Our Staff

Carol Sleeper
Director of Engagement, Programming & Membership
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Carol has been part of the Temple Beth Am staff since August of 1997.  A graduate of the University of Miami, she moved down to Jupiter from Southbury, Connecticut with her husband Forrest, and son Eric in 1988 deciding not to wait until retirement to enjoy the beautiful Florida weather and lifestyle. Being a breast cancer survivor she has learned that each day is special and worth fighting for. This belief molded Carol’s philosophy that you should always be kind whenever you can because it’s the right thing to do and you never know what the future may hold. Carol’s family is most important to her and when she’s not at the Temple she can be found hanging out with her twin sister Marci or at home with Forrest and their dog Mac, and their frequent visitors Callie (Marci’s dog), and Colbie (Eric’s dog).

 

Alissa Frankel
Education Director
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Alissa Frankel, Director of Education here at Temple Beth Am, is originally from Baltimore. She grew up in NFTY MAR (Mid-Atlantic Region), served as President of her Temple Youth Group and attended  Kutz Camp for two summers in high school. She attended Florida Atlantic University for undergrad and University of Illinois Chicago for graduate school, earning both her bachelors and masters in social work. She worked for five years as a Life Coach with youth in foster care transitioning them to independence.  Alissa lives with her husband Jamie and their daughter Eliana who was born in July of 2016.

 

Elana Beame
Youth Engagement Director and Program Assistant
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Elana Beame is from Boca Raton. She grew up very active within her Jewish community, attending religious school through 12th grade, serving as a board member to her youth group, and volunteering in the classrooms. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Forensic Studies and Criminal Justice from Florida Gulf Coast University. During her time at FGCU, she taught at a religious school, was a youth group advisor, and ran the university’s Hillel. She is very excited to bring her passion for Jewish youth engagement to Temple Beth Am.

 

Danna Cohen
Jewish Life Activities Director
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Danna first moved to Florida in 1996, residing in North Miami Beach before heading north to Palm Beach County. She began working for Temple Beth Am in June of 2015 and enjoys sharing her love of Judaism with TBA members every week. In her free time, Danna enjoys playing tourist by trying new things and going on local adventures.

 

 

Sherrie Kesselman
Early Childhood Administrator, The One School at Temple Beth Am
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Sherrie has been the Early Childhood Administrator at The One School for the past five years. She says, "I love being a part of my school families’ lives and believe me, preschoolers ROCK!" Prior to joining the staff at Temple Beth Am, Sherrie worked for a Jewish non-profit organization that facilitates bone marrow and stem cell transplants to patients around the world. With a Master’s Certificate in Jewish Education, Sherrie has also taught in supplementary Religious Schools for the past twenty-six years, and currently teaches Jewish studies and Hebrew language to the second graders of HaMakom at Temple Beth Am, as well as Hebrew prayer by Skype to fourth through seventh grade students as part of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah training. She has completed a certificate program through Gratz College on inclusion of special needs children into supplementary religious schools and am currently enrolled in the Center for Israel Education’s certificate program to create a connection for myherstudents to modern-day Israel. Sherrie is a Long Island native, and before making Florida her home, she lived in Philadelphia with her husband Michael, and children, Paige and Skylar.

 

Paula Deakter
Judaic Consultant, The One School at Temple Beth Am
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Paula retired from her position as Early Childhood Director for The One School at Temple Beth Am at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. She continues to lend her expertise to The One School as its Judaic Consultant, where she is responsible for adding Jewish content to the school's curriculum and family programming. Paula enjoys spending her free time with her friends and family, including husband Mike, children Josh and Rachel, and grandchildren, and looks forward to having the opportunity to travel. 

 

Yael Lawrence
Mishpacha/Family Center Coordinator
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Yael Lawrence is a Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist and received her Master of Science in Dance/Movement Therapy from The Pratt Institute in New York.  She has worked with individuals of all ages and abilities ranging from infancy through adulthood in educational (Secular & Judaic), medical, recreational and therapeutic environments.  Yael is also certified as both a Yoga & Music Together Instructor.  Currently, she is the Family Center Coordinator at Temple Beth Am in Jupiter, Florida, is involved in Hamakom at TBA with both elementary and high school students and independently runs the only Special Needs Dance Class in Jupiter, FL.  Yael also leads private and group dance/movement therapy, yoga, dance, and creative movement classes for children and adults (both typically developing & special needs) throughout Palm Beach County at facilities including The El’s Center for Autism, Jupiter Dance Academy, and VSA Palm Beach.

 

Meredith Goodman
Bookkeeper
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Meredith moved to Florida from the San Diego area of California.  She has a BS degree in Finance from San Diego State University, where she met her engineer husband, Troy.  She has two grown children, one son currently living in San Diego and one daughter who just graduated from Northern Arizona University.  While she misses the mountains and waves of the California coastline, she is enjoying the warm waters and bird life of the Florida coast.  In her free time, she likes to hang out at the beach with her husband, take a spin class at the gym or just curl up with a good book. Having never visited Florida before she looks forward to exploring everything living on the East Coast of the US has to offer. 

 

Margot Hauser
Executive Administrative Assistant and Assistant Editor of The Scribe
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After moving to Florida from New York, Margot began working at Temple Beth Am and has been here for 15 years.  Originally from New Jersey, her husband Paul and their  23 year-old twins Alex and Jessica, decided they had enough of the cold weather and headed down south. They live in Wellington but say it is worth the trip on the turnpike everyday to be working with such wonderful people at Temple Beth Am. On Tuesday evenings and Sundays you can find Margot teaching 4th grade Hebrew, and during the week she is right in the front lobby, so stop by and say hello!

 

Debbie Baseman
Volunteer and Assistant Editor of The Scribe
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Debbie Baseman and her husband Hal  have been members of Temple Beth Am since 1994. They have two grown, married sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and two super-cute grandchildren who go to The One School at TBA. Debbie  has  been volunteering at TBA for the last 22  years. She was on the Board of Directors for 9 years where she chaired the Adult Education Committee, the Ritual Committee, and was the Board Secretary. In addition, she taught Hebrew for many years in the Religious School and she has  also taught many Adult Beginning Hebrew Classes. You can find her almost every day at the Temple working in the office. She says, "I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time!"

 

Alex De Leon 
Facilities Supervisor
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Alex, an El Salvador native, became an official U.S. citizen shortly after joining us in 2016. After growing up on Long Island, he soon gave up harsh winters for an endless summer where enjoys the beach, water sports and other Florida activities. He also enjoys spending time with his soon-to-be wife, Rainbow, and their dog Maya. Alex is a family-oriented member of our Temple staff who takes great care of our congregants.

 

Alfredo Montes
Senior Maintenance

Alfredo has been with Temple Beth Am since 1995. He's watched this place grow from trailers to the beautiful building we have today. He's also seen The One School grow tremendously, and now his granddaughter Dalanya (5 years old) recently graduated from The One School.

 

 

 Vicente and Maria De Leon
Maintenance Staff

Vicente and Maria are both originally from El Salvador. They lived in New York for 30 years and now are happy to be living in Florida near family. 

 

 

 

Come Together

Come Together

Something significant, dynamic, and meaningful is happening here at Temple Beth Am. It springs from the warmth of our welcome and the energy of our actions. We call it: Kulanu - All of Us Together.

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