Staff

Sherri Levine, Executive Director, comes from a background in law, advocacy, and public service. As a long time Kolot member, and past board member, Sherri brings a deep institutional knowledge and a profound commitment to our community and mission. After graduating from NYU Law School, she worked for a union-side labor law firm, Assemblymember Jim Brennan in his 7th Avenue office, and as the Associate Director of the Stein Center for Law and Ethics at Fordham Law School. She has been an active member of Kolot for almost 18 years, having served on the Board and Executive Committee. Her children both went through CLP and became B'nei Mitzvah at Kolot, and she has helped to facilitate various Congregation-wide efforts, including the Affiliation, Values Statement, By-Laws and What’s Next? processes. Contact executivedirector@kolotchayeinu.org.

Franny SilvermanFranny Silverman, Director of Learning and Action, has taught in formal and informal Jewish settings across the country for over fifteen years including synagogues, seminaries, conferences, camps and living rooms. Franny is a founding member, and former Associate Artistic Director, of Storahtelling with whom she has co-created countless original works for stage and ritual settings, performing on stages and bimas from Albany to Anchorage.  She has performed with a number of downtown theater companies, and is a member of Northwoods Ramah Theater Company in residence at Camp Ramah Wisconsin and Brooklyn-based Brave New World Rep, and is co-founder of warner|shaw. As an educator at Kolot Chayeinu, Franny has taught and developed curriculum for Kolot K'tanim, Kitah Bet and Gimmel, and What's Up, Kolot's arts-based social justice program for 3rd year B'nai Mitzvah students, and is honored to be leading the Children's Learning Program as it continues to grow and develop. She writes for the Sh'ma Journal SBlog and she is the beaming mother of Sunhillow Belle, who celebrated her Simchat Bat at Kolot. Contact Franny at franny@kolotchayeinu.org.

Alyssa Abrahamson, Main Office Administrative Assistant, originally hails from Minneapolis and although she loves and has lived in NYC for almost 14 years, she is a Midwestern girl at heart. Alyssa holds a B.A. from Boston University and a MA in Jewish Education from The Jewish Theological Seminary. Alyssa has worked in the Jewish community for several years and has previously been the Director of Arts and Jewish Culture at The 14th Street Y and Director of Innovation at Birthright Israel NEXT. Alyssa is an award-winning and professional burlesque performer known as Minnie Tonka, and with her duet The Schlep Sisters, and has been dazzling audiences across the globe since 2004. Alyssa is also part of the Leadership Team of Jewrotica, which a pluralistic and sex-positive organization that explores the intersection of Judaism and sexuality. Contact Alyssa at alyssa@kolotchayeinu.org.

Jonah S. Boyarin/Yoyneh Hersh, Principal of the Children's Learning Program, has served as an educator for over a decade in a wide spectrum of settings and holds a Master's in Education. In 2015, Jonah/Yoyneh Hersh co-founded the country’s first Diversity & Equity program at a Jewish day school, at JCHS of the Bay in San Francisco. In 2016, Jonah/Yoyneh Hersh embarked on a year of study and adventure, completing an immersive yoga teacher training, two terms of intensive Jewish text study at an egalitarian yeshiva program, and a year-long Yiddish translation fellowship; he also co-organized a national Day of Jewish Action for Standing Rock. He has published his written work in a variety of Jewish print and online media. He is deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve as Principal of the Children's Learning Program at Kolot Chayeinu, fostering a joyfully Jewish, critically questioning, humbly rooting, justice-seeking spirit in our youth. Jonah/Yoyneh Hersh grew up in a community of elderly immigrants who alternately called him "Yoyneh Hersh," "Yoyneh," or "Jonah," and he invites you to use these names interchangeably. Contact principal@kolotchayeinu.org.

Jen Abrams, B'nai Mitzvah Coordinator, is a multidisciplinary performance-maker, mom, and anti-racist activist. She organizes with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, and its artist affinity group, Artists Co-Creating Real Equity. She has coordinated more than 400 events in her many years, producing her own performances and those of other artists. Her family has been involved with Kolot for four years, and can regularly be found at Shabbat Sheli services. She’s fully dedicated to the intentional, meaningful B’nai Mitzvah process Kolot has developed, and she’s really excited to make the road as smooth as possible for all Kolot's B’nai Mitzvah families. Contact jlakolot@gmail.com.

Ethan Cohen, Communications Coordinator, studied English and history at Vassar College. An author, playwright, and student-historian, he has evaluated scripts for and organized the archives of several theatre and literary companies, mostly in downtown Manhattan. As a Grace Paley Organizing Fellow with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), he co-facilitates anti-Islamophobia trainings, plans political actions and community events, and builds grassroots membership and support. He tutors high school New Yorkers and house manages evenings at Dixon Place. You may have seen his absurdist plays at the 13th St. Repertory Company and the New York New Works Theatre Festival, or read his stories & poems in Fish Food, East Coast Ink, Danse Macabre, and elsewhere. Contact ethan@kolotchayeinu.org

Lily Nagy-Deak, Teen Coordinator, is a third year rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Lily grew up in Portland, Oregon which imbued a love of outdoor adventure and independent book stores. Lily graduated from Brandeis University with dual bachelor degrees in Theatre Arts and in Jewish Studies, and holds an MA in Jewish Studies from JTS. Lily has worked in formal and informal Jewish education for the past ten years, including three years in Madison, WI as the Interim Education Director for Beth Israel Center, and as the Director of Jewish Student Life at Wisconsin Hillel. Last summer Lily served as Program Specialist for teenagers at Ramah Rockies, creating programs around identity, social justice, and Jewish values. Lily focuses her work on Justice Torah and sharing stories of LGBTQ characters in biblical and rabbinic texts. Lily is very excited to join the Kolot team and community. Contact lily@kolotchayeinu.org.

Ty Citerman, Children's Programming Song Leader, is a Brooklyn-based guitarist and composer who writes, performs and teaches music across the spectrum of jazz, rock and contemporary classical music. He has been leading Jewish music in synagogues for twenty years; he is a founding member of the irreverent chamber jazz quartet Gutbucket; he leads the radical Jewish quartet Bop Kabbalah; and he writes chamber music that’s been performed by JACK Quartet, Anti-Social Music, Sara Schoenbeck and Bearthoven. In his secular music life, he has played with the American Composers Orchestra, John Zorn, Ethel, Glenn Branca, Kaoru Watanabe, Frank London, Rhys Chatham, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Brian Chase and many others. His music appears on Cuneiform Records, Tzadik Records, Cantaloupe Music, Enja, Knitting Factory, NRW, and Gut Records. He has been featured on National Public Radio, Radio Free Europe and numerous college and independent stations across the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Europe. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the London Jazz Festival, Paris Jazz Festival, Belgrade Jazz Festival, Jazz a Vienne, the Bang on a Can Marathon, Earshot Jazz Festival, Jazz Saalfelden, Worldport Jazz Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, and Warsaw Summer Jazz Days. Guitar Player called Ty's music for Gutbucket "kinetic punk jazz opuses" that “reveal an explosive concoction containing lethal doses of Ornette Coleman, King Crimson, John Zorn, Black Sabbath, Stravinsky, and Fugazi." Contact ty@tyciterman.com.

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