Gail joined Temple B’nai Abraham in 1996. Prior to that, she served as the Executive Director of the Clifton Jewish Center in Clifton for eight years. She also held positions in the administrative and religious school offices of the Barnet Temple, Franklin Lakes, NJ. Gail holds a B.A. degree with honors in Elementary Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is certified as an early childhood educator. She is a former elementary school teacher in the Prospect Park, NJ school system. She also taught Sunday school at the YMHA in Paterson and nursery school at Beth Rishon in Wyckoff. Gail has served for many years on the executive board of GANSE, a chapter of the North American Association of Executive Directors ( NAASE).
Debbie Aronson Ziering
Director of Early Childhood Education
Debbie has been an early childhood educator for three decades and has been associated with B’nai Abraham’s pre-school programs for over 30 years. She is a graduate of Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and training in Special Education and Day Care Management. Debbie, a pre-school math and language arts specialist has developed the school’s literacy related curriculum for all age levels. Her background and interest in literacy led Debbie to create an Early Childhood state-of- the-art library at The Early School. She has been instrumental in formulating the latest theories and translating them into curriculum and programming. Debbie is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
The Early School Founding Director
Sheila founded the Temple B’nai Abraham Nursery School in September of 1974. Before that, she taught and established other nursery schools in the area. In addition to her degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College, she has been trained in a variety of therapy models. Her strong background in the arts from the High School of Music and Art and from Hunter College enabled her to incorporate many creative activities into the program. Her love of Judaism began with her attendance at a Yiddish school as a child. Her continuing education, studying Torah and Jewish subjects, is clearly visible during Shabbat and holiday experiences she shares with the children and their families. She is currently enjoying semi-retirement teaching about Shabbat and the Jewish holidays.
(photo courtesy Jan Press PhotoMedia)
Melissa G. Weiner
Director of Jewish Learning
Before joining Temple B’nai Abraham in 2012, Melissa had served as the Director of Education and Lifelong Learning of Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael, Morristown, NJ, Previously serving Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative synagogues in Massachusetts, Missouri and New Jersey, she has created curriculum for CAJE in St. Louis and presented workshops on Family Education in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Missouri.
Director Weiner has earned a BA from Brandeis University and MA from Brown University, and has studied in Israel. She has been honored with both regional and national Solomon Schechter Awards for her many innovative programs such as the Jewseum, Lions of Jerusalem Day and Lech Lecha. She was the Recipient of 2007-2008 United Synagogue Conservative Judaism NJ Region Norman H. Winter Professional Excellence Award.
Claudia serves as the B’nai Brith Youth Coordinator. She received her MSW Graduate degree from Columbia University School of Social Work and completed an internship at the Rachel Coalition with Jewish Family Service. Claudia majored in Social Work at the University of Vermont and is currently working toward her Graduate Certificate in Jewish Studies. Claudia has developed innovative curriculum and social action projects for teens. She has coached local teams in the MetroWest community including the South Orange Dolphins Swim Team.
Tina has a professional background which includes a long and diverse career as a public relations consultant in the public and private sectors. She also enjoyed a seven-year stint as a primary school teacher and curriculum specialist. Tina holds BA in Education from Hunter College in New York as well as a reading specialist certification from the University of Miami and is certified as a web author by NJIT. In addition to Tina’s responsibilities regarding Temple communications and marketing, she serves as the liaison and mentor to those who wish to schedule simchas in the Temple facilities.
Laura has been with the Temple B’nai Abraham staff since 1984. She is a veritable fount of knowledge when it comes to anything regarding TBA, whether past, present or even future! Her computer expertise is legendary, and she has been essential in implementing the numerous computer program upgrades throughout the years. Laura trains and supports TBA staff through these vital improvements. She is certified as a Notary Public.
Tracey joined the staff of Temple B’nai Abraham in 1991. As Facilities Manager, he oversees a staff of dedicated workers. In addition, Tracey manages the operations of the Temple’s computer systems and technology services. A Microsoft Office Specialist and Microsoft Certified Professional, Tracey continues to pursue his education in the computer field. Tracey has guided the temple in implementing “green” and environmentally-friendly efforts in many aspects of temple life. He studied electronics at DeVry Technical Institute in Woodbridge and attended Union County College in Cranford. A thirteen-year member of the Livingston volunteer Fire Department..
Karen Frank, RN
Karen integrates physical and spiritual health in her work at temple. Karen meets with our members and their families to assist in making lifestyle choices, grapple with spiritual issues, consult on health concerns and helps connect families to community resources. Karen holds degrees in psychology and nursing, is a certified Jewish Spiritual Director. She is a partner at the Kalsman Institute for Judaism and Health, a national project of Hebrew Union College, and has served as a Synagogue 3000 faculty member, and is member of SeRaF, a fellowship of Jewish Healing Professionals. Karen has 25 years of experience as a visiting nurse and is committed to helping seniors safely maintain their independence while enhancing physical, spiritual, and mental health.
A Message from Karen Frank
“Karen, can you help me? My wife just got out of the hospital and I just don’t know how to manage.”
“I was just diagnosed as pre-diabetic. What am I supposed to do now?”
“I really want to breast-feed but my baby seems to have trouble latching on.”
“My mother just doesn’t seem to be managing her life in her home. I am afraid she is not eating properly and she seems so vague on the phone. I am worried.”
Real phone calls, real situations. And happily, TBA has a congregational nurse to address these concerns. I help families who are involved with any health challenges-the newly diagnosed, the caregivers, the frail and homebound.
Changes brought on by aging, disease, and other life events often raise spiritual challenges and distress. People may experience a sense of vulnerability and anxiety new to them. So piled on to the physical problems is a feeling of standing in unfamiliar terrain and a fear of the unknown.
As a congregational nurse my work focuses on addressing your physical, emotional, AND spiritual concerns. Working with the Caring Connection committee and the clergy, I can also help summon congregational support. And as a nurse in the wider community, I am familiar with resources available outside of our walls, in the Metrowest community.
-if you are struggling with illness
-if you a have lifestyle changes brought on by aging or disability
-if you are trying to provide care to a loved one
-if you are considering end-of-life options and decisions
-if you need to connect with community resources
-if you wonder “where is God in this?”
Calls can come into my voice mail at the Temple at extension 252, my cell at 485-9062 or my email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I became your congregational nurse in 1999. In the last 13 years, I have worked with 410 TBA individuals. I have made home visits, hospital visits, consulted with families, brought equipment, made community resource referrals, consulted with doctors, advised and listened.
Please call me if I can help you or anyone you love.
Karen Frank, RN, 862.485.9062
Laura Wold, Office Manager; Gail Milchman, Executive Director; Mindy Palin, CPA, Controller; Debbie Meron, Clergy Administrative Assistant; Tina Greenberg, Communications Coordinator; Barbara Christofferson, Accounting Associate and Fredd Wright, Accountant