Susan Zemsky came to TempleShalom as Executive Director in 2003, bringing to our family the benefit of over 20 years’ experience in Jewish congregational and communal leadership.
Prior to joining our senior staff team, she was the director of children and family services at the JCC in Rocville, Maryland after which time she served as the executive director at nearby Tifereth Israel Congregation. Before that, she managed special projects at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater Washington. She is currently on the board of trustees of Kehila Chadasha, a 100 family chavurah that is part of the Jewish Renewal movement. Susan is on the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Temple Administrators and serves as editor of their Journal.
As director of Children and Family Services for the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Susan created and implemented a full range of after-school, vacation and snow closing programs and Center-wide holiday festivals. She was instrumental in building pro-family programs responsive to diverse family needs and configurations, such as the highly successful Jewish Single Parent Connection.
“Creating and developing family friendly programs for children that put them in a safe and fun Jewish environment while their parents were working is something that I am especially proud of,” says Susan.
Lisa (she/her) has spent the last 20+ years working in the field of Jewish Education. She has been a classroom teacher, a Curriculum Specialist, a Mentor Teacher, a Camp Director, and an Education Director. Lisa earned a bachelor’s degree in Education and Judaic Studies from the University of Denver and her Graduate work is in Education and Training from American University and George Washington University. Lisa has spent many years teaching in Reggio-inspired schools and, in 2012, studied in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Lisa and husband Justin have two children, Benjamin and Olivia, who is soon to graduate from our preschool. Lisa believes in the importance of children making meaning and being immersed in rituals and traditions — and this is the essence of what makes Jewish preschool valuable!
Carri was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has since lived in Arad and Tel Aviv, Israel; Chicago; Cincinnati; and now in Silver Spring. Carri earned a Master's degree in Jewish Education from Gratz College in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. She has worked in the field of Jewish education for 19+ years, 10 or more of those years as the Jewish Family Educator here at Temple Shalom. Carri believes deeply in the importance of play for young children and the role of family in the development of a strong Jewish identity. She and her husband, Scott, have two children, Joseph and Maya, who is a graduate of our preschool program. When she is not working, Carri enjoys spending time with her family; hiking; walking her dog, Pongo; and playing the clarinet.
Missy Mandell is originally from Toms River, New Jersey. She received her undergraduate degrees in Education and Hebrew Language from Brandeis University and a Masters degree in Experiential Education and Human Development at the George Washington University, which is what brought her to the DMV. Missy has a wide variety of education and programming experience in schools, synagogues and camps and afterschool programs. She enjoys finding teaching and learning experiences in everyday life. When she is not creating Jewish programs, Missy enjoys running, reading and Israeli dance. She has been Israeli dancing with Temple Shalom since 2015 and is excited to bring more programs to the Temple Shalom community.
Katherine has worked for Temple Shalom since 2013. She has 29 years of administrative experience and has a BA from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. She is a highly organized individual who has a talent for making “sense out of chaos” and enjoys projects that require detailed thinking and a strong sense of purpose. When she is not working Katherine is very involved with her church and singing in local choral groups.
Kennette came to Temple Shalom in 2020 during the covid pandemic. Before organizational restructuring, she was the Financial Aid Manager for Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth for 13 years and a Financial Aid Administrator at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for the previous 15 years. She has a MS-Education in Student Administration from UW-La Crosse and a BS-Business/Marketing from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She has also been her parents’ and mother-in-law’s caregiver for the past few years. In her “spare” time, she enjoys her Kiwanis Club, cake decorating, crocheting and knitting. She has been married for 13 years.
Sharon is a bookkeeper with over 20 years of experience, having managed her husband’s Computer Consulting business and working for clients as a bookkeeper. Sharon received her B.A. in English Studies at the University of the District of Columbia. Sharon was certified as a Corporate Paralegal and worked in the Corporate/Securities Legal field as a Senior Paralegal as well. After having three daughters in 3.5 years, Sharon decided to stay at home, work part time and help bring them up to middle school years. Sharon decided to go back to more formal work once their trajectory was set and coincidentally found a job in her neighborhood, at Temple Shalom. Sharon is detail-oriented and possesses strong organizational, communication, and computer skills. She has been a Bookkeeper at Temple Shalom for three years.
Erica has 39 years of accounting and payroll experience; with thirty-one years with the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO. Within those 31 years she worked in a variety of positions from Auditing, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, H/R and Payroll. In 2014 she became the sole caretaker for her mother who was diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimer’s, this led to the decision to retire early from APWU and to seek part-time employment. Erica was blessed to find work at Temple Shalom in June 2019; where she is enjoying the experience of learning more about the Jewish culture & community. In her spare time she loves to travel internationally, read and solve jig-saw puzzles.
Scott Kravetz grew up at Temple Sinai in Washington, DC and was part of the faculty prior to graduating high school and attending college. He began his current teaching career at Temple Shalom in 1979 and has taught grades 4 through 12. He became a member of Temple Shalom in 1981. In 1987 he began working with Temple Shalom b’not/b’nai/simchat mitzvah families as a madrich. He received a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Jewish Studies at American University. He was the Director of Education for Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, VA. Scott has served as Secretary of the Temple’s Board of Trustees and served on the search committees for Interim Rabbi, Director of Education, and Rabbi/Educator positions as well as serving on the Financial Task Force and Futures Committee. Scott believes it is an honor and privilege to be part of our families’ b’not/b’nai/simchat mitzvah journeys and to share in this important simcha (joyous occasion) in their lives.
Andrea, better known to all as Andy, has been teaching religious school at Temple Shalom since 1977. Andy started as the 6th grade Hebrew School teacher, then added 6th grade Sunday School teacher as part of her involvement with Temple Shalom. After being warmly embraced by the community at Temple Shalom, Andy became a member and has been an active participant ever since. Andy has served on several search committees for Rabbi Educator and Senior Rabbi, and has held various positions on the Board of Trustees, including as President and now an Honorary Trustee. Currently, Andy is the B’not/B’nai/Simchat Mitzvah Co-Administrator, a B’not/B’nai/Simchat Mitzvah Hebrew tutor, a teacher in our Hebrew School, and the Confirmation Coordinator. Andy knows how much being a part of the Temple Shalom family has enriched her life, and she encourages everyone to get involved with this amazing community!