Jewish Education Coordinator
Eli comes to the CJE from Susquehanna University where he served as the Director of Jewish Life. In this role he supported the Hillel community on campus and implemented a variety of Jewish programming. Eli enjoys supporting Jewish growth and helping learners take their next Jewish step. As Jewish Education coordinator, Eli is happy to work with colleagues across the Baltimore Jewish community. He provides resources and support to assist other agencies in facilitating learning that nurtures Jewish identity and strengthens our community. Eli has a Masters in Jewish Education from JTS with a degree focused on Jewish experiential education with a certificate in Israel Education. Eli also has a background in outdoor education including work with Eden Village summer camp and the Teva Learning Center. Outside the office Eli enjoys baking breads and bagels and running.
Director, Jewish Educational Engagement
Gabrielle has had the privilege of working at CJE for the past 6 years, and has worked for many other Baltimore Jewish institutions over her 17 years in Baltimore. Gabrielle moved to Baltimore from Jerusalem, Israel, where she lived for 7 years. Before that, Gabrielle lived in Massachusetts and Tennessee. Gabrielle has her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from University of Baltimore, and her Master’s Degree in Jewish Professional Studies from the Spertus Institute. In her work, Gabrielle has the privilege of meeting and engaging with different members of the community across all age groups and Jewish identities. Her passion for experiential Jewish Education makes working at CJE, and specifically heading the Engagement team, more fun than work! She is an avid Ravens and Orioles fan, loves all things sci-fi, her favorite PJ Library book is Bagels from Benny, and her favorite Tot Shabbat song is “Bim Bam”.
After spending half of her childhood in sunny San Diego and the other half in equally-sunny South Florida, Jessica began her career as an educator at the University of Florida, where she received her degree in Elementary Education (and became a devoted Gator fan). She continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a Master’s in Elementary Education. She taught pre-kindergarten in Philadelphia until she moved to New York City to complete a Master’s in Library Science at The Pratt Institute, while also teaching at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School. Her tour of the northeast finally ended in Baltimore in 2012, where Jessica began teaching at the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School and led programming at the local libraries for the JCC Parent, Infant and Toddler Program. She was previously a Community Connector for the CJE and has been happily serving the community as the CJE librarian for the past few years. Jessica resides in Pikesville with her husband, daughter, and son.
Coordinator, Maryland Special Needs Advocacy Program (MDSNAP)
Martha has been with the CJE since 2005, working with parent volunteers to support over 200 families each year, as they navigate the special education system. MDSNAP has a close working relationship with the local school systems, Jewish community schools, and other agencies of the ASSOCIATED, advocating for Jewish students in whatever school they choose to attend. Martha is a member of the Special Education State Advisory Committee.
Director, Shinshinim Hub
Smadar was born in Israel and earned her Masters degree from Tel Aviv University. After meeting her husband in college, she moved to the US almost twenty years ago. Smadar’s strong management experience will assist her in helping the shinshinim bring the Jewish communities in Baltimore and Israel closer together. She has extensive volunteer experience at schools, the Jewish community and beyond. In her free time, Smadar enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her husband and three kids.
Israel Education Associate
Stacy was born and raised in the Philly area. She spent four year in central Pennsylvania attending The Pennsylvania State University. While at Penn State, she earned her BA and MA in International Affairs. Her interest in education as a way of ending conflict, combined with her love of the Jewish community, led her to join the CJE as an Israel Education Associate where she works to bring Jewish people together in Baltimore, Ashkelon and Odessa. In her free time, she enjoys reading and going “down the shore.”
Laura Jasso was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She moved to Northern Virginia in 2008 to attend college at George Mason University. During her college years she became passionate about Jewish education and started working as a preschool teacher during her senior year of college. Following graduation, she became a full time educator at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. During the summer of 2016, she volunteered in Jerusalem at the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin. Upon her return to the States, she realized she wanted to be part of a larger Jewish community, moved to Baltimore and joined the CJE as the project assistant where she provides marketing and event support with a special focus on social media.
Lucy holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson University. For several years, she taught at an Annapolis area Jewish Preschool, as well as a religious school. Once her children began day school she joined their board of trustees where she served in various capacities, ending with two years as President. She plans to pursue an MA degree from Gallaudet University beginning in the Fall of 2019. At CJE, Lucy enjoys utilizing her skills and expertise in technology to better the lives of all learners, which is critical for her role in managing the CFIE Israel scholarship program and maintaining the PJ Library database.
Amian Frost Kelemer
Chief Executive Officer
Amian is passionate about ensuring access to outstanding Jewish education for all members of the greater Baltimore community. This commitment was first shaped by her teaching experience at Gesher LaTorah over 24 years ago and she has been working at the CJE in various capacities ever since! Amian received her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Education from Barnard College, Columbia University and her Master’s Degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University. Amian is honored to work with the exceptional board and staff of the CJE to fulfill the agency’s mission. When not at the office, Amian enjoys playing violin, cooking and spending time with her husband and five children.
Chief Financial Officer
Leah directs the Finance and Human Resource departments of the CJE. After receiving her CPA, she worked in the non-profit arena before moving to THE ASSOCIATED where she worked for six years. In 2006, she moved to the CJE.
Jewish Educational Engagement Associate
Rachel Plotkin is a Jewish educator who believes engagement and education go hand in hand and uses engagement to connect people to their own personal Jewish Journey She received her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from St. Louis University and a Bachelor Degree in American Studies and Elementary Education form University of Maryland Baltimore County. Rachel’s work in the Jewish community over the last 18 years has spanned across organizations such as Hillel, day schools and JCCs. Rachel is excited to be part of the CJE team and working with the CJE connectors and other family programming. In her free time, Rachel enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys.
Executive Assistant/Office Manager
After working for 13 years as Operations Coordinator for a financial planner, Terri joined the CJE as Executive Assistant. Following graduation from Boston University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations, Terri was the marketing coordinator for an architecture firm in Boston before moving to Baltimore with her husband in 2003, where they now live with their 4 children. In 2011, Terri was instrumental in the founding of Ohr Chadash Academy (where her children attend) and served on the OCA Board of Directors, including two years as the Board Chair. Her volunteer work in the school added to her passion for education and led her to the CJE where her responsibilities include supporting the Executive Management Team, CJE board members, and the agency’s educational professionals.
Shinshinim Logisitics Coordinator
Reena joined the CJE in 2008 after working for an Israeli non-profit education organization. For the past 10 years she has worked on building and administering the CFIE Israel scholarship program as well as being involved in PJ Library subscriptions and working the back-end database. Her passion for Israel has led her to shift to working with our Israel emissaries, the shinshinim, managing the logistical aspects of their time in the US and being a support base for them. In addition, Reena continues to utilize her technical knowledge and creativity to support CJE’s programs. In her spare time, she is passionate about yoga and reading and loves spending time with her family and friends.
Director, Adult Learning
Zina Segal moved to the States just a few years ago from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Zina holds an Master’s of Arts in Digital Humanities from Saint Petersburg State University. She has been involved in Jewish communal life since she was a teenager, making it all the way from camper to Educational Director of JAFI’s summer camp. Zina was involved in establishing teen and young adults’ programs at the first Reform synagogue in Saint Petersburg. After spending a year in the Beit Midrash of Pardes in Jerusalem, where she was studying Torah and Talmud, she came back home to become a Director of Jewish Programs and Community Development at the new JCC. During her work at the JCC, she oversaw family programs (including abroad summer camps), the Center for Adult Learning and the Young Leadership Development program. Zina’s greatest passion are books that she edited for different programs at the JCC. Zina holds a Masters in Leadership in Jewish Education and Communal Service from Towson University. When not at CJE, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children.
Rachel Delman Turniansky
Director, Disability and Inclusion Services
Rachel holds a Master’s of Arts degree in Special Education, with a concentration in Infant and Toddler Habilitation from Gallaudet University and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Hearing and Language Disabilities from Long Island University. She has worked at CJE since 2000 and her portfolio has included consulting with Jewish early childhood education programs as well as facilitating and coordinating professional development for general educators and special educators. Prior to her work with CJE, Rachel worked as a special educator at the Hearing and Speech Agency’s Gateway school and has worked in Baltimore City and County as a certified special educator. She is a member of the Jewish Special Education International Consortium, a network of professionals in the area of special needs from central agencies from around the country, as well as Canada and Israel. She is an active participant of THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore’s Disability Committee, the Caring Commission, DFI’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Baltimore Jewish Ability Alliance. She is also the recipient of the Nathan and Ruth Lipsetts Jewish Educator Award. Rachel’s work to advocate for and support inclusion and appreciation of ALL individuals has been her driving force for her career as a Jewish communal professional.
Rebecca moved to the Baltimore community from Sharon, MA in 2016. Rebecca grew up in the Massachusetts area and relocated with her family to become part of a bigger Jewish community. Rebecca graduated from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY with a Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance. She is the first person you will see when you walk through the doors of the CJE and is happy to assist you with anything you may need. In her free time, Rebecca loves spending time with her husband, her 2 sons and her friends. She also loves to cook, read and attend shiurim in the community, and is an avid New England sports fan.
Joan Vander Walde
Israel Engagement Associate, Shevet Achim Coordinator
With over four decades of experience as a Jewish educator, Joan coordinates the Shevet Achim school twinning program between Baltimore and Ashkelon. Previously, she worked as a teacher, counselor, social/emotional curriculum developer, educational leader and Middle School Principal at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland. She also conducted field research on Jewish and Israel experiential education at camps in North America for the Avi Chai Foundation. After directing the Pardes Rodef Shalom Schools Program for four years, at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies, she now serves as a consultant to the program. In addition, Joan mentors Jewish day school teacher leaders based in the USA, Canada and Mexico for Legacy Heritage Fund through the Legacy Heritage Teachers Institute.
Director, PJ Library
Julie Wohl is a Jewish educator, artist and a storyteller. She received her Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and has worked in a variety of synagogue, communal and camp settings for over 20 years. She is the co-author and illustrator of Siddur Mah Tov : a Family Shabbat Prayer Book (Behrman House, 2010) and the illustrator of Simply Seder: a Family Haggadah (Behrman House, 2011), as well as the author of the recently published Make, Create Celebrate! Jewish Holidays through Art (Behrman House, 2018). She is the founder of Jewish Learning Thru Art, a traveling creative arts beit midrash and has directed synagogue schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Detroit. After recently moving to Maryland with her husband and two sons, she is very excited to be a new member of the CJE team and to get to know the Baltimore Jewish community.
Disability and Inclusion Associate, Coordinator of JADE: Jewish Advocates for Deaf Education
Yael has worked at CJE since 1999, advocating for and supporting individuals with special needs. As a member of the Disability and Inclusion team her role has included establishing and managing the Access Fund for the Jewish Deaf and hard of hearing community, co-chairing the only biennial Deafblind Shabbatonim in the country, coordinating professional development workshops on special education topics for educators, and conducting B’more Inclusive Jewish disAbility Awareness experiences in Jewish schools and organizations. Yael earned her Master of Arts in Deaf Education/Special Education from Western Maryland College. She continues to work with practicality and passion to ensure that the Jewish community is welcoming and accommodating of every member.