BJEP Leadership Team

BJEP Leadership Team:

 

Sarah Pollack, Director of Community Engagement (April 2022 – present), Education Director (2022 – present)

Sarah (she/her) is currently a Rabbinical School student at Hebrew College. Although she grew up in Florida, she now lives in Cambridge with her wife, Elana. After graduating from The University of Florida with a BA in Forensic Anthropology, Sarah moved to Jerusalem. She spent two years at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, first as the Social Justice Fellow, and then on the Judaism and Conflict Resolution track. Her professional journey started at Encounter Programs, where she spent the next four years exploring the ways that Jewish American professionals and lay leadership engage with Palestinians. Sarah most recently worked for Honeymoon Israel as the Director of Community Engagement, empowering young Jewish families to explore their relationships to Jewish community and identity. Sarah is eager to bring her educational experience to BJEP this year and is curious to learn together about how to strengthen our work as learners.

For questions about the BJEP program, get in touch with Sarah for a chat: info@bjep.com.

 

 

Rabbi Becca Walker, Rabbi-in-Residence (2022 – present)

Rabbi Becca Walker (she/her) is a rabbi in Northampton, MA. She recently moved from Toronto where she served as Engagement Rabbi for Beth David. Before that she was the Senior Jewish Educator at Michigan State University Hillel and Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan. As the Rabbinic resource for 11 campuses across Michigan, she connected with and educated hundreds of university students. She has been  an educator for over ten years, teaching at Hillels, religious schools, summer camps, adult learning initiatives and more. She has a passion for learning Jewish texts and finding ways to make them relevant and approachable for Jews of all different backgrounds.  Rabbi B is originally from the Boston area and graduated with a BA in Religion from Columbia University and a BA in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She was ordained in 2016 at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. During rabbinical school she served as rabbinic Intern at Congregation Or Tzion in Scottsdale, AZ; she also trained and worked as a community organizer in Los Angeles and completed a unit of hospital chaplaincy training. She enjoys cooking, outdoor adventures and listening to podcasts.

Rabbi B can be reached:  rabbi@bjep.com

 

Heather Renetzky, Education Director (2021- 2022), BJEP Program Advisor (2022-2023)

Heather (she/her) will lead the teachers and guide our families through our BJEP program this year, and she can’t wait to welcome families back to the Brandeis campus!  Heather is a self-declared nerd for all things related to Judaism, psychology, and cooking. She is a rabbinical student at Hebrew College and loves exploring and sharing the depths of Jewish tradition (Holidays! Rituals! Texts!). Prior to rabbinical school, Heather worked as the program coordinator for J-Pride, which brings together the Jewish LGBTQ community in the Twin Cities. Her other roles have included teaching Talmud through cooking, and planning a retreat about the power of doubt, and selling bread. Most recently, Heather served as a chaplain at Mercy Hospital in the Twin Cities. You can often find Heather at Moishe House Somerville (where she lives), cooking way too much food for the people she loves and cuddling her dear black cat, Ikey.

Meet Heather at minute 3 talk about Zoom learning during Covid times, and laughing, in this Hebrew College Meet the Rabbinic and Cantorial students video.

Heather can be reached at director@bjep.com