The BIMA arts faculty is comprised of professional artists who have demonstrated excellence in their fields and have a strong interest in and connection to Judaism. Each arts major is led by an accomplished professional artist who is assisted by an intern. The arts faculty is experienced at helping participants hone their skills and explore who they are as artists.
2017 Music Faculty
Asia (ah-sya) Meirovich is a Russian-born, Israeli-raised, Boston, New York City then Western Massachusetts relocated composer, singer/songwriter, vocalist and pianist.
After formal classical studies in the Jerusalem conservatory, Asia moved to Boston to obtain her degree in Contemporary Writing and Production from Berklee College of Music. Asia has 4 singer/songwriter releases with her writing, arranging, performing and producing all material. After 7 years of working professionally as a studio engineer, composer, arranger, musical director, pianist and vocalist in NYC, Asia obtained a masters in classical composition from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Asia's choral compositions have been widely performed and published, and she is the winner of the 2015 Ben Steinberg Young Composer Award for Jewish choral music.
Asia is currently the music program director at the MacDuffie preparatory school in Granby, MA and the former band director at the Ramaz school in New York, NY. Asia has been teaching at BIMA since 2006.
Zach Mayer is an internationally acclaimed baritone saxophonist and singer. Based in New York City, he has performed at the Krakow Jewish Music festival in Poland, the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto and on the Dave Koz and Friends at Sea summer cruise in the Mediterranean. Zach performs a one-man show, using live looping to create beats, melodies and harmonies in a highly interactive way. His goal is to fully express himself through his saxophone, voice, whistling, harmonica, tin whistle and many other instruments while providing the audience, the most important instrument, with a joyous, engaging and hilarious experience.
A Chicagoland native, cellist Jessie Reagen Mann is based in New York City. In May 2010, Jessie received the Outstanding Musical Achievement Award from the Max Reger Foundation of America. Jessie can often be heard in various Broadway musicals, and has recently performed with Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Nas, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Adele, William Joseph, tap dancer Savion Glover, Natalie Merchant, Anat Cohen, Mike Errico and Artemis Chamber Players among other rising stars and singer/songwriters.
Jessie is a Musician-in-Residence at Congregation B'nai Jeshuran and part of the internationally touring genre-bending ensemble DBR & The Mission. 2VC, a cello duo project started with Gene Carr is dedicated to expanding the repertoire for 2 cellos.
In addition to performing, Jessie created and curates a salon style world and classical music series called "6th Street Sundays." This series was started in 2009 and prides itself on affordable concert tickets that include a workshop or master class before each performance.
Jessie recently composed her first original piece for "Hourglass" choreographed by the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company. Her collaboration with fellow BIMA faculty Mica Bernas will be performed at BIMA this summer.
Jessie has recorded for Naxos American Classics, RCA Black Seal, Red Ink, Roc-A-Fella, Bridge, Domino and Manifest Spirit Records as well as the Pioneers for a Cure project. Commonly seen on TV, Jessie has made appearances on Gossip Girls, SNL, TRL, The View, Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Today Show, Soundstage, Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting and the Martha Stewart Show.
Jessie is currently on faculty at the United Nations International School in Manhattan. She joined the BIMA faculty in 2007.
Saxophonist and clarinetist Rabbi Greg Wall grew up in the Boston area, and attended the New England Conservatory of Music, before settling in the New york area. Greg has performed and recorded with Hasidic New Wave, Klezmerfest, Later Prophets, Kenny Barron, Shlomo Carlebach, Eli Kranzler, Neshama Carlebach, Bill Frisell, Billy Hart, Dave's True Story, The Wall/London Band, the Hi-Tops, the Piamenta Band, Greg Wall's Unity Orchestra, and has made many session appearances for record dates and film scores. He was the musical voice of James Earl Jones in the recent feature film "On the QT". Greg is the producer for the innovative Pioneers For a Cure project.
His critically acclaimed release, "From the Belly of Abraham", with Hasidic New Wave and Senegalese master drummers Yakar Rhythms was named one of the ten best CD's of 2002 by Jazz Times magazine. Greg has collaborated with the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company since 1999, resulting in the commissioned scores for "Mayne Mentshen" (2001), "Echad" (2002), "Love Lines" (2003), and "Oddisea" (2004).
Greg's latest release, "Ha'Orot-The Lights of Rav Kook", was just released on John Zorn's Tzadik label. Other recent releases include "Later Prophets", "Mystic Autumn" with the New American Jazz Quartet, Aaron Alexander's "Midrash Mishmosh", "Ani Shelach", with Neshama Carlebach, "Unauthorized', with Dave's True Story, KlezmerFest's "Party Music", Aaron Alexander's "Blues for Sparky", and the score to "Mayne Mentshen."
Greg was a founding member of the BIMA arts faculty and has been at BIMA since 2004.
Andrés returns to BIMA as Instrumental Music Faculty after five years as BIMA’s resident guitar teacher and one year as a BIMA Community Educator in 2010. Himself the son of two musicians, Andrés was named after the famed classical guitarist, Andrés Segovia. He has been a professional freelance guitarist and touring musician since his late teens, having performed everything from jazz and hip-hop to death metal and everything in between in venues throughout his native Boston, the broader U.S., Montréal, France, England, and Israel, and he has recorded and performed with a variety of indie artists—including his wife, the composer, songwriter, and BIMA choral music director, Asia Mei. Andrés début album, the eclectic INK & SOUND (2006), was named one of Boston's top five by Metronome Magazine and the Northeast Performer in 2007, and the follow-up EP and poetry chapbook CITYSCAPES & APPARITIONS was released in 2013. Andrés earned his B.M. from the Berklee College of Music, a M.A. from Columbia University, and a second M.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Literature and an Adjunct Professor. Andrés has also done extensive study in Jewish texts and liturgy as a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar in New York City, and was for many years a Hebrew teacher who led davening at his local shul Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton, MA. When not making music, reading or writing, Andrés can usually be found running around with his kids, Eden and Liam (who at four months old cannot actually run yet…), trying some funky yoga pose, or recklessly riding his bicycle around in circles.
2017 Theater Faculty
Lynda Bachman is a director, educator, and collaborative theatre-maker based in the Bay Area, where she is also a company member and Literary Manager for Impact Theatre (Berkeley). Previously, Lynda was the head of the theatre arts program at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, where she created new devised plays using Jewish themes and source material with the rising high school juniors.
Her process is highly collaborative, and intensely structured. It is founded on a fully sensory exploration of text and story through movement, composition, and dramaturgy. A common thread through all of her work is a love for heightened theatricality and magic, and an inventive and creative use of space.
Directing credits include: Bay Area Children's Theatre, The Rabbit Hole, Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts, Berkeley Playhouse Conservatory, Brandeis University. Assistant Directing: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Shotgun Players, Boxcar Playhouse, Impact Theatre, Mugwumpin. Teaching Artist: Berkeley Playhouse Conservatory, Northwoods Ramah Theatre Company/Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. Training: Directors Lab West, ATLAS Directing Fellowship, BA, Sociology and Theatre Arts: Brandeis University. This will be Lynda's first summer at BIMA.
Ellen was born in Buffalo, New York, received an M.A. in studio art from New York University and a B.F.A. in art education from the College of Art and Design in Boston. She loves mixed media. It's all about endless the combinations: natural elements next to abstract ones, fine art with the everyday.
Her pieces have been exhibited in the United States, Israel, Germany, England, Russia, and China. For 15 years, she lived and worked on community art projects in Israel organizing concrete sculptures and murals throughout the country. Today, she lives in New York City, with a studio as Artist-in-Residence at the Park Avenue Synagogue and teaches at the 92nd St Y and Solomon Schechter School. Ellen joined the BIMA faculty in 2007.
Batnadiv HaKarmi is a painter and writer who spent her formative years in the Old City of Jerusalem, where she still resides. She studied art at the Jerusalem Studio School, the International School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, Italy, and the New York Studio School, where she was awarded the Dean's Scholarship and the 2010 Summer Scholarship. Her painting is complemented by her studies of literature, and she holds an MA, cum laude, in Comparative Literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she was awarded the Rector's Prize and the Wolf Foundation Award.
Her works straddles the line between representation and abstraction, and explores the intersection of painting and poetry.
Batnadiv has had four solo exhibitions in Jerusalem, and has taken part in numerous group shows and art events in Israel and abroad. Her work has been reviewed in Haaretz, the Jewish Press, and by Israel National Radio. An innovative and creative educator, she has taught at various institutions, including the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and the Academy for Leadership, Ein Prat. She currently heads the art program at Emunah veOmanut, a branch of the Emunah College of Art and Technology, and joined the visual arts faculty at Brandeis Institute for Music and Art at Brandeis University in 2014.