Julie Childers (she/her)
Chief Executive Officer | email@example.com
Julie Childers is an executive leader in nonprofit management, strategy, and operations with experience in education, women and girls’ health, and Jewish philanthropy. She is past executive director of Our Bodies, Ourselves and former Vice President of Education at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. Julie is also proud of her work at the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles supporting innovative organizations engaging young adults in Jewish life. With a Ph.D. in sociology from Boston College, she seeks to build synergy between the nonprofit and academic sectors through evidence-based practices to make a difference in people’s lives.
Mayyim Hayyim holds a special place in her heart. With immersion at Mayyim Hayyim in 2006, Julie officially joined Klal Yisrael, the Jewish people, and it was one of the most meaningful moments of her life! Her Jewish journey began at Temple Israel of Boston in 2000 during which time she was a leader in the Riverway Project, an engagement initiative for 20s and 30s, and Ohel Tzedek, a justice organizing project which fought for marriage equality and universal healthcare.
Julie is the current Treasurer and Vice President for Finance of Gateways: Access to Jewish Education and led their strategic planning in 2021. She is an active member of Temple Shalom of Newton, at which her wife, Rabbi Laura Abrasley, serves as senior rabbi. Their son, Noah, is a high school student at Framingham High School and an alumnus of MetroWest Jewish Day School.
A nature lover who grew up in Oklahoma, Julie enjoys hiking, swimming, and gardening. Her favorite place in Israel is Amirim, a vegetarian moshav near the Kinneret. You can ask her where to find the best Korean-Italian pizza in LA or TexMex enchiladas in Houston. If you agree to see pictures of her Australian shepherd mix, Cali, be prepared for the stream of cuteness and kvelling.
Reed Barkowitz (they/them)
Communications Manager | firstname.lastname@example.org
Reed is originally from the Boston area, and grew up connected to Mayyim Hayyim through participation in Beneath the Surface before their B’nai Mitzvah. Since then, Reed has relocated to central Florida where they live with their family and their dog, Frankie. They have their undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts with a minor in Religious Studies from Stetson University in Deland, Florida. Reed has many years of communications and marketing experience, accumulated through working with academic programs, political campaigns, video game developers, and more. They are delighted to be a part of the Mayyim Hayyim team.
Rachel Eisen (she/her)
Chief Operations and Advancement Officer | email@example.com
Rachel first discovered Mayyim Hayyim when she brought a group of college students on a field trip to learn about mikveh and ritual innovation. Rachel grew up in New York and Maryland, and has an extensive background in the Jewish communal field. Previously, she was the Senior Engagement Associate at Brown RISD Hillel in Providence, RI. Rachel holds dual master’s degrees from Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership and Near Eastern & Judaic Studies and a BA in History and Jewish Studies from Vassar College. She has also studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, the Shalom Hartman Institute, and Hebrew College. Rachel is a co-founder of Mentoring for Equity, a national initiative to connect women-identified Jewish communal professionals in mentoring relationships in order to help close the gender leadership gap and work toward gender equity in the Jewish non-profit sector. In 2021 she was selected for UpStart’s Change Accelerator, JWI’s Jewish Communal Women’s Leadership Project, and Schusterman Family Philanthropies’ Leading from Within Fellowship. She volunteers with the Gender Equity in Hiring Project and sits on the New England Regional Council and New Gen Leadership Committee at the New Israel Fund. Rachel lives in Dedham with her husband, Nathan.
Wendy Gross (she/her)
Executive Assistant | firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy is very excited to be joining the staff of Mayyim Hayyim. She grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania where as a child she developed a deep connection with nature, and she found her path to Mayyim Hayyim through the meaningful experience of friends and colleagues. Wendy holds a degree in Veterinary Technology and worked for several years as a Vet Tech before branching out to retail and then office support. She has spent most of her professional life in administrative work. Wendy moved to Massachusetts in 2018 and lives in Canton with her two cats. She enjoys hiking in nearby Blue Hills Reservation and embracing her inner nerd by playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends.
Molly Kazan (she/her)
Development Manager | email@example.com
Molly is a lifelong supporter of immersive Jewish experiences and deeply appreciates the role those experiences played in shaping her Jewish identity. After a tour with her graduate school cohort, Molly was inspired by Mayyim Hayyim’s mission and how it aligns with her passion for building communities and relationships. A Midwesterner at heart with roots in Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, Molly’s professional background is in the Jewish organizational landscape across global and local communities. She recently earned dual master’s degrees from Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership and a Social Impact MBA from the Heller School for Social Policy & Management as a Nachshon Project Fellow. She holds a BA in Psychology with minors in Jewish Studies and Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Molly brings previous experience from JCC Greater Boston, the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF), and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). When she isn’t implementing Mayyim Hayyim’s fundraising strategy, Molly can be found drinking chai tea, preferably on a yoga mat near a body of water.
Rabbi Amalia Mark (she/her)
Director of Programs and Partnerships | firstname.lastname@example.org
Amalia is abundantly excited to be joining the Mayyim Hayyim staff after working as Mayyim Hayyim’s Rabbinic Intern. Amalia earned her Semicha, rabbinic ordination, at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. She holds a B.A. in Theatre with a concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Amalia has worked as the Director of Jewish Student Life at the University of Arizona Hillel, and served as a rabbinic intern at Etz Chayim in Atlanta, GA. She studied at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies for two years, where she met her husband in the Beit Midrash (study hall). Amalia received a certificate in Experiential Education from the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators and believes that every Jew deserves literacy and meaningful access to text, tradition, and ritual.
Lucy Marshall (she/her)
Director of Rising Tide | email@example.com
**Lucy is currently on parental leave and will return in October.
Lucy is a Jewish educator, organizer, youth worker, and facilitator based in Minneapolis on Dakota Land. She directs the Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network at Mayyim Hayyim, elevating resources and relationships to ensure that mikveh is accessible and inclusive to all Jewish people and communities. Lucy received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Lucy is the 2020-2022 Twersky Education Fellow at the Jewish Women’s Archive and brings abundant experience in Jewish youth engagement, ritual work, and justice movements. Outside of Mayyim Hayyim, she teaches at Shir Tikvah Congregation, organizes with Jewish Community Action, and enjoys swimming, kayaking, and cross-country skiing on the nearby lakes.
Soreh Ruffman (she/her)
Program Manager, Immersions and Education | firstname.lastname@example.org
Soreh is overjoyed to be joining the Mayyim Hayyim team as the Program Manager of Immersions and Education. She enters this role with over ten years of experience as an educator and community organizer, with a background in sustainable Jewish farming, trauma and disability informed special education, and transformative justice. Mikveh has been instrumental in marking several critical life transitions in Soreh’s life. She is honored to be part of the team making mikveh accessible and welcoming to those seeking to mark one’s own important life transitions.
Sarah Schneider (she/her)
Program Associate | email@example.com
Sarah is thrilled to be a part of the Mayyim Hayyim staff and supporting its meaningful programs. She grew up in Newton, shaping her Jewish identity at Solomon Schechter Boston, Gann Academy, and Temple Hillel B’nai Torah, and spent many summers at Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake and Camp Tel Yehudah. Sarah cares deeply about fostering a love of Judaism in the next generations, having spent five summers working at Camp Sprout Lake, where she was a 2015 Foundation for Jewish Camp Cornerstone Fellow. Sarah holds a BFA in Stage Management from Boston University, and has worked as a stage manager, child supervisor, and producer at over a dozen performing arts organizations throughout the Boston area. In addition, she has over twelve years of experience in retail and personalized customer service. Sarah lives in Chestnut Hill and is passionate about building a Jewish community that is open and accessible to all.
Michaela Wagner (she/her)
Director of Administration| firstname.lastname@example.org
Michaela is very excited to be joining the Mayyim Hayyim staff. She first learned about Mayyim Hayyim through Temple Beth Elohim in 2007 and immersed prior to becoming bat mitzvah. Michaela was a Judaic studies major at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She forged a strong Jewish identity through her upbringing at Temple Beth Elohim as a cantorial mentee, assistant teacher and youth choir director, personal tutor, and congregant Shabbat service leader for 14 years. She attended URJ Eisner camp and traveled to Israel, where she connected with Jews of all denominations and gained a deep understanding of and love for the broader Jewish community. In addition to her work within the Jewish community, Michaela has a decade of customer service experience and classical musical training, earning accolades as a top scoring soprano at the Massachusetts’s All State Choir festival. She is passionate about mikveh and its ability to uplift the soul, to heal, and to foster joy in life’s transitions. Michaela lives in Quincy and is raising a Siberian Husky puppy, as well as two Blue and Gold Macaw Parrots.