Synagogue Director - Cathy Seldin
Cathy is a born and bred Long Islander and long-time Port Washington resident who came to TBI a little over two years ago. While new to working in the Jewish world, Cathy is not new to jobs with diverse managerial experiences in the business, educational and non-profit worlds. In her 30-plus year professional career, Cathy worked in college administration, hotel/convention management (the Catskill’s no less!) and marketing communications for public relations agencies, international corporations and local small business.
TBI and Cathy are an ideal match for her skills and passions as the congregation looks to the future. It’s all in a joyous day’s work for Cathy to be advising and assisting a Bar/Bat Mitzvah family; negotiating with contractors and managing a renovation project as well as overseeing temple operations; working with congregants to plan the annual TBI gala and coordinate Mitzvah Day; making new congregants, young parents and senior members feel welcome and involved; and supporting the clergy, educators and lay leadership.
As the Synagogue Director, Cathy is grateful for the opportunity to contribute and strengthen her love of Jewish life and community through her work with TBI. An adult Bat Mitzvah who read from the Torah just two weeks before her own daughter, Rachel, she continues to volunteer in the Port community through her work with Sandsport Shoshana Hadassah and the Ed. Foundation. Cathy has a Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management from Rutgers University, and she recently obtained a certificate from Columbia University’s Institute for Jewish Executive Leadership. Cathy lives in Port Washington with her husband Mark, daughter Rachel, and their television watching Maltese, Cody.
Office Manager -Julie Cheevers
Julie is the first friendly face that will greet you when you enter the Main Office. Whether you are inquiring about a yahrzeit, dropping off a check or asking to create a flyer, Julie is the contact. Julie came aboard in September of 2014 and is an integral member of the TBI team. Julie is responsible for our weekly eblast and is the key computer person (and our tech wizard) always solving a glitch or creating a web page. Julie is a graduate of New York University with a BA in Music Business. She had a long career as a make-up artist working with many fashion greats. When not at TBI, Julie enjoys playing guitar, swimming, and spending time with friends, her husband Stephen, her two boys Bram and Gavin and their beautiful Siamese cat Reishi.
Preschool Director - Diana Snaider
Diana Snaider joined Temple Beth Israel in 2013 as a UPK teacher. She has experience in both preschool and elementary education as well as special education. For the past eight summers she has worked at a sleep-away camp in Equinunk, PA as a Grouphead. Diana earned a BA in communication at the University of Wisconsin. She continued on to receive her Masters in Elementary Education N-6 at Hunter College and also earned her certificate in special education from birth-6th grade at Touro College. Diana looks forward to seeing the children’s smiling faces as they walk into the school eager to learn every day.
Director Of Education and Engagement - Rachel Barnehama
Rachel Barnehama joined Temple Beth Israel as the Director of Education and Engagement in 2018. Rachel received her masters in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. During her time in school, Rachel worked at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck serving as their Education Intern coordinating family education and hebrew programs. Following her internship, Rachel joined the Temple Beth-El team full time as the Assistant Director of the Religious School and the Director of Youth Engagement. People who have worked with and know Rachel can attest to her deep love of Israel. In 2017 she was selected to participate in the iCenter's iFellows program for a Masters Concentration in Israel Education. The program, consisting of a select group of educators and Jewish professionals, allowed Rachel to further explore her love of Israel and learn best practices for teaching others about all our Jewish home has to offer. Her connection with Israel made her the ideal leader for numerous Birthright trips to Israel, URJ Mitzvah Corps trips and most recently Project Understanding--an interfaith trip to Israel for students in 11th grade with the goal of visiting each others holy sites and developing profound levels of understanding with one another's religious beliefs. Rachel believes strongly in creating an environment where students can learn through Torah and social action. Her professional mission is to develop students' individual character strengths as well as provide them with a positive and experiential path to their own Jewish identity. Rachel is a native to the North Shore of Long Island and enjoys volunteering her time at the Guide Dog Foundation, Jewish summer camps, photography and traveling with friends and family. Rachel is an ice cream connoisseur (especially from Sweet Treats on the Wharf) so be sure to reach out for an ice cream date.