Board of Directors


Naomi Azulai

Board President

Naomi moved to Durango in 2012 with her husband and two young sons. She was born, raised and educated in Los Angeles before moving to Houston, where she lived for 10 years. Her family is so pleased to be living in Durango where her kids attend Park Elementary School. In addition to her full-time job, she is involved in our community by volunteering her time with 9R and Har Shalom. Naomi teaches Hebrew and is working on expanding and improving membership and programs at Congregation Har Shalom.


Elliot Brechner


Elliot has lived in Durango for six years and is grateful to be on the Board of Directors at Congregation Har Shalom.  He works as a 911 dispatcher at the Durango-La Plata Emergency Communications Center. He also spends time volunteering at the La Plata County Humane Society and is a volunteer EMT with Durango Fire Protection District.

Elliot grew up in Croton-on-Hudson, New York where he was an active member of his synagogue until he moved to Colorado. 

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Merv Bergal


​Merv is a long-time member, former President and a founder of Har Shalom. As a board member, he provides spiritual and practical advice to all.

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Jonathon Gabel

Board Member

Jonathon Gabel has been involved with Congregation Har Shalom since he moved to Durango in 2018. He is an artist in residence and some of his work can be seen at Har Shalom. He graduated with a major in art and a minor in religion. He is excited to bring his creative and warm spirit to our congregation.

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Martine Model

Board Member




Lisa Smith

Spiritual Leader

I love Judaism and I love being part of Congregation Har Shalom and I want to help all of you enjoy Judaism, too. I hope to provide an opportunity for our congregation to enhance and deepen our relationship with each other, with our heritage and our connection to Adonai.


Craig Larson

Building Services

Craig is a Colorado native and have lived in Durango for over 50 years after first graduating from Fort Lewis College.  He is a Jew by choice, who studied with Rabbi Eliot Baskin and was accepted by a Beth Din in 2006.  He attended Union of Reformed Judaism training and met Congregational leaders from many states. He has also been President of the Board of Har Shalom and helped with the building and other activities for a number of years and is proud and happy to be a member of the congregation.


Alison Epstein



Shari Gottlieb