Rabbi Lawrence Troster is one of this country’s leading Jewish eco-theologians and religious environmental leaders. He is the founder and coordinator of Shomrei Breishit: Rabbis and Cantors For the Earth and the Rabbinic Scholar-in-Residence of GreenFaith the interfaith environmental coalition in New Jersey and the former creator and director of the GreenFaith’s Fellowship program. He is part of the leadership team of Ourvoices.net a worldwide movement of people of all faiths advocating for a strong climate treaty. He is also the Rabbi-in-Residence at the Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona College.
Rabbi Troster was also the Rabbinic Fellow for the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL). Rabbi Troster contributes to the Huffington Post, and he has published numerous articles and has lectured widely on eco-theology, bio-ethics, and Judaism and modern science.
He is the author of Mekor Hayyim: A Source Book on Water and Judaism (United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, 2012). And is also the author of the chapter on Jewish environment ethics in The Observant Life: The Wisdom of Conservative Judaism for Contemporary Jews, edited by Martin S. Cohen & Michael Katz, (The Rabbinical Assembly, 2012)
He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto and his M.A. and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is presently working on a Doctor of Minstry in Eco-ministry at Drew University. He was given an honorary Doctor of Divinity by JTS for his more than 25 years of rabbinic service. Rabbi Troster was honored by the Temple of Understanding, one of the oldest worldwide interfaith organizations, as an Interfaith Visionary.
Rabbi Troster has been the Jewish Chaplain of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson and an Associate of Bard’s Institute of Advanced Theology and Advisor to Students and Adjunct Lecturer the Rabbinical and Graduate Schools of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and has taught at Union Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College, the Academy for Jewish Religion and Drew Theological School. He also served as the rabbi of several congregations in New Jersey and Toronto, Canada.
Rabbi Troster is married to Elaine Kahn and has two daughters, two sons-in-law, three granddaughters and one grandson.
Rabbi Kravitz became the first full-time Education Director of Kesher Israel Congregation in 1997. Together with a creative team of teachers and committed lay leaders and professional staff, she has nurtured a generation of Jewish children at Kesher Israel. She is involved in every aspect of life at Kesher Israel from the pulpit to the classroom, from storytelling with our Preschoolers to teaching our teens and adults. Rabbi Kravitz loves teaching and learning and is always looking for new ways to engage her students and beloved KI families into a love of Jewish learning, living and celebration. Under her leadership, together with the hard work of our Religious School Education Committee and Sub-Committees, the Religious School has undertaken a multi-year process of educational transformation through “The Lev Program: Getting to the Heart of Jewish Education” coming from The Jewish Learning Venture in Melrose Park, PA.
Rabbi Kravitz graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1983. She is proud to be among the first generation of women rabbis. She also received a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Theory from Temple University in 1983. She is a certified Marriage and Family therapist trained at the Penn Council for Relationships. Rabbi Kravitz is an active member of Greater Philadelphia’s rabbinic and educational community. Over the last thirty- three years of her career, she has served in the Philadelphia area as the Education Director of Society Hill Synagogue, the Germantown Jewish Centre and Congregation Or Ami. For over a decade, she taught at the Jewish Community High School of Gratz College and worked for summers as a staff member on Gratz College’s Teen Study Trip to Israel.
She is the founder of the Jewish Educators’ Association of Greater Chester County and an active member of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Learning Venture in Melrose Park, PA. Rabbi Kravitz has been an instructor for the Florence Melton Adult Mini School of Gratz College and has enjoyed teaching at their Kesher Israel Branch and Melton Summer Camp Experience. She has taught in many adult education programs and has lectured throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. She is a believes in the power of Jewish Storytelling and has created many original tales that both teach and delight our children!
Rabbi Kravitz shares her home with her wonderful mother and feisty dog, Kasha!
Her husband, Dr. Nathaniel Entin, of Blessed Memory, was a nationally known Jewish Educator and Cantor who inspired a generation of Rabbis, Cantors and Teachers.
In her spare time, Rabbi Kravitz loves classical piano and takes a lesson every week!
Gail DeMarco began in 1998 as a co-director and teacher at Kesher Israel Preschool / Kindergarten. She has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1988. Gail works mostly in an administrative capacity with teachers and families, as well as teaching a toddler class. She also leads the Tot Shabbat Service with Rohna Paskow.
Gail earned her Early Childhood Education degree from Temple University in 1982 and received her Core Director’s Certificate in 2006. Gail is the recipient of the Ateret Kavod award for an outstanding and well-rounded Jewish early childhood program. Gail continues her education through various workshops and with the Director’s Council at Jewish Learning Venture. She and Rohna continually develop curriculum at the preschool and kindergarten to remain current with the Pennsylvania State Standards and to make sure they are involved with the best and most current early childhood practices.
Gail has a fulfilling home life as well. She shares thirty-five years of marriage with Howard and has two young adult children, Bryan, Lauren and her husband Phil and beautiful grandson, Owen. She loves vacations (especially going to the beach), trying new restaurants and spending time with family and friends!
Lannie Hulnick joined the Kesher Israel staff in August 2014, as the Chief Community Builder. In this position, Lannie is responsible for coordinating all activities within the congregation and in their outreach efforts. Originally from Calgary, Alberta Canada, Lannie received a degree in Religious Studies and Sociology from the University of Calgary. Lannie moved to the Philadelphia area to attend Gratz College where she received a Masters Degree in Jewish Communal studies. Upon graduation, Lannie worked for the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Philadelphia, and then for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia in the Chester County and Delaware County office.
In addition to the role of Executive Director, Lannie is the Director of the Chester County Hebrew High School at Kesher Israel
Lannie and her husband Scott live in West Chester and have twins, Hannah and Andrew. Lannie enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, exercising and having fun!
Marci Rinaudo became a permanent member of the Kesher Israel Office Staff in 2015. She provides support for the synagogue and religious school, assists in programming and works with our families to coordinate all aspects of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah process. Marci is also our B’nai Mitzvah instructor and has been a teacher in the Religious School since 2005. Marci graduated in 1987 with a B.S. in Marketing and a B.A. in Literature from Philadelphia University. Marci received her J.D. from Widener University School of Law in 1993.
Marci and her husband Rick are members of Kesher Israel and live in West Chester with their wonderful children Julia and Harry.
Eileen Olenik started working in the Kesher Israel office in 2004. Before that, she worked as an aide in the preschool. She enjoys interacting with everyone who calls or stops in the office and will help to answer any and all questions. Eileen provides clerical and administrative support to the Rabbi, the Education Director and to the President. Eileen graduated from Penn State University in 1977 with a degree in Marketing. She worked in the corporate office of Acme Markets and then with Amtrak for many years after college. Eileen has been married for 31 years and has four children, all of whom are now out of college. She enjoys time with family and friends, exercising, and going to the beach.
Jennifer Kamph became the librarian of the Rebecca Kauffman Memorial Library in 2014, working to promote Jewish resources and provide educational programs for the children and adults of our congregation.
She enjoys working with Religious School students and maintains our extensive collection of Jewish materials.
Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in education from Kent State University. After graduating she moved back home to NJ. In 2001, she married her husband, Evan. Shortly afterwards, she completed her master’s degree in Library and Information Science at Rutgers University. In 2003, Evan and Jennifer moved to Exton, PA. They now have two children, Aiden and Sheridan, and a dog, Eli. Jennifer has been a stay at home mom until starting this position. She is enjoying the opportunity to work with congregants, especially the religious school students. In her free time she loves to read, travel and spend time with family.
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