Our Staff

David Rothenberg: Executive Director

David Rothenberg

David and his wife Lorraine have been members of Congregation Beth El for fifteen years. Their children, Isaac and Isabella, were b'nai mitzvah at Beth El. Isabella is a counselor at Camp Kee Tov. David was born in Chicago, grew up in Southern California, and was a Bar Mitzvah at Temple Ahavat Shalom. He attended Hebrew High School at Temple Judea, where he played the role of Will Parker in an all-Hebrew version of Oklahoma!  The Los Angeles Times described the musical quality of his stand-out performance of "Everything's Up to Date in Kansas City" as "OK". Professionally, David has served in a variety of management positions helping mission-driven organizations adapt, grow and succeed.  David was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation for National Progress, the non-profit organization that publishes Mother Jones Magazine.  David also served as the Executive Director of Playworks, a national youth services organization dedicated to improving the health & well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. Before embarking on a career in non-profit management, David was the president and CEO of Nolo Press, the nation’s largest and most trusted provider of legal tools and information for consumers and small business. David began his career with global public accounting and consulting firm Deloitte, LLP where he worked with companies in the consumer finance, healthcare, and entertainment fields, in addition to serving nonprofit and government clientele. David studied marketing and accounting at the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley. He lives in Berkeley with his wonderful wife Lorraine and their two usually amazing children.

 

Kevin Blattel: Business Office Manager

Jim Offel

Kevin Blattel has extensive experience with running temple financial operations coming to us from Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland. Kevin grew up in the "borscht belt" of West Los Angeles and then Beverly Hills, attending Los Angeles Hebrew High School before moving on to U.C. Berkeley. Later he graduated in the inaugural class of the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA program, focusing on non-profit operations at Columbia in New York and financial operations at Haas School of Business. If you cut his wrists you would probably find it runs Blue & Gold. He is passionate about all kinds of music, proficient with a variety of instruments and having played as a teenager with many well known musicians in the LA area. As an avid backpacker, he has been camping with the same 6 friends in Desolation Wilderness every year for the last 35 years which has evolved into a gourmet backpacking trip. Thrilled to be at Beth El, he asks you to stop by and say hello if you want to talk CAL sports, music or how to make french press coffee at ten thousand feet.

 

   

Jodi Gladstone: Interim Director, Early Childhood Education

Maguy McGuire
Jodi Gladstone has been teaching young children for over 20 years. She is currently the Interim Director and Jewish Resource Specialist at Beth El Nursery School. Jodi has been a member of the BENS staff for 10 years. She has taught in the 3 year old and four year old classrooms as well as the Kindergarten class of Kadima. Before moving to the Bay Area in 2003, Jodi was the Artist in Residence for Pinat Shorashim, a hands on learning center and biblical park located at Kibbutz Gezer in Israel. There she created curriculum and community art experiences for children, teens, families and educators based on nature and Torah. She enjoys combining her love of art, nature and Judaism to make meaningful and memorable educational experiences for children and their families.

Jodi holds a Bachelor in Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and attended the WUJS post-Graduate Institute, in Arad, Israel in 1994 where she studied Hebrew and Judaism. She is a graduate of the first cohort of the Jewish Early Childhood Education Institute (JECELI). She received her Jewish Early Childhood Education certification from Gratz College. Jodi has been a nature and art materials workshop presenter at Jewish ECE conferences nationwide. She can be found dancing and making whimsical works of art in her spare time. She lives with her husband, Gordon and their two sons, Gefen and Nitzan.
   

Emily Schnitzer: Camp Kee Tov & Youth Program Director

Emily joined the Beth El staff after many years of being a part of our community. She became a Bat Mitzvah in 2001, attended Berkeley Midrasha and has enjoyed countless summers filled with ruach at Camp Kee Tov. After spending her childhood summers as a camper at Kee Tov, Emily happily joined the staff in 2003 to continue her experience. She spent 1 year as the Giborim Rosh before moving to 2 years as the Program Director. She could not be more excited to take this next step as the Kee Tov Administrator. Emily graduated from UC San Diego in December of 2010, studying Biology and Education. She hopes to return to school to earn her Teaching Credential and Masters in Early Childhood Education before entering a Bay Area school district as an Elementary School Teacher. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking in the greater Bay Area, spending time with family and friends and attending country music concerts. Emily is eager to be part of the Beth El staff, and looks forward to continuing her involvement in the Kee Tov and Beth El community.
   

Mimi Abraham: Communications & Operations Manager

Mimi initially came to Beth El after moving to Berkeley in 2012 and finding out that a number of her new friends were already members. Prior to this she lived in Mexico where she worked independently as a web and graphic designer, as well as an editor of a tourist magazine. All these skills lent themselves to her coming on board to support Beth El with its marketing needs. In Los Cabos, there weren't many opportunities to participate in Jewish life, but she still tried to hold on to tradition with the help of Pesach care packages sent from the states. Over 60 years ago, her grandparents helped found Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Maryland, so it was obviously synchronicity! In her spare time, she practices "chaos gardening' (ask her), has weekend singing gigs, and micro-manages her teenage sons' life. She is thrilled to work in a Jewish environment and coordinate with staff and congregants to get their message "out there"! 
   

Allie Liepman: Camp Kee Tov & BENS Administrator

Allie joined the Beth El staff in Fall 2014, but worked seasonally at Beth El since 2012. Allie calls herself a Beth El "Lifer". She celebrated many life cycle events at Beth El including her baby naming, Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation, and Graduation. Allie graduated from the University of Oregon in June 2011 with a degree in Family and Human Services. She has worked at Camp Kee Tov for the past 11 years and is very happy to continue be part of the Beth El community and witness Kee Tov Ruach in her new role. In her free time Allie plays softball, rides her new bike, and enjoys spending time with friends and family.
   

Aliza Minkina: Membership Accounts Coordinator

Aliza Minkina joined the Beth El staff in August 2014 after moving to the Bay Area from Seattle. She was born in Russia and immigrated to Seattle as a child. In Seattle, she was actively involved in a reform congregation and worked as a youth group advisor in her synagogue. Aliza graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in international studies and a focus in Hebrew and Judaic studies. As part of her studies, she has lived in Israel and worked on Israeli coexistence projects. She was attracted to Beth El because of its tight-knit Jewish community. Aliza also teaches 4th grade in Beth El's Kadima and 10th grade electives at Midrasha. She loves languages, and is fluent in English, Hebrew, and Russian and is learning Spanish. She plays volleyball on weekends and loves exploring new neighborhoods across the Bay Area.
 
   

Ben Bernard-Herman: Administrative Coordinator

Ben joined the Beth El staff in the summer of 2015. He was born and raised in Oakland and is happy to return to the Bay Area Jewish community. Ben graduated from Swarthmore College with a degree in sociology and anthropology. As part of his education, he conducted fieldwork in the Middle East on food culture and globalization. In his spare time, Ben can be found hiking, cooking, and with his nose in a book.