Our Staff

David Rothenberg: Executive Director

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.


Rivka Weiner: Director of Education

Rivka Weiner has been a Bay Area Jewish educator for over twenty years. She served as the Education Director at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco, as well as Education Director of Temple Israel of Alameda. She has designed, created and delivered a wide variety of youth and family programs and curriculum. She has delivered trainings on Jewish educational topics nationally and internationally Rivka is delighted to rejoin Beth El where she had her Bat Mitzvah


Jodi Gladstone: Director, Early Childhood Education

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 won the Diller Education Award in Early Childhood Education (ECE), an annual award recognizing excellence in Jewish educational programming. 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.

Shanah Kushner: YAFE Assistant Director 


Shanah Kushner comes to Beth El with years of experience and background in Jewish education, having worked at Congregation Beth Sholom, Congregation Emanu-El in the City, Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles and Temple Akiba in Culver City. Shanah has been a teacher and an Assistant Director of Education. She earned her degree in Child and Adolescent Development.


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.


Ali Greenland: Youth Engagement Coordinator

Ali G joins us from Columbus, Ohio. She came to Berkeley to participate in the Urban Adamah Farming Fellowship in 2013, worked as the year-round Kibbutz Director at Camp Newman, and finally found her way to Beth El! Ali has worked as the Youth Advisor for the high school youth group BESTY and middle school youth group Sababa since 2014. In her new role as Youth Engagment Coordinator she continues her work with the youth groups as well as our new education programs Makom and Yala. Ali G. is so happy to be part of the Beth El community and enjoys all of the pizza the East Bay has to offer!

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 a weekend singing gig, 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"!


Kevin Blattel: Business Office Manager

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.


Jaqui McCabe: Membership Accounts Coordinator

Jaqui McCabe, born and raised in the East Bay, grew up as a camper at Camp Tawonga and an active participant within her Temple Jewish Community of Temple Isaiah in Lafayette. The leadership roles she took on as a T.A. and youth group board member aided her decision to attend the University of Arizona where she took on new and exciting roles within the Tucson Jewish Community. Her work in Tucson as a youth group director, Cantorial Intern, Cantorial Soloist, Hillel member, and returning to work at Camp Tawonga, encouraged her to attend Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem Israel for a year. The year turned into four! Jaqui spent four years living in Jerusalem, working, traveling, and embracing every aspect of Israeli life. Upon her return from Israel Jaqui took on a role as Regional Director for BBYO Central Region West followed by a position as a Center Director for a local tutoring center. In Jaqui's spare time she loves traveling around California, reading, being a member of the San Ramon Valley Adult Chorale, and spending time with her family.


Erika Katske: Administrative Coordinator

Erika Katske has been organizing for 20 years with faith, labor, LGBT, and public school communities around social justice issues that impact urban families: racial inequity, healthcare, education, violence, immigration, affordable housing and access to economic opportunity. She was trained in community organizing by both the Midwest Academy and the PICO National Network and worked for more than a decade organizing congregations throughout the Bay Area and across the country using the Congregation-Based Community Organizing (CBCO) model. After taking a year to live and work in Santiago de Chile, she returned to the states as a Changemaker Fellow at the Pacific School of Religion in 2015. Erika has a BA in Sociology and Philosophy from Smith College and recently completed a Masters of Arts in Spirituality and Social Transformation at PSR in May. Her current research and writing is focused at the intersection of theology and economics and specifically looks at reclaiming and re-envisioning the story of the Tower of Babel. She joins the Beth El staff part-time as she applies to continue her studies at the doctoral level. You might recognize her—she is also Rabbi Reuben Zellman's partner.