Staff

Joel Berger
Executive Director
Joel has been in Jewish communal work in South and Central Florida for 30 years. Joel completed his tenure as CEO of the Rosen JCC in Orlando and before joining the JCC, Berger was the Executive Director at Temple Israel of Greater Miami where he served for three years. Previously, he served six years as Executive Director of Beth David Congregation in Miami, where he led the synagogue’s successful 2012 centennial campaign. Previously, he was Executive Director of University of Miami Hillel in Coral Gables, and earlier served as youth, camp and Executive Director at Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus in Aventura. 

Berger has done non-profit consulting work with Pisgah Consulting out of Atlanta, Georgia and Joel was also a founding member of The Collective, a consortium of over 300 non-profits in the Orlando Area. Joel has served two years as the President of the Florida Association of Synagogue and Temple Administration, which offers its professional members networking, education and training activities.   

Joel is a guest speaker on a wide variety of industry topics. Adept at managing multiple projects, leading cross-functional teams, and driving program success across functions. Strong relationship building, decision-making, communications and problem solving capabilities. Excellent knowledge in areas of security and employee benefits.

Joel was recently elected to the board of NAASE, the North American Association of Synagogue Executives serving a two year term.  He was also recognized for over 18 years of service as an Executive Director in the Conservative Movement.

An alumnus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Berger holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance and a BS in Management/Management Information Decision Systems.

Joel is married to Gloria Gorman Berger, and together they have two children, Stephanie and Lauren, and he looks forward to being a part of The Jewish Center for many years to come.

Sharon Diamondstein
Director of Congregational Learning at The Jewish Center of Princeton

Sharon Diamondstein was born in Israel and moved to the United States at the age of three.  Sharon grew up in Millburn, New Jersey, with her parents, Michele Franck and Israeli singer Shabi Katzir, and her sister, Daniella.   She received her religious education at Congregation B’nai Israel, where she always enjoyed actively participating in t’fillah (prayer) and music.  

Sharon serves the Jewish Center of Princeton as Director of Congregational Learning with more than 20 years in Jewish, public, and private education.  She has taught at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick and at Congregation Kehilat Shalom in Belle Mead.  Also, Sharon taught at Yeshiva at the Jersey Shore in Ocean Township and at Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael in Springfield, NJ.  Through her experiences in the various branches of Judaism, she has found there are unifying threads and what unites us is stronger than what divides us.

Sharon seeks to find Torah in the every-day world around her, and can often be heard saying, “there is Torah in this.”  Driven by a strong call to help others connect to Judaism, Sharon has always had a passion for supplemental education. She loves bringing Jewish values to life and showing others the world through a Jewish lens. Sharon will tell you that she is “living her dream,” instilling both love and meaning of Judaism in others.

An avid Disney fan, Sharon has an extensive collection of Disney Tsum Tsum figures in her office.  In her free time, she enjoys cooking, watching Disney movies, reading, and spending time with close friends and family.

Sharon currently lives in Highland Park with her husband Marc, and her two sons, Eric and Jason, who love learning at the Jewish Center, and her two dogs, Jack and Dory.

Emilie Kovit
Director of Programming and Engagement
Emilie is excited to be part of the staff at TJC. After years working in corporate publishing and Human Resources positions, Emilie felt drawn to the Jewish communal life. From 2013 to 2022, Emilie was the Executive Director of Congregation B’nai Israel in Rumson, NJ, a small to mid-sized conservative synagogue in the heart of the Jersey Shore, where among her myriad duties including running logistics for all synagogue programming, she thrived at engaging with membership of all ages. Now she has come to us where she will be able to capitalize on those experiences in her new role as Director of Programming and Engagement.

Emilie is a native New Yorker who moved to NJ in 2005. She lives in Middletown, NJ in Monmouth County with her husband, Dr. Andrew Meyer, a Chinese History professor at Brooklyn College, and her daughter, Ada, who is in her senior year of High School. She has a Bachelors degree in English Literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Hunter College.

In her free time, Emilie is a bookworm, reading a wide range of genres, loves crossword puzzles and the New York Times Spelling Bee, plays guitar and sings, and enjoys hanging out with family and friends and her two cats.

Stephanie Spielholz
Youth Director

Stephanie is excited to start as our new Youth Director. She has been a member of the community for many years. You may know her as Stephanie Arons who had her bat mitzvah at TJC in 2004. You may know her from her many years working at the Joan Levin Nursery School Summer Camp.  You may know her as your child’s Gesher LeKesher advisor. You may not know her but will meet her soon at one of our upcoming youth events. She is excited to bring her passion for Jewish community building back to the place that started it all for her.

Lisa Jacobs
Communication Manager

Lisa is thrilled to become a part of The Jewish Center of Princeton! She has a strong design and photography background, with a BFA in Graphic Design and a B.S. in Art. She also holds a certificate in Digital Marketing and enjoys working with social media. She’s lived all over, including South Florida, Orlando, Washington DC, and various parts of New Jersey, and spent a semester abroad in Australia. Lisa also spent some time in Israel, traveling with Young Judea. In her free time, she enjoys photography, modeling, movies, and hanging out with her best friend in Fanwood. She has a cat named Tigger, and loves to cuddle with him. She comes from a family who has worked in the Jewish World, including the Federation and the JCC, and is glad to carry on this tradition and looks forward to working with the board, staff, and congregants of The Jewish Center of Princeton.

Cynthia Richman
Executive Assistant Religious School / Assistant to Rabbi Merow

Cynthia was born and raised in New York City, Brooklyn, Staten Island and then moved to Manhattan where she began her married life.
Cynthia moved to West Windsor, NJ to raise her children, Alex and Samantha.

Cynthia has been with TJC in many roles, beginning as nursery parent in 1998. She began teaching in the nursery school in 2004 until 2015 and then on to working in the religious school office. She also teaches our youngest learners in the Ganon class. Being affiliated with TJC has greatly enhanced Cynthia’s Jewish experiences for which she is grateful.

Cynthia loves spending time with her family and friends. Enjoys traveling, dancing, concerts, Broadway shows, cooking and entertaining. She is an avid tennis player with a new hobby, pickleball. She lives with her husband, Tom and furry daughter Jessie.

Rachel Patek
Youth Advisor

Hi my name is Rachel! I am a sophomore at The College of New Jersey. My major is psychology and I am interested in human resources. At school I am on the women’s club rugby team, am active in my college’s Chabad, and am a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity. I love to read, spend time outside, and my biggest passion is travel. I’ve been to twenty different countries but my favorite by far was Israel, where I spent all of last summer! I am so excited to be part of the USY team. I was never involved in jewish youth programs growing up, and after spending a summer in Israel I realized the importance of educating students on their heritage and faith, and I am eager to start! 

Julian Morgan
Youth Volunteer 

Discover a world of exciting opportunities within our synagogue’s youth community. At The Jewish Center, we’re dedicated to fostering a strong sense of identity and connection to our Jewish heritage. This page is your gateway to the engaging programs, events, and resources we offer for young members. Explore the various activities and reach out with any questions – we’re here to support you on your Jewish path.

Together, we’ll create lasting memories and meaningful connections for the whole family.

Custodial Staff

Nikita Agyei
Marc Sene Charles
James Itomo