The non-profit is run by the guidance our strong Governance Council. We use a consensus model of decision making and meet quarterly.
Sephirah Stacey Oshkello
President and Executive Director of Non-Profit, Resident & Homesteader
Kohenet Stacey Sephirah Oshkello is an educator, healthy lifestyle coach, community leader, and nurturing mother, who fosters transformational experiences that help create a joyful life.
Sephirah Stacey organizes community festivals and education programs for Living Tree Alliance that integrate seasonal New England homesteader practices with the Hebrew calendar and the ancient teachings of Jewish tradition. She was ordained as a Kohenet – Hebrew Priestess with the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, in the summer of 2017, where she enhanced her ability to create rituals connected to tradition. Sephirah enjoys organizing meaningful events that integrate connection to self, community, earth, ancestors, and the Holy One.
As a health coach, Sephirah guides people toward healthy lifestyle changes with engaging group and individual work in various locations including Stowe Natural Family Wellness in Stowe, Vermont and through tele-communication. Sephirah loves being connected to healthy food, cooking, growing food, living amongst community, celebrating the cycles of the Jewish calendar, walking in the woods, teaching, and soaking in hot baths.
She loves integrating Jewish traditional practices into a holistic lifestyle amongst family and community, that is relevant to our modern times. She is committed to building Living Tree Alliance as a place that is redefining community, regenerating land, and revitalizing culture. Most of all, she is nourished by spending time outdoors alone, with her children, husband, and community.
Treasurer of NonProfit, Resident & Homesteader
Craig Oshkello, MLA, landscape architect and a founder of Living Tree Alliance. In a holistic expression of social justice, environmental activism and art, Craig has been dedicated to the design and development of
intentional, ecological based communities and landscapes for 27 years.
From humble starts on a Australian permaculture field station and solar adobe Earthship construction in Taos New Mexico, Craig now channel an ethic of sensitive creativity through his work.
Craig lives with his wife Sephirah, children Ayla (‘01) and Adyn (’04), dogs Luna and Bowie, cat Jade, sheep, ducks and chickens at Living Tree Cohousing in Vermont’s Mad River Valley. Craig enjoys spending time with the family, skiing, dancing and engaging with a myriad of projects on the homestead.
Director of NonProfit, Resident
Glenn Soberman, Phd is a licensed clinical psychologist, life coach and an ordained interfaith minister with over 30 years of clinical experience. He is also a certified teacher, therapist and supervisor of Advanced Integrative Therapy (AIT) and currently has a private
practice in New Paltz, NY and Burlington, VT.
He has provided trainings in AIT to mental health professionals in North America, Central America and Europe. He is also a published author. His latest book is called: Letting Go: A Self Help Manual for Emotional Well-Being. He has also been an adjunct faculty professor at SUNY New Paltz and Marist College. Glenn’s calm nature and keene sense of humor is a source of welcomed nurturing at Living Tree.As co-founder of Sukkot on the Farm, she has driven its vision and continues to attract over 200 families to LTA’s signature festivals. Melanie’s ability to create dynamic Jewish events is an asset to Living Tree Alliance, as well as her knowledge of writing grants, how to start up organizations, and farming & homesteading arts.
In addition, Melanie develops family programs for synagogues and alternative Jewish Rites of Passage for Jewish teens and their parents.
Vice President and Director of Programming and NonProfit, Resident, Homesteader
Melanie has served as program founder, director and coordinator for multiple nonprofits creating and managing outreach events for county wide social change programs.
Using her creativity and her degrees in government and education, she uses grassroots organizing techniques to develop and spread new programs to schools and organizations. Most notably she piloted the Alameda Safe Routes to Schools program, a multi-tiered programmatic approach now providing safety and environmental education to over 100 schools and serving as a national model in community organzing and behavior change programming.Melanie is a trained Waldorf teacher and professional family educator who combines her expertise of bridging spirituality and developmentally appropriate education with community building techniques. Melanie has recently completed a mentorship program with Wilderness Torah and has launched successful chavurah programs for Chochmat HaLev in Berkeley California and at Ohavi Zedek in Burlington, VT. Over the last decade in her community engagement positions for congregations, she has developed strategies to engage families in non-traditional learning and built up congregational participation and volunteerism.
Melanie passionately believes that a child will become more resilient, flexible and powerful when the are surrounded by a community of adults that offer them access to stories from the past, access to nature, and constant doses of joy and hope. As co-founder of Sukkot on the Farm, she has driven its vision and continues to attract over 200 families to LTA’s signature festivals. Melanie’s ability to create dynamic Jewish events is an asset to Living Tree Alliance, as well as her knowledge of writing grants, how to start up organizations, and farming & homesteading arts.
Melanie received a BA in government from Wesleyan University and a M.ED with teaching licenses from Antioch University. She was trained as a Maggid (Jewish storyteller/ community leader) by Rabbi Avram Davis in Berkeley, CA. She is building a house at Living Tree Cohousing, where she will live with her two sons Ezra and Judah who are 5 and 7 and travels with them on cargo bike as much as possible.
Secretary of NonProfit
Matthew Towle currently works as a residential supervisor at an assisted living facility in Burlington, Vermont. He works with elderly individuals who have developmental and medical needs. Matthew is an active Vermonter; runner, climber, gardener, hiker,
explorer, novice beekeeper, and trombone player to name a few hobbies.
Matthew is a New Englander at heart and has traveled around the continental United States. Matthew is a graduate of the University of Vermont.
He has helped develop programs such at The Wellness Cooperative in Burlington, VT and Active Minds at the University of Vermont and the Atwood Residence for the Howard Center. Matthew has also been involved with the Jewish Community Center of Rockville, MD and the Hazon/Isabella Freedman Jewish Community and Retreat Center in the Connecticut Berkshires. Matthew participates in projects, activities and communities that promote and help maintain and advance daily living skills and sound practices throughout the world. Matthew is attempting to play his part in making good contributions and improvements in world.
Matthew is involved in Judaic studies and religious life with several synagogues in Burlington and has studied with several teachers and Rabbi’s throughout the years. He offers his skills and passion for life, to Living Tree Alliance as board member and volunteer at many of our festival programs and community events.
Rabbi Jan Salzman
Director of NonProfit
Rabbi Jan Salzman was ordained through ALEPH, the rabbinic seminary of Jewish Renewal, in the winter of 2010. She brings to our community the skills of Rabbi, joyful service leader, and is also ordained as Mashpnin Ruchanit/ Spiritual Director, meeting with individuals and/or
groups to explore the spiritual facets of their lives.
In addition to studying with ALEPH, she has studied at Hebrew College, Spertus College, and Dartmouth College, and holds a Masters Degree in Public Health. With her strong voice and upbeat spirit she opens and deepens the Jewish experience. She has lived in Vermont for over 30 years, raising two sons with her husband and rebbitzmon, Loredo Sola. She has been a certified organic farmer, and worked as a landscaper for many years in Central Vermont. Jan shares her skills as spiritual leader at many of Living Tree community events and meetings.
Director of NonProfit, Leader of Farm to School program at Harwood Union High School
Paul Kramer is a career public high school teacher and long time farm-to-school advocate with 15 years experience in a diverse array of learning environments.
For the past 4 years, he has run the Harwood Community Learning Center – an individualized, interdisciplinary, project-based program within Harwood Union High School. Prior to moving to Vermont, he taught English and environmental studies in Portland, Oregon. Paul believes strongly in place-based, experiential education and connecting students with relevant community mentors as often as possible. Paul also currently serves as Harwood’s farm-to-school coordinator. He relishes any opportunity to grow, cook, eat, and celebrate local foods and regularly uses these activities to help students understand their role in creating healthy food systems. Over the past three years, he has worked closely with LTA staff to develop their farm-to-school infrastructure and educational offerings. He takes his work seriously, but not so much himself.