ALEPH Board

Board Chair Rabbi Jeremy Parnes is the spiritual leader of the Beth Jacob Synagogue in Regina Saskatchewan and received smicha from the Aleph Rabbinic Program in 2012. Jeremy previously spent twenty years working in sales management and training and a decade in the area of community development. He has worked in and for non-profit community groups and has consulted on inner-city issues including community planning, visioning and development projects.

 

Co-Vice Chair Judith Dack had a profound life-changing experience at Elat Chayyim in 1997, and has been passionately serving the flourishing of Jewish Renewal ever since. Currently, she creates spiritual community using the transformative powers of art-making, chanting, meditating and writing in a variety of contexts. She is on the faculty of KolZimra, R. Shefa Gold’s 2 year Chant Leadership Training, an ALEPH program. Judith is a graduate of the first cohorts of DLTI (Davvenen Leadership Training Institute) and Kol Zimra. She has served in various capacities at Elat Chayyim, and more currently at The Isabella Freedman Retreat Center, where she was best known as the yoga teacher and “stand up” fundraiser for many summers and Shavuot retreats. She also serves on the IF/ECCJS Program Advisory Board. Judith is a designer and artist residing in both Chevy Chase, MD and Woodstock, NY. She is the mother of two grown daughters.

 

Co-Vice Chair Janice Rubin is a Houston-based photographer, musician and teacher. For over 30 years, she has served as a cantorial soloist and Jewish educator, facilitating classes in meditation and Jewish music and chant. She is a gradute of DLTI 4. Since 2005, she has created musical services and helped organize ALEPH programs in Houston. She specializes in Yiddish music and performs widely. She sings with hospice patients and serves with the chevra kaddisha. She is also an internationally-published photographer and creator of the touring exhibit and book, The Mikvah Project, which explores the contemporary renaissance of ancient ritual. She is married to artist Charles Wiese, and they have one son.

 

Board Secretary David Rafsky found Jewish Renewal in 1994, and has been involved and serving ever since. He says. “Jewish Renewal changed my life and opened my heart up so much that I became an activist again.” Prior to joining the ALEPH board, he was on the board Ruach Ha Aretz. David also serves his local havurah, Shir Ha Yam in San Diego. He continues a career in sales management in telecommunications.

 

Martin Potrop is currently a tax accountant, with a prior career in Jewish communal service. His career helped reinforce his “wandering jewness,” from the Marin, to Dallas, to Portland JCC’s. After a transformative year in Hawaii, he returned to the Bay Area as San Francisco State University’s Executive Director of Hillel. Recently, while living in Germany for six years, Marty was instrumental in founding the first Jewish community in his locality since Kristalnacht. He also received a fellowship in Stockholm to study the “re-enlivenment of Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe.” Marty says, “I have been involved in Jewish renewal for 30 some odd years, even before I had bumped into ‘Jewish Renewal.’ My spiritual home is the Aquarian Minyan in Berkeley, where I have taken on leadership responsibilities as a councilperson and as the Shomer.” Marty was also among the original founders of Ruach Ha’Aretz.

 

Susan Raskin Abrams spent almost her entire career as a children’s librarian, recently retiring as Supervisor of Children’s Services at the Newton (MA) Free Library. Professionally, she was chair of the New England Roundtable of Children and Teen Librarians, President of the New England Library Association, chair of the children’s roundtable of the Minuteman Library Network, chair of the Jordan-Miller Storytelling Committee for many years, as well as serving on the MA Library Association board. She has been very active in B’nai Or of Boston, serving on the ritual committee, Chesed Committee, fund-raising committee and the Steering Committee. She served on the board of Newton Kesher (a Jewish after-school program) and was a library trustee for 6 years in Framingham, MA. Susan loves to tell stories and has been telling them for about 30 years. She is an ordained Maggid.

 

Rabbi Malka Drucker has been a writer of children’s and adult books for 35 years. Her 22 books include Tom Seaver: Portrait of a Pitcher; PEN award winner White Fire: A Portrait of Women Spiritual Leaders in America; Frida Kahlo; and Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust. When she grew lonely, she went to the Academy for Jewish Religion (New York) and was ordained in 1998 by Dean Shohama Harris Wiener. She is the founder and spiritual leader of HaMakom: The Place for Passionate and Progressive Judaism for the past eleven years. Her ordinations at ALEPH as a mashpi’ah and Sageing Mentor have strengthened her rabbinate and consciousness. Her service on the board is offered in gratitude for what she has learned and continues to learn from the world of Renewal.

 

Rabbi David Ingber is the founder and Spiritual Director of Romemu, NYC’s Jewish Renewal Community. David studied in Orthodox yeshivahs before receiving ordination from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. David is a sought-after national and international leader and educator. His unique, open-hearted and embodied approach to Jewish teaching has taken him from all along the East Coast, to communities in London, Jerusalem, Aspen, and Montreal. He has taught at JTS, Pardes, and Skirball. David spent 10 years studying sacred healing art traditions, including Yoga, Shiatsu, Pilates, Gyrotonics, Kung Fu, and Chen school Tai Chi. He is also a certified Astrologer. Rabbi David promotes a renewed Jewish emphasis on meditative practices and is working for the integration of sacred body practices into mainstream Judaism.

 

Evan Krame brings to the ALEPH Board 30 years of experience as a lawyer and a Jewish community leader, where he leads Shabbat and High Holiday services, and organizes and teaches adult education programs. Evan has been honored by both local and national organizations for his service, most notably receiving the Exemplar of Leadership award from Hillel International, recognizing his work on behalf of the Hillel of George Washington University. Evan is a founding officer of the American friends of the Anne Frank House. He is currently a candidate for smicha in the ALEPH Ordination program and the Hashpa’ah Training. His wife Jodi is an attorney and his adult children Zach and Sarah are in Atlanta for work and study.

 

David Evan Markus has a background in governance and management. A liturgist, musician and poet, David serves as Associate Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth-El of City Island (NYC) with Rabbi Shohama Harris Wiener, while studying toward ordination as a rabbi and mashpia (spiritual director) in the ALEPH Ordination Program. He is also a founding director of the ALEPH Student Board. On the secular side, David is the NY Judiciary’s deputy counsel and presides in civil actions as court attorney-referee in NY Supreme Court. Previously, David was senior counsel to the NY Senate, state deputy director of voter protection for a major presidential campaign, policy associate to environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and director of a healthcare advocacy nonprofit. David earned his JD from Harvard Law School, Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and BA from Williams College.

 

Jade Netanya Ullmann was most recently the Director of Development, Membership and Outreach for Romemu, the NYC Jewish Renewal center. Jade is a 2012 NYC Pipeline Fellow, supporting woman-led for-profit social ventures and has helped the Fetzer Institute develop programs for next generation philanthropists. She sits on the board of the Common Fire Foundation, which completed the highest level green building project on the Eastern US. Through the Threshold Foundation, she has been concerned with restorative justice, co-existence and community organizing. She is also involved in her family foundation. Jade received her BA from Naropa University, where she was an Area Coordinator for Students for a Free Tibet. She has been trained as a Be Present facilitator, exploring the issues of race, gender, power and class. Jade has is certified as a Yoga & Jewish Spirituality teacher through Isabella Friedman’s 18-month training program.

 

Rabbi Greg Wolfe is beginning his 18th year as the spiritual leader of Congregation Bet Haverim in Davis, CA. Greg received his smichah from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (NY) in 1989 and has served congregations in Wisconsin and California. He was also the Director of URJ Camp Swig in Saratoga, CA. Greg’s involvement with ALEPH began six years ago and has been a wonderful part of a heart-opening journey of the soul. He recently received his smichah as a Mashpi’a Ruchani (Spiritual Director) through ALEPH in January 2012. Greg is active in the local chapter of the Celebration of Abraham, bringing Christians, Muslims and Jews together, and finds great joy in making connections and building bridges in all aspects of his life.