President: Jacquie Spector
Jacquie is a cognitive psychologist and has been teaching and conducting research at the University of Washington since 2003. While raising her two children in Redmond in the 1990’s, Jacquie volunteered as an advocate for abused women and children for Evergreen Legal Services, was a leader in the Girl Scouts for many years, and served as PTA president and on the Board of her children’s school. She decided to continue her education and earned her Masters and PhD in Cognition and Perception from the University of Washington. In 2004 a friend invited her to “check out this different kind of synagogue” and Bet Alef has remained a passion in her life ever since.
Vice President: Tracy Wellens
Tracy is very excited to be on the Bet Alef board. What matters most to Tracy is her family (including her dogs), her friends and the community she lives in. Currently, Tracy runs Gnosis Research which is a market research and strategy company and is on the Board of the 5th Ave Theatre. Tracy has been a recognized fellow at the National Academy of Sciences, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Heidelberg and ZUMA, Mannheim Germany and holds a Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from New York University.
Treasurer: Susan Hoffman
Susan Hoffman, Board Treasurer, has been a Bet Alef member since 2013. Susan and her husband, Frank Cioch, moved to Seattle in 2000 after living in the Detroit, Michigan area for over 20 years. Susan is a retired public finance attorney and enjoyed her role in the financing of a variety of public projects, such as water and sewer systems, public schools, universities and public buildings. She enjoys travel, hiking, yoga, auditing history classes at the University of Washington, and taking advantage of Seattle’s many cultural offerings.
Secretary: David Kroopkin
David Kroopkin joined our board in August 2016 after being a dedicated member for four years with his wife, Michelle Brode, and children, Abby and Julia. They live in Issaquah and happily make the trek in to BA frequently. David has contributed to our membership committee for the past several years, and as chair-person since early 2015. David works internationally as a global finance director, and is excited to bring his organization and communication skills to Bet Alef.
Ricki Levin has been a member of Bet Alef for four and a half years. She served on membership committee 1 year and was Chairperson of High Holidays 2 years going into 3rd wonderful year. She has been married 1 year to her soul mate and best friend John. Ricki’s professional experiences include business management, team building, logistics, laughter yoga, and creator of woo. Currently working on 200 hour yoga teacher certification. She’s passionate about bringing people together in joyful service and creating connection to build community.
Stu Heller has been an attorney in the State of Washington for over 45 years. He is the Principal Attorney at the Law Office of Stuart A. Heller. He has chaired the King County Bar’s Business Advisory Panel working with the UW Foster School of Business to annually assist a number of local minority-owned businesses, has been a volunteer attorney at the microenterprise legal clinic of Washington CASH (Washington Community Alliance For Self-Help aka Ventures), and a member of the boards of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, the Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra and the Northwest Chamber Orchestra. Stu lives in Leschi and has 3 children and 3 grandchildren.
With an Modern Orthodox, Sephardi background, Rabbi Olivier has been a student of Torah and of the Jewish way for most of his life. He lived in Israel for close to 10 years, where he studied in Jerusalem with many teachers of the Jewish spiritual path, both in Yeshivas and scholarly circles. He received a B.A. and a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College in Newton, MA. He was ordained as a Rabbi in 2009.
Dianna Rose – Music Director
Dianna Rose has been a member of Bet Alef since 2001. Her early musical training (piano, voice, percussion) eventually led her to a career in radio, in Los Angeles and Seattle (where she was Music Director and on-air at Smooth Jazz KWJZ for 12 years). She is currently on-air at two internet radio stations, and has a voice-over business. Dianna is also a Therapeutic Sound Consultant, having completed a two-year training at the Open Ear Center on Bainbridge Island, WA. Plus she’s an Acutonics (tuning forks) Level I practitioner, and a trained provider with the Strong Institute (rhythmic entrainment therapy).
Suzanna Davis – Community Relations Lead
Suzanna holds an MPA from the UW as well as a BA in Theatre Arts and Political Science. She brings over a decade of experience in planning, management, and community development across a variety of sectors, including arts, finance, education, and international services. During her repeat journeys to Africa, she discovered community and connectivity as her core motivation and a central theme for all her work, often with arts as the medium. She is excited to support the beautiful and evolving community of Bet Alef!
Megan (Meg) Wade – Operations Lead
Before coming to Bet Alef, Meg served as the Operations Manager for the Participatory Budgeting Project, a non-profit that provides technical assistance to communities engaged in participatory budgeting, a process in which residents directly decide how to spend public money. She has been active in numerous organizations striving to build local democracy and local economies. She attended the College and Divinity School at the University of Chicago, earning a BA in philosophy and MA in religious studies. A hiker and long-distance backpacker, Meg completed over half the Pacific Crest Trail in 2015. Outside of Bet Alef, you’re likely to find her attending a reading on Capitol Hill or exploring Seattle on her bicycle.
John Walker – Communications and Web Management
John joined Bet Alef in the summer of 2016. After finishing his Bachelors in Journalism and Anthropology he worked in public radio before moving to the German Alps to work on a dairy farm. From there he moved home to his native Kentucky and worked in web design and data management to save money for his 2015 thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. He currently spends his time mulling over chessboards in Belltown coffee shops and working in the rooftop garden.
Felice Orlich – Hebrew and Saturday School Teacher
Felice grew up in New York in the 60’s and 70’s. Like many Jewish kids in her neighborhood, she was raised by ultra-orthodox grandparents, and parents who kept a cultural Jewish home and sent their kids to Ramaz yeshiva where she went through 12th grade. Felice and her family are Bet Alef members. Outside of Bet Alef, Dr. Felice Orlich is the Director of community outreach at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington Medical School and an attending at Seattle Children’s Hospital.