Clergy and Staff
Kenneth Stern, Rabbi
Rabbi Kenneth Stern has a passion for people, Judaism and Israel, and for teaching and transmitting our tradition. He brings to our congregation an abundance of energy, intelligence, empathy, and humor. He initiated our Shul-and-School programs, and continues to emphasize that we are an intergenerational/cross-generational community. He possesses a tremendous breadth of Judaic knowledge. Whether comforting the bereaved, visiting the sick, reaching out to members, and welcoming new faces to the Synagogue, he has a warm, outgoing personality and informal style that has won the respect and admiration of the entire Congregation. He is also an avid fan of the BBC World News. Rabbi Stern was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary and has lived in the NY area for the past 17 years.
Paul Zim, Cantor
For the past 18 years our Cantor, Paul Zim has lifted our spirits with his glorious voice and presence. His many recordings, music books, and concert appearances are known throughout the Jewish world and have drawn countless worshippers through our doors. He has captured the hearts and souls of our congregants with beautiful music, and has made the melodies of the synagogue services accessible to all. With his enthusiasm and vitality, Paul has encouraged and inspired our children and adults to be an integral part of religious services throughout the year. Paul is always ready to share his love of music, so when you meet him just ask him to sing you one of his many favorite melodies. He will be happy to oblige!
Martha Dawson, Executive Director
After a varied career in the fields of marketing, advertising, politics and finance, Martha Dawson joined the staff of the JCC of Fort Lee in December of 1999 as the Controller. With so many hats to wear as Executive Director, from managing the building to handling synagogue finances to working with volunteers, tenants and contractors, her broad skill set has come in handy. Martha is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a B.A. in English, and often tries to get people as interested in punctuation and grammar as she is; usually to no avail.
Myra London, Co- Director of Education
Myra London has been teaching Hebrew School for over 25 years and joined our staff in 2005. In her time here, she has contributed greatly to the high quality of our program, both as a teacher of grades 2 through 6, and leader of Junior Congregation services. With multiple professional certifications to her credit (Early Childhood & Elementary Education, English as a Second Language, and Teacher of the Handicapped), Myra also works for the Edgewater Board of Education. She has a B.A. in Fine Arts and a dual M.Ed. in Elementary and Bilingual Education.Myra and her daughter, Brooke, felt particularly connected here from the time Myra first joined our staff as a teacher. Brooke attended our Hebrew School, became a bat mitzvah and celebrated the occasion here in 2010. We are so fortunate they are both part of our synagogue family.
Zeeva Sklar, Co- Director of Education
Zeeva Sklar brings many years of both teaching and administrative experience to our Hebrew School. She has been in early childhood education for the past 13 years at Jewish day/nursery schools and Hebrew schools in both New York and New Jersey. Her particular specialty is in overall school operation and currently Zeeva works as a consultant, lending her expertise by observing/analyzing faculty, curriculum and operating procedures. She offers solutions to correct any weaknesses and conducts teacher training. We had the good fortune to add Zeeva to our staff 3 years ago, to handle the PreK-1 class and serve as a reading specialist for grades 1 through 4. She is obviously well equipped to step into this new role, though she will still devote some of her time here to teaching. She feels a strong commitment to Jewish life and learning, and looks forward to creating a fun and educational environment at our Hebrew School. Zeeva studied for a year and a half in the Old City of Jerusalem and completed her education at Queens College.
She lives in New Milford with her husband Jonathan and three children, Eli, Ariel, and Tara.
Debbie Mullholland, Editor of The Messenger
Debbie Mulholland came to work for Gesher Shalom in 1999 as a part-time secretary for the Hebrew school. Over the last 14 years she has held many different positions such as, receptionist, Rabbi’s secretary, assistant to the Executive Director and is now the Editor of our monthly bulletin The Messenger. What started as a small job while she finished college has turned into a career. She loves this synagogue and feels it is her second home; her co-workers and the congregants, her second family. Debbie resides in Ridgefield Park with her husband of 19 years, with whom she has four children and four grandchildren. As anyone who knows her can tell you, Debbie has an astonishing amount of energy.
Yael Gevertzman, Marketing & Media Coordinator
Yael Gevertzman, a graduate of Barnard College, began her marketing and digital media career at MTV Networks and Warner Music Group. She changed her career path 4 years ago and started working for Jewish organizations with a focus on administration and digital marketing. She has been with the JCC of Fort Lee since April 2013. Currently, she maintains and updates the website and social media pages, and creates all marketing and promotional materials. She resides in Teaneck NJ with her husband Jason, their daughter Jessica, and son Andrew, who are two of the cutest kids in the entire world.
Casiano Franco (center), Chief Custodian, Francisco Zepeda (left) and Orlando Sanchez (right)
The most junior member of this seasoned crew came to work here in 2002. They know every inch of this facility and are equally dedicated to caring for the building and the Congregation. We rely on them for so many things that it’s hard to imagine what life around here would be like without them. For starters, we’d probably never figure out which storage room to look in for some of our supplies!