Building Community Together
B’nai Tzedek's talented professional staff bring warmth to our congregational family. We look forward to getting to know you, please feel free to contact us.
Gary Fifer, Executive Director
[email protected] Ext. 307
Gary comes to us after having served as the Executive Director of Congregation Har HaShem in Boulder, Colorado and Congregation Shaarie Torah in Portland, Oregon. Prior to that, while raising a family in Roanoke, Virginia, Gary served in numerous volunteer leadership roles in the Jewish community, including Board President, Secretary, Building Committee Chair, Ritual Committee member, and Chevra Kadisha member.
Previously, Gary held senior leadership roles in the direct marketing industry. Gary’s passion for building Jewish community and his belief that synagogues are essential to helping our Jewish communities flourish prompted his career change. He believes that his contributions as an Executive Director draw on a combination of lessons learned from business as well as lessons learned from Torah.
Gary and his wife, Hope Trachtenberg-Fifer, have four adult children and two grandchildren. They are proud that their children all contribute both professional and volunteer time to bettering the communities in which they live.
Carrie Hirshfield, Controller
[email protected] Ext. 308
Carrie Hirshfield has been with B’nai Tzedek since June 2011 as the Controller/Business Manager. She has almost 25 years of experience in the accounting field since graduating from the University of Rhode Island. Previously she was the Director of Financial Reporting at the Public Broadcasting Service from 1999-2011. Carrie currently resides in Rockville with her two boys, Mason and Kaden.
Missy Schwartz, Office Manager
[email protected] Ext. 304
Missy Schwartz has worked at B'nai Tzedek since 1997. Missy is a native Marylander who was raised in Damascus and Gaithersburg. She currently lives in Frederick with her husband, Bryon and her rescued greyhound, Samson.
Jane Greenblatt, Director, Greenzaid ECC
[email protected] Ext. 329
We are delighted to announce that Jane Greenblatt has accepted the position of Director of the B’nai Tzedek Greenzaid Early Childhood Center for the 2019-2020 school year. Many of you know Jane as the lead teacher for the Two’s Classroom at the GECC for 10 years, working closely with students, families and staff. She has also served as a new teacher mentor and has led parent workshops for behavioral and developmental issues. She was instrumental in creating the GECC Toddlers’ Program, and has taught art enrichment. Jane holds an undergraduate degree in Art History and Studio Art and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a focus on Special Education. Jane was a Special Educator with Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program. Additionally, she served as president of The Service Guild of Washington, a charitable organization, raising funds and awareness for several local children’s and Jewish organizations. Jane lives in Potomac with her husband, and has three sons, all of whom are GECC graduates.
Jane asked us to share: I’m very excited and honored to be serving in this new role at the GECC. I know first-hand, as both a teacher and former GECC parent, what an extremely special place the GECC is. From our intimate classes and caring teachers to the beautiful natural surroundings, our school is an ideal setting in which we can help young children to thrive. My hope is to continue the wonderful work Liran and the staff have accomplished, highlighting our attributes and supporting children, families and teachers. I am grateful to collaborate with the GECC community in this special opportunity."
Marisa Marcus, Greenzaid ECC Office Manager
[email protected] Ext. 325
Marisa Marcus joined B'nai Tzedek in July 2015. She grew up in Maryland, graduating from Churchill High School. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis, she returned to the area. She currently lives in Rockville with her husband and two children.
Ronni Ticker, Director of Family & Youth Learning
[email protected] Ext. 321
Ronni Ticker is a creative strategic thinker who is reimagining Jewish learning for the 21st century that is highly engaging for learners, forges connections with role models and peers, cultivates curiosity, and fosters sacred community. She has engaged tots, youth and adults in Jewish learning and spirituality for more than 25 years. Ronni teaches nationally on a variety of topics including Strategic Planning for Jewish Schools, Teaching Torah to Middle Schoolers Hevruta Style, Project Based Jewish Learning and Family Engagement. She is a Certified Life Coach and holds a MAJS with Certificates in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service from Gratz College, MBA in strategic planning and finance from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, and a BS in accounting from Lehigh. Ronni lives in Friendship Heights, MD and has three grown children, Alexandra, Marielle and Jordan. Stop by, call or send an email to Ronni. She would love to meet you and learn more about your hopes & dreams for your family’s Jewish life and learning!
Beth Knobler, Religious School Administrative Coordinator
[email protected] Ext. 328
Beth Knobler, has worked at B'nai Tzedek since 2007, is a native Marylander, a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, and was a Steinhardt's Jewish Campus Service Corp Fellow with Hillel at Virginia Tech in the 2005-2006 year. She currently lives in Arlington, VA with her husband, Garry.
Nancy Kay, Religious School Administrative Assistant
[email protected] Ext. 320
Nancy Kay has worked at B'nai Tzedek since 2019, is orginally from Michigan, but her home for 29 years has been in Bethesda. She plays and teaches Mah Jonng. Nancy has one daughter who is a Special Education teacher in Pikesville.
Liane Aaron, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Academic Coordinator
[email protected] Ext. 324
As B'nai Mitzvah Coordinator since 1999, Liane sees to it that each and every child in the B’nai Mitzvah program works to their full potential to prepare and participate in our services on the day they become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah hopefully instilling a sense of community and belonging. Liane grew up locally in Potomac, and attended Churchill High School and the University of Maryland where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and Public Relations. She has been a B’nai Mitzvah Educator for more than 30 years.
Laurie Greene, Executive Assistant to The Clergy
[email protected] Ext. 301
Laurie Greene joined B’nai Tzedek in 2017. She is a native Marylander having grown up in Rockville and now resides in Frederick, MD. She has a daughter, Jordan, who resides in Oregon with her husband and a son, Conner, who is a student at Frederick Community College. She is an avid sports enthusiast who follows the Washington Nationals baseball and the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey teams.
Roger Gomez, Building Engineer
[email protected] Ext. 317
Roger Gomez joined B'nai Tzedek in 1997. He knows everything about our building! Roger just became a proud grandpa! Roger and his staff keep our building and grounds looking beautiful, do the setups for all of our events, services and classes, and always have a pleasant demeanor with congregants and guests.