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Executive Director: Michelle Zuckerman

Michelle has been the PBJC Executive Director since December 2017. Before that, she had spent many years as a PBJC volunteer, serving as religious school chair, nursery school chair, B’nai Mitzvah coordinator and numerous other positions in the synagogue including Sisterhood president. Michelle has been one of the driving forces of many successful fundraisers and programs in the synagogue. She is also very proud to have become an adult Bat Mitzvah at PBJC in 2014.


As our Executive Director, Michelle is responsible for the day-to-day management of the synagogue, staff and assets. She maintains our office policies and oversees our relationships with vendors, landlords, banks, insurers and business partners. She also oversees and monitors member programs, services and activities, as well as building rental. Michelle manages the calendar of all events scheduled for the building and provides marketing, social media and graphic design support as needed to promote PBJC events. She works collaboratively with various committees for events coordination, including planning, logistics, and scheduling, as well as with our fundraising chairs to secure sponsorships, grants, and annual giving campaigns. Additional responsibilities include creating our weekly electronic newsletter and maintaining our electronic announcement boards. Michelle truly is the “face” of PBJC. Her knowledge, experience, inter-personal skills and enthusiasm make her a true asset to our community.


Outside the synagogue, Michelle has held leadership positions in the PTCs including vice president, treasurer, and president of Cedar Hill School for many years. She is a member of the Montville Township Board of Education and serves as the chair of the Communications committee and on the Curriculum and Instruction committee. She is also an ambassador for the National Gaucher Foundation, an organization about which she feels very passionate.


Prior to her current roles, Michelle worked in the information technology sector overseeing the installation of financial management, human resource, and purchasing systems for state and local governments and later as a director at a pharmacy benefit management organization.


Michelle earned her bachelor’s degree Cum Laude from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania where she double-majored in computer science and government and law. She also holds her master’s degree in education from Rutgers University. Michelle lives in Towaco with her husband, Evan, and is the proud mother of Lindsay and Hailey. She and her family consider PBJC to be their second home and Michelle is thrilled to be serving the community in this capacity.

Educational Director: Mary Sheydwasser

Mary has been the Educational Director at PBJC for 12 years, overseeing our Religious School and B'Yachad, our Hebrew High program, as well as Adult Education. Students from kindergarten through high school, and adults of all ages benefit from her dedication and experience.


We are honored to have her in this role after achieving "Framework for Excellence" as Religious School Director and educator at Shomrei Torah in Wayne. 


Born in Montreal, Mrs. Sheydwasser grew up in an Orthodox environment and attended Hebrew day school. The second of two daughters of Holocaust survivors, she is forever indebted to them for teaching her everything that they could about being Jewish and the importance of continuing Jewish education and traditions.


Since immigrating to the United States, she has continued her professional development by taking courses at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, Gratz College in Philadelphia and the JTS Leadership Institute for Educational Directors.


Mary is a vibrant and creative leader in our synagogue who always has the childrens' best interest at heart. Her goal for the school year is for every student to be proud of his/her Jewish identity and to feel comfortable walking into the synagogue.

Nursery School Co-Director: Lisa Lerman

Lisa has been co-director of the PBJC Nursery School since July 2016. She graduated from Muhlenberg College where she earned a dual degree in business administration and social science.


The past several years working at PBJC Nursery School has helped to prepare her for her current job and responsibilities as Co-Director.


Her various roles at PBJC Nursery School have included: teaching the Introduction to Nursery School class, implementing and teaching the science enrichment program for the 4-year-old class, being an assistant teacher in both the 3 and 4 year old classes, additionally, she has performed administrative tasks throughout the school years.


She spends her summers working as director at PBJC Day Camp where she oversees, manages and implements the eight week themed summer fun program. Lisa lives in Montville with her husband and three children. She is dedicated to the well being and early education of the children at PBJC Nursery School.

Nursery School Co-Director: Jill Buckler

Jill Buckler has been working with children for the past 28 years. Throughout her life she has dedicated her career to the social and emotional development of each child. She makes it her goal to make sure that every child receives the best care and education that they all deserve.


She is presently Co-Director of PBJC Nursery School and Giggle Zone Day Care. Jill has been our Pre-K Teacher since 2002. She also enjoys teaching our Kindergarten GAN Class in religious school on Sunday mornings.

For 16 years she was the Director of Pre-K and Kindergarten Girls at a North New Jersey Day Camp. She was the direct connection and contact at camp and responsible for all the children, staff and parents needs. Her number one priority was making sure children develop character, discover new abilities, stretching beyond their comfort zone and creating good values while having fun and being safe.


Jill continues to bring an endless amount of energy, creativity and excitement to PBJC Nursery School and is very passionate about early childhood education. Jill resides in Rockaway with her husband and has raised two children.

Office Administrator/Clergy Assistant: Arlene Lopez

Arlene has been our PBJC Office Administrator since 1990. Prior to that she was an Office Supervisor for Warner Lambert. She lives in Pine Brook with her husband Ed and is the proud mother of Jaime and Kristin and grandmother to Delia and Samson. Along with our Executive Director, Arlene is the main point of contact for visitors to the office. She also serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Rabbi.


Arlene's responsibilities are wide and varied, and, after 30 years, her knowledge and experience are highly valued. She serves as a liaison for the Caring Committee and congregants needing assistance, handles daily Sisterhood Gift Shop access and transactions (including scrip sales), and helps coordinate orders of food and supplies for the synagogue. Arlene is also responsible for generating yahrzeit letters and handing yahrzeit plaques, donations, and arrangements along with many administrative duties for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. She takes care of High Holiday ticket processing and maintains the Book of Remembrance database. Scheduling clergy appointments and handling clergy correspondence are other important responsibilities, and there are many more!


Arlene is truly a valued member of our PBJC family and she is thankful for the many friendships she has formed with members of the PBJC community over the years.


Religious School Administrator: Robin Mangino


Robin is honored to serve as office administrator for the Religious School for the past eight years. In addition to her many administrative responsibilities, she enjoys working with wonderful teachers, having the opportunity to watch a great group of students in action, meeting dedicated parents, and assisting director, Mary Sheydwasser, whom she loves and admires. Robin's responsibilties include handling registration, coordinating junior congregation credits, attendance, correspondence and communication, and all general administrative duties for the Religious School.

Prior to this role, Robin worked in the PBJC main office. She came as a two-day temp, after some graduate work, and has stayed at the synagogue for 12 years! The top-notch staff, devoted clergy and congregants, and the warm and inviting atmosphere at PBJC is the reason.

In her past lives, Robin lived and worked in Manhattan in various roles at Channel Thirteen, including Associate Director of Promotion and Events. After moving back to New Jersey with her family, she was involved with volunteer activities and helped run her mother’s popular fashion boutique, “Tiger’s Eye." Robin graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication with a dual degree in journalism and psychology.


Bookkeeper: Esterina Herman

Esterina has been an invaluable member of the PBJC office staff for many years. She handles accounts payable and receivables and all general daily bookkeeping and accounting functions of general synagogue operations. She produces monthly statements and billing and is available to answer any questions that arise in relation to finances of member accounts. She is also responsible for handling stock donations and for credit card processing. Esterina also maintains tax information and assists with financial reporting.

Office Administrator: Karen Herbst

Karen joined our office staff as a result of our recent merger with Congregation Beth Shalom. She works part time in the office to help with all general office administration. She also coordinates and edits the monthly Candlestick newsletter publication for the synaogue. We are thrilled to welcome Karen to our PBJC family.

Sun, August 1 2021 23 Av 5781