Shaare Zedek Leadership
Rabbi Jonah Geffen serves as the spiritual leader of Congregation Shaare Zedek. A member of the New Shul's Rabbinic Havurah, Rabbi Geffen was the National Rabbinic Director for the J Street Education Fund and spent two years as a Marshal T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun on the Upper West Side. He has served as Senior Coexistence Educator for Kivunim, and as Senior Educator for the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution’s Rodef Shalom program. Rabbi Geffen attended Young Judaea Year Course, was a Kollel Fellow at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, a summer fellow at Yeshivat Hadar, and a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. His writing has been featured in the Washington Post, Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, and the Huffington Post, among others.
Rabbi Geffen received his BA in History and Jewish Studies from Indiana University, an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, and an MA in Jewish Studies and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary where he was the recipient of the 2013 United Synagogue Award for Congregational Leadership. He lives not far from the shul with his beloved, Julia Mannes, and their two daughters. They enjoy frequenting the playgrounds of the world, watching cooking shows, and singing the Indiana University fight song.
Shoshi Rosenbaum received cantorial ordination in 2016 and is now a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is a rabbinic intern at the Orangetown Jewish Center in Rockland County. Previously, Shoshi served as the Student Hazzan at B’nai Jeshurun, and she studied as a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar. Hazzan Shoshi graduated from Barnard College and JTS, where she founded and directed the Jewish women’s a cappella group, S’madar. In her free time, Shoshi enjoys ukulele and playing with her dog. Hazzan Shoshi will daven at Shaare Zedek for Selichot, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, and several shabbatot this fall.
Lindsey Healey-Pollack is excited to be back at Shaare Zedek, where she previously worked as the administrative and program assistant and was a member for several years. Lindsey is in her final year in the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she is also pursuing a master’s degree in Talmud and rabbinic literature. Lindsey grew up in Houston, Texas and spent five years of her childhood living in Cairo, Egypt. She graduated from Scripps College with a degree in anthropology and philosophy and received a master’s degree in museum studies at NYU.
As a rabbinical student, Lindsey has taught children and teens at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, and the Jewish Journey Project, and has acted as a student rabbi at the Atria Senior Residence. Lindsey completed a chaplaincy internship at DOROT and recently served as the rabbinic intern at the United Synagogue of Hoboken. She is currently serving as a Slifka Fellow at Cornell University Hillel, supporting egalitarian Jewish life on campus. She lives in Washington Heights with her partner, David, and their son, who are both looking forward to spending Shabbat in the community!
Jessie Bruah, Shaare Zedek's (virtual) Administrative Manager, grew up in Crystal Lake, Illinois. She has been in NYC for the past decade after arriving to study at the School of Visual Arts, where she received her MFA in Photography. Her artwork has been published and exhibited throughout North America and Europe.
Jessie lives in Jackson Heights, Queens with her husband, Chris, and daughter, Josephine. She spends her free time working on her bread baking technique, reading books, exploring the city's museums and neighborhoods, and working on small creative pursuits.
A fourth year rabbinical student in the ALEPH program, Esther has worked as an educator in Jewish education for many years. Most recently, Esther helped develop the curriculum and taught for Romemu’s Seekers Program. With a Masters in Social Work and post-graduate training in Play Therapy, Esther brings a deep understanding of children to her work. Creating spiritually exciting programming for children and their parents has been an extensive part of her journey, and she looks forward to continuing that work at Shaare Zedek. Esther received her BA/MSW at Yeshiva University and hopes to receive Rabbinic ordination in January of 2018.
Shira Wolf has been leading children's services at Shaare Zedek since 2016, soon after moving to New York. She has a dual degree from the University of Michigan in Performing Arts Management and Psychology. Shira spent 20 formative summers at Camp Ramah in Canada, moving from staff kid, to camper, and eventually counselor and unit head. With two Jewish educators for parents, she has been surrounded by both formal and informal Jewish education her entire life. During the week, Shira can be found working in a theatrical management office. She was also instrumental in coordinating the logistics for Shaare Zedek's final High Holiday seasons in our building in 2016 and 2017.
Aaron Leven grew up in Los Angeles, California and still has great pride for his state and city. Since graduating from high school, Aaron has lived in Israel, Atlanta, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Harlem, and now the Upper West Side. In 2016, Aaron learned Jewish text and philosophy at Mechon Hadar, an egalitarian yeshiva on the Upper West Side. He currently works as the NY Program Coordinator for a Jewish organization called OneTable that helps millennials do Shabbat their own way. When he's not at work, Aaron spends plenty of time keeping up with the NBA, more specifically the Los Angeles Lakers, dancing, and hiking. More than anything he loves people. Relationships, new and old, are what Aaron devotes most of his energy to, and he's excited to join the Shaare Zedek community!
Miriam Bachman began working with Shaare Zedek in 2015. Before that, she spent a year in Israel volunteering to teach English to elementary schoolers. She has a degree in English from Boston University where she led the Conservative Minyan at Hillel, and is currently working on a Master's in Teaching of English at Teacher's College, Columbia University.
Itamar Gur serves as one of the shinshinim (post-high school emissaries) to the Upper West Side through the neighborhood's shlichut program. He brings a deep connection with Israeli culture to Shaare Zedek's youth programming. Itamar hails from Kiryat Ono, a city next to Tel Aviv, and majored in theater and biology. For the last three years, Itamar has been a counselor and a troop leader in the Israeli Scouts youth movement, counseling children in 5th-9th grades. Last summer, he was a bunk counselor and Israel culture specialist in NJY camps in Milford, PA. His hobbies include theater and guitar playing.
2017-2018 Board of Trustees
Michael Firestone, President
Lianna Levine Reisner, Vice President of Community Building & Membership
Harlan Levinson, Vice President of Finance
Sara Marks, Vice President of Religious Life
Adin Rosenberg, Treasurer
Leslie Hirsch, Secretary
Sharon Meiri Fox