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SWF Tachlit (Mission)

SWF Gathering musicians playing

Shabbat with Friends NM, a newly formed Jewish organization and nonprofit in New Mexico. The mission of Shabbat with Friends is to recapture together the joy of Shabbat (Oneg Shabbat). We cultivate the love of Shabbat through our gatherings, teaching, and relationships. We give special attention to Shabbat home practice: hospitality, shared meals, group singing, musical traditions, engaging conversation, interactive Torah study, and Menuchah-the authentic experience of Shabbat rest. 
 
Our name, Shabbat with Friends, underlies our commitment to Shabbat hospitality, to cultivating the unique joy of Shabbat fellowship through our gatherings, and illuminating the profound Jewish ethical and spiritual teachings in the way we share this special day. 

Leadership

Rabbi Dov Gartenberg sitting on a bench

Rabbi Dov Gartenberg

Rabbi Dov Gartenberg is the Founder and Convener of Shabbat with Friends New Mexico.  He was Founder of Panim Hadashot-New Faces of Judaism in Seattle, Washington started in 2004.  Shabbat with Friends NM, founded in 2022, expands significantly on the innovations of Panim Hadashot.  Rabbi Dov has also served for nearly two decades as the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom in Seattle.

Rabbi Dov received his B.A. with honors at the University of California, Berkeley. He studied under and was mentored deeply influenced by the great scholar of the sociology of religion, the late Robert Bellah, of blessed memory. Under Professor Bellah's guidance, Rabbi Dov went on to study comparative religions at Harvard University and pursued rabbinical studies at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles (now known as the Zeigler Rabbinical School at the American Jewish University) and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City. He is a member in good standing of the Rabbinical Assembly of America.   

Rabbi Dov was also profoundly influenced by Rabbi David Hartman, of blessed memory, of the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem. Rabbi Dov has attended rabbinic seminars at the Hartman Institute regularly since the 1980s. 


Rabbi Dov is the father of three children, Zachary, Moriel, and Fay. He lives with his partner, Melissa Drolet, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a passionate baseball fan and loves to sing Shabbat table songs with people whenever he can.

SWF Steering Team

Shera Farkas secretary portrait

Shera Farkas,

President

Shera Farkas moved to Albuquerque  in 2019 from Troy, NY. Shera received her Jewish education at the Ramaz Day School in Manhattan.  She remains an active member of Temple Beth El in Troy NY. 

Shera attended Columbia University where she received her masters degree in special education. She taught children with special needs for 35 years. Shera begins her term as Secretary of the SWF Board with the specific role as the coordinator of our signature program, the Shabbat with Friends Gatherings. She draws pleasure in organizing children's activities at the SWF gatherings which thrill her grandchildren, Ethan and Emma.

Janet Sanders.jpg

Janet Sanders

Janet Sanders moved to Santa Fe with her photographer husband in 2019 drawn by the light, open sky, and mountains. Originally from New York, she made her home in and around Boston for 35 years, working in resource development and planning for universities and philanthropic organizations. She has held leadership positions in several synagogues and the Boston federation and was a founding board member of the JewishArts Collaborative there, and she is a member of HaMakom in Santa Fe. When she’s not baking challah, she is devoted to piano (playing), opera (listening), and her two grandchildren.

Rick Hammer vice president Portrait

Rick Hammer,

Vice-President

Rick Hammer and his wife Karen moved to Albuquerque 23 years ago. Rick is a retired physician and volunteer Hebrew and Bar/t Mitzvah tutor. He has served on the boards and as an active volunteer in several Jewish organizations in Albuquerque. Rick has agreed to begin a term as Vice-President of Shabbat with Friends NM in July 2023. He will also temporarily assume duties as treasurer of SWF.

Lea Koshkin portrait

Lea Koshkin

Lea Koshkin was born and raised in Israel and served in the IDF as a teacher.  After moving to California, Lea began a career as a nurse practitioner.  Lea and her family moved to New Mexico four  years ago, becoming an active member of Congregation B’nai Israel in Albuquerque. She also volunteers as a Hebrew teacher. Lea and her family, Ilya, Julia, and Daniel were one of the first SWF hosts, welcoming people to their home for a Havdalah and Melaveh Malkeh (End of Shabbat Gathering) in May 2022. Lea’s role on the SWF board will be to organize the SWF Gemilut Hasadim Group to support people in the community going through challenging life cycle transitions such as illness, grief, and major life changes. 

SWF Oneg Shabbos Ensemble

Clara Byom portrait

Clara Byom

Clara Byom is a versatile multi-instrumentalist, electronic musician, musicologist, arts administrator, and tunesmith who has been described as having "radiant energy" and "immense talent." Clara has premiered over 40 new classical works as soloist, collaborator, or with the New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble, which she co-founded in 2016 with Dalton Harris. In 2020, Clara produced three solo albums of electronic/electroacoustic music and a collaborative album with lo-fi hip hop/experimental artist Dan Dan. Clara frequently plays for contra, English Country, and International Folk Dance with The Parson Sisters and performs with the indie folk rock band Dust City Opera. Clara serves as Development Director for the Klezmer Institute. She holds a Master of Music degree from the University of New Mexico in Clarinet Performance and Musicology (2017) and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College (2012).

Jordan Wax Portrait

Jordan Wax

​Jordan Wax is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and traditional musician based in New Mexico. For the past twenty years he has studied intergenerational music traditions with elders from a variety of cultural lineages in the Missouri Ozarks, Central Mexico, Northern New Mexico, and Greater Yiddishland, and directed his own ensembles in the context of Ashkenazi, Anglo-American, and Indo-Hispanic cultural revitalizations. His formal study of Yiddish began with a summer program at the Oxford Institute of Yiddish Studies in 2000, and he currently directs a weekly gathering for Yiddish students and elder heritage speakers in Santa Fe. He performs traditional and newly composed Yiddish songs with Margot Leverett & Duke City Hora, norteño traditions in local mariachis and his own ensemble, Lone Piñon, and creates bilingual children's programming that helps families and infants establish a positive context around linguistic diversity and regionalism.

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