Jeff Rembrandt - Executive Director
Jeff grew up in Cleveland Ohio. He received his BA in Rhetoric from Kent State University and an MSW from The University of Cincinnati, with a concentration in Non-Profit Administration.
His professional, non-profit experience has primarily been in Jewish Community Centers in Ohio, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, and as the Regional Director for Women’s American ORT.
Jeff joined The Community Synagogue staff in 2017 as our Executive Director and is proud to be part of the team that keeps our Reform Synagogue growing and thriving. His office door is always open and he is looking forward to meeting everyone. He would love to have you stop by and say hello when you are in the building.
Jeff lives in Port Washington with his wife, Rabbi Rachel Rembrandt, and their two cats. They are the proud parents of 3 grown children; Jason who lives in Springfield MA, Micah who lives in Brooklyn, and Hannah in Greeley, Colorado.
Jean Gatz - Assistant to the Clergy
516-883-3144 Ext. 328 [email protected]
Jean grew up in Woodhaven, New York. She lived in Phoenix, Arizona for four years where she enjoyed hiking the mountains and walking the trails. Since returning to New York, she provided Administrative support at corporate accounting firms in NYC and for the past six years she worked for a Long Island based Special Education software firm.
Jean feels blessed in her current position as the Assistant to the Clergy and enjoys providing for all of the clergy’s daily needs, as well as assisting the congregants with any questions or needs they may have. Jean also feels fortunate to be considered a member of the entire office and synagogue staff and is a strong believer in teamwork.
When not working she enjoys reading, ancient history, astronomy, and is an avid animal lover. She lives in Merrick with her partner Andrea.
Annette Rosalia - Office Manager
516-883-3144 Ext. 322 [email protected]
Nancy Tejo - Director of Communications
516-883-3144 Ext. 343 [email protected]
Nancy grew up on Long Island and received a BA in Biology from Hofstra University. She joined The Community Synagogue staff in 2013, and manages the website, social media, email communications, edits/designs the bi-monthly bulletin, Connections, and more. She brings her experience as Director of Business Development for the non-profit sector and is an entrepreneur, continuing to manage several small businesses which she is passionate about. She lives in Merrick, where she raised her three children and enjoys exercising, spending time at the beach, quilting, gardening and writing.
Lucie Vital - Administrative Assistant
516-883-3144 Ext. 310 [email protected]
Lucie grew up in Queens Village, New York. She has an administrative background which spans over 15 years within industries such as: media, property management, and hospitality. With an upbeat personality, and a can-do attitude Lucie is a perfect addition to our loving community. She enjoys learning about Judaism, reading, volunteering, and is a tremendous animal lover. She is very excited to be a part of our community, and looks forward to many years with us.
Phyllis Zuckerbrot - Controller
516-883-3144 Ext. 312 [email protected]
Phyllis Zuckerbrot has joined our staff as the controller here at Community Synagogue after 20 years in commercial business. She lives in Valley Stream, NY where she raised her two grown sons. She is an active member of Temple Am Echad in Lynbrook, where she has held various positions including, Sisterhood Vice President, Social Action co-chair and Youth Committee chairperson. Phyllis looks forward to many years serving the Community Synagogue family.
Religious School and Youth Staff
Shari Isserles - Director of Education
Shari Isserles has served as the Director of Education at The Community Synagogue for the past 14 years. She received her Masters of Religious Education (M.A.R.E.) degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion after doing her undergraduate studies at Boston University. Before joining our staff, she served as RS Director at Temple Beth David of Commack.
Shari has extensive experience in Jewish educational leadership, educational development and engagement. She has a breadth of experience with kids of all ages from our youngest learners to our adult learners. Shari strives to keep our synagogue on the cutting edge of Jewish education and has brought many innovative programs to our learners, including the FLAME (Family Learning & Mitzvah Education) Program, Hebrew Through Movement, Parent/Child cooking workshops and various Tikkun Olam projects. In addition to her congregational work, Shari serves as a Board Member of the Association for Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE).
Shari has always had a strong connection to Jewish camping. She grew up as a camper and later spent many summers as a staff member at the URJ Eisner Camp. She continues to spend time at camp as a member of the faculty where her son is now a 3rd generation camper.
Shari, her husband Paul and son Michael live here in Port Washington. Outside of her professional life, Shari most enjoys spending time with family and friends. She also loves chocolate, the NY Mets and binge watching episodes of The West Wing.
Susan Freire - Education Office Manager
516-883-3144 Ext. 316 [email protected]
Sue Freire was promoted to Education Office Manager after serving nine years as Administrative Assistant of both our Early Childhood Center and Religious School. Before coming to The Community Synagogue Sue worked as the administrator of another faith-based preschool. Sue always has a smile and is always willing to help you with all of your Early Childhood Center and Religious School questions and needs.
Orly Danialian - Assistant Director of Religious Education
Orly grew up in Israel and served in the IDF for two years. She came to the United States in 1995 where she met her husband and currently lives on Long Island with her husband and three kids. She has been a part of The Communtiy Synagogue family since 2004 where she started as a Religious School teacher. She currenty helps to manage the Religious School by working closely with teachers, parents and students. Orly loves to get involved creating new and exciting curriculum and special programs.Her creativity and energy helps make our school a vibrant learning community for all.
Allison Merims - Youth Coordinator
Allison Merims grew up in Cary, North Carolina. She graduated with a BS in Criminal Justice in 2016 and chose to pursue her passion for helping others and engaging Jewish youth. Allison worked at URJ 6 Points Sports Academy NC for three summers and was honored to be chosen as a Cornerstone Fellow her third summer. While working in Northern Virginia, Allison jump started the local JCC Maccabi Games® delegation and tripled the delegation’s participation numbers in less than one year. She has also spent many years working with NFTY to engage Jewish teens at the local, regional, and national levels through youth group events, overnight retreats, and at the AIPAC High School Summit. Allison credits her experiences at summer camp and in youth group for leading her towards becoming a Jewish professional.
Allison is excited to join the Community Synagogue and hopes to continue the growth of POWTY. To Allison, youth and teen programming should be educational, energizing, and engaging. Through POWTY programming, Allison hopes to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for the youth of Port Washington while demonstrating how different aspects of life can be viewed through a Jewish lens and applied to one’s Jewish identity.
When not planning, or attending, youth programming, Allison loves baking, singing, learning new chords on the guitar, and sports. If you ever want to talk the latest sports news, the newest Broadway show, or programming ideas for the youth and teens of our community, please stop by Allison’s office. She looks forward to meeting you!
Lindsay Ganci - Associate Director of Education
516-883-3144 Ext. 330 [email protected]
Lindsay grew up in Westchester, New York. She received her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Muhlenberg College, and then attended Teachers College, Columbia University, where she received a Masters degree in English Education. Lindsay has also earned a Certificate in Jewish Education Specializing in Adolescents and Emerging Adults from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2017 Lindsay was selected to be one of 24 fellows of the UJA-Federation's Ruskay Institute for Jewish professional leaders. In 2016, Lindsay was selected to be a participant in the Paideia Paradigm Program with Jewish professionals from the US, Europe and Israel. In 2015, Lindsay was a recipient of The Jewish Education Project Young Pioneers Award, and has published articles in the URJ's Journal For Youth Engagement.
In her first 8 years at The Community Synagogue, Lindsay created the thriving program that POWTY is today, engaging more than 250 youth and teen participants in our POWTY Youth Programs each year. In her role as Associate Director of Education, Lindsay develops, implements and oversees the educational programming for 7-12th graders at The Community Synagogue. She also directs the Mindful Leadership Institute, an exciting, all new program designed for Jewish young adults ages 18-25.
Lindsay truly loves working with the wonderful families of The Community Synagogue, and developing strong relationships with the members of our congregational family.
Lindsay lives in Port Washington with her husband Alec, her daughter Ruby and their dog, Latke.
Early Childhood Center
Ellen Cohen - Interim Director of the Early Childhood Center
Ellen helps our school run smoothly by working with students, parents and teachers. She helps plan many of the special events for the school, and she runs our Tzedakah Projects. Although usually busy in the office, Ellen can often be found filling in for classes of all ages.
Gail Tuthill - Interim Director of the Early Childhood Center
Gail comes to us from the Roslyn Public Schools where she has spent the last 32 years serving as a Kindergarten and Pre-K teacher. Gail is passionate about Early Childhood Education and strives to create programs that are developmentally appropriate and child centered. During her tenure in Roslyn, she developed classroom curriculum, organized and facilitated workshops for both teachers and parents, served as a mentor to new teachers, and was an active member of numerous school wide and district committees. She has written and received several grants for educational materials and was honored to be the recipient of the prestigious New York State PTA Jenkins Award, commonly referred to as “Teacher of the Year.”
Gail attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Campus, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Reading from Long Island University, CW Post Campus. In addition, Gail has taken over 1000 hours of Professional Development training in areas that include the mainstreaming of children with special needs, allergy awareness, health and safety, mindfulness, and classroom management.
Gail is a former ECC mom who resides in Port Washington with her partner, Scott, and her son, Matthew. She loves to spend time with her friends and family and can often be found walking her dog, Hazel, or running through town as part of her CrossFit training. Gail is thrilled to join the ECC team and looks forward to making sacred connections with the Community Synagogue family.
Jen Schiffer - Assistant Director of the Early Childhood Center
Jen Schiffer grew up in Montclair, New Jersey. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, and received her master’s degree in 2007 from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, Culture, and Human Development. After graduation, Jen taught in NYC, New Jersey, Syosset and at Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens. Since moving to Port Washington, Jen has worked at Gan Shalom Nursery School in Plandome, NY. In her tenure there, Jen wore many hats - teaching 2s and the Come Play With Me (non-separation) classes, children’s yoga, as well as leading Shabbat and High Holiday educational programs. Jen is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Jen is passionate about Jewish education and strives to create meaningful experiences and learning opportunities for children of all ages. She is thrilled to bring her years of experience in leadership and teaching to her role as Assistant Director of the ECC. Jen and her husband Michael live in Port Washington, NY with their two sons, Jonah and Nathan.
Ted Dzyr - Facilities Manager
516-883-3144 Ext. 313 [email protected]
Henry Rosales - Assistant Facilities Manager
516-883-3144 Ext. 348 [email protected]