• 06

    Week of February 7-13, 2016  (28 Shevat-4 Adar 1 5776) 

  • 13

    Week of February 14-20, 2016 (5 Adar-11 Adar 1 5776)

  • 13

    Week of  February 14-20, 2016  (5-11 Adar 1 5776) 

  • 30

    Week of February 7-13, 2016  (28 Shevat-4 Adar 1 5776) 

Our Staff


Josh Laster

Executive Director

Josh Laster joined Congregation Beth El in October 2015. Josh has been working in the Jewish community since 1999 with a focus on Jewish communal service, youth work, education and programming. Prior to joining Beth El, Josh served as the Executive Director of Beth Chaim in Princeton Junction, NJ and at Ohev Shalom in Wallingford, Pennsylvania.

Before beginning his career as a synagogue executive director, Josh worked in IT sales with a focus on communications and software specific applications, as a full time Jewish youth professional and as an elementary school teacher. He served as the Waterfront Director at URJ Camp Harlam for six years and is an active member of the Camp Harlam Council. He received his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Shippensburg University in May of 1997.

Josh attributes his love of working within the Jewish community to a few sources. The first is his father’s role as a Temple Administrator for 14 years. His father was the Executive Director at Temple Sinai in Washington D.C. The second is Josh’s years spent as the Waterfront Director at URJ Camp Harlam. Camp Harlam holds a special place in his heart, because his parents met there in 1967, while his dad was also the Waterfront Director. And the third is the twelve years spent in part-time and full-time youth work at various congregations in the Philadelphia area.

Josh is married to Erica. They have two beautiful daughters, Isabella and Maryn.

Contact: jlaster@bethelsnj.org

Yaffa Fuchs

Educational Director

Yaffa Fuchs has been the Educational Director of Congregation Beth El since 1989. Yaffa received a Bachelors degree in mathematics from Brooklyn College and a Masters in Jewish Education as well as a Principal Certification from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She also holds a New York State certification in mathematics.

As the daughter of a great Rabbinic lineage, Yaffa's Jewish education began early. Born in Israel, Yaffa immigrated with her parents to the United States at the age of ten and lived in New York City, where she attended Jewish Day Schools through High School. Her professional experience which spans more than thirty five years includes teaching mathematics and Hebrew in public schools, Judaic subjects in both Jewish Day Schools and Synagogue schools, and adult education.

Under Yaffa's leadership, Beth El Religious School has grown both qualitatively and quantitatively, becoming a United Synagogue Framework for Excellence School in 2004 and earning the prestigious Solomon Schechter Gold Award from United Synagogue in 2009 for Family Education. Among her successes is the founding of Project Lev, a special needs program for developmentally challenged children, for which Beth El received the Solomon Schechter Gold Award in 2008.

Yaffa Fuchs serves on the national board of Jewish Educators Assembly, a professional Jewish organization committed to the enhancement of Conservative Jewish Education. She enjoys singing, reading Torah and Megillah and playing her flute. She lives in Cherry Hill with her husband, Jack, and has two children and three grandsons.

Contact: yfuchs@bethelsnj.org

Dina Eliezer

Early Childhood Center Director

Dina Eliezer is a passionate Jewish educator who has been celebrating Judaism with children and adults for over 30 years. From 1990 to 2011 she served as the Assistant Director and then Educational Director at Temple Beth Sholom (TBS) in Cherry Hill, NJ. She created a program and a curriculum that lead to the accreditation and receiving of the Framework of Excellence Award twice. Since 2011 she has served as the Education Director of Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas Texas. During her tenure there she revitalized the school with dynamic programming and state-of-the-art technology.

After traveling throughout three continents and attending various universities, Dina received a BA degree in Foreign Languages from Edison College. She earned her MA degree in Jewish Education in the Administration Track from Gratz College. For the last few years, she has been pursuing a Doctorate degree in Jewish Studies at Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies in Chicago.

Dina was born in Turkey, raised in Israel. She is married to Edi and has three children, Netanel, Neomie and Elishay, and a grandson Adrian.

Contact: deliezer@bethelsnj.org

Yearit Acosta

ECC Assistant Director

Yearit was born and raised in Israel, and attended an Ulpana high school (a girl’s Yeshiva). After completing her military service as an intelligence supervisor in the IDF, Yearit earned her B.A. in International Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. While in school, she was involved with the Wisconsin Family and Schools Together (FAST) program, UW Madison McBurney Center for students with disabilities, and Hillel.

After relocating to State College, PA Yearit worked as a Program Registration Adviser at Penn State University, advising student organizations on how to plan events on campus. Due to her husband’s work Yearit relocated to Pittsburgh, PA.  While in Pittsburgh she enjoyed working as a Hebrew Specialist in a preschool of a conservative synagogue which was part of the Pennsylvania’s Keystone STARS program, teaching infants through Pre-K.

In the summer of 2012 Yearit relocated once more with her husband Eleazar and their son to Marlton, NJ. The same year she joined Beth El Religious School as a teacher of the first and fifth grades.  Yearit is excited and grateful to join the Beth El ECC’s family and the talented team of teachers as an assistant director. She is looking forward to get to know the current and future families of Beth El ECC.

In her free time Yearit enjoys hiking and camping with her family and organizing activities for Chevruta, the Cherry Hill Israeli Women Circle.

Contact: yacosta@bethelsnj.org

Tamar Barkan

Community Life Director and Facilities & Event Manager

Tamar was born and raised in Washington, D.C.  At the age of twelve her family uprooted from the U.S. and made their new and permanent home in Jerusalem, Israel.  After completing her high school education in Pelech Religious School in Jerusalem, she joined the Israel Defense Force for her mandatory two year service and served as a liaison between civilians and the military.  Upon completing her service Tamar returned to the U.S. to pursue her B.A. degree from California State University of Northridge majoring in Early Childhood Education.

Following her passion for education, Tamar began working as a kindergarten teacher in the U.S.  Upon returning home to Israel she began raising her own family, founded and directed a private daycare center and served as the cultural event director for her community in Moshav Chogla.

In 2006, Tamar, her husband Nir and their children, relocated to Voorhees at the request of Comverse Technologies, Nir’s employer.  The Jewish education community welcomed her in various positions; Teacher, Family Program Director, Assistant Education Director and Youth group leader.  With her love and connection to Israel, Tamar made it her mission to plan and coordinate customized trips to her homeland.

In her free time, Tamar loves to travel, enjoys theatre and spending time with her four children, three of whom returned to Israel to serve in the Israeli army.

Contact: tbarkan@bethelsnj.org

Beth Josephs

Clergy Executive Administrator

Beth has been involved in her local Jewish communities for many years. She grew up in Fair Lawn, NJ, at Temple Beth Shalom. After getting married, she moved back to Fair Lawn, re-joined Temple Beth Shalom, and spent many years on the Education Committee.  When her family moved to Marlboro, NJ, they joined Marlboro Jewish Center. Beth served on the Executive Board as VP of Fundraising. She also served on the Education Committee, re-started the Shallach Manot program and was a Sisterhood member.Additionally, Beth was the Senior Executive Assistant to the Executive Director at Marlboro Jewish Center. She worked in the office for 13 years. Prior to MJC, Beth worked as a recruiter and a Manager of Employment for Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ. She also owned a children’s clothing store.

Beth is married to Larry, who is the VP of Sales at a consumer Electronics Company located in Edison, NJ. They are the parents of Jennifer and Sam. Jennifer is an Early Education Teacher who lives in Maple Shade, NJ, and Sam is an Honors Mechanical and Electrical Engineer major at Rowan University.

Contact: bjosephs@bethelsnj.org

Amy Kaplan


Amy Kaplan has been the librarian for Congregation Beth El since 1988. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she received her MS in Library and Information science from Drexel University, where she was elected to Beta Phi Mu, the national library science honorary society. Amy selects, catalogues, and organizes all books and media in the synagogue library. In addition, she leads the monthly Short Story Discussion Group. She shares her love of books with synagogue members of all ages from Beth El preschoolers to seniors, and also serves as a facilitator for local book clubs.

Amy is active in Jewish organizations on the local and national scene. She served two terms as President of the Katz Jewish Community Center. On the national level, she was installed as a member of the board of the national Jewish Community Centers Association in 2008.

Amy and her husband Barnard, an ophthalmologist, have lived in Voorhees since 1979. They are the proud parents of Sarah, an attorney, and Naomi, a student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Contact: akaplan@bethelsnj.org





                • Ralph Maietti

                  Director of Maintenance


Early Childhood Center Faculty

        • Michal Alboher
        • Eden Aroshas
        • Jennifer Borger
        • Ellie Burstein
        • Sharon Diamond
        • Elana Doar
        • Kathleen Emeneo
        • Julie Gelman
        • Susan Giglio
        • Susan Haggas
        • Lora Helman
        • Belle S. Hirn
        • Sujata Kushary
        • Paula Levine
        • Hillary Maslin
        • Kiyomi Miller
        • Sheryl Morales
        • Elayne Ostroff
        • Stephanie Quillen
        • Florence Raffa
        • Jennifer Reich
        • Shira Sklar
        • Andrea Smith
        • Lauren Spector
        • Caryn Weiss
        • Bernadette Wiercioch
        • Shari Wild

Religious School Faculty

      • Chaya Amar
      • Gloria Andersen
      • Ellen Bernstein
      • Pam Bornstein
      • Jerry Bralow
      • Elana Doar
      • Ellen Fine
      • Mali Gold
      • Alan Kritz
      • Lea Rozovsky
      • Cantor Leon Sher
      • Debbi Silverman
      • Shari Smith
      • Binyamin Stone

Hebrew High Faculty HH1- HH4 (Grades 7-10)

    • Larry Abrams
    • Marsha Axler
    • Jodi Bloch
    • Hazzan Alisa Pomerantz-Boro
    • Ellen Fine
    • Harry Grossman
    • Alan Kritz
    • Rabbi Aaron Krupnick
    • Chaim Respes
    • Binyamin Stone