Staff

Deborah MeyerChief Executive Officer, has years of experience building non-profits, primarily women’s and Jewish organizations. In addition, for four years Deborah helped manage a private Jewish Montessori pre-school. Prior to founding Moving Traditions with Chair Sally Gottesman, Deborah co-directed Kolot, where she helped launch Rosh Hodesh and began research that led to the development of Shevet Achim, Moving Traditions’ signature programs. Deborah holds an M.A. in Communication from Emerson College.

Jennifer Anolik, Curriculum Manager, oversees research, content, and design of Moving Traditions’ signature program curricula. Prior to Moving Traditions, Jennifer taught and developed curricula for after-school and enrichment programs focusing on poetry, environmental art, and mindfulness. A published poet, Jen holds B.A. in English from Dickinson College and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She lives in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia with her husband.

Pamela Barkley, Director of Educational Training, is responsible for the entire training process from application to in-person programs to post training follow-up and consultation. Pam has also worked as a trainer and training consultant in Jewish and wider world settings, running her own facilitation and training business for two years. Prior to that, she served for many years as the Director of Education at Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown, NY as well as an Education Consultant at the Jewish Education Project. Pam, a trained social worker with a strong passion for working with teens, recently became a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer.

Eve Berger, Philadelphia Director, works with our program partners throughout the Philadelphia area to strengthen and expand our impact on teens in the region. Prior to joining Moving Traditions, Eve was the Bucks County Kehillah Coordinator for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and has worked as an educator, camp director and community program director. Eve holds a B.S from Syracuse University and an M.A in Health Education, specializing in Human Sexuality from New York University. Eve lives in Doylestown, PA with her family.

Rabbi Daniel Brenner, Chief of Education and Program, helps Jewish communities address the spiritual and developmental needs of pre-teens and teens through his work at Moving Traditions. Prior to Moving Traditions, Daniel served in leadership positions at CLAL-The National Jewish Center of Learning and Leadership, Auburn Seminary, and the Birthright Israel Foundation. Daniel holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, studied Talmud at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, and received his rabbinic title from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey with his wife and their three teenagers.

Robin Cohen, Chief of Finance and Operations, manages Moving Traditions’ Finance, IT, HR and Operations functions. Prior to coming to Moving Traditions, Robin was the CFO for Agent Aloha, Inc. and also worked for private investment banks and financial services companies in Boston and Philadelphia. Robin enjoys traveling and reading, and holds a BS in Finance from Isenberg School of Management at UMASS Amherst, and a Masters in Finance from The Carroll School of Management at Boston College. Robin lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband, three children and their shih tzu.

Rabbi Tamara Cohen, Chief of Innovation, oversees the development of new programmatic initiatives including the Rosh Hodesh Reboot and Moving Traditions’ online program for trans, non-binary, and gender questioning Jewish teens, in addition to being a lead trainer and coordinator for Moving Traditions’ National Training Conferences. Prior to Moving Traditions, Tamara worked as a spiritual leader and as an educator in Jewish community and higher education settings, with a focus on Jewish feminist, LGBT, and multicultural issues. A published writer and liturgist, Tamara holds a rabbinical degree from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, an M.A. in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, and a BA summa cum laude from Barnard College. Tamara lives in Philadelphia with her partner and two children.

Jillian Finkelstein, Development and Communications Specialist, is responsible for managing Moving Traditions’ annual giving program and supports the organization’s communications and marketing work. Jill has worked as a marketing professional for several Jewish organizations, including Lilith Magazine, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society, and Nextbook, and also served as a religious school teacher. She has 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.

Sarah Fox, National Program Manager, promotes program work nationally, and manages Training Conferences and program projects at Moving Traditions. Prior to Moving Traditions, Sarah worked with the Jewish community in Canada and the US as a chaplain and Hillel Director, and then as a synagogue Executive Director. Sarah actively participates in all aspects of Jewish life, from reading Torah to teaching Hebrew School, and holds a BA Honours in Religious Studies and Music from the University of Saskatchewan. Sarah lives in Abington, PA with her family.

Stephanie Freedman, Manager of Recruitment and Mentoring, oversees the experience of our adult mentors and ensures they have the resources necessary to meet Moving Traditions’ educational goals. Previously, 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. A health and wellness enthusiast, Stephanie has a BA in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Stephanie lives in Bucks County, PA with her family.

Lisa Gersten, Chief of External Relations, is responsible for managing and developing key stakeholder relationships including major individual and institutional funders. 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. An avid theatergoer, Lisa received her B.A. from Barnard College and holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Lisa lives in New York City with her husband and three daughters.

Roxanna Griggs, Executive Assistant, supports the Moving Traditions staff. She has held Executive Assistant positions for 15+ years. Roxanna graduated from Gwynedd Mercy University with a Bachelors in Business Administration and a minor in Organizational Management. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Business Administration with a minor in Healthcare Administration. Roxanna is a grandmother of six, former owner of seven purebred Arabian horses, and lives in suburban Philadelphia.

Laura Hyman, Boston Director, oversees community partnerships, programming and development in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Prior to Moving Traditions, Laura directed Havayah: The Teen Community at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, MA, where she oversaw all aspects of programming for teens in Grades 8-12 and worked as a congregational educator in Los Angeles. An avid yogi, baker and collector of vintage American dishware, Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received a joint Masters Degree in Jewish Education and Communal Service from HUC-JIR, Los Angeles. Laura lives in Natick, MA, with her husband and two young sons.

Robyn Kotzker, Director of Planning and Operations, manages Moving Traditions’ new strategic initiatives, programs, and training, and drafts grant applications. Previously, Robyn spent 13 years in business litigation, having been named by Philadelphia Magazine as a Super Lawyer. Prior to becoming an attorney, Robyn worked for Philadelphia Region BBYO. Robyn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received a merit scholarship to Temple University Law School, where she served as the Law Review’s managing editor.

Jennifer Kraft, Colorado Director, is responsible for strengthening and expanding Moving Tradition’s regional programs and building institutional capacity in Colorado. Jen comes to Moving Traditions with 20 years of experience developing Jewish educational and welfare programs overseas with the JDC, where she also led fundraising efforts throughout North America. She has served as an advisor to non-profit organizations, philanthropists and businesses in management, fundraising, and legacy design. In Colorado, Jen established and leads West Side Jews, a volunteer-led social and cultural network serving more than 95 individuals and families in Northwest Denver. Jen has a B.A. from Tufts University, a MSW from Columbia, and a M.A. in Judaic Studies from JTS. She lives in Denver with her daughter.

Lisa Alter Krule, Chicago Director, works to strengthen and expand Moving Traditions’ regional presence in the Chicago land area. Lisa is a past president of the Jewish Youth Directors Association and has served as a mentor for M.A. students in the Jewish Professional Studies program at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. Lisa has been recognized by the State of Israel Bonds for outstanding leadership in strengthening Israel through the Israel Bonds program and by the Chicago Region of United Synagogue Youth for her service and dedication. Lisa holds a degree from Oakton Community College and a Certification in Non-Profit Management from Northwestern University. Lisa lives in Buffalo Grove, IL with her husband, and has two sons.

Lyn Manus, Finance and Development Specialist/Office Manager, supports the Finance, IT, and Operations functions of the Organization. Prior to Moving Traditions Lyn held administrative positions at Jewish communal institutions for more than 25 years, including 10 years at the religious school of Temple Sinai in Dresher, PA. Lyn has also co-taught preschool at various synagogues in the Philadelphia area. In her spare time, Lyn is a self-proclaimed Shopaholic, doting grandmother, and loving mother of her two grown children and their significant others. She enjoys spending time outdoors at the beach or kayaking. Lyn lives in Bucks County, PA with her husband and their cocker spaniel.

Nicole Nevarez, New York Director, oversees and stewards all of the New York Metro area program partners and many of the region’s development relationships for Moving Traditions. Additionally, she serves on the Moving Traditions training faculty. Previously, Nicole held the Director of Jewish Life & Education position at the Rosenthal JCC and worked as a marketing professional for non-profit theatres in New York City. Nicole holds a degree in Cultural Management/Jewish Studies from American University, DC and has spent time studying in Israel, particularly at Pardes. Nicole lives in Goldens Bridge, NY with her husband and their two children.

Adam OdedDevelopment and Communications Manager, manages Moving Traditions’ foundation grants and website. Prior to Moving Traditions, Adam worked as the Philadelphia Director of Birthright Israel NEXT.  An experienced webmaster and lifelong Jewish professional, Adam graduated magna cum laude from New York University with honors from the Judaic Studies and Anthropology Departments. Adam lives in Cherry Hill, NJ with his wife and three children.

Julia Papiyan, Manager of California Programs, is responsible for strengthening, supporting, and cultivating partnerships in the Los Angeles area at Moving Traditions. Prior to Moving Traditions, Julia worked within the non-profit and public sphere, including The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, The New York City Mayor’s Office, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, where she worked in management, community development, and planning. Julia holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University. She lives in Los Angeles and enjoys runs on the beach, cooking, and traveling.

Alisha Pedowitz, California Director, has made her career working with teens, using the richness of Jewish community, ritual, tradition, and wisdom to help them thrive. Alisha has worked as an educator and communal professional at Jewish camps, schools, and agencies throughout California, and she is a third-year Rosh Hodesh community group leader. Alisha holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management, a MAEd with a Concentration in Experiential Education, and a Bachelor’s degree in Hebrew Letters from American Jewish University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stanford University. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Ben SchindlerChief of Field Operations, oversees Moving Traditions’ work with our partner institutions across the country and overall implementation of the organization’s programming. Prior to Moving Traditions, Ben led large and complex projects and operations in PricewaterhouseCooper’s consulting practices and managed a citywide political campaign. As a civic leader, Ben serves as the President of the Home & School Association for his neighborhood school and as Board Treasurer for his neighborhood civic association. Ben holds a B.A. in drama from Northwestern University and a law degree from Temple University. Ben lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two children.

Elizabeth Kaufman Taylor, Database Administrator, manages the Salesforce Database at Moving Traditions. 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 and games player, Liz received a B.A 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. Liz lives in Rydal, PA with her family.

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