Staff

Sherri Levine, Executive Director, comes from a background in law, advocacy, and public service. As a long time Kolot member, and past board member, Sherri brings a deep institutional knowledge and a profound commitment to our community and mission. After graduating from NYU Law School, she worked for a union-side labor law firm, Assemblymember Jim Brennan in his 7th Avenue office, and as the Associate Director of the Stein Center for Law and Ethics at Fordham Law School. She has been an active member of Kolot for almost 18 years, having served on the Board and Executive Committee. Her children both went through CLP and became B'nei Mitzvah at Kolot, and she has helped to facilitate various Congregation-wide efforts, including the Affiliation, Values Statement, By-Laws and What’s Next? processes. Contact executivedirector@kolotchayeinu.org.

Franny SilvermanFranny Silverman, Director of Learning and Action, has taught in formal and informal Jewish settings across the country for over fifteen years including synagogues, seminaries, conferences, camps and living rooms. Franny is a founding member, and former Associate Artistic Director, of Storahtelling with whom she has co-created countless original works for stage and ritual settings, performing on stages and bimas from Albany to Anchorage.  She has performed with a number of downtown theater companies, and is a member of Northwoods Ramah Theater Company in residence at Camp Ramah Wisconsin and Brooklyn-based Brave New World Rep, and is co-founder of warner|shaw. As an educator at Kolot Chayeinu, Franny has taught and developed curriculum for Kolot K'tanim, Kitah Bet and Gimmel, and What's Up, Kolot's arts-based social justice program for 3rd year B'nai Mitzvah students, and is honored to be leading the Children's Learning Program as it continues to grow and develop. She writes for the Sh'ma Journal SBlog and she is the beaming mother of Sunhillow Belle, who celebrated her Simchat Bat at Kolot. Contact Franny at franny@kolotchayeinu.org.

Alyssa Abrahamson, Main Office Administrative Assistant, originally hails from Minneapolis and although she loves and has lived in NYC for almost 14 years, she is a Midwestern girl at heart. Alyssa holds a B.A. from Boston University and a MA in Jewish Education from The Jewish Theological Seminary. Alyssa has worked in the Jewish community for several years and has previously been the Director of Arts and Jewish Culture at The 14th Street Y and Director of Innovation at Birthright Israel NEXT. Alyssa is an award-winning and professional burlesque performer known as Minnie Tonka, and with her duet The Schlep Sisters, and has been dazzling audiences across the globe since 2004. Alyssa is also part of the Leadership Team of Jewrotica, which a pluralistic and sex-positive organization that explores the intersection of Judaism and sexuality. Contact Alyssa at alyssa@kolotchayeinu.org.

Hadar Ahuvia, Assistant Director of the Children's Learning Program, has been dancing and performing and teaching in NYC since 2010. She grew up in Israel and Florida, finished high school in Honolulu and San Francisco, and attended Sarah Lawrence College. She has been delighted to work at Kolot since 2011, where she began as teacher for Kolot's youngest- Kolot Ktanim.  Now, she teaches gimmel, Bnai Mitzvah, and is Assistant Director of Youth Education.  She can be reached at hadar@kolotchayeinu.org

Kendell Pinkney, B'nai Mitzvah Coordinator, is a Brooklyn-based theatre writer and freelance creative. A graduate of Oberlin College and New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, Kendell’s collaborative works and songs have been performed at venues such as 54 Below, Two Rivers Theatre Company, and Joe’s Pub, to name a few. When not writing for the stage, Kendell coordinates Kolot's ever-expanding B'nai Mitzvah events, co-teaches Kitah Daled in Kolot's Children's Learning Program, and is involved with all things Jewish in and around New York City. As a side note, if you ever want to grab a coffee and have a rap session on Second Temple Jewish Literature, reach out by way of kendell@kolotchayeinu.org.

Toussaint Washington, Location Manager

Ethan Cohen, Communications Coordinator, studied English and history at Vassar College. An author, playwright, and student-historian, he has evaluated scripts for and organized the archives of several theatre and literary companies, mostly in downtown Manhattan. As a Grace Paley Organizing Fellow with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), he co-facilitates anti-Islamophobia trainings, plans political actions and community events, and builds grassroots membership and support. He tutors high school New Yorkers and house manages evenings at Dixon Place. You may have seen his absurdist plays at the 13th St. Repertory Company and the New York New Works Theatre Festival, or read his stories & poems in Fish Food, East Coast Ink, Danse Macabre, and elsewhere. Contact ethan@kolotchayeinu.org

Jessica Tolbert, CLP Administrative Assistant,  is a recent transplant both to Brooklyn and to Kolot. A native of Texas and Alabama, she moved to New York in 2015 after completing her B.A. at Oberlin College, a double major in Creative Writing and Psychology and a minor in Jewish Studies. Her love of diasporic Jewish culture led her through a series of internships and jobs with a variety of Jewish organizations before she landed at Kolot. She loves poetry, homemade perfume, and handmade books. In additional to helping Hadar and Franny as an administrator, she will be assistant teaching Kitah Hay this year. She is so excited to be a part of the Kolot community! Contact Jessica@kolotchayeinu.org.

 

Keren Soffer Sharon, Teen Coordinator, is a queer, mixed-race, Mizrahi organizer, educator, and youth worker from Queens. When she’s not eating froyo at Culture with Kolot teens, she spends most of her time at Jews for Racial and Economic Justice [JFREJ], where she founded and leads the organization’s Mizrahi Caucus for Jews from the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, and the Balkans, and coordinates the Grace Paley Organizing Fellowship for Jews of Color, Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews, and Jews raised poor/working class. For over eight years, Keren has worked at organizations like the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, Girls for Gender Equity, and the YWCA of the City of New York doing violence prevention, youth development, and social justice education. Throughout her career, she has worked most closely with low-income youth of color, LGBTQ, court-involved, pregnant/parenting, and sexually exploited youth populations. In the past few years, Keren has begun to work more closely within her own diverse Jewish community to challenge the way we think about whiteness and Ashkenazi culture as the dominant Jewish experience. She received her B.A. in Gender & Sexuality Studies from New York University. You can reach Keren at Keren.H.Sharon@gmail.com.

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