Rabbi Joseph Wolf
Rabbi Joseph Wolf came to Havurah Shalom in 1987, where he discovered a community hard at work at teaching Torah in a contemporary idiom, along with inventing a spiritual path that took pluralistic cultural opportunities into account. What’s more, he was immediately engaged by activist leaders intent on developing a collaborative model for decision-making and participation. Joey is fervently committed to the idea that all Jews determine what it means to pray and do meaningful work in the world, not just the professional clergy. While teaching texts and both traditional and innovative spiritual practices, he has brought local and global social change issues to the forefront. In particular, he has been a supporter of conflict reduction in the Middle East, and has advocated for strategies to combat poverty. Learn more.
Deborah Eisenbach-Budner become 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. Learn more.
Havurah Music Coordinator Ilene Safyan is a Pittsburgh transplant, and almost an Oregonian. (She’s been here for over 30 years!!) During that time, she’s been involved in music throughout Portland’s Jewish community, serving as cantorial soloist for Congregations Havurah Shalom and Neveh Shalom and teaching at schools throughout the area. She is currently Music Coordinator for Havurah Shalom. Learn more.
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 for four years before becoming director in its final year of operation. 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. She started at Havurah in January 2017.
Teri Ruch, Communications & Engagement Manager, came on board at Havurah in January 2014. She received her bachelor’s degree from Rice University and her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins. After teaching English and Writing in the D.C. area, she and her husband, John Schultz, moved to family-friendly Portland, where they raised their children, Talia and Josh. Before joining the Havurah staff, Teri worked in communications at Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and Friends of Trees.