Our Staff

 

Tamara Ohayon, Executive Director

Tamara Lena Ohayon grew up in Los Angeles, CA. She spent many summers as a camper and staff person at Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu, and started attending college in southern California before transferring to the University of Kentucky in 2002. Tamara received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Studio with an emphasis on Ceramics, Fiber Arts, and Digital Media. In 2005, Tamara was hired as a Staff Associate for JFB and has since transformed her role multiple times, evolving and growing with the job. Tamara was promoted from Communications Director to Director of Marketing, Outreach, and Engagement and then to Assistant Director in 2014. In 2016, she will complete her final year as director of the Federation's Jewish day camp, Camp Shalom, and is excited to see how the program will continue to grow under new leadership. Now with a toddler at home, Tamara feels blessed to continue working in this nurturing Jewish community where programs like Federation's PJ Library, the congregations' Kids Shabbat services, and so many other family and youth programs, can enrich their life in Lexington. Contact Tamara >>

 


 

Daniel Baker, Director of Marketing, Outreach, and Engagement

Daniel Baker was born in Paterson, NJ and moved to southern Kentucky with his family in 2006. He decided to call Lexington home after receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Kentucky (UK) in 2011. Daniel is a Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA) who loves to give his time back to the community, especially through his involvement in Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a national coed service fraternity. In APO, Daniel is currently an advisor to the chapter at UK, a Sponsor to the future chapter at Transylvania University, and the Co-Founder and President of the APO Bluegrass Alumni Association.

Daniel joined the JFB team in July 2016 after having assisted with a variety of Federation initiatives, including Yom Ha’Atzmaut festivities and coordinating Young Bluegrass Jews (YBJ) programming. His local involvement came shortly after a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip in 2012, where he fell in love with the Jewish community. Daniel has been active at Temple Adath Israel (TAI) through Generation TAI, the Temple’s chavurah for adults ages 20-40. His role with JFB includes working on Shalom, managing JFB’s website and social media accounts, and assisting with YBJ outreach and programming. Contact Daniel >>

 


 

Mimi KaufmanMimi Kaufman (MSW), Director of Jewish Family Services

Mimi Kaufman is originally from Centreville, Ohio, a small town outside of Dayton. She has lived in Lexington, Kentucky since 1988 and earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Kentucky. Mimi's professional experience includes working for Comprehensive Care Centers, Metro Group Home, and Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital. She took a few years off of professional work to stay home with her children when they were babies. During that time, she and her husband were also caregivers for her grandmother. Shortly after that, she became a busy volunteer with her children's schools and at Temple Adath Israel, as well as for the Jewish Federation. Mimi has been working for JFB as the Director of Jewish Family Services for more than 3 years. She feels it is a good match for her to merge her love for the Jewish community and her love for social work. Personally, Mimi and her husband have 2 children ages 16 and 18, as well as too many pets. In her spare time, Mimi loves to garden and attend as many of her daughter's marching band competitions as she can.  Contact Mimi >>

 


 

Talia Smolkin, Director of PJ Library and Outreach

Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass has been a great part of Talia’s life since she moved to Lexington from Los Angeles in 2009. With breaks for school and caring for her children, she has interned at JFB, and served as JFS Director and Coordinator of Informal Jewish Education. Talia has a Master in Social Work (MSW) from Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. In Los Angeles, after growing up in Jewish Day Schools and Camp Ramah, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of California Santa Cruz (where the mascot is the Banana Slug!), and worked for Santa Cruz Hillel as well as Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Talia has developed a deep love for caring for the Jewish community. She and her husband have two children, who of course are part of PJ Library. Contact Talia >>

 

 


 

Rabbi Sharon Cohen, Director of Adult and Youth Education

Rabbi Sharon Cohen, originally from Miami, FL, has an extensive background in Jewish studies, having earned a Masters of Hebrew Letters from the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) in Los Angeles, and a Masters of Rabbinic Literature with a concentration in Jewish Education, and Rabbinic Ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. She joined the Lexington community as Rabbi at Ohavay Zion Synagogue (OZS), where she served for 9 years. She currently serves as a Pool Chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital and St. Joseph East. Rabbi Cohen’s proudest accomplishments are as a wife and mom of two. Contact Sharon >>

 

 

 


 

Kathie Kroot, Bookkeeper

.

.

.

.

.

Contact Kathie >>

 

 

 

 


 

Barbara Goldman, Shalom Editor-in-Chief

Barbara Goldman received her Bachelor of Liberal Arts from the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 2005, and spent the next nine years working as a newspaper reporter, copy editor, educator, layout designer, proofreader, and video journalist. Her writing has been published in a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, online publications and cookbooks. Barbara is currently Shalom Editor-in-Chief, merging her nine-year strive for journalistic excellence with her lifelong love of the Jewish Commonwealth. She is excited to share the Jewish Kentuckian’s voice with the world.​ Contact Barbara >>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Kasey hallKasey Hall, Marketing Assistant

Kasey Hall is a Lexington native who loves her hometown. She graduated from the University of Kentucky's College of Design with a Bachelor's degree in Architecture. Early on, she found her niche in the 2-dimensional world and has been operating as a freelance designer since 2006, specializing in branding, logo, and promotional design. She joined the JFB team as the Graphic Designer in the spring of 2014. Kasey works closely with Marketing Director, Daniel Baker, to keep JFB's visual outreach beautiful and modern. Contact Kasey >>

  • Join Our Team

    Working for the Jewish Federation and our local community can be a rewarding experience. Please check back for seasonal, full or part time positions postings.

    Working for the Jewish Federation and our local community can be a rewarding experience. Please check back for seasonal, full or part time positions postings.

    Working for the Jewish Federation and our local community can be a rewarding experience. Please check back for seasonal, full or part time positions postings.

    Working for the Jewish Federation and our local community can be a rewarding experience. Please check back for seasonal, full o...

    Working for the Jewish Federation and our local community can be a rewarding experience...

    Working for the Jewish Federation and our local community...

    Working for the Jewish Federatio...

    Working for the Jewish...

NEED ASSISTANCE WITH A PARTICULAR PROGRAM? USE THE LINKS BELOW.

Annual and Legacy Giving

Camp Shalom

Emergency Loans

PJ Library

Young Adult/Professional Programming