Staff - Temple Shalom of the South Bay
Barbara St. John
Barbara joined us in the Fall of 2011. From her 20 + years as a small business owner, and a professional Conference, Event and Trade Show Producer for several associations, she brings to us a wealth of knowledge on event logistics, budgeting and business management. A transplant from Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, Barbara has settled into the South Bay and Temple Shalom nicely and looks forward to growing our TSSB Community. She resides in Manhattan Beach with her husband Randy and their son, Geoffrey, who currently attends Mira Costa High School.
Incoming Temple Executive Director
Michelle W. Malkin, MPA, MAJNM
Michelle W. Malkin a native of Thousand Oaks, completed a dual masters program at the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management with a Masters in Public Administration from USC in 2014. Over the last eleven years, Michelle has worked with a number of Los Angeles based Jewish nonprofits and synagogues. She currently serves on the board of Temple Sinai of Glendale and as the Director of the Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California (JCPSC). She regularly volunteers with Food Forward and the Red Cross Blood Division, enjoys yoga, cycling, movies, spending time with family and friends! She lives with her husband of a year, Barak, and their cat Jasper in North Hollywood.
Education Director, Ellie Laycook
Ellie Laycook is delighted to be joining the Temple Shalom community as the Education Director. Ellie is bringing her 15+ years of experience working with children and has worked in numerous Temples in the Los Angeles area. Ellie’s personal journey began in the Los Angeles Jewish community, attending religious school and BJE programs, teaching in synagogue religious schools, developing curriculum for various schools, and working as a youth director for many years. Ellie has degrees in the art and child development and is currently attending classes at the Academy for Jewish Religion with the goal of graduating with a masters in Jewish Studies and the title of Rabbi.
Ellie treasures how her experiences in different areas of the organized Jewish community have contributed to her own spiritual growth. She believes deeply that our daily life can be elevated by the values of Jewish tradition. Ellie is married to her amazing husband Nate and has two children who continue to surprise her everyday, Bailey and Caleb.
B'nei Mitzvah Program Director
Ye’ela is a native Israeli who has been living in Los Angeles for the past 9 years. She has a Master degree in Film Directing from The American Film Institute in Hollywood and is currently writing and directing films and theatre plays. Six years ago Ye’ela discovered Jewish education and was thrilled to find out that she can apply her knowledge and experience to develop fun and exciting ways of teaching and learning Hebrew and Judaica. Throughout the years Ye’ela has prepared dozens of students for Bar and Bat Mitzvah in TSSB as well as several other temples. She is excited to be able to take part in preparing the students of TSSB in the coming year. She hopes to inspire, excite, and educate the B'nai Mitvah and teens to continue developing their Jewish identity and their future role and involvement with their Jewish community.