Founder & Senior Rabbi
With his extensive experience of so many wisdom traditions, Rabbi David brings a unique depth and breadth of understanding to his rabbinic work. He is deeply committed to comparative religious studies and to integrating into Judaism practices which consistently prove effective in opening a connection with the Divine.
Jeff has been passionately involved in Renewal Judaism for over 20 years, serving on the board of Aleph: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal, studying in the Aleph Seminary, and participating as a founding member of two Jewish Renewal congregations. Jeff has served on the Board of Romemu since our inception, and co-founded and chaired our Seekers Holistic Hebrew School, and our first Financial Development committee. Jeff believes that Romemu is on its way to becoming a world class center for Renewal Judaism and plans to do whatever he can to help make that happen.
Jeff has 30 years of experience managing non-profit and for-profit organizations of all sizes. Most recently, he was the Director of Development of Young Judaea Global, the largest pluralist Zionist youth movement, and before that was a Development Director at UJA-Federation of New York, the world’s largest local philanthropy. Previously, while living in the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, he founded, grew, and sold the high-tech internet company, Netpulse. He has also worked at Intel, AT&T Bell Labs, and the Israeli telecom company, Telrad. A long time ago, Jeff got a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell, and a Masters from Stanford.
Jeff is madly in love with his wife, Shelley, and his three kids, Simon, Isabel, and Sinai.
Natalia has spent the last decade providing high level support to synagogues in the New York area. Most recently she was the Executive Assistant to the Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel, and previously served as Office Manager and Senior Assistant at Brooklyn Heights Synagogue and Rodeph Sholom. She is also a freelance graphic designer, photographer and much more!
Director of Multi-Faith Initiatives
Rev. Eleanor Harrison Bregman is Director of Multi-Faith Initiatives at Romemu. She created the program “Strangers No More” to support interfaith families and to expand the centrality of deep respect for all faith traditions at Romemu. Eleanor is an ordained UCC minister who has most recently served as a Protestant chaplain at Jewish Home Lifecare, a nursing facility in New York City. She has led women’s retreats on deepening spiritual practices, interfaith retreats studying sacred texts with Jews and Christians, and discussion series at other synagogues for non-Jewish parents raising Jewish children. She has worked as a community minister on interfaith issues at Judson Memorial Church and as a chaplain at Union Mission Inc. in Savannah, GA serving the spiritual needs of a diverse community including the homeless, drug addicted, and the hospitalized. Eleanor has been published on Huffington Post and Kveller on topics relating to interfaith family life. She grew up in the Episcopal Church in Savannah, GA, received her Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and her BA in Religion from Princeton University. She lives in New York City with her husband Peter and their three children.
Yeshiva Program Director
Sarah Chandler is a Brooklyn-based Jewish educator, ritualist, artist, activist, and poet. During the year, she is a garden educator with Grow Torah. She teaches, writes, and consults on issues related to Jewish earth-based spiritual practice, farming, and mindfulness. Ordained as a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess), she is also studying as a shamanic healer apprentice at The Wisdom School of S.O.P.H.I.A and Kabbalistic imaginal dream work at The School of Images.
Associate Rabbi & Director of Lifelong Learning
Rabbi Dianne was the first woman from the Syrian Jewish community to be ordained as a Rabbi. She graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1995, where she was awarded several fellowships and a prize for academic excellence. Since that time she has served as an educator, scholar-in-residence, and administrator for multiple organizations in the Jewish world, including CLAL, the Bronfman Youth Fellowship, The Curriculum Initiative and UJA Federation. In 2007 she was named one of fifty top rabbis by the Washington Post online. Besides leading education efforts at Romemu she currently co-teaches the Arts Beit Midrash at the Skirball Institute with Tobi Kahn, teaches courses at UJA Federation a nd writes and speaks regularly on Torah, Jewish values and family life, Jewish ethnicity and Judaism and disabilities. Rabbi Dianne and her journalist husband Larry live on the upper west side of Manhattan and have three children.
Director of Operations
Rachel recently moved back home to New York after spending several years in Saint Paul, MN. After graduating from Macalester College, she started a career in management at Nordstrom, where she worked to improve employee and customer experience as a Corporate Service Experience Liaison. Rachel is excited to bring her enthusiasm for customer experience and engagement to the Romemu staff and the community at large.
Senior Director of Advancement
Ariel comes to Romemu with deep experience building our community and foundation since its inception. Ariel served as interim Executive Director of Romemu in 2008 when the organization went from a part-time concept to a full time dues-paying organization. 10 years later, Ariel joins the team again having most recently served as the Chief Communications and Engagement Officer at Youth INC where she partnered with a Board of 40 corporate professionals to strategize and financially support capacity building services for nonprofits across the city. Prior to that Ariel worked with Virgin and Richard Branson’s Foundation creating philanthropic, brand-aligned campaigns and initiatives. Ariel has built her career to marry resource with need, and now leads that effort for Romemu alongside Jeff Cahn, Rabbi David Ingber, and the incredible Board, staff and community of Romemu.
Ariel has an MBA from Notre Dame and a BA from Rutgers College. She is mother to three energetic and creative sons – Baer, Tal and Or – and wife to a clever rabbi who founded a shul on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Jewish Emergent Network Rabbinic Fellow
Rabbi Mira Rivera received ordination at The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2015 with an M.A. in Jewish Studies and a Certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education.
While providing ministry as a board-eligible chaplain at Mt. Sinai Hospital and DOROT, she came to Romemu for spiritual community. With Romemu member Dr. Renee Hill, she co-founded Harlem Havruta, “a brave space for Jews of Color, allies and co-conspirators” at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. She serves as a chaplain in their Client Choice Pantry Program every Monday afternoon. Rabbi Rivera is an alumnae of Bend the Arc’s Selah Cohort 15 for Jews of Color, a member of the first cohort of the Jewish Women of Color Resilience Circle with Yavilah McCoy and Auburn Seminary, and a co-chair of the rabbinical council of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ). She has taught adults through “Exploring Judaism,” a Rabbinical Assembly program of Jewish learning and experience.
Before seminary, she danced with the Martha Graham Dance Company and Ensemble under Artistic Director Yuriko and studied with ballet master Gabriela Taub Darvash. As teaching artist for National Dance Institute, she reached hundreds of public school children in New York City. In the middle of a performing career and raising a family, she earned a BFA in Film from New York University. She is married to Music Director Jerome Korman and is Eema to Arielle and Benjamin Korman of the Korman-Rivera Family Band.
Rabbi Rivera is indebted to Rabbi Mauricio Balter for mentoring her with generosity in the spirit of Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer z”l.
Director of Membership
Miriam Rubin comes to Romemu with experience in event planning, organizational development and spiritual Jewish Education. She first came to Romemu as a congregant while earning her BA in Environmental Science from Barnard College in 2007. Miriam’s current outlook and style has been greatly informed by training and association with JOFEE Programs (Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education). Miriam grateful to be bringing her skills and passions together in her role on the staff of Romemu.
Hazzan Basya Schechter was ordained January 2016 by ALEPH Cantorial School, and has been the recipient of numerous compositional and project grants from NY State Council of the Arts and the American Music Center. She is also known for her group Pharaoh’s Daughter, a seven-piece neohasidic world music ensemble that travels effortlessly through continents, key signatures, and languages with a genre-bending sound.
Development Operations Manager
Stephanie brings her background in data analysis and revenue management to the Development Operations Manager position. She comes to Romemu from ad sales rep firm AdLarge Media, most recently as Vice President of Digital Content. Her keen attention to detail and creative problem-solving are a welcome addition to the Development department. Stephanie has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University. When she’s not crunching the numbers, Stephanie is a writer, as well as a dance teacher and choreographer.
Senior Director of Programming
Sharon Goldman Wallach has been a proud member of Romemu since 2011 and on the Romemu Board since 2014. Sharon brings over 20 years of experience working in the field of Jewish programming for adults, families, and children of all ages. For 8 of those years she served as the Teen Director and then Managing Director at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at the 92nd Street Y. There she oversaw their renowned lecture series, ran it’s Hebrew School, and co-founded two Jewish summer camps focusing on the arts and community service. Sharon holds an MSW, a Masters in Jewish Studies, and a BS in Family Studies. She lives in Hastings-on-Hudson New York, is the mother of three children who are also growing up in Romemu, and is married to board member Ari Wallach.
Director of Youth & Family Education
Rabbi Janice Elster was ordained as a Rabbi at the Hebrew Union College in 2007, and holds a certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education and a BA Honors in Jewish Studies and Women’s Studies. She is passionate about gender inclusivity and women’s empowerment in Jewish practice and making Jewish texts and tradition come alive. Before joining Romemu, Rabbi Elster served as the Director of Engagement and Family Learning at Beth Sholom Synagogue in Toronto, where she created a new approach to supplementary Jewish education that emphasized experiential learning, small group instruction, and family integration into the broader community.
Youth & Family Program Associate
Mika joins Romemu with experience in Jewish and social justice education through the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement. She holds a BA in Political Science from Wesleyan University, where she was heavily involved with Wesleyan’s Sustainability Office, campus farm, and Jewish community. She is passionate about mindfulness and spirituality in Jewish practice, and in her spare time loves to ferment food and make music.