Elizabeth Gaynes, Executive Director since 2015, first joined the professional Senior Leadership Team at CBB in 2012 as Membership and Program Director. She spent the previous decade working as a Personal Development Coach and Project Consultant, while balancing volunteer leadership roles including serving on CBB’s Board as Preschool Trustee and Social Action Trustee, and as the Chair of Mitzvah Day, CBB’s Groove Gala, and The Year of Living Torah Programs.
Elizabeth grew up in Los Angeles, is a UCSB Film Studies graduate, and had a thirteen year first career as a Publicist and International Marketing Executive for Universal Pictures. She and her husband David (and children Sophia and Max) returned to Santa Barbara in 2001 to start their next adventure and have immersed themselves in the Santa Barbara Jewish community ever since.
Contact Elizabeth at email@example.com or ext. 111.
Youth Engagement Coordinator
Mira joined CBB as its Youth Engagement Coordinator in 2021. She advises the SBORTY TYG board, and coordinates programs such as Rosh Hodesh/Shevet. You might see her pretty much anywhere there are CBB programs for high schoolers and younger.
Mira grew up in the URJ camp system and attending NFTY SoCal events. She brings four years of summer camp song-leading experience, and a passion for connecting Jewish teens with their identities and community. She graduated from UCSB with a major in marine biology, and minors in both religious studies and science fiction. In her spare time, she enjoys watching Star Trek, sketching comics, and creative writing. Contact Mira at firstname.lastname@example.org or at ext 225.
Director of Development
Julia joined CBB as the Director of Development in 2022, and brings over 15 years of professional fundraising and development experience to her role. Prior to CBB, Julia served in development roles for RAINN, Penn State University, as well as other non-profit organizations throughout Orange County.
Upon enrolling her son Lazar in BHY in 2020, Julia served as BHY’s Fundraising Chair and, more recently, as a member of CBB’s Development Committee. She is also a long-time leadership volunteer for the TSC Alliance and an advisor for the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority.
Julia grew up in Laguna Beach and Williamsburg, VA, where she attended the College of William & Mary. After returning to Orange County, she met her husband Rich, and eventually ended up back on the east coast while he pursued his PhD at Penn State. Thrilled to now be back in California, Julia enjoys playing tennis, exploring local restaurants and coffee shops, and spending time outdoors with her family and friends.
Please contact Julia at email@example.com or ext. 108 regarding giving to CBB.
Director of Operations
Ron is CBB’s first Director of Operations, having joined our team to focus on operations, logistics, and member services. He helps CBB members with questions about volunteer opportunities, member accounts, or any issues related to the facilities, operations, or systems at CBB, including those related to High Holy Days, programs and special events, or BHY operations.
Ron brings over 13 years of leadership and management in the local community as the former Director of Operations for Kyle’s Kitchen and Silvergreens Restaurants & Catering. A graduate of UCSB, Ron is actively involved as both a CBB member and in the broader community. He has two children.
When not at CBB you can find Ron hiking, watching the Lakers play, or trying to learn a new skill on YouTube. Ron is extremely approachable and loves interacting with people, so come say hello when you see him.
Please contact Ron any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 137.
Terry is responsible for all aspects of the temple’s bookkeeping, as well as payroll and human resources. Terry joined the staff in 2006. Prior to that, she worked for two Fortune 500 companies as an Accounting Supervisor and a Legal Assistant. She has been married to her husband Matt since 1983 and they have two sons, Andrew and Daniel. She is also a fierce bowling competitor.
Please contact Terry with any questions related to billing or contributions to the temple at email@example.com or ext. 119.
Director of Jewish Learning Programs &
Director of Beit HaYeladim (BHY) Preschool
As director of the temple’s Jewish Learning Programs (formerly Religious School), Jen Lewis helps support and organize Jewish learning for all students by creating deeply engaging and experiential programs that support the needs and interests of families and students. Her primary goals are to help students develop a strong sense of Jewish community, a passion for Judaic/Hebrew learning, and an understanding of Jewish values and ethics thru Tikkun Olam (“repairing the world”).
Jen has been a synagogue educator for 30 years, beginning with preschool at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and Beth Am, and most recently teaching 2nd and 4th grades here at CBB since 2008. In 2015, she became the Director of Jewish Learning Programs. She is a longtime resident of Santa Barbara, and along with her husband Stuart has 3 boys, TJ, Alex, and Isaac. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering at her children’s schools, walking the beautiful beaches of SB, and spending time outdoors with her family.
If you have any questions related to our Jewish Learning Programs please connect with Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 225.
After joining CBB as a member in 2018, Phoebe joined the professional staff in 2021. She works closely with the development team, assists the Executive Director, and provides administrative support in the front office. Prior to working at CBB, Phoebe worked in admissions for Antioch University and as an International Program Advisor for the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP).
Phoebe grew up in Santa Barbara and attended UCSB, graduating with a degree in Linguistics in 2013. Following college, Phoebe volunteered at Kibbutz Ein HaShofet in Israel, where she met her husband Seva, a new immigrant from Russia. Phoebe made Aliyah and stayed in Israel for three years before returning to Santa Barbara with Seva and their cat, Stevie. In her spare time, Phoebe enjoys playing music, cooking, baking, hiking, and exploring California’s Central Coast.
Contact Phoebe at email@example.com or ext. 103.
Audrey Okaneko has been a member of Congregation B’nai B’rith since 1993. She began working at CBB in 2003, and helps manage most everything office related. When not working, Audrey enjoys reading, hiking, crocheting, cooking and more.
For general questions about the temple or its programs and events please contact Audrey at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 113.
Stacie Raichelle Bowen
BHY Administrative Assistant
Stacie Raichelle Bowen graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology, with an emphasis on Child Development. She returned home to Santa Barbara to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education. After working as a teacher at UCSB’s Orfalea Family Children’s Center for four years, Stacie joined the staff at CBB’s Beit HaYeladim Preschool (BHY) in 2017.
Stacie has been a part of the CBB community since she was 12 years old. She was a member of the 2007 confirmation class and worked as a madricha and teacher in CBB’s religious school. She was grateful to return home to the CBB community as BHY’s Administrative Specialist, where she enjoys supporting families, children and the BHY staff. Stacie has had a passion for helping children since a young age.
She is an advocate for the school’s play-based philosophy and enjoys learning from the BHY children every day. Judaism is an important part of Stacie’s life, and she feels it is important to incorporate Jewish values in her work with BHY families. Reach her at email@example.com or ext. 337.
Director of Community Engagement
Mariela is a Jewish professional who has been working for the Jewish community worldwide for 20 years. She holds a certificate in childhood education (Argentina); a B.A and M.A from the Seminar Hakibutzim and University of Haifa respectively (Israel); and a M.A in Jewish Nonprofit Management from the Zelikow School at Hebrew Union College (U.S). After working in development for 7 years, her personal and professional journey brought her back to her roots – synagogue life. She works at CBB to help every member find their place in our community, to add a touch of Jewish content at every possible opportunity, to facilitate and empower people to embrace their Jewish identity, and to explore it and find ways to give back to the community while combining their passions.
After hours, Mariela writes a Jewish Education Curriculum for a fellow synagogue in OC, loves to walk by the beach and do Facetime calls with her six nephews and nieces when she can’t drive to LA, and treasures quality time with her friends.
Please contact Mariela with any questions involving new membership, volunteer opportunities, or other engagement opportunities at CBB at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 104.
Abad is in charge of the hire and supervision of CBB’s maintenance staff, and the purchase of Temple supplies (all food and cleaning), as well as oversight of meal prep, Shabbat setup, and events setup.
Prior to joining CBB in 2008, she worked as the housekeeping supervisor at the Bacara Spa & Resport, and the Housekeeping Manager at the Miramar Hotel. Born in Mexico City on January 12, the day of St. Anthony of Abad, she was named in honor of the saint by her father. She has lived in the US since 1989, and has a son. Abad can be reached at (805) 455-4196.
Director of Communications & Programs
As CBB’s chief communications contact, Paul oversees the temple’s weekly enewsletter, website, VOICES magazine, and social media presence. He is also responsible for coordinating and publicizing CBB programs including Adult Learning offerings and the monthly Sunday Morning Live speaker series. He is the producer and host of CBB VOICES, a podcast featuring compelling stories from CBB’s diverse and inclusive community.
Raised in Mexico and Canada, Paul worked for several Jewish cultural institutions before moving to Santa Barbara in 2012. He is the editor of the award-winning anthology Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge (Perennial), and he is also an essayist and book coach. Contact him at email@example.com or ext. 128.