Temple Sinai Announces New Hires

NEW OLREANS ​— Temple Sinai of New Orleans is pleased to announce Liz Yager as the new executive director, and Avital Ostfield as the new director of education.

Yager grew up in Montreal, Canada and moved to New Orleans in 1987 from Toronto. She brings over 30 years of marketing and non-profit management experience, including six years running her own public relations firm. Most recently, she was the development director for the Jefferson Council on Aging, where she managed all fundraising, marketing and community engagement functions to promote senior well-being.
Yager received her bachelor of arts in business administration from the University of Western Ontario. She is also a graduate of the Melton School of Jewish Learning, and became a Bat Mitzvah in 2012.

Throughout her years in New Orleans, Yager has been an active volunteer leader on the boards of the Jewish Community Center, Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation, and the Community Jewish Day School. Yager is currently on the executive committee of the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater New Orleans Section, and serves as its vice president of public affairs.

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Yager says, “I am excited to promote social justice and am honored to represent Temple Sinai in providing sanctuary to all within its walls.”

Prior to joining Temple Sinai, Ostfield served as the director of religious education at Congregation B’nai Amoona in St. Louis, and graduated from University of Michigan School of Social Work with a joint master’s degree in Social Work and Jewish Communal Leadership in 2014. Ostfield also served as the director of congregational services at Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Born in Israel, Ostfield was raised in the Minneapolis area, attending synagogue weekly, studying at a Jewish day school, and spending summers at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin.

“Working with students of all ages, watching them connect and grow as Jews has become my life’s work,” says Ostfield. “I believe that instilling a strong Jewish identity can be accomplished in the right synagogue educational setting.”

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Yager succeeds EllenRae Shalett, who retired this August after serving as the executive director for 12 years. Ostfield follows Ann Zivitz Kientz, who has accepted the position of director of cultural programming for the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute for Southern Jewish Life.

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