Your Jewish Journey Starts Here.

About Us

Rabbi Ranon Teller

email | ext. 305 | facebook twitter
Rabbi TellerRabbi Ranon Teller was born and raised in a traditional Jewish home in Southfield, Michigan. He attended Akiva Hebrew Day School through middle school and then moved to Chicago to attend Skokie Yeshiva High School. After high school, Rabbi Teller spent two years of intense yeshiva study in Israel. He has always been a creative soul, passionate about Judaism and the field of education. Although both his parents are Jewish educators, Rabbi Teller initially pursued scriptwriting as a career. He graduated from Columbia College with a B.A. in television writing. His writing career began in Chicago, led him to Los Angeles, and then continued in Jerusalem. As he continued to write, Rabbi Teller enrolled part-time at Machon Shechter, the Conservative rabbinical school in Israel. Finally, he embraced his calling and enrolled in a joint rabbinic and education program at the University of Judaism. Rabbi Ranon Teller began his career in the pulpit as an Assistant Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Amoona in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2004, he was recognized and honored with a promotion to Associate Rabbi. He joined the Brith Shalom family in 2005. Rabbi Teller's wife, Vicki, is actively involved with our synagogue. Rabbi Teller and Vicki have four beautiful children, Ariella Pearl, Maya Naima, Jake Aaron, and Nava Liba, and one very happy dog, Jessie Afikomen Teller.

Check out the Rabbi's Blog.

Cantor Mark Levine

Director of Education

email | ext. 324  

Cantor LevineCantor Mark Levine grew up as part of a traditional Jewish family in New Jersey. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the State University of New York and a Judaic degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary, he earned a master's degree as a Chazan at the Manhattan School for Cantors. Cantor Levine served as Chazan and Youth Director for seven years at the Nanuet Hebrew Center in Nanuet, New York before moving to Dallas where, during a fourteen year period, he served Congregation Shearith Israel in a number of capacities: as Cantor, as Middle School Director and counselor for its Solomon Schechter Day school, and as Educational Director for the entire synagogue. Following seven years as Education and Executive Director at Congregation Eilat in Mission Viejo, California, Cantor Levine was brought to Congregation Brith Shalom as Director of Education. After 15 years working at Camp Ramah, Nyack and having led two summer-long Dallas Teen Tours to Israel, Cantor Levine brings a wide range of educational experiences, both formal and informal, to Congregation Brith Shalom. 

Larry Estes

Executive Director

email | ext. 321 

Larry EstesLarry is Brith Shalom’s first Executive Director. Larry moved to Houston with his wife, Lisa, in 1989 and promptly joined CBS. Over the past 23 years Larry has held several officer positions and led numerous committees. Prior to joining the CBS senior staff in the summer of 2010, Larry was the CEO and co-founder of a software company for the previous 5 years. Larry has a background in banking and a degree in finance & economics. Lisa & Larry are the proud parents of Emily, Maura and Ian. When not at CBS Larry enjoys cycling, having trekked annually to Austin for the past 12 years on the MS150 bike tour.

David Krohn

Hazzan in Residence

email 
David Krohn was trained as a Cantor by his late father Rabbi Philip S. Krohn, of blessed memory, who helped shape the curriculum still used today by the Cantor’s Assembly and School of Sacred Music. Raised in a Rabbinic home in Portsmouth, Virginia, David grew up to Yiddish bedtime stories by Shalom Aleichem and an endless supply of Sidor Belarsky and Moishe Oysher recordings. After obtaining a master’s degree from Juilliard, his Cantorial engagements brought him to some of the most prominent synagogues in the United States for High Holiday and Shabbat services. David has enjoyed solo engagements with the New York Philharmonic, debuts on stages in over forty opera roles with leading opera companies throughout the world, and solo performances in all four theaters of Carnegie Hall.

In addition to his Cantorial and operatic work, in 2005 David began a series of successful Yiddish and Hebrew concerts, continuing his father’s legacy by sharing Jewish music with audiences across the United States. His recent concert of Yiddish Music sold out the ERJCC Kaplan Theater and has led to many subsequent appearances in our Houston community.

David is a proud member of Congregation Brith Shalom, member of the Board of Directors for TORCH (Torah Outreach Resource Center of Houston), and Associate Director of Development for Houston Grand Opera. He is proud to come from a long line of distinguished Rabbis, dating back to Tosafot Yom Tov.

Anna Blum

Assistant Director of Education

email | ext. 303 

Anna BlumAnna Blum was born and raised in a traditional Jewish home in Houston, Texas. She began her Jewish education at Congregation Brith Shalom as a young student of the Religious School and finished her education after becoming a Bat Mitzvah at CBS in 2005. Anna attended Robert. M. Beren Academy for middle school and high school before traveling to Israel for Young Judaea's Year Course gap year program. She has been a member of Young Judaea since the age of eight, attending CYJ Texas and Tel Yehudah in New York as both a camper and counselor. Anna recently graduated with a degree in Political Science from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. During her time at Clark, Anna founded an Israel advocacy club on her campus in order to provide a safe space for Jews and non Jews to discuss Israeli history, culture, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. She is passionate about Israel and her connection to Judaism and is excited to share it with the various Youth Groups and CBS family! 

Cherye-Ann DeLong

Executive Assistant to the Clergy

email | ext. 301 

Cherye-Ann DelongCherye-Ann is a proud Texan and native Houstonian. She danced ballet, tap and jazz for 20 years, played piano for ten years, and guitar for two years. She graduated from Milby High School with an emphasis on computer technology, and assumed administrative job roles during high school in a variety of industries such as: corporate retail, non-profit, oil & gas, IT and, most recently, education, at The University of Phoenix. In 2010, while working at The University of Phoenix, Cherye-Ann earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Services Management. Armed with this degree, she began to seek positions in the non-profit sector to find a place where she could make a difference in people’s lives. In September 2011, she began working at CBS. Though she is not Jewish, she has taken an active approach to connecting with the Jewish community at CBS by completing an Introduction to Hebrew course, and taking the initiative to learn about Jewish traditions and rituals. Cherye-Ann has one adult son, two dogs, and two cats. For fun, she actively participates in the Texas Renaissance Festival as pirates, ride motorcycles, and has embarked on a side-business of karaoke, DJing, and is a clown.

Celestina Billington

Communications Coordinator 

email | ext. 320

This could be textCelestina Billington is an interdisciplinary arts professional from Houston, Texas. In 2016 she graduated from the University of Houston's prestigious Creative Writing program, and also received the school's highest honor: The Legacy Award. This was a recognition of her continuing efforts in student leadership, community activism, and self-improvement.  Celestina has worked independently in the arts as a freelance journalist, performer, fiction-writer, photographer, and events coordinator. Throughout her undergraduate career and since, Celestina has strengthened her real-world knowledge by traveling the world solo as a budget backpacker. At 23 years old, she has visited over 20 world cities, including Mexico City, Tokyo, London, Paris, and New York City. In July she joined the Brith Shalom team as the Communications Coordinator. She is excited to better familiarize herself with the synagogue community, and can't wait to see what this next chapter will bring. 

Erin Lepselter

Programming Coordinator

email | ext. 318

Erin is a Dallas, Texas native, former member of Temple Shalom Dallas, and 2002 Bat Mitzvah alumnus of Congregation Kol Ami, of Flower mound, Texas. She began her work experience for the Jewish Community in 2004 as a counselor at Camp Chai of the JCC Dallas. Erin studied for her Early Childhood Education undergrad at the University of Kansas and various places in Texas and Israel. In 2013, Erin attended her Birthright trip and loved it so much she moved to Tel Aviv four months later to start a six month MASA Israel immersion program. While interning, she eventually landed a position as a teacher as the school behavior specialist at CityKids, the first international English center for young families in Tel Aviv. Erin continued working, studying, learning Hebrew, and living like a local in Tel Aviv ,which eventually led her to make Aliyah in the fall of 2014. After recently moving back from her four years traveling the world and living in Israel, Erin is excited to bring cultural experiences and knowledge to her new positions at CBS in the Hebrew school program and as the programs coordinator. 

Sean Bogle

Administrative Assistant 

email | ext. 308

Sean Bogle Jr is a 2017 graduate from Texas Lutheran University. A Psychology major, Statistics minor, and football player, he acquired many achievements during his undergraduate career. Currently, Sean is working towards his Master’s degree in Psychology from Houston Baptist University. Sean is very devoted to his family, friends, and faith. He has many hobbies such as golfing, playing drums, watching sports, and analyzing sports statistics. He has spent the last decade living in Missouri City, Texas. Sean joined the CBS staff in July as the Administrative Assistant. He hopes to become a familiar face for the synagogue community and to establish an exciting rapport with all staff and members. 

Blake McNamee

Facility Manager

email | ext. 320

Blake is a born and raised Houstonian. Starting at Brith Shalom in 2014, Blake is here to support the day to day operations of the Facility. Blake handles a broad range of duties, such as event setups, maintenance, logistical coordination and cleaning. At Brith Shalom Blake is also the “Go-to” IT guy. Outside of work, his hobbies include cars, flying planes and computer work. Blake is always here to help, and is happy to do so.

 

Professional headshot photos by Mark Katz Photography 

Click here to submit a general question.
E-mail our Communications Coordinator to be added to our eNewsletter!