Beth Blackman

Executive Director

Beth joined Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel as executive director in June 2019. In this role, Beth oversees all daily operations of TSTI, while working to ensure every congregant’s experience is both personal and special. She is committed to Judaism, community and synagogue life and brings that to her work at TSTI every day.

Prior TSTI, Beth was the administrator at Temple Beth Or in the Township of Washington in Bergen County, where, as a long-time member, she’d also served as temple president from 2004-2006.

Beth likes to spend her free time outside, preferably on a beach.

Mindy Schreff

Director of the Linda and Rudy Slucker Religious School

Mindy has been our Religious School Director since 2011, and has worked in the field of Jewish Education since 1997.  In addition to a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MS from Polytechnic University, she has completed training in Holocaust education, Family Programming, Social Action and Social-Emotional Learning. Mindy was a mentor in Moreh with Mentors from 2004-2010 and is the 2009 recipient of the Hoffman/Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Mindy has co-chaired the Principal’s Forum of Greater Metrowest and was a participant in the Matan Institute for Directors, an initiative to guide congregational schools in meeting the needs of students with learning differences.

Mindy strives to support her educational staff so they in turn can guide all of our students to make deeply personal and meaningful  connections to Judaism. Mindy continues to grow and learn, taking advantage of as many learning opportunities as are available so that our educational community continues to thrive.

When she’s not at work, Mindy can be found creating things with yarn, taking photographs, baking or reading, or playing with Gus, her dog.

Carol Paster

Carol Paster

Director of the Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education

Carol has been TSTI’s Preschool Director for more than 25 years, after teaching for 7 years in their early childhood and kindergarten programs. Carol teaches kindergarten in TSTI’s Religious School, as well.

In her free time, you can find Carol “making sawdust” in her basement wood shop.

Jennie Rubin

Jennie Rubin

Assistant Director of the Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education

Jennie joined the Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education in 2021. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and is NJ State certified in both Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Prior to joining TSTI, Jennie spent over 16 years as the Director of Early Childhood Education at another synagogue based early learning center, providing leadership for both private Judaic and public school district classrooms. Jennie is a past President of Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ) served on the North American Board of the Union for Reform Judaism and the ECE-RJ representative to the Reform Pay Equity Initiative.

When not at work, Jennie can be found reading a good book, hiking with friends or binge watching television.

Tracy Horwitz

Tracy Horwitz, LSW

Program Director

Tracy grew up in the TSTI congregation! She has also spent most of her career working here. Tracy started her career in the field of Jewish communal service at JCC-MetroWest, but left to become the TSTI Program Director in 2001. As the Temple’s Program Director, Tracy interacts with the entire congregation, from preschool children to senior adults and everyone in between. Tracy ensures that TSTI programming is diverse and interactive, and fits the needs of our dynamic congregation.

A licensed social worker, Tracy also develops support groups and mental health programs for all ages. Tracy earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Syracuse University, Newhouse School, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Jewish Communal Certificate from Yeshiva University.

In her free time she enjoys hiking, traveling, watching college sports and hanging out with her dog and the rest of her family.

Jodi Rotondo

Jodi Rotondo

Communications Director & Assistant to the Senior Rabbi

Jodi oversees the internal and external communications for the temple, including social media, e-blasts, advertising, and printed materials, and is the assistant to the Senior Rabbi. She has spent over 25 years in marketing and advertising, mainly for Broadway shows and theatrical releases, and even dabbled in web design and computer coding.

When not at her computer, Jodi is trying to keep up with two teenage daughters.

Alicia Karlberg

Alicia Karlberg

Membership Manager

Having grown up in a family who was active in their synagogue, Alicia developed an early passion for helping to foster and build Jewish communal life.

For over a decade, Alicia has worked in communities all over the country, from New York to St. Louis, cultivating relationships and helping families navigate their Jewish journey. She recently moved to Maplewood from Philadelphia, where she was the Membership Director at Congregation Rodeph Shalom. At TSTI, she crafts and implements the strategy for recruitment, membership integration, and membership retention.

Alicia is passionate about volunteering at interfaith food pantries, and she serves on the board of Iris Family Preschool at TSTI as Fundraising Chair.

Outside of work, Alicia enjoys spending time with her husband and son, traveling to different towns and exploring local restaurants and shops, and of course, frequent visits to the Turtle Back Zoo.

Lauren Byers

Lauren Byers

Families with Young Children Coordinator

Lauren is thrilled to be the Program Coordinator for Families with Young Children and the Family Outreach Coordinator for the preschool at TSTI. Holding both a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Childhood Literacy, Lauren was a public school teacher in Brooklyn and taught at TSTI’s preschool. She is passionately dedicated to building and strengthening our community at TSTI and loves her time spent amongst our many wonderful congregants.

In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her family and pugs, and of course staying up to date on her guilty pleasure: Bravo TV!

Karen Patton

Karen L. Patton

Facilities Manager

After attending several workshops at the National Council of Jewish Women/Essex, Karen was hired by Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel.

Karen has held various positions in her 25-plus years at TSTI, including receptionist, Catering and Event Coordinator, and Assistant to the Executive Director. Her current position as Facilities Manager provides her with the opportunity to use all the skills she has acquired. Karen believes her success at TSTI can be attributed to her belief that people want respect, recognition, and someone who is reliable.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, concerts, theatre, the arts, and photography.

Adam Baranker

Youth Engagement Coordinator

Adam started his Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel journey in 2013 as the teacher/facilitator of the 8th Grade Hebrew High program. He now oversees much of our 3rd-12th grade youth programming including teaching/facilitating our 8th Grade Hebrew High program, overseeing our junior youth groups, the 9th-12th Hebrew High program and our field trips. Adam’s mission is to make sure all of our kids/teens want to continue through TSTI with age-approrpiate programing because he personally understands the value of continuous commitment to one’s Jewish identity and community through and beyond Bar/Bat mitzvah age.

Outside of TSTI, Adam is the full-time Assistant Director at Jeff Lake Camp. He brings his camp spirit and high energy to TSTI, modeling for our teens what it means to be committed to the Jewish community.

Patti Kahn 2

Patti Kahn

Religious School Program Specialist

In her work assisting Religious School Director Mindy Schreff, Patti is a teacher of tefillah (prayer/worship) for grades 5-7; a grade 7 Hebrew teacher; and mentors our faculty as the Hebrew reading specialist. 

Prior to joining TSTI, Patti enjoyed 40 years as Director of Education for 2 synagogue schools and a Jewish day school.  She has a B.S. Education, an  M.A. Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and year of study in Israel in the Senior Educator Program of the Melton Centre for Jewish Education in the Diaspora at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Patti has enjoyed co-chairing the Principals’ Forum of Greater MetroWest, where she became colleagues with Mindy Schreff.

Shawn Fogel

Music Specialist

Shawn began teaching music in the Linda and Rudy Slucker Religious School in 2015. He frequently accompanies the clergy on guitar for Friday evening Shabbat worship, and has most recently become the music teacher for the Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education. Shawn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, where he studied music.

He was the professional song leader for NFTY’s Garden Empire Region for over ten years, and also performs with Jewish rock bands The Macaroons and The LeeVees.

Debi Wolkoff

Assistant to the Religious School Director

Debi joined TSTI in 2009 and provides administrative support to the Linda & Rudy Slucker Religious School.

When not caring for TSTI’s students, Debi can be found delving into a novel, taking yoga classes, or visiting her children and grandchild in NYC.

Bonnie Ziff

Bonnie Ziff

Executive Administrative Assistant

Bonnie is excited to be a part of the administrative team at TSTI . After working in all parts of temple administration for the past 11 years, she is thrilled to join such a dynamic congregation.

Bonnie enjoys spending time with her three children and be sure to ask her about her time in the Peace Corps.

Jennifer Tuchband

B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator & Clergy Assistant

Jennifer joined TSTI in the summer of 2022 as the B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator.  She also provides administrative support to Rabbi Klein & Cantor Moses.

When not at the office, Jennifer enjoys being active, reading and watching tv/movies, as well as experimenting in the kitchen.

Susan Gracey

Financial Administrative Assistant

Susan began working at TSTI in 2000 first as a preschool classroom assistant and then as co-teacher for many years, before shifting to administrative duties in 2019.

When not at work, Susan spends time with her children, Lydia and Anna, gardening, and playing mah jong.

Maria Camero


Aida Juarez


Jesse Moore


Maxwell Park


Deborah Wood


Debbie has been at TSTI since August 1995.

When she isn’t taking care of the building she likes to watch TV.  Her favorite channels are the ID Channel and Oxygen.

Ali Alawy

Ali Alawy