Winter 2019 Faculty
Rabbi Adina ALlen
Rabbi Adina Allen, Co-Founder & Creative Director of the Jewish Studio Project, is a spiritual leader, writer and teacher. Integrating a lifetime of experience in the creative arts with her rabbinic training, Adina brings a fluency with Jewish text, ritual and prayer, a passion for bringing creative modalities to Judaism, and a warm pastoral presence. Ordained by Hebrew College in 2014, Adina has worked as an educator at Tufts University Hillel and the Brandeis Collegiate Institute and as a chaplain at Hebrew Senior Life. Adina is a contributing writer to the Huffington Post and her work has been published by Sh'ma Now, Kveller, and the Journal of Interreligious Studies and her original research on generating midrash was published in the CCAR Journal in 2013. Adina serves on the Board of Directors of Urban Adamah and is an alum of the Adamah Fellowship the CIRCLE Interfaith Leadership Fellowship and the Wexner Graduate Fellowship.
Jeff Kasowitz, Co-Founder & Executive Director, is a social innovator, musician and community builder. Jeff has deep background in nonprofit management and strategic planning. He served as Vice President of Strategy and Growth for the national education reform organization City Year where he worked on partnership building, scaling impact and developing organizational culture. He has taught on leadership and collaboration for organizations including the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A guitarist and singer, Jeff writes and performs original music inspired by Jewish texts and liturgy and recently released his first album, Arba'im Shanah. Jeff served as a prayer leader and board member of Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue and was Chief Strategist for The Boston Tree Party. A 2017 Joshua Venture Fellow and past PresenTense and a Environmental Leadership Fellow, Jeff holds MBA and MPH degrees from UC Berkeley.
Dr. Pat Allen
Pat B. Allen, Ph.D., A.T.R., is an author, artist, art therapist, and teacher who connects to the Creative Source through art and writing. Her two books – Art Is a Way of Knowing (Shambhala 1995) and Art Is a Spiritual Path (Shambhala 2005) – explore the borders between art, psychology, spirituality, and social action and are considered classics in the field of expressive arts therapy. Author of numerous professional articles and book chapters, Dr. Allen lectures and delivers workshops nationally and internationally. Her artwork has been exhibited in a wide variety of juried and invited exhibits. Dr. Allen served on the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for twenty years and has taught at many colleges and universities nationally and internationally, including JFKU in Berkeley. Dr. Allen co-founded the Open Studio Project in Chicago and Studio Pardes in Oak Park, IL and continues to provide inspiration and leadership in the community studio movement in the field of expressive arts therapy.
Maya Abramson, Studio Manager, is a musician, outdoor enthusiast, and the newest member of the JSP team. As Studio Manager, Maya makes sure Studio AM is vibrant and ready to host you for programs. She builds systems so that JSP runs as efficiently as possible and supports our marketing and social media efforts. When Maya isn’t at Studio AM, you can find her writing music, spending time in the great outdoors and daydreaming about meeting her favorite female-folk idols. Maya has been involved in the local Jewish community as a song leader at Camp Tawonga and music specialist and educator at Temple Isaiah. She is super excited to be a part of all the amazing things that are happening at the Jewish Studio Project!
Aliza Shapiro, Program Manager, is a former technology professional who has spent the last several years honing her skills in the startup world, her experience crossing the spectrum from community and culture building to sales process implementation and management. She was most recently responsible for building, training, and directing multiple teams, laying the framework for a strong growth trajectory. Prior to her recent move west, Aliza founded and facilitated a monthly feminist discussion group and was a core community member within the young adult Boulder Jewish community. Having fallen in love with the outdoors during her time in Colorado, Aliza loves to climb, hike, and trail run, balanced by an obsession with the library and documentary film. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Communication and Media Studies from Tufts University. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
sarah anne minkin
Sarah Anne Minkin is an educator, activist, and philanthropic advisor focusing on social justice, human and civil rights, and feminist projects. She Anne has won numerous awards for her research and teaching, including a National Science Foundation multi-year grant and a Schusterman Israel Scholar award. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at the U.C. Berkeley Center for Right-wing Studies, Sarah Anne was a visiting professor at the University of San Francisco, where she currently serves as a lecturer. She holds an M.A. in Sociology from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. in Women's and Gender Studies from Yale University. She is a trained community mediator and a Board member of the Center for Jewish Nonviolence.
Ariela Sharon is a creative, herbalist, and bodyworker, who loves working with women going through life transitions. She is currently a student at the McKinnon Institute and the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and has studied at ArborVitae and the Hadar Institute. She believes that through our bodies, we can touch our souls. Learn more about her at arielasharon.com
Aaron Henne is the Artistic Director of theatre dybbuk, an arts and educational organization whose work illuminates universal human experience from a Jewish perspective. In addition to his work with theatre dybbuk, Aaron teaches storytelling workshops throughout the country and has designed and facilitated creative seminars for Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Dreamworks. He was an American Jewish University Dream Lab Fellow and the Diane Luboff Scholar at the Cutter Colloqium at HUC-JIR. Aaron has also served as a professional mentor at Otis College of Art and Design, and as faculty for the Wexner Heritage Program. Mr. Henne is a board member for the Alliance For Jewish Theatre, a Wexner Field Fellow, and the recipient of LA Weekly and SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Playwriting.
Raffi Magarik is a PhD candidate at Berkeley, where he studies English and biblical literature. He has taught Jewish texts for Yeshivat Hadar, the Drisha Institute, Kevah, and BINA. He has written for The New Republic, The Atlantic, and The Daily Beast, and he reviews books for the Forward. He lives by Lake Merritt and is about as serious as you can be about playing squash without getting good.
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld has been Dean of the Hebrew College Rabbinical School since 2006. After graduating from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1990, Anisfeld spent 15 years working in pluralistic settings as a Hillel rabbi at Tufts, Yale and Harvard universities. She has been a summer faculty member for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel since 1993 and is co-editor of two volumes of women's writings on Passover, "The Women's Seder Sourcebook: Rituals and Readings for Use at the Passover Seder" (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002) and "The Women's Passover Companion: Women's Reflections on the Festival of Freedom" (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002). From 2011 to 2013, Anisfeld was named to Newsweek's list of Top 50 Influential Rabbis in America.
Rachel Brodie is a Jewish educator working primarily with adult learners. She specializes in designing and facilitating professional development opportunities for other Jewish educators.
From 2011 to 2016 Rachel served as the Chief Jewish Officer of the JCC of San Francisco. Prior to that (2004-2011) Rachel was the co-founder and Executive Director of Jewish Milestones: a not-for-profit, educational resource for Jewish lifecycle ceremonies.
A New Yorker by birth and temperament, Rachel settled in the Bay Area in 1997 after spending a year in Israel on a Melton Senior Educator's Fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She holds a master's degree in Rabbinic Literature from The Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Literature and Society from Brown University.