolden Jewish teens, she can be found holding her newborn while chasing after her zooming toddler and crazy dog in the Philly suburbs with her husband.

Brian Mono is Chief of Advancement of Moving Traditions (he/him/his). Leading a talented Development & Communications team, Brian works with staff, board members and other stakeholders to make the case for increased funding, media coverage, and program participation.  He brings 20+ years of planning and development experience at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and at Reconstructing Judaism/Camp Havaya, as well as creating award-winning journalism at the Jewish Exponent. Brian holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan – Go blue! – and an M.A. from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.  When not raising money or awareness, Brian enjoys reading anything by Michael Chabon, completing a tough crossword puzzle, and picnicking in parks in and around Philadelphia with his wife and teenage children.

Julia Papiyan is the California Regional Director (she/her/hers) who oversees Northern and Southern California partnerships (she/her/hers). Julia believes that teens want, and need, a safe space to explore topics relevant to them, which is why the expansion of Moving Traditions’ programs is so important to her. She has supported the work by piloting new programs, creating innovative and collaborative partnerships, and volunteering her time as a trained Rosh Hodesh group leader and teen girl mentor. She holds a B.S. in business from the University of Michigan and is working on the completion of her executive Master’s Degree from Columbia University. When she isn’t expanding Moving Traditions’ work in California, Julia can be found traveling across the globe in search of new sites and new flavors of ice cream.

Alisha Pedowitz is the Director of Teen Education (she/her/hers), inspiring Jewish youth to live and act as their fullest selves. Alisha believes that when we support teens in aligning and actualizing their values within themselves, between one another, and within society, we help them flourish. She has worked as an educator and communal professional at Jewish camps, schools, and agencies throughout California, and serves on the Board of Directors at JQ International. Alisha holds an MA Ed. with a Concentration in Experiential Education, an MBA in Nonprofit Management, a BA in Hebrew letters from American Jewish University, and a BA in Psychology from Stanford University.  Besides work, her happy place is hiking in the outdoor beauty surrounding Los Angeles with her partner, two teenage children, and Dillon, her loveable Pit Bull/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix.

Rachael Perice is a Foundations Relations Coordinator (she/her/hers) who helps build impactful relationships between Moving Traditions and its generous foundation supporters. Rachael believes that when people are empowered to be their best selves at a young age, the world’s future will be brighter and more beautiful. She is a 10+ year professional with communications and development experience in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. In 2011, Rachael won a Gracie Allen Award for her radio interview with Miss America 2010, Caressa Cameron, and launched the podcasting program at Reconstructing Judaism. She holds a BA in Radio/Television/Film Production and an MA in Public Relations from Rowan University. In her spare time, Rachael is studying for her MBA, and satisfies her insatiable curiosity by rotating through multiple hobbies such as New York Times crossword puzzles, hiking in state parks, crocheting kippot, knitting blankets, and reading anything with a good story. She lives with her husband and adoring cat in southern New Jersey.

Stacy Shapiro is the Northeast Regional Manager (she/her/hers) who loves engaging with current and prospective partners to advance our work. Stacy believes that helping teens thrive is inspiring work. She has been a Rosh Hodesh leader for over 10 years, has used B-Mitzvah and Kulam in her work with teens and has started Tzelem groups, for LGBTQ+ and gender-expansive teens, in NY and MA. Stacy has the title of Reform Jewish Educator from ARJE, has served as faculty at several Reform Jewish camps and has been involved in Jewish leadership since High School. She holds a BA in Psychology from Brandeis University, an MS in Social Work from Columbia University, and an MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Stacy loves reading, baking challah, and planning beach vacations. She lives in Yorktown, NY with her husband and has two remarkable adult children.

Siawale Vesslee is the Program Assistant at Moving Traditions (she/her/hers). She provides administrative support for Program and Partnership Teams. She believes that having organizations like Moving Traditions can help shape a better world for current youth. She is a recent graduate of Georgetown University, where she obtained her BA in Anthropology and Public Health. During her time there, she worked in many student roles servicing first-generation minority college students, like herself. In her spare time, you can find Siawale traveling around the world or the nearest city, finding the best tacos near her, and enjoying mystery novels.

Consultants

Nancy Bach is a Consultant (she/her/hers) working with Moving Traditions as B-Mitzvah Community Organizer. She has enjoyed many years on the pulpit as a cantor and currently works as an independent teacher and officiant through her small business, Transforming Traditions. At Moving Traditions, Nancy is passionate about getting the word out to other independent clergy and educators – as well as small emergent communities – so that they too can utilize Moving Traditions’ B-Mitzvah curriculum in their work with students and families. Nancy received her Cantorial Ordination at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music/HUC-JIR in 2013 and holds a BA from Brown University. She is a native Manhattanite. Bach can be found most weekends, traipsing through various playgrounds and basketball courts in Manhattan, with her 2nd grader son, Caleb.

Deitra Reiser, PhD is the founder and principal of Transform for Equity, LLC an Antiracist Repair Group (she/her/hers). She is partnering with Moving Traditions to further racial equity and justice throughout the organization. Deitra believes that organizations will transform to equitable spaces through individual internal change which will drive intentional systemic change. She is skilled at creating spaces for people to explore their identities using intersectional identities as a frame. She has partnered with the Union for Reform Judaism and Reconstructing Judaism along with other Jewish organizations across the country. Deitra has nearly 20 years of experience as a school psychologist. She holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her free time, you can find her laughing and chatting with the people she loves or reading a book with coffee in hand.

Elizabeth Kaufman Taylor is a Salesforce Administrator (she/her/hers), who manages the Data for Moving Traditions – from CRM Architecture through Reporting, Evaluation and Analysis. Liz believes in Moving Traditions and has the data to prove it! Prior to Moving Traditions, Liz worked in the Jewish community for more than two decades in both Israel and North America in various arenas including development, Jewish camping, Israel programming, and family education. An avid community organizer, Liz received a BA from Rutgers University and Masters degrees from the Hornstein Program of Jewish Communal Service and the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, both at Brandeis University. In her spare time, Liz can be found on the tennis court, playing mah jongg or researching and exploring new places with her family.

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