Speakers at Kallah

Rabbi Andrea Goldstein


Rabbi Andrea Goldstein received her undergraduate degree in Communications Studies from Northwestern University and was ordained from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1998.

She has been a rabbi at Congregation Shaare Emeth, the largest Reform synagogue in St. Louis, for the past 20 years.  Rabbi Goldstein currently serves on the Union of Reform Judaism’s Commission on Social Action and the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ Justice Team.  She is a board member of Nishma and Metropolitan Congregations United and serves on the NCJW Advisory Council as well as the Advisory Committee of the Robert P. Jacob’s Jewish Fund for Human Needs.  Rabbi Goldstein is a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Rabbinic Leadership Program and the Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teachers’ Training Program and is the founder and director of the Jewish Mindfulness Center of St. Louis.  Her rabbinate is centered around the call for social justice and the cultivation of spiritual practices.  Rabbi Goldstein is married to Brett Goldstein and is the mother of Macey, Eli, and Lila.

2020 ECE-RJ Kallah Dinner & Opening Program: Wednesday @ 5:30 PM

The Power of Story: Wednesday @ 7:30 PM

Questions and Answers: Thursday @ 4:00 PM

The Masks We Wear: Thursday @ 7:00 PM

Kabbalat Hayom Living a Life of Intention: Friday @ 9:00 AM

Living a Life of Intention with Rachamim/Compassion: Friday@10:45AM

Prayer Lab: Friday @ 6:00 PM

Shabbat Experience: Awaken to Shalom: Saturday @ 9:00 am

Rick Recht

Presenter and Spiritual Leader

Rick Recht is the top touring musician in Jewish music playing over 150 dates each year in the US and abroad.

Rick has revolutionized and elevated the genre of Jewish rock music as a powerful and effective tool for developing Jewish pride and identity in youth and adults across the US. Rick is the national celebrity spokesman for the PJ Libraryand is the Executive Director of Songleader Boot Camp– a national songleadertraining immersion program held in various cities around the U.S.  Rick is also the founder and Executive Director of Jewish Rock Radio,the very first high-caliber, 24/7 international Jewish rock online radio station! Rick is also the Executive Producer of the brand new PJ Library RADIO! 

The last 20 summers, Rick and his band played at literally hundreds of URJ, Ramah, JCC and private camps around the country.  Rick has been featured in concert and as scholar in residence at the NFTY, BBYO, and USY International conventions, the URJ Biennial, the American Conference of Cantors, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and Jewish communities across the US.   Rick has twelve top selling Jewish albums including his most recent release, Hineni – Here I am.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Recht developed a strong Jewish identity attending Traditional Congregation, a conservative synagogue. In high school, Recht joined NFTY, where he was deeply influenced by Jewish music. After graduating USC (Los Angeles, CA) and Music Institute (Hollywood, CA), Recht hit the road touring nationwide from LA to New York playing at clubs, colleges, and amphitheaters. 

Recht enjoys hiking and spending time with his wife, Elisa, and sons, Kobi and Tal.


Kabbalat Hayom: Thursday @ 8:00 AM

The Shape of Things: Thursday @ 9:00 AM

Shira Kline, AKA “ShirLaLa”

Presenter and Spiritual Leader

Shira is an award winning performing artist recognized as a “revolutionary educator” and named one of the “new re-engineers of Jewish life.”

On the road, Shira works with a diverse array of Jewish communities to enliven rituals, holiday celebrations, and love for Jewish life and prayer. The product of a modern rabbi and a modern dancer, she blends words, story, and music to create a rich experience for children and adults alike. In addition to performing, Shira works with national organizations across the denominational spectrum facilitating professional development seminars on spirituality as well as early childhood music for clergy, educators, seminary students, and lay leaders. Shira tours extensively performing for children of all ages in the United States, stages in Israel, England, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand. Her award-winning Jewish kiddie rock albums along with her “Blog Sameach” are featured worldwide. Back home she is the Director of Worship and also Family Education for Lab/Shul, NYC. She is on the faculty of Hava Nashira and adjunct faculty for the HUC-JIR Debbie Friedman School for Sacred Music.

2020 ECE-RJ Kallah Dinner & Opening Program: Wednesday @ 5:30 PM

Kabbalat Hayom: Thursday @8:00 AM

Kabbalat Hayom Living a Life of Intention: Friday @ 8:00 AM

Intentional Learning: Expand Your Heart and Mind: Tuesday @ 6:00 pm

The Power of Story: Wednesday @ 7:30 PM

Kabbalat Hayom: Thursday @ 8:00 AM

The Shape of Things: Thursday @ 9:00 AM

Questions and Answers: Thursday @ 4:00 PM

The Masks We Wear: Thursday @ 7:00 PM

Living a Life of Intention with Rachamim/Compassion: Friday @ 10:45 AM

Ian Simpson

Spiritual Leader

Ian Simpson is a Songleader, worship leader, and artist at one of the nation’s most innovative and dynamic reform synagogues.

As the full-time Temple Songleader at Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, Texas, Ian spends most of his days making music and joyful noise with over three hundred students at Temple Emanu-El’s Early Childhood Education Center. Ian has also brought new energy and excitement to Temple Emanu-El’s family Shabbat programs, including Tot Shabbat, Sababa, and Shabbat B’Yachad- an inclusive service focusing on community members with special needs. On Sundays, Ian leads music and worship for students at Emanuel-el’s Youth Learning and Engagement program.
Originally hailing from Massachusetts, Ian spent many summers at URJ Crane Lake Camp as the director of the songleading and music programs, while working at many synagogues and day schools in central Massachusetts and throughout the Boston area during the year. Ian is a recent graduate from the music program at Worcester State University, where he studied classical voice and jazz guitar. Ian’s style blends together contemporary Jewish music with a variety of genres from his background in folk, rock, jazz and soul. In 2018, Ian was proud to be one of the winners of the first-ever Jewish Rock Radio Jewish Star Talent Search, for his song ‘No More’, a message for hope and peace in this country, and the world beyond.

Movement and creating musical fun with transition: Tuesday @ 6:30PM


Lisa Samick

Lisa Samick has been working in Jewish Education for more than 20 years – initially focusing on informal High School programming, before returning to her original love of Early Childhood.

She has her BA in Early Childhood Education from George Washington University and has completed all of her coursework for her PhD in Education and Jewish Studies at NYU, focusing on Jewish Early Childhood Education.  Before starting as the Director of Early Childhood and Family Engagement at Temple Israel of the City of New York, she worked as the Director at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue and as the Education Coordinator at Park Avenue Synagogue.  She lives in NYC with her 5-year old daughter, Jenna – a very proud graduate of the ECLC at Temple Israel.

Pre-KallahOption 1, Breakout Session 2 –  Team building and collaboration with peers: Tuesday @ 7:50PM

Carol Paster

Carol Paster has been director of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel’s Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education in South Orange, New Jersey since 1988, after teaching for 7 years in their early childhood and kindergarten programs.

Carol holds a bachelor’s degree in Art Education, masters-level training in Furniture Design and Construction, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education and has participated in the Jewish Early Childhood Education Certificate program at Gratz College.

Utilizing her background in furniture design and construction Carol creates benches and tables for the preschool classrooms and teaches woodworking classes to 3 and 4-year-old children. Carol also teaches kindergarten in her congregational religious school.

Carol is a founding and past member of the Board of Directors of the ECE-RJ (Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism) serving as chair of their annual national conferences when held in Philadelphia and Morristown, as well as being co-chair of The Jewish Early Childhood Outdoor Education Conference held at Kayam Farm in Maryland. She has served as secretary for Habitat for Humanity Newark’s board of directors as well as co-chair of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build and was on the on the founding Board of Directors for Arts Unbound a non-profit organization for adults with disabilities. She is also an active member of New Jersey Woodturners.

Carol lives in West Orange, NJ with her husband Larry. Together they have 2 children.

Pre-KallahOption 1, Breakout Session 2 –  Team building and collaboration with peers: Tuesday @ 7:50PM

Elena Naftalin-Kelman

Elena has been working at the intersection of special education and Jewish education for over 15 years.

She directs the Tikvah program for kids with special needs at Camp Ramah in California, which includes a camper program, a vocational program for young adults and a camp for families that have children with special needs. Elana is an adjunct faculty member in the Special Education department at San Francisco State and a fieldwork supervisor for new Special Education teachers at Loyola Marymount University.  Elana has consulted with multiple Jewish institutions to aid them in thinking about how to be more inclusive of Jews of all abilities. She has taught professional development courses in differentiated instruction, behavior management and teaching Hebrew. She is Co-Founder of Edah, a Jewish after school program located in Berkeley, California, and lives there with her husband and three boys, Yair, Nevo and Etai.

Pre-KallahOption 1, Breakout Session 1 –  The importance of using visuals within the educational environment: Tuesday @ 7:05PM

Alyce Gunn

Chief Financial Officer, Reform Pension Board

Alyce oversees all of RPB’s day-to-day operations.

While she wears many hats, some of her primary responsibilities include: monitoring and rebalancing the portfolios; managing RPB’s fund manager, custodial bank, and record keeper relations; managing the pension fund and operational cash flows; financial accounting and reporting; and processing pension contributions, distributions, insurance offerings, and claims.

Before joining RPB in 2015, Alyce spent six years working as the CFO of two Jewish nonprofits in New York City—first at the Riverdale YW-YMHA, and then at the Congregation B’nai Jeshurun. Prior to joining the nonprofit world, she spent 18 years working in financial services at major firms, including Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, and PWC. Alyce holds an MBA from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and a BS in economics, finance and accounting from The Wharton School. She and her husband live in the New York area.


Reform Pension Board presentation & announcement: Thursday @ Lunch

Susan Anderson

Susan Anderson is Assistant Director/Lead Teacher at Gan Shalom Preschool in Bloomington, IN and a professional musician. She is also the creator of Story Church, a monthly community gathering that brings people together through true storytelling and song.

Kabbalat Hayom: Thursday @ 8 AM

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The 2020 ECE-RJ Kallah is geared toward Directors, Assistant Directors, Teachers, Lay Leaders and supporters of early childhood Jewish education.

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