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The cai team

Jill Bristow, Operations and Events Manager was born in Paterson, NJ and raised in Ridgewood, NJ. She graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in History and earned a MA in Marketing and Finance from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Jill realized after a few years at Nabisco at their headquarters in East Hanover, NJ that corporate life was not where she wanted to be. Her passion was with special events and changed gears by entering the non-profit world in New York City where she also lived for over 10 years in a small studio apartment. Jill has an extensive background in both special events and operations having worked for New York Road Runners, the City of New York Parks & Recreation, and the Central Park Conservancy. At CPC she served as Director of Operations coordinating all large-scale event logistics with NYC Agencies such as NYPD and evaluating and establishing protocol for 1500 special events and 3000 filming & photography requests annually. She also managed day to day operations addressing the needs and issues of Central Park and was responsible for implementing emergency and safety procedures for the Park and its 35 million visitors annually. Jill currently lives in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ and is hoping to move to Essex County soon. She is an avid sports fan, especially of the Mets and the Jets.
Contact Jill Bristow

Dorit Elie is the Administrative Assistant for Cantor Joel Caplan and has worked in this capacity for over 20 years. Born and raised in Israel, she has resided in the USA for the past 27 years and has a BA in Jewish Studies. Dorit manages the yahrzeit database and informs our members of upcoming yahrzeits. She is also the administrator of the Happy Purim program and the Purim fundraiser.
Contact Dorit Elie

Karen Frank, our Congregation Nurse, integrates physical and spiritual health. Meeting with our members and their families, Karen consults on health concerns, assists in making lifestyle choices, helps to grapple with spiritual issues, and connects families to community resources. Karen makes hospital visits to our members, listening to their concerns and helping in many ways to make their return home more seamless. She visits the frail and homebound members of our congregation to keep them connected to the community and safe in their homes. Providing guidance to congregants dealing with difficult medical diagnoses or conditions, Karen consults to aid them in navigating both their treatment options and their spiritual distress. She helps families cope with challenging situations and gives them support.
Contact Karen Frank

Shari Friedman is Assistant to the Education Director and a Lerner Early Childhood Center and Religious School teacher. Shari has been an active member of CAI for over 20 years and a teacher for over 14. She enjoys finding new and exciting ways to bring a love of Judaism into the homes of members in every age and stage.
Contact Shari Friedman

Ashley Frish, our Lerner Early Childhood Center Summer Camp Director, received her BS from Northeastern University and a dual Masters in Education from Montclair State University. She taught preschool in New York City for many years and has over 20 years of experience working at summer camps. Ashley and her husband joined CAI in 2019 as members.
Contact Ashley Frish


Adina Galatz is CAI's Office Manager. A Rutgers University graduate with a degree in psychology, she's spent most of her career in administration and event coordination for Jewish non-profits, having fallen for the pace, the values, and the people unique to this sector. Adina joined the CAI team after a nine-year engagement with Sharsheret, The Jewish Breast and Ovarian Cancer Community, where she learned to do all sorts of fancy things in Excel and to believe in her own abilities.
Contact Adina Galatz

Sam Lurie, Director of Youth Engagement, was raised in Livingston, NJ and grew up right here at CAI! As a former CAI Bar Mitzvah student, religious school assistant, and youth group leader, Sam is very excited to spearhead the next generation of Agudath teen programming! 

Sam graduated from Rutgers University with his B.A. in History and Jewish Studies. In college, he served as the Executive Vice President of Rutgers Hillel, where he helped lead one of the largest Jewish campus populations in the country. In class, Sam completed award-winning academic research on medieval Hebrew manuscripts and Jewish history in the Catskill Mountains. 

Sam has previously worked for the Rutgers Department of Jewish Studies, Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, Golda Och Academy, Masorti on Campus, and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. He most recently served as the Collections and Programming Manager of the new Catskills Borscht Belt Museum in Ellenville, NY.

Andrea Malmud is the Zeller Jewish Family Service of MetroWest Social Worker at Congregation Agudath Israel. Andrea came to our synagogue in September, 2018 through an affiliation with Jewish Family Service of MetroWest and the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. She feels honored to have become part of our loving community, so that she can have the chance to listen, dry an eye, offer support, educate, and celebrate resilience.

Andrea's role is to provide consultation, training and other services to staff, lay leaders, volunteers and members. Further, crisis intervention, brief therapy, information and referral, mutual support groups, and community education programs... and a cookie here and there. With more than 30 years of experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Certified Cognitive-Behavior Therapist, and a Certified Grief Counseling Specialist, Andrea works with people of all ages struggling with anxiety, depression, anger, loss, relationship issues, parenting, substance abuse, domestic violence, and the like. She has served in the roles of Chief Professional Officer, Clinical Director, therapist, in outpatient and inpatient facilities, and has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers.
Contact Andrea Malmud

Jessica Pablo, our ECC Administrative Assistant is from Livingston and has been working in early childhood for the past 6 years – she enjoys being a part of CAI!
Contact Jessica Pablo

Mary Shearin is CAI's Development Associate.
Contact Mary Shearin

Melissa Steb is CAI's Communications Manager. Melissa is a graduate of Rutgers University Camden School of Business where she studied marketing and anthropology. Her interest in market research led her to focus on this discipline, and even participate in an international marketing study abroad program in South Africa her junior year. While at Rutgers, Melissa was a founding member of her sorority's chapter at the university and later the chapter's alumnae association. Prior to working at CAI, Melissa was the Membership Services Representative at JCC MetroWest in West Orange and served in this role for five years. She then joined CAI in 2018 as a Development and Administrative Assistant and quickly took on more responsibility to become the Communications Manager. Melissa is now responsible for all of CAI's communications including website management, creation and distribution of promotional materials, social media, and email content and design. She is fully responsible for the development, creation, and production of the CAI's Magazine, The Voice. She is proud to be the connection between the clergy, staff, lay leaders, and congregants to communicate the wide array of classes, events and volunteer opportunities at CAI. Contact Melissa Steb

Lori Weinberg is the Administrative Coordinator of the Education Department and a lifelong member of Congregation Agudath Israel. An alumna of the ECC and RS, Lori has been involved in numerous areas of synagogue life over the years. Currently, Lori oversees the ECC Extended Day Program as well as coordinating various administrative responsibilities in the Education Department.
Contact Lori Weinberg

June 24,2024 /  18 Sivan 5784