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Rabbis

 

Senior Rabbi David Gerber

rabbi@gatesofprayer.org

Rabbi David Gerber has served as the senior rabbi of Congregation Gates of Prayer since 2018. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH before serving as an assistant/associate rabbi at Congregation Beth Or in the Philadelphia suburbs. Rabbi Gerber is an alumnus of Indiana University and was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. 

Currently, Rabbi Gerber serves as the president of the New Orleans Clergy Council. He sits on the board of Longue Vue Gardens as well as the East Jefferson Interfaith Council. He is a regular contributor and collaborator to the National World War II Museum as well as Krewe du Jieux. He teaches an introductory Judaism class at Loyola University. He is on the Rabbinic Council of Zioness and StandWithUs, and is on the steering committee of Re-Charging Reform Judaism. He is also the self-proclaimed “Official Rabbi of the New Orleans Saints.”

Rabbi Gerber specializes in innovative programming and engagement. Under his tenure, our congregation has launched Gatesfest, Metairie’s premier music and arts festival. We have invested over one million dollars into our youth initiative to ensure our students can afford Jewish Summer Camp. In addition to his passion for Zionism, Rabbi Gerber often teaches about Mussar, Talmud, and all things supernatural. You can also find him speaking at local high schools and colleges about combating antisemitism. 

If you are interested in meeting with Rabbi Gerber, please contact the synagogue.
 


Rabbi Emeritus Robert H. Loewy

rabbiL@gatesofprayer.org

Rabbi Robert H. Loewy is the Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Gates of Prayer in Metairie, LA. He assumed that position in July of 2018 after serving as our Rabbi since August of 1984. Prior to that, he was the Assistant and then Associate Rabbi of Congregation Emanu El in Houston, Texas for seven years.
 
Rabbi Loewy is a native of Hempstead, N.Y. He received his B.A. degree from Cornell University in 1972, M.H.L. degree from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in 1975, and was ordained as a Rabbi from that institution in 1977.
 
In addition to developing an active synagogue program, Rabbi Loewy is a leader with the East Jefferson Interfaith Clergy Association, board member of the Jewish Community Day School, Henry S. Jacobs Camp, New Orleans Women’s Shelter, Jewish Family Service and the East Jefferson General Hospital Pastoral Counseling Program. He is a Chautauqua Society Lecturer at Loyola University.
 
In addition he has been President of the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis, of the Greater New Orleans Rabbinic Council  and New Orleans Jewish Days School, Chairman of the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Officer and Program Chair for the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Secretary of the Greater Houston Rabbinical Association, Board member of ARZA and Dillard University Center for Black/Jewish Relations, and Jewish Chautauqua Society Lecturer at University of New Orleans.
 
Rabbi Loewy is married to the former Lynn Rosenfeld and has five children, Karen, and her husband David Widzer, David, Sara and Mica and two magnificent grandchildren- Judah and Elisheva.
 

Executive Director

 

Wendy Simmons

wendy@gatesofprayer.org

I am both honored and thrilled to join the Gates of Prayer family as your new Executive Director. A little about me: I've enjoyed a 30-year-plus career as a marketing, communications, branding, and management consultant, helping companies of all sizes across nearly every industry identify and solve strategic business challenges. I've also built and run several companies, including the brand reinvention and worldwide expansion of one of the world's leading luxury brands. On a personal note, I’m the author of "My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth" (think: Bridget Jones goes to North Korea), published by Simon & Schuster and RosettaBooks, the co-author of a Japanese language book, have written dozens of articles for magazines, and owned a bar on Manhattan's Lower East Side. I'm a professional photographer whose work has been shown in galleries and published in magazines around the world and an inveterate adventurer/explorer who’s traveled to 100+ countries (and counting) across all seven continents (including the South Pole).

The role of Executive Director fills my long-standing desire to serve my community and make a real difference in people’s lives. I very much look forward to meeting and working with each of you in the months and years to come. Thank you for welcoming me into your community.

Temple Educator

 

Philip A. Gaethe, RJE

educator@gatesofprayer.org

Philip Gaethe has been the Educator at Gates of Prayer since 1996. Prior to that, he was a teacher in the Jefferson Parish Public System as  well as Gates of Prayer and Communal Hebrew Schools. Phil is a native of New Orleans, LA., where received his B.A. degree from the University of New Orleans and earned a Master of Science Degree in Judaic Education from Spertus College in Chicago.
 
In 2005 Phil was awarded the designation of R.J.E. (Reform Jewish Educator) by the Reform Jewish Educator Title Granting Commission and in the summer of 2016, the Rabbi Nathaniel Share Religious School of Congregation Gates of Prayer , AKA J-FLEx, was awarded Accreditation by the Association of Reform Jewish Educators.
 
In 2020 Phil received  Marion B. Steeg Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. This award highlights the value of Jewish education in its many varieties in the Greater new Orleans Community. 
 
In addition to Phil's duties as head of our Religious and Hebrew Schools, Phil tutors many of our B'nai Mitzvah students, created and helps maintain the Gates of Prayer Website, teaches Adult Hebrew and assists the CGoP clergy team by supervising the Livestream worship. 

Cantorial Soloist

 

Jordan Lawrence

jordan@gatesofprayer.org
 

Jordan Lawrence is originally from Bergen County, NJ, blessed with a very strong Jewish upbringing, having attended Jewish day school, which instilled in her a very important set of Jewish values. Since her time as a student at Tulane University, she has decided to make New Orleans a home. Jordan graduated in 2019 with a dual degree, with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, a B.A. in Sociology and minored in Jewish Studies. At Tulane, she founded the NJBeats and acted as the President and Music Director during her time in the group. 

Jordan's biggest passions in life are music, Judaism and making others happy and laugh. She puts an emphasis on making an impact on every community of which she is a part. She spent fourteen years a part of the Zionist youth movement Young Judaea. While working at CYJ Sprout Lake, she was the Israeli dance specialist, and ended up running the performing arts program.

Jordan has such a strong love for working with children. Her youthful spirit helps her connect with children of all ages and provide a contagious energy that promotes others to want to get involved and to want to be themselves. She prides herself on her ability to adapt her teaching and leading styles to any group of people and use her quick wit to understand the in-the-moment wants and needs of the people that she is privileged to work with. Jordan's biggest Jewish singer inspirations are Debbie Friedman (of course) and Dan Nichols, for whom she has had the honor of watching the magic in action year after year at camp.

Jordan wears a lot of hats at Gates of Prayer. Besides bringing the ruach to services, she also runs Tribe, our young adult outreach program, trains B’nai Mitzvah students, directs the choir, teaches music to the children of the Gates Preschool and J-FLEx, creates fun and meaningful programming for the whole congregation, and much more! 

Gates Preschool Director

Jessica Sintes

jessica@gatesofprayer.org

Jessica grew up at Gates of Prayer and now has two children who currently attend the JCDS (Jewish Community Day School), Jameson and Shira. She has devoted her entire 13-year career to working with children as a teacher in several schools and early learning centers. She has most recently served as the Youth and Camping Director at the Metairie Jewish Community Center.

Jessica is passionate about serving the Jewish community and is excited to begin this new chapter in her life. She is looking forward to the opportunity to grow our school by creating more natural learning environments and expanding teacher continuing education and support.a

Gates Preschool Director of Preschool Operations

Johnette Stansbury 

Johnette@gatesofprayer.org

I'm honored to be in my first year as Assistant Director at Gates Preschool. I look forward to helping our school grow to its potential.   I came to Gates as a Teachers Assistant in 2002 and have filled many positions since, such as 2yr old Lead Teacher, Pre-K3 Lead Teacher, Summer Camp Director and now Assistant Director. I love working with the children and families of Gates Preschool.

Away from school, I enjoy spending time with my husband of 25 years and our four granddaughters. 

Gates Preschool Director of Admissions & Compliance

Mary DeLucca
mary@gatesofprayer.org

I could not be more thrilled to be the Director of Admission and Enrollment Management here at Gates. I am a graduate of Louisiana State University where I majored in Anthropology and minored in Italian and Philosophy. Every job I've ever had has been centered around caring for children. I have worked professionally in an early childhood environment for the past 10 years, 3 of which were spent as a Behavioral Therapist who specialized in ABA therapy for children with autism. 

I was fortunate enough to start here at Gates in 2021 when the infant center had one class and was just opening. Now we have three amazing classrooms and continue to improve every day! I incorporate my background in applied behavior analysis through our curriculum and promote the use of a natural learning environment centered around play based learning. I am truly thankful to be a part of the Gates family and cannot wait to meet each and every one of you! 

 

Staff

 

Leslie Miller
Executive Assistant
leslie@gatesofprayer.org

Monica Sanchez
Accounting Assistant
Monica@gatesofprayer.org

 

 

Judy Ann McKee
Building Supervisor
Maintenance@gatesofprayer.org

Leadership

 

Dan Forman
Synagogue President

Leon Rittenberg III
Executive Vice President

Kymberly Glazer
Vice President

Jeffrey Director
Vice President

Yvonne Hiller
Vice President

Shael Wolfson
Treasurer

Philip Sherman
Recording Sect.

Darrah Caplan
Past President

Board members Terms Expire 2026

  • John Shalett
  • Brian Ebarb
  • Lara Crigger
  • Lynn Friedman
  • Jay Silverstein

Board members: Terms Expire 2025

  • Rebeca Pinhas
  • Eric Botnick
  • Jerry Zakem
  • Anne Chirinos
  • Jeff Green
  • Gina  Nádas

Board members: Terms Expire 2024

  • Josh Zuckerman
  • Jose Orrego
  • Marc Dahlman
  • DeeGee Liniado
  • Fran Dinehart
  • Caitlyn Lowenberg
  • Kymberly Glazer

Past Presidents

  • Darrah Caplan
  • Aaron Wolfson PhD
  • David Dulitz MD
  • Richard B. Levin
  • Michele Gelman
  • Sherri Tarr
  • Janet Krane
  • Lee Plotkin
  • Miriam Latter
  • Lynne Wasserman
  • Cynthia Greenwald
  • Dan Silverman
  • Alan Emerman
  • E. Fred Preis Jr.
  • Jay Joseph
  • Larry S. Webber, Ph.d
  • Jonathan M. Lake
  • Steven R. Plotkin, Judge

Honorary Life Board Members

  • Michael W. Mayer III
  • Joanne Fried

Ex-Officio Members

  • Margery Thomas
    Sisterhood President
  • Randy Gerber
    Brotherhood President
Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784