Meet our Staff



Deborah Silver

Rabbi Deborah Silver was ordained by the Ziegler School at the American Jewish University, Los Angeles in 2010.  While there, she co-edited three volumes of the Ziegler Adult Learning Walking With… series with the school’s Dean, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson and also won the Whizin Prize for Jewish Ethics in 2009.   She holds a Master’s degree in Hebrew Studies from Cambridge, England, and an MA in Theory and Practice of Literary Translation from the University of Essex, England.  

Rabbi Silver initially worked in theater and publishing, including a post as the Senior English Editor of the Oxford English-Hebrew Dictionary of Current Usage.  She then qualified as an attorney, working as a litigator with Mishcon de Reya, London and as an Associate Professor at BPP Law School, London before the pull of the rabbinate proved irresistible.  She is a recently qualified yoga instructor whose interests also include dance and music.

Rabbi Silver aspires to convey Judaism’s power to address and transform the big questions of our lives, enabling us to live into our greater purpose.  She hopes that her rabbinate embodies the deep love of Jewish learning – in all its many and varied forms – which has characterized her journey so far.



Bruce Yaillen
Executive Director

Like every member of the Shir Chadash team, Bruce is excited to become part of this unique community. Bruce most recently spent 25 years at Chizuk Amuno in Baltimore, working first as Controller and finishing as Information Systems Manager. Before Baltimore his parents started their family in Pittsburgh, continuing in Detroit and several other midwestern cities. Regardless of the size of the community, some form of Jewish involvement has been a part of his life almost since birth. Although the son of a former BBYO District director, Bruce was active in USY as a member, advisor, youth director and youth committee chair. Over the years Bruce has also led Shabbat and Holiday services for a nursing home as well as being an active participant in various shuls as a shaliach tzibur, Haftorah reader and occasional leyning. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Bruce is also, like at least one other staff member, at heart a Pirates fan. Pleasxcuse him for also being a Steelers fan. He promises to root for the Saints until they clash in a future Super Bowl.

rsz_1rsz_jennieJennie Lavine
Director of Youth Education and Community Engagement

Jennie Lavine is a Jewish musician and educator.  Her work is unified by the goal of fostering community, personal expression and a sense of continuity with those who came before.  Some of her favorite tools for this include group music making, movement and attention training exercises (e.g., mindfulness practices and yoga), and story-telling activities.  She currently facilitates group classes that focus on New Orleans traditions at the Musicollaborative and Make Music NOLA and on Jewish traditions and values here at the Shir Chadash ‘shul school’. As a professional musician, you can find her playing her clarinet in New Orleans and beyond, performing Yiddish music, Jewish spiritual songs, Brazilian choro and early jazz and blues.


danielle 2018

Danielle Spadoni
Office Manager

Danielle Spadoni is a native New Orleanian and has been working at Shir Chadash Congregation for over twenty years.  On her off time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Tony and son, Austin.