Our Staff

Weaner Religious School Staff

Gayle Maller, Religious School Principal

Gayle was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was raised with a strong Judaic background and attended a yeshiva through the 8th grade. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, she began a lengthy career as a fashion designer. In 2000 she and her husband Scott moved to Clearwater, where Gayle accepted the position as an instructor at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa.

When her son Dylan began attending preschool at Temple Ahavat Shalom’s Krieger Early Childhood Center, she was given an opportunity to teach the 7th grade Religious School at the Temple. In 2009, Gayle was promoted to Religious School Principal. She brings to this position strong Jewish values and a love for Judaic learning.

Her focus is on bringing new and exciting programs to the students, so that they may gain their own love for Judaism and a pride in their Jewish identity. She along with her husband Scott and their son Dylan, are proud members of Temple Ahavat Shalom.

Barbara Smith, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation Coordinator and Primary Tutor

Barbara has held the positions of Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation Coordinator and Primary Tutor since 1990. In 2013, following the retirement of Elaine Wolstein, Barbara also accepted the position of Hebrew School Principal. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Barbara was a leader in the local Jewish community, attended Baltimore Hebrew University and graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in Education and Accounting. From playing innovative Jewish games to developing curriculum, Barbara brings commitment, vibrancy and meaning to Jewish Education. Barbara is very devoted to every one of our students and their families. She spends many hours with each student during the Bar/Bat Mitzvah process and continues to nurture and guide them in the years after they become Bar/Bat Mitzvah. She also works closely with Rabbi Klein, Cantor Jacobson, Elaine Wolstein, and Gayle Maller in the development and updating of our entire Religious School and Hebrew School curriculum. Barbara and her husband, Norman, have two grown children and two grandchildren.

Norman Smith, Hebrew School Principal

Norman has taught the third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades Hebrew classes, as well as Judaics, and is now the Hebrew School Principal.

Born in New York City, Norman graduated from New York City University with a BEE in Electrical Engineering. He has worked in Electrical Engineering and owned his own electrical contracting company.

Although of course, we teach Hebrew, our primary goal is to enhance each child’s self-esteem and Jewish identity. Norman hopes to share his enthusiasm and guidance with our teachers and wonderful children.

Norman, and his wife Barbara have two grown children and three grandchildren.


Stephanie McCranie, Religious School Secretary

Stephanie is originally from Dallas. She works in perfect “harmony” with our Religious School Principal, Gayle Maller. Stephanie was gifting her talents to Temple Ahavat Shalom as a choir member well before working for our Religious School. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Stetson University and her Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Stephanie enjoys art, music, and spending time with family and friends.

Phone: 727-785-8811, ext. 114 Email: rssecretary@ahavatshalom.org

Avi Nardia, Youth Group Director

Avi was born in Israel. When he married his wife Gigi, he moved to her home state of Oklahoma and then ultimately to Florida. They have 4 children together. While in Oklahoma Avi taught Hebrew and Judaica for 15 years at the Temple they belonged to, Temple Bnai Isarel. Avi really enjoys working with children. He wants to be an example to his children on how important it is to be an active member of your temple. 

Avi has an MBA in Leadership Development and experience in Organizational and Executive Talent Development withing the healthcare system. He also served on several keyboards including the HR Chair of his temple in Oklahoma. 

Jewish life, core family values and leadership are his passion and the chief reason for his excitement to team up with our temple youth.

Phone: 727-785-8811  Email: youthdirector@ahavatshalom.org

Office Staff

Miranda Mamutaj, Office Administrator

Miranda has been part of our Temple Ahavat Shalom family for over ten years, she is a immeasurable asset to our business office. She enjoys challenges, creative arts, cooking, nature, and spending time with her family.

Phone: 727-785-8811, ext. 111 Email: officeadministrator@ahavatshalom.org



Elisa Pérez, Administrative Assistant

Elisa is originally from Miami, Florida. She moved to Pinellas in 2007, and has been with Temple Ahavat Shalom since 2013. She has a background in education, customer service and administrative work . She has previously worked in the temple’s preschool prior to joining the business office. Elisa has brought warmth not only to our preschool but the Temple business office as well. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and all things Disney!

Phone:  727-785-8811, ext. 124        Emailadminassistant@ahavatshalom.org

Maintenance Staff

Maintenance Supervisor

Alex Pérez
Phone: 727-831-2591

Maintenance Staff

Agim Begaj