Leadership & Partners


Shoshi Barkai    Shoshi is a nutritionist and researcher at UCSD. She and her husband Shai are Israelis living in San Diego. Their daughter attended Tarbuton classes and Shoshi and Shai organized Holiday celebrations and prepared and accompanied children for singing performances at Yom Haatzmaout festivals and Yom HaZikaron ceremonies.

Brett Gottlieb    Brett is an American and is married to Lital Gottlieb, Tarbuton’s Operational Manager from 2015-2016.  He brings his experience in finance to the Board. The couple have preschool aged children the oldest of which attended Tarbuton’s preschool program.

Tsipi Landen    Tsipi is Israeli.  Tsipi works in strategic communications.  She has grown children and moved to San Diego from the Palo Alto area.  Tsipi coordinates Tarbuton’s Israeli film group and brings Israeli plays, dancers and speakers for adults.

Dr. Sandhya (Sunny) Kathleen Bhalla-Regev    Sunny is an M.D.  She is an American who married an Israeli. The children have attended Tarbuton programs and attend public schools. Sunny also studied Hebrew in the Adult Ulpan.

Galit Shezifi    Galit is Israeli and is married to an Israeli, Oded.  Galit is an expressive art therapist.  The family participated in holiday celebrations and Galit facilitates the Israeli book club in the Tarbuton. Oded also planned an Israeli film outing.

Jennie Starr, CEO/Founder   Jennie is an Israeli-American and is married to Stuart, who lived in Israel for 7 years. Jennie worked as a lawyer, and Director of product management  before founding the Tarbuton. The couple built Tarbuton for their children who attended classes from preschool through 8th grade and participated in holiday celebrations. Jennie enjoys bringing Israeli plays, dancers and speakers for adults.

Galit Urich    Galit, an Israeli is married to Michel, also Israeli.  Their children attended Tarbuton classes. Galit has offered Shishi on the Farm, an Israeli cooking program and is the author of Israeli Food in America the Tarbuton’s Israeli cookbook.

Past Board Members:  Ellen Fox, Tamar Gollan, Eylon Geva, Michal Levi, Marina Weiser, Rabbi Phil Graubart


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Moadon Sefer  (Israeli Literature Book Group) – Galit Shezifi
Moadon Seret  (Israeli Movie Group) –Tsipi Landen
Café v’Ivrit (Coffee and Hebrew) – Ellen Fox and Glenda Jaffe
Israeli Food in America, Cookbook – Galit Urich, Michal Levi, Jennie Starr
Education Advisors through 2016 – Geula Hebron, Naava Michan


The Ken Jewish Community
Temple Emanu-El
House of Israel
Congregation Beth El
Temple Solel
Beth Israel
San Diego Jewish Academy
Chabad Carmel Valley


Israeli-American Council
Jewish Federation of San Diego County
Leichtag Foundation
The Israeli Consulate, Israeli House (Bayit Israeli) in Los Angeles, CA


World Zionist Organization


Hebrew at the Center, Newton, MA Learn more
Jewish Education Project Jewish Enrichment Network, New York, NY Learn more

The Tarbuton strengthens and unifies the San Diego Jewish community through Israeli cultural experiences.

  1. Reaching as many as 140 students annually, 200-400 participate weekly or bi-monthly, and over 2000 Jewish households
  2. Selected by Slingshot in 2012-2013, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016 as a top Innovative organization in North America
  3. Selected to join Nitzan, Covenant Foundation’s Innovative After School program network
  4. Kesher is a member of The Jewish Education Project’s Hebrew Charter After School Network made possible through a generous grant from the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life.
  5. Introduced Modern Hebrew in public elementary school campuses
  6. Recognized by the Reut Institute in The Israeli Diaspora as a Catalyst for Jewish Peoplehood March, 2012 and Engaging the Israeli Diaspora: Toronto as a Case Study June 2013
  7. Highlighted in eJewishPhilanthropy, Steinhardt Contact Magazine, Times of Israel, Jewish World, Jewish Journal. Read More

Generous Support Provided by

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