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MEET OUR PROFESSIONAL TEAM

Listed in alphabetical order by first name.
Please note: many of our staff work part-time or seasonal hours. 

Aaron Kagan, Teen Engagement Coordinator

Aaron Kagan (he/him/his) taught Judaica classes for middle school students and led teen activities at CBI from 2010 to 2012. In 2022, he rejoined the staff as the Teen Engagement Coordinator. Aaron has several years of high school teaching experience, including the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School in Hadley, and the United World College USA, which is an international high school with a focus on peace and sustainability that is located in New Mexico. Aaron has a BA in literature from Brandeis University. Prior to teaching, he spent five years performing and leading theater workshops across the U.S., and his writing has appeared in publications such as the Boston Globe, the Forward, and Smithsonian. He lives in Florence and loves hiking with his family and dog, writing poetry, cooking, and foraging for wild edibles.

Contact Aaron Kagan.

Amy Stein, Engagement Coordinator

Amy Stein (she/her/hers) is the Engagement Coordinator. Her experience includes building a community of volunteers and interns in her work at Jewish Vocational Service; launching an engagement initiative at Temple Shalom in Newton; and founding the Newton Mothers’ Forum. She earned a BFA from Parson’s School of Design and an MBA in Nonprofit Management from Boston University. She is deeply committed to helping people find meaning and belonging in community.

Contact Amy Stein.

Aram Rubenstein-Gillis , Music Director

Rabbi Ariella Rosen, Co-Interim Rabbi and Director of Youth and Family Education and Engagement

Rabbi Ariella Rosen (she/her) began serving as CBI’s Director of Youth and Family Education and Engagement in the summer of 2022. Previously, she served as the director and Jewish educator at Hillel at the University of Toronto. She also worked as the assistant rabbi at Adath Israel in Merion, PA, and the rabbinical and cantorial admissions director at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York City. Rabbi Ariella was ordained as a rabbi from JTS where she also earned a MA. She earned BAs from JTS and Columbia University in midrash (biblical interpretation) and psychology. Rabbi Ariella strives to embody a mindset of welcoming and joy in both work and life.

Contact Rabbi Ariella Rosen

Elijah Burger, Youth & Family Administrative Assistant

Emily Bristol, Building Services Associate

Emily Bristol (she/her/hers) serves as a part-time custodian and integral member of the kiddush team at CBI. Emily graduated from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and Information Systems. She has always loved to clean and organize and enjoys being able to put these skills to use at CBI. Emily loves being a part of the CBI community and cherishes the relationships she has formed over the years with both staff and congregants. 

Emily Kieval, Executive Director

 
 
 
 

Emily Kieval (she/her/hers) has served as the Executive Director since August 2019. Previously, she served as the Director of Inclusion at Temple Shalom in Newton. She also served as a Regional Director of Yachad, the National Jewish Council for Disabilities. Emily received her Bachelors Degree from UMass Amherst and her Masters Degree from Columbia University. Emily is passionate about building resilient and inclusive communities.

Contact Emily Kieval.

Find a time to meet with Emily Kieval.

 
 
 
 

Ezra Tumbleson, Gan Keshet Administrator

Rabbi Jacob Fine, Co- Interim Rabbi and Senior Director of Jewish Life and Abundance Farm

 
 

Rabbi Jacob Fine (he/him/his) has served as the Director of Jewish Life and Abundance Farm since 2013.  Previously, he served as a rabbi and educator for a number of leading Jewish environmental organizations including the Teva Learning Alliance, Adamah, Hazon and the Jewish Farm School. A Wexner Graduate Fellow and former Rabbi and Assistant Director at Hillel at the University of Washington, Rabbi Jacob was ordained as a rabbi from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies where he also received an MA in Rabbinic Studies. He is also a graduate of Vassar College where he received a BA in environmental studies and religion.

Contact Rabbi Jacob Fine.

Find a time to meet with Rabbi Jacob Fine.

 
 

Kate Holdsworth, Director of Gan Keshet Preschool

Kate Holdsworth (she/her/hers) is the Director of Gan Keshet Preschool. Kate has been an integral part of the CBI and Gan Keshet community since she first joined the Gan Keshet faculty as a Parpar teacher back in 2007. Kate has a background in Early Intervention, Special Education, Art, Theater, and Puppetry--including her work with PJ Library Page to Stage. She is a recipient of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation award for teaching excellence in Jewish Education. Kate is deeply committed to the work of cultivating community and a love of the natural world with young children and their families.

Contact Kate Holdsworth.

Lennie McKemmie, Maintenance Supervisor

Lennie McKemmie (he/him/his) serves as CBI's Maintenance Supervisor, overseeing our building and grounds with great care. He has a background in HVAC and can build just about anything. When he isn't at work, you might find him engrossed in his art, creating intricate woodburned illustrations of animals. 

Lindsay Rowe, Development Manager

Lindsay (she/they) is excited to talk to the CBI community about the future of the campus and what is important to ensuring the future. Lindsay has experience in development, grants, communications, and government. Lindsay has worked in Western Massachusetts for over 15 years, including in Development at Hampshire College, in the Mayor’s Office and Community Development at the City of Greenfield, as a Legislative Aide for a State Representative for the Second Berkshire District, and consulting for government, non-profits, and start-ups. Lindsay earned an MBA from UMass Amherst and a BA from Bryn Mawr College.

Contact Lindsay Rowe.

Find a time to meet with Lindsay Rowe.

Matti Weisberg, Abundance Farm Educator

Matti (they/them) is a student of interconnectedness. Their love of multiplicity - conceptual, political, historical - manifests in the classroom through awe of the beautifully complex relationships between humans, land, and spirit. They are excited to create space for young people to explore the richness of these relationships and to begin building frameworks for a more nourishing and just future. In addition to farming and teaching, Matti bakes bread, plays trumpet and mothers a lineage of slime mold.

Miriam Kudler-Flam, Communications and Marketing

Miriam (she/her) is a vegetable farmer and art-maker, who also sits at the computer promoting the projects she believes in (like Abundance Farm and CBI!). She is grateful to bring her skills and energy to the Farm as an email writer, social media poster, and graphics creator. Come to Miriam to talk about your latest art project, or with any events you'd like help promoting!

Naomi Ruth, Office & Volunteer Coordinator

Nat Ross, Abundance Farm Manager

Nat (they/them) is delighted to be joining the CBI community as the Farm Manager of Abundance Farm! They have grown food and taught students on a variety of community and educational farms both in the Connecticut River Valley and in Northern California, and they hold a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst in Sustainable Food and Farming. Having personally experienced the internally and externally transformative power of ecologically oriented agriculture, Nat is passionate about facilitating bountiful farm spaces where people of all ages can connect with farming, gardening, and the more-than-human world. Find them crouched over a farm bed, where they are always eager to have a casual chat about photosynthesis or to hear about your favorite variety of heirloom tomato. When not at the farm, Nat can be found cooking chaotically playful vegetarian meals, playing jazz piano and contemporary keyboards, and talking to trees and rocks.

Nili Simhai, Director of Environmental and Agricultural Education

Nili Simhai (she/her/hers) serves as the Director of Outdoor Education for Abundance Farm. Nili served as the Director of Teva Learning Alliance, a leading Jewish environmental education organization, for fourteen years.  A recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, Nili has been recognized for her leadership in training and counseling hundreds of educators in the tenets of Jewish environmental education.  One of her current passions is outdoor classrooms in Jewish institutions.

Thomas Bradbury, Facilities and Events Coordinator

Tom (he/him/his) and his wife, Sheryl, live in Florence along Mill River and enjoy bird watching and walking along Mill River to Smith College’s Botanical Gardens and into downtown Northampton. Their daughter, Hope, is a Junior High School Science Teacher in Indiana. Tom is a guitarist with the Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra and he plays several solo acoustic guitar shows a year in which he highlights fingerstyle playing and the Country Blues. In his heart he is a songwriter, a poet, and a writer. Tom has a Bachelors in English Literature and a Masters in Business and Analytics. Tom also is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson and is a member of the Jones Group Realtors working out of the Amherst office.

 

Mon, March 4 2024 24 Adar I 5784