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Cantor Arianne Brown

It is my joy and privilege to guide our Adas Israel families on the journey to becoming bar/bat mitzvah. I enjoy the large opportunities and the small details of this important work. Our program is unique in many ways. From the Kabbalat Parsha (receiving the Torah portion) ritual in 5thgrade, to a B’nai Mitzvah family Shabbaton in 6th grade, we strive to infuse all aspects of this process with meaning and connection. We also provide individualized one on one training, as you’ll hear if you wander the halls of the 3rd floor on any given afternoon. I have trained close to 1,000 b’nai mitzvah students in both one-on-one and large group settings! I enjoy teaching trope in an active and colorful manner, helping students internalize the skills of reading Torah, Haftarah, and leading prayers, and working with students of many differentiated learning needs and styles. Most rewarding of all is to continue our connection long after the bar/bat mitzvah day.


Senior Rabbis Aaron Alexander & Lauren Holtzblatt, Assistant Rabbi Sarah Krinsky

As rabbis of Adas Israel, our interaction with b’nai mitzvah and their families provides a unique opportunity for personal connection within the context of preparing for bar/bat mitzvah. Our sessions begin with the whole family (first session) and continue with the student (remaining sessions). As we guide our students into exploratory study of their Torah portion, we encourage them to ask questions, to challenge and strengthen their beliefs, and to connect with themes from within our tradition to issues that are current and relevant to their lives. Our discussions become the springboard for the Divrei Torah that our students deliver, as they become teachers of the congregation. We look forward to spending time with you and your children in the months ahead

Rabbi Kerrith Solomon

As Director of Education here at Adas Israel, I have the privilege of watching our children learn and grow in their Jewish journey from early childhood to young adulthood and beyond. Bar/bat mitzvah is a milestone rite of passage, celebrating all our children have learned and propelling them into the next level of maturity. My involvement with b’nai mitzvah includes educational vision, participating in grade-wide b’nai mitzvah activities, meeting with families to discuss learning needs, and occasionally working with students on divrei Torah. My background in educational practice and philosophy has been cultivated by years of working in synagogues, day schools, camps, and college campuses. I most look forward to continuing to know our students as teens in our thriving high school Maalot program.​​​​​​​


Hazzan Rachel Goldsmith, Ritual Director & Weekly Tutor

I take great pride in helping each and every student achieve their potential as they unlock the beauty and complexities of adult Torah study. My students and I are productive together while managing to have a lot of fun, and I enjoy figuring out the key to connecting with each child. I prepare many of our b’nai mitzvah students and their families for their celebrations in one on one b’nai mitzvah lessons. This includes coordinating tutoring schedules and being the go-to person for questions about Ritual celebrations at Adas Israel. I’ve been with Adas Israel since 2016, and previously taught at CES-JDS, JPDS and B’nai Israel Congregation. My degrees are from Bryn Mawr College, the University of Michigan and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Naomi Malka, Weekly Tutor

I have prepared over 500 b’nai mitzvah students and their families for their ceremonies over the last 15 years. Along with Rabbi Kerrith and Cantor Ari, I designed the Rituals curriculum covering Tallit, Tefillin, Aliyot, and Mikvah for 6th graders in our religious school. Since 2006, I have been the director of the Adas Israel Community Mikvah, and from 2011-2015 I was the Ritual Coordinator of Adas Israel. My BA is in Sociology from UCLA and I have an MA in Sacred Music from JTS. I studied violin for many years and use Suzuki techniques in teaching Torah and Haftara tropes to my B’nai Mitzvah students. I love watching my students overcome their nervousness so that they can enjoy the embrace of our community on their big day.


Courtney Tisch, Director of Programmatic Engagement & B’nai Mitzvah Services

I have been a proud staff member of Adas Israel for three years now as the Director of Programmatic Engagement. I love the work I do planning big and small events alike, and I am thrilled to utilize those skills by working with the  B’nai Mitzvah team as well. In this new aspect of my position, I look forward to helping all families navigate through the process of planning their child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah. I will help keep every family on track for the big day, making sure no box is left unchecked starting from the moment a child receives their Bar/Bat Mitzvah date. I will always be available as a resource for every B’nai Mitzvah family, making sure any question is always answered. I am especially excited to combine my two roles at Adas by planning meaningful and fun B’nai Mitzvah family events.

Eric Yaffe, Tutor

My name is Eric Yaffe and I am thrilled to be joining the staff of Adas Israel as a B'nai Mitzvah Tutor. I have been preparing our young people for their special days as they enter the adult
Jewish Community for the past twenty years. After my son's Bar Mitzvah was held at Congregation B'nai Tzedek in 1999, I asked my Rabbi if there was room in the program for me to start tutoring. At his Bar Mitzvah, I felt very strongly, that I was being told to pass on to the next generation what had been passed on to me by my family and a strong Hebrew School experience at Beth El in Bethesda, MD. Fortunately for me, there was a huge need and the numbers of students I have studied with over the years is approaching 800. My focus has always been to have my students feel comfortable and confident on the day of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah and to be proud of their accomplishments. Also, they will get the feeling from me that their date is not an end point, but the beginning of the rest of their adult Jewish life. From that point on, they can carry what they have learned about our rich tradition and heritage forward with them. L'Dor Va-Dor!

Silvia Edenburg, Tutor

Shalom! My name is Silvia Edenburg, and I have been a teacher since I was 15 years old, teaching children in three countries.
For the last 11 years I have had the privilege of teaching as part of the Milton Gottesman (JPDS) family. I have lots of fun with first graders, sharing with them Hebrew, Judaic Studies and Tefillah (prayer). I also enjoy teaching Spanish to our middle schoolers. I've always felt that supporting children as they learn Hebrew and Jewish culture is a great honor. Being able to do so during such an important time in their life as it is their Bar and Bat Mitzvah a fantastic opportunity for which I’m very grateful.

Mon, November 23 2020 7 Kislev 5781