Creating opportunities for meaningful, purposeful and relevant Jewish exploration.


The Center for Jewish Engagement & Learning

Built upon a foundation of engagement principles, the mission of The Center for Jewish Engagement and Learning is three-fold
  1. To engage and nurture relationships with individuals and families
  2. To create opportunities for meaningful, purposeful and relevant Jewish exploration
  3. To amplify the good work of partner agencies and synagogues.
Young Families
Young adults

New Projects

My Grown Up and Me

Join us for a monthly Sunday morning gathering of infants and toddlers (ages newborn – 3 years old) and their loving grown-ups (parent, grandparent, nanny or friend). My Grown Up and Me gatherings will feature PJ Library books, songs, rhymes, puppets and more!

Mussar for Moms

Mussar, a Jewish spiritual practice, provides tools for living a more balanced life. If you are a working mom in your 30s or 40s, you probably have more on your ‘to-do’ list than time! But, many have found that taking time to reflect, be more mindful and grateful, has helped provide more balance. If you are intrigued, consider joining us for a 5-month long Jewish learning journey with other women.

Mussar for Couples

Mussar, a Jewish spiritual practice, provides tools for living a more balanced life. This Jewish learning experience is designed for couples where one partner identifies as Jewish and the other partner identifies within a different faith. Mussar for Couples will be open to partners at any stage of committed relationship regardless of age. Participants will be exposed to Jewish thought and ideas and the flow of the Jewish calendar.


Chair: Ellen Weiss

At-large members: Hadar Borden, Leah Blum, Laurie Criden, Gretchen Gross, Jonathan Epstein, Jonathan Freirich, Ralph Halpern, Robin Raphael, Sheri Rodman, Harvey Sanders, Blaine Schwartz, Ted Steinberg, Shelly Yellen
Immediate Past President: Michael Berger


Miriam Abramovich

Miriam Abramovich

Director, Jewish Engagement and Learning

Miriam and her family called New York City, Boston, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh home before landing in Buffalo five years ago. Miriam values raising her two children in this warm and tight-knit community. Her professional passion is engaging with individuals and finding ways to help them access Jewish tradition, Jewish values, and Jewish time - in powerful and transformative ways. When not in the office, you can find Miriam with her kids, at the gym, baking or traveling.

Nicole Bard

Nicole Bard

Director, Young Adult and Young Family Engagement

Nicole Bard ventured to Buffalo from Rockland County, New York to attend the University at Buffalo, and now calls the Nickel City home. She is deeply committed to building meaningful relationships that pivot around Judaism with both young adults and families with young children. Nicole can often be found exploring the Buffalo food scene, in a ceramics studio, or spending time outdoors.

Susan Schwartz

Susan Schwartz

Director, Adult Engagement

Susan’s Buffalo roots run deep. She has strong connections to individuals and families across multiple generations in Jewish Buffalo, and also a strong and personal connection to Israel. Susan is a master Jewish educator who finds great joy in learning about people’s personal Jewish stories, and facilitating connections with others who share similar interests. When not in the office, you can find Susan with her granddaughter, with her guitar leading Shabbat services, or on a kayak exploring the inner harbor.