Today we are very excited to welcome aboard Ariel Kates as our new Manager of Programming and Communications. Ariel is thrilled to be a part of our public programming and outreach highlighting our unparalleled neighborhood, and to work with our members.
Ariel brings a background in community programming, communications, and non-profit administration from Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBTQ synagogue, which has long roots in the Village. While there, Ariel expanded and developed community programming for adults and families, focusing on social, arts and cultural, educational, and social justice programs. Ariel has also worked in human resources, publishing, and after-school programming in New York and in the Boston area, where she grew up.
Ariel received her BA in Jewish History at Oberlin College, where her honors thesis studied immigrants’ stories and experiences in New York City between 1865 and 1909 through the lens of gender, divorce, and migration. She moved to New York in 2008, living in the East Village and working in the West Village while earning her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in poetry at the New School. She arrived knowing more about the city’s history than its present, but with the Village as her introduction to life in New York, she found what she knows to be a true home, in all senses of the word. Now, Ariel lives in Brooklyn, and is so glad to be back in the Village professionally, to deepen old and develop new cherished relationships with the community and the neighborhood.
“In a city that is always changing, the experience of entering the Village is one of the past and present talking to each other,” Ariel says. “I often think of Walt Whitman’s line, ‘I see that the word of my city is that word from of old.’”