Everything begins with connection.
I entered the world fully and wholly loved. Reflection has led me to understand that this love has shaped me and my life’s work.
My first-generation Argentinian parents had me when they were very young, full of wonder, uncertainty and awe. They always encouraged me to follow my dreams, work with integrity, to be creative and playful...and to take risks. They reminded me to stay curious and to just BE.
When the time came as a young adult to pursue a professional career as a singer, I decided to choose the road less traveled. It was a path that I had to design and walk with the help of incredible coaches and mentors.
Some would say that this decision was risky, but it just felt right for me. I listened to my inner voice; I immersed myself in vocal coaching sessions and successfully generated opportunities to sing and perform as much as possible.
Each time I performed, I became more and more aware of the power of connection through my voice. This knowledge was transformative and was the beginning of my understanding of my work -- intertwining connection and experience.
The years that followed I had the opportunity to study and train with some of the most creative singers, movement teachers, and puppeteers in Argentina. I lived in Buenos Aires well into my thirties where I recorded two CDs, 1998's Sera Una Noche and 1999's self-titled Karina Zilberman. Producing and performing close to 300 shows a year, I was at the height of my performance career and recognized for my ability to transform a show into a joyful and uplifting communal experience. It was more than the music; It was multidimensional.
"Ultimately, my mission is to make fulfillment a driving force by integrating who we are into what we do."
In 2000, my family and I made the decision to move to the United States. I was in my 40’s, a mother of two young boys and my entire life shifted. Living in Miami, I was hired as the cantorial soloist at Temple Israel of Greater Miami. This unexpected opportunity took me on a path that gave me a chance to reframe my singing and artistic career and synthesize it with pastoral work in the context of a congregation.
Many mentors and teachers aided the evolution of my professional life. My artistic career expanded through Jewish liturgical music and educational work during my seven years at Temple Israel. Together with Rabbi Mitchell Chefitz and Dr. Alan Mason (with whom I recorded the Temple Israel-produced 2004 CD Drawing Close), we revitalized the community and increased membership by 70 percent.
Another layer of my personal and professional growth emerged when I was presented with the opportunity to work at the 92nd Street Y, the world-renowned Jewish community and cultural Center in New York City. There I founded and led an intergenerational Jewish community called 92Y Shababa (a melding of Shabbat with the Arabic word "sababa" which means "cool" in modern Hebrew).
Shababa was a true fusion of my talents, experiences, teachings and trainings. This multigenerational community model proved to be an immediate success because of its countercultural approach to family spiritual life in the midst of fast-paced city life, where the programmatic mode is usually prioritized.
Shababa's innovative approach brought human interaction and intentionality to the forefront, allowing the design of the “program” to evolve along with the needs of the community. As music was an integral piece to Shababa, we recorded several CDs in which members of the Shababa community were featured: 2008's Shababa With Karina, 2012's Shababaland and 2015's Shababa of the Heart with Rebecca Schoffer.
Joy, mindfulness, music and real connections became the precious ingredients that gave birth to the “Shababa Approach/The Art of Engaging,” which further defined the why and the how behind this synthesis. The Covenant Foundation recognized my work, bestowing me with the high honor of the national 2012 Covenant Foundation award for excellence in Jewish education.
When other Jewish communities began reaching out for help in replicating the success of Shababa, the 92nd Street Y and I developed the Shababa Network, a training program for organizations that want to rethink and transform engagement for their communities. Within four years, over 50 synagogues, day schools, community centers and more became members of the Shababa Network and integrated the approach into their programs.
Today, I share my teachings with community leaders, corporate executives, educators and seekers worldwide through “The Art of Engaging" workshops. I also co-lead mindfulness retreats in Costa Rica and around the world with my husband, Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein.
I am an artist and group facilitator who creates inclusive experiences that catalyze spiritual and personal growth for the individual and the community. I strive to help people believe in themselves and connect with others.
I believe that fulfillment is the engine of innovation and productivity in our lives. Ultimately, my mission is to make fulfillment a driving force by integrating who we are into what we do.