Rabbi Avi M. Schulman
Teaching Torah is at the center of my being a rabbi. I hope to enhance synagogue life at all levels by engaging the attention of teenagers in a Confirmation class; delivering a sermon that reaches the hearts and minds of adults; telling a story to preschoolers; and counseling individuals in need. I am committed to working with clergy of other faiths to promote understanding and respect; and to representing the principles of Reform Judaism both locally and throughout the Bay Area.
I believe that a synagogue should be warm, welcoming, and inclusive. A congregation is more than a sum of its programs and activities, its members and its staff. It’s a sacred community, a “kehillah kedoshah,” where people have concern and care for one another. I want Temple Beth Torah to be a congregation that feels like an extended family. Interfaith couples should have a sense of kinship and participate in all aspects of congregational life.
Rabbi Avi M. Schulman is a native of Long Beach, California and graduated with highest honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a degree in Modern Jewish History and Thought. He was ordained at the Reform Movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2009, Rabbi Schulman was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity degree from HUC-JIR. Rabbi Schulman is the author of Like A Raging Fire: A Biography of Maurice N. Eisendrath. He is a Past President of the Tri-City Interfaith Council and currently serves on Washington Hospital’s Bioethics Committee.
Rabbi Schulman is married to Rabbi Eve Ben-Ora. They are the proud parents of three adult children.
In the summer of 2007, he became the rabbi of Temple Beth Torah. You can read Rabbi Schulman’s recent writings, including his blogs and High Holy Days sermons, here. Rabbi Schulman is always glad to meet with current or prospective members, as well as anyone curious about Judaism.
Director of Congregational Learning, Marla Kolman Antebi
Marla is an experiential educator who comes to us with over 20 years of experience working with youth, adults and families. She has taught every grade from K-12, has worked with youth groups and camps, and has directed two family schools. In 2014 she received the Diller Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. She has a B.A. in Child Development, an M.S.W. in Community Organizing, is trained in Spiritual Direction and received smicha (ordination) as a Teacher of Jewish Meditation and Mysticism. In addition to her role at TBT, she leads a monthly Jewish Meditation group, works with independent families preparing for B’nei Mitzvah, and teaches Mussar (ask her what that is!) to adults. She has a special passion for interfaith work and will be attending the Parliament of the Worlds’ Religions in Toronto this November. Her relationship with Israel dates back to 1980, and she is currently working to develop a family camp called "Holy Camp!" that is set to pilot in summer 2019 in the old city of Tzfat. She is a games enthusiast, a glass mosaic artist, and mom to two boys ages 8 and 10. She is very excited to join the TBT team and to expand the array of educational and experiential offerings for our children, adults, and families.
Temple Administrator, Jill Ziman
Jill Ziman has been the Administrator of Temple Beth Torah since July 2005. She has a B.A. degree in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. In addition to her work at Temple Beth Torah, she also volunteers every week at Washington Hospital in Fremont. Jill is married, and is the proud parent of two adult children.
Director of Gan Sameach Preschool, Annie Jacob
Annie completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science from Delhi University. She then did her course work in Early Childhood Studies from Ohlone College, Fremont, and has thrived in the field for the last fourteen years. Annie obtained her Site Supervisor Permit and trained and honed the fine skills of her fellow colleagues and run a successful and flourishing childhood center. She is also a certified Professional Growth Advisor to early childhood teachers.
Annie is an ardent believer of “learning through play” by creating a rich and stimulating classroom environment. This curriculum helps in fostering the child’s emotional, social and mental growth. She believes in parental participation in classroom activities, and partnering with teachers to make the child a successful individual.
Annie is married and has two daughters. Her hobbies are solving crossword puzzles, cooking, and gardening.