Today is June 18, 2024 /


We are pleased to welcome board members from Bayit: Building Jewish on Friday and Saturday, July 21 and 22nd.

Joining us for music, study, and community from the board will be Rabbi Rachel Barenblatt, Rabbi Pamela Gottfried, Rabbi David Markus, and our member, Steve Silbert.

On Friday night, July 21, at Shabbat in the Round, our guests from Bayit will join Hazzan in leading the musical service. Following services, please join us for a BBQ brisket dinner and spend time schmoozing with our guests. Click here to register for dinner.

Can’t make it Friday night? During Shabbat morning services our guests will be preaching and teaching during our Torah service and sermon block while facilitating an informal discussion about Bayit during kiddush lunch.

Bayit Board Member Biographies

Rachel was named in 2016 by the Forward  as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis. A fellow of Rabbis Without Borders, she holds dual ordination as rabbi and mashpi’ah (spiritual director). Since 2011 Rachel has served as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel of the Berkshires (North Adams, MA). She also served as interim Jewish chaplain to Williams College and, with David Markus, as past co-chair of ALEPH.  She holds an MFA in Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and is author of six volumes of poetry, among them 70 faces: Torah poems (Phoenicia Publishing, 2011)Open My Lips  (Ben Yehuda Press, 2016), Texts to the Holy (Ben Yehuda 2018), and Crossing the Sea (Phoenicia, 2020). Since 2003 she has blogged as The Velveteen Rabbi, and in 2008 TIME named her blog one of the top 25 sites on the internet. Her work has appeared in Reform Judaism, The Wisdom DailyThe Forward, and anthologies ranging from The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry (Bloomsbury) to The Women’s Seder Sourcebook (Jewish Lights)Her downloadable Velveteen Rabbi’s Haggadah for Pesach has been used around the world. She is visiting faculty at the Academy for Spiritual Formation (teaching both at two-year and at five-day retreats) and has also taught (among other places) at Beyond Walls, a writing program for clergy of many faiths at the Kenyon Institute.

Since receiving rabbinic ordination and earning an M.A. in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1993, She currently serves as the Interim Rabbi at Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta, GA while the congregation conducts a search for their next rabbi. She is also the facilitator of two Jewish Book groups, one of which is in its 13th year. Pamela is an alumna of Clal’s Rabbis Without Borders and LEAP fellowships, and a member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and the Clergy Advisory Group at MACoM: Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah. She is the author of Found in Translation: Common Words of Uncommon Wisdom, and is currently working on a collection of creative nonfiction that includes stories and poems about her 25+ years as a parent and rabbi. In addition to attending Spiritual Poetry Writing classes, she spends her free time reading novels, solving crosswords, playing Scrabble with her spouse, and taking walks with her faithful canine companion, Henry.

David is a unique pathfinder and change agent across sectors, honored among Jewish life’s “36 to Watch” (Jewish Week 2022) and New York’s Power 100 (City and State 2023) for his double leadership in secular and spiritual life.  David is rabbi of Congregation Shir Ami (Greenwich, CT) and faculty at the Academy for Jewish Religion.  A Rabbis Without Borders fellow and Oreach Fellow for Jewish spiritual arts, David has served as ALEPH Board co-chair with Rachel Barenblat, scholar in residence for My Jewish Learning and communities across North America, and ALEPH spirituality faculty.  David is lead author and editor of A Year of Building Torah, an anthology harvesting Jewish wisdom for community and leadership development.  “By day,” David presides in the New York Judiciary in a parallel public-service career spanning presidential campaigns, all branches and levels of government, and graduate faculty in government and public administration at Fordham and Pace Universities.  David holds double ordination as rabbi and mashpia (spiritual director) from ALEPH; a graduate certificate in spiritual entrepreneurship from Columbia Business School; a Juris Doctor magna cum laude from Harvard Law School; and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School, which named him a global Innovator in Public Service.

Steve is an Enterprise Agile Coach, working with Fortune 500 companies and other organizations to enhance value, relational intelligence and business outcomes.  He has been sketchnoting since 2015, which led him to Jewish innovation spaces and Visual Torah.  Since joining Bayit, Steve illustrated or contributed illustrations to several books, interviewed on numerous podcasts, guest lectured in seminaries on bringing visuality into Jewish spiritual life, and served as artist-in-residence in synagogues around North America.  Steve founded Bayit Games to harness Agile-infused design thinking for remixing Jewish spiritual practices and texts with a playful flair.


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