Our staff represents a unique blend of talents, personalities, and world views that help make us such a diverse and creative organization.
Meet Caren Leven our new Executive Director. Prior to coming to the BZD, Leven – Who grew up here in Baltimore, but was born and raised in Haifa Israel, is fluent in both English and Hebrew — She spent five years as the Director Of Congregational Engagement at Temple Oheb Shalom. At the Pikesville congregation, she led community outreach efforts and created, revamped and implemented hundreds of community-based, marketing campaigns. Working with volunteers and lay leadership, she significantly grew membership during her tenure, In addition, Caren has extensive experience in sales and account management. “I was attracted to the [BZD] because Israel holds a very special place in my heart, I was born and raised in Haifa and came to the United States when I was 10 years old — exactly 30 years ago. Although I have spent most of my life here, a piece of me was left behind. Now, my life has come full circle”. Caren is a graduate of Towson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Marketing, She lives in Pikesville with her husband, Jon, their two children, Ayden and Ava, and their dog, Lulu.
Adi Ratzon was born in 1990 and grew up in Ramat Gan, Israel. Adi was part of the “Maccabi Tzair” Youth Movement throughout her childhood and she worked with kids and teens. After finishing High School, Adi chose to do a year of voluntary social service in the city of Beer Sheva instead of drafting right away. In 2009, Adi drafted into the IDF, where she served in the Karkal Unit, which is a unique co-ed combat unit based in Southern Israel. She was also a part of a unique program called Garin Nahal which was run through the Education Corp. After a year and a half of combat service, she moved to the southern city of Kiryat Gat, where she volunteered with difficult teenagers for a year. Adi spent her entire life with the Maccabi Youth Movement, so it was only fitting that after her army service, she rejoined and worked for them for six years. Adi holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo. Adi is now the Shlicha for the Baltimore Zionist District and is excited to bring the Israeli culture and feeling to the Baltimore community.
Kristian Jones was born in 1995, and grew up in Baltimore, MD. After attending high school, she decided on furthering her education at Frostburg State University. She grew an interest in business administration, and accounting. During her time in college, she often took on relevant internships and employment to further her experience in these fields and satisfy her joy for learning and helping others. She is really drawn to BZD, and the positive sense of community in the Israeli culture. Learning and being a part of an organization that operates with great commitment and humility has really inspired her, and sparked a great interest in the prospects of watching the Baltimore and Israeli community come together.