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Anita Boles - Executive Director

Anita joined the staff of CBI in 2020. With a Bachelor’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Public Administration, Anita has over 30 years of executive director experience leading national and international non-profit organizations. Anita also served on several dozen Boards of Directors and national committees and founded the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military -- a collaborative to help returning service members and veterans -- that has continued through Americans for the Arts and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. As a consultant, she provided consultation and training services to non-profit organizations on fundraising, strategic planning, board development, rebranding and promotion, and several other areas related to reorganization and building strong foundations for the future. After 30 years in Northern Virginia, she moved to the Charlottesville area with her husband, George, in 2017.

Shelby Apple - Director of the Religious School, Assistant to Rabbi Tom Gutherz
Shelby is the Director of the Religious School as well assistant to Rabbi Tom Gutherz. She is originally from Ohio and received her Bachelor's of Communications Degree from Ohio University and her Master’s Degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University. Shelby has worked in Jewish communities in both Virginia and Ohio for over 30 years. She began working at CBI in 2005 as Camp Director and ran Camp CBI for 13 years. She has worked in CBI's Religious School since 2010 and has also planned several multi-generational Israel trips for the congregation (and is looking forward to planning more!). She, her husband Kevin, and their two children, Rachel and Benny, along with their dog Deena, reside over the mountain in Fishersville. 


Jill Abbey-Clark - Director of Education

Jill is CBI's Director of Education and the founder of CBI Forest School. Jill  has over 25 years of experience as an educator, focusing on Jewish education since 2005. Jill also taught upper elementary in Cambridge, MA and at Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville. Before going into administration she taught 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s at CBI Preschool and Kindergarten. Jill holds a BA in Jewish Studies and Sociology from Tulane University and a Master of Education in special and elementary education from Lesley University. In 2022, she won the prestigious Covenant Award honoring Jewish Educators who stand out for their remarkable leadership, commitment, and passion for their work.

Lukas Holldorf - Communications and Connections Manager
Lukas moved to Charlottesville in Spring 2016 from Leipzig, Germany with his wife Katie. Lukas studied American Studies and Art History at the University of Leipzig and has worked in a variety of gallery and exhibition projects before moving to the US. From 2013 to 2015, he managed a gallery for contemporary art in Leipzig. In his free time, Lukas enjoys reading, playing music, seeing art exhibitions and exploring his new home country.

► Contact Lukas

Raya Rzeszut - Office Manager
Raya has over 20 years of professional experience in Jewish communal organizations. She has a Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Studies from Gratz College in Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Studies from the University of Florida. In addition to her office role, Raya oversees the PJ Library and PJ Our Way programs, and teaches the kindergarten Religious School class. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, working on various craft projects, playing the ukulele, and traveling. She has a daughter Sophie who participates in Hebrew High and BITY, and who also loves working in the Religious School and Camp CBI.


Sydnee Wurtz - Engagement Manager

Sydnee moved to Charlottesville in 2021 to attend UVA for graduate school for Religious Studies, specializing in Judaism and conflict. She worked for the Jewish Studies Program at UVA and now happily found her home with CBI. Sydnee is the Engagement Coordinator, so you will see her all over wearing many different hats but always a smile. Sydnee works at the Forest School, Shorashim, and Camp CBI, so she has already met many of you and your amazing children. Sydnee also works during Shabbat services; you can spot her above your heads live streaming from the main sanctuary balcony. Sydnee is also involved with BITY, JewC, and committee groups here at CBI. Sydnee is originally from New Jersey, specifically the Jersey Shore (no she does not fist pump, but she can pump her own gas). You can find Sydnee outside swimming, hiking, causing camp mayhem, or wandering around beautiful Charlottesville. If you want to share cat pictures, talk about the beautiful town we all share, or simply have a conversation, reach out to Sydnee.

Nancy Kliewer - Financial Manager
Nancy is CBI's Financial Manager, working with the Executive Director and the Finance Committee to conduct the financial functions of the synagogue. Nancy has an MBA in Economics from George Washington University and a BA in Business Economics from Willamette University in Salem, OR. She brings financial management experience from other Charlottesville non-profits. Nancy and her husband Rob moved to Charlottesville in 2010, along with their three (now adult) sons. In her spare time, you can usually find Nancy somewhere with knitting in her hands.

Cantor Sharon McCord - Music Specialist
Cantor Sharon McCord, B.Mus., M.Mus., serves as Music Specialist and Shaliach Tzibbur - service leader - at Congregation Beth Israel. Ordained in January 2021 through the Aleph Ordination Program after a five year intensive course of study, Sharon leads services and performs Jewish rituals for individuals and communities throughout the US as well as for the CBI community. She runs a music studio, teaching lessons in several instruments, and composes and arranges Jewish music for liturgy and concert. At CBI, she leads Shabbat services, directs the Chutzpah! Chorus, and instrumental groups, teaches music in the religious school, and hopes to add music related beit midrash classes for the adult community. Cantor Sharon co-produced with Liora Laufer z”l, a CD of Shabbat Hallelu music, which is available in the CBI office.

Latifa Kropf - Senior Connections Manager
Latifa Berry Kropf has been the Senior Connections Manager  since 2015 through a generous grant from the United Jewish Fund for Charlottesville. In this role she has the pleasure of meeting with seniors one on one and creating Jewish and festival programming. She was also trained by the Institute of Jewish Spirituality as a Wise Aging facilitator and presently has  three ongoing wise aging groups. 
Latifa is also the co-leader of P’nai Yisrel Chavurah , a Jewish renewal community which has been in Charlottesville for over 30 years. She has choreographed and taught Jewish Sacred Dance to adults and children around the country and published teaching materials. She was also the first teacher and one of the founders of the CBI preschool besides being a public school elementary school teacher and reading specialist. While teaching at CBI, she wrote a series of Jewish themed books featuring her students. These books were published by Kar-Ben and include "It's Challah Time", "It's Sukkot Time" "It's Chanukah Time," "It's Purim Time", "It's Shofar Time" and "It's Seder Time."

Anna - JewC Program Coordinator
Anna's work with the JewC young professionals group at CBI has brought great meaning to her life here in Charlottesville, and growing the group to be a home away from home for young adults who are looking for a strong vibrant Jewish community in which to build their lives.  When she's not at work you'll find her exploring Charlottesville with the JewC group on the river, climbing a mountain, taking a workshop, seeing a concert, or at a new restaurant in town!

Tue, June 18 2024 12 Sivan 5784