Meet the Staff

 Rabbi Dana Saroken
Spiritual Director & Founder

Rabbi SarokenRabbi Dana Saroken is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Arizona’s Honors Program with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and Jewish Studies. She went on to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City where she was ordained in 2004. She worked as the Educational Director for the “Up With People” an international organization best known for performing arts, community service and global education. Thereafter she became the Director of the Jewish Student Association at Georgetown University and subsequently the Assistant Rabbi at the New City Jewish Center in New York. Rabbi Saroken joined Beth El in 2007 and was its first female Rabbi. She and her husband Rafi Rone have three children.

Rachel Siegal
Managing Director


Rachel Siegal served as the Development Director for the Pearlstone Center for the past six years. Prior to that, she served for four years as a Vice President for the Associated’s  Women’s Department and for the Annual Campaign.  Born and raised in Cleveland, Rachel holds an MBA and a Masters in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University and an undergraduate degree in Judaic Studies and Africana Studies from Brown University.  She and her husband Sam have three children. She is an active volunteer at Krieger Schechter Day School and with the Pearlstone Center.

Julie Hettleman
Program Coordinator

julieJulie Hettleman graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelors degree in Special Education.  She received her Masters in Guidance and Counseling from Loyola University. She taught Special Education for ten years in Baltimore County.  After spending several years raising her two children, she changed career paths and began working as a Program and Event Coordinator.  Julie worked as the Special Projects Manager for The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and most recently as an Office Administrator, Projects Coordinator and Camp Mom for Camp Skylemar.  She has two children, one at American University and one at Park School.

Sarah Shapiro
Social Work Consultant

sarahshapiroSarah Shapiro is a licensed clinical social worker with over twenty years of experience providing short-term counseling to clients of all ages in a variety of school and community settings. Currently, she also works as the Shleimut Social Work Consultant at Beth Israel Congregation and for Jewish Community Services at Aleph Bet Jewish Day School in Annapolis. Sarah also maintains a small private practice specializing in short-term counseling to help people address life challenges and transitions.

Sarah will be onsite at Beth El usually on Tuesdays from 12-2pm and Thursdays from 1-5pm. During this time, she will be available to see people in person by previously scheduled appointment or on a walk-in basis, engage in telephone counseling, and assist the Beth El clergy by providing telephone support to ill or bereaved congregants.

Our Instructors:

img_6340Susan Weis-Bohlen, the former owner of breathe bookstore cafe, is also a Chopra Center Certified Ayurvedic Life-Style Counselor, cooking teacher and meditation teacher.





Jordan Goodman believes life improves when we feel more connected to ourselves and others. He is a professional musician, licensed psychotherapist, and recognized leader in the fields of therapeutic and community drumming.




gabe-pickusGabe Pickus is a Healing Touch Certified Practitioner, Movement & Martial Arts Practitioner and Educator and musician.





aaron schneiderAaron Schneider is a psychotherapist, ordained Maggid (storyteller) and student of the late Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l.




63b-copyStephen Siegel, an investment advisor specializing in sustainable, responsible, impact investments, has been a student and teacher of Jewish and Himalayan meditation since 1975. Steve has been blessed with the opportunity to study with many teachers including Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, Rabbi DovBer Pinson, Rav Avraham Sutton, Sri Swami Rama, Swami Veda Bharati, and Pandit Rajmani Tigunait.


Eva SivanPhD is a meditation teacher and psychologist. She has been privileged to study mindfulness meditation and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction with teachers such as Tara Brach and Saki Santorelli, and is a Trained Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion, an evidenced-based program developed in UC San Diego’s Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. She teaches mindfulness meditation in the community and offers the Mindful Self-Compassion course to individuals, professionals, and students.



Kimberlee Strome is passionate about helping you find your inner and outer strength in body,mind, and spirit. Kimberlee is certified in 200 and 300 hour yoga from Charm City Yoga in with Kim Manfredi. Kimberlee started a successful pilates program in Baltimore over 11 years ago and became the only STOTT PILATES* Instructor Trainer in the area. Kimberlee has a deep passion for learning and regularly attends pilates and yoga workshops with well known instructors, like PJ O’ Clair, Seane Corn, Mark Stephens, and Rodney Yee. Kimberlee developed and teaches Anatomy for Yoga in a local 200hr YTT.

Daphne Swancutt, a self-described “yogeclectic,” her practice spans daphnenearly 15 years and various styles—with a special fondness for fusing the alignment principles of Iyengar with the energy of vinyasa. Along with her RYT200 certification, Daphne brings a “mood” to her classes that combine her love of dance, movement and music. She is the founder of the Homeless Yoga Project, a volunteer initiative with Baltimore-based Healthcare for the Homeless, and blogs at


Rachel Wohl is a conflict specialist and mindfulness teacher. She is an attorney, mediator, dialogue facilitator, teacher and trainer. She is the owner of Conflict Specialists International, LLC, offering a wide range of conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict resolution and training services. Rachel is an active member of Mediators Beyond Borders International.