Urban Shtetl Leadership

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Director of Youth and Family Services

Lynn Gottlieb, one of the first women to become a rabbi in Jewish history, is a “visionary” Jewish educator, feminist, community organizer, peace activist, writer, klezmer dancer, percussionist, visual and ceremonial artist and master storyteller. Over the past 45 years, Lynn has created Jewish and multifaith programming for dozens of organizations including educational programs at Temple Beth Or of the Deaf (NY), Congregation Nahalat Shalom, NM (which she co-founded in 1981- 2006), Fellowship of Reconciliation, Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point Center (NY), and Interfaith Inventions wilderness peace camps which she directed from 2005 – 2010 (CA). Lynn is well-versed in Ashkenazi, Sefardic and Mizrahi history and traditions and intergenerational, multi-heritage and multi-racial relationship building.  Since she moved to California in 2012, Lynn has offered programs at Urban Adamah, Wilderness Torah, Midrasha, Moshe House, Shomeret Shalom Global Congregation, the Center for Jewish Studies and Kohenet. She serves on the board of Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity in California. Lynn is excited to serve as director of youth and family programming at Chochmat HaLev’s Urban Shtetl.

Rabbi Lynn in family room
Wren Ganin-Pinto

Wren Ganin-Pinto has been living and breathing the life of play, spirit and embodiment over the 35 years that they have been on this planet. They have taught children of many ages in a variety of settings including with Rabbi Lynn 2 years ago and they are very excited to be back with new and familiar faces. Last year, they were immersed in a Chaplain residency program at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and they will continue on with their studies at Starr King School for the Ministry to become an ordained Interfaith minister. Their love of song and nature and their deep passion for justice imbues Wren’s daily practices, and fills their mind and heart with the drive to continue forward to teach and learn from the future of our communities.

Pele Shalev
Pele Shalev is a young Bay Area native with a passion for youth work. Pele brings over a decade of experience, working as a counselor for programs such as Wilderness Torah, Urban Adamah, and Camp Tawonga. He has practiced and refined his ability to care for, educate,  joke with, and build up the kids that he takes under his wing within a Jewish environment. The opportunity provided by Urban Shtetl to build a positive relationship over the course of a year is thrilling for him. Even more because it will be at Chochmat Halev where he had his own B’Mitzvah, making it a full circle experience for him. When Pele isn’t at Urban Shtetl, he is taking classes for his undergraduate degree on the path to Medical School.
Ava Monheit

Ava Monheit is a freshman at The College Preparatory School in Oakland, California.  She loves the Arts. An avid musician, Ava sings and plays Violin.  She has participated in School plays for the past four years.  She also enjoys the visual arts and has been a CIT at various Art Programs.  Recently Ava has discovered Boxing Fitness. Since her bat mitzvah with Rabbi Lynn two years ago, she has continued to be mentored by Rabbi Lynn.  Ava is very interested in Social Justice and loves working with children and this is her second year working with Rabbi Lynn and the family program at Chochmat Chalev.

Arlo Blackman-McGrew
Arlo Blackman-McGrew is in the 7th grade. He enjoys reading, sailing, doing math, making video games, and also playing MInecraft and Brawlstars. He loves being in debate club and listening to the Beatles and David Bowie. He is studying with Rabbi Lynn to prepare for his B’Mitzvah.