The performers who will lead us in song at the celebration are all cherished members of the Covenant community. They bring not just extraordinary talent and energy to all they do, but they also perform with a lev shalem, a full heart.
Oren Kaunfer is Madrich Ruchani (Spiritual Educator/Director of Jewish Life) at JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School. Drawing on a diverse background ranging from Camp Ramah to the Carlebach Shul to MTV, Oren’s creativity, energy, and spirit elevate and energize the community, and infuse JCDS with genuine ruach. A 2018 Covenant Pomegranate Prize recipient, Oren is particularly interested in creating innovative and engaging t’fillah, and fostering meaningful connections to Judaism. At JCDS, he develops and executes all-school chagigot (holiday celebrations), oversees t’fillah for all grades K-8, works closely with the school-wide Pluralism Committee, and leads the Jewish Life Team—and he does most of it with an instrument in hand. Oren aims to bring the essence of Jewish summer camp to the school environment.
Natan Kuchar is the Assistant Director of Youth Development at Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, where he creates opportunities for Jewish teens to become leaders and change-agents in their communities. He also serves as Lead Youth Educator at Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley, California. Previously, Natan was the Director of Edah, a thriving Jewish and Hebrew integrative afternoon school in Berkeley. Known for bringing together whole communities in song, Natan is a passionate advocate for connecting people through thoughtful, joyful experiences that respond to the needs of the community. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and a Certificate in Arts Integration from the Alameda County Office of Education where he is also an active faculty member. Natan was recently honored by Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín for his outstanding contribution to the arts.
Alicia Jo Rabins is a writer, musician, composer, performer, and Torah teacher. She creates multi-genre works of experimental beauty that explore the intersection of ancient wisdom texts with everyday life. Rabins’ first collection of poetry, Divinity School, won the 2015 APR/Honickman First Book Prize and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her second collection, Fruit Geode, was published in October 2018 by Augury Books and was a finalist for the Jewish Book Award. As a musician and performer, Rabins is the creator and performer of Girls in Trouble, an indie-folk song cycle about the complicated lives of Biblical women with accompanying curriculum, and A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, a feminist mystical-musical feature film about the intersection of finance and spirituality, currently in post-production. She holds a M.A. in Jewish Women’s Studies from The Jewish Theological Seminary and a M.F.A. in Poetry from Warren Wilson College.
Richard Saudek grew up making faces at himself in the mirror while he brushed his teeth. Then, at the age of ten, he ran off to perform in the circus for a number of years. He works as an actor and clown for both stage and screen in New York and internationally. His New York theater credits include: Waiting for Godot and Beep Boop at the 14th Street Y; Balls, Stockholm, and Wolves at 59E59 Theaters; Pool (no water) at Barrow Street Theatre; Eager To Lose at Ars Nova; Evelyn at The Bushwick Starr; Beep Boop at HERE Arts Center; Breath on the Mirror at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club; What We Know and The Killing Room at Teatro Círculo; Dream of Me at The Players Theatre; and The Mandrake at The Pearl Theater. His television credits include: Bull (CBS), Boardwalk Empire (HBO), and BONDiNG (Netflix).
Karina Zilberman is an inspirational leader, group facilitator, singer-songwriter, performer, educator, and mentor. She is the founder of the Shababa Approach to multigenerational experiences and the Unlocking Wonder Workshops. Karina was the Director of Jewish Family Life and the Shababa Network at the 92nd Street Y for over 10 years. In 2014, Karina and the 92nd Street Y created the Shababa Network, with 52 organizations across the U.S., Canada, Panama, Chile, Argentina, and Israel. Her trainings are focused on building bridges between the organizations and its professionals so that innovation emerges not only as a result of but as an infinite source of creative energy. She has decades of experience ranging from musical teachings, song performances, puppetry, and leadership development trainings. Karina served as a Cantorial Soloist and clergy assistant at Temple Israel of Greater Miami from 2001 to 2007. She is a recipient the 2012 Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. Karina is married to Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein and together they live at “La Ecovilla”—a sustainable community in Costa Rica where they host retreats and workshops.
Yaron Eigenstein is a founding team member and chief music producer of Koolulam. He also serves as an arranger and composer for the group. Yaron is a graduate of The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.
Ben Yaffet is co-founder, principal conductor, and musical director of Koolulam. A native of Tel Aviv’s “HaTikva” neighborhood, he grew up in a world of music. Ben began playing the piano at an early age, and at the age of 19, he received a full scholarship to The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. At age 20, he founded “VocaTikva”—a social a capella group.
Lilach Krakauer is a conductor and vocal arranger for Koolulam and has been a team member since the group’s founding. As an arranger, Lilach has had the opportunity to write for some of Israel’s foremost choral ensembles. She has also participated in various master classes in Israel and around the world as a choral conductor and vocal leader. Lilach is a graduate of The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, where she directed the Academy’s Community Involvement Center and Multidisciplinary Vocal Ensemble.