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.
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.
PJ LIBRARY PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Andrea Krasker Gavin
Andrea is the PJ Library Program Coordinator (since 2013) and a former KJFS volunteer coordinator. She has an M.A. in Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College with a particular focus on children with life-threatening illnesses, grieving children and children with developmental disabilities. Her experience includes working with children at children’s museums, summer camps, hospitals, other therapeutic settings and as a Pre-K Hebrew School teacher. Andrea loves children’s books, and especially enjoys sharing them with kids at PJ events. When not at the J, Andrea loves to read, sail, travel and spend time with family.
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! 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.
Sara Hallie Richardson
Sara hails from Portland and has a BA in vocal performance from the University of Maine. She has also spent years as a professional musician. After performing her original work with the Portland Symphony Orchestra at Merrill Auditorium in 2016, Sara moved to Los Angeles to continue her growing career as a singer and songwriter where she worked alongside her idols, was hired by world-renowned producers, and gained recognition for her songwriting. After that once-in-a-lifetime experience, she couldn’t be happier to be back home in Maine!
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!
MICHAEL KLAHR JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES MANAGER
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.
Deena spent her formative younger years in Israel, and then moved to New York, where she earned an Associate degree in Textile & Surface Design at F.I.T., and a Bachelor's in Art History from Columbia University. Deena has extensive Jewish communal experience, previously serving as the Director of Arts & Culture at the Tucson JCC and Director of Communications & Special Programs for Temple Beth El in Portland, Maine. She is passionate about bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds to discover and deepen their understanding of the rich, vibrant tapestry of Jewish culture. Deena and her family live in Portland, and enjoy traveling, hiking, books, films, and cooking.
Paul has been Facilities Director at the JCA since 2018, and is responsible for all things building and property related at the Congress Street location, as well as Center Day Camp's 28 acre campus on Sebago Lake in Windham. Paul can build or repair nearly anything and handles every situation with a cool and calm demeanor. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience with building security and facilities management having come to the JCA from the Portland Public Library where he was Security and Maintenance Director for nearly a decade. Paul lives in Westbrook and likes New England sports, boating, and more recently, teaching his daughters to drive.
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.
Goldman Family Preschool Staff
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION DIRECTOR
Mary has spent over thirty five years in early childhood education. A founder of the JCA preschool, Mary served as Assistant Director for ten years and has directed the School since 2008. She worked to achieve NAEYC accreditation for the school, one of only seven preschool programs so designated in the Portland area. Mary is committed to providing the highest quality early learning environment, where children’s individual needs are met each day by loving and nurturing caregivers.
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!