Professional Staff

Executive Director, Deborah Finkelstein, FSA, MAJPS

Deb Finkelstein, FSA, joined Kol Shalom in April 2002 as Executive Director, after serving in that capacity at Tifereth Israel Synagogue in Des Moines, Iowa for three years. Her background and experience in synagogue administration includes all facets of congregational life, including the purchase of land and construction of Kol Shalom’s first permanent home, the only newly constructed synagogue to achieve Gold LEED status.

Deb received her Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies from Spertus Institute in 2018 and received her certification as a Fellow in Synagogue Administration in 2017 awarded by her professional association, the North American Association of Synagogue Executives.  She is an active member of the Board of Governors of NAASE, served as chair the 2016 NAASE conference, and served as chair of the Week of Study for executive directors at the Jewish Theological Seminary for several years.  She is also an active member of MATSAA (Mid-Atlantic Synagogue and Temple Administrators’ Association) and a graduate of the Jewish Leadership Institute of the Federation of Greater Washington.   She has served in numerous capacities in other greater Jewish community organizations.

Originally from the Midwest, Deb thoroughly enjoys her life in the Washington DC area and all it offers.  Her three adult sons and their families, including her six grandchildren, get her back to the Midwest as often as possible.

Director of Spirituality and Family Experience, Sally Heckelman

From the time of her youth, Sally had a love of Jewish music. The child of survivors, growing up in Buffalo, NY, Sally’s parents infused music into her life and encouraged her at a young age to play piano and sing.  Sally earned a BA in Judaic Studies from SUNY Binghamton and a Masters in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University.  Sally studied abroad in Israel and returned to Israel after college to volunteer with neglected children and Ethiopian youth in a development town.  Early in her career, Sally worked in Jewish communal work at the JCC of Greater Washington- first with youth, then families, and then with children and adults with disabilities. She taught Jewish music in several synagogue schools, the Jewish day school, day camps, overnight camps, and several Jewish preschools.  Sally produced two children’s CDs (Sally and the Daffodils) and performed in a Klezmer band for several years.

When the Heckelman family joined Kol Shalom in 2005, Sally began participating as a Shlichat Tzibur in the services. She discovered a new calling and in 2011 became Kol Shalom’s High Holiday and festival chazzan.  After years of studying on her own, Sally started taking classes, attended Davening Leadership Programs, and began formal training in Aleph Jewish Renewal cantorial program. She is hoping to be ordained in 2022.

Sally is married to Dan and they have four grown children, Shira, Josh, Adina, and Sara.

Director Of Education, Mindy Silverstein

Mindy Silverstein, our Director of Education, has over 30 years of experience working both as an education director and a Jewish communal worker in the DMV area. Prior to coming to Kol Shalom, Mindy was education director at both the Bethesda Jewish Congregation, and Kehilat Shalom. She worked at the Board of Jewish Education where she supervised community wide programming and served as Chair of the Greater Washington DC Community-Wide Professional Day and the Educators’ Director Council. Mindy also served as a consultant to other education directors in the DMV.

Mindy attended Boston University where she majored in Special and Elementary education and received her Masters degree from the George Washington University in Jewish Education as well as a certificate in Jewish Family Life Education. Mindy is a graduate of the Florence Melton Adult Mini School. She worked at Capital Camps as the Scholar-In-Residence Coordinator.

Mindy lives in Olney with her husband Ken. They have three grown children; Adam, his wife Bri and their twin sons, Keri and her husband Lee and Jenna and her fiancé Andy. In her spare time, Mindy enjoys cooking, crocheting, and reading.