Board of Directors
Jeremy Powell, Director, President
Shefa Rich, Director, Vice President
Shabbat Committee, Financial Strategic Planning Committee
Shefa Rich is Jewish by choice. She became a member of Chadeish Yameinu in 2012 after her beloved husband Cal Rich's death. She is learning about Jewish Renewal and Chadeish Yameinu from Rabbi Eli and video and books by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.
She loves the CY community because everyone in CY inspires her to develop her inner space, awareness, and ability to find the longing in her heart and soul so that she can live a life with beauty and meaning
Sheila Namir, Director, Treasurer
I have been a member of Chadeish Yameinu for a decade or more. I was also involved in Jewish Renewal in Los Angeles, where I lived for 30 years. My family moved to Israel when I was 15 and I returned to the States after finishing high school and university in Israel. My family remains there and I visit often.
I am a psychologist and psychoanalyst, a member of Walnut Commons (WC) co-housing, treasurer at CY and WC. The CY community has given me comfort and friendships during hard times (my wife died in October 2018), and I love the services that Eli leads, many of the adult education classes, and just being a part of this spiritual and loving community.
Rabbi Phillip Posner, Director, Secretary
A congregational rabbi for nearly forty years, I have been active in Social Action and Interfaith activities my entire career. In 1961 I joined the Freedom Rides, helping to integrate transportation facilities, and spent (served) 39 days (time) in Parchman Penitentiary in Mississippi. I have also enjoyed participating in social action missions to El Salvador and Ethiopia and am the co-founder, with my friend Jane Fellman, the Rabbinic Network for Ethiopian Jewry which encouraged my fellow rabbis to help get Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
I have a degree in history from UCLA, was ordained in 1968 and twenty-five years later earned a Doctorate in Hebrew Letters in ethics from my seminary, The Hebrew Union College - JIR.
About 35 years ago I started baking with a bread machine, which led ultimately led to my “passion” for baking and cooking, which has even won me some culinary awards. And that passion also led me to write my book, Food for Thought, Character, and Soul – Recipes and Blessings Included.
I am the father of two terrific sons and enjoy my four grandchildren. My wonderful and talented Louise and I divide our time between Santa Cruz, Mexico and San Juan Puerto Rico where I serve a Reform Congregation for seven weeks each year.
Naomi Bayer, Director-at-Large
Mikey Cohen, Director-at-Large
Mikey can often be found with his wife, Myriam, and 3 children, Hadzy, Nitzana, and Ziva by his side at many Chadeish Yameinu events. He spent the last nearly 15 years managing and leading engineering efforts at Netflix, and brings his technical skills and leadership expertise to CY.
In his spare time you can find him playing banjo, wandering the forest looking for mushrooms, or digging in the garden.
Gary Baruch Dolowich, Director-at-Large
Gary (Baruch) Dolowich's Jewish roots go way back - as a child he can remember watching his grandmother perform in the Yiddish Theatre on Second Avenue in New York. Later in life he had the good fortune of studying in classes with Zalman Schacter (the founder of Jewish Renewal), who also performed a marriage renewal ceremony for him and his wife, Sena. Baruch was also one of the early members of Chadeish Yameinu. Now, as a Member of the Board, he continues to hold the vision of bringing harmony to the community through a connection to the Spirit and a balance of chesed (lovingkindness) and gevurah (setting limits).
Louise Drummond, Director-at-Large
Louise Drummond has been a resident of Mexico most of her life. She enjoys cooking, and politics, and is a clothing designer and artist. She came to Chadeish Yameinu to worship with relatives, then stayed because Jewish Renewal and Rabbi Eli touched her heart.
Lynn LeRose, Director-at-Large
Larry (Uri) Stone, Director-At-Large
I have been a member of Chadeish Yameinu for almost four years and am delighted to have the opportunity to serve on the Board. Although I do not consider myself religious, my connection to Judaism is deep, as are my feelings for the Jewish people. I have lived in Israel and was there during the Six-Day War, which was a completely life-changing experience. I have dual citizenship with Israel and consider myself a dedicated Zionist. I am also continuing my study of the Hebrew language, and now consider myself semi-fluent in conversational Hebrew.
I was originally drawn to Chadeish Yameinu after meeting Rabbi Eli and experiencing the wonderful quality of the services he leads. I appreciate my growing connection to the members, and very much enjoy the services in our new Shul. Although I am originally from the East Coast, I have been in California for many years, and moved to Santa Cruz eight years ago, with the intention of remaining here. I am also a psychotherapist (MFT) by profession, but I am more or less semi-retired, and am gradually cutting back on the number of hours I work. I look forward to continuing to grow my connection to our wonderful community.