Our Leadership team

TischPDX’s fiscal sponsor is Jumpstart Labs. Jumpstart’s unique combination of original research, crafted convenings, strategic thinking, and direct support enables creative change makers to realize their own visions and advance the common good.

Rabbi Ariel Stone, Co-Founder & Spiritual Leadership

Rabbi Ariel Stone (she/they) has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Shir Tikvah for almost two decades. A caring and vibrant leader, she is an exceptionally knowledgeable teacher of Torah and a recognized scholar of Jewish mysticism.

A native of Orlando Florida, Rabbi Stone studied at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem and New York (1986-1991). While there she was a CLAL Rabbinical Fellow, taught first year Hebrew, and helped to establish the HUC-JIR student-run soup kitchen. After two years at Temple Beth Israel in Miami Florida, in 1993 she accepted the invitation of the World Union for Progressive Judaism to teach and organize in Ukraine. She guided Congregation HaTikvah of Kiev and assisted in the establishment of progressive congregations throughout Ukraine that continue to flourish today. Between1996-2001, she was associate rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Portland. In 2001 she was awarded a two-year fellowship at the Mandel School for Educational and Social Leadership. From 2003 to the present, she has served as the independent Portland east side Congregation Shir Tikvah’s Rabbi. She found the Reform movement to no longer be a good fit, and considers herself post-denominational. In 2010, she completed her doctorate at the (non-denominational) Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies under the direction of Dr. Byron Sherwin.

Rabbi Stone served as Oregon Board of Rabbi’s President from 2007-2009 and 2015-2017. In that capacity she co-founded Oregon’s Jewish indigent burial society Hesed Shel Emet, contributed to the recreation of the Portland Jewish Free Loan, helped to lead the creation of Portland’s new community mikveh Rachel’s Well, and led in the creation and filling of a new position of Portland Jewish Community Chaplain. In 2017 she became the convener of the Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance, which focuses upon supporting efforts for police reform in the city of Portland and seeks to bear moral witness in the streets during protests. In 2018 she led the creation of an innovative outreach to unaffiliated Jews called TischPDX. She has served as adjunct faculty at Portland State University and Willamette University of Salem, Oregon. In 2018 she was honored to be the recipient of the City of Portland Human Rights Commission’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rabbi Stone is the author of many rituals and articles. Her book Because All is One is an invitation to modern Jews to discover the relevance of mysticism and traditional Jewish community. The forthcoming Alef-Bet of Death: Dying As A Jew is a spiritual guide to those facing death.

Eleyna Fugman, Co-Founder and Executive Director

Eleyna Fugman (she/her) is a Jewish community organizer in Portland, OR. Before launching TischPDX, Eleyna worked extensively with Jewish young adults. From 2016-2019, she served as the Membership, Engagement and Outreach Coordinator at Congregation Shaarie Torah. There, she worked to create Jewish programming for young adults and young families. Over the past 12 years, Eleyna has also served as lay leader and community organizer for several small Jewish “pop-up” groups and organizations in Portland, OR, including The Alberta Shul, SURJ Jews, Rosh Hashana in the Woods, and The Shemas Shabbat group.

Eleyna’s work centers around creating spaces where Jewish people can feel a vibrant connection to their history, culture, spirituality and memory as Jews. She is committed to grassroots organizing: bringing all voices to the table and taking time to slowly and intentionally build organizations. She also believes that recognizing systems of oppression in our work is essential to our effectiveness and sustainability as community builders.

Derekh Travers, Co-directrix + Rogue Agent

Derekh (she/him) enjoys flexing facilitator skills for various efforts, including trans liberation, Jewish gatherings, queer sexual wholeness, and racial and gender justice. Gardening and eating sustain him, alongside bicycling everywhere, reading voraciously, raising whole and rowdy kids, and time with beloveds. Derekh is grateful to ancestors and family – blood and chosen, living and passed on – for connection and survival and a possibility of thriving. She loves living in this beautiful landscape, the unceded traditional homelands of Chinook, Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tualatin and related tribes, and has called Portland ‘home’ since grade school.

Our Board

Kalyn Culler Cohen

Co-Founder and Board Member

Kalyn (she/her) is nationally known for her work on the start-up and growth of social-purpose businesses focused on creating quality jobs in low-wage sectors including health care, childcare, landscaping and eco-cleaning. She also assists nonprofits with increasing leadership capacity, fund development and disseminating effective programs.

Kalyn holds a doctorate in Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has been adjunct faculty at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, where she has taught courses on Business and Social Justice.  As a member of Congregation Shir Tikvah’s leadership, she was part of a small team leading its growth effort, which resulted in a 45% increase in the congregation’s membership.  

Rachel Stern

Board Member

Rachel Stern began organizing and educating in the Jewish community when she was a teenager, and has been teaching yoga professionally since 2006. She loves weaving Jewish stories, themes, and values into her yoga teaching, which creates a fully embodied practice of Judaism. Rachel loves to hold space for students of all ages to experience life fully through their physical, spiritual, emotional, and energetic bodies, and believes that this work is most effective when wrapped in humor and joy. Through the yoga practice we discover that we are lovable and worthy of goodness despite our perceived flaws, and that when we are connected to source we are so much more powerful than when we are not. Rachel offers an avenue to deepen the spiritual body of this work and to ignite that spark of connection in Portland’s Jewish community through Portland Jewish Yoga Collective; a program she started at TischPDX. 

Blair Denniberg

Board Member

Blair is a proud Jewish lesbian that has made Portland her home for the past six years. Newly rediscovering her Jewish heritage, Blair is looking forward to diving headfirst into everything TischPDX has to offer as a member of cohort #2. When she is not busy championing radical inclusion at her museum gig or hosting a queer Shabbat, Blair loves to explore PNW swimming holes and spend time with her cat, Cowboy and partner, Rebecca.

Colleen Dixon

Board Member

Colleen Dixon moved to Portland from Olympia, WA almost 6 years ago. She loves creating and participating in queer Jewish ritual and connecting over Jewish food. When she isn’t hanging out with TischPDX, Colleen can be found reading comics, enjoying musical theater, and exploring all of the Pacific Northwest’s natural wonders. She is thrilled to have been a part of TishPDX’s 2nd cohort and looks forward to continuing to building radical Jewish community and organizing towards collective liberation.

Our Mentors

Sonia Marie Leikam

Mentor

Sonia Marie Leikam (she/her) is a versatile professional who brings a deep understanding of non-profit operations, systems, programs and fundraising to the table. She brings experience as an educator, advocate for social justice and community organizer to her work. She and her husband also own Leikam Brewing, a Kosher craft brewery. In that capacity, she serves on the board of the Oregon Brewers Guild and in the Pink Boots Society, an organization empowering women in the beer industry. As the grandchild of a partisan in the French resistance, and a first generation American, she spent her youth traveling between the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern France. Bilingual and multicultural she lives with her partner, 3 children and 4 cats.

Shoshana Guggenheim

Artist in Residence

Shoshana Gugenheim (she/her) is an artist, Torah scribe, essayist, and educator crossing disciplines to bring diverse groups of people together in intimate and  unexpected ways.  A social agitator, immersed in Jewish tradition and ritual, inspired by craft and beauty, her studio and collaborative works invite participants into borderlands.   She is among the first of contemporary Jewish women to work as a traditional Torah scribe and is the founding director of Women of the Book which premiered at the Jerusalem Biennale 2015.   Shoshana’s diverse works address the place of women in traditional Jewish practice, contemplations and conversations on death and dying and other loss, ethical parchment making and place-based knowledge.  Shoshana spent 20 years living in Israel where she worked with Jewish and Arab communities to bridge communication and create dialogue through art making.  Today she resides with her family in Portland, OR where she is an MFA candidate in Contemporary Art Practice at Portland State University.

Shoshana’s work has been supported by Targum Shlishi, The Hadassah Brandeis Institute,  The Eugene and Estelle Ferkauf Foundation, The Eicholz Foundation,  The Simon Benson Foundation and many other private donors and institutions.

David Shratter

Artist, Educator, Mentor

David Shratter (he/him) has worked as a professional artist for the past 38 years. His work is about creating intimacy with the world around through direct observation. His oil paintings and pen and ink drawings include still life, interiors, streetscapes, portraits and figure drawings. Alongside his artistic life, he has worked as a librarian at Lewis & Clark College for 27 years. During those years, he served as a supervisor and mentor to many students, and is delighted to be in that role again with TischPDX cohort members.
He is a devoted student of Torah which has given him a lens through which he can look at and question life’s meaning.

Devra Polack

Mentor

Roberta Hunte

Mentor

Check out our 2020 Annual Report

TischPDX

Unaffiliated Jewish Leadership Incubator

Contact:
eleyna@tischpdx.org

TischPDX has been selected for Slingshot’s
2021 “10 to Watch” list: Read More Here

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