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Our Staff

Lilly Krenn, Executive Director

Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan (and an avid Michigan football fan), Lilly now lives with her husband, Chris, and their two teenagers in Piedmont. Lilly comes to Beth Jacob with ten years of fundraising, volunteer management and administrative experience at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. She is grateful to be a part of such a warm and welcoming community. 

 

 

 

Adira Aufhauser, Accounting & Systems Administrator

Adira moved to the Bay Area in 2006 from Mevaseret Zion in Jerusalem, Israel, and she has been with Beth Jacob since February 2017. She currently lives in Albany with her family.  Adira has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, Humanities, and Theater Studies, as well as a Master of Law degree. Her Jewish education includes a Judaism seminar in Arachim, Israel, and Jewish Studies for Women at Neve Yerushalayim, Israel. Adira’s passions include art and painting, floral design, gardening and hiking. What she likes most about working at Beth Jacob is that she can combine work with spirituality and that she is able to be a part of the Beth Jacob community.    

 

Melissa Harel, Administrative Assistant

Melissa is a California native who lives in Berkeley with her family, including her children, Judah (4 1/2) and Shay (2). Melissa and her family are congregants at Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley. Melissa has a BS in Marketing from San Francisco State University and was a practicing massage therapist and esthetician before she had children. She is passionate about health, healing, consciousness and maintaining a growth mindset. Melissa loves helping people and that’s why she loves her work at BJC.

 

 

Chani Naiman, Family & Youth Engagement Coordinator

Chani Naiman is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and Israel, and has lived in Oakland for six years.  Chani enjoys supporting the whole family in having a positive shul experience, and helping children feel like the valued members that they are.  Chani has a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University and currently works in a community-based mental health agency providing therapeutic support and case management for youth and families.  During her time in Oakland, Chani has also taught in Oakland Hebrew Day School.  Along with her husband Akiva and four children, Chan is enjoying every moment of being in the beautiful Bay Area!

 

Kathy Hollander, Home of Peace Cemetery Administrator

Kathy Hollander is celebrating her 20th year working for Beth Jacob. She worked first in the Beth Jacob office and became the Administrator of Home of Peace Cemetery in 2005. Kathy loves ensuring that everyone receives the kosher and dignified burial they deserve. She also is grateful to have the opportunity to help families pre-plan their burial needs so that families are spared from making complex decisions during a highly emotional time. In addition to her work for Home of Peace, Kathy also volunteers by giving massages to hospice patients and their caregivers a few times each week.

 

 

Rudolph (Rudi) Brooks, Facilities Coordinator & Caretaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Bencuya, Gan Mah Tov Preschool Director

Anna grew up in a very traditional Sephardic home in Turkey. Although Anna has a master’s degree in Chemistry, she realized that her true passion was working with young children. She has been teaching in Jewish ECE for the last 24 years. Because she was deprived of a Jewish education when she was growing up, it means a lot to her to give children the love of learning and the joy of Judaism. She was an assistant director and teacher for two years at Gan Mah Tov before becoming the director. Anna loves partnering with and supporting families and together providing a warm and nurturing program where each child is loved and nurtured.

 

 

Jen Salvago-Keyes, Gan Mah Tov Preschool Assistant Director  

Jen Salvago-Keyes has been part of the Gan Mah Tov family since 2007. In 2003, she graduated with a degree in American Multicultural Studies from Sonoma State University which led her on the path of becoming a teacher. Her first ten years at the Gan were as a teacher, and she became the Assistant Director in 2017. While working at the Gan, Jen has developed a love and appreciation for Judaism and trusting relationships with our families. When she's not working at the Gan, she enjoys walking around Lake Merritt, hiking, driving to the coast, spending time with friends and family and hanging at home with her two cats, Boo and Zoe.  

 

Rabbi Akiva Naiman, Director, East Bay NCSY

Akiva Naiman, hailing from both Baltimore Maryland and Beit Shemesh Israel, is the current NorCal East Bay NCSY & JSU Director. He oversees two staff members, and together they run nearly 400 meaningful classes and fun events throughout the year. Akiva has ran summer camps and overseas programs for 12 years, and has taught in Jewish middle school and high school for 4 years. Akiva is also the recipient of the Helen Diller Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Akiva strongly believes that Jewish education should be something fun and relatable, and creates interactive and experiential classes to better engage teens. His hobbies include creative writing, freestyling,           basketball, ping pong and reading.

 

 

Thu, August 22 2019 21 Av 5779