We are delighted to announce that we have hired Abby Gore to serve as our Youth Engagement Associate beginning July 1, 2021. Abby will be graduating from from Macalester College this Spring with a BA in Religious Studies and minors in Classics and Philosophy. Because Abby is an ideal candidate for this position and she is now ready to take on full-time employment, the timing is right for us to consolidate several positions to bring back this role from a few years ago. We are confident that doing so will serve our youth and teens in the best way possible.
Abby grew up in Los Angeles at a Reform synagogue where she served as a Madricha throughout high school, participated in Confirmation and helped lead Tot Shabbat. Abby has been an outstanding faculty member in our religious school for the past four years. Abby is currently Mount Zion Religious School’s 6th grade teacher, Noar Tzion Youth Group Advisor (4th-6th Grade), and Madrichim Co-Coordinator. In the past Abby has also served as a Shabbaton Coordinator.
Our Youth Engagement Associate designs and implements teen-specific programming, including Shabbatonim, oversees the temple’s youth groups, teaches in our religious school, and most importantly, builds critical personal relationships with our children and teens as they navigate through and past their B’nei mitzvah years. We are extraordinarily fortunate to hire Abby who has already developed strong relationships with so many of our students!
We recognize that filling this full-time position is a significant investment; one that we believe will benefit our teens immeasurably. To do so, we are combining many part-time roles held by Abby, Asher de Forest, Maya Goldbaum and Rabbi Amy Ariel. Abby will take on those roles and so much more.
We are grateful that Asher intends to continue working in the religious school next year as a KULAM Advocate as he did prior to the pandemic. Maya will continue in her role as Music Specialist, working with our PreK-2nd grade students weekly and assisting Cantor Spilker with the Shir Tzion choir. Maya will also help chaperone teen events and perhaps teach in the Chai School as her schedule permits while pursuing her graduate degree at the U of M.
In January Abby began shadowing Rabbi Amy Ariel in her roles as 7th Grade Teacher, Gesher Mentor Coordinator, and Sacred Choices Shabbaton Facilitator. We are thrilled that Rabbi Ariel has agreed to serve as a consultant to Abby next year, and hopefully continue to teach in our Hebrew and Chai School programs as her schedule permits.
The religious school committee and board of directors are in strong support of restoring the full-time Youth Engagement Associate position, particularly now while we have this amazing opportunity to hire Abby Gore as she is about to enter the workforce as a Jewish educator. She has the experience and relationships that make her a natural fit for this role. We know students and parents will be thrilled that Abby will be relocating to Minnesota and continuing to work at Mount Zion after graduation. We expect they will be ecstatic to learn that she will have such a significant role going forward.
Please join us in congratulating Abby and welcoming her to our Mount Zion community.
Sue Summit, Religious School Director
Shai Avny, Congregational Engagement Director
Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker