Welcome to Robin Foster, who will be working in our religious school office --
We are pleased to announce that Robin Foster has joined our team! Some of you may know that at Robin grww up in the Bay Area and attended Rodef Sholom as a child (she was one of our first religious school graduates!). She grew up in Novato, where she enjoyed playing softball on the community league and spent her summers working and playing at the Marin JCC.
In 2000 Robin moved to Los Angeles and attended the American Jewish University where she received her B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Hebrew Literature, as well as her Masters in Jewish Education. After college, Robin worked at Leo Baeck Temple acting as the Youth Director and the Assistant Director of Education. She has taught religious school for over 10 years.
If you see Robin, please stop her and say hello. She is very friendly and would love to share with you her passion for teaching children about the Jewish heritage.
We are lucky to have her!
Claire, Irene and the whole religious school team
Welcome to Brandon Brown, our new Youth Director --
This time of year is filled with new beginnings and we are so excited to share with you our newest blessing. Many of you will recognize Brandon from Camp Newman if you were there this summer. He was the program director, supervisor of unit heads and in charge of the camp schedule. Mostly he was a great Jewish role model for campers and a giant purveyor of fun. This and a giant Jewish soul is what Brandon brings to our kids at Rodef Sholom.
Your kids are in great hands and we are very happy to welcome Brandon to this wonderful community.
Blessings for the coming year,
Rabbis Stacy Friedman & Michael Lezak, Claire and Irene
A note from Brandon himself:
Hello all, My name is Brandon Brown, and I am the new youth group director at Congregation Rodef Sholom. When I was 8 years old my mom sent me to Camp Newman, and it was the best decision she has ever made. I fell in love with the place, and I kept on coming back. As a kid and a teen, camp became my second home and throughout the school year all I wanted was summer to roll around just so I can go back to the place I loved so much.
I grew up in San Mateo, and belonged to Peninsula Temple Sholom. When I entered high school I learned that you could keep the “camp feeling” going throughout the school year -- all I had to do was create a temple youth group! With four weekend retreats a year at camp, I could hang out with my temple/camp friends at our own youth group events and then go to Camp Newman for retreats and see other friends that I normally only saw once a year.
Soon enough a couple of my friends and I created a thriving youth group that is still very much a part of Peninsula Temple Sholom to this day. My goal is to create that same thriving sense of community I had there here at Rodef Sholom.
At Rodef Sholom, I will be in charge of our temple youth group, CRuSTY (Congregation Rodef Sholom Temple Youth) as well as creating a junior youth group called the CRuSTY Nuggets for 7th and 8th graders. The point of CRuSTY and CRuSTY Nuggets is for kids to stay engaged in their Jewish identity and feel a sense of community with their Jewish peers.
I am extremely excited to get the year started, and to get to know all of you and hopefully many of your kids. Please email me at email@example.com or call me at 479.3447 with any questions or suggestions you have. Anything and everything would be great and I am so excited to be a part of Rodef Sholom and guide your kids towards an amazing Jewish teen experience.
Shana tovah, Brandon
And we are saying L’hitraot (see you later) to Gigi Pagani:
It is with both sadness and anticipation that, after 4 1/2 years as Assistant to Cantor David Margules and the congregation, I am leaving my position and returning to school to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.
To my many treasured friends, associates, acquaintances, fellow congregants, board members, and of course, clergy, I wish to thank you for making my time at Rodef Sholom not only pleasurable and endlessly fascinating, but also truly transformative: In my sojourn here, I reconnected to my Jewish heritage, gave my daughter, Alessandra, a Jewish education and became Bat Mitzvah alongside her, chanted at the High Holy Days, learned that I am a “people person”, learn to incorporate the values of tikkun olam into my daily life, and unearthed a deep-seated belief in the essential goodness of each one of us. It is the combined impact of these realms of personal growth that has steered me towards my new profession and towards a goal of helping others to maximize their own potential.
I feel privileged to have had the opportunity work with so many of you, to cross delightful paths with others, and to support our community with love, in my small way. I and my family happily remain members of Rodef Sholom, and as such, I look forward spending many more heartfelt occasions together.
L’shanah tovah, v’todah rabah! - Gigi Pagani