Our Founder: Rabbi Ellie Shemtov

Rabbi Ellie Shemtov was ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR) in May 2014. In July 2014 she began her position as Rabbi/Educator at Temple Emanu-El of Long Beach, NY. Ellie studied flute at Ithaca College and received her Bachelor’s degree in Music and Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Before moving to New York to attend AJR, Ellie worked for many years as a film librarian/archivist at a variety of institutions in the Washington, DC area, including the University of Maryland at College Park and the National Archives and Records Administration. Her most recent position before moving to New York was as Head of Film Cataloging at the Library of Congress.
As the ex-wife of an alcoholic who passed away in 2010, Ellie is committed to raising awareness of this disease in the Jewish community. Several years ago she completed the necessary coursework for a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor certificate (CASAC) at Lehman College in the Bronx and her rabbinical school thesis was entitled, “Beit Yosef: a Sacred Space for Healing from the Disease of Addiction.”


Vertical Cantor Jerry Blum

Jerry Blum is a dad, husband, teacher, cantor, prayer leader, business consultant and occasional rock and roller. For the past 30 years, Jerry had been in senior management positions at major financial services firms. He has also been a part time cantor and prayer leader for synagogues in Curacao, Staten Island, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut. Jerry is on a continuous quest to grow his relationship with G-d through spiritual god-wrestling, prayer, study and of course his music.

Vice Chair of the Board and Secretary


Barbara Horn is a communications professional with 35 years of experience, 30 of them in management or executive roles. She spent the first 20 years of her career working with corporations, mostly in the financial services industry, serving as a corporatespokesperson, media relations specialist, writer and editor. For the past 15 years, she has been affiliated with private educational institutionsas a communications director and briefly as development (fundraising) director. Hornis currently the Director of Development Communications for The Lawrenceville School (www.lawrenceville.org), an 816-student boarding and day school in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where she supports frontline fundraising through the preparation of grant proposals, solicitation letters, newsletters, and social media content. She attended Brown University and graduated from Beaver College (Arcadia University) in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in English. In 2005, she earned a master’s degree in education from Central Michigan University.