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Senior Staff

Stuart Brown, Executive Director

Stuart Brown has been the Executive Director at Temple Shaari Emeth since July 2017.   With over 20 years of experience in the public and non-profit sectors, he brought his personal and professional passions together to serve the congregation. Stuart worked for the City of Cincinnati for twelve years, first in the City Managers Office of Research, Evaluation, and Budget, and for several years overseeing large scale downtown and neighborhood development programs.  He returned to his native New Jersey in 2000 to serve as City Administrator in Summit and then held the position of Township Manager in Aberdeen.  Immediately prior to starting at TSE, he was the Director of Operations at Bnai Keshet, a Reconstructionist synagogue in Montclair.  Stuart has experience serving on the Board of Directors of non-profits and has held consulting positions for several non-profit and government agencies in the state of New Jersey.  Stuart resides in Aberdeen with his wife, Nancy, son, Harrison (18) and daughter, Ally (23), and rescue dogs Ellie and Jett.

Melissa Pescatore, Director of Religious Education


Melissa Pescatore grew up in Old Bridge, NJ, and had her first Jewish learning experiences as a student at Temple Shaari Emeth. She became a Bat Mitzvah, celebrated Confirmation (see if you can find her picture on the wall in the School Wing!), and was in the inaugural Post-Confirmation class at TSE. Before stepping into her current role as Director of Religious Education in 2015, she fulfilled various positions at Temple Shaari Emeth, including Family Program Coordinator, Religious School Administrator, and Hebrew School teacher, building close relationships with families and students in grades K-12. Melissa received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Monmouth University and a Master of Arts in Teaching Degree in Elementary Education from The College of New Jersey. She is a proud graduate of the Leadership for Emerging Education Professionals (LEEP) Fellowship at NewCAJE, the annual conference for Jewish educators, and of the Matan Institute for Education and Youth Directors, whose mission is to ensure that children with special learning needs are welcomed and included in the fabric of Jewish life. Serving as the Educator in the congregation where she grew up, she is passionate about instilling a love of Jewish learning and building a strong, positive Jewish identity in her students. Melissa lives in South Brunswick with her husband, Mark.

Sheryn Cohen, Director of the Early Learning Center
Sheryn Cohen has worked in early childhood education for over 10 years collectively in the classroom and as the Director of the Early Learning Center.
Over the years she has participated in Jewish early childhood learning opportunities and as a member of the ECE-RJ. She is also a member of the local Federations Directors group. She is an active participant in these groups attending workshops and conferences and webinars.
Sheryn continues to lead the Early Learning Center program, continually striving to incorporate best practices in Jewish early childhood education. Sheryn’s belief is that when children’s emotional, social, cognitive, and physical needs are met they can learn at their own pace and develop both a positive self-image and self-confidence.
Sheryn has been a member of Temple Shaari Emeth for over 12 years. She was President of Sisterhood, the junior and senior Youth Group advisor and has experience serving on the Board of Trustees.
Sheryn resides in Manalapan for over 20 years with her husband Doug, daughters Rachel (22), and Alyssa (19).
Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784