Nina Peskin, Executive Director
215-844-1507, Ext. 12
Nina Peskin joined the staff of GJC as Membership Director in the spring of 2010 and assumed the role of Executive Director in November 2010. Since moving to Philadelphia from the San Francisco Bay Area, Nina has dedicated her professional life to community building first at Temple Beth Zion Beth Israel, where she served as Director of Membership Services, and now at GJC. Nina earned her BA in History at UC Santa Cruz, and her Masters in Education at Chapman University. In California, Nina worked as a public school teacher, facilitated a poetry class in the San Francisco Jail's Right to Write Project and served as a cantorial soloist at Chochmat Halev. She has performed with women's ensemble groups Ya Elah and Kitka and now shares her vocal talents with us in our monthly Kol Zimrah service. Nina lives in Mount Airy with her husband, Josh, their daughter Maya and their golden retriever, Manny.
Alanna Sklover, Director of Lifelong Learning
215-844-1507, Ext. 24
Rabbi Alanna Sklover began working at GJC as Student Rabbi in 2011, and joined the staff full time as Rabbi Educator in 2013. She received her rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College with a specialization in the congregational rabbinate. A believer in the transformative power of youth group, Jewish summer camp, and experiential learning models, Rabbi Sklover brings her enthusiasm for creative Jewish education and passion about working with mindful Jewish communities to her work at GJC. During her time in rabbinical school, she held many student positions and internships including Student Rabbi at Or Haneshamah in Ottawa, ON, Program coordinator for No'ar Hadash: the Reconstructionist Youth Movement, and Rosh Tefillah (worship coordinator) for Ramah Day Camp in Philadelphia. Prior to rabbinical school, she served as Youth Director at Congregation Beth Emeth in Wilmington, DE. Rabbi Sklover holds a BA in Theater and Religion from Goucher College and has also studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Conservative Yeshiva. She and her wife Rebecca Kirzner live in Germantown.
Jodi Gordon, Early Childhood Program Director
Jodi Gordon began working at GJC in 2013 as the Interim ECP Director. She assumed the permanent position as ECP Director in May 2014. Jodi comes to Germantown Jewish Centre with over 20 years of teaching experience. She also directed the preschool at Temple Beth Zion Beth Israel from 2005-2008. Jodi has taught Preschool and Elementary School in Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC and Israel. She loves sharing her passion for Judaism and Israel with all of her students and staff. Jodi has a BS in Elementary and Kindergarten Education from Penn State University and her graduate studies at Hunter College focused on Early Childhood education. Jodi lives in Bala Cynwyd with her husband Jared, their sons David, Simon, and Ilan, and their dog DJ.
Kate Lawn, Program Director
215-844-1507, Ext. 19
Kate is thrilled to have a home in the GJC mishpoche! With a B.A. from Franklin & Marshall in Theatre and Russian Literature, Kate loves using her creativity to bring exciting GJC programs to life. Her experience has spanned the spectrum from running a small chiropractic office to managing a corporate childcare center. She started here at GJC in 2010 in the administrative department, but has grown into her role of Program Director. She values relationship building and positive energy, and strives to bring a level of high professionalism and warmth to every task. Please come into the office to visit; her favorite thing about working at GJC is getting to know each and every amazing individual who makes this congregation tick. Kate resides in Glenside with her two boys.
Gloria Geissler, Finance Director
215-844-1507, Ext. 15
Gloria Geissler joined the staff of GJC as Finance Director in November 2004. She came with over 15 years of experience working with non-profit organizations in the Philadelphia area.
Natalie Lyalin, Rabbinic Assistant
215-844-1507, Ext. 16
Natalie Lyalin moved to Philadelphia in 2007, after completing her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Since arriving in Philadelphia, Natalie has taught freshman writing courses at Temple University, University of the Arts, and Philadelphia University. In 2013 she worked as a research consultant for Moving Traditions, an organization that promotes egalitarian values and challenges traditional gender roles in the teen Jewish community. Most recently, she worked in the Admission Office at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy. Natalie is the author of several books of poetry and the editor of a poetry press. She lives in Mt. Airy with her husband, Rabbi Joshua Bolton, their two sons, and three cats.
Renee Gassmann, Office Manager
215-844-1507, Ext. 10
Renee is excited to join the staff of GJC as the Office Manager. Renee moved to Philadelphia from the Twin Cities in August 2010 and now considers it her home. With a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota and years of hospitality experience, Renee relishes the opportunity to put her knowledge and skills to good use while learning more about Judaism and GJC every day. In her spare time, you can usually find her knitting or curled up with a good book. Renee lives in Mount Airy with her husband, Steve, and their cat, Munchie. Renee will be happy to help you with room rentals, catering, contributions, B'nei Mitzvah logistics, memorial plaques, and general GJC information.
Eric Word, Maintenance Supervisor
215-844-1507, Ext. 11
Eric Word has been working at GJC since 1988 and values the relationships he has formed within the community since he first came to the Centre at age 5 and started working here at age 14. Needless to say, he knows the building inside and out. Eric was born in Germantown and has lived in Philadelphia his whole life. He enjoys sports, movies and learning new things. In his free time, Eric likes to relax and spend time with his son.
Rebecca Paquet, Development & Finance Assistant
215-844-1507, Ext. 14
Rebecca is delighted to join the office staff in the role of Administrative Assistant! She brings with her a can-do spirit and creative thinking skills. Rebecca earned her B.F.A. in Writing for Film & Television from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. In the United Kingdom, she earned her M.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle. She has previously worked for a financial planning firm and was a customer service liaison for a major retail chain. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys writing, reading, and running. Rebecca will be happy to help you with general GJC information, Memorial Book information and registrations and payments for GJC, ECP, High Holidays and adult education classes.