Yom Sheini, 2 Tammuz 5777
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Rabbi Alan Freedman
Senior Rabbi

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Rabbi Amy B. Cohen
Rabbi Educator

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Abby Gostein
Cantorial Soloist

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Jennifer Braham
Director of Member Engagement

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Jennifer Braham joined the Temple Beth Shalom team in January 2016. As the Director of Membership Engagement, Jennifer emphasizes a strong, connected, and vibrant Temple community in which members and congregants find meaningful engagement opportunities and roles within their Jewish journey.

Jennifer earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and then moved to Colorado and earned her master’s degree in Human Development & Family Studies with an emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy. After graduate school, Jennifer utilized her therapeutic skills to counsel youth, adults, and families affected by trauma and abuse.

Jennifer moved to Austin where she spent six years engaging the greater Austin community in various volunteer roles within the school district as the Coordinator of Volunteer Services with the nonprofit Communities In Schools of Central Texas. Jennifer served on the board of Directors of Volunteers In Austin (DOVIA), and has a passion for enhancing and building the professional field of volunteer management and community engagement.

Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and exploring all the fun that Austin has to offer.

 

 

 

   

Patti Bridwell
Temple Administrator

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Blossom Cohon
Director of Youth Engagement

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Blossom finished her undergraduate degree in psychology from Western Washington University in 2008 and immediately began roaming. After living with her elderly grandfather in mid-western Kansas for three months, she promptly left for Australia for the next three to live with her brother and sister-in-law.  In early 2009, she claimed her Birthright trip and opted to stay in Israel for seven months, studying Hebrew and working as a hotel maid on Kibbutz Tzuba. 

In 2010, after a five-month stint in Los Angeles followed by another month in Israel and Europe, Blossom began her Master’s in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies with a focus on Women’s and Gender Studies, at Brandeis University.  In the summer of 2011, she completed the intensive Hebrew immersion program at the Middlebury Language School. 

After graduation in 2012, Blossom returned home to Seattle to pursue other interests including being the nanny for her newborn niece and training in the aerial arts (namely silks, duo trapeze, and acro yoga) and also completed a teacher-training certification for "Intro to Aerial Arts".  Additionally, she taught Hebrew and Judaic Studies at her home synagogue in Seattle.

Blossom joined our team in August of 2014 as the part-time Youth Director, and as a teacher in our Religious and Hebrew schools.  A year later she came aboard full-time as the Director of Youth Engagement.  

 

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James C. (JC) Dahlberg
Facilities

Born in Butte, Montana, JC has been an Austinite since 1992 and has been with Temple Beth Shalom since our building started coming into existence. Prior to working with Beth Shalom, JC was an archeologist for almost 30 years. JC says that Temple Beth Shalom is his "comfort zone", and he feels best when helping out the community and the people he knows of as home. JC is a huge fan of UT athletics and music, and when he's not helping out at Temple on the weekend you can find him rooting for his favorite sports teams or attending music events around town. 

 
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Kelly Finkel
Director of B'nai Mitzvah Studies

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Kelly Finkel joined the Temple Beth Shalom team in August, 2008. As Director of Hebrew and B’nai Mitzvah Studies, she works closely with our families and students in grades 3-7 to prepare them for this stop on their Jewish journey.

Kelly previously worked at the Austin Jewish Academy for 10 years as a classroom teacher, Judaic program coordinator, and assistant director. In January, 2007, Kelly took a break from full-time teaching to pursue a Master's Degree in Jewish Studies with an emphasis in Jewish education. Since arriving in Austin in 1993, she also has worked for Congregation Agudas Achim as a religious school teacher and T'filah leader. Kelly received the title of Reform Jewish Educator (RJE) in 2011, recognizing her achievement of academic and professional standards of excellence as an educational leader.

Kelly has served as a volunteer on numerous committees for JCAA educational and holiday events. She is an active member with the Women's Storybook Project as part of the National Council of Jewish Women and Temple Beth Shalom teams. Her husband David is a professional photographer. Her older son Benjamin is a computer scientist living and working in Seattle, and her younger son Aaron is a mechanical engineer

 

 

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Jordan Magidson
Director of Youth Programming

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Jordan Magidson is delighted to serve as the Director of Youth Programming at Temple Beth Shalom. Jordan is in charge of all K-12 educational programming, including our Religious and Hebrew Schools. Jordan comes to Temple Beth Shalom from Seattle, WA, where she was part of an exciting pilot through the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Jordan worked jointly with URJ Camp Kalsman and Temple De Hirsch Sinai to bring more experiential education to both programs. Born and raised in Detroit, Jordan grew up as an active member of her congregation. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2005 with a BA in English literature with minors in Journalism and History. She went on to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she earned an MA in Jewish Education from the Thea Hirsch School of Education. Jordan is no stranger to the South as upon her graduate in 2008, she joined the staff of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life as an Associate Director of Education. In her spare time Jordan loves to explore all the amazing things that Austin has to offer (with her companion, Bailey The Dog).  

 

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Jayme Dale Mallindine
Education Coordinator

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Jayme Dale (JD) Mallindine has been with the Temple since the fall of 2015, joining us from the North Carolina Appalachian mountains by way of Rhode Island. JD earned her Bachelor’s degree in 2010 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a double major in Psychology and Religious Studies. After graduating she moved to Providence, Rhode Island, and was the Youth Coordinator for social justice non-profit, Rhode Island for Community & Justice (RICJ), where she ran year-round afterschool peer leadership programming and RICJ's youth leadership summer camp. In RI she also served as an instructor for the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, where she won "Teacher of the Year".

JD moved to Austin in 2013 to study interactive media as a graduate student at the University of Texas (UT). While at UT she developed and coordinated peer leadership programs and social justice retreats while working at the Leadership and Ethics Institute in the Dean of Students office. In the summer of 2015, after receiving her Master's, she worked for an educational video game company and ran summer camps that taught middle school girls to make video games.  JD is certified in "Positive Youth Development", "Collaborative Leadership for Community, Religious, and Labor Leaders",  and "Community Dialogue Moderation".

She brings with her a love of crafting holistic and dynamic systems and programs that help organizations and people grow for the purpose of creating strong, inclusive, and loving communities. She is also a huge nerd, and is very active with Austin's Girls Who Code community.

 
   

Maddie Pfleuger
Receptionist

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Marissa Wright
Clergy Assistant

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