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, Massachusettes, 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 4 grown children; Jason and his wife Molly, Springfield MA, Micah who lives in Brooklyn, and Hannah a graduate student at Hofstra.
Shari Isserles - Director of Education
Shari Isserles grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree in Judaic Studies from Boston University and then attended the New York School of Education (NYSOE) at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where she received her Masters of Religious Education (M.A.R.E.) degree in 2003.
Shari spent 6 years working at Temple Beth David in Commack, NY, first as the Assistant Director of Education and then as the Religious School Director. In 2005, she joined the senior staff team at The Community Synagogue as the Director of Education. During her time at The Community Synagogue, Shari has brought new and innovative programs to the school, including the FLAME (Family Learning & Mitzvah Education) Program and various Tikkun Olam Trips for our teenage students.
Shari is engaged in numerous activities outside of her congregational work. She is a Board Member of the National Association of Temple Educators (NATE) and currently serves as Team Leader of the Advocacy Team of NATE. Shari is the President of the NYSOE Alumni Association, and she is an active member for Long Island Temple Educators (LITE). She has also taught as a member of the faculty for the Morasha Teacher Training Program.
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 each summer as a member of the faculty.
Shari and her husband Paul live in Port Washington, NY with their son, Michael Saul.
Susan Flanagan-Herman - Director of the Early Childhood Center
Susan Flanagan-Herman grew up in Harrison, New York. After receiving her BA in Mass Communications from The University of Hartford, Susan continued her dream to become an Early Childhood educator and attended Hunter College, New York City. Now after 25 years of teaching and leading in some of the finest schools in Manhattan, she feels blessed and welcomes the opportunity to become an intricate part of The Community Synagogue, as Director of the Early Childhood Center.
Susan plans to create a program that respects the individuality of each child. Her philosophy is to provide opportunities for our students to use their senses to investigate, experiment and discover through hands-on-experiences, allowing the children to explore materials, which will encourage a questioning mind. She aims to create an environment that will nurture curiosity, independence, a sense of community and Jewish identity so that each child will be prepared for the next stage of their personal and educational journey. In order to accomplish these goals Susan will be instituting new and meaningful school wide programs that will bridge home and school and create lasting and purposeful memories of each child’s journey at the ECC.
Susan is recently married to her husband David. They are currently looking for a new home with a yard for their dog, Daisy.
Ellen Cohen - Assistant 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.
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 her 6 years working with youth at The Community Synagogue, Lindsay has created the thriving program that POWTY is today, engaging more than 250 youth and teen participants in our POWTY Youth Programs each year. Lindsay has created a variety of unique programs for teens in our youth community, such as the POWTY Tikkun Team for our 8th and 9th graders, our POWTY Foundation for 10th and 11th graders, and a variety of successful yearly events such as Top POWTY Chef. Last year, she was named a recipient of The Jewish Education Project Young Pioneers Award 2015, and has published articles in the URJ's Journal For Youth Engagement. Lindsay truly loves working with the youth and adolescents at The Community Synagogue, and developing strong relationships with POWTY families!
From a very early age, Judaism has been the most important thread through Lindsay's life, connecting Jewish camping experiences, religious school participation and teaching, campus Hillel leadership, and professional experience to create a strong Jewish identity and commitment to Judaism. Lindsay hopes to provide the children and young adults of The Community Synagogue with similar experiences so that they continue to choose to live happy, meaningful Jewish lives.
When Lindsay isn't spending time with our youth and teens, she loves cooking, baking, painting, reading, and spending time with her wonderful family and friends. Lindsay lives in Port Washington with her husband Alec, her daughter Ruby and their dog, Latke.
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.
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 looks forward to 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 and their dog Lexi.
Niki Greene - Administrative Assistant
516-883-3144 Ext. 310 [email protected]
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, riding horses, quilting, gardening and writing.
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.
Ted Dzyr - Facilities Manager
516-883-3144 Ext. 313 [email protected]
Henry Rosales - Assistant Facilities Manager
516-883-3144 Ext. 348 [email protected]