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Our Staff

Senior Staff

 Ben Wachstein, Executive Director

 Ben Wachstein brings a wealth of experience to Beth El, having spent nearly ten years in   senior-level positions at Jewish communal organizations, including six years as a   synagogue executive director, most recently at Temple Sinai in Dresher, Pennsylvania.   Ben grew up in the Jewish community of suburban Philadelphia. His passion for Jewish life   led him to take leadership positions at Jewish youth organizations like BBYO, NFTY - The   Reform Jewish Youth Movement, and Hillel before leveraging his considerable talents   inside the synagogue walls. Ben has a wife, Amanda, and a twelve-year-old daughter named Mila, who became a Bat Mitzvah in the Spring of 2021.

Eyal Bor, Ph.D., Director of the Beth El Schools and The Rabbi Mark G. Loeb Center for Life Long Learning

Dr. Bor received a B.A. degree in Music in 1983 from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from the American Jewish University, Los Angeles in 1986, and earned a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from Baltimore Hebrew University in 1996. He continued to expand his professional credentials studying Day School Leadership Training Program at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City. He joined Beth El in 1991 and he is now our Director of the Rabbi Mark G. Loeb Center for Life Long Learning and the Director of Beth El Schools. He oversees all the educational programs at Beth El Congregation. He has introduced to Beth El, programs for children with special needs, many of whom have become B’nai Mitzvah. He is married to Dr. Hana Bor, who is a Peggy Meyerhoff Pearlstone Professor and Program Director for Leadership in Jewish Education & Communal Service graduate programs at Towson University. They have four children.

Ben Kreshtool, Ritual Director & Beth El Memorial Park Manager

Baltimore native Ben Kreshtool joined Beth El as Ritual Director in May of 2014. He attended Krieger Schechter Day School and the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School and went on to study history and Judaic studies at UMBC. Always involved in synagogue life, he developed an early love for Torah and prayer, and was mentored by various clergy over the years. As a result, he has a broad background in the many traditions and laws of Jewish prayer and sacred readings, including the Torah, Haftarah and all 5 Megillot. He has a passion for Jewish teaching and learning and is always happy to share it with others.

Amanda Beitman, Director of Development 

Amanda has been working in Jewish Baltimore for over 10 years. She first started her career at the JCC of Greater Baltimore working on the JCC Maccabi Games. Shortly after she became the Assistant Director of Children Services and Assistant Director at Camp Milldale. Amanda then realized the critical need for fundraising to keep Jewish Baltimore thriving and joined the development team at The Associated. Amanda has her masters in Jewish Communal Services from Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University. Amanda loves a good Jewish geography, trying new recipes and traveling. She lives in Pikesville with her husband Peter and their daughter Ellie with their two dogs, Butch and Billie. 

Rachel Siegal, Managing Director of The Soul Center

Rachel loves bringing big ideas to life. From 2010-2016, she served as the Development Director for the Pearlstone Center. Prior to that, she was a Vice President at The Associated (the Jewish federation in Baltimore), for four years, focusing on financial resource development.  Born and raised in Cleveland, Rachel holds an MBA and a Masters in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University and an undergraduate degree in Judaic Studies and Africana Studies from Brown University.  She and her husband Sam Andorsky have three children. She is an active volunteer at Krieger Schechter Day School and with the Pearlstone Center. She loves Cleveland sports, working out, her book club, and hosting huge vegetarian Shabbat meals.

Mandy Barish, Director of Pauline Mash School for Early Childhood Education

Mandy has a passion for working with young children and their families.  She has been working in the early childhood field for over 20 years and has her Masters of Education Degree in Early Childhood Special Education. Mandy has worked with Baltimore County Infant and Toddler Program, PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs (an affiliate program of the Kennedy Krieger Institute) Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education and other private families and institutions. Mandy joined the preschool administrative team in late 2014 when her oldest son was attending. She guided the teaching and administrative staff through the Maryland State Department of Education Accreditation Process, having Beth El become the first State Accredited Jewish Program in Baltimore and surrounding areas.  Born and raised in Baltimore, Mandy attended preschool, Hebrew school and had her Bat Mitzvah at Beth El. Mandy’s grandparents and parents were members and she is thrilled to continue the tradition with her family. Mandy lives in Pikesville with her husband Mason, their sons Max and Benji and her dog Buddy.

Jill Suffel, Early Childhood Programs Coordinator

With a BA in Education and a MA in Leadership in Teaching, Jill comes to Beth El  with 25+ years of experience in the field of education, having taught at the elementary level in an early childhood classroom, then supervising student interns at the college level.  An avid Orioles, Ravens and Terps fan, born and raised in Baltimore, Jill currently lives in Owings Mills with her husband David, and teenage sons Logan and Benjamin, who, 14+ years after starting at Beth El in the preschool, are still Beth El students in the Achschav program.

 

 Randy Arndts, Director of Finance

 Randy graduated from Lynchburg College with a BS degree in Accounting. He worked as   an accountant in the real estate industry for the first 10 years after graduation. Randy   joined Beth El in 1991 and is our Controller. He resides in Westminster with his wife and   2  sons.

 

 Brandon Chiat, Director of Marketing-Communications 

 Brandon Chiat is Beth El Congregation of Baltimore’s Director of Marketing and   Communications. He is passionate about creating exceptional branding, content, and   design to forge emotional connections between congregant and congregation and   position Judaism as central, indispensable, and relevant to 21st Century life. Before   joining Beth El full-time, Brandon founded and led The Content Consultant, where he   built breakthrough, editorially driven marketing campaigns for a diverse clientele. 

 

Staff Contact Information

Yvonne Epstein, Beth El Memorial Park Associate and Assistant to the Clergy: yvonne@bethelbalto.com

Amy Goldberg, Religious School Director: amy@bethelbalto.com

Julie Hettleman, Program Coordinator for The Alvin & Lois Lapidus Center for Healing & Spirituality: julie@bethelbalto.com

Ellen Marks, Coordinator for The Rabbi Mark G. Loeb Center for Life Long Learning: ellenm@bethelbalto.com

Amy Payne, Member Relations Specialist: amypayne@bethelbalto.com

Josh Powell, Accounting & IT Associate: josh@bethelbalto.com

Michael Ray, Building Manager: michael@bethelbalto.com

Andy Shankman, Religious School Manager & B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator: ashankman@bethelbalto.com

Rebecca Tapper, Rabbinic and Administrative Assistant: rtapper@bethelbalto.com 

Rebekah Waltemeyer, Development Associate & Contributions: rwaltemeyer@bethelbalto.com

Esti Zenati, Graphic Designer & Marketing Specialist: esti@bethelbalto.com

Tue, November 30 2021 26 Kislev 5782