Elizabeth Gaynes, Executive Director

elizabeth@cbbsb.org | 805.964.7869 x111

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.

Julia George, Director of Development

julia@cbbsb.org | 805.964.7869 x108

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.

Ron Gleiberman, Director of Operations

ron@cbbsb.org | 805.964.7869 x137

Ron is CBB’s Director of Operations, in charge of operations, logistics, food service, event planning, security and member services. He helps CBB members with planning the details of their B’ Mitzvahs, Onegs, and special events. Ron oversees any issues related to the campus facilities, operations, or systems at CBB, including those related to programming, including BHY preschool, Jewish Learning Programs, and daily campus operations, as well as High Holy Days. Ron helps with grant writing and grant execution for CBB and helps support our HR department.

Ron has over 22 years of experience as an Operations Director and joined CBB’s staff in 2016. Ron has prior roles of leadership and management in the local community as the former Director of Operations for Kyle’s Kitchen and Silvergreens Restaurants & Catering for over a decade. A graduate of UCSB, Ron is actively involved as both a CBB member and in the broader community. He has two children and has lived in Santa Barbara since 1999.

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.

Terry Grimes, Bookkeeper & HR Manager

terry@cbbsb.org | 805.964.7869 x119

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.

Laura Habecker, Director of Membership

laura@cbbsb.org | 805.964.7869 x104

Laura first got involved at CBB nearly 30 years ago, when her two children, Ethan and Emma, attended BHY Preschool. She started volunteering in their classrooms, and later serving on CBB’s Board as Membership VP, Caring Community Trustee, and on the Executive Committee for 5 years.

Throughout her professional career, Laura has been a business development manager focusing on biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical device sales.

Laura grew up in the Los Angeles area, attended UCSB, and earned a master’s degree in public administration from California State University, Northridge. She and her husband, Dan, are longtime residents of Santa Barbara, happily raising their two children here. In her spare time, Laura can be found in the hot yoga studio. She also serves as a CADA mentor and has a very special place in her heart for young families and children.

Jen Lewis, Director of Jewish Learning Programs

jen@cbbsb.org | 805.964.7869 x225

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.

Megan Lewis, Executive Assistant

megan@cbbsb.org | 805.964.7869 x131

Megan joined CBB in January of 2024 after recently moving to Santa Barbara. She grew up in Los Angeles but has been residing in Oregon for the last six years. Megan attended University of Oregon and then lived in Portland after graduation. Outside of work, she like to go on long walks to explore her new city, try out new recipes for dinner, and work on learning Spanish. Megan is excited to get to know the community!

Phoebe Light, Community Engagement Coordinator

phoebe@cbbsb.org | 805.964.7869 x103

After joining CBB as a member in 2018, Phoebe joined the professional staff in 2021. 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. 

Audrey Okaneko, Office Manager

audrey@cbbsb.org | 805.964.7869 x113

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.

Leah Savage, Assistant Director of Jewish Learning Programs

leah@cbbsb.org | 805.964.7869 x225

Leah grew up at Congregation B’nai B’rith, first as a preschooler at Beit HaYeladim and then as a religious school and confirmation student, as well as a madricha at religious school. She earned a BA in history and an MA in Education, both from UCLA, then went to graduate school at Stony Brook University for a graduate degree in history. While in college and grad school, she remained engaged in the Santa Barbara Jewish community through her work at Camp Haverim. She first worked as a camp counselor before joining the directing staff as the programmer and later the director. After grad school, Leah spent two years as the education director at Congregation Beth Shalom in Napa, where she loved helping children and teens form a tight-knit Jewish community and fostering their curiosity about and interest in Jewish culture, religion, and history. Leah is delighted to return to her childhood congregation to work with the students in CBB’s Jewish Learning Programs!

Abad Vallejo, Maintenance Supervisor

abad@cbbsb.org | 805.455.4196

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 & Resort, 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.

Paul Zakrzewski, Director of Communications & Programs

paulz@cbbsb.org | 805.964.7869 x128

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, book clubs, the monthly Sunday Morning Live speaker series, and other special events.

Paul grew up near Toronto, Canada, and holds a BA from Cornell University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Prior to relocating to the West Coast in 2012, he spearheaded a number of scholarship, educational, and literary initiatives at organizations including the JCC in Manhattan and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. A writer and coach, he currently hosts The Book I Had to Write podcast in his spare time.