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Rabbi Ranon Teller 
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Rabbi 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.

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Cantor Mark Levine
Director of Education

email | ext. 324  

Cantor 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.

Melissa Magenheim
Executive Director

email | ext. 321

Melissa Magenheim was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is a former member of East Midwood Jewish Center, a conservative synagogue in Brooklyn. She attended Camp Ramah in the Berkshires for several years and was a counselor for one summer. She was also an active member of USY. Melissa graduated from Brooklyn College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Finance.  After graduating from college, Melissa opened Special Effects, a specialty toy shop in Brooklyn. Melissa moved to Houston in 1995 and joined Brith Shalom as a member in 2005. Previously, she was employed with Freeman AV company as an Office Manager at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Melissa has two beautiful daughters, Talia and Gabi.

David Krohn
Hazzan

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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.

Erin Lepselter
Assistant Director of Education

email | ext. 303

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 the Hebrew school program.

Blake Kizer
Executive Assistant to the Clergy
email | ext. 301 

Blake Kizer is a native Texan who hails from Baytown. He is a local stand-up comedian who performs at comedy clubs in and around Houston. Blake attended The University of North Texas, and has a background in Information Technology.
He co-hosts a podcast and enjoys staying active. Blake also volunteers at different pet shelters, and has a pit-bull/retriever mix named Apophis. His main drive in life is to travel the world and write about his adventures. Blake joined the Brith Shalom team in October of 2021.

 

 

Barbara Loeser
Programming Specialist

email | ext. 318

Barbara Loeser is well-known both locally and nationally as a master educator and Jewish music specialist. She was the founder and first director of the Becker Early Childhood Center of Congregation Emanu El and also served as Education Director for Congregation Beth El in Missouri City. Barbara has served as a cantorial soloist at Congregation Emanu El for more than forty years, leading services for Shabbat and High Holidays and creative worship for all ages. She served for 22 years as the Community Engagement Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, where she developed programs, created publications, and consulted with numerous synagogues in the Greater Houston area. Barbara is best known for coordinating the highly successful Yom Limmud: the Federation’s Annual Day of Learning, which attracts more than 1200 participants each year. Barbara joined the Brith Shalom team as Programming Specialist in August of 2019.

Lori Jacobs
Administrative Assistant

email | ext. 319

Lori Jacobs graduated from the University of Judaism in California with a BA of Judaic Studies and from the University of Pittsburgh with a Masters of Social Work. Lori has spent most of her career working for Jewish non-profit organizations including Hillel, and with several JCC entities. For the last several years, Lori has been the office manager for an insurance agency in NY. Lori moved from Brooklyn, NY to Houston to be closer to her family. Lori is married with three children.

Karen Ross
Marketing Specialist

email | ext. 320

Karen Ross was born in New York City, but grew up primarily in Sarasota, Florida, where her family still resides. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in mass communications and with an honors in screenwriting.  In addition to work in advertising, website management and arts marketing, Karen is also a part-time professional actor, and does school and hospital visits with her trained therapy dog.

 

 

Larry Bradley
Facilities Coordinator

email | ext.

 

Professional headshot photos by Mark Katz Photography.

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Thu, December 2 2021 28 Kislev 5782