Rabbi Darren Kleinberg
Darren Kleinberg, CEO, joined the HaMaqom | The Place team in July 2020. Darren was born and raised in London, England, has lived in Israel and Canada, and has now lived and worked in the Bay Area since 2013. He is an ordained rabbi (YCT), holds a PhD in Religious Studies (ASU), and is the author of Hybrid Judaism: Irving Greenberg, Encounter, and the Changing Nature of American Jewish Identity (Academic Studies Press, 2016).
Darren has been pioneering Jewish educational experiences for 25 years, emphasizing the importance of making Jewish wisdom accessible to all. Career highlights include: designing, launching, and leading the first-ever Birthright trips; writing a four-year high school Jewish Studies curriculum; founding and leading Valley Beit Midrash, in Phoenix, AZ; and spearheading the transformation of Kehillah Jewish High School, in Palo Alto, into a thriving independent Jewish high school.
Darren lives in Palo Alto with his wife and their two daughters. He has been playing the guitar daily for 25 years and loves hearing new music every week on his Spotify Discover Weekly playlist.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR / CFO
510-845-6420, ext. 115
Jaimie Baxter, Executive Director / CFO, initially joined the HaMaqom | The Place team in July 2018 as Chief Operating Officer. Previously, she was the Interim Chief Operating Officer and Program Director at Kevah, an organization that empowers individuals and organizations to build Jewish learning communities.
Her previous work includes serving on the Board of Directors as the Outreach Committee Chair for Marin County School Volunteers (MCSV) and as the Volunteer Program Coordinator at the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL). Jaimie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies with a concentration in Judaism from UC Berkeley. She has a passion for community building, lifelong learning, and education, and has a deep appreciation for the diverse and complex strands of Jewish culture and history.
Chief Program Officer
510-845-6420, ext. 110
Tamar Zaken, Chief Program Officer, joined HaMaqom | The Place, in Spring, 2019. Tamar grew up in Oakland and moved to Israel as a teenager. For many years, Tamar directed service-learning programs at Memizrach Shemesh, the Center for Jewish Social Activism based in Jerusalem. She graduated from the Joint Program at Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and received a MSW from Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University in New York.
Most recently, Tamar served as the Shamash Resident at the JCC of the East Bay and as interim Director of New Generations at the New Israel Fund in San Francisco. She lives in the East Bay with her husband and two daughters. In her spare time, Tamar translates Sephardic Rabbinic texts to expose English speaking audiences to their inspiring message of inclusion and justice.
Director of Advancement
Lisa Strauss, Director of Advancement, joined the HaMaqom | The Place team in July 2020. Lisa was born and raised in the Bay Area. She received her degree in Communications and Electronic Media from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and was captain of the D1 Women’s Water Polo team.
Lisa has extensive skills and experience in marketing, digital media, and events. Her career began in the music and events industry on the East Coast planning programming, promotions, and high profile events for several prominent brands. She made her way back westside in 2011 while doing creative marketing work in the start-up world and hasn’t left the west coast since.
Now back in Los Gatos, Lisa is happy to be living and raising her kids in her hometown, dedicating her skillset to advancing the Bay Area Jewish community. She and her family can be spotted riding around town on bikes or attending outdoor live music events. Lisa has found joy recently in coaching her daughter’s seven and under softball team, the Sparkle Owls. Hoot hoot!
Director of Development
With almost twenty years of experience in the non-profit sector, Jenny joins HaMaqom | The Place as the Director of Development. Prior to joining our team, Jenny spent ten years as the Director of Annual Giving at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto and served as the Development Director for eScrip, a San Mateo based company that has distributed over $300 million to schools across the country.
A graduate of the University at Colorado, Boulder, Jenny was a member of the Women’s DI basketball team and graduated with a degree in Communications. Born and raised in Menlo Park, CA, Jenny attended Sacred Heart Preparatory in Atherton. She resides in Redwood City, CA with her husband Dermot and two children, Tommy and Lilly.
510-845-6420, ext. 119
Jenny Myer, Operations Manager, joined the HaMaqom | The Place team in August 2019. Jenny was born and raised in Los Angeles and received her BA in History from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Jenny has previously worked with different museums and historical sites in California, alongside educators as well as conducted her own research on historical book collections. She developed a strong passion for learning about history and culture and understands the importance of building learning communities.
Now residing in Berkeley, Jenny enjoys cooking, traveling, and listening to classic rock in her spare time. She is also on a continuous search for the world’s best falafel.
CHIEF MORALE OFFICER
Huxley received his Official Good Boy Certification at a local—and highly prestigious—obedience school in Berkeley, California. He specializes in long walks, eating snacks, napping, and barking at smaller dogs and cats.
In accordance with the Midrashic traditions around Exodus 11:7, which records that “not a dog shall snarl at any of the Israelites,” Huxley is friendly, relaxed, and quiet around all visitors to the HaMaqom | The Place office.