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236 Kane Street / Brooklyn, NY 11231 / 718 875-1550

Professional Staff

718-875-1550 x 2003

Rabbi

Samuel H. Weintraub

Members Call-in Hours: Tues 10:15am – 12:15pm; Wed 11:00am – 1:00pm

Rabbi Weintraub serves as spiritual guide to over one thousand individuals within the Kane Street community and counsels people ages five to ninety-five. The Rabbi officiates at all life cycle events and generally provides educational and spiritual preparation before such passages as Bar/Bat Mitzvah and weddings. Since 1996 when he came to Kane Street, he has spearheaded several innovations, including a weekday/Shabbat Hebrew School curriculum, a “Synaplex” Shabbat series, the two-year Me’ah course on Jewish civilization with Hebrew College and a conversational Hebrew “Ulpan”. Read full bio →

718-875-1550 x 2005

Director of Education & Family Programming

Rabbi Valerie Lieber

Rabbi Valerie Lieber oversees the Hebrew School, Shabbat and Holiday children’s services, Shabbat Club and Family Education programs at Kane Street. Valerie began working with our community in the summer of 2008 and quickly exhibited her strengths as an educator and administrator.

Valerie graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College and a month later was immersed in rabbinical study in Jerusalem. Rabbi Lieber received ordination at Hebrew Union College in New York in 1995. She served as Rabbi-Educator at Temple Beth Ahavath Sholom in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn for seven years. She then became the spiritual leader of Temple Israel of Jamaica in Queens for six years where she led the congregation through the Experiment in Congregational Education Re-Imagine program, a national project exploring congregational education. Rabbi Lieber has published chapters and articles in anthologies including The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, an award-winning volume published in 2007.

Though she was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, she has lived with her partner, Leah Kooperman, in Park Slope since 1993. She considers Brooklyn one of the great Jewish holy lands. You can sometimes see her riding around Brooklyn on her bicycle or her motor scooter. She’d love you to wave and shout hello.

718-875-1550 x 2009

Preschool Director

Rivka Seeman

Rivka has over 20 years of experience in education. Previously, she was head teacher at the Tompkins Hall Nursery School and Childcare Center at Columbia University, where she spent nearly ten years in the classroom. Previously, Rivka served for several years as interim director at the World Cup Nursery School in Chappaqua, where she managed an early childhood program with over 300 students and 60 employees. She also has experience in the Jewish camping community and as a teacher in a gan (preschool) in Jerusalem. Rivka earned her Masters in Education from Hunter College and her undergraduate degree from Barnard College.

Rivka is committed to a school that is filled with joy and infused with Jewish and ethical values. In partnership with our teaching staff, she builds upon the familiar rhythms of the curriculum and the daily activities that our children love. Rivka believes that children have an inherent drive to develop mastery over their world, that play is the joyful pursuit of that mastery and that an educator’s role is to provide children with opportunities and gentle guidance to support them in their work of self-development.

718-875-1550 x 2007

Engagement Director

Rabbi Jason Gitlin

Rabbi Jason works to deepen the experiences of young families and other community members at Kane Street, offering personal outreach, integrating people into congregational life, and supporting community building efforts. He leads our mini-minyan and formerly taught the Open Beit Midrash’s Foundations of Jewish Life course and other classes.

Prior to joining Kane Street full-time, Rabbi Jason directed a program in experiential learning and congregational education at the Jewish Theological Seminary (where he was ordained). Before rabbinical school, he was a director at UJA-Federation of New York in communications and interfaith affairs and began his career as a reporter and editor in the Jewish and general press. He has an MA in Near Eastern Studies from New York University, and a BA in journalism from the University of Colorado, and has been a fellow in the Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership and at Yeshivat Hadar and the Conservative Yeshiva.

Rabbi Jason invites you to visit him in his choir loft office. An avid walker, you may otherwise see him exploring city neighborhoods by foot or enjoying Brooklyn beaches and culture with his wife Laureve and daughter Rose.

718-875-1550 ext 2007

Music Director

Judith Berkson

Judith is a Cantor, composer, and multi-instrumentalist who has been active in Jewish music and Jewish education for 15 years. She served as Cantor of Congregation Beth El in Quincy, Massachusetts (1999-2001) and from 2001-2011 was the Assistant Cantor/Cantor for the Religious School at Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation in Long Island.

Judith has worked with musicians including Theodore Bikel, Frank London of the Klezmatics, the Kronos Quartet, John Zorn, and Hankus Netsky. Inspired by traditional nusach, she has composed, recorded and taught melodies and chants to promote joy and communal participation in services. In 2010, she received a Six Points Fellowship from the Foundation for Jewish Culture to compose “The Vienna Rite,” an opera about the collaboration in 1828 between Vienna’s Chief Cantor Salomon Sulzer and Viennese composer Franz Schubert. Her music has been written about in The New York Times,The Wall Street Journal, TimeOut, Lilith Magazine, The Jewish Week andTablet.

Judith is also the daughter of a Cantor and has been singing sacred music since she was five years old. She has strong roots in the Conservative Movement, and she attended a Solomon Schechter Day School in Chicago and Camp Ramah in Wisconsin.

718-875-1550 x 2000

Finance Support Specialist

William Waldman

Our Finance Support Specialist supports the Executive Director, and the Finance, Fundraising, and Communications Committees.

William Waldman has worked in hospitality finance over the last eight years, most recently for Fig and Olive restaurants. Prior to that he was in industrial distribution finance. William has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with a minor in Accounting from SUNY at Stony Brook and he is a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. He is a Brooklyn native with interests in photography and cooking and has done community work with City Harvest-Union Square Food Rescue.

Administrative Assistant

Erica Southward

718-875-1550

Hebrew School & Family Programming Administrative Assistant

Priscilla Murphy

347-683-4088

Welcome Desk and Security

Trevor Malcolm

718-875-1550 ext 2006

Building Staff

Nestor Restrepo
Pedro Sanchez

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Website photography: Paul Bernstein | Hank Gans | Rich Pomerantz | Harvey Wang