Meet the Team

JEWISHcolorado Senior Leadership

Rabbi Jay Strear

Rabbi Jay Strear

President & CEO

Rabbi Strear joined JEWISHcolorado in 2018 after 23 years at American Jewish University in Los Angeles, where he served as special assistant to the president, director of development, chief advancement officer, and senior vice president. Originally from Colorado, he is a fourth-generation Denver resident. Rabbi Strear received his undergraduate degree from CU-Boulder and earned his MBA with a focus in non-profit management, MA in Rabbinic Literature, and rabbinic ordination from the University of Judaism.


John Stilwell

John Stilwell

Chief Business & Finance Officer

Stilwell came to JEWISHcolorado in September 2021, after 30 years serving in various roles, including chief of staff, CFO, and COO, for nonprofit, corporate, and entrepreneurial organizations across the country, where he helped to start, manage, and scale their businesses. Most recently, Stilwell worked for Project Sanctuary, supporting veterans and active-duty military families. Before his move to the nonprofit sector, Stilwell worked with a Wall Street hedge fund.


Dr. Julie Lieber

Dr. Julie Lieber

Chief Jewish Life & Engagement Officer

Dr. Julie Lieber is the Chief Jewish Life and Engagement Officer at JEWISHcolorado. Formerly, she served as the Director of the Pardes-Kevah Teaching Fellowship as well as the Interim Executive Director and Director of Education at Kevah, a national non-profit facilitating home-based Torah study groups. After receiving her PhD in European history with a focus on Jewish women, gender and sexuality, Julie moved to Colorado, where she was a Professor of European History and Jewish Studies for many years. Julie has taught for the Wexner Heritage Program, the Melton program and is a frequent guest lecturer throughout the Colorado Jewish community and beyond. When she’s not teaching, you can find her on the Colorado slopes skiing with her family.


Renée Rockford

Renée Rockford

Chief Advancement Officer

Rockford, who joined JEWISHcolorado in May 2021, brings a wealth of experience as a journalist and communications professional with expertise in crisis management, reputation and brand management, strategic planning, community partnerships, fundraising, donor relations, and stewardship. Most recently, she was assistant head of school for advancement and external affairs at Colorado Academy. Prior to that, Rockford served for 7 years as the school’s director of communication and strategic planning. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism at the University of Wisconsin, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.


Stephanie Geller

Stephanie Geller

Senior Director of Operations

Stephanie Geller is the Senior Director of Operations at JEWISHcolorado. Previously, she was the Director of Events at Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado and Director of Catering for Sage Hospitality, managing the catering sales and service teams at the JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek. She is a Colorado native and spends her free time at the baseball field with her son and at the dance studio with her daughter. She also enjoys tennis in the summer and the ski slopes in the winter with her family.



Steven Baker
Senior Director of Design Philanthropy

Jason Oruch
Director of Jewish Life Philanthropy

Jill Katchen
Director of Donor Engagement

Roberta Witkow
Director of Women’s Philanthropy 

Susan Weinberger
Donor Relations Manager

Ellen Israel
Director of Communications

Jenna Raimist
Director of YAD


Carla Allen
Director of Finance

Jessica Kilby
Accounting & Donor Services Finance Manager

Zach McAnally
Finance Manager

Krista Nieves
Gift Processing & Donor Services Coordinator


Aaron Claflin
Operations Manager & Accounting Specialist

Maida Goodman
Office Administrator

Kara Washburn
Executive Assistant to President & CEO


Jewish Life & Engagement

Joe Dubroff
Director of External Affairs

Itai Divinsky
Community Israel Emissary – Shaliah

Michelle Schwartz
Director of Israel Teen Emissaries & Education

Cindy Coons
Director of Family Engagement & Jewish Explorers

Jillian Feiger
Director of Jewish Student Connection & IST

Michelle Jacobson
Young Adult Division – YAD Manager

Susan Chayet
PJ Library Professional

Zoe Kirshbaum
Jewish Student Connection Coordinator

Heather Flowers
Jewish Life & Engagement Administrator

JEWISHcolorado Board of Directors 

Rob Kaufmann, Board of Directors Chair
Seth Wong, Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair
Hirsch Neustein, Secretary & Governance Committee Chair

Tiffany Glucksman Appel, Nominating Committee Chair
John Chanin, Israel Engagement Committee Chair
Whitney Chotin Wolz, Planning & Grant Making Committee Chair
Josh Demby, Public Officials Mission Committee Co-Chair
Adriane Greenberg, Jewish Life & Engagement Committee Chair
Justin Jaffe, Investment Committee Chair
Steve Kaplan, Audit Committee Chair
Carla Kutnick, Women’s Philanthropy Committee Chair
Lisa Mintz, Campaign Committee Chair
Matt Most, Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Chair
Neil Oberfeld, Safety & Security Committee Chair
Carly Schlafer, Young Adult Division (YAD) Committee Chair
Jason Williamson, Building Committee Chair
Diana Zeff Anderson, Planned Giving & Endowment Committee Chair
Ruth Malman, Immediate Past Board Chair
Elizabeth Barrakette, Boulder Representative
Rabbi Brian Field, Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council (RMRC) Representative
Marc Penner, Agency Representative
Jodi Cooper
Dana Friedman
Joey Friedmann
Nancy Gart
Jimmy Miller
Jonathan Perlmutter
Jessica Pivar
Brain Ratner
Gil Selinger

Honorary Emeritus
Charlene Loup
Judy Robins

Rabbi Jay Strear, President & CEO