Phyllis Adler, MSW, Senior Director of Program Operations
Phyllis Adler has been working in the field of Jewish Education in Denver for 30 years. Phyllis received her Master’s degree in Social Wok from the University of Denver. Phyllis has spent the majority of her professional life welcoming, supporting, and educating unaffiliated and interfaith families; and she looks forward to continuing CAJE’s tradition of embracing all who are eager for Jewish education. As the Executive Director of CAJE, Phyllis is committed to continuing the high standard of learning that has been associated with CAJE for many decades. She has made it a priority for CAJE to serve as a valuable resource to Colorado’s Jewish community.
Susan Chayet, Program Operations Associate
Susan Chayet has been with CAJE since 2010 and with Stepping Stones since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business from California State University Northridge. As Director of Operations at CAJE, Susan truly shows her dedication to Jewish education, her service to the Colorado Jewish community, and her commitment to the entire staff. Her extensive management and customer service background is key to making all program participants feel welcome and informed. Susan is a CAJE Melton graduate of the class of 2012.
Josh Samet, Program Director of Joyce Zeff Israel Study Tour (IST) and Missions
Josh Samet joined CAJE full time in June 2013 as the Joyce Zeff Israel Study Tour (IST) Director. He is a Denver native and has worked in many different areas of the Jewish Community in Denver including teaching religious school at Temple Sinai, Hebrew tutor, summer camp counselor & Administrative manager for Shwayder Camp, Youth Group Advisor, member of AIPAC, and worked for 3 years as the Hillel Campus Director at Colorado State University and then another 3 years as the Hillel Campus Director at University of Denver. Josh earned his BA in Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona. He has been to Israel eleven times including as an IST participant in 1990, and as an IST counselor in 2011 and 2012, and in 2013 & 2014 as the IST Director. Josh staffed four separate Taglit-Birthright Israel trips with college students & young adults. In November 2014, Josh married Paula Mermelstein and they are the happy parents to their 7-year old Wheaten Terrier named Lilah. Josh is excited to have the opportunity to make an impact in IST and create meaningful Jewish experiences for all the participants of CAJE’s Israel Study Tour.
Cindy Coons, MS, OTR, Program Director of Jewish Explorers
Cindy Coons joined the Colorado Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE) in 2013.
She is the Director of Jewish Explorers, a community-based program which welcomes and meets Jewish and Interfaith families where they are on their Jewish journeys. This innovative program, for 2-11 year olds, teaches children and their families about Jewish values, culture, traditions, history, and holidays through a fun, interactive, experiential educational framework. Jewish Explorers offers weekly and monthly immersive classroom programs and monthly Shabbat dinners, holiday celebrations and community-partnered events.
Cindy earned her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy with a specialty in Pediatrics from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Delaware. She has over 30 years of experience working with children and their families as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and as an educator and volunteer in the Denver Jewish Community. Cindy is excited to share her love of and passion for Judaism and teaching and loves working with children and their families, providing opportunities to explore Judaism together in fun and meaningful ways.
Judi Morosohk, Program Director of Early Childhood Education
Judi Morosohk, Director of Early Childhood Education, has been working in her field for over 35 years and has been in her present role with CAJE, overseeing and implementing the Colorado Early Childhood Education Initiative, since July 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Special Education and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education and Educational Psychology. Judi began her career as a therapeutic early childhood teacher of children with special needs. She also has extensive experience coaching, consulting and training ECE providers on a variety of topics related to teaching children aged birth through five. Judi has been employed by the Boulder JCC Preschool for 13 years, ten of which were devoted to directing the preschool and camp programs.
Karen Silverman has spent the past 18 years working in non-profit organizations on behalf of children and families in both the secular and Jewish communities. She began her career in nonprofits, working in public policy and advocacy, and gradually moving into nonprofit management. She is passionate about working with teens and served as the Executive Director of Smart-Girl for 5 years prior to joining CAJE. She is excited to be part of the newly funded Denver Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Initiative and looks forward to creating more avenues for teens to get involved in current programs, as well as new ones, in the Denver/Boulder community.
Karen earned her BA from the University of Colorado and her JD from George Washington University School of Law. She is the proud product of Jewish camps, Hebrew School, Hebrew High, and IST. Karen currently serves as co-chair of the Religious School Committee at B’nai Havurah. When not working, she can be found chauffeuring her own teens around town.
Rabbi Michael Sunshine is the Director of Jewish Student Connection in the Denver/Boulder area. JSC runs high school clubs aimed to help Jewish teens form their own identity within the Jewish community. He currently runs clubs in George Washington, East, Denver School of the Arts, Mountain Vista, and Niwot high schools. He also is a teacher in Hebrew High and runs teen programming for the DAT Minyan. Before moving to Denver in 2011, Rabbi Sunshine was the assistant rabbi at Congregation Rodfei Sholom in San Antonio, TX. He has his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Hamivtar in Efrat, Israel, and holds a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Ariella, have four children and live in Denver.