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, N.Y., 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 the wonderful opportunity to get back to her Jewish roots and teach 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 and curriculum 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 and truly feel like it is their second home.

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.

 

Talia Shuman, Youth Group Advisor

Talia was born in Boston, Massachusetts.  She moved to Tampa in August of 2014 to attend The University of Tampa, where she earned her bachelors in both Psychology and Music.  During her time at UT she acted as President of Hillel for two years, where she focused on promoting Jewish life among college students and helped to create an open dialogue between both the Jewish and Non-Jewish students about Judaism.

Upon graduating, she was given the amazing opportunity to work as the Youth Group Advisor at Temple Ahavat Shalom.  Through this position, Talia will continue working to promote the exploration of Jewish Identity, and through that, the improvement of self-esteem, self-respect, and honesty.  In the future, Talia hopes to pursue a career in school psychology, while continuing to promote Jewish Life.

 

Office Staff

Sharon Binder Administrative Assistant Phone:  727-785-8811, ext. 124

Email: adminassistant2@ahavatshalom.org

Miranda Mamutaj Accountant   Phone:  727-785-8811, ext. 111

Email:  bookkeeper@ahavatshalom.org

 

Madison Parker Weaner Religious School Secretary   Phone:  727-785-8811, ext. 114

Email:  rssecretary@ahavatshalom.org

 

 

 

Krieger Early Childhood Center Staff

 Sarah Kurland Center Director Phone:  727-785-8811, ext. 116

Email:  preschool@ahavatshalom.org

 

Maintenance Staff

 

Alex Perez

 

Supervisor Phone:  727-831-2591
 

Agim Begaj

 

Maintenance staff
Valbona Begaj Custodian