My name is Shana (Shawna) Pava and in June I became B’nai Emunah’s new synagogue office manager! While I grew up in Santa Fe NM, I actually went to school at the University of California, Santa Cruz where I majored in Jewish Studies and graduated magna cum laude. After college I moved back home to Santa Fe where I spent the past year serving as a temple administrator of a small reform congregation of comparable size to B’nai Emunah.
However, I actually got my start in the synagogue sector while I was still a Jewish Studies student at UC Santa Cruz. In 2016, I had the incredible professional opportunity to participate in the Kohn Summer Internship. A unique program administered by the JVS of San Francisco, that places high achieving Jewish Bay Area college students in summer internships at a variety of local Jewish non-profits across the Bay Area, with the mission to provide students with opportunities for both Jewish and professional growth. The agency JVS placed me with was: Or Shalom, one of our sister congregations in the Southside Jewish Collaborative.
It was during my summer at Or Shalom that I got my first taste of San Francisco’s distinctive Jewish community and character. My internship also gave me solid insights on how to build a successful and sustainable career in the Jewish non-profit world, specifically in the synagogue sector. I couldn’t be more excited to be back in San Francisco working in the Southside Jewish Collaborative again, where my Jewish professional journey began three summers ago!
I’m so thankful to start my next spiritual and professional chapter at B’nai Emunah and know that it’s truly a special and sacred community that will consistently provide me with the nourishment I need to continue to grow into my role as a passionate Jewish non-profit professional. I’m so excited to be here and I look forward to getting to meet each and every one of you over the course of the next few months! I love connecting with people, and meeting and mingling with my congregants imbues significant meaning and joy into the work I am doing here with B’nai Emunah!