The Jewish Community Alliance is more than just offices and a building. It is also people – volunteers and staff – all dedicated to the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and gmilut chasadim (acts of loving kindness).
Molly Curren Rowles
Molly is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Smith College where she majored in Religion and Biblical Literature and was awarded the Sidney Balman prize for outstanding work in Jewish studies. After graduating from Cornell Law School in 2008, Molly worked for seven years at Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Maine, first as a Frank M. Coffin Family Law Fellow, then as a generalist in York County, and finally as manager of a statewide intake program. Prior to law school, Molly worked in human rights issues and human services, and she is passionate about leadership development, building efficient systems to strengthen communal capacity, and sharing the wisdom and beauty of Judaism and Jewish life with those of all backgrounds! Molly grew up “off the grid” in rural New Hampshire, and enjoys spending time outdoors in Maine with her husband and three children.
Shawn was born and raised in Bowdoinham, has two boys and a girl, and now resides with his wife and his two chihuahuas.
Sam has been living in the Portland area since finishing college at the University of Maine in Orono, where he studied journalism and history. He most recently spent 5+ years working with local nonprofit Preble St. in roles with Food Programs and as a case manager with Veterans Housing Services. Sam is passionate about movies and food and would be thrilled to talk about both in great detail. He is fed by bike rides on sunny days (or quiet nights), and truly appreciates the Portland Trails network and bike infrastructure. Sam is a longtime mentor with The Telling Room’s Young Writers and Leaders Program and spent the last year working with Unity Runners ME to curtail the use of no-knock warrants in Maine. Sam is looking forward to connecting with the JCA community and meeting the needs of current and future members. Feel free to give him a shout anytime!
MICHAEL KLAHR JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES DIRECTOR
Rebecca received her bachelor's degree in international relations from Stanford University and her master's in international affairs from The George Washington University. She served for more than 25 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, with postings in Syria, Italy, Lithuania, and Bulgaria, in addition to Washington, DC. Her time in government heightened her commitment to service and when she settled in Maine in 2019, she looked for a way to take the skill set she honed working internationally and use it to help repair the world a bit closer to home. She channeled this passion into her role as the volunteer coordinator for Michael Klahr Jewish Family Services where she loved working with clients and being a part of the broader JCA community. She couldn't be happier to be back at the J. When she's not working, Rebecca enjoys gardening, spending time with her family, and rooting for the Red Sox.
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR
Trevor is a Marketing/Communications professional with a background in publishing, music promotion, and events production. At the JCA he enjoys wearing many hats, including those of graphic designer, brand builder, webmaster, content creator, photographer, and overall promoter for the Jewish community in Southern Maine! Formerly the Director of Marketing for Dispatch Magazine, Trevor holds a BA in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management from Columbia College in Chicago. A native Mainer, he currently lives with his wife, two children, five chickens, and at least eight guitars in Falmouth.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Ashley has spent her career working exclusively in non-profits and higher education. Following her experience as a United Way Loaned Executive in 2016, she made the official switch into Development work. As a former Board member of the JCA, Ashley knew how important and special this organization is to so many, so when the opportunity arose in 2019 to direct the J’s development activities as a member of the staff, she knew she had to act on it. The best part of Ashley’s job is working with our donors and helping them to see their dollars in action. Outside of life at the J, Ashley’s time is spent indulging her elementary-aged son’s many, many interests, volunteering, cooking, and craft cocktail making. Ashley is an active member of the Jewish community and currently sits on the Board of Trustees at Congregation Bet Ha’am.
Bonnie has been the Finance Director at the JCA since January of 2015. She graduated from Thornton Academy and earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maine at Orono. But, as often happens, life sometimes throws you a curveball and she ended up back in school in an accounting program and now has over 38 years of experience in the accounting field. Bonnie lives with her husband in Biddeford and when not at work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, trying out new recipes, and listening to almost any genre of music. Bonnie is also an avid reader and makes it a point to read for at least an hour every day… even on vacation!
Adam is an AmeriCorps alum with a strong background in civic engagement and volunteer management, along with a deep commitment to human services. He received an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Suffolk University, and has a BA in Secondary Education from Lesley University. Most recently, Adam worked as the Volunteer Services Supervisor at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging. He served as the Volunteer Coordinator at KJFS in 2017-2018, and he is thrilled to be back at the JCA once again! Adam is an avid Boston sports fan (Go Celtics!) and resides in Scarborough with his wife and son.
Tori has lived in Maine since 2016 when she attended Maine College of Art and ended up staying after receiving a Bachelor's in Animation and Game Art in 2020. She brings over ten years of customer service, a great sense of humor, and a bright smiling face to the JCA community. As a Receptionist for the J, she is everyone's go-to gal—you will definitely end up talking to her! Whether she is answering the phone or emails, Tori strives to help the JCA community in any way she can. When Tori isn't at work, she is probably reading, playing video games, or watching the same show for the millionth time. She lives in Portland with her partner and very orange cat, Kombucha.
YOUTH PROGRAMMING AND PJ LIBRARY COORDINATOR
Marlena grew up in the Portland area and graduated from Skidmore College in 2016 with a degree in Elementary Education and Psychology. Before starting at the JCA, Marlena worked for several years as a classroom teacher at Ocean Avenue School in Portland. She has also spent the past 9 summers working at Center Day Camp in various roles. As youth programming coordinator, Marlena runs the JCA’s afterschool program and works to connect families through PJ library programming through the year. She is also thrilled to get to continue spending summers at Center Day Camp as the assistant director.
CENTER DAY CAMP DIRECTOR
Chris comes to Center Day Camp after working in Boston for seven years and is excited to bring the Maine camp experience to Maine kids! Graduating from the University of Maine in 2011, and eager to make a difference, he joined AmeriCorps where he was given the opportunity to work with young people at the Dearborn Middle School in Roxbury, Massachusetts, which led to a teaching position at The Community Academy of Science & Health in Dorchester. More recently, Chris has served as Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Wakefield MA. Chris is impressed by the history and community commitment of Center Day Camp and is thrilled to be back in Maine.
REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT MANAGER
Siobhan started her career as a member of the leadership team at the Coalition for Refugees from Burma (CRB; now the Communities of Rooted Brilliance) in King County, Washington. There she helped to develop and implement services for refugee youth and families to equitably engage with education systems, built partnerships with community groups, and trained and supported over 50 volunteers annually.
Siobhan is passionate about social, economic, and racial justice, and works to ensure that every newcomer to our community has access to the resources they need to thrive.
Goldman Family Preschool Staff
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION DIRECTOR
Wendy is enthusiastic about working collaboratively with families and teachers to develop shared understandings and actions that advocate for the best interest of the child. She has a BA from the University of Southern Maine, served two years on the visiting committee for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the 2020 ECE Policy Leadership Program with MaineAEYC. Wendy enjoys running, nature walks, painting, crochet and is the proud parent of her daughter Egypt, who is currently a sophomore at Bennington College in Vermont.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Janel Goodman is Assistant Director of the JCA Preschool, and has been with the JCA for over fourteen years. She holds a K-8 teaching certificate from the University of New England and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Farmington. Janel especially enjoys watching the way four and five year olds grow throughout the year. Warm hugs, spontaneous dance parties, and fantastic colleagues are a few of her favorite parts of the JCA Preschool!