Sam Langstein

    Sam Langstein is the Helpline Manager at the National Alliance on Mental Illness in New York City, where he oversees a team of responders and manages their peer-led call line from head to tail. In 2020, Sam graduated from the University of Michigan's Jewish Communal Leadership Program through the School of Social Work where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar. In graduate school, Sam interned at Beit T'Shuvah and at Jewish Family Services of Metro Detroit. In 2015, Sam became a corps member of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. For the next three years, he worked at Footsteps, an organization that supports and affirms those transitioning out of the ultra-Orthodox world. Before that, Sam received his BA in psychology from CUNY Hunter College. He's also been a freelance graphic designer, assisted in psycholinguistic research at Yale University, and has been fired from a job at a falafel shop.

    Kohenet Rachel Kann

      Kohenet Rachel Kann is a devotional poet and ceremonialist. She is featured in the new anthology XLA Poets from HINCHAS Press. She was the 2020 New England Jewish Poetry Festival’s Featured Poet and a 2020 Cosmic Sister “Women of The Psychedelic Renaissance” awardee for her poetry presentation at the 2020 Spirit Plant Medicine Conference.  She is a WORD: Bruce Geller Memorial Prize recipient for her latest poetry collection, How to Bless the New Moon, from Ben Yehuda Press. She leads Realize Paradise Creativity Workshops, Shabbat Soul Journeys and New Moon Union Rosh Chodesh Circles. She was the 2017 Outstanding Instructor of the Year at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. 

      Anna Wolfe

        Anna is a second-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. In her first year at JTS, she interned with Hillel International, teaching their Jewish Learning Fellowship to small Hillel campuses that lacked the resources and staff to facilitate the program on their own. Prior to rabbinical school, Anna worked for four years as Mishkan Chicago’s Family Program Coordinator, and as a founding educator at their progressive religious school, the Mensch Academy. While in Chicago, she also worked as a teaching artist, providing theater enrichment to underfunded Chicago Public Schools. Anna holds a BA in acting with a minor in gender studies from Columbia College Chicago. In 2017, she wrote and performed her first solo play through the Greenhouse Theater’s Trellis Residency. Anna is passionate about connecting people to the wonder and amazement of Judaism by creating intentional Jewish spaces of prayer and learning, infused with dynamic moments of theater. Anna was a participant of BCI in the summer of 2018, and is thrilled to be returning to the program that inspired her to become a Rabbi!

        Kyla Sokoll-Ward

          Kyla is a BCI 2012 alumna and is thrilled to be back in the place that sparked her love and hunger for the Jewish community. Judaism and spiritual expression run deep in Kyla's bones, and she loves creating space for young adults to discover what being Jewish means to them. Kyla loves to lean into the uncomfortable, the ugly, the delightful, and the ecstatic in all that life will inevitably offer us. Professionally, she is a public speaker and workshop facilitator on the topics of generational loneliness and emotional intelligence. Personally, she is much more than that. You can usually find her in deep conversations, crying happy tears over a really cute dog or really juicy fig, or stretching and making strange accompanying sounds.

          Gabe Monett

            A proud Atlanta native, Gabe is driven largely by his curiosity. With interests including but not limited to - Urban Planning, chess, politics, astronomy, mindfulness, sustainability, and philosophy - Gabe enjoys discussing these topics among friends as much as learning about them on his own. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in film, Gabe spent several years as a freelance filmmaker before turning to the world of community building and social justice. Gabe is a sucker for new and slightly scary experiences and always keeps an eye out for ways to express gratitude for the present moment.

            Rabbi Myra Meskin

            myra.meskin [at] aju.edu
            (310) 440-1274
            Myra Meskin Headshot
              Education

              Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University

              M.A., Experiential Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary

              Pardes Experiential Educators Program

              Rabbi Myra Meskin is the Associate Director of the Maas Center for Jewish Journeys at the AJU, where she’s honored to walk with those engaging in meaningful identity formation through the Ziering BCI Program, the Miller Introduction to Judaism program, Marriage for Life, and the AJU Community Mikveh. A graduate of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University, she holds a Masters in Experiential Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and studied in the Pardes Experiential Educators Program. She currently lives in Boston with her husband Rabbi Ben Gurin and their daughter Eleanor.

              The Voice Within

              Rewind. You're driving down Peppertree Lane for the first time.  The strangers sitting next to you aren't yet cherished friends.  You're working up the courage to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with new forms of creative, Jewish expression.  Soon you'll learn that, nestled within, is a beautiful, familiar voice hoping to be shared with the world.