Board of Directors
Rabbi Aura Ahuvia
Rabbi Aura Ahuvia serves at Shir Tikvah, a Reform/Renewal congregation in Troy, Michigan. Ordained as Rabbi and Mashpiah by ALEPH in 2014, she also holds master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in journalism (1996) and Judaic Studies (2006). She co-founded the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Havurah in 1993, and in 2014 was selected for CLI, which offers business skills to innovation-minded spiritual leaders.
Douglas Chermak lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. He is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Law and the University of Florida. Since 2007, he has practiced plaintiff’s side and public interest environmental law, with a focus on water quality and the Clean Water Act. He serves as Of Counsel with Lozeau Drury LLP, a plaintiff’s side environmental law firm in Oakland, CA, and with Super Law Group LLP, a plaintiff’s side environmental law firm in New York, NY. From 2004 through 2012, Doug served as the Law Program Director for the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, working to integrate meditation and contemplative practices with the legal profession. In October 2010, he organized “The Mindful Lawyer” conference at UC Berkeley School of Law, the first national conference on the subject of law and meditation. He is the proud husband of Aya Baron, currently a rabbinic student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
Judith Dack, MA is a longtime leader and community builder in the Jewish
Renewal movement. Currently she serves at Minyan Oneg Shabbat , a
joyously musical Jewish Renewal “Zoom-a-gogue” davenen community,
exclusively online. For many years she served on the ALEPH Board of
Directors and various ALEPH Advisory Committees. As of July 2022 Judith
has re-joined the ALEPH Board of Directors for a 3 year term. She currently
serves on the Naropa University Board of Trustees as well.
You may remember her from long ago as The Elat Chayyim summer yoga
teacher and stand up fun-raiser. She has served on the faculty of Kol
Zimra, the Aleph Kallah, Ohalah, and various other renewal communities.
Judith received her masters in transpersonal counseling psychology with a
concentration in art therapy from Naropa University in 2014. She completed
the first cohorts of both the Davvenen’ Leadership Training Institute (DLTI)
and Kol Zimra: Chant Leader’s Training.
Judith was initiated as an Eshet Hazon, into the lineage of Jewish Renewal
Women of Vision and given the name: Ezrat Olamay Aleph, “Woman Who
Holds Up the Worlds.” In 2018, she was honored by becoming the
inaugural recipient of the Reb Zalman Distinguished Service Award. Many
profound experiences over these 25 years in the Jewish Renewal
community have fueled her deep commitment to “give back” and serve the
flourishing of this very special path of Judaism.
When not on an adventure in her camper van, Judith resides mostly in
Boulder, CO. She has two daughters, one on each coast and one
Neil Markowitz is the founder and Executive Director of the Environmental Education Exchange (E3), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Tucson, Arizona since 1991. E3 has developed a wide variety of environmental education programs and materials for agencies and organizations through the US and Internationally. With an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and a Masters of Science from the University of Michigan, Neil has successfully taught graduate-level coursework and managed educational projects for a wide range of agencies and organizations. For two years, in the mid-1980’s, he lived in Australia while on the faculty at Deakin University, in the College of Education. Neil has been actively involved in the Jewish Renewal world since the 1990’s, studying with a wide selection of Renewal teachers. Neil lives in Tucson with his partner of 24 years, Ilana, a practicing psychotherapist, and together they have two children; Zakkai, currently enrolled at Haverford College, and Aliya still attending high school.
Rabbi Alan Levin
Rabbi Alan Levin bio to come …
Rabbi Jeremy Parnes
First Vice Chair | Acting Treasurer
Rabbi Jeremy Parnes was born in London England in 1952 and has spent the last 43 years of his life in Canada and the last 35 years as a resident of Regina Saskatchewan. He has enjoyed three career choices. Originally, he specialized in community development and working primarily for a non-profit housing association in Inner-City London England. Subsequently, he has been involved in sales management and training in ethical sales. Twenty-three years ago he became the spiritual leader of the Beth Jacob Synagogue and in January 2012 received Smicha from ALEPH Ordination Program both as a Renewal Rabbi and Mashpia Ruchani and Spiritual Director. He is a member of the Regina Multi-faith Forum, and has been active on the boards of Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and the Inner-City Community Partnership. He currently serves as chair of Regina Prison Chaplins Advisory Committee have served as chair on a number of City of Regina committees relating to low cost and social housing and undertook a visioning and future development project on behalf of the residents of North Central Regina, an inner-city community in crisis. He also previously served as Chair of the Board of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He and his life-partner Chris have a blended family of four wonderful children and seven beautiful grandchildren.
Rabbi Jeff Roth, D.Min., M.S.W.
Rabbi Jeff Roth, D.Min., M.S.W. is the founder and Director of The Awakened Heart Project for Contemplative Judaism. He has led over 200 meditation retreats over the last 20 years. He was the co-founder of Elat Chayyim, the Jewish Spiritual Retreat Center, where he served as Executive Director and Spiritual Director for 13 years. He is the author of Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life. He is currently on the faculty of the Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training program. He was ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi as well as by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Rabbi Roth served for eight years as the Executive Director of B’nai Or which became P’nai Or before its transformation into ALEPH. He lives with his partner Rabbi Joanna Katz in the Hudson River Valley.
Charles Silverstein PhD - on leave
Charles Silverstein PhD is dedicated to pursuing his deep interest in personal transformation, alternative healing, depth psychology and the relationship between science and spirituality. He holds an MA degree in Conscious Evolution from The Graduate Institute, Bethany, CT, and a PhD in Transformative Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is a certified Nondual Kabbalistic Healer, a certified Sage-ing ® Mentor (Yerusha), has attended many Jewish silent retreats beginning at the old Elat Chayyim and most recently Ecstatic Meditation and SOULIFT with Rabbi Shefa Gold. He retired as Executive Vice President of The Graduate Institute (Bethany, CT), where he was also the Academic Director of the Master of Arts program in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology. He also serves on the boards of Congregation P’nai Or of West Hartford as Treasurer, and is a member of the board and treasurer of the Society for Consciousness Studies. Charles’ first career was as an educator in the fields of science and math, and his second career was as an institutional fixed income portfolio manager, holding the Chartered Financial Analyst credential.
Hazzan Stephanie Weishaar
Second Vice Chair
Hazzan Stephanie Weishaar has served as the Spiritual Leader of Kol Nefesh congregation in Columbia, Maryland, since 2014. Prior to her work in Jewish music, she earned a degree in international relations and spent many years in nonprofit development in Ukraine, Russia, and the US. Stephanie’s volunteer work has centered around interfaith collaboration, education, and the arts. After raising two wonderful children, she followed her dream to study in seminary and was ordained by ALEPH in 2021. Stephanie lives on a farm in Maryland with her husband and their two dogs.