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meet the bhs staff

Our staff is here to make your experience at BHS a warm and welcoming time. We look forward to meeting new members and invite you to contact us with any questions, interest or for assistance.

If you have any initial questions or need to be directed to the right person feel free to give us a call 718-522-2070.
Rabbi Serge Lippe
Senior Rabbi

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718-522-2070 ext. 129
Our much-loved spiritual leader and teacher, came to BHS in 1997. Ordained in 1991 at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) he graduated with honors from the University of Chicago with a B.A. degree in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Prior to joining BHS, he served for six years as Associate Rabbi at Temple Solel in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Rabbi Lippe has also served as faculty member at URJ Camp SWIG and Camp Eisner, and has been a regional rabbinic adviser to the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY). In May 2016, Rabbi Lippe will be awarded his Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, by HUC-JIR in recognition of his 25 years of service in the Reform rabbinate. He and his wife, Deb Speyer, are native New Yorkers and they live in the neighborhood with their three children.

 

Rabbi Molly Kane
Associate Rabbi - Educator

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718-522-2070 ext. 130
Rabbi Kane was ordained in May 2011. While at Hebrew Union College, she served as rabbinic intern at Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives in Park Slope, as student rabbi for Temple Israel in Uniontown, PA and as a chaplain intern at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. Rabbi Kane earned a B.A. from Brandeis University and an M.A. in Nonprofit Management at The New School. After graduating from Brandeis, she worked for five years as an informal Jewish educator in the Youth Department of the Union for Reform Judaism and served as the NFTY-New York Regional Advisor and the Director of Youth and Informal Education for the Greater New York Council. Rabbi Kane has also held senior staff positions at both Eisner and Kutz Camps and the NFTY in Israel Program. She is proud to have roots in Chicago, Illinois and Westport, Connecticut and has lived in Park Slope since 2004. She enjoys writing and performing stand-up comedy and comedic songs, riding her bike around Brooklyn, baking, and spending time with family and friends.

Check out Rabbi Kane's first podcast for the Jewish Ed Lad click here

 

Rabbi Hara Person
Adjunct Rabbi
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A child of our congregation, Rabbi Hara Person is the Publisher of CCAR Press and Director of Strategic Communications for the CCAR. Publications include the new Reform machzor, Mishkan HaNefesh, various versions of Mishkan T’filah, and The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic, named Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in 2011.  She also oversees the publication of the CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly as well as the development of apps and ebooks.

Rabbi Person was ordained in 1998 from HUC-JIR, after graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College (1986) and receiving an MA in Fine Arts from New York University’s International Center of Photography (1992).  

Before coming to the CCAR, Rabbi Person was the Editor in Chief of URJ Books and Music, where she was responsible for the revision of The Torah: A Modern Commentary (2005) and the publication of many significant projects, including the Aleph Isn’t Tough adult Hebrew series, the Parashah Booklet series, and Mitkadem: Hebrew for Youth as well as several award-winning children’s books. While at URJ, she was also the Managing Editor of The Torah: A Women's Commentary, named the National Jewish Book Award Book of the Year in 2008.

Rabbi Person is the author of Stories of Heaven and Earth: Bible Heroes in Contemporary Children's Literature, That You May Live Long: Caring for Your Aging Parents, Caring for Yourself (co-editor), and The Mitzvah of Healing (editor).  Her essays and poems have been published in various anthologies and journals, including Bridges, upstreet, Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture, Women and Judaism, The Continuum Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature, and The Women’s Haftarah Commentary.

She is also the high holy day rabbi of Congregation B'nai Olam, Fire Island Pines, NY, and is the Adjunct Rabbi at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue. Rabbi Person is the mother of two lovely young adult people.

 

Cantor Bruce Ruben
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718-522-2070 ext.128
Cantor Ruben earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Masters in Religious Studies from Indiana University. Bruce's own journey toward the cantorate began as a casual visitor to the Hillel at Indiana University, where the rabbi discovered that he was a voice major. Soon he was helping to lead services and found the experience inspiring. He subsequently attended the Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary and graduated with a Bachelor of Sacred Music and was made a cantor.

Bruce served as Cantor of Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City for twenty-four years (1982-2006), where he organized special music programs with professional and volunteer choirs; wrote liturgical music and commissioned and premiered new works by leading composers; taught adult education courses and developed innovative services for increased congregational participation. During that time he taught over 1500 B'nai Mitzvah, and scores of adult education courses. While serving full-time at Shaaray Tefila, Bruce also completed a Ph.D. in Jewish history and taught for over a decade at Hunter College in the History Department.  His book, "Max Lilienthal: The Making of the American Rabbinate" is published by Wayne State University Press.  His trilogy of psalms settings: "Circle of Life" is published by G. Schirmer and recorded by Essential Voices USA.

In 2006, Cantor Ruben became Director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of Hebrew Union College, where he oversees the creation of a new Core Curriculum.   

Bruce shares his love for music with his wife Judith Clurman, an Emmy and Grammy-nominated conductor, vocal educator and choral specialist. Their son Ari is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

  

Sue Gold

Sue Gold
Executive Director

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718-522-2070 ext. 122

Sue Gold joined the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue as Executive Director in November 2012, after having served in the same capacity for 6 years at Temple Chaverim of Plainview, Long Island NY. Sue grew up in Rockville Centre and attended Connecticut College in New London where she received a B.A. with high honors in Anthropology and then completed a Masters in Public Health degree from Yale University. She spent 20 years in Health Care Finance before pursuing her passion of working in the field of Jewish communal service, first as Adult Services Director then as Director of Community Partnerships both at the Sid Jacobson JCC in East Hills, NY where she authored and directed several grant programs and supervised many administrative and supportive services personnel. Sue is a Senior Member of NATA – the National Association of Temple Administrators – and serves on the national NATA board.

Sue and her husband have two sons, both accomplished musicians. Sue’s office door is always open and she invites you to call or come by with any suggestions, concerns or just to say hello and enjoy a cup of coffee.

 

Amy Leszman
Director of Member Engagement

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718-522-2070 ext. 124
Amy was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and studied History, Political Science, and Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. During college, she spent a semester abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, solidifying her love and passion for Israel. In 2011, she fulfilled her life-long dream of living in New York City when she left the mountains for the Big Apple. For the last three years, Amy worked at Congregation Rodeph Sholom on the Upper West Side of Manhattan as the Assistant to the Directors of Operations, Membership Services, and Community Engagement. She lives nearby in Park Slope where she enjoys going on bike rides through Prospect Park and working at the food coop. Amy is delighted to be a part of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue community.

  

 
Natalia Arad
Office Manager

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718-522-2070 ext. 121

 

 

Pam Karlin
Director of Early Childhood Education

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718-522-2070 ext. 136
Pam Karlin received her BA from Vassar College and an MFA from Brandeis University. She graduated with departmental honors from Brooklyn College with a Masters in Early Childhood Education, receiving special recognition for demonstrated leadership and commitment to community. After many years working in classrooms as a preschool teacher, she became the Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education at Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope. Pam is also a member of the adjunct faculty in the Graduate Department of Early Childhood Education at Brooklyn College where she teaches a course in Families, Communities and Social Studies in Early Childhood Education. She brings a particular passion for meaningful Jewish education in early childhood and in active, exploratory curriculum development. Pam comes from a family of teachers, and is especially proud of her own family – husband Joshua and her two sons Jacob and Joey. She looks forward to watching BHS families and their children grow and learn for many years to come!

 

Jen Kendall
Assistant Preschool Director

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718-522-2070 ext. 131

Jen Kendall is thrilled to be returning to the BHS Preschool as the Assistant Preschool Director. Jen has also been teaching Kindergarten in our Religious School for the past five years. Originally from Canada, Jen taught for several years in Toronto – at a Cooperative Nursery School, and also at the Shearim Hebrew Day School, where she taught 8th grade in their Special Education program. At SHDS, her work focused on children with various learning differences, as well as with students on the autism spectrum. Jen received her BFA in Art Education from Concordia University and her MA in both Special and Early Childhood Education from the University of Toronto. In between degrees, Jen lived in Israel – working and living on Kibbutz Beit Hashita near Haifa and taking classes at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Jen lives in the neighborhood with her two daughters, Madison and Maya. Madison, in fact was in the first Preschool class in 2002.

 

Rebecca Leighton
Assistant Director of the Parenting Center

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718-522-2070 ext. 161

Rebecca is delighted to be working with the youngest members of our community through our Parenting Center. She earned her bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, in chilly Maine, majoring in psychology. She continued her studies at Bank Street, receiving a master's degree in early childhood general and special education. Particularly interested in the emotional well being of young children, her thesis project focused on using relaxation techniques in the preschool classroom. Rebecca began working at BHS Preschool in 2003, prior to that she taught at Brooklyn Friends School. A lifelong resident of the Heights, she first became involved with the synagogue through a playgroup her mother ran here. Rebecca now lives in the neighborhood with her husband Max and their two children.

 

Jessica Braginsky
Religious School Principal

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718-522-2070 ext.142

Jessica has been a professional Jewish educational leader since 2007 and before that held extensive volunteer leadership positions in the Jewish community including President of a 600 woman strong Hadassah chapter. A product of religious school herself, Jessica has been on a journey of life-long Jewish learning. She earned her Master’s degree in Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary in May, 2014, which she attended part-time as she worked and raised her four sons. Besides having experience as a religious school teacher and youth group leader, in her past life Jessica was a lawyer for Legal Services working for justice for Brooklyn’s poor. Jessica finds her work most rewarding because it unites her love of and respect for children and her passion for Judaism. She lives in Port Washington with her husband, two of her four sons (the other two are in college and Israel) and their dog, Yofi. On any given Shabbat afternoon you can find Jessica kayaking, entertaining friends and family or playing hours of family board games.

 

Abby Johnson
Religious School Education Administrator/Lifelong Learning Liaison

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Abby Johnson grew up in Rochester, NY. She recently moved to Brooklyn after graduating from Vassar College with departmental honors in English and a correlate in women’s studies. While at Vassar, she was the president of the Vassar Jewish Union for two years. She has also spent the last three summers coordinating reading and writing camps at Writers & Books, a literary center in Rochester, NY. In her free time, she loves reading, writing, and listening to musical soundtracks. She is thrilled to be able to combine her administrative background and her love of Jewish education as the Education Administrator for BHS.  

 

 

Marilyn Fletcher
Preschool Registrar and Coordinator
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Marilyn Fletcher is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.  Prior to entering the world of education -- as a tutor and an adult-literacy teacher -- Marilyn worked as an award-winning broadcast news and entertainment producer. She is also a singer songwriter, with a passion for photography and painting.  From a long line of educators, Marilyn is excited to be carrying on the family tradition as part of the BHS Preschool Team. She currently resides in Manhattan and she is a native of Washington, D.C.

  

Isaiah Tanenbaum 
BHGSY Adviser
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This is my tenth year teaching at Brooklyn Heights Synagogue. We have a lot of very deep ground to explore in 6th Grade, and I can't wait to dive in. I'm especially looking forward to role-playing, art projects, writing activities, and many, many discussions with your children. I'll also be serving as the Youth Group Advisor for BHGSY. When I'm not at BHS, I'm photographing or performing in plays, managing the office of a luthier (violin-maker) in Park Slope, or hanging out at home with my wife Jessa, our cat Juno, and my extensive collection of board games.

 

 

Dave Ramos
Head Custodian / Building Superintendent

Dave is a Bronx native with boiler, fitness, plumbing and electrical experience and certification. He worked as a super in a 200 apartment complex in MA before joining BHS. He also worked as a DJ, getting hundreds of people on their feet and dancing in clubs and private parties. He has a daughter and two sons; the elder (Nevin) is the BHS swing custodian.

 

 

     
Our contract employees:
John Moore, our daytime security guard

 







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131 Remsen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
t:718.522.2070, f:718.522.3976
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Volunteering at the Shelter is not hard or scary. We give you very clear instructions and there are always people to help.  For more information about our shelter, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .