Administrative Departments

Executive Staff & Administration
Financial and House
Membership Services
Facility Management
Information Technology
Development & Special Events
Marketing

Program Departments

Program Director

Adult Services
Early Childhood
School Age Children
The Israeli Center
Neil Klatskin Day Camp
School of Performing Arts
School of Dance
Senior Adult Department
Special Services
Therapeutic Nursery / Child Success Center
Thurnauer School of Music
Health and Wellness
Youth Programming


ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENTS


EXECUTIVE STAFF & ADMINISTRATION

Jordan Shenker, Chief Executive Officer
For 25 years, Jordan Shenker has been an active member of the Jewish community and has held senior positions within the JCC movement throughout the country. He served as Senior Vice President of Community Services for the JCC Association of North America, where he was responsible for the management of JCCA’s consultation services to JCC’s, oversaw development and training for JCC CEOs and Executive Directors across the US, and conducted executive searches and placements of JCC CEOs and executive directors. Among his many successes, Jordan has been a primary consultant for 20 of the largest JCCs in North America in management effectiveness, financial sustainability, user engagement, staff engagement and Jewish impact. Before his JCCA days, Jordan was CEO and Executive Director of Weinstein Jewish Community Center in Richmond, VA., and worked at the JCC’s in Houston, Texas and Portland, Oregon.

Sue Gelsey, Chief Operating Officer
Sue holds a M.Ed. and BA from Temple University and Emory University respectively. Sue returned to the JCC after launching the community division of an international fitness management company as Vice President, Community Services. Previous to that, she was on the JCC staff for 19 years in the roles of Teen Director, Youth Director, Camp Director, JCC Maccabi Games Director, Program Director, Assistant Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer.

Kevin Cunningham, Chief Financial Officer
An experienced, well-established financial executive, Kevin holds a MBA in Finance from Iona College and a BS in Finance & Economics from Manhattan College. In his 25+ year career, Kevin has illustrated strong leadership ability, financial innovation, strategic planning and infrastructure/process development. He began his career with NYNEX Mobile Communication, where he held a number of diverse positions, and then went on to work for Martin Geller CPA, primarily on the Bloomberg Industry account. He also worked for several global industry firms, including GE, United Rentals and Merck Medco. More recently, Kevin served as Senior Finance Director for Chartwells, a division of Compass Group, which is the world’s largest food service provider. He worked there for 13 years, managing over $1.2 billion in revenue. In 2016, Kevin took the position as interim CFO/Controller for ARC of Rockland, a $40 million nonprofit agency serving people with disabilities and special needs. Kevin volunteers his time and expertise as an active member of his school district’s audit committee and finance council.

Leslie Leeds Meyers, Chief eXperience Officer
Leslie Leeds Meyers joined the JCC following a successful career as Regional Director at EXOS and General Manager of the Shames JCC on the Hudson. In both these positions, Leslie partnered with JCCs in the New York/ New Jersey area, where she helped implement best practices in engaging the community, enhancing customer service, growing membership, and sharpening fitness center operations. Before EXOS, Leslie served as the Director of Fitness at the 92Y’s May Center for Health Fitness and Sport, where she oversaw adult and children’s fitness and wellness programs, personal training, group exercise, and the Phase 3 cardiac rehabilitation program. Earlier in her career, she worked at California’s Club One Petaluma as fitness director for the Palo Alto’s Oshman Family JCC, where she helped launch a state-of-the-art fitness center in a brand new Jewish Community Center. Connected with JCCs from an early age, Leslie spent much of her youth in Jewish camps, B'nai Brith Youth Organization, and in Israel. She loves combining her deep knowledge of the Jewish community and her passion for health and wellness. Leslie and her wife, Alicia, (with their 12 hens and 2 dogs) live in Cold Spring, NY. In her spare time she hikes the Hudson Valley, practices yoga and meditation, and volunteers for organizations that protect animal rights.

Robyn Rosenfeld, Director of Security/Executive Assistant

Mirta Quintana, Office Coordinator
Mirta has been the JCC Office Coordinator for 14 years. In addition to assisting the COO as her main responsibility, Mirta also assists the Payroll Department and Program Director, works closely with the IT Department and supervises the mailroom. Prior to joining the JCC, she worked for the Women’s Division and Young Leadership at the North East Regional Office of United Jewish Communities for 5 years. Mirta has a BS in Bio-Chemistry, but her most gratifying accomplishments are her children and grand-kids.

FINANCIAL AND HOUSE

Gary Bernstein, Director of Finance
Gary has over 20 years of financial, accounting, and auditing experience. He began his career as an internal auditor for a bank; then spent five years in public accounting at a CPA firm that specialized in insolvency, forensic accounting and litigation support. In 2000, he went into private accounting as a Controller of a start-up e-commerce company, LuxuryFinder.com, a leading e-commerce provider for high end goods. He later served as the Corporate Controller/Acting CFO for theglobe.com, a dynamic, high profile, publicly-traded company; then Gary served 11 years as the Assistant Controller at Atlantic Express Transportation Corp., the third largest provider of school bus transportation in the United States. In 2015, Gary was named as the Director of Finance of the JCC on the Palisades. Gary received a BBA in accounting from Bernard Baruch College and became a Certified Public Accountant in the state of New York in 1998.

Joy Goldsmith, Bookkeeper
Joy performs a variety of functions in the Accounting department, including Billing and Receivables, 403 B management, Endowment processing and other functions. She is also a member of the staff Professional Development team. Prior to joining the JCC, Joy held a number of professional positions, including 16 years at MasterCard International. Joy holds a BA in Economics and an MBA in Finance.

Rosalyn Kawer, Payroll and Benefits Administrator
Rosalyn joined the JCC in December 2017, with close to 20 years of HR experience. Prior to joining the JCC, she held professional positions as a benefits counselor for a corporate bank, then worked for 8 years as a Sr. Human Resources Coordinator in a Long Term Acute Care Hospital, and as a Human Resources Administrator at manufacturing facilities as well. She holds an associate’s degree from Bergen Community College.

Steven Margulies, Accounts Payable
Steven began working at the JCC in 2006 as the Accounts Payable Coordinator. He is a member of the JCC Staff Internal Communication Team. Prior to joining the JCC, Steven worked at the Teaneck Jewish Community Center. He is married with two children and loves football. Steven holds a BS in Accounting from Ramapo College.

Cathy Shepard, Accountant
Cathy Shepard holds an M.B.A. in Finance and International Business from New York University and a B.A. in Linguistics and Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University. Cathy has worked for the accounting department at the JCC in the accounts receivable function for the past thirteen years. Prior to that, she worked in financial analysis roles in the pharmaceutical/medical device industry and state government for thirteen years.

MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

Esta Frankel, Associate Director
Esta has served as Associate Membership Director for 18 years, where she is responsible for recruitment, retention and all aspects of customer service. She is also a key liaison with the Accounting Department. Prior to joining the JCC, she worked at the Bergen County Y JCC in a similar capacity, initially as the Assistant Membership Director and then as Membership Director. Esta has two daughters and three grandchildren and lives in Westwood.

Irit Losar, Membership Advisor
Irit has served as a Membership Sales advisor at the JCC since 2011. She is also a member of the JCC Staff Professional Development team. Prior to joining the JCC, Irit held a number of positions as an administrative assistant and office manager in multinational High-Tech and Import companies. She holds a BA in Economy and Business Administration from Tel Aviv University.

Annette Scala, Membership Advisor
Annette is both a Membership Advisor and Group Exercise Instructor at the JCC. In membership, she is successful at engaging in and recruiting new members, retaining current and past members, and at handling all aspects of customer services. As a Group Exercise Instructor, she creates new classes that inspire members to pursue heathy and happy lifestyles. Annette is married with 2 children and was a long-term member of the Board of Education in Cliffside Park, where she resides. Prior to joining the JCC, Annette worked for Citicorp as a customer service representative, at Syncsort Computer Associates as a sales representative, and Truly Yours, as a group exercise instructor.

Bonnie Wilson, Membership Services Supervisor
As the Membership Services Supervisor, Bonnie helps current and prospective members navigate the many different areas and membership opportunities at the JCC. She has also worked as a Scrapbooking Teacher for the Neil Klatskin Day Camp Gesher division. Prior to working at the JCC, Bonnie was a 3-6 year old Montessori teacher in Clifton.

FACILITY MANAGEMENT

Chris Parrilli, Facilities Manager
Chris joined the JCC staff in 1991, overseeing the challenging room reservation setups for more than 18 busy departments that held programs from morning till night each day. A gifted multi-tasker and problem-solver, Chris mastered one skill after the next, proving himself to be a natural-born handyman, who could teach himself anything from plumbing to complex electrical repairs. Continually advancing his skill sets and dedication, Chris went on to become the JCC Facility Supervisor, where he is responsible for overseeing the maintenance staff, ordering supplies, handling purchase orders and billing, and ensuring the overall operations of the building in terms of lighting, air-conditioning, phone systems, safety and more. He is also athletic and sports-minded and has played for decades on a bowling team and plays softball regularly as well.

Rob Schirrmacher, Print Show/Mailroom Coordinator
Part of the JCC family for more than 16 years, Rob oversees all in-going and outgoing mail, all UPS and other special deliveries, and all in-house printing to serve the diverse and many needs of nearly 20 busy JCC departments. Dedicated to running an efficient and cost-saving operation, Rob keeps current on all the latest mail and print equipment and technologies, oversees mailroom staff, manages busy workload and production schedules, and meets and negotiates with vendors. He implemented a recycling program for toner cartridges that allows the JCC to save money and support environmentally-sound systems at the same time.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Keith Rosenfield, Webmaster
Keith joined the JCC as Webmaster in 2014, where he is responsible for updating and maintaining the functionality of the JCC website as well as keeping the content up to date. Keith also helps resolve staff related IT issues. Keith has over 23 years of experience in the computer field, the last 15 in web development. Among Keith’s former employers were numerous pharmaceutical marketing agencies, Kraft Foods and the AICPA (American Institute of CPAs). Keith studied Information Systems at Rutgers University and NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) where he received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. In 2000, he attended The Chubb Institute, studying web development where he excelled. Keith has been passionate about computer programming for most of his life. When not at work Keith enjoys playing the piano, tennis, bowling and spending time with friends and family.

DEVELOPMENT & SPECIAL EVENTS

Fran Koszer, Special Events Associate
Fran joined the Development Department in 2013 to assist in the execution of JCC major fundraising events such as Big Night Out, Lavish Lunches, Rubin Run, Play Fore! the Kids Golf event, the Spring and Fall Boutiques and other smaller events. She oversees all areas of the development gift processing, including donation and sponsorship acknowledgements, mailing lists and event-based status reports. She manages all aspects of the Tribute system and is a liaison to other departments for online event processing. Fran received a B.A. from SUNY Binghamton and has prior experience working and volunteering for non-profit organizations.

MARKETING

Tzipora Cohen, Chief Marketing Officer
Tzipora joined the JCC in 2013, bringing 20 years of marketing expertise. She previously provided marketing consultation to Fortune 100 companies and oversaw marketing at the Manhattan JCC for over 10 years. Tzipora lives in Englewood with her family.

Rebecca Seeman, Creative Director
As the Creative Director, Rebecca works with all JCC departments creating beautiful, authentic bonds to brand the JCC and its many, diverse programs. Prior to joining the JCC, Rebecca was an Art Director for 10 years for one of the top pharmaceutical advertising agencies in New York, where she worked with her clients and internal team to build, strategize and accomplish creative work with her many brands. As a leader, Rebecca's goal is to team up with great people so they can produce amazing work together. She has her BFA from Pratt Institute in Communication Design and lives with her daughter and husband in an old Rockland County farmhouse. When she finds any free time, she enjoys cooking, going to museums, designing mitzvah identities, reading, taking photos, playing the piano, listening to music and traveling.

Sharon Goren, Marketing Manager
As a marketing manager, Sharon develops and executes multi-channel marketing strategies for the JCC Adult Department, Senior Services, Guttenberg Center for Special Services, the Therapeutic Nursery and Israeli Center. As a social media expert, she drives JCC brand awareness and implements social media efforts to increase sales, program attendance and membership. She earned a BA in Social Sciences from Bar –Ilan University and an MBA from the College of Management in Israel. Sharon enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her family and friends.

Rochelle Lazarus, Public Relations Director
Rochelle has served as PR Director for the JCC for 14 years, where she is responsible for securing press coverage for major JCC events and programs, identifying stories that highlight the JCC mission, and writing communication/marketing materials that bring increased public awareness to all the many services and programs the JCC offers our community. Prior to joining the JCC, she worked in a similar capacity for 12 years at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. She earned a BA in English and Journalism from Douglass College at Rutgers University; a BA in Art History, also from Douglass, and attended a graduate program at Rutgers in Comparative Literature.

Larisa Leffel, Marketing Manager
Larisa oversees the marketing and graphic design needs of the JCC Thurnauer School of Music and the Teen Department, planning marketing strategies, designing promotional and recruiting materials and expanding social media outreach. Prior to joining the JCC, Larisa was a project assistant at The Frisch School where she spearheaded numerous design endeavors that communicated the school’s mission. As an avid learner and self-actualizer, Larisa continues to further her design skills and marketing knowledge through seminars, webinars, conferences and classes. She has a BFA in graphic design, a BS in Administration in Marketing and Management and a Masters in Marketing from Montclair State University.

Carol A. Schulter, Marketing Director
Possessing more than 25 years in non-profit health, fundraising, and marketing, Carol has worked at the JCC for 15 years where she is currently responsible for institutional, membership and special events marketing, as well as everything health & wellness. Carol is also involved in community outreach initiatives, identifying new and exciting ways to integrate and promote JCC programs with the broader community at large. She serves on the board of the Tenafly Welcome Committee and the Tenafly NJ Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the JCC, Carol ran her own communications business, CAS Graphics & Communications, and held positions at UJA-Federation of NY, Hadassah, The American Cancer Society and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.


PROGRAM DEPARTMENTS


PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Carol Leslie, Director
Carol has served the JCC for 9 years, overseeing as well as initiating new programming for the Children, Teens, Adult, Senior, Special Services Judaic and Israel Center departments, as well as the Thurnauer School of Music, Performing Arts School of Drama and School of Dance. Prior to joining the JCC, Carol worked in the world of advertising and book publishing, where she’s held positions as an award-winning designer and senior-level executive. Her reputation for combining creative thinking and marketing, as well as managing and mentoring large staffs, has resulted in her bringing invaluable innovation to companies such as Pearson-Prentice Hall, AICPA, and Disney Publishing Worldwide.

ADULT SERVICES

Esther Mazor, Director
Esther oversees all offerings for adults at the JCC and directly supervises staff in the Adult and Judaic departments as well as the JCC’s thriving Israeli Center. Esther has been a committed member of the JCC staff for 26 years, beginning her career in the Senior Adult Department. She later became Singles Director, where she was highly successful in helping singles meet and make many JCC Shidachs. At the same time, she was also responsible for the Israeli Club which preceded the current Israeli Center.

Kathy Graff, Director of New Initiatives
As the director of New Initiatives, Kathy has helped conceive and launch successful programs such as JCC University, which is taught by top professors and experts at the forefront of their fields. In addition, she expanded the adult department’s offerings with the successful JCC U Film School Series and cultural day trips. She also does outstanding volunteer work on special events for the Therapeutic Nursery. Kathy earned her BA from Yale University. She was formerly an advertising executive supervising a broad range of accounts from packaged goods to luxury brands to entertainment businesses. Her resume includes stints at Ogilvy and Mather and Grey Entertainment.

Michele Schaffer, Administrative Assistant
Michele joined the JCC in 2012 as a full time Administrative Assistant to the Adult Department, lending her extensive experience and support to all programming, including the creative arts, lifelong learning, games, computer center, trips and new initiatives.

Rabbi Reuven Kimelman, Judaic Scholar-in-Residence
Rabbi Kimelman has been bringing informative and scholarly Judaic programming to the JCC for years. He is a professor of Talmudic history and Midrash at Brandeis University and has taught at many academic institutions, including Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Jewish Theological Seminary. His is also a widely published author and a scholar on history, ethics, liturgy and current affairs.

EARLY CHILDHOOD

Early Childhood Staff Bios

SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN

Leron Bensoussan, Children's Department Director
As the Children’s Department Director, Leron oversees the JCC Kids Club, the afterschool pick-up and child care service, as well as school break vacation programs, special Saturday night events and more. Born and raised in Tenafly, Leron was an inspiring Kadima Unit head at the Neil Klatskin Day Camp and spent much of her own youth at the JCC. Prior to joining us at the “J,” she was an was a special education teacher at Ben Porat Yosef in Paramus for children in first, second, and third grades. She has also provided therapeutic services to children ages 2-3 at Lindgren School & Summer Camp in Closter. Leron has a Bachelors in Psychology from NYU and studied at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan. She currently lives with her husband and three children in Englewood, NJ. She can be reached at 201.408.1467 or lbensoussan@jccotp.org.

THE ISRAELI CENTER

Arielle Elad, Program Coordinator for EMEK and the Israeli Center
As Program Coordinator of the Israeli Center, Arielle works closely and passionately with the local Israeli community, where she oversees all administrative aspects of the Emek Hebrew program, the day-to-day activities at the Israeli Center and the yearly planning of programs that take place at the center. Prior to working at the JCC, she worked for many years in the Israeli Hi tech industry and then went on to study journalism, which led to a career in television as a researcher and producer. Arielle has a BA in Political Science and Strategic Studies from Bar Ilan University and studied Journalism at Tel Aviv University School of Journalism.

Neil Klatskin Day Camp

Aaron Atlas, Youth and Camping Engagement Director
Aaron holds a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University and a Master of Social Work from Indiana University. He also completed coursework for the Child Development Associate Credential. Before joining the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, Aaron worked at the Indianapolis JCC for over two decades, where he oversaw a large after-school care program, family programming, children’s overnight and enrichment classes, toddler playgroups, parent and staff training programs, and agency-wide events. In addition, he supervised traditional day camp and specialty camps for preschool - 8th grade and served three years as Associate Director of Early Childhood Education.

Melissa Peters, Assistant Director
Melissa has been a member of the Neil Klatskin Day Camp team since 1998. She began her service as the Transportation Coordinator and is now the Assistant Director. Melissa has been a part of the JCC family in many other capacities as well. She served as the Assistant Children’s Services Director, Children’s Services Director, Assistant Games Director for the 2003 JCC Maccabi Games and the 2004 Delegation Head for the Kaplen Team Palisades.

Michal Chernichovsky, Registrar

SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS

Drama School Staff Bios

SCHOOL OF DANCE

Dance School Staff Bios

SENIOR ADULT DEPARTMENT

Judi Nahary, Director
Judi graduated from Touro College with a BS in Psychology, Advertising and Communications. Prior to serving the adult community, Judi was the JCC’s Director of Youth Services, where she oversaw all programming from Kindergarten through college and after school, summer and educational programming.

Helene Schwartz, Program Coordinator
As program coordinator of the JCC Senior Activity Center, Helene supervises the daily activities of the program, working closely with seniors in our community. She also coordinates transportation for the participants. Helene has a BA and MSW from Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Prior to joining the JCC, she was a medical social worker for a voluntary hospital in NYC.

Freida Harris, REAP Program Supervisor
As the REAP program supervisor, Freida presents current event programs for the JCC Senior Activity Center (SAC), an upbeat and engaging program for active seniors, and oversees the kitchen, where she plans the lunch menus for the senior lunch program. She is also responsible for organizing and maintaining the JCC library. Freida Harris is a graduate of Brooklyn College with a B.A. in History and Political Science. She also has a M.A. in Library Science from Drexel University.

Marlene Ceragno, Program and Caregiver Services Coordinator of the Senior Activity Center
Marlene S Ceragno, MA, CPG, CDP, holds a Master’s in Gerontology and Management of Aging Services from the University of Massachusetts. She is a Dementia Care Practitioner and Credentialed Professional Gerontologist. She has worked in the JCC Senior Department for the past eight years. She is also known as the ‘Brief Babe’ in Bergen County for her vision in developing the Adult Care Brief Bank which collects and distributes adult absorbent products to those in need. In just a few years, she has helped collect over 85,000 items which have been distributed to low income seniors through Meals On Wheels, the Center for Food Action, Jewish Family Services and more.

Lisa Robins, Senior Nutrition Coordinator and County Liaison
Lisa joined the Senior Adult Department in 2003 as Program Coordinator and now serves as Senior Nutrition Coordinator and County Liaison. She returned to the JCC after establishing the Vibrant Living Program, “SPICE”, for Brightview Assisted Living. Lisa continues to also serve as the Director of Camp Dream Street, a summer camp program for children with cancer and blood disorders. She earned a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University.

Sal Pintavalle, Recreation Assistant for ARC
As a recreation assistant in the ARC program, Sal provides support and assistance to frail seniors. He is certified in the Montessori Approach to living with Dementia. He has volunteered at a drug and alcoholic program for women and infants and has worked in the medical field as a radiologic technologist in hospital and clinical settings for 18 years.

SPECIAL SERVICES

Shelley Levy, Director of the Guttenberg Center for Special Services
Shelley has over thirty years of professional experience working with children, teens and adults with special needs as well as curriculum design and program development. Bringing her a wealth of innovation and expertise to the JCC, Shelley has grown programming for people in our community with “special abilities” in all aspects of programming. She is also an adjunct instructor at several colleges and universities in the New York/Northern New Jersey area. Shelley is a graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York with both a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master of Science in Education of the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Communication Disorders.

Mindy Liebowitz, Coordinator
Mindy joined the Guttenberg Center in 2013 and is responsible for the administration and implementation of our Adult Habilitation Programs for individuals ages 21+. Mindy also coordinates the Guttenberg Center’s special events, including the annual Art for All Art Exhibition and Special Games field day. Mindy brings a unique perspective to the position, allowing her to relate to our families on a personal level. Mindy comes to us from TV Guide, where she worked for 18 years in advertising/marketing as VP/Associate Publisher, Marketing.

Colleen Lofaro, Camp Haverim Coordinator and Program Supervisor
For over 20 years, Colleen has been the Camp Haverim Coordinator as well as a head teacher and Program Coordinator for Sunday Programs for children and teens at the JCC. Colleen is a certified teacher’s assistant for the Ridgefield Board of Education.

Maria Engel
Maria Engel is the Head Program Manager for the JCC Adult Day Habilitation Program, and supervises the department’s monthly dances. She is an experienced EMT, spent 10 years in the Ridgefield school system and was a program manager at the Broadway Medical Center in Fair Lawn.

Esther Woletz, Admin

THERAPEUTIC NURSERY / CHILD SUCCESS CENTER

Lois Mendelson, PhD, Director of the Therapeutic Nursery & Child Success Center
Lois helped establish the Therapeutic Nursery program for bright preschool children with a variety of developmental difficulties, including language disorders, ADHD, high functioning autism, social and emotional challenges as well as selective mutism. The Therapeutic Nursery has earned national recognition for its ground-breaking social skills curriculum, its inclusion of parents in the treatment model and for its exceptional outcomes. Lois holds a Bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, a Master’s from Columbia University, and a Masters and PhD from NYU. Lois completed a five year clinical training program in child and adolescent studies at the Institute for Child, Adolescent and Family Studies (ICAFS), New York, NY. She also finished a two year training program in couples and family therapy at the same institute.

Anita Miller, MS, OTR, Assistant Director of the Therapeutic Nursery & Child Success Center
Anita joined the Therapeutic Nursery as a special education teacher; later became an Occupational Therapist and program coordinator and in 2009, was promoted to Assistant Director. She has a BS in Education from Illinois State University, a BA in Health Science and a MS in Occupational Therapy from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY. Anita has over twenty years working as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and thirty years in Early Childhood.

Lisa Bernholz-Balsam MS, CCC-SLP/A, Speech Pathologist and Audiologist
Lisa is an ASHA certified state-licensed speech and language pathologist and audiologist, specializing in the treatment of pediatric oral motor, speech, language, and auditory processing disorders. She earned her MS at the City University of New York- Brooklyn College, and has been with the JCC since 1998.

Lisa Corner, BS, Special Education Teacher
Lisa has been a Special Education Teacher at the Therapeutic Nursery since 2004. Prior to joining the JCC she was a teacher for the Autistic Program at the South Bergen Jointure Commission. She earned her BA from Montclair State University of NJ and her Special Education Teaching Certification through Felician College of NJ.

Gila Harary, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist
Gila is an ASHA certified NJ/NY licensed speech and language pathologist. She specializes in the treatment of speech, language, and pragmatic disorders in both the pediatric and adult populations. She earned her MS at Teachers College, Columbia University, and has been with the JCC’s Therapeutic Nursery since 2015.

Faye Katz-Graye, BFA, Teacher Assistant
Faye has a BFA from Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts, and is a teacher's assistant at the Therapeutic Nursery. Faye started at the JCC as an art specialist with Camp Dream Street and then as program coordinator. She later joined the Early Childhood staff as a teacher's assistant. She has served on the special services committee as well as teaching art for the Special Services Department’s On Our Own program.

Michelle H. Roth, MS, OTR, Occupational Therapist
Michelle earned a BA from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Science in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University. Prior to joining the staff, Michelle worked at several special education schools, early intervention centers and sensory integration clinics in Manhattan and New Jersey. Michelle has over twenty years working as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist.

Lisa Sternbach, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Social Worker
Lisa graduated from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services. As an Early Childhood Specialist, she works closely with children and their families at the Therapeutic Nursery, Early Childhood Department and Child Success Center. She served as a Parenting Center Coordinator at both the YJCC and the Kaplen JCC for many years.

THURNAUER SCHOOL OF MUSIC

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF:

Dorothy Kaplan Roffman, Founding Director
With over fifty years of teaching expertise specializing in the youngest violinists, Dorothy has a passionate commitment to each student as an individual and a strong sense of the positive influence an outstanding music school can have on the entire community. Having studied violin with Christine Dethier, Raphael Bronstein and Ivan Galamian, she holds a BA from the University of Rochester and the Eastman School of Music and an MA in Musicology from Columbia. She was a member of the American Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski and a member of the Music Department faculty at SUNY Stony Brook. Mrs. Roffman studied Suzuki pedagogy with Shinichi Suzuki in the United States and Japan and developed Suzuki programs at the Harlem School of the Arts, the Lighthouse School of Music, and at the Manhattan School of Music, where she was a faculty member for over thirty years. Her students have performed at Merkin Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, on Sesame Street and in Itzhak Perlman’s Fiddling for the Future, as seen on PBS. Ms. Roffman received an award for Distinguished Service from the New Jersey chapter of the American String Teachers Association. In 2013, she was a recipient of a Milestone Certificate of Appreciation from the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Dorothy’s former students and graduates from throughout the Thurnauer School are teaching and performing as soloists and in orchestras worldwide, spreading their love of music to people around the globe. She has been with the school since 1984.

Michael Reingold, Associate Director
Michael holds a Masters in Music from SUNY Stony Brook; a B.A. from Stanford; and also studied at the Indiana University School of Music. He studied French Horn with Betty Levine, Forrest Standley, and William Purvis and has performed in orchestras in the U.S., Asia, England, and with the Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra in Israel. Michael is a member of the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra; former staff and board member of Kinhaven Music Camp; founder of NYC House Concerts; and has advised Musicians from Marlboro and Fabbri Chamber Concerts. He teaches French Horn, musicianship and music appreciation. He has been with the school since 1993.

Emma Brondolo, Artistic Director of the Young People's Chorus @ Thurnauer
Emma Brondolo is the artistic director of the Young People's Chorus at Thurnauer, director of the early childhood music program, and a voice teacher at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music, as well as a satellite conductor with the Young People's Chorus of New York City. Ms. Brondolo has participated with the Young People's Chorus of New York City for the past 20 years, where she studied with artistic director and founder Francisco Núñez. As a member of the Young People's Chorus of New York City, Ms. Brondolo traveled and competed in multiple choral competitions and festivals throughout the world. Ms. Brondolo received her bachelor's degree in music education (vocal emphasis) from the Hartt School of Music, The University of Hartford, where she studied with the late Fritz Moses. After completing her degree, Ms. Brondolo taught music at Sage Park Middle School and Intensive Education Academy, a school for students with special needs. In the summers, Ms. Brondolo has worked as a music teacher at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in New York City. Ms. Brondolo graduated from St. John's University with a dual master's degree in special education and general education. She is completing her four-year Kodály certification at Westminster Choir College.

Daniel Jatovsky, Financial Manager
Daniel has an MFA in Film from New York University and a BA in Communications from University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating from NYU, he worked in the film industry for over 30 years, including ownership of David Gordon Productions, a video production company. Among his work as producer, editor, and director are many documentaries on jazz, including Trumpet Kings with Wynton Marsalis, Piano Legends with Chick Corea, and Women in Jazz with Marian McPartland, as well as a documentary on immigrant musicians, The Spirit Travels with Linda Ronstadt. In addition to his experience as a business owner, Daniel has worked in the financial services industries as a Division Leader for Primerica Financial Services, helping protect families with insurance and planning for their futures through investments. Daniel is also an adjunct professor at several community colleges, teaching courses in English composition, film, and mass communication. As an alum of the Manhattan School of Music prep division, he has always recognized the vital role music plays in education and is delighted to be helping the Thurnauer School of Music thrive and grow.

Renata Kapilevich, Artistic Coordinator of the Young People’s Chorus @ Thurnauer
Renata received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance Cum Laude from Westminster Choir College and a Masters in Music in Vocal Pedagogy from Boston Conservatory. As an educator and grant writer, she has worked for leading non-profit organizations which inspire students through modern, cross-disciplinary approaches in music and literacy, including the Opportunity Music Project and Young Eisner Scholars. Accomplished in choir and chamber work, Ms. Kapilevich brings versatility of experience in performance and has sung with world-renowned orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Berliner Philharmoniker led by Sir Simon Rattle. As a soprano soloist, Ms. Kapilevich performed scenes from Mozart’s opera, Così fan Tutte, as Despina and debuted in Jeffrey Madry’s opera, Gin & Ginger, playing the role of Anne. Paying homage to her Russian heritage, Ms. Kapilevich participated in Opera Slavica, under the tutelage of William Hobbs, playing the role of Gemma in Tchaikovsky’s Maddalena.

Robyn Searles, Scheduling Director
Robyn joined the music school staff in 2011. She earned her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo: M.S. in Early Childhood Education and B.S. in Elementary Education (summa cum laude). Born and raised in Brooklyn, Robyn lived in Chicago for 30 years, where she worked primarily for institutions of higher education. At the University of Chicago, she managed administrative and financial operations for the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at the Booth School of Business, providing support for student/alumni programs and special events. Previously, she served as director of development at Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies and a donor relations manager at both the University of Chicago Medical Center and Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, also in Chicago. Relocating to northern New Jersey, she worked for the Holocaust Council of MetroWest, an agency of the United Jewish Communities of New Jersey, where she provided administrative support for the council’s public programs and coordinated the activities of the Council’s volunteers.

For a comprehensive list of music school staff bios visit the Thurnauer School of Music, Faculty Page

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Sherin Thankachan, Assistant Fitness Director
As Assistant Fitness Director, Sherin develops and implements new programs and oversees the overall management of the Sadinoff Fitness Center and the Seiden Wellness Center. She also serves as a liaison with new members. After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Health Science and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Sherin became a certified personal trainer. She works with a wide variety of populations, including rehab, injury prevention, strength and conditioning, weight loss and functional training. Utilizing her extensive expertise in physiology, she developed a special program, Stretch Your Pain Away, that has helped clients recover their quality of life. Sherin has been part of the Health and Recreation team since 2016.

Kimani Greene, Fitness Center Coordinator
Kimani is an ACE (American Council of Exercise) certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor with extensive expertise. Kimani has been with the JCC since 2002 and is a popular, knowledgeable and highly-sought after trainer, known for his safe, high energy workouts that help his clients achieve the results they are seeking.

Yenny Franco, Spa Director
Yenny graduated from Englewood Academy and is a certified clinical massage therapist. She is fully-licensed in both New Jersey New York. She has partnered with numerous chiropractors and physical therapists in the metropolitan area, where she specialized in Swedish, deep tissue and hot stone massage; prenatal massage, Shiatsu, and therapeutic massage for people with Parkinson’s disease or those who have suffered a stroke.

Hagit Tal, Group Exercise Director
As director, Hagit oversees the supervision and management of the entire Group Exercise program, including 88 complimentary and fee-for-services classes. She has worked at the JCC for four years and continues to be one of the most popular Group Exercise instructors.

Keri Thoren, Youth Director
Keri oversees and manages all aspects of the athletics department. In her role she manages the children’s programming for ages 16 months -17 years old which includes basketball, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, tae kwon do, multi-sport, specialty summer camps, and more. She also oversees the Ben Bergen Youth Fitness Center and Youth fitness personal training. Keri has extensive experience in working with children of varying ages and abilities. She holds a Bachelors degree of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Tampa. Keri has been part of the Health and Recreation team since 2008.

Kathleen Costantini, Aquatics Program Director
As Aquatics Program Director, Kathleen assists in overseeing and managing all aspects of the Aquatics Department. She is a certified Water Safety Instructor, Lifeguard instructor, and Pool Operator. She began working for the JCC in 2011, became the Assistant Aquatics Director in 2012 and Aquatics Program Director in 2014. Kathleen holds a BA from Fordham University and a MA from Gothenburg University.

Juya Cho, Swim Team Head Coach
Juya holds an (ASCA) American Swimming Coaches Association Level 3 coaching certification and as a junior competitor received 5 gold medals for the Korean Junior National Team after which she held the #1 ranking in her age group. She has been teaching swimming for 20 years and has coached the JCC swim team for 6 years. She is a certified water safety instructor and CPR/AED for the professional rescuer.

Akeem Clayton, Athletics Coach

YOUTH PROGRAMMING

Aaron Atlas, Youth and Camping Engagement Director
Aaron holds a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University and a Master of Social Work from Indiana University. He also completed coursework for the Child Development Associate Credential. Before joining the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, Aaron worked at the Indianapolis JCC for over two decades, where he oversaw a large after-school care program, family programming, children’s overnight and enrichment classes, toddler playgroups, parent and staff training programs, and agency-wide events. In addition, he supervised traditional day camp and specialty camps for preschool - 8th grade and served three years as Associate Director of Early Childhood Education.