Shaaray Tefila seeks to be a congregation where its members can find meaning, connection, and purpose. Visit their website >

SPARK Team Members

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Rabbi Ilana Schachter was named as Shaaray Tefila's Director of Community Building in July, 2017. 

Ilana was ordained as rabbi by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she also received a MA in Hebrew Letters. She received her AB With Honors in Comparative Literature and Judaic Studies from Brown University. A native New Yorker, Ilana is thrilled to be home.

Rabbi Ilana Schachter

Team Leader

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Mindy Davids is Shaaray Tefila's 1st Director of Congregational Learning and Engagement, and served as their Director of Religious School and Educational Innovation since 2006. She also directed two other congregational schools in NY and CA. Mindy earned an MA in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service from the Hebrew Union College and a BA in Hebrew Studies from the University of Wisconsin. Mindy is a past President of the Association of Reform Jewish Educators, serves on the clinical and adjunct faculties at HUC, and was a mentor in the Leadership Institute for Congregational Educators.

Mindy Davids

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I am a stay-at-home mom of three kids: Zoey (almost 9), Violet (7) & Henry (3).  I am also a clinical social worker by training, which is now coming in handy with my kids!  In my free time, you can find me practicing yoga or dancing!

Alissa Schwartz

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I consult with nonprofits and businesses to ensure that people, processes and technology are aligned with mission. 35 years leading IT, Finance, Ops, HR and Knowledge Management, Chief Operating Officer of the URJ; co-led strategy development and implementation; led membership, IT, HR, finance and facilities. Managing Director, Chief Information Officer, and CKO of Russell Reynolds Assoc., global search firm. Tech consultant to Obama presidential transition. Prior experience in consulting, investment banking & law firm admin. BA, MA and MBA from the U of Penn. CPA NYS

Barbara Saidel

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Barri Waltcher is a career strategist and certified resume writer. In addition to working privately with clients, Barri leads workshops and speaks on career topics at the 92nd Street Y, the JCC, and other organizations. Barri has a strong commitment to non-profit leadership and innovation. She is President of Temple Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan, and serves on the Advisory Board of Pollyanna, a non-profit that creates discussion platforms to explore issues of diversity, inclusion and equity.

Barri Waltcher