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Executive Director & Staff

Amy Berkowitz Caplan: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Amy has been a Jewish communal professional for well over 25 years. Most recently, she took a short hiatus from the community and joined the Attorney General's office, working with the Opioid Response Unit. Prior to her time at the AG's office, Amy spent 13 years at Denver Academy of Torah in a variety of roles including Director of Operations and Director of Admissions and Communications. Amy was the Director of the Holocaust Awareness Institute at DU and has worked at the Jewish Federation in both Colorado (formerly Allied Jewish Federation) and L.A. Amy was a founding board member of Ekar Farm. 

Amy, her husband, Ilan, and their three children, have been members of Rodef Shalom since 2018 and she has served on the Board of Directors for Rodef Shalom for the last two years. All three of their children have had their B'nai Mitzvah at Rodef in the past three years. For fun, the Caplans can usually be found walking, biking, or hiking around Denver and our surrounding mountain towns. 

Contact Amy here.

Sean Sanford: Clergy & Executive Director Assistant

Sean is a graduate of Georgetown University and has been working in a variety of different fields since moving to Denver. He recently converted to Judaism, and working to elevate our Rodef community is deeply meaningful to him. Sean is happily married to the beautiful Victoria, and enjoys spending time with her and the kids.  Sean enjoys the outdoors, movies, reading, multicultural cuisine, and certain nerdy interests. (Keywords: Godzilla, Star Trek, DC superheroes.) 

Contact Sean here.

 

 

JAMIE GRUBMAN: Marketing & COMMUNICATIONS Specialist

Jamie began her career in pharmaceutical advertising. After just a few years, she switched her focus to the much more fulfilling work of non-profit marketing. Jamie has worked with NCJW Essex (NJ), JCC MetroWest (NJ), JFS MetroWest (NJ), and Montclair State University's Alexander Kasser Theater.

Jamie attended Ithaca College where she received a B.A. in Art. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Ira,  and two children, Farrah and Aaron. Jamie is grateful to be able to be a virtual addition to Rodef Shalom and the Denver community.

Contact Jamie here

 

J.R. HURTADO: MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR

J.R. has been a member of the Rodef staff for over 10 years.  He is responsible for the general cleaning and maintenance of the main synagogue building, school building and the surrounding grounds and setup and breakdown of chairs, tables and other necessary furniture for Rodef events.  J.R. is also a friend to many of the preschool children and families and members who grew up at Rodef.

 

 

Education Directors & Staff 

DAWN SPECTOR: Director of Early Childhood Education & Programs

Dawn, a New York native, attended college in Jerusalem and at Queens College in Flushing, N.Y. where she obtained a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing with an emphasis on education. She obtained her Preschool Director's Certification from Aurora Community College and has been involved with Jewish Education for over 20 years. She loves being able to reach children at a young age and help instill a passion for learning and Judaism that will hopefully last a lifetime. She is actively involved in the community teaching Hebrew, tutoring children in remedial Hebrew for their B'nei Mitzvahs, leading a Rosh Chodesh teen girls group, being a para chaplain through Jewish Family Service, and volunteering at community events.

As Director of Youth Programming, Dawn's responsibilities include the ECEC (Early Childhood Education Center), Passport to Jewish Learning, Youth Programs such as Kadima and USY, Shabbat and Holiday youth programming and working closely with the young families group.

Contact Dawn here

Caity Blum: Assistant Director of Youth Education and Curriculum & Programs Coordinator

Over the past eighteen years, Caity has worked as a youth advisor and educator. She has worked as a teacher in Rodef Shalom’s preschool for 16 years and is currently Assistant Director of Youth Education and Curriculum & Programs Coordinator. 

Caity creates, promotes, and implements diverse family and community engagement programs; spearheads the preschool garden initiative and oversees the community green team. She mentors Rodef Shalom’s teachers, inspiring them to create an innovative, Reggio inspired, child-forward curriculum. Caity also manages the preschool’s social media presence. 

As a Colorado native, Caity enjoys cooking, reading, travelling with her husband Jesse, and entertaining family and friends. 

Contact Caity here

Cate Sawyer:  operations MANAGER

As Operations Manager for Rodef Shalom Preschool, Cate supports the day-to-day business operations of the preschool and religious school. She also provides limited synagogue support for maintenance of membership data and select High Holiday projects. Her professional acumen includes information systems–development, software rollout and training; content development for strategic goals; proposal writing; and large-scale project leadership/management for national and global corporations.

Past social action opportunities: Urban Peak Denver, Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, International Philanthropic Fair, and Sister Cities International.

Cate holds a master's degree in International and Intercultural Communication from the University of Denver.

Personally, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, and the outdoors.

Contact Cate here.

Bethany Friedlander: Curriculum & Program COORDINATOR

Bethany, originally from Southern California, spent her gap year on Nativ in Israel and received her BA from Brandeis in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. She holds a master in Education Administration from Arizona State University.

For as long as she can remember, Bethany has been intimately engaged in Jewish education from the classroom, to youth group, to camp, Israel, and back again to the home. She has had the opportunity to work in a variety of informal and formal Jewish education settings including community Hebrew schools, college campuses, family education and programming in congregations, and most recently with MazelTogether. She currently is in a fellowship program through the Israel Ministry of Diaspora and TalentEducators working with a cohort of supplementary educators on current and future practices.  She loves to be with her family - hiking, biking, running, cooking, doing arts and crafts and watching Merlin.

Contact Bethany here.

Tue, May 24 2022 23 Iyyar 5782