Stacey Sephirah Oshkello

President  and Program Coordinator 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.  Stacey Sephirah 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, bring a sacred Presence to events and meetings, connect Jewish stories to the earth and allow them to be tangible to all people, and integrate connection to self, community, earth, ancestors, and the Holy One.   

As a health coach, Stacey 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.  Stacey 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 Jewish culture.  Most of all, she is nourished by spending time outdoors alone, with her children, husband, and community.    

 

 

Craig Oshkello

Treasurer and Executive Director of NonProfit, Resident & Homesteader

Craig Oshkello, MLA (cofounder) has been dedicated to the design and development of intentional farm based communities for the past twelve years. In 2000, Craig started a non-profit organization, Land For Good ,who's mission is is to ensure the future of farming in New England by putting more farmers more securely on more land. As a professionally trained landscape architect, Craig's professional work includes farm centered community design and development, resilient homestead design/build and architectural drafting.

Merging his vocation with his lifestyle, Craig lives, farmed and served as a director at the Cold Pond Community Land Trust, an intentional community he helped start.  Craig has been growing food for friends and family for twelve years.  He has served on town government for his 12 years of residency in the town of Acworth.  Craig is an avid skier and has coached a high school team and race development team for the past 6 years at Mount Sunapee.  His combination of professional, volunteer, and homesteading experiences will go a long way towards directing the birth, growth and fruition of Living Tree.

 

Glenn Soberman

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. 

 

Melanie Kessler

Vice President and Program Director of NonProfit, Resident, Homesteader

Since 2000, 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. 

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.

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. 

 

Matthew Towle

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.

 

Paul Kramer

Director of NonProfit, Leader of Farm to School program at Harwood Union High School

Full Bio coming soon.