Sign In Forgot Password


Marty Gilbert, Executive Director

Marty Gilbert grew up in Brooklyn, New York and has spent the majority of his adult life in East Brunswick, New Jersey. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English. Marty enjoyed a successful professional career as a general manager for various retail companies including Borders, Barnes & Noble and Target before becoming the Temple Administrator of Temple Emanu-El West Essex in Livingston, NJ, in 2014. Since 1971, the Gilbert family have been members of Temple B’nai Shalom in East Brunswick, a congregation that Marty’s parents were founding members. During the past 35 years, he has served on a variety of committees and has been a member of the Board of Trustees. In 2014, Marty combined his lifelong passion as a Jewish lay leader with a new vocation as a synagogue professional. Marty and his wife, Lori, have already become part of our Etz Chaim family. They have three grown children living in the New York metropolitan area.

Debbie Deutsch, Director of Education

Debbie Deutsch received her B.S. in Special Education from Florida State University and her M.Ed. in Education Administration and Supervision from George Mason University. After enjoying a fourteen-year career as an educator, Debbie became our Preschool Director in 1995, and Religious Education Director in 2011. Here at Etz Chaim, she has created a warm and caring environment in which children progress at their own pace in a hands-on developmental program. Debbie hails from Bowie, Maryland and has the unique distinction of being one of our three-generational families at Etz Chaim. She is the ideal person to initiate our children into Judaism and its wonders!

Lauren Chernau, Assistant Director of the Preschool


Heather Blake, Director of Engagement

Heather grew up in Charlotte, NC and was involved in the Union for Reform Judaism youth movement and camping system. At Florida State University, she studied elementary education and was actively involved in Hillel. Inspired to work in the Jewish community upon graduation, Heather spent five years as the Program Director at Temple Israel in Tallahassee, Florida, where she created and developed innovative programs for all ages and frequently led services as a Cantorial Soloist. Heather received dual master's degrees in Jewish Professional Leadership and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University in May 2015. After graduate school, she worked as the Director of Jewish Innovation and Engagement at the Memphis Jewish Community Center.  


Aram Blankenship - Facilities Manager

Betsy Fitzwater - Office Manager

Ellen Feldser - Bookkeeper

Bernice Isaac - Communications Administrator/Digital Content Coordinator

Lisa Singer - Administrative Coordinator

Tiana Plendl - Department of Education Administrator

Allison Barchichat - Department of Education Financial Administrator

Wed, October 27 2021 21 Cheshvan 5782