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.
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.
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.
Family Engagement Specialist
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 from 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.
Global Peoplehood Associate
Born and raised in Moscow, Dasha has an MA in Journalism from Moscow State University. She has worked in marketing and fashion, including creating and running her own online fashion brand. For the past ten years Dasha and her family lived in London, where she joined the PJ Library team in 2018 as a Family Outreach Coordinator. She created cultural events in Hebrew, Russian and French for bilingual Jewish families in the UK. She moved to the USA in 2021 with her husband and three children.
Marketing and Administrative Coordinator
Justin was raised in California (go Dodgers!) and attended college at Northern Arizona University where he majored in advertising. Previously he worked as a local All Things Considered host and reporter for Arizona Public Radio in Flagstaff, with some of his work airing on NPR. Since then, Justin has been producing a podcast called American Rabbi Project where he interviews rabbis across the U.S. about their thoughts on the Jewish experience in America. He also freelances for the Baltimore Jewish Times and Washington Jewish Week. Justin is happy to be a member of the CJE team where he can play his part in building Jewish community of all shapes, sizes, and vibes.
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.
Reena joined the CJE in 2008 after working for an Israeli non-profit education organization. She has worked on building and administering the CFIE Israel scholarship program . In addition, Reena continues to utilize her technical and bookkeeping 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, Educator Services
Julie Tonti is the Director of Educator Services at the CJE. She spent 15 years teaching Jewish Text and Jewish History in DC area Jewish Day Schools such as CESJDS in Rockville, MD and Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax, VA. She also has experience in Jewish outreach and engagement, admissions, and outdoor environmental education. She has a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland and an MA in Jewish Studies from Siegal College, as well as a certificate in Jewish Philosophy and Pedagogy from the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. She studied at Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo in Jerusalem, Israel. In her rest time, Julie enjoys nature, the outdoors, Yoga practice, and pottery. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her husband and three children. To schedule an online educational consultation with Julie, click here.
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.
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, Education Associate
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. More recently, her portfolio expanded to include educator services. which situates her as the day school liaison. In this capacity, Yael aims to support each local Jewish day school in their respective journey toward greater educational excellence.
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.