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Professional Staff

Rabbi Joel Pitkowsky began his tenure at Congregation Beth Sholom in August 2011. Prior to that, he had served as rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Worcester, Mass., since 2003.

Rabbi Pitkowsky grew up in Fair Lawn. He holds a B.A. from Rutgers College with a double major in Hebraic Studies and History and received his rabbinic ordination and M.A. in Hebrew Letters from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2001. He served as a military chaplain candidate in the United States Air Force, and, following ordination, as the assistant rabbi and Hebrew school principal of the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, N.Y.

He is one of only 30 Conservative rabbis in the world certified to write gitin, Jewish divorce documents. He serves as a Board Member and officer for MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

He is a major Bruce Springsteen fan, loves to play tennis, hike, and camp. Rabbi Pitkowsky and his wife, Ingrid Goldfein, have two children, Jonah and Lili.

To reach Rabbi Pitkowsky, e-mail him at or contact him at 201-833-


Cantor Ronit Wolff Hanan began her official role as the synagogue’s Music Director in 2012. For over a decade before that, however, she was sharing her knowledge and talent as one of Beth Sholom’s High Holiday hazzanim, as co-conductor of the synagogue’s award-winning children’s chorus Tzipporei Shalom, and as an integral part of the musical fabric of multiple shul programs for adults and children.

Born in Tel Aviv and raised in White Plains, New York, Ronit has been steeped in Jewish music since she was a child.  She is a singer and soloist with the Zamir Chorale, has served on the faculty of the North American Jewish Choral Festival, and is the co-founder and current conductor of the Bergen County chapter of HaZamir: the International Jewish Teen Choir, all projects of the Zamir Choral Foundation. Cantor Hanan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University’s Tisch School and a Master's in Sacred Music and investiture as a hazzan from the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where she is an adjunct

Ronit is the proud mother of two grown children, one an early childhood educator in Bergen County and the other living and working in Tel Aviv, having recently completed his service in the Israel Defense Forces. 

To reach Cantor Hanan, email her at


Whitney Blom, our Director of Family and Youth Programs since the summer of 2018, has vast experience in a variety of Jewish non-profits, ranging from family foundations to institutions of higher learning.  She offers our community depth, creativity and a particular understanding and perspective of the Jewish community. Most recently, Whitney served as the Director of Recruitment and Admissions at the Academies at Gerrard Berman Day School, in Oakland, NJ. Her savvy professionalism, combined with her enthusiasm, enables Whitney to develop enriching programs for current members while reaching out to the greater Bergen County Jewish community and beyond.

Whitney earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the Wurzweiler School and received her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts. She was a participant in the Rockwood Leadership Program and the Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership through UJA Federation of NY. Whitney and her husband, James, reside in Teaneck with their two sons, Benny and Izzy, and have been members of Beth Sholom for more than 10 years.

To reach Whitney, email her at


Born and raised in Brooklyn,  Abby Rosen Finkel, our Synagogue Administrator grew up in a family entrenched in their Judaism, in synagogue life and in the larger Jewish community. Trained as a pharmacist, she worked in the industry, until meeting her husband, Mark. After years as a volunteer in the Jewish community in Nashua, NH, Abby pursued a Masters’ Degree from the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University. Before coming to Congregation Beth Sholom, Abby worked at Golda Och Academy, Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies, and the Mayyim Hayyim Community Mikveh, an Education Center.

She currently resides in Pine Brook with her husband and their three children. In what little spare time Abby has, she enjoys reading, music, theater and needlepoint.

To reach Abby, email her at


Marla Rottenstreich is Congregation Beth Sholom's new Communications Manager.  She has been working for over 15 years in Marketing, Communications and Event Management in the Jewish nonprofit sector with the following organizations: RAVSAK, The Jewish Federation of MetroWest, Yachad: NJCD, ArtScroll and OHEL.  She loves bringing programs and shul happenings to life in the digital world through social media and online messaging. Marla holds degrees in Jewish Studies, Marketing and Nonprofit Management from Rutgers and JTS/Columbia.

Marla resides in Edison with her husband and three children. When she isn't working, she is runs a women's only fitness studio, Mekor Fitness, in Central NJ.

To reach Marla, e-mail her


Yoni Shear is from Philadelphia, PA and is very excited to be joining the Beth Sholom community as the Youth Engagement Coordinator. Yoni served as the Regional Director for Hagesher Region USY and has taught in three previous Jewish Day Schools, the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago, IL, The Carmel Academy in Greenwich, CT and The Rockwern Academy in Cincinnati, OH.  He spent two years living in Israel while completing the Pardes Educators Program where he focused on Tanakh studies and Jewish History while earning a Masters Degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew College. In addition, Yoni was instrumental in developing and launching the Ramah Sports Academy, the newest Ramah overnight camp.  Yoni completed his undergraduate work at the University of Kansas, majoring in Athletic Training. He’s a lover of all athletics and is especially enthusiastic when it comes to Philadelphia and KU sports teams.

To reach Yoni, email him at

Thu, November 14 2019 16 Cheshvan 5780