Photos and quotes from BIMA participants.
The team of Community Educators lives with the BIMA participants. They guide and inspire participants in the challenging work of understanding and creating community, focusing on diversity, Shabbat, and the relationship between Jewish identity and artistic expression. Community Educators come from diverse geographical, artistic, and Jewish backgrounds and are graduate students and professionals with expertise in experiential Jewish and arts education. Community Educators receive specialized training in working with teens, teamwork, pluralism, and community-building. They will inspire participants to find their voice, take on leadership roles, and contribute to a vibrant, creative community.
Meet the 2012 Community Educators
Daniel Kirzane (Coordinator of Jewish and Community Life)
Daniel is a Reform rabbinical student and Wexner Graduate Fellow at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, from which he has also earned an MA in Religious Education. Daniel serves as the HUC Soup Kitchen Coordinator and is the 2012-2013 rabbinic intern at the Central Conference of American Rabbis Press. Daniel graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in Religious Studies and Jewish Studies and then dedicated a year to national service with the AmeriCorps program City Year: Washington, D.C. A passionate actor and theater-lover since the fifth grade, Daniel has particularly grown from his roles in Cyrano de Bergerac, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Art. His undergraduate thesis used drama theory to explore interfaith readings of the Garden of Eden narrative, and he is excited to continue to explore the relationship between Jewishness and art this summer as the Coordinator of Jewish and Community Life at BIMA.
Josh is a native New Englander that has worn many different hats during his few years on this planet. While attending Concordia University in Montreal, he held several executive roles during his four years on staff at CJLO 1690AM Montreal, for which he was awarded the 2011 Ryan B. Arditi Award for Lifetime Achievement. Since 2009 he has worked as a filmmaking teacher, student advisor and experiential educator at the Gann Academy in Waltham, MA. He is a founding member of the Boston-based experimental theater company Liars & Believers and is a contributing writer at Multiversity Comics, an online pop-culture review. He is also currently developing his first comic book, Super Punks. This will be Josh's third summer at BIMA as a community educator.
Rita is from Kiev, Ukraine. She is a Jewish educator who works in at Hillel in Kiev, and an accomplished dancer in many different genres. Whatever she does, she is very passionate about it: salsa, singing, contemporary dance, travelling, Jewish studies, yoga, event-management and even sleeping! She is an experienced madrich and educator, though always in a constant search of new ways and methods for self-improvement. She says "Life has taught me to seize the day and be thankful for what I have." This will be Rita's first summer at BIMA.
Casara is pursuing a master’s degree at Lesley University in expressive therapies, with a specialization in dance/movement therapy and mental health counseling. She is thrilled to facilitate creative arts-Jewish learning this summer! She received her B.A. from Brandeis University, studying Sociology and Theater (with a focus on movement and musical theater). Casara is passionate about creating vibrant and diverse communities, and has worked in a variety of settings, both Jewish and secular, as an educator, counselor, and mentor. She connects to many forms of dance and movement, especially creative movement and African dance, having spent time in Cape Town, South Africa. She believes communities are strengthened and empowered through the arts, and her journey has led her to offer creative movement and arts workshops in many settings, including the Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel, where she worked with immigrant youth. She is a proud member of Bais Abraham Congregation, an open Orthodox synagogue in St. Louis, where she has served as an educator and programming coordinator. She has been involved in coordinating partnership minyanim in the Boston area and is interested in the use of guided meditation and movement in personal prayer and Jewish learning.
Louis recently graduated from Brandeis University, where he earned a B.A. with honors in Classical Studies with minors in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Music. Louis has studied piano since age six and has also studied guitar, bass guitar, and trumpet. He is a graduate of the Music Department of the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Connecticut, where he studied theory and composition as well classical and jazz piano, bass, and guitar. Louis has composed and performed as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with his band The Anti-Dentites since middle school and has worked as a songleader and teacher of music, Hebrew, and Judaics at various camps, synagogues, and programs. He continues to perform music in a plethora of ensembles in genres ranging from classical to punk rock to klezmer. During his time at Brandeis, Louis served as the Musical Director of Manginah, Brandeis University's Premier Co-Ed Jewish A Cappella group, the Social Events Coordinator of the Brandeis Reform Chavurah, the pianist of False Advertising, Brandeis' Oldest and Only Longform and Musical Improv Comedy Troupe, the bassist and pianist of 'Deiskeit, Brandeis University's Klezmer Ensemble, and more. He hopes to study to become a rabbi/archaeologist/punk rock star someday. Louis spent his summer at BIMA last year as the Instrumental Music Intern and he is extremely excited to be returning to BIMA for a second summer as a Community Educator.
A Rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary (beginning his 3rd year in the fall of 2012), Jonah is excited to spend his 4th summer at BIMA. In 2005, Jonah was a participant at BIMA, learning trumpet in the Jazz Workshop and piano in a classical trio. Just after graduating List College, where he studied Music at Columbia University and Jewish Music at JTS, Jonah returned to BIMA in 2010 as the Instrumental Music Intern. In 2011, Jonah returned to BIMA (again) as a Community Educator. Highlights from Jonah's life as a musician have included releasing 4 comedy/pop albums (on which he plays most of the instruments), coordinating Salons (forums for presenting offering friendly feedback on new works of art and entertainment) around New York City and Jerusalem, writing Jewish prayer music, composing for the short film Scribble Squabble Morning, producing an album for (and appearing in a music video with) Ghanaian poet Osekre, and contributing music to several dance/movement pieces (one of which, in December 2008, appeared in an online video for an article in The New York Times about the Columbia Ballet Collaborative). In the arena of Jewish life, Jonah has worked as a Youth Advisor at Fairlawn Jewish Center/Congregation Bnai Israel; a Gabbai at JTS; a Cantor at Congregation Beth Israel of Gulfport, Mississippi; the typist and secretary of two new Conservative prayer books; and more. Jonah blogs for The Times of Israel and is the Creative Co-Director of Oholiav: A Community for Viewing Arts & Entertainment Through a Jewish Lens ( www.oholiav.com ), where the messages of different pieces of popular and artistic media are compared and contrasted with Jewish values, stories, and debates.
Arielle is a painter fresh off of a year of intensive Torah study at Yeshivat Hadar in NYC, and she’s thrilled to teach art and Torah together this summer. A graduate of BU’s University Professor’s Program, she holds a combined degree in Conflict Resolution and Visual Arts. Her undergraduate thesis explored the role of community arts programming as a mediation tool in cities of ethno-religious conflict around the world. This project led her to assistant teach at the Museum of Haifa in a diverse arts outreach program called Omanim Tsi’irim – The Young Artists’ Programme. She also spent four years at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Cambridge, MA, where she sharpened her skills in art history, preservation, and archival work. Prior to Yeshiva, Arielle acted as Creative Content Manager for a Boston-based web startup. Arielle is excited to take the art-Judaism-diversity trifecta to amazing new heights this summer!