ABOUT US

Leadership

Spiritual Leaders

  • (Senior Rabbi)

      Rabbi Uri is a distinguished spiritual leader and educator with a profound commitment to enriching lives through the teachings of Judaism. Born in the vibrant city of Buenos Aires in 1989, his journey has been marked by a deep-rooted connection to his heritage and an unyielding passion for nurturing souls. His transformative journey began during his teenage years when he assumed the role of a madrich (youth leader) in the synagogue his parents played a pivotal role in establishing. This  phase ignited his fervor for Judaism and a profound desire to share its wisdom with others. The foundations of [...]

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  • (Cantor & Co-Senior Clergy)

    Hailing from a rich lineage of Cantors, Cantor, Rabbi Mark Goldman brings a profound passion for modern Judaism and a vast array of accomplishments to our community. Born in London, England, he honed his Cantorial skills and earned an honors B.A. degree in Judaic Studies at the esteemed London School of Jewish Studies, becoming the youngest ever certified minister by the Chief Rabbi of The United Kingdom. Continuing his pursuit of professional excellence, Cantor Mark Goldman answered the call to Temple Beth El in Rochester, N.Y., where he not only fulfilled Cantorial duties but also earned a Master of Music [...]

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  • (Founding 
Rabbi Emeritus)

    Dr. Sheldon J. Harr has been the senior Rabbi of Temple Kol Ami since 1976, serving the Congregation practically since its inception. He is a native of Youngstown, Ohio. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Cincinnati, he went on to graduate work at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts Degrees in Hebrew Letters, ultimately leading to Rabbinic Ordination. He later earned his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Emory University in Atlanta, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Hebrew [...]

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Senior Staff

  • (Executive Director)

    Dvir has been a member of the Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El family since 2005. A native Israeli, Dvir grew up in Holon. His knowledge of security measures began as a member of a special intelligence unit of the Israel Defense Force. Upon leaving the IDF, Dvir studied electrical engineering and completed his education in the United States, receiving his degree from the University of Miami, College of Engineering. His first position in the U.S. was with a local security firm in a special Israeli unit specializing in the safety and security of Jewish institutions, synagogues and schools. Dvir came to [...]

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  • (Life long learning Director)

    Valeria Michanie, the passionate and dedicated Director of Lifelong Learning, is a native of Cordoba, Argentina, who knew from an early age that Jewish education was her calling. Fluent in Spanish, English, and Hebrew, she honed her skills at the Shaii Agnon Institute in Argentina and the Seminar Ha Kibutzim in Israel. Valeria holds a bachelor's degree in education and an executive master's degree in Jewish education from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). With an extensive teaching background in Israel, Argentina, and Miami, Valeria joined Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in 2016, bringing over 20 years of experience [...]

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  • (Early Childhood Director)

    Stacey Katz has been working in the Early Childhood Program since 1997.  Stacey has a B.A. in Management with a minor in Child Psychology, a B.S. in Nursing and a Master’s Degree in Administration. Stacey has been an active member of the ECE-RJ the (Early Childhood Educators of the Reform Judaism) for the past 20 years and has served on the board for 2 years.  She is an active board member of JECP (Jewish Early Childhood Professionals) where she served two terms as President and two terms as Treasurer. Stacey also serves on the Jewish Federation of Broward County’s Jewish [...]

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  • Director of Programming, Outreach and Communication

    Heather Gottlieb has been working at Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El since 2005. Originally from upstate New York, she holds a Business Degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta. Over the past 18 years, Heather has actively contributed to our Temple Community, serving in various positions and committees, including the Gala, Open House, Purim Carnival, Challah Bake, Run with the Rabbi, and numerous fundraising events. She initiated our Temple's first Momentum Trip and led two additional trips. Heather began as a teacher in our Early Childhood program and later transitioned into a full-time Bookkeeper position. Her most recent role [...]

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Team Members

  • Youth Program Coordinator

    I'm Liat Levy, the new Youth Coordinator dedicated to the older age groups. I am excited to create a new program for the youth, giving them a place to connect, socialize, and grow both personally and spiritually. I speak Spanish and Hebrew fluently, so language will be no barrier for us! I am looking forward to meeting all of you and growing together as a community.

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  • Youth Advisor

    Hi, my name is Lexi Landa and I am one of the new youth coordinators here at TKAE. I just finished my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at University of South Florida. I grew up in Orlando going to Congregation Reform Judaism and was very involved in youth programming there. I am excited to join the TKAE community and help to build up the youth programs here!

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  • Song Leaders/Cantorial Soloist

    Adina Baseman Sharfstein is a dynamic cantorial songleader and educator who specializes in Holocaust studies. She is currently retired after teaching 5th grade for Broward County Public Schools for the past 32 years. Adina was the recipient of both the 2014 Gutterman Family Exemplary Holocaust Educator of the Year award (through Florida Atlantic University), and the Pola & Ludwik Brodzki Family Holocaust Public Education Award in 2018 for outstanding effort and commitment in teaching the Holocaust in Broward County Schools (through Jewish Federation of Broward County). Adina also writes Holocaust curriculum, and trains teachers how to teach the Holocaust through [...]

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  • Song Leaders/Cantorial Solosit

    Tracy Kahn's love affair with music began at a young age and has evolved into a lifelong devotion to sharing the gift of song. From her early days performing in musical theater to leading song-filled gatherings in youth groups and sororities, Tracy's enchanting voice has resonated with audiences of all ages. Her journey as an early childhood music educator has been a delightful adventure, as she continues to infuse joy and passion for music into the hearts of children and families each day. Tracy's warm and engaging presence creates an enchanting atmosphere, where melodies come alive and hearts unite in [...]

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  • Musical Director & Accompanist

    Mary Adelyn Kauffman's remarkable journey in the realm of music spans multiple facets, from being a skilled conductor and vocal coach to a highly proficient pianist. Having pursued master's and doctoral degrees in Collaborative Piano at the University of Miami, she honed her craft unwavering dedication. Her musical aspirations led her to become a young artist at the Greater Miami Opera and collaborate with the esteemed Miami City Ballet before embarking on a nearly two-decade-long musical sojourn in Germany. During her time in Germany, Mary conducted musical theater and opera productions in private and public theaters, while also nurturing both [...]

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  • EC Curriculum Specialist

    Lori Becker brings a wealth of experience and passion to the TKAE Early Childhood Program since 2012, where she serves as the Curriculum Specialist. With a B.S. in Elementary Education specialized in Special Education and Judaic Studies from the University of Florida, and an M.A. in Early Childhood from Nova Southeastern University, Lori is well-equipped to inspire young minds. Lori's dedication to her profession is evident through her active memberships in esteemed organizations like NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), Children’s Forum, Zero to Three, and JECP (Jewish Early Childhood Professionals). With a remarkable 25-year journey as [...]

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  • Hebrew Curriculum Specialist

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  • Administration

    Elisabeth "Lisa" Familia Pearlman stands as a dedicated individual who has forged her unique path within the closely-knit TKAE community. As a devoted wife to Brian Pearlman and a mother to three children—William, Brandon, and Sianna—her family represents the proud 3rd-generation members, carrying the torch of the Pearlman legacy with unwavering honor. Her active contributions to the spiritual flourishing of her congregation underline her commitment to both faith and community. Beyond her home, Lisa's devotion remains resolute, evident in her over 17-year tenure in the Temple front office. Her role within TKAE reflects a steadfast pillar of strength and unwavering [...]

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  • Administration

    Natalie is a vibrant individual hailing from South Florida, born and raised to Israeli parents, blending a beautiful mix of cultures and love. Graduating with top honors, summa cum laude, from FIU in the field of education, Natalie's passion for teaching led her to an incredible ten-year career as an elementary school teacher, where she left a lasting impact on the young minds she nurtured. As life unfolded, Natalie embraced the role of motherhood with open arms, gracefully shifting her career focus to prioritize her family's needs, cherishing every moment spent with her two wonderful daughters. In 2022, Natalie found [...]

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  • Accounting

    Stephanie Wurtenberger is an exceptional professional who has devoted over two decades of service to Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El. She began her journey in 2003 as the Early Childhood Office Manager and has since progressed to become the Temple Office Manager and now the Temple’s Bookkeeper. Originally from Philadelphia, Stephanie pursued her education at the University of Maryland, where she met her husband Michael. In 1995, they relocated to Florida, and Stephanie has since gracefully balanced her roles as a dedicated wife, loving mother to three children, and a highly respected temple leader. Her inspiring journey showcases unwavering resilience, strong [...]

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  • Bookkeeper

    Meet Sandra Frankel , an integral member of our Temple for the past two decades. As the accounting manager , she efficiently oversees financial matters , contributing to the smooth functioning of the temple . Despite working remotely for part of her workweek , her dedication to the team and commitment to a warm and welcoming environment shine through . Sandra finds immense joy in her role at the temple and takes pride in her work . Her genuine passion for the community makes her a valuable asset. When you visit the temple , don’t hesitate to say hello and [...]

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  • Security

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  • Maintenance Supervisor

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  • Custodian

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  • Custodian

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EXECUTIVE BOARD
Erin Dernis, President
Roberto Bolona VP Administration
Michael Jansen, VP Ways and Means
Stacy Gold, Treasurer
Matt Bogdanoff, VP Education & Youth
Brittany Mohlher, VP Membership
Marc Brown, Recording Secretary
Carrie Best-Lary, VP Ritual
Karen Shiekman, Financial Secretary
GENERAL BOARD
Cara Pollack
Martin jaffe
Jonathan Schwartz
Jesse Lubar
Dara Swartzon
Mike Hirsch
Rachel Schmidt
Charlie Pearlman
David Lane
Linda Gendler
Esther Braunstein
SISTERHOOD
Jamie Adamczyk
Lauren O’Connor
BROTHERHOOD
Brian Pearlman – Brotherhood Co-President
Leo Dee – Brotherhood Co- President
TEMPLE FRIENDS
Rebeca Taragano
David Losk
PAST PRESIDENTS 
Carmen Ackerman
Martin Ardman
Jerry Bauman*
Paula Carr
Jason Chalik
Alan Cohn
Robert Colman
Gerry Damsky
Philip Fagelson*
Paul Frank
Stanley Goodman
Calvin Helitzer
Saul Kravec
Norman Kronstadt
Kenny Levine
Herb Litwin
Richard Lundy
Bill Matz
Steve Michaels
Diane Michaels
Craig Packer
Karen Shiekman
Rick Gendler
Daniel Weinger
*Deceased