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Our Staff

Rabbi Benjamin Barnett

Prior to joining Havurah Shalom in August 2017, Benjamin Barnett served as the Rabbi of Beit Am, a pluralistic Jewish Community in Corvallis. Originally from the Chicago area, he received his BA in English from the University of Michigan and his rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia.

In leading a diverse congregation, Rabbi Barnett draws from years of living and learning in Jewish communities across the religious spectrum. Prior to entering rabbinical school, he worked with mentally ill adults, led wilderness expeditions for teenagers, and lived, worked and studied in Israel. He is a devoted practitioner and teacher of Jewish contemplative prayer and meditation, practices through which he strives to cultivate wisdom and compassion, and to respond maturely to the challenges of life and community. He works to build relationships across religious and cultural lines in the name of creating a less violent world. He and his wife Rachel live in Portland with their children: Lev, Arava, and Judah.

Hear or read some of his drashot: Erev Rosh Hashanah 5782 // Erev Yom Kippur 5782


Adela Basayne

Adela Basayne, Program Director, joined the Havurah staff in 2018, bringing with her experience as an educator, trainer, mediator, organizational development consultant, and body-centered therapist.  Adela earned a BA in Theater Arts, minor in Religious Studies, from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and an MA in Whole Systems Design/Organizational Systems Renewal from Antioch University, Seattle.  In all her different arenas of work, the through line has been commitment to nurturing the human capacity to make and sustain desired changes, supporting growth, and diminishing suffering; Adela is passionate about group process and systems analysis. 

Adela moved from New York to Portland in 1987 and has been a participatory member of Havurah Shalom ever since, celebrating life cycle events, teaching in Shabbat School, serving on countless committees, including a stint as co-president.  Adela brings excitement and joy to her role with Havurah.  She and her husband, Nick Iliinsky, have three adult children, Noah, Alexis and Megan.


Deborah Eisenbach-Budner

Deborah Eisenbach-Budner became Havurah Shalom’s first Education Director in 2001. Since then, she has worked with hundreds of Havurahniks of all ages, enabling them to connect more deeply with Judaism. She has created and nurtured a wide variety of educational programs, generated innovative holiday and Shabbat experiences, and contributed to the vibrant growth of the community.

Deborah is passionate about making Judaism and Jewish life accessible and enriching. She has experienced and witnessed the transformative power of Jewish narratives, practices, values, and community. But, more importantly, she employs Judaism as a tool to cultivate our humanity and to provoke us to become the most whole people we can be. Read more here.


Rachel Pollak

Rachel Pollak, Havurah Shalom’s Office and Facilities Manager, moved to Portland in 2007 from Los Angeles and got to know the Portland Jewish community through the Melton School, where she was operations manager and then director. She earned her BA in English and political science at American Jewish University in Los Angeles (back when it was the University of Judaism), and her MA in English in 2012, right here at Portland State, where she has also earned a project management certificate. She started at Havurah in January 2017.


Shari Raider

Shari Raider (Finance Manager)Shari Raider and her family have been members of Havurah since 2007. In July 2023, Shari joined Havurah staff as the new Finance Manager. Working collaboratively across the organization, Shari tends to the finance and accounting side of Havurah.


Tara Anderson

A Havurah Shalom member since 2019, Tara Anderson joined Havurah’s staff in the spring of 2023. In her role as Participation and Publications Coordinator, Tara’s work within Havurah centers on coordinating and facilitating meaningful access, inclusion, and involvement among prospective, new, and long-standing members and producing Havurah Shalom’s print and online communications.


Carrie Kirschner

Carrie KirschnerCarrie Kirschner, Youth Education and B'nei Mitzvah Program Coordinator, or Madricha (guide), is known to Shabbat School, Middle School and High School families as the go-to person for administrative and curriculum support. In August 2022, she added b’nei mitzvah process coordination to her portfolio. She works closely with families to ensure they have the resources and logistical guidance they need.


Joey Wolf, Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Joey built a career based on mediating Torah – imaginative teaching, cogent ideas, responsibility for the earth and its people – over 30 years at Havurah Shalom. Involvements and leadership roles in T’ruah - The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, American Jewish World Service, Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Americans for Peace Now, Black Parent Initiative, and as a co-founder of the local Muslim-Jewish Dialogue attest to his priorities towards building bridges.

His relationships within the community have encouraged honest reflection and a commitment to justice and are reflected in the kindness, truthfulness and good humor of the people around him. He stands at a crossroads where traditional elements of prayer and study stimulate a new celebration of human spirituality. Mining Jewish ideas and minding Jewish practice are for him ongoing sources of enthusiasm, and he honors this wonderful community for its pursuit of what it means to be Jewish in the world. Taking care of that world and the people who remain on the fringes are an abiding concern for him, as are the ancestral queries and adventures that have led him on the path of learning over a lifetime. You can read more about Rabbi Joey, who retired in April 2017, here in The Oregonian. You can hear his drash on Rosh Hashanah 5282.

Tue, May 21 2024 13 Iyyar 5784