MISSION & GOALS
The mission of Kol HaBirah is to serve, connect, and strengthen the Greater Washington Jewish community. To achieve this, we will provide:
• Community Enrichment and Support Kol HaBirah will increase the visibility and utilization of our Jewish community’s businesses, organizations, programs, initiatives, and services. This will be achieved through our news and feature reporting, our robust community resources section, and advertising opportunities.
• Community Connection Kol HaBirah will foster connection through the sharing of news, ideas and resources, traversing various geographic and ideological boundaries and strengthening the bond of community.
• Credible Reporting and Respectful, Open Dialogue Kol HaBirah is committed to fact-based news reporting and providing a space for the respectful exchange of ideas on issues that matter to our community.
• A Community Newspaper for All Jews With an editorial commitment to addressing the issues facing today’s American Jewish communities, we will provide a space for the respectful exchange of ideas from the broader community
• Traditional Torah Values – Kol HaBirah proudly upholds traditional Torah values (e.g. not employing staff on Shabbat; promoting Kosher restaurants, events, and news) and will strive to maintain these values while respecting the values of the entire Jewish community
• Support for the Unites States and Israel Kol HaBirah is committed to the safety and support of the government and citizens of the United States and Israel.
We believe Kol HaBirah will further establish the Greater Washington Jewish community’s presence on the map as a leading and vibrant Jewish community in America and beyond. Thank you for your continued support, and keep reading!
ABOUT THE STAFF
Hillel Goldschein, Publisher
Hillel grew up in Queens, New York and joined the Greater Washington community in 2014 to work for Measuring Success, a consulting firm that, among other clients, supports Jewish non-profits in achieving their missions by helping them make strategic, data-driven decisions. Before becoming the publisher of Kol HaBirah, Hillel worked for PwC’s management consulting division, where he helped clients with organization redesign. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lander College and his master’s in industrial/organizational psychology from Baruch College. His thesis focused on rabbinic counseling and he provided consulting services for Yeshivat Chovevei Torah’s (YCT) pastoral counseling program. He studied in post high-school yeshiva under the tutelage of Rabbi Shaya Cohen of Yeshiva Zichron Aryeh, a division of Chofetz Chaim.
Hillel is very involved in the Greater Washington Jewish community: he is one of the founders of Young Israel Shomrai Emunah of Greater Washington’s 9:15 minyan; is one of the founders of Singles United Network (SUN) a group dedicated to facilitating singles setting each other up; is an associate member of Georgetown's Kesher Israel; was a fellow for Gather the Jews (now know as Gather DC); is involved with the Greater Washington Community Kollel; and volunteers with NSCY. During his free time, Hillel enjoys socializing, working out, watching and playing sports; collaborating with his roommates to host awesome Shabbat meals, Friday night (festive gatherings), and shiurim (Torah lectures) in their apartment; and dating, and otherwise making sure to keep out of trouble.
Rachel Kohn, Editor in Chief
A transplant from the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, Rachel is a proud Akiva Hebrew Day School graduate (go Pioneers!) and attended Michlelet Orot’s Bat Tzion seminary program in the small Israeli town of Elkana from 2002 to 2003. Controversy over coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ignited her passion for fact-based journalism: while in seminary, she volunteered as a special correspondent for The Detroit Jewish News, reporting on life in Israel during the Second Intifada and in the shadow of the US invasion of Iraq. She followed her drive for “Truth Even Unto Its Innermost Parts” to Brandeis University, where she earned a degree in political science with a certificate in environmental studies, another focus in her work and writing.
Rachel ran her own small business as a public relations consultant in Jerusalem, Israel before moving to Silver Spring, Maryland, in 2009 to pursue a master’s in International Media from American University. She has worked in the DC area as a communications specialist and a freelance writer and editor for the past four years. Her writing has been featured in the The Culture-ist, The Huffington Post, and The Jerusalem Post. During her theoretical free time (#singlemomlife), Rachel enjoys brushing up on her Sfat Emet, exploring Rock Creek Park with her son, and soaking in all the history and culture this amazing region has to offer.
Bari Perlmutter, Managing Editor
Bari Perlmutter grew up in Chappaqua, New York and attended the University of Maryland where she studied economics. During her final semester at Maryland, she moved to the Kemp Mill community. With the help of MEOR’s residential program, she has been able to continuously grow in her Judaism. In the spring of 2016, she became involved in Young Israel Shomrai Emunah of Greater Washington’s 9:15 Minyan and currently serves as their treasurer. Bari enthusiastically serves as Kol HaBirah’s Managing Editor and looks forward to it’s success! During her free time, Bari goes to the gym, cooks, plans community and social events, plays the piano, and watches Terps basketball and Rangers hockey.
Kami Troy, Senior Editor
Kami grew up in Tacoma, Washington and attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, where she majored in English. She earned her Master of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics from George Washington University in 1997. From 1997 until now, she has held many positions and consulting jobs where her title was always “________ writer”: she has been a medical writer for the pharmaceutical/biotech product development industry, a technical writer for a healthcare finance company, a grant writer for a healthcare research institute, a technical writer at NIAID (NIH), and speechwriter for government officials. She also wrote a blog, called “Let Them Eat Honeycake,” where she talked about motherhood as an Orthodox Jewish woman. Her favorite writing, however, is her annual Rosh Hashanah letter, which is not in wide release. Kami has lived in the Kemp Mill community of Silver Spring, Maryland since 2002, and currently resides there with her husband and four children, ages 10-15.
Serena Kalish, Director of Marketing and Communications
Serena grew up in Great Neck, New York, and went to Yeshiva University Stern College for Women, where she majored in biochemistry. She is one of the founders of the 9:15 Minyan at Young Israel Shomrai
Emunah in Kemp Mill and remains very involved to this day. She has lived in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her husband since 2015.
Serena is currently completing her Masters of Physician Assistant Studies at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. She is interested in working in Women's Health.
In her rare free time, Serena enjoys baking, decorating cakes and cake pops, sewing, doing crafts and listening to music.