Meet Our Staff
Debra Kolodny, Associate Director
Rabbi Debra Kolodny is the Associate Director of Nehirim, and will become its Executive Director in October, 2013. Debra is the rabbi of P’nai Or of Portland, and brings to Nehirim thirty years of local and national leadership in LGBT and Jewish organizations, including serving as National Coordinator for BiNet USA, facilitator of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s National Religious Leadership Roundtable, and nine years as the Executive Director of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal.
Jay Michaelson, Founding Director
Dr. Jay Michaelson founded Nehirim in 2003 and now serves on its board of directors. Jay is the Vice President for Social Justice at the Arcus Foundation, and the author of the best-selling book God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality. For over 10 years, Jay has been a leading advocate for the inclusion of sexual minorities in religious communities. His work has been covered in the New York Times, CNN, and NPR, and he has appeared on the cover of Tikkun magazine, Religion Dispatches, and other publications. In 2009, Jay was recognized on the Forward 50 list of the fifty most influential Jewish leaders in America. Jay has been on the teaching faculties of the Human Rights Campaign, Empire State Pride Agenda, and other LGBT activist organizations. Jay holds a B.A. from Columbia, an Ph.D. in Jewish Thought from Hebrew University, an MFA from Sarah Lawrence, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Chani Getter, Director of Women’s Programming
Chani Getter, is a Motivational Speaker, Certified Holistic Life Coach, and Ritual Creator. She leads informational and support groups in parenting, single-motherhood, domestic violence, cross cultural integration, issues of sexuality, and identity. She coaches individuals and offers workshops in the areas of life-balance, self-acceptance, transition, spirituality, and living your dreams. In addition to creating spiriutal and creative ceremonies, Chani follows an eclectic spiritual path that allows her to connect to the source of life within.
David Dunn Bauer, Director of West Coast Programming
Rabbi David Dunn Bauer brings to his work over 20 years of professional theatre experience, nine years in the congregational rabbinate, and 20 years of yoga practice, plus years of academic study on sexuality and spirituality. David earned his B.A. in Theatre Studies and English Literature at Yale University, studied Talmud at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and received his rabbinical ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. In 2011, he became the first Jew to earn the Certificate in Sexuality and Religion from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. David interned at Congregation CBST in NYC and from 2003 to 2010 served as the rabbi of the Jewish Community of Amherst, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Based now in San Francisco, he has a private practice in Queer Spiritual Counseling.