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Temple Staff

Rabbi Jay Sherwood

Rabbi Jay Sherwood has been the spiritual leader of Temple Shalom since July 2017. He previously served as Rabbi of Congregation Emanu El in Redlands, California, the oldest Jewish community in Southern California, and as the Founding Rabbi of Adat Re'im, in Rancho Cucamonga, California, the Inland Empire’s first trans-denominational synagogue, leading that congregation for ten years.

Rabbi Jay received his Rabbinic Ordination and Master of Rabbinic Studies degree from the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, in Los Angeles. He also holds a Master of Arts in Religious Education degree from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Jewish Studies at UCLA.

Rabbi Jay currently serves on the Va’ad (Executive Board) of the Rocky Mountain Rabbis & Cantors (the Board of Rabbis for the State of Colorado). He is also involved in the greater Colorado Springs community. He is a Founding Member of the Pikes Peak Interfaith Coalition, and serves on the Executive Board of Bakhita Mountain Home, a rehabilitation home for women who are survivors of human trafficking. Rabbi Jay is the past Chair of the Colorado Springs Human Relations Commission and the Pikes Peak Early College Family Engagement Council. He is an in-demand guest speaker throughout the city. Rabbi Jay is a member of the Academy for Jewish Religion California Clergy and Alumni Association (AJRCAA), the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and is a Life Member of the National Eagle Scout Association.

Before entering the rabbinate, Rabbi Jay enjoyed at twenty-plus year career in Jewish education, camping, and music. He served in educational leadership positions at Temple Beth Hillel in North Hollywood, California; Temple Beth Israel in Pomona, California; and Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services in Los Angeles, California. He has worked at numerous Jewish camps and travel programs throughout the United States and Israel, including 14 summer programs and more than 300 Jewish camp retreat weekends, and continues to serve as a visiting camp rabbi at Jewish summer camps. Rabbi Jay spent a year doing community service in Israel as part of the Otzma Jewish Service Corp and was selected to participate in the American Jewish World Service’s Rabbinic Students' Delegation to Ghana.

An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, composer and performer, music from Rabbi Jay Sherwood’s CDs Sh'ma Koleinu and Wrapped Up In The Fringes has been heard from the stages of CAJE (Coalition for the Advancement in Jewish Education) to SiriusXM’s Radio Hanukkah. Rabbi Jay once worked on Main Street at Disneyland and claims to be the only rabbi in history to be a 3-time television game show champion (Rock 'n Roll Jeopardy, Trivial Pursuit, and Don't Forget the Lyrics!). In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, attending concerts and theatre, cooking, and traveling. Rabbi Jay and his wife Lisa are blessed with two wonderful children.

You may contact Rabbi Jay Sherwood by email: rabbijay@templeshalom.com or call the office: (719) 634-5311 ext. 11.

Elayna Rathmann, Executive Director

Kobi Chumash was hired as Executive Director in March 2023, and his first day was mid-June 2023.

Kobi was born in Haifa, Israel, and lived there until he was 12 years old. His family moved to the city, Rehovot, where they lived until he graduated from high school in 1975. As all Israelis, he entered the army at the age of 18 and subsequently served seven years in the Israeli Air Force. In 1982 he completed his full-time army service with the rank of Major. Afterwards, he entered Tel Aviv University to graduate from the College of Architecture & Design in Tel Aviv. In 2003, he and his family (wife Sharon and two boys, Ben and Tom) moved to Colorado Springs. In 2004 he took the position as Hebrew instructor at Colorado College, and in 2008 he became part of the Chaplain’s office as the Coordinator of Jewish Life on Campus and the Director of Hillel. Kobi & Sharon established their own company, Effective Communications, LLC, in 2003 that is committed to improving communication between people all around the globe.

Through the years Kobi has served on many boards in Colorado Springs including a local Charter School and is currently Board President of The Greenberg Center for Learning and Tolerance.

You may contact Kobi Chumash by email: execdirector@templeshalom.com or call the office: 719-634-5311 ext. 12.

Deborah Sarna, Education Coordinator

Talia Arya-Weiss, our Education Coordinator, is originally from San Diego, California. She and her husband moved to Colorado Springs three years ago and quickly fell in love with it.

Talia attended a Hebrew day school for elementary and high school. Her mother is a hardworking, dedicated Hebrew school teacher of over 30 years, and growing up she was surrounded by the sights and sounds of her mother preparing for lessons in Jewish lifecycle and calendar events. Upon graduating from high school, she spent two years at a seminary in Jerusalem. Returning to the US, she attended Touro University, a Jewish women’s college in NYC, where she took Jewish studies classes in conjunction with completing a BA in Psychology.

Talia became Education Coordinator at Temple Shalom in the summer of 2023 and has been working closely with Elayna Rathmann, Executive Director Emerita, and Kobi Chumash, the current Executive Director, and the Temple Shalom Education Committee.

You may contact Talia Arya-Weiss by email: education@templeshalom.com or call the office: 719-634-5311 ext. 13.

Ellie Emerich Hart, our Preschool Head Teacher, has been a Religious School and Preschool Teacher here at Temple Shalom since 2018.  She served as Secretary on the 2020 and 2021 Temple Shalom Board of Directors.  She currently serves as Lead Teacher for the Temple Shalom Preschool.  Ellie holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and is a licensed Early Childhood Education Teacher and Kindermusik Instructor.  She has been a Lead Teacher in Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade and Fifth Grade since 2005.  Seven of those years were in The Alfred and Adele Davis Academy, a Reform Jewish Day School.  Another seven were working with the refugee community in a secular preschool. Ellie served Congregation Bet Haverim of Atlanta, Georgia as Interim Education Director for two years as the congregation searched for an Education Rabbi.  Ellie enjoys camping, knitting, textile arts of all kinds, and singing.  She is featured on 8 Choral CDs (7 Jewish and 1 secular) recorded in Atlanta.  Ellie would love to organize a Temple Shalom Choir!  She lives with her husband Alec Hart and sons Daniel and Peter.

You may contact Ellie Emerich Hart by email: preschool@templeshalom.com or call the office: 719-634-5311 ext. 13.

Mon, May 20 2024 12 Iyyar 5784