Faculty and Staff

Congregation Beth Israel Judea’s Youth and Family Education Program Faculty

BriannaBrianna Brostoff grew up in southern California, active at Temple Aliyah. She attended LA Hebrew High and Camp Hilltop in the summer. After participating in Young Judea’s Year Course, Brianna came to San Francisco and quickly jumped into active involvement in the Jewish community. She has been a Masa Israel Intern and Koret Intern at SF Hillel, when she is not studying sociology at SF State University. After a successful year teaching in our Hevruta Hebrew Program, Brianna is very excited to teach our first-third graders in our Sunday Morning Program this year!


AdamAdam Jenkins is a junior at Terra Nova High School in Pacifica. Adam’s favorite subject is chemistry (he likes blowing things up…safely, of course). He also plays the alto saxophone in the school marching, concert, and jazz bands, and has been playing piano since he was ~8 years old. When not at school or at a band function, Adam enjoys playing computer games, spending time with his dog, or pestering his little brother. He has also traveled extensively within Europe and Israel. Although not especially religious when it comes to a belief in the Almighty, Adam values Jewish history, community, and culture…and the food, of course. (He’s a big fan of honey cake.) If you ever hear someone playing piano when they’re supposed to be in YAFE or after services are over, it is probably Adam.


GabbyGabby Kleyner lives in Pacifica with her parents and older sister, Victoria. Her family is from Russia and she is the first American-born member of the family. She is a junior at Jewish Community High School of the Bay. Her favorite classes are math, chemistry and sculpture. She is a member of the B.P. Fashion Board at Nordstrom and enjoys volunteering at the Hebrew Free Loan Association. During her free time she enjoys relaxing with friends, watching movies, painting and swimming. She is extremely grateful for the wonderful community at BIJ, specifically the amazing teachers and her incredible friends.  


LeahLeah Mills was born in San Francisco and has lived here all her life. She is a junior at Drew School and having a great time there. Her favorite classes are American Sign Language and Photography. She is interested in acting and was in The Good Doctor by Neil Simon at the New Conservatory Theater Center last year. Leah’s goals in life are to be fluent in sign language, invent a new jellybean flavor, and travel around the world. Last summer she travelled to Israel with Lily and Adam.


DavidDavid Morgenstern, Cantorial Soloist, tutors our B’nai Mitzvah students individually. David continues to share his passion for Judaism and love for Torah with our students as they prepare to become Jewish adults. He’s always willing to share pictures of his kitties, just ask him!


 ShaniShani Newman continues with us this year on Sunday Mornings with grades 6 & 7, and in Hevruta Hebrew! Shani lived in Israel from age 5 until she was 12, when she moved to Irvine, CA. She studies Math at SF State and looks forward to becoming a math teacher. She has also been an intern at SF Hillel and has spent many summers as a camper, counselor and Junior-CIT advisor at Camp Alonim, a Jewish overnight camp in Southern California. An avid Israeli folk dancer, she teaches Israeli dance at SF Hillel. Maybe she’ll even teach us!


AdamSAdam Safford is 19, attends City College of San Francisco and lives at home with his family. He became Bar Mitzvah, was Confirmed at BIJ and is excited to be back on Sunday mornings after a two-year hiatus. In Adam’s spare time he enjoys playing video games, watching new episodes of his favorite TV shows, riding his bicycle and exploring the Bay Area. He loves to go to the beach or the park in his spare time and one of his favorite weekend hobbies is to take pictures of places he visits. Adam will be joining us on Sunday mornings as a role model for our students showing them one more way one can be involved and stay connected to BIJ. You may find him helping Neil, managing the Micha Mocha Café, running back-and-forth between BIJ and the Mercaz, in the classrooms, and helping out with all of our great activities!


DonaDona Standel continues on BIJ’s faculty this year. The big news in her life is that she’s marrying a former BIJ faculty member: Jordan Hopstone. She’s finished her undergraduate studies at SF State and has also worked for SF Hillel. Dona is excited to continue sharing her love of Hebrew and enthusiasm for all-things-Jewish with the students (especially our teens in grades 8-10 and Hevruta Hebrew) and their families in the YAFE program!


 JamieJamie Rafaela Wolfe is a product of 11 years of Jewish Day School education. She loved it so much she completed the DeLeT (Day School Leadership through Teaching) program through Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Jamie also completed all the coursework for her California State Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Jamie reads, writes, and speaks Hebrew and has lived in Israel. Jamie is taking a break from weekly teaching this fall, but we hope to welcome her back as a sub whenever possible!


 BIJ Staff instrumental in our Youth and Family Education Program:

NeilNeil Bronstein is appreciated for his friendly and welcoming face and can-do attitude. He is here to set up for services, provide security/logistics and to help afterwards. At the same time, he will likely ask about your health and give you a firm handshake.



RabbiRabbi Danny Gottlieb comes to us from Toronto, Canada, where he served the Canadian Reform Jewish community for more than 30 years, as a synagogue educator, director of the Canadian region of the Union for Reform Judaism, and most recently as rabbi of Temple Kol Ami in Thornhill, Ontario. He brings with him a love of Jewish life and Jewish learning, and a strong commitment to the synagogue as a sacred community.










 SaraSara Heckelman, Administrator, brings a big heart to her work as well as knowledge of the community through her years as a member of the congregation. Her father was a rabbi, so she’s very familiar with the day-to-day needs of a shul.




 Ricki Weintrab, Cantorial Soloist and Head of Religious School. Ricki brings her passion for music and religious training to our youth in creating meaningful and music-filled curriculum for our youth and introduce them to lessons about Jewish life, values and learning. She will also tutor our upcoming Bar and Bat Mitzvah students.