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.

 
 

Erica Hruby, Youth Group Director

Erica was born in New Jersey, but spent most of her upbringing in Orlando. She holds a BA in psychology and religion from Stetson University and an MA in clinical psychology from Argosy University (formerly GA School of Professional Psychology).

Erica brings almost twenty-five years of experience in the Jewish educational and engagement world to this position. She has served in several areas of Jewish life: two synagogues in the greater Atlanta area; BBYO and Beit Hamidrash (Hebrew High) in Orlando; Hillel at the University of Central Florida; and the American Hebrew Academy (AHA) in Greensboro, North Carolina.

In addition to her role as Youth Group Director, she also serves as the Director of Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Network (JTEEN), a national network of Jewish teen professionals, a board consultant for Center for Israel Education (CIE), co-creator/co-facilitator of a parenting course called, ‘PhD in Parenting Teens,’ and a professional organizer!

Erica lives in Dunedin with her husband Matt and daughters Zipporah (22) and Lila (17).

Emailyouthdirector@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

 

 

Angelica Villalobos, Weaner Religious School Secretary

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

 

Andrea Coleman, Office Assistant

Andrea moved to Florida with her family as a child. She has grown up here in the Clearwater/Palm Harbor area. She is an alum of Countryside High School, Clearwater, FL. She attended Saint Petersburg College for her degree in Business, she holds a certification as an SHRM-SCP. Her background is in Legal and Human Resources. She loves spending time with her family, working with people, arts, comedy, and volunteering.

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

 

Kathy McKinnon, Administrative Assistant

Kathy is originally from Illinois. She moved to Florida as a child. She has degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, where she attended while serving in the US Army. She has a background in web design and development. She enjoys yoga, photography, art, and spending time in nature.

Phone: 727-785-8811, ext. 110 Email: adminassistant@ahavatshalom.org

Krieger Early Childhood Center (ECC) Staff

Sarah Kurland, Krieger ECC Director

Hello Krieger ECC Families! I am so excited to be a member of the Temple Ahavat Shalom and Krieger Family! I was raised in a small town in up-state New York where I went to Religious School Each week. After graduating from High School, I was asked to teach the Pre-Kindergarten Class for the Temple were I was raised. It was that teaching experience that led me to pursue and receive my Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the State University of Cobleskill, New York in 2012.  I believe that it’s not only our responsibility to educate children, but our privilege.

Phone:  727-785-8811, ext. 115        Emailpreschool@ahavatshalom.org

 

Elisa Perez, Associate of First Impressions,
Krieger ECC Center Assistant Director

As the Associate of First Impressions at Temple Ahavat Shalom, I am generally the first person to greet you as you enter the Temple Monday thru Friday. I am currently a student at USF St. Pete studying elementary education and I have worked at the Temple since 2013. While working at the Temple, I have enjoyed working in different areas and facing new tasks. Originally from Miami, I moved up here in 2007 and I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

Phone:  727-785-8811, ext. 122        Emailpreschooladmin@ahavatshalom.org

Maintenance Staff

Maintenance Supervisor

Alex Perez
Phone: 727-831-2591

Maintenance Staff

Agim Begaj

Custodian

Valbona Begaj