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Rabbi Annie Lewis

Rabbi Annie Lewis is a passionate community organizer, a skilled story-weaver, a compassionate listener, and a heart-centered Torah teacher. Rabbi Annie began her rabbinic career in Philadelphia, serving as a congregational rabbi of Germantown Jewish Centre and Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel, overseeing field education at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College as Director of Rabbinic Formation, and supporting colleagues as co-president of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia. She also shared Torah and song as a visiting rabbi at Beth Israel Congregation of Gulfport, Mississippi.

Rabbi Annie was ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2012, where she received a master’s degree in Jewish women’s and gender studies and was awarded a Wexner Graduate Fellowship. She also studied couples and family therapy at the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. Rabbi Annie brings this relationship toolkit to her rabbinic work supporting individuals and families through life transitions and officiating at life cycle events.

Before pursuing a path to the rabbinate, Rabbi Annie studied linguistic anthropology at Brown University and at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She delved into Torah at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and worked to strengthen civil society in Israel as a New Israel Fund/Shatil Social Justice Fellow. 

Rabbi Annie is a singer and poet with roots in the Storahtelling ritual theater company. Her writing has been published by Ritualwell, Lilith and Kveller. In 2018, she was selected as a David Hartman Center fellow for the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, in recognition of her role as an emerging thought leader in the North American Jewish community.She currently serves as co-chair of the Rabbinical Assembly's editorial committee for a new Rabbi's Manual.

Rabbi Annie believes the Jewish people are beautiful and beloved and that Torah holds the sparks for transforming the world to honor the lives and dignity of all human beings. Rabbi Annie and her husband, Rabbi Yosef Goldman, are grateful to co-lead the vibrant Shaare Torah community in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where they can be found exploring playgrounds with their children, Zohar Lieba  and Shir Emet. 

Click here to schedule a one-on-one meeting with Rabbi Annie.


Rabbi Yosef Goldman -

Rabbi Yosef Goldman is an inspiring facilitator of prayer, a renowned musician and composer, and a skilled educator. 

Raised in a mixed Orthodox Ashkenazi and Mizrahi home, Rabbi Yosef has been welcomed into communities of every Jewish movement as a leader and teacher of prayer and Jewish texts. Rabbi Yosef received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2013, with a concentration in pastoral care and counseling, and he was awarded a Master of Sacred Music. After honing his practice of pastoral care as a chaplain resident at Einstein Medical Center, he joined the clergy team at Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel in Center City Philadelphia. As Rabbi and Director of Sacred Music, Rabbi Yosef revived the music program and enriched the community’s prayer life, launching an engagement initiative that resulted in unprecedented growth for the synagogue. 

Rabbi Yosef’s rabbinic career has also blended spiritual leadership with innovation and entrepreneurship.  As Co-Director of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute, alongside founder Joey Weisenberg, Rabbi Yosef helped establish the organization as a leader in cultivating Jewish spiritual community through song, and helped launch its record label, Rising Song Records. Through Rising Song, Rabbi Yosef taught prayer, Jewish music, and spiritual development to students across North America. 

Rabbi Yosef’s music is sung at synagogues, schools, and camps across the country. His first album of original music, Open My Heart, was released by Rising Song Records in winter 2019. As a performer and composer, Yosef weaves together musical forms from both his Mizrahi and Ashkenazi heritage. As a vocalist, Rabbi Yosef is well-known for his lush harmonies. He performs and records with a wide range of Jewish artists, including as a longtime featured vocalist in the Hadar Ensemble and a founding member of the Middle Eastern Jewish music ensemble, the Epichorus. Along with trombonist Dan Blacksberg, Rabbi Yosef was selected by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts for its 2018–19 Jazz Residency. Rabbi Yosef is a sought-after prayer consultant and scholar/artist-in-residence, where he helps communities and individuals to access authentic and meaningful experience and growth through Jewish prayer and practice.

Rabbi Yosef and his wife, Rabbi Annie Lewis, are grateful to co-lead the vibrant Shaare Torah community in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where they live with their children, Zohar Lieba  and Shir Emet. In his spare time, Yosef is an avid cook and a budding gardener.

Click here to schedule a one-on-one meeting with Rabbi Yosef.


Matthew Oziel, Executive

Matt joined the Shaare Torah community as its first Executive Director in May of 2015.  Matt wears “many kippahs” and sits on most committees. Shaare Torah is committed to empowering its members to connect to one another and create positive experiences.  Finding ways to support this mission while driving intentional, organizational change as we grow, is what excites him most about his position. Matt and his wife Rachel celebrated the birth of their son Henry, in late 2018. Henry is a regular shul goer and is attending the Early Childhood Center.

Deb Geiger, Engagement

Deb first became affiliated with Shaare Torah as a youth service leader while working full time for Hillel. She came on board as a full-time member of Shaare Torah’s Senior Staff in 2013.  Deb and her husband Adam have two daughters, Ellie who enjoys being in our Religious School and Zoe who spends her days in our Early Childhood Center. Among her many responsibilities at Shaare Torah, she helps every member of our community find their place and welcomes new people.

Allison Colker, Director of Early Childhood Education -

Allison joined the Shaare Torah community in June of 2015.  She has worked in the fields of early childhood education and Jewish education since 1992.  Allison directs our Early Childhood Center, Kindergarten, and ECC Summer Program. Outside of Shaare Torah, Allison is an active participant in the Greater Washington Jewish Early Childhood Education Directors' Council.  Allison and her husband Ryan both grew up in active synagogue families, spending summers at Jewish sleepover camp, were actively involved in Jewish youth group and later in Jewish life on campus, and started teaching religious school as teenager

Rabbi Batya Glazer, B'Yachad Community Religious School Director -

Batya Glazer was ordained as a Conservative rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1998 where she also studied at the Davidson School of Jewish Education. She has decades of experience in Jewish education at all levels and in all settings, both formal. She has taught at every level in both formal and informal settings. She identifies her first experience as a Jewish educator was as an eight year old consultant for her mother who taught 3rd grade Hebrew school 

Working in Jewish Community Relations Councils, Batya has been building relationships through dialogue, working in coalition, and educational programming for years. She is committed to listening deeply and developing an understanding of the concerns and the cultural context of diverse communities and working closely with lay leaders to bring together representatives and diverse perspectives of the Jewish community. 

Glazer has a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University, a Master of Hebrew Letters degree from The University of Judaism, and a Master’s degree and Rabbinic Ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Sapir Ben Dor, Shlicha -

Sapir comes to Shaare Torah from Kfar Adumim in Israel, a mixed community of orthodox and secular families.  She has served as a Spokesperson in that unit of the IDF, and has worked as a Youth Counselor in Kfar Adumim, mentoring and coordinating non-formal education and projects for ages 13-14.  She enjoys playing the Ukulele, hiking, baking, and reading.

Jennifer Kramer, Office Administrator -
Jennifer (Jen) Kramer is the newest addition to the Shaare Torah community, joining as the
Office Administrator in 2021. She has been an active Jewish community professional for over 9 years, and is excited to be joining a dynamic and talented staff.
Jen and her husband, Kirill Reznik, live in Gaithersburg with their daughters Caitlyn, who’s
excited to start Religious School and Gabriella (Gabby) who is enjoying her days in the Early Childhood Center, and their 2 dogs, Mickey and Tinkerbell. 
Kelli Kahalas, B'nai Mitzvah Coordinator -
Kelli and her family became affiliated with Shaare Torah when they enrolled their son in the very first nursery school class. Since then she has been involved on many levels of the synagogue including the board of directors where she served as a trustee and as Membership Vice President. She loves working with the b’nai mitzvah families during this very important and exciting time in their lives. Kelli and her husband, 3 kids, a dog and a cat live in nearby Darnestown. 
Sat, December 4 2021 30 Kislev 5782