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Congregation Shomrei Torah

Rabbi George Gittleman joined Shomrei Torah as our first full time rabbi in 1996.

In 1991 he embarked on his rabbinical journey after 8 years in computer sales, obtaining a Masters in Hebrew Letters and Ordination from the Reform Seminary, Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in 1996.

Rabbi George is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the prestigious Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and a graduate of the Rabbinic Leadership Program and Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teachers Certificate Program of The Institute for Jewish Spirituality.

Civic engagement is an important part of Rabbi George’s work. Currently he is a member of the Santa Rosa Police Chief’s Community Ambassador’s Team, on the Board of the Redwood Empire Food Bank, a member of the Clergy Council of the North Bay Organizing Project and a leader of the new Interfaith Fast Initiative.

Rabbi George is married to Laura, an artist and Nurse Executive for Kaiser, and they are blessed with twin adult children, Levi & Sophia.

Rabbi George's Sermons  

Rabbi George's Blog



Executive Director 

Katie Evenbeck comes to CST with a wealth of management, budgeting and fundraising experience. 

For more than 17 years, Katie served as the Executive Director of St. Dorothy’s Rest, an Episcopal camp and retreat center located in West County. Katie has also served as the Community Services Director in the Indiana prison system; ran YMCA Camp Roger in Salt Lake City, UT; and is an AmeriCorps Alum.

Katie has a BA in Economics & Sociology, MS in Sociology, and an M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. 

When not working or in school, Katie enjoys spending time with Lucie, her twelve-year-old, Ike, her partner, and Rosie, her Lab Corgi. She is an avid documentary film fan, softball mom, Zumba instructor, and creator of pediokies, an experience of getting a pedicure while singing Karaoke!

Cantorial Soloist & B'Mitzvah Coordinator 

Erica Wisner serves as Cantorial Soloist, B'nei Mitzvah coordinator, tutor, and choir director at Congregation Shomrei Torah. She loves to create musically themed Shabbatot. 

As a young child, Erica grew up going to services and fell in love with Jewish musical liturgy when her parents started a synagogue in Sacramento County. Erica is in her second year of cantorial school at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California. 

Erica holds a master’s degree from The Boston Conservatory and a bachelor’s degree from UCLA. 

Erica and her husband, Chris, moved to Santa Rosa in 2008, after marrying here in 2007.  They are the proud parents of Noah and Lael.

Erica's music

Communications & Office Manager

Julie Hash oversees membership pledges and billing as well as publicity for programs and events in The VIEW, the CST Connect and the CST Website.

Julie has a bachelor of science degree in pre-veterinary medicine from UC Davis. Prior to joining CST, Julie worked in retail management and ran Ebay and Etsy business. 

Julie's favorite people (outside of work!) are her husband, two daughters, and two silly cats. Julie also very much enjoys plants, gardening, gaming and crocheting.



Pieter joined Shomrei Torah as Administrator, but he also supports the facility and technology operations at CST.

Pieter holds degrees in philosophy and music from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining Shomrei Torah, he was working as a sales manager in the fitness industry. You can find him at the gym, on the tennis court, or in the music studio.

Pieter's hobbies include hiking, tennis, music production, cooking (and eating), listening to philosophy lectures, and taking in a good novel.



Angelica Steinman is excited to rejoin Shomrei Torah as Administrator. Not only is she part of our office team, she is also a member of the congregation. She brings over 20 years of experience in customer service, administrative, and accounts payable roles.

Angelica has her associate degree in Dance from SRJC, and she’s performed with local dance companies in Sonoma County since the early 2000’s. Over the years she has worked for local organizations such as: Community Market, Oliver’s and recently LandPaths. She also spent a year exploring a career as a Flight Attendant and traveling to new places.

Angelica enjoys spending time with her family, time in nature, making home cooked meals and dancing around the house with her toddler.  

Temple Liaison

Denise joined Shomrei Torah in 2001 as the first full-time office receptionist/administrative assistant. Denise's family joined the temple in 1975 as the 14th member family.

Denise was the first Sisterhood President, spent some time on the Board of Directors, and taught Kindergarten at Shomrei Torah for 9 years. Currently she is back at the reception desk ready to meet and greet you and answer any questions that you may have.

As Temple Liaison, Denise attends all services and events, gets to know our new members and helps them to connect. When not at work, Denise enjoys spending time with her husband of 38 1/2 years, Ken, her two daughters, son-in-law, and granddaughter. Denise also enjoys music and crossword puzzles.


STaRS Director & Director of Teen Engagement

For the past year, Brandon Binder was filling in as our Interim STaRS Director.  We are happy to announce that Brandon started his new role as the Director of STaRS and Teen Engagement. In this newly created position, Brandon oversees all aspects of youth education/engagement and leads teen programming. Brandon is excited to start in this new role and continue working to create meaningful Jewish experiences for our youth. 

Brandon received his bachelor's degree and teaching credential from Sonoma State University and recently earned his master's degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with his dogs and wife, Lauren. 

STaRS Religious School


Assistant STaRS Director & Youth Coordinator

Sophie Gittleman has joined the STaRS team as the Assistant STaRS Director and Youth Coordinator. Sophie has grown up at Shomrei Torah and is very excited to step into this role. Previously, Sophie taught the k/1/2 STaRS class. Sophie will lead our popular Sunday and Wednesday chuggim program, design holiday programming, and assist teachers with curriculum. Additionally, Sophie will lead youth engagement programs for our elementary and middle school age youth. 

STaRS Religious School


Family Outreach Coordinator

Nicole Novach has been an educator and tutor for both children and adults since 2002. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from The American University in Washington, D.C., where she studied both Elementary and Special Education with a focus on Learning Disabilities and individualizing educational programs.
Since moving to Santa Rosa in 2012, she has worked inside and outside of schools developing innovative curriculum for children of all ages. Nicole is a board member at CST and is the PJ Library Parent Connector for Sonoma County where she helps Jewish Families form friendships and connect to the larger Jewish community. 
As the Family Outreach Coordinator at CST, Nicole will oversee the KIDdish program and help to build community with young families through Chavurot and other family engagement programming! Nicole is a mama to Hazel (age 4) who will also be in the Kiddish Program and to baby Tallulah.  

KIDdish Program

Tue, March 28 2023 6 Nisan 5783