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Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Ruth A. Zlotnick
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Rabbi Ruth A. Zlotnick has been described by her community as a teacher of Torah and Jewish values and is beloved for her gifts of knowledge, leadership, and counsel; inspirational worship services; and creative programming. 

Rabbi Zlotnick previously served as Rabbi at Temple Beth Or in the Township of Washington, New Jersey and as Associate Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning at New York's Central Synagogue. She also worked as Associate Director of Programs at Synagogue 2000, a national project aimed at revitalizing synagogues from all streams of American Judaism. In the New York-area, she taught at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and Fairfield University. She currently sits on the Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Advisory Board for the Center for Religious Wisdom and World Affairs at Seattle University.

Rabbi Zlotnick is a graduate of HUC-JIR where she was ordained in 2001. She earned a Master of Hebrew Letters from HUC-JIR; she also holds a Master's in the Philosophy of Religion from Yale University and a Bachelor's degree in religious studies from Wesleyan University.

Associate Rabbi

Rabbi Jason R. Levine
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Rabbi Jason R. Levine serves our community in many capacities with a focus on our youth, relationship-building, and creating avenues for creativity, innovation, and discovery in our shared Jewish journey. Rabbi Levine shares worship leadership and life cycle officiation with Rabbi Zlotnick and Cantor Geigner, as well as supervises the Beth Am Temple Youth (BATY) program and Director of Youth Engagement. In addition, Rabbi Levine teaches our URJ Introduction to Judaism course, 10th Grade Covenant Renewal, Downtown Brown Bag, Parsha & Poker, as well as numerous other learning opportunities for both our youth and adult communities. Rabbi Levine also supports various retreats, camp, and immersion programs, including organizing an 11th-12th grade trip to Washington D.C. to participate in L’Taken, the Religious Action Center’s social justice seminar.

Rabbi Levine is involved throughout the larger community in social action, advocacy, and young adult engagement, including sitting on the Government Affairs Task Force for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, participating in the Young Adult Engager Network, and serving as a former Chair of the Washington Coalition of Rabbis. Rabbi Levine is always excited to make one-on-one connections with new people and welcomes the opportunity to meet and share new ideas.

Rabbi Levine joined Temple Beth Am in 2013 as Assistant Rabbi after being ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was promoted to Associate Rabbi in 2015. Originally from the Midwest, he graduated from Cornell University with degrees in Neurobiology & Behavior and Near Eastern Studies. His background is in both formal and informal education, Jewish community building through Hillel, interfaith efforts, and a range of other Jewish organizations.


Cantor Victor Geigner
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Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cantor Victor Geigner enjoys singing in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, Spanish, and Italian. He loves teaching and is an inspiration to his students of all ages.

Congregants would define him as much more than a Hazzan. They would say that Cantor Geigner is a leader and a clergyman who helps his congregation to love Jewish music and to appreciate and love the spirit that is found in Jewish life. When he leads the congregation in song, the Sanctuary is filled with spirituality.

Cantor Geigner began his career at the age of 16. He was trained in the art of Hazzanut by some of the most famous cantors and teachers, and then he studied at the Bet Asaf School for Hazzanim from the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires.

Cantor Geigner has served as Cantor and spiritual leader in several congregations throughout Argentina and Bolivia. In 2005, he moved to Florida. He is very social and loves participating in fundraisers and singing in concerts.

Cantor Geigner gets inspiration from having his congregation singing along and enjoying the spirit of the moment. He believes that pastoral care and helping the needy is a sacred task and a fulfillment for his soul. He loves working as part of a team, and he is very happy to be in Seattle serving in such a vibrant and warm congregation as Temple Beth Am.

Director of Youth and Family Learning

Rabbi Dana A. Benson 
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Rabbi Dana A. Benson is a strong believer in spiritual accessibility and seeks to help learners find value from our tradition even in every day moments. She has been described as a compassionate and inspirational teacher, thoughtful leader, and someone who brings light and fun everywhere she goes. In her role, she connects with students and their families to discover and implement engaging educational opportunities and supports teachers, lay leaders, and parents in their roles of creating the next generation of kind, thoughtful, and socially aware Jewish adults. 

Rabbi Benson previously served as the Assistant Director at Hillel at the University of Washington in Seattle and as the Senior Jewish Educator at Michigan State University Hillel and the Hillel Campus alliance of Michigan. During Rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, Ohio, Rabbi Benson served as a teacher and lead staff member at Kulanu, a Reform Jewish High School, and also ran retreats for high school and college students in her role as a Rabbinic intern at HUC-JIR's national office of recruitment and admissions. When not crafting curriculum and connecting to students and their families, Rabbi Benson loves to sing, play board games, enjoy musical theater and opera, and watch her partner, Gina, play roller derby for Rat City Roller Derby. 

Our clergy receive an overwhelming amount of email. 
When you wish to inform them of an illness or life and death matter, 
please phone them at the temple office: 206-525-0915.

Professional Team

Acting Executive Director/Director of Development

Davida Sims
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Davida has worked in nonprofit development, education leadership, and communications for fifteen years. After working as a labor and employment attorney and for public radio, she followed her passion for education by working in K-12 leadership and school advancement.

Davida has published articles in the area of Jewish education, advancement, leadership, and education reform, she was co-creator of the Nevada Independent School Association, and she co-authored four business books in the areas of marketing and strategic communications. She has taught high school law courses and was a Judge Pro Tem for Clark County's Truancy Diversion and High School Graduation Initiative Program. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History from University of Washington and her Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law.

Although a Los Angeles native, Davida moved with her family to Bainbridge Island as a teenager and has recently returned to Seattle after 14 years in Nevada. She is the proud mother of two teenage boys and is grateful to be part of the warm and welcoming Temple Beth Am community.

Executive Assistant

Sara Bernson
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Sara Bernson assists with planning for our holiday and Shabbat observances, and serves as the contact for yahrzeit inquiries. She schedules appointments for both of our pulpit rabbis and helps to track our congregants' pastoral needs.

Sara is a native Washingtonian, having been born in Washington D.C. After obtaining a B.A. in American History from the University of Maryland, she earned a M.A. in American History, specializing in Native American History, from the University of South Dakota. Sara moved to Seattle in 1980. One of her favorite jobs was being a nanny and after 21 years she is still very close with the family. Sara has worked for non-profits for the past eight years and looks forwards to getting to know the Temple Beth Am family. Sara’s earliest memories are of baking with her mother and she continues to enjoy baking and cooking. She started beading four years ago so when you see her chances are she made her necklace.

Financial Assistant

Megan Freeman
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Megan Freeman manages all billing and accounts payable for Temple Beth Am and SEED. Megan is a graduate of the University of Washington with a B.A. in history and served two terms in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. She has spent the last nine years working in nonprofit administration, most recently the Pike Market Childcare and Preschool. She keeps moving away to Southern California but is drawn back each time to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Outside of work, Megan is a baker, crafter, and sings with the Seattle Women’s Chorus.


Shana Kaye
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Shana Kaye oversees all financial aspects for Temple Beth Am and SEED. She works with the Financial Assistant to ensure that billing stays accurate and meets members’ need. Her main focus is to provide transparent financial reporting for the staff, board, and various committees in a timely manner. She also manages the payroll and benefits for Temple Beth Am and SEED.

Shana grew up in a small town in Oregon near Eugene. At 18, she moved to the big city to earn her degree at the University of Washington. Though Temple Beth Am is Shana’s first jump into the nonprofit world, she brought over 15 years of experience in the accounting field with her. In her spare time, she wants to travel the world, as long as someone will stay home and take care of her two cats.

Director of Community Engagement

Alexis Kort
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Alexis Kort works closely with congregants to create and support dynamic programs, develop volunteerism, and build community through projects such as Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), Young Families at Beth Am (YFBA), Project Hineyni (our Caring Community initiative), Lifelong Learning, and tikkun olam groups. In addition, Alexis manages membership at Temple Beth Am, working to welcome and integrate all new members. Alexis is the go-to person for temple members looking to connect with each other and with our synagogue. Alexis grew up in Seattle, had her Bat Mitzvah, Covenant Renewal, wedding, and daughters’ baby namings right here at TBA! She holds a BA in Jewish and Middle Eastern studies from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and a Master's degree in religion from the University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies, UK.

Director of Youth Engagement

David Lizzo
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David Lizzo is in charge of the Youth Program at Temple Beth Am, which includes overseeing the 130-plus person Madrichim program and our three youth group: Club 45 (4th and 5th grade), jBATY (6th-8th grade), and BATY (9th-12th). Originally from St. Louis, MO, David brings with him a wealth of experience from the world of Jewish youth programming. After completing his B.A. in Jewish Studies from Indiana University, David lived in Israel for four years where he worked as a madrich for Alexander Muss High School, as well as both the NFTY Summer and EIE programs. He returned to St. Louis in 2008 to pursue a Masters in International Affairs from Washington University, which he completed in 2011. While in St. Louis, David also served as the Regional Advisor for the NFTY-Missouri Valley Region and taught both Hebrew and music at a local synagogue. David arrived in Seattle in fall 2014 and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.

Administrative Assistant for Education and Membership

Aliza Pilisuk
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Aliza Pilisuk supports the temple’s Religious School in every possible way. She also provides support to the clergy by assisting them with the B’nai Mitzvah program. Additionally, she supports the Director of Community Engagement by doing membership work, and she manages the temple calendar as well. Aliza greets people in the front office and answers phones, providing a warm and welcoming face for the congregation as a whole.

Aliza is a Seattle native who grew up in Wedgwood and returned to the area after spending six years in Portland. She received a Bachelor’s degree in social science from Portland State University and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland. Her work background is a mix of nonprofits, education, and technology. Her grandmother, Dorothy Handlin z"l, was an early member of Temple Beth Am, and Aliza looks forward to getting involved in the community.

Communications Lead

Rachel Román 
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Rachel Román is responsible for all of Temple Beth Am’s print and e-communications, social media, website, and supports community engagement within our congregations and the broader Seattle Jewish community. Rachel has been a professional writer, editor, and all-around communicator for the past 17 years. Her background is in journalism and copywriting where she has worked in digital, print, and television media. Most recently, Rachel was the editorial associate for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and has been a contributing writer to Jewish in Seattlemagazine. She is excited to continue working within Seattle's Jewish community and being a part of the Temple Beth Am family.

Choir Director

Taryn Webber
Taryn Webber has been a member of the Temple Beth Am Choir since 2000. She has studied classical cello, voice, pipe organ, steel drums (Trinidad), and the cajon (from the Afro-Peruvian tradition). Since she first moved to Seattle from the East Coast in 1997, she has taught orchestra/choir at Washington Middle School (Seattle), general music at B.F. Day Elementary School (Seattle), and orchestra at Einstein Middle School (Shoreline). Taryn is currently the Assistant Music Director at Holy Names Academy (Seattle) where she teaches orchestra, chamber music, and music production (recording) classes. She also conducts one of the orchestras (the Sinfonette) in the Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestra organization in Edmonds. When she isn’t teaching or hanging out with her family, Taryn loves being a part of many recording and live music projects, both on cello and voice.

Sat, September 21 2019 21 Elul 5779