Executive Director, Yolanda Potasinski: firstname.lastname@example.org x811
Director of Development, Ann Targownik: email@example.com x814
Director of Finance & Operations, Assaf Astrinsky: firstname.lastname@example.org x812
Religious Services Coordinator, Patrice Ruel: email@example.com x813
Assistant to Rabbi Kleinbaum, Tasha Calhoun: firstname.lastname@example.org x875
Development Associate, Ruth Kleinman: email@example.com x815
Development Assistant, Candice Orr: firstname.lastname@example.org x818
Assistant to Executive Director, Chaz Macrina: email@example.com x810
Programming Coordinator, Jesse Katz: firstname.lastname@example.org x876
Communications Coordinator, Izzy levy: email@example.com x843
Pianist, Dror Baitel
Principal, Jonathan Shmidt Chapman: firstname.lastname@example.org x842
Program Administrator, Teacher, Jennifer Kleinbaum: email@example.com x816
B'nai Mitzvah Coordinator, Teacher, Miya Rotstein: firstname.lastname@example.org
Teachers: Ty Citerman, Songleader; Maya Orli Cohen; Nora Isacoff; Leah Singerman.
About the Staff
Yolanda Potasinski, Executive Director
Yolanda Potasinski joined the staff at CBST as its Executive Director, in January of 2013. She previously served as President of CBST for five years, during a critical period, while CBST substantially increased its staff and budget, and began to professionalize its board. From 2003 to 2012, Yolanda served as the Executive Director of Habonim - a Conservative synagogue on the Upper West Side. Yolanda is a native of Caracas, Venezuela, where her family found refuge after World War II. Bi-lingual and fluent in both Spanish and English, Yolanda has a passion for building community between people of all walks of life. During her 17-year career in banking administration, Yolanda was an active member and volunteer at CBST. She obtained a certificate at the NYU George Heyman, Jr. Center of Philanthropy and Fundraising. Yolanda has a background that includes both extensive training and hands-on experience in organizational development, fundraising and programming. Yolanda also served as President and VP of Metro-Ase, the NY professional organization for synagogue directors. She resides in NYC with her son and daughter.
Ann Targownik, Director of Development
Contact Ann to chat about your connection to and support for the CBST sacred community and mission. Ann joined the CBST staff in July 2013, bringing a depth of successful professional and lay leadership experience. She served for five years as Director of Development at Shaaray Tefila, NYC, three years as Executive Director of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, NYC, five years as Executive Director of The Jewish Center of the Hamptons in East Hampton, NY and four years as president of Temple Israel Reform Congregation of Staten Island. She was a member of the Union for Reform Judaism, Greater NY Council's Leadership Development Committee and is a member of the National Association for Temple Administration, Reform Synagogue Development Professionals, was an officer of Metropolitan Association of Synagogue Executives, and is a member of ATID (Advancing Temple Institutional Development). She is author of, and has been quoted in, numerous articles on membership and fundraising and was a workshop presenter on annual giving at URJ National Biennial Conventions. Ann holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute's School of Architecture, Brooklyn, NY and has taught History and Architectural Design at the College of Staten Island. She founded and was principal of the award-winning architectural and interior design firm, Designers' Partnership. She and her husband reside in Manhattan.
Assaf Astrinsky, Director of Finance & Operations
Assaf Astrinsky, a longtime member of CBST, joined the staff in May 2013 shortly after returning from 9 years living in Israel. In Israel, Assaf served as the Director of the World Council of Jewish Communal Service (WCJCS) after completing his MBA in Not-for-Profit Management & Jewish Leadership at the Interdisciplinary Center, in Herzliya. Prior to moving to Israel, Assaf was the Director of Finance & Administration at the Center for Jewish History and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, in New York. He also served as Business Manager at the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra.
Patrice Ruel, Religious Services Coordinator
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Patrice moved to New York in 2010 in pursuit of his Master’s Degree at Dowling College, Oakdale, NY. He soon began attending services at CBST, and fell in love with both the services and community. But before joining the staff, he would first work at Air France, and family owned business, Patriel C.A., dedicated to customs brokerage. Seeking sunnier skies, he made a move to South Florida, where he accepted a position as the Religious Services Director at a local congregation. His return to New York brought him back to CBST, but this time as a permanent member of its staff. His passion, as well as his sense of commitment and responsibility and his indelible warmth and unmistakable charm, solidify him as one of our most endeared.
Tasha Calhoun, Assistant to Rabbi Kleinbaum
Contact Tasha to schedule an appointment with Rabbi Kleinbaum for your general ritual questions, or to schedule a simcha. Born in Manhattan and raised in both Manhattan and the Bronx, she now lives in New Jersey. Tasha is the longtime Assistant to Rabbi Kleinbaum. She has been a CBST staff member, since November 1994, when she divided her time between CBST and a professional internship with a documentary film production company. Prior to joining the CBST staff, Tasha was an honor student at the University of Rochester and at Hunter College. She is the author and illustrator of the children’s book, "Avery’s Tooth and Treasure." When she is not at CBST, Tasha can be found raising her two beautiful children, Ethan and Avery, and working on her next children's book.
Ruth Kleinman, Development Associate
Ruth Kleinman has been working in the Jewish community for over a decade. She comes to CBST most recently after 6 years at Congregation Rodeph Sholom on the Upper West Side. During that time, she worked with major donors to the annual and capital campaigns, and was the first point of contact for any donors to the many funds at the temple. Prior to working at CRS, Ruth lived in Israel as a participant in the WUJS program (World Union Jewish Students) in the Peace and Social Justice Track – volunteering weekly at both a community garden and soup kitchen, interning with Jewish Eco-Seminars, and traveling to various parts of the country. Having worked at Hillel: the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life for 5 years on several campuses, she staffed many Taglit-Birthright Israel trips and wanted to deepen her relationship with Israel while learning Hebrew. As a Hillel staff member, Ruth also supervised student leaders, implemented timely and interesting programming, and connected with faculty and staff. Concurrently, Ruth was the Youth Group Director for 3 years at Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El in Westchester. She currently serves on the boards of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association and Hillels of Westchester, and co-chairs an annual fundraiser with Project Morry. Ruth is a vegetarian, a life-long NY Rangers fan, and a former camp counselor at Echo Lake. She and her husband Steven live in Manhattan with their son, Zeke.
Chaz Macrina, Assistant to the Executive Director
Chaz joins CBST as the Assistant to Yolanda Potasinski. He has an eclectic background have worked exclusively in many areas of the non-profit world, such areas as: the arts, education, and social & community services including six years as the Assistant to the Director of Mental Health & Social Services, at the LBGT Center in New York City. His other passions are art, theatre, film, photography, writing, and religious studies including Kabbalah. Chaz grew up in Philadelphia and lives in Manhattan.
Jesse Katz, Programming Coordinator
Jesse Katz joined CBST as the Project Manager for the Talk to Me About HIV program. A poet and musician, born and raised in New York City, Jesse has a history of organizing in the local music, literature and arts communities for the benefit of grassroots social justice causes, relief efforts and raising up emerging creative voices. He runs the New York School style, Frank O’Hara-inspired, literature and music series, “Having A Whiskey Coke With You” and publishes its supplemental zines and mixtapes.
Izzy Levy, Communications Coordinator
Izzy Levy is a graduate of Smith College, where they participated in student organizing. They have previously interned with LGBTQ organizations, including as CBST's Communications Intern, and spent time working on the 2013 New Jersey campaign for marriage equality. Izzy is excited to be part of the team here at CBST and will be focusing on improving and exploring new avenues of communication with CBST members, community, and media.
Dror Baitel, Pianist
Dror Baitel has established himself as a leading talent through his virtuosity and versatility across diverse musical genres. Born and raised in Israel, Dror moved to the US to pursue his classical piano Bachelor’s degree at Mannes College in New York under Vladimir Feltsman and Jerome Rose. Since then he has played on many stages, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Hall. He also worked on Broadway in Mary Poppins, The King and I, Matilda, Hamilton and most recently in the Tony winning musical Dear Evan Hansen. In addition to his work in the theater, Dror has served as a music director and accompanist in synagogues, including Shaaray Tefila and Temple L’Dor V’Dor in Oyster Bay. As a dedicated educator, Dror has been a teaching fellow at The Juilliard School since 2016. In 2017 Dror received his Masters in Collaborative Piano at Juilliard studying with Jonathan Feldman, Dr. Andrew Harley and Margo Garrett. Dror was an award recipient of the American Israel Cultural Foundation and currently is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in the Collaborative Piano Department as a Starr fellow at Juilliard.
Jonathan Shmidt Chapman, Principal
Jonathan brings over a decade of experience teaching, producing, and creating innovative educational programming for young people and their families. Most recently, Jonathan oversaw family programming at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. While there, he developed and launched an international performing arts series for families, a concert series for pre-schoolers, and The Big Umbrella Festival, the first international arts festival for audiences on the autism spectrum. Jonathan is also the Founding Artistic Director of Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, where he created over a dozen original theatrical experiences for kids and families in a variety of locations around NYC. He first discovered a passion for education and theater while working as the Assistant Director of True Colors OUT Youth Theatre, an LGBTQ theater and advocacy program for teens in Boston. A native of the New York area, Jonathan is a graduate of the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, Boston University, and NYU. He is a long-time member of CBST, with his husband David and son Elior. E-mail Jonathan at email@example.com or call x842.
Jennifer Kleinbaum, Program Administrator and Teacher
Jennifer continues to serve CBST in a new administrative role and a Limmud teacher (as Morah Yaffa). She brings her love of teaching and experience building organizational capacity and developing education programs for emergent institutions. Jennifer has worked as the Executive Director of Tenafly Nature Center, Audubon Society of Florida, and Long Island Aquarium. She has degrees in Marine Biology (Cornell), Educational Technology (LIU), and Fundraising (NYU). Jennifer is committed to the CBST mission and since her first service as a teenager, has been drawn to our community emanating love for one another. E-mail Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call x816.
Ty Citerman, Songleader and Teacher
Ty is a Brooklyn, NY-based guitarist, composer and music educator with eclectic interests that span the spectrum of jazz, rock, contemporary classical music, secular and spiritual. He has been leading songs in Jewish synagogues and community settings for nearly twenty years, including CBST since 2011. He has also worn a lay-cantorial-kippa at the JCC in Manhattan, the Village Temple, Kolot Chayeinu and the Jewish Community Project.
Nora Isacoff is excited to continue serving on the Limud staff and combine two of her greatest passions: teaching and CBST! Nora has a PhD in cognitive psychology focusing on language development, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in literacy education. At CBST, Nora serves as Vice Chair of Aleinu (20s/30s group) and sings in the chorus. Outside CBST, she works with children with special learning needs in her own practice, and is a research scientist at NYU, where she consults on education policy. Nora spends much of her free time playing with her dog, Sophie, in Prospect Park. E-mail Nora at email@example.com
Miya Rotstein grew up in Montreal in a tri-lingual home and graduated from McGill University with a degree in Cultural Studies. She has been developing creative arts based Jewish curricula, teaching Hebrew language, Jewish studies and Torah/ Haftorah preparation to both children and adults in NYC for over 15 years. Miya also works as an artist and personal chef and has been active at CBST since 1999. E-mail Miya at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leah Singerman is thrilled to be a part of CBST's Limmud community. Leah has a passion for education and for using growth mindset to empower students to set and work toward their own personally enriching goals. Leah hails from Austin, Texas, and lived in Los Angeles and Boston before making her way to New York. She continues working with Limmud students exploring their own Jewish identities and how those identities can be shaped by tradition as well as current affairs and ways of living. Leah works in education research at NYU Langone Health and lives in Manhattan. E-mail Leah at email@example.com