Staff

Anat Katzir

Religious School Director

Morah Anat Katzir started working at TBO Religious School as a teacher in 2012 when she and her family moved to the United States from Israel.  Before moving, Anat worked as an educator and program director for Emissary Initiatives at the Jewish Agency for Israel in Jerusalem. Morah Anat spent many summers as a camp staff member, taking on roles of athletic director, nature and overnight camping supervisor, CIT program director , Jewish and Israel educator and camp director in camps  affiliated with the BBYO, URJ and Young Judea movements. Morah Anat has taught at religious school and worked with the youth groups at Temple Avodat Shalom in River Edge and Temple Sinai of Bergen County, as well as for educational initiatives run by the Foundation for Jewish Camping and iCenter Chicago.

Morah Anat recently graduated with an MA in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in NYC.

Although Morah Anat was born in California, her Israeli accent and personality hint that she was raised in Israel.  She grew up in Haifa, where she split time between being an active participant and counselor in the Israeli BBYO Sister movement “Noar L’Noar”- Youth to Youth.  She also played and coached basketball in school and in “Ha’Poel Haifa” youth and adult national leagues.  After two years’ service in the Israeli Defense Force, Morah Anat attended Tel Aviv University, where she graduated from law school.

Morah Anat, along with her husband Ophir and their sons, Yoel and Yinon (and dogs Buddha and Novo) live in Tenafly, New Jersey.  Anat loves going on hikes and camping trips with her family and playing the guitar and piano, while singing off key.

Morah Anat can be reached at Akatzir@templebethornj.org

 

Beth Blackman

Temple Administrator

Beth has been a congregant at Temple Beth Or since 1996, and served as president of the congregation from 2004-2006. During her tenure as president, along with members of the board and a grant from the Henry Taub Foundation Synagogue Leadership Initiative, Beth helped to create a strategic plan that led the congregation to its first capital campaign. Beth went on a congregational trip to Israel in 2006 and became an adult bat mitvzah at TBO in 2007.

You can reach Beth at bblackman@templebethornj.org or 201-664-7422.

 

Shawn Fogel

Youth and Teen Leader

Shawn Fogel grew up at Reform Temple of Suffern in Rockland County, New York. There he became a bar mitzvah, a confirmand, and served as president of the temple youth group. He was also very active in North American Federation of Temple Youth’s Garden Empire Region (NFTY-GER), where he was a regional song leader (1998-1999) as well as Northern Subregional Vice President (1999-2000).

After graduating from high school, Shawn spent the summer of 2000 as a song leader and cabin counselor at URJ Camp Harlam in Kunkletown, Pennsylvania. He then went on to attend Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, graduating in 2004 with a BA in music. In 2006, Shawn moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut and served as a religious school teacher and music specialist at Congregation B’nai Israel. The following year, Shawn moved to New Jersey with his future wife and begin his tenure at Temple Beth Or.

Shawn began teaching 7th grade at TBO’s religious school in 2007. When the regional high school program Bergen Academy of Reform Judaism dissolved in 2010, Shawn became TBO’s first Director of Teen Programming, and was tasked with creating a new post-b’nai mitzvah program. Temple Beth Or’s “Teen Community Night” was born, as well as Organization of Beth Or Youth (OBOY).

In 2011, Shawn served as the Site Director for NFTY’s Urban Mitzvah Corps. That summer he spend six weeks with 40 high school juniors and seniors, living on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University and volunteering at various job sites in the area (such as a soup kitchen, an assisted living home, and a day camp for mentally and physically disabled children and adults).

Along with his position as Director of Teen Programming, Shawn shares his musical talents with TBO at the monthly early childhood sing-along and Mishpacha Shabbat, the weekly music and t’filah sessions of the religious school. During High Holy Days, Shawn leads services for 3-6 graders and their families. He continues to be a song leader at NFTY-GER’s regional events and a mentor to GER’s teen song leaders since 2006.

Moreh Shawn can be reached at sfogel@templebethornj.org or 201-664-7422.

 

Bonnie Ziff

Administrative Assistant

Bonnie graduated from Alfred University in Alfred, New York. After graduation, she joined the US Peace Corps and served as a volunteer in Central African Republic. Upon returning to the United States, Bonnie embarked on two careers, one in the professional theater and the other as marketing manager at Becton Dickinson. Bonnie came to Temple Beth Or in 2008 as the Administrative Assistant for the religious school. Bonnie, along with her husband Bob, lives in Ramsey, New Jersey with their three children, Jake, Michelle, and Rachel, two guinea pigs, and one hamster.

Bonnie can be reached at bziff@templebethornj.org or 201-664-7422, ext 18.

 

Thomas Mustachio

Musical Accompanist

A native of New Jersey, Thomas Mustachio completed his undergraduate work (Piano Performance & Music Education) and graduate work (Choral Conducting) at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. He has performed as a vocalist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center and The Philadelphia Academy of Music, under such eminent conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Joseph Flummerfelt, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, and Riccardo Muti.

From 1993 to 2008 Mr. Mustachio resided in the Twin Cities as Music Director of historic First Congregational Church of Minnesota in Minneapolis. From 1998 to 2008 he served as Music Supervisor and Resident Music Director of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, the largest Equity dinner theatre in the country. Career highlights include creating the score (vocal and dance arrangements; orchestrations) for the world premiere stage production of Irving Berlin’s Easter Parade in 2007, and being twice named Outstanding Twin Cities Music Director for West Side Story (2006) and Hair (2004). Mr. Mustachio has music directed and/or accompanied nearly 70 theatre productions. He is a published author and composer.

Mustachio returned to the metro NYC area in July 2008, and since January 2009 has been the Music Director of Glen Ridge Congregational Church and Artistic Director of the Glen Ridge Community Concert Series and Music Director of the Glen Ridge Choral Society. He joined the staff of Temple Beth Or as our accompanist in July 2009.

 

CUSTODIAL STAFF

Our Custodial Staff at Temple Beth Or is truly a family affair.  While Blanca Ortega and Jorge Ortega are cousins, they are an integral part of our TBO family.  Without Blanca and Jorge, our Temple of Light would never shine so brightly.  Please be sure to say hello to them when you are in the building.

Blanca Pardo

Custodian

Blanca came to the United States from Spain in 2001. She is married and has two sons. Blanca began working for Temple Beth Or in 2005.

 

Jorge Ortega

Custodian

Jorge has been at Temple Beth Or on the weekends since 2005.  He is married to Luisa and they have two beautiful daughters.