Our Staff

Director of Camp Shalom

Tamara Ohayon

As a mother with a young child, Tamara feels blessed to continue working in this nurturing Jewish community where programs like Federation's PJ Library, the congregations' Kids Shabbat services, and so many other family and youth programs, can enrich their lives in Lexington.

Tamara Lena Ohayon grew up in Los Angeles, CA. She spent many summers as a camper and staff person at Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu, and started attending college in southern California before transferring to the University of Kentucky in 2002. Tamara received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Studio with an emphasis on Ceramics, Fiber Arts, and Digital Media. In 2005, Tamara was hired as a Staff Associate for JFB and has since transformed her role multiple times, evolving and growing with the job. Tamara was promoted through multiple titles over the years and was hired in 2016 as Executive Director.

As a mother with a young child, Tamara feels blessed to continue working in this nurturing Jewish community where programs like Federation's PJ Library, the congregations' Kids Shabbat services, and so many other family and youth programs, can enrich their lives in Lexington.

Director of Adult and Youth Education

Rabbi Sharon Cohen

Sharon also serves as a Pool Chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital and St. Joseph East. Rabbi Cohen’s proudest accomplishments are as a wife and mom of two.

Rabbi Sharon Cohen, originally from Miami, FL, has an extensive background in Jewish studies, having earned a Masters of Hebrew Letters from the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) in Los Angeles, and a Masters of Rabbinic Literature with a concentration in Jewish Education, and Rabbinic Ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. She joined the Lexington community as Rabbi at Ohavay Zion Synagogue (OZS), where she served for 9 years. She currently serves as a Pool Chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital and St. Joseph East. Rabbi Cohen’s proudest accomplishments are as a wife and mom of two.
Office Administrator

Amy Rucker

Coming to Lexington most recently from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Amy is excited to explore the city and enjoy all that our community has to offer. She's eager to learn about the Jewish community and get to know everyone at the JFB office!

Amy Rucker is thrilled to come aboard JFB as Office Administrator. After moving around the US with her husband's Naval career, she and her family are finding Lexington a great place to raise their 6 children. Amy loves to hike, read, and never turns down the opportunity to nap. A few of her favorite things include a fresh notebook, fresh flowers and deep belly laughs from children. She has never met a stranger and enjoys photography and urban exploration.
Director of Marketing, Outreach, and Engagement

Daniel Baker

Daniel decided to call Lexington home after receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Kentucky (UK) in 2011.

Daniel Baker was born in Paterson, NJ and moved to southern Kentucky with his family in 2006. He decided to call Lexington home after receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Kentucky (UK) in 2011. Daniel is a Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA) who loves to give his time back to the community, especially through his involvement in Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a national coed service fraternity. In APO, Daniel is currently an advisor to the chapter at UK and the Co-Founder and President Emeritus of the APO Bluegrass Alumni Association.

Daniel joined the JFB team in July 2016 after having assisted with a variety of Federation initiatives, including Yom Ha’Atzmaut festivities and coordinating Young Bluegrass Jews (YBJ) programming. His local involvement came shortly after a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip in 2012, where he fell in love with the Jewish community. Daniel has been active at Temple Adath Israel (TAI) through Generation TAI, the Temple’s chavurah for adults ages 20-40. His role with JFB includes working on Shalom Magazine and Shalom Events, managing JFB’s website and social media accounts, and assisting with YBJ outreach and programming.

Shalom Editor-in-Chief and Co-Director of PJ Library

Carly Conatser

Carly is a writer and yogi who somewhat recently landed in Lexington and is excited to meet and serve the Jewish community of the Bluegrass.

Carly Conatser (Sachs) is the Co-Director of PJ Library and Editor-in-Chief of Shalom E-News. She is the author of her own collection of poems, The Steam Sequence, as well as the editor of the poetry anthology, The Why and Later. Her most recent collection, Descendants of Eve is forthcoming in the Delphi Poetry Series from Blue Lyra Press. In addition to working at the Federation, Carly teaches yoga at Baby Moon and Sterling Hot Yoga.
Director of Jewish Family Services

Paula Mertens

Paula, husband Eli, and twin sons Henri and Matthew moved to Lexington in 2000 and found a warm and welcoming home at Temple Adath Israel.

Paula Lopez Mertens was born in Tucson, AZ. She grew up in an Air Force family living overseas as well as numerous states. This upbringing introduced her to many different cultures and ways of living that she says formed one of her basic traits of being able to adapt to new situations quite easily.

She returned with her family to her parents’ home state of Kansas when her father retired from the Air Force and graduated from Kansas State University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Paula has always been dedicated to helping others but her passion lies in assisting the elderly. Her 30-year career includes working in nursing homes in Kansas, Iowa and Florida in long-term and skilled care, physical rehabilitation and psychiatric care. She has also worked in home care as a Case Manager in Iowa, a Humana Care Manager, and Care Coordinator at Comfort Keepers in Lexington.

Paula, husband Eli, and twin sons Henri and Matthew moved to Lexington in 2000 and found a warm and welcoming home at Temple Adath Israel. Though she hasn’t been heavily involved in the community in recent years, she’s very excited about returning and serving in a much more active role.

Paula also helps her husband in their business with editing, writing, and distribution of TravelHost of the Bluegrass magazine. Eli is the love of her life as well as her sons, but in close second is their beloved dog, Lexi. An avid animal-lover, Paula also enjoys reading, attending concerts with music of all varieties and traveling.

Co-Director of PJ Library

Susan Voglesong

Susan loves to volunteer and you can generally find her at a meeting either for PTA, her HOA, Girl Scouts or various Jewish activities.

Susan Voglesong has lived In Lexington since 2009. She was born in Indiana and went to Indiana University where she majored in history and political science and met her husband, Travis. She keeps busy with her four kids, Brayden, Josslyn, Genevieve and Charlotte. She loves to volunteer and you can generally find her at a meeting either for PTA, her HOA, Girl Scouts or various Jewish acitivities. She loves dogs, cats and baking. Susan is excited to be sharing her love of reading with Jewish Families in Lexington with the PJ Library program.
Join Our Team

Working for the Jewish Federation and our local community can be a rewarding experience. Please check back for seasonal, full or part time positions postings.

NEED ASSISTANCE WITH A PARTICULAR PROGRAM? USE THE LINKS BELOW.