How Can We Help You? Our Office Team

We welcome your ideas and look forward to hearing from you.

Whether you are new to CBJ or a long-time member, our staff strives to greet you warmly and welcome you into the community. My position has changed in recent months and we have a new face on our team that we’d like to introduce to you. With this in mind, I’d like to take a minute to tell you about our office staff and let you know the ways in which we can be helpful when you have a question.

Rosa Whitten
Acting Executive Director

This past August I began my tenth year on the CBJ staff. My first stint was from 2002-2006 and I then returned in 2015. Just this year I took over as Acting Executive Director, starting in March. Fortunately, I know many of you but I am interested to get to know you better and learn more of your stories. I am a native of California and have lived mostly on the Peninsula. My husband and I lived in San Carlos for almost 14 years and just moved to Burlingame in 2017. We are busy parents with 2 elementary age kids and a large extended family.

It has been an exciting transition to start this new role in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am delighted to further support the CBJ community and happy to take on the challenge. I welcome your ideas and feedback and look forward to serving the community.

Deborah Wahnich-Reitman
Operations & Experience Manager

Deborah is the newest member of our team and just started in August. She was the Social Catering Manager at the Pullman Hotel in Redwood Shores. All her event experience will be very helpful to the synagogue and translate well to supporting our team with organizing the logistics of holidays and services. Deborah’s role is to support our clergy and handle the myriad of details that come up. You may hear from Deborah regarding life cycle events. She is the person to contact if you need to make an appointment with Rabbi Ezray.  Deborah is also a trained chef and completed a culinary program in San Francisco.

Rebecca Schwartz
Membership Engagement Director

Most of you know Rebecca as she has been coordinating membership engagement since 2013. Rebecca supports our new member onboarding, Adult Education, Book Groups, Cares Committee, Sisterhood, and Social Action. She is involved in many facets of the synagogue and works closely with the clergy team and scores of volunteer leaders to do important work making connections with members. In addition to being able to answer your membership questions, Rebecca is an avid reader and always has a great book recommendation!

Martin Hernandez
Facilities Manager

Martin has been on our team for almost 4 years. He takes care of our custodial work, building maintenance, setup and breakdown of events and holidays. He also supports our teachers and school programs with janitorial needs. In his free time, Martin participates in the Volunteers in Policing program with the Redwood City Police Department.

Caroline Geller
Office and Communications Manager

Caroline has been at CBJ since 2016 and came to us from Connecticut with lots of previous experience at synagogues in New York. She beautifully takes care of our graphics and layout for newsletters, flyers, announcements, and email blasts. Caroline also runs the day-to-day functions of the office and is often the voice you hear when you call us on the phone. Caroline has been holding down the fort at CBJ and going into almost every day since the shutdown in March. We have been very fortunate many times to enjoy the delectable, sweet treats that Caroline creates as she ran her own pastry business once upon a time.

Laura Bahbout

Laura is the longest-term employee in the CBJ office. She has been running our business and finance office for 15 years. Laura is from Milan, Italy, but relocated to California in 1984. Laura is here to help you with anything related to your dues, donations, payments, reimbursements, statements, and tax letters. In addition to accounts receivable and accounts payable, Laura also handles our human resources such as benefits, insurance, and payroll. Laura often brings Bella, her beloved canine companion, which brings a lot of smiles to all.

We are grateful for this amazing team. If there is anything you need, please don’t hesitate to reach out.