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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, Our interaction with b’nai mitzvah and their families provides a unique opportunity for personal connection within the context of preparation. 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. 

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.

Jessica Lefkow, Administrative Assistant to the Ritual Department, Since Fall 2023, I’ve served as the logistical liaison for the B’nai Mitzvah program. I co-ordinate events, keep and update records for each B’nai Mitzvah class, serve as the frontline for program communications and scheduling, as well as fielding questions from our families about all things B’nai Mitzvah for the team. It’s a great feeling to facilitate this important life event for the Adas Israel community.


Cantor Mitchell Martin, Tutor, My name is Mitchell Martin and I’m overjoyed joining the outstanding team of B’nai Mitzvah tutors at Adas. To me, one of the most important lines in the Torah is: “V’Shinantam L’Vanecha” – You shall teach your children. Throughout my career as a Hazzan I have prided myself on having not only taught but hopefully inspired numerous of our “kindelach.” Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a monumental event in the lives of Jewish families. Observing that milestone should be a treasured opportunity to celebrate the transition from youth to a “countable” member of the Jewish community and I look forward to nurturing our students and making this an experience to remember.

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.

Teddy Klaus, Tutor, Teddy Klaus recently retired as the Music Director at Temple Micah in Washington, D.C/, where  he conducted the choirs and instrumentalists, accompanied t’filah on the piano, taught music in the religious school, and tutored the B’nei Mitzvah students.   He delights in transmitting our Jewish musical heritage and enjoys writing new music for the synagogue.  Teddy is proud to be the conductor of HaZamirDC, a chapter of HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir.

Teddy has taught music at many Washington area Jewish Day Schools, including the Jewish Primary Day School (when it met at Adas Israel), Gan HaYeled, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Gesher Jewish Day School, Hebrew Day Institute, and the Berman Hebrew Academy.

Teddy has tutored hundreds of Bar/Bat Mitzvah students in the Washington, DC area.  He enjoys taking the journey with his students, as they take on the responsibility of becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah. 

Yael Shamouilian, Tutor, Yael Shamouilian, Weekly Tutor. Hi everyone! My name is Yael Shamouilian and I am beyond excited to join the B'nai Mitzvah team at Adas this year. For the last 6 years, I have been a teacher at Adas' Hebrew School and the part that gave me the most joy was teaching and singing the Shabbat prayers with my students. Throughout my time as a Jewish educator, I have always strived to provide my students a balance of giving them the tools they need to prepare them for their Bnai Mitzvot but also an enjoyable and fun experience they can carry with them through the rest of their Jewish milestones in life. 

Hazzan Henrique Ozur Bass served as Hazzan at Congregation Har Shalom, Potomac, for the past 28 years. Along with his wife, Rabbi Janet Ozur Bass, they are thrilled to have found a spiritual home at Adas Israel. In the course of his career, Hazzan Ozur Bass has adopted a student-centered approach, with the understanding that connection and relationships are the drive to a spiritual life. He has learned much from his students in the past, and hopes to continue learning and discovering with future students.

Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784