Staff Bios


Administrative Departments

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

Program Departments

Adult Services
Early Childhood
The Israeli Center
Neil Klatskin Summer Camps and Family Engagement
School of Performing Arts
School of Dance
Senior Adult Department
Special Services
Thurnauer School of Music
Health and Wellness


ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENTS


EXECUTIVE STAFF & ADMINISTRATION

Jordan Shenker, Chief Executive Officer
For 25 years, Jordan 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 JCCs, 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 JCCs in Houston, Texas and Portland, Oregon.

Miriam Chilton, Chief Operating Officer
Miriam joins the Kaplen JCC after spending 15 years at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), where she served as the Vice President of Youth. Miriam was instrumental in developing the mission, strategic goals, financial and operational oversight, and collaborating with and guiding her team to provide transformational experiences that enabled youth to strengthen their Jewish identity and their commitment to Jewish learning and justice both at home and abroad. Prior to her time at the URJ. Miriam worked for Time, Inc. and Swiss Bank Corporation in operational, financial and information technology roles. Miriam received a MS in Information Systems and an MBA from Boston University. Miriam and her husband live in Montclair, NJ and are active members of Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, NJ. Miriam enjoys listening to her husband play harmonica in various bands, playing tennis (questionably well), hiking and enjoying the blessings of life.

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.

Mirta Quintana, Office Coordinator
Mirta has been the JCC Office Coordinator for over 18 years. In addition to assisting the COO as her main responsibility, Mirta also assists the Accounting Department, Programs, 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.

Abbe Duke, Accounts Payable Specialist, Class Registrar
Abbe joined the accounting department at the JCC in 2017. She has over 15 years accounting experience and has worked the majority of her career at BNY Mellon, and JPMorgan Chase. In her free time she enjoys working on home improvement projects, going to concerts, reading, spending time with family and friends, and playing with her dog Lucy. Abbe holds an A.A.S. from Queensborough Community College.

Joy Goldsmith, Payroll & Benefits Administrator
In her most current role at the JCC, Joy is responsible for managing the payroll and benefits function for all JCC employees, including liaising with all related vendors and completing numerous reporting requirements. Prior to this role, Joy has performed a variety of functions in the Accounting department, including Billing and Receivables, 403 B management, Endowment processing and other functions. She also served as a member of the staff Professional Development team. Prior to joining the JCC, Joy held a number of professional positions over a 16 year career at MasterCard International. Joy holds a BA in Economics and an MBA in Finance.

Cathy Shepard, Manager, Accounts Receivable
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. Prior to joining the JCC Accounting office, Cathy worked in financial analysis and budgeting roles in the pharmaceutical/medical device industry and state government.

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 Shop/Mailroom Coordinator
Part of the JCC family for more than 20 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.

DEVELOPMENT & SPECIAL EVENTS

Alison Kenny, Development Director
Alison Holzberg Kenny has worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than twenty years. She built her career at Weill Cornell Medical Center where she held a leadership role and raised more than $20 million annually for the Division of General Medicine and a Masters Program in Clinical Epidemiology through NIH funding, private foundation funding as well as individual contributions. In addition, Alison was selected to help establish Weill Cornell’s first ever Center for Integrative Medicine where she was instrumental in raising critical dollars to successfully launch the center including securing its seed gift of $2 million. Through these efforts, Alison worked with key donors, a Board of Oversees and led many special events to create awareness and engagement of the entire community and beyond. She was born and raised in Demarest and spent her childhood years at the JCC. Alison is thrilled to combine her professional experience with her personal connection to the JCC in an effort to raise meaningful and essential funds for a community that is very dear to her heart.

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.

Liz Iannaconi, Development Associate
Liz joins us with extensive experience in fundraising and development in the nonprofit sector, including database and donor management, government and foundation grant writing and reporting, corporate sponsorship support, and marketing and outreach initiatives to increase donor visibility, engagement and satisfaction. Previously, she worked as Development Associate, Grant Writer at Bergen Performing Arts Center (Englewood, NJ) and Officer Manager at Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company (Fort Lee, NJ). Liz has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Franklin & Marshall College (Lancaster, PA).

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 took a lead roll in two major updates to the JCC website. Keith also resolves staff related IT issues. Keith has over 28 years of experience in the computer field, the last 20 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 since his early teens. When not at work Keith enjoys playing the piano, tennis, biking, bowling and spending time with friends and family.

Marina Medovoy, Application Support Analyst

MARKETING

Rebecca Seeman, Creative Director
As the Creative Director, Rebecca works with all JCC departments strategically 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, son 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 Director
As a marketing director, Sharon develops and executes multi-channel marketing strategies for the JCC adult department, senior services department, Guttenberg Center for Special Services, the Israeli Center and is marketing liaison to the IAC New Jersey. As a social media and digital marketing expert, Sharon 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.

Rebecca Rafelson, Marketing Director
Rebecca is responsible for the marketing strategy for early childhood, camp, and school-age programming. Rebecca has dedicated her career to the Jewish non-profit field, working to advance women, healthcare, Israel, and education. Prior to joining the JCC on the Palisades, she oversaw national branding and communications for Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. Previously, she worked in Development for Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and headed the young donor program for Hadassah International Medical Relief Organization. A global nomad, Rebecca has lived on 5 continents, but her favorite home was in Israel! When not mommying her two toddlers, she serves on the Board of the National Organization for Women, NYC, and she is a certified yoga teacher. Rebecca holds a B.A. in Sociology, Journalism, and Women and Gender Studies from Brandeis University

Carol A. Schulter, Marketing Director
Carol brings more than 25 years of experience in the field of marketing and corporate communications, including owning her own firm, CAS Graphics & Communications for five years. Carol has worked at the JCC since 2000 and enjoys the exciting atmosphere of a dynamic community center with many moving parts and serving a multitude of populations. Her current responsibilities include partnering with development and special events, adult health and wellness programming, membership and overseeing institutional marketing. Carol embraces change and is driven by consensus building initiatives. She is also involved in community outreach, 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, with prior leadership roles in the Tenafly NJ Chamber of Commerce and Tenafly Educational Foundation and Hillel International. Prior to joining the JCC, she held positions at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, The American Cancer Society, UJA-Federation of NY, Hadassah, the 92nd Street Y and Paine Webber.

MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

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.


PROGRAM DEPARTMENTS


ADULT SERVICES

Esther Mazor, Director
Esther oversees all offerings for adults at the JCC and directly supervises staff in the Adult Department. Esther has been a committed member of the JCC staff for 30 years, beginning her career in the Senior Adult Department. She later became Singles Director, where she was 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 launched and continues to run JCC University, a program that features top professors and experts at the forefront of their fields. In addition, she expanded the adult department’s offerings with book events such as the very successful Sunday of Strong Women program. In addition, she leads cultural day trips. Kathy has 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

THE ISRAELI CENTER

Galit Goldberg, Israeli Center Director
Galit holds a BA in Education and a teaching certificate from the Kibbutzim College, and has over 10 years’ experience teaching in democratic and community schools in Israel. Over the past decade, she has developed and led numerous educational and community programs that have served a wide range of age groups for the Israeli community in Bergen County. As Israel Center Director, Galit appreciates the opportunity to strengthen and expand the services that the JCC offers to the Israeli and local community. She is proud to work with a professional and talented team that shares her passion for building and serving the Israeli community.

Adi Levy, EMEK Program Director
Galit holds a BA in Education and a teaching certificate from the Kibbutzim College, and has over 10 years’ experience teaching in democratic and community schools in Israel. Over the past decade, she has developed and led numerous educational and community programs that have served a wide range of age groups for the Israeli community in Bergen County. As Israel Center Director, Galit appreciates the opportunity to strengthen and expand the services that the JCC offers to the Israeli and local community. She is proud to work with a professional and talented team that shares her passion for building and serving the Israeli community.

Mor Gil Hefetz, Israeli Center and EMEK Administrative Assistant and Program Coordinator
Mor arrived in New York from Israel 20 years ago. She holds a BA in Business Administration and MBA in Accounting from Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College. Mor worked as a Team Leader for KPMG and more recently has been an active volunteer in the community, serving as treasurer of the Closter PTO and an active member of the Closter Improvement Committee. Mor is happy to be part of the Israeli Center and looks forward to continuing her work serving the Israeli and local community for the JCC.

Shira Zandani, Israeli Summer Camps Programs, Mamanet at the JCC and “You Have Reached Your Destination” Programs Coordinator
Shira holds a BA and MBA in Behavioral Sciences, both with a specialization in Human Resources. In Israel, Shira was a Human Resource Manager for numerous high-tech companies for 17 years. She joined the Israeli Center in the fall of 2018 as Coordinator of the New Jersey Mamanet League at the JCC. In the spring of 2019, Shira took on the role of Israeli Camps Coordinator as well as Coordinator of the Family Hosts program. Shira’s responsibilities include welcoming summer Shlichim and supporting community families hosting camp counselors from Israel. Shira is excited to be part of the Israeli Center and to bring the Israeli life and culture to the JCC.

Lital Grundland-Madar, Family Program Coordinator and Coordinator of Israeli & Jewish Cultural Programs
Lital Holds a M.Sc. in Social Studies & Political Sciences and a Teacher’s Certificate from the Ben-Gurion University and has extensive experience working with a wide range of ages – from new-born to college students. Tutoring Social Studies at the Open University of Israel, Teaching (with great pleasure) Civics & History at mid & high school levels and establishing and managing a pre-school complex, implementing progressive education concepts. Lital also worked as an elementary teacher and educator, while initiating and leading multiple education programs focusing on the environment, community and young leadership. Lital moved to Tenafly three and a half years ago together with her husband and three kids, Matan, Rotem and Netta. In the U.S. Lital has started her second year at ‘EMEK’ as a teacher for higher grades and as a moderator of the ‘Bnei Mitzvah’ program. She recently joined the Israeli center as the Family Programs Coordinator and ‘Start-Up Nation’ Summer Camp Director.

Gaby Haran Wilner, EMEK Administrator
Gaby holds a Bachelor's degree in Special Education and Sociology, from Tel-Aviv University and a Masters degree in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from Tel-Aviv University. She brings with her over ten years of experience working with social organizations in Israel and the U.S. Prior to joining us at the Israeli Center, she managed IMPACT - a scholarship program for combat soldiers from low socio-economic backgrounds. Gaby is very excited to join the Israeli Center team at the JCC, to contribute from her experience to developing communities programs in the center - home away from home!

NEIL KLATSKIN SUMMER CAMPS AND FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

Aaron Atlas, Youth and Camping Engagement Director
Aaron began at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in January 2017, where he oversees all aspects of Neil Klatskin Summer Camps, year round after school engagement programs, and family opportunities at the JCC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University and a Master of Social Work from Indiana University. Before joining the JCC, Aaron worked at the Indianapolis JCC from 1994-2016 where he oversaw traditional day and specialty camps, 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 served three years as Associate Director of Early Childhood Education. Aaron lives in Cliffside Park with his wife, young son, Leo, and senior dog, Koufax.

Leron Bensoussan, Camp Program Manager
Leron, born and raised in Tenafly, NJ is a proud alum and staff of The Neil Klatskin Summer Camps. Leron studied psychology at both Bar Ilan University and NYU. Before taking on a position at NKDC in 2017, Leron was working as a behaviorist, implementing therapeutic services to children on the spectrum in both school and home settings. Leron started as a seasonal staff member in Summer 2017 as a Unit Head for Kadima and knew right away that The J and NKDC was where she wanted to be all year long. Since then, Leron stayed on board as a fulltime staff person and has worked as the Director of the Children's Dept, Program Director of Kadima and now holds the title of Camp Program Manager. Leron’s duties include year round family and staff engagement, staff hiring and managing both year round programs and NKDC.

Simeon Pearlstein, Afterschool Programs & Camp Logistics Manager
Simeon is thrilled to be a part of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades team since 2013. As Afterschool Programs and Camp Logistics Manager, Simeon oversees the school age afterschool programs as well as organizes the logistics of the JCC camps. He comes with over 20 years of experience in the Jewish youth and camping world having worked for organizations such as BBYO Inc., JCC Rockland and Suffolk Y JCC where he held roles in programming, youth and camping. With BBYO, one of his many roles was leadership staff for multiple summer programs in North Carolina and Wisconsin for Jewish teens across the country. At JCC Rockland and Suffolk Y JCC, Simeon held senior staff roles in camping and youth departments developing their summer programs, teen leadership initiatives and afterschool programs. Simeon attended The State University at Albany earning a BA in political science and lives in Mahwah with his wife and two sons who love going to camp with their dad!

Melissa Peters, Operations Director, Family & Youth Engagement
Melissa has been a member of the Neil Klatskin Day Camp team since 1998. She began her service as the Transportation Coordinator, then as 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.

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 150,000 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, ARC Program Supervisor
Sal was promoted to supervisor after working in the ARC Program at the JCC as an Assistant Recreation Therapist for five years. He received certification after completing training in the Montessori Approach to living with Dementia. He also received certification as a Dementia Care Practitioner from the National Council of Dementia Care Practitioner. He has an A.A.S in Accounting and an A.A.S in Radiation Science. He previously worked in the medical field, as a Radiologic Technologist for 18 years. He has been a volunteer at a drug and alcoholic program for women and infants.

Sarah Feinmark, Club Supervisor and Program Coordinator
Sarah joined the senior program after many years of teaching in the JCC Drama Department. With her background as a teaching artist, Sarah brings a fresh approach to reclaiming the joy in the aging process. She creates and runs the daily programming for Club members, keeping the themes of music, drama, and art at the forefront. Sarah is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, with a major in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine; she minored in theater, receiving an arts certificate from the University as well as a vocal performance minor from Peabody Conservatory of Music. She then went on to train at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City, completing a postgraduate certificate in theater arts.

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.

Dania Lauer, Life Skills Development Center Coordinator and Inclusion Coordinator
Dania comes to the JCC as our Life Skills Development Center Coordinator where she oversees our Circle of Friends Social Group Program and our JCC Inclusion Facilitator working across all departments to provide appropriate supports for program participants, most specifically at camp. Dania has a graduate degree in Social Work from Fordham University and has worked as a Job and Life Skills Coach, Facilitator of Inclusive Social Groups for children and teens and a Clinical Research Coordinator at Columbia University Medical Center.

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, Head Program Manager
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, Administrative Assistant
Esther has worked for the Guttenberg Center for over 15 years. She manages all aspects of registration and billing for children and teen programming, and oversees the day-to-day operations of Camp Haverim and oversees the LIFE Group. She has a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s of Science. Prior to joining the JCC, Esther worked in the banking profession as an IT manager for over 15 years.

Jackie Varona, Administrative Assistant
Jackie joined the Guttenberg Center in January 2017 and assists with all administrative aspects of the department including children, teen, and adult programming as well as Camp Haverim. She has a Bachelor’s in Economics, and prior to joining the JCC, Jackie had worked in the financial industry for over 20 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 Reingold has played a vital role in the administration and development of Thurnauer for more than 26 years. In addition to his role as Associate Director, Michael teaches musicianship, French horn, and music appreciation and was the recipient of the JCC’s 2010 Staff Recognition award. Michael has a Masters in Music from SUNY Stony Brook, a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and was a visiting student at Indiana University School of Music. He studied horn with Betty Levine, Forrest Standley, and William Purvis. Michael is also active as a producer, performer and consultant. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of NYC House Concerts, which has presented close to 500 intimate concerts in New York and New Jersey since 2005, featuring New York’s leading ensembles and recitalists. Michael has performed with orchestras in the US, England, Israel and Asia and is a long-time member of the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. He was on the staff of the Kinhaven Music School for 17 summers and is a former member of its Board. He has been an advisor to several chamber music series in Manhattan, including Musicians from Marlboro, Fabbri Chamber Concerts and Music Mondays.

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.

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

Raychel Reilly, Chief Health & Wellness Officer
An experienced leader in the JCC field, Raychel has served several of the largest JCCs in the country. Most recently, she was the General Manager of Health & Wellness at the Merage JCC of Orange County, California, where she revitalized departmental programming and revenue. She joined our team at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades during the epic quarantine of 2020 and continues to provide ongoing development and supervision to all health and wellness departments. Raychel holds an M.Ed. in Athletic Administration and Physical Education, along with various fitness and teaching certifications. Born and raised in Bergen County, Raychel learned to swim, alongside her triplet sister and brother, at the former YM-YWHA. She and her husband, John, are thrilled to be back by their families and her beloved NY Jets. He’s a Pats fan… for now!

Hagit Tal, Group Exercise Director
As director, Hagit oversees the supervision and management of the entire Group Exercise program, including virtual, live indoor and outdoor complimentary classes for members and fee-for-service classes such as the Pilates apparatus program. She has worked at the JCC since 2011 and continues to be one of the most popular group exercise instructors. Hagit is an AFAA certified Personal Trainer and Mad Dog Athletics Spinning instructor.

Keri Thoren, Athletics Director
Keri oversees and manages all aspects of the athletics department. She manages the children’s programming for ages 16 months to 17-year-old teens, which includes basketball, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, tae kwon do, multi-sport, specialty summer camps, and more. Keri 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 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 an 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.