Raised in Baltimore, Maryland, “Rabbi K” spent his post-high school years (he attended Beth Tfiloh Community School) in Israel and then at Ner Israel Rabbinical College, where he completed his rabbinical studies. Along the way he picked up a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Talmudic Law, as well as a Master’s Degree in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Johns Hopkins University.
Rabbi K brings his passion for Judaism, college students and NFL Football to bear on his work as Executive Director of MEOR Maryland, where he oversees operations and engages in every aspect of organizational activity. He is proud of his record servicing Jews of all backgrounds, exposing them to the depth and beauty of their heritage both directly through his mentorship and indirectly through his stewardship of the MEOR enterprise. Rabbi K lives with his wife Malka, a Speech-Language Pathologist, and their four children – Meir, Rena, Shalom and Ahuva – in the Kemp Mill neighborhood of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Devora Jaye was born in Potomac, MD and has since lived in New York, Connecticut, Atlanta, Baltimore and, currently, Silver Spring, working in and enhancing the Jewish communities at each stop along the way.
Prior to her time at MEOR, DJ spent 13 years of working with teenagers and young adults, both through NCSY, an international youth outreach organization; Heart, Mind and Soul, an enterprise designed to enhance self-esteem, motivation, communication, and leadership skills among Jewish teens; and Aish DC, where she developed programming for young and middle-aged adults.
In her current role at MEOR Maryland, DJ is critically involved in recruitment, programming, women’s leadership, public relations, graphic design and many other facets of the organizational effort.
Rabbi Zalman's incredible enthusiasm for Judaism was kindled during his undergraduate studies at Duke University, a campus that offered few Jewish opportunities at the time. More than 15 years later, Zalman is still trying to quench the thirst for Jewish spirituality that plagued him in Durham.
After leaving North Carolina, he spent 11 years engaged in full-time rabbinic studies, highlighted by six years of intensive learning under the direction of Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz at Ner Israel Rabbinical College. During that time, Zalman also completed a part-time MS in Counseling from the Johns Hopkins University. In 2006, Zalman moved to Israel with his wife, Mariel, and their one-year-old daughter where they realized the dream of their ancestors, living a simple and beautiful life on a moshav in the Judean Hills. Rabbi Zalman's engagement with Jewish learning evolved in the Holy Land, where he lectured at a number of rabbinical seminaries in and around Jerusalem. Five years later, the dream was over, and the Goldstein family somehow woke up in College Park, MD (and with five children!).
Zalman currently oversees the educational program at MEOR Maryland, and he is also charged with providing advanced learning opportunities and experiences for veteran students. He believes that a Jewish educator must rigorously challenge the minds of his or her students, but he believes that we avoid the far more difficult and profound focus of Jewish education if our instruction stops there. The Jewish educator must also challenge and enable our students to courageously become heroes of character and spirit.
Mariel developed her love and enthusiasm for Israel and Judaism during her post-high-school gap year at the Michlala Seminary in Jerusalem. After completing her studies there, she earned her BS in Biology at Stern College in New York City, and then a BS in Nursing at NYU.
It is a special blessing when a person is able to make her favorite passion into her career, and in this respect Mariel feels doubly blessed. Her love for medicine and for Judaism have jointly filled her professional life with unique and fulfilling opportunities. She has worked as a pediatric nurse at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore and at the renowned Camp Simcha, a summer escape for Jewish children suffering from cancer and chronic illnesses. She has also organized, lectured, and mentored for many Jewish education initiatives. Mariel balances learning with students on campus and creating women’s programming at Meor MD with being a wife and mother to her five children (Adina Chana, Efraim, Rachel Breindel, Gavriel Zelig, and Chaim Ozer). These remarkable characters each warrant a biographical write-up of their own. However, in the interest of time we invite you to meet them personally around the Goldstein Shabbat table!