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Our Staff

Lauren Marks-Cabañas, Executive Director

Lauren Marks-Cabañas joined Adath Israel as the Executive Director in March, 2015. She has worked in the field of non-profit synagogue administration for over 26 years, having served for over 13 years at Temple Dor Dorim in Weston, Florida, and 2 years at Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom in Miami, Florida. Lauren’s work experience includes having served as Youth Director, Director of Programming and Executive Director at her previous synagogues. She has strong leadership abilities and she combines her organizational and people skills in overseeing the operations of our facility; supervising administrative and maintenance staff; management of programming; assisting with life-cycle events; and support of lay leadership. 

She works in tandem with the clergy, Executive Board, Board of Directors and lay leadership to execute the affairs of the synagogue; membership development; building campaigns, marketing, communications, event management, dues administration; and identifying new opportunities for programming development and interpersonal growth among members. Lauren welcomes the opportunity to meet with all current and prospective members of the congregation. 

Lauren is a member of the National Association for Temple Administration (NATA) and the North American Association of Synagogue Executives (NAASE), and has completed degree and additional non-profit leadership certificate programs from Notre Dame College of Business, studying Principles of Leading Transformational Non-Profits and Fundraising and Grant Strategies. Lauren lives in Haverford with her husband, Marcos. Her daughter, Maia is a junior at University of North Florida. Their son, Brett Marks graduated with his MBA and is the Head Baseball Coach at Cairn University. You can reach Lauren Marks-Cabañas at (610) 934-1903 or by clicking here.
 

Shari Prensky, Director of Early Childhood Education

Shari Prensky joined Adath Israel as a teacher in 2016. She is a native New Yorker and moved to Pennsylvania in 2010. She has a B.S. degree in Human Development from Binghamton University and a M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. Prior to joining the staff at Adath Israel, she taught both in NY and PA and spent time at home with her children. Shari lives in Havertown with her husband Ben. They have two children, Orly and Dani, both former ECLC students and current MAKOM students.  

 Shari is excited to begin her new role as ECLC Director. Shari believes the early childhood years are a time for hands-on learning, and our goal is to develop lifelong learners, who are joyful, curious, and inquisitive. She believes the ECLC staff, and our families are partners in educating young children. You can reach Shari Prensky at (610) 934-1915 or by clicking here.

 

Hannah Isaacs-Arkin, Education Director

Hannah Isaacs-Arkin joined Adath Israel as the Education Director in July 2021. Hannah has held various leadership roles in the Jewish community for close to a decade. Hannah earned her B.A. in Marketing from Rider University in 2017. Following graduation, she held the position as Youth Director at Congregation Beth Elohim, in Brooklyn NY and Program Director at the Union of Reform Judaism's Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA as a URJ CLASP Fellow. Most recently, Hannah has worked as the Communications Manager at Tribe 12 in Philadelphia and the Youth Educator at Beth Chaim Reform Congregation in Malvern, PA. Hannah believes it is imperative to our Jewish community to create dynamic educational opportunities for students of all ages.

In 2020 Hannah started her journey towards her Master’s in Jewish Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York. She loves being a part of a learning community and is excited to use what she is learning in the classrooms at Adath Israel.

Hannah is very excited to join Adath Israel’s leadership team to assist in the creation of vibrant educational programs for students of all ages. She hopes that as Education Director, she can bring her passion for Jewish community, experience in camp style programming, and communications background to add to the amazing work of the Adath community. She is eager to bring an energetic spirit, an open mind, and a constant curiosity for what makes Adath Israel so special

Hannah lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband, Jacob, who is currently a student at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. In addition to her passion for Jewish education, Hannah loves visiting new restaurants and has a long list that she could recommend; she welcomes any suggestions of new places to try! Hannah can always be found with a seltzer or iced coffee nearby.  You can reach Hannah Isaacs at (610) 934-1912 or by clicking here.

Rachel Lefkowitz, Program Director

Rachel joined the Adath Israel team as Program and Communications Coordinator  in August 2021. Rachel is excited to transition into her Program Director role, in addition to being Adath Israel’s Kadima
(5th-7th grade programming) Advisor.

Rachel is from the Philadelphia suburbs. She graduated from University of Maryland in 2019 with a B.A. in Economics and Sociology and a Certificate of Public Leadership. She spent many summers at Camp Ramah in the Poconos (with both of our Rabbis!), as a camper, counselor, and division head. After she graduated from college, she worked as a counselor and recruiter for Ramah Israel’s TRY High School in Israel program.

Rachel works with lay leaders, committees, and staff to oversee the planning and execution of programs at Adath Israel. She also handles communications, including the weekly e-news, the website, and our social media. She is always looking for new and exciting programs to bring to our congregation!

In her free time, Rachel enjoys cooking up delicious vegetarian meals, rooting for the Sixers, and spending time with her friends.

You can reach Rachel at (610)-934-1905 or by clicking here.

Rebecca Millner, M.P.H., S.E.P.

Rebecca Millner, M.P.H, S.E.P has worked in the field of mental healthcare for the past 10 years as a clinician, trainer and interventionist. Prior to joining Adath Israel, Rebecca worked at the Institute for Health and Recovery, working to address the needs of women and families, with a particular focus on substance-use treatment, perinatal mental health and the treatment of trauma. Rebecca has extensive experience providing training and support to clinicians on boundaries and ethics, and the integration of trauma-informed models of care into organizations and community spaces. Rebecca has also served as a Behavioral Health Clinician at Lahey Health Behavioral Services, addressing trauma in children and families in both a residential and community-based capacity. Rebecca has received specialized training and certification in the treatment of trauma, maternal mental health and as a childbirth educator, with a particular interest in spiritually-informed counseling and somatic therapies. Rebecca holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Hadassah-Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Jerusalem, and is currently completing her Masters in Social Work at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Rebecca has recently moved to the Main Line with her husband Ross and their two daughters, Neshama and Iyla’a. You can reach Rebecca by clicking here.

Dr. Ari Sussman, Director of Music

Praised for his “sophisticated writing” (GTM) and work that “weave(s) a trance-like mystical aura” (Zamir Chorale), Ari Sussman is a Philadelphia-based pianist, clawhammer banjoist, and composer of vocal, chamber, orchestral, choral, and electronic music. Sussman holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees with honors in Composition from the New England Conservatory of Music where he received the Donald Martino Award for Excellence in Composition, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the University of Michigan. Sussman is currently an Adjunct Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the Temple University - Boyer College of Music and Dance, and the West Chester University of Pennsylvania - Wells School of Music.

His music has been featured, commissioned, or performed throughout the United States and Europe by the KC VITAs Chamber Choir, soprano Tony Arnold, NPR, Zamir Chorale of Boston, Ensemble Ipse, American Modern Ensemble, New York Youth Symphony, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird, the Tanglewood Music Center, and others. Kabbalah, the natural world, cosmology, meditation, metaphysics, ancient and contemporary poetry, the human condition, and Interactionismare among Sussman's non-musical influences and interests. As a result, Sussman's music illustrates equivocal worlds of sounds that are ambient, euphonious, and ethereal in nature. Recently named composer-in-residence with the Boise-based ‘208 ensemble,’ Sussman has won the American Composers Forum: Philadelphia Chapter: Young Composers Scholarship, two Honorable Mentions for the Guild of Temple Musicians Young Composers Award, the University of Michigan Brehm Prize in Choral Composition, and a “First Music” commission from the New York Youth Symphony. Sussman has received an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, a BMI Student Composer Award, and fellowships from the Blackbird Creative Lab, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Center.

An accomplished concert pianist, Sussman has performed many concerts and recitals throughout the Philadelphia, Boston, and Ann Arbor metro areas. With a fondness for musical theatre, Sussman has held music directorships for productions of Hairspray, Les Misérables, The Last Five Years, and many others. With a love for American traditional/roots music, Sussman plays piano and clawhammer banjo for English country dance bands, Contra-dance bands, and Old-time bands. His primary musical mentors include Michael Gandolfi, Kati Agócs, Evan Chambers, and Kristin Kuster. Sussman enjoys long walks, playing basketball, drinking tea, Curb Your Enthusiasm, mancala, cheesecake, and avidly rooting for Philadelphian and University of Michigan sports teams. Sussman is a member of BMI and the Landscape Music Composers Network. You can reach Ari by clicking here.

Administrative Offices

Elaine S. Carroll, Executive Assistant to Clergy

 You can reach Elaine Carroll at (610) 934-1904 or by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

Colleen Pechter, Administrative Assistant, Schools of Adath Israel

You can reach Colleen Pechter at (610) 934-1914 or by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

Marcia Schulman, Administrative Assistant

You can reach Marcia Schulman at (610) 934-1906 or by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

Emily Wright

You can reach Emily Wright at (610) 934-1907 or by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Slaughter, Maintenance

 

 

 

 

 

Tue, December 5 2023 22 Kislev 5784