Creating opportunities for meaningful, purposeful and relevant Jewish exploration.

 

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Jewish Living + Learning Experiences

The Center for Jewish Engagement & Learning


Vision

All Jews, their friends and partners of other faiths, and those exploring Judaism, have access to Jewish living and learning experiences that help them thrive.

Mission

The Center for Jewish Engagement and Learning:

1. Engages and nurtures relationships with and among families and individuals at all stages of life;

2. Creates opportunities for meaningful and relevant Jewish exploration and learning; and

3. Supports and amplifies the work of synagogues and partner organizations.

Core Values

Several core Jewish values underpin our mission and are central to activating our vision:

HAZON - VISION & INNOVATION

We are forward thinking and believe that Jewish living and learning can happen both inside of and outside of institutions. We facilitate new kinds of Jewish experiences; our work is iterative and continually improving.

SAKRANUT - CURIOSITY

We encourage anyone to ask questions, explore, and seek depth and meaning in their Jewishness.

ANAVAH - HUMILITY

We focus on building relationships and creating shared Jewish experiences that build and deepen connections.

B’TZELEM ELOKIM – CREATED WITH THE SPARK OF THE DIVINE

We believe that everyone has something of value to contribute and everyone has a right to belong. We are inclusive of those raised inside Jewish community, those raised completely without Jewish community, individuals who are Jew-adjacent, and inclusive of all abilities, gender identities and sexual orientations.
Young Families
Young adults
Teens
Adults
Inclusion

THE CENTER FOR JEWISH ENGAGEMENT AND LEARNING BOARD


Chair: Ellen Weiss

Vice Chair: Sheri Rodman

At-large members: Hadar Borden, Leah Blum, Gretchen Gross, Jonathan Epstein, Jonathan Freirich, Ralph Halpern, Robin Raphael, Harvey Sanders, Blaine Schwartz, Ted Steinberg, Shelly Yellen

Staff


Miriam Abramovich

Miriam Abramovich

Director, Jewish Engagement and Learning

Miriam and her family called New York City, Boston, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh home before landing in Buffalo five years ago. Miriam values raising her two children in this warm and tight-knit community. Her professional passion is engaging with individuals and finding ways to help them access Jewish tradition, Jewish values, and Jewish time - in powerful and transformative ways. When not in the office, you can find Miriam with her kids, at the gym, baking or traveling.

miriam@buffalojewishfederation.org

Nicole Bard

Nicole Bard

Director, Young Adult and Young Family Engagement

Nicole Bard ventured to Buffalo from Rockland County, New York to attend the University at Buffalo, and now calls the Nickel City home. She is deeply committed to building meaningful relationships that pivot around Judaism with both young adults and families with young children. Nicole can often be found exploring the Buffalo food scene, in a ceramics studio, or spending time outdoors. 

nicole@buffalojewishfederation.org

Susan Schwartz

Susan Schwartz

Director, Adult Engagement

Susan’s Buffalo roots run deep. She has strong connections to individuals and families across multiple generations in Jewish Buffalo, and also a strong and personal connection to Israel. Susan is a master Jewish educator who finds great joy in learning about people’s personal Jewish stories, and facilitating connections with others who share similar interests. When not in the office, you can find Susan with her granddaughter, with her guitar leading Shabbat services, or on a kayak exploring the inner harbor.

susan@buffalojewishfederation.org

Mike Steklof

Mike Steklof

Director, Teen Engagement and Inclusion

Mike has spent the past seven years empowering teens and deepening their connections to Judaism.  He is energized by helping teens develop their own Jewish identities and creating space for all to be included in our Jewish community.  Outside of the office, Mike can be found cooking, running or exploring the outdoors.

mike@buffalojewishfederation.org