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.
 


Jodi Gladstone: Director, Early Childhood Education

Jodi Gladstone has been teaching young children for over 20 years. She is currently the 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 three-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.




​Beckett Sheeder: Camp Kee Tov & Youth Director

It was widely believed that when Beckett walked off into the sunset on Family Night back in 2016 it was the last we would see of him. But oh were we wrong… the fuzzy milk, Eric Schoen song sessions and the chance to spend a couple more summers with all his amazing friends was just too much for him to pass up. He packed up his car with all his earthly possessions, said goodbye to Louisiana, and sped back to Berkeley as fast as legally allowed (80mph on the highway in Texas…). 

Beckett is no stranger to CKT, having been introduced to the ruach as a little Habonimer back in 1998. He loved camp as a camper but found his true calling in 2007 when he joined the greatest group of camp counselors this universe has ever seen. In his eleven years on staff, including five years as a PD, Beckett has had the opportunity to work in Rishonim, Habonim, Mapilim, and Gesher and cannot be more excited to begin his reign as Director.

 

Juliet Spear Gardner: Director of K-5th Learning and Engagement & BENS Administrator

Juliet grew up and became a Bat Mitzvah at Beth El and was a camper then counselor in Camp Kee Tov. She completed her B.A. at Columbia University, and got her teaching credential at Mills College. She has taught students of all ages in public and supplementary Jewish education and served as the Director of Education at Temple Beth Torah in Fremont. Previously, she worked as the Clergy Assistant for Beth El. She is the coordinator for Chug Mishpacha, Beth El's Saturday Family School, and teaches in Kadima. She is also a BENS parent! In her spare time, she likes to cook, craft (someday I’ll finish my first quilt), and develop family costumes. She is excited to be back on the admin staff at Beth El!
 



Brianna Sommer: Director of 6th-12th Learning and Engagement

Brianna Sommer graduated with an MSc in Outdoor, Environmental, and Sustainability Education from the University of Edinburgh, focusing her dissertation on Eco-Jewish education. During the masters, she was elected President of the University's Jewish Society, as well as elected the Executive Officer for the Israel Engagement society, in which she worked with and represented the Jewish and Israeli student community. After moving to the Bay in 2018, Brianna worked as a Lead Outdoor Mentor with Wilderness Torah and as the Director of Club J, the fourth and fifth grade afterschool program, with JCC East Bay. Her current role at the JCC as Director of Youth and Teen Programs continues her responsibility to cultivate a vibrant community, serving and engaging youth. She is an avid nature photographer, dancer, and an enthusiastic krav maga-er.



​Emily Yerlick: Associate Director of Early Childhood Education

 
After becoming bat mitzvah at Congregation Beth El, attending countless summers as a Camp Kee Tov camper, counselor and director, Emily is thrilled to be working on the Beth El Nursery School (BENS) team! Early Childhood Education has always been a passion of hers, and she is beyond excited to get to work with the youngest members of our growing community, helping them discover the beauty and wonder of their surroundings, their relationships, and Judaism. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in General Biology and Education from UC San Diego in 2010, completed her ECE units in 2019, and participated Alternative Jewish Resource Specialist with the Jewish Community Federation during the 2019/20 school year. Additionally, she supports ECE Director, Jodi Gladstone, in all Early Childhood Engagement events and planning!

Outside of work, you can find Emily participating in Tribe events at Congregation Beth El, hiking throughout Tilden with her husband (another Beth El native and Camp Kee Tov alum!), and their doggo, Riley. She loves to cook, gather with her friends and family and enjoy the Westbrae Biergarten whenever possible!!  


Ashleigh Rubinsky: Community Engagement Manager

Over the past 10 years, Ashleigh has worked in and supported Jewish organizations in the Bay Area, most of that time providing operational and administrative support to early care and education and Jewish summer camp programs. Her professional passion extends from her personal values of supporting families with small children and the rich Jewish communities she grew up in. When not working she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Ashleigh holds a B.A. from UCLA.


 

Lisa Ramos: Operations Manager

Lisa Ramos is an SF and Berkeley native and Berkeley High School alumna. She studied illustration and painting at California College of the Arts, Oakland and FIT, New York, NY. She has over 20 years of experience in office and operational administration. She's also an adventure traveler, avid hiker, and freelance content writer.


 

Ariel Axelrad-Hausman: YAFE Administrator

Ariel may be new to Beth El but she's no stranger to Jewish life. She has Congregation Bet Haverim to thank for that- the congregation in Davis where she became a Bat Mitzvah. Ariel attended Camp Newman as a child and has worked 3 summers at Camp Tawonga as a nanny. Ariel is a student at UC Berkeley majoring in Social Welfare. Ariel loves babies, traveling, and rearranging her furniture.​


 

Marlee Marshall: Clergy Assistant

Marlee's a Bay Area transplant but is no stranger to Jewish life. She grew up at Temple Akiba, in Culver City, where she became a Bat Mitzvah and was involved in youth programs. Marlee studied Psychology and Music at UC Santa Cruz. She spent the last four years working as a Prek-8th grade Music Educator with various schools throughout the bay area. When Marlee isn't at Beth El, she is playing piano, singing, baking bread, painting, gardening, or wandering through nature.


 

Alana Becker: Community Engagement Administrator

Alana grew up in the Bay Area and worked in various jobs in account management & customer service in technology over the last 10 years. She has a B.A. in English from Colorado College and loves connecting with the Jewish community. Outside of work, you’ll find Alana hiking, camping, and backpacking around California with her husband, gathering with family and friends, and devouring new books

 


Rachel Kator: Camp Kee Tov Administrator

Rachel, or "RayKay", grew up attending Camp Kee Tov and became a Bat Mitzvah at Congregation Beth El. She graduated from Mills College with a Major in Spanish. Rachel wears a couple of hats here at Beth El. She manages Communications at Beth El, and also works as the administrator for Camp Kee Tov. After 4 years as a Program Director at Kee Tov, she has enjoyed working in an administrative role and is excited to get to know campers of all ages this summer. While she isn’t at Beth El, Rachel enjoys spending time in nature with her friends and family.