Meet our highly dedicated Chai Committee, the amazing group that works hard to create the vision for our awesome events & programs!

Jonathan Ableson (Winter 2016)


Natalie Buchbinder (Spring 2016)

Natalie Buchbinder joined the Chai Committee in Spring 2016. Born and raised  in San Diego, she is a life-long member of Beth El. Natalie works as a Senior  Account Executive for a local public affairs firm. In her free time, she enjoys    spending time with family and friends, running and the beach. Natalie is thrilled to help grow Chai and give back to the Beth El community!






Melissa Karas (Spring 2016)

Originally from Boston, I moved to San Diego in 2014.  My first Chai event was Passover Seder and I soon became more involved by attending and then leading Chai Shabbat services.  I am employed as as diabetes corporate nurse.  In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, exercising, volunteering, and spending time with friends. I have been a member of the Chai Committee for the past year, and look forward to all the amazing events this upcoming year! 


Rayana Karoll (Winter 2015)

Rayna was born in Chicago, IL and grew up in Plainview, NY. After spending 7 years in Cleveland for June 2013 for residency. Rayna met the former Chai Coordinator, Elana, at a Jewish event for another organization, in September 2013, and Elana told her about all the awesome events and got her involved immediately. Rayna is a pediatric dentist and works at multiple dental offices throughout San Diego. In her spare time, Rayna loves travelling (although she doesn't do nearly as much as she would like), baking, hiking in the amazing San Diego weather and spending time with her adorable puppy Chewie. Rayna has been involved and excited about Judaism throughout her entire life and is looking forward to continuing that through Chai. 

Amy Pinn (Fall 2014)

Amy Pinn joined Chai in 2013. She grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After getting married to her husband, Jarred, they became Beth El members. Amy is also a newly inducted member on the Board of Directors at Beth El.




Jared Pinn (Fall 2014)

Jarred Pinn joined Chai in May, 2013. He grew up in San Diego and has been involved at Beth El his whole life. After getting married to his wife, Amy, they became Beth El members. Jarred is one of the current co-chairs of the Chai committee and on the rabbinic search committee. His passion for Beth El has led him to contribute to the steering of the Chai community and the congregation as a whole. He enjoys building and flying model airplanes, skiing, and a cooking blog, Pinn's Plate, that he runs with his wife.

Kevin Tarson (Spring 2016)












Benji Vinick (Fall 2013)

I grew up in New Jersey where I met my wonderful wife, Debbie. I moved to San Diego mostly for the fish tacos but also for a job at Illumina as an Applications Specialist. We have now been in San Diego for over three years and we had our son, Nathan here. My Jewish background is the trifecta – Schechter Day School, Camp Ramah, and USY. I first got involved with Chai when I was looking for a Jewish community. I am passionate about building a Jewish community in San Diego. I am not only involved with Chai but also with NextGen. Besides my involvement in the Jewish community, I like to snowbarod and rock climb as well as participate in less dangerous activities, like Shabbat dinners (ok so I really do like doing Jewish). 


Special thanks to our former Chai Committee leaders: Michelline Wachter, Zach Warburg, Genevieve Goldstone, Jonathan Goldstone, Parker Bush, Mike Dolinka, Ayal Chen-Zion, Lisa Sussman, Eva Marks, Jean Dietz, & Kesha Spoor

Jenna Ross Chai 20s/30s Program Coordinator 

Thursday, May 25 2017 29 Iyyar 5777