Stuart Botwinick joined Temple Beth-El as executive director in August 2015. He has an extensive background as a Jewish communal professional. Prior to Temple Beth-El, Stu served as assistant executive director for development at the Sid Jacobson JCC in East Hills/Roslyn. He previously served the JCC as assistant executive director for programming, senior program director and director of teen services. Many of the JCC’s hallmark programs were developed under his leadership during his 15-year tenure.
Stu grew up in the Reform Movement, where he was active in Long Island Federation of Temple Youth (LIFTY). He participated in the Union for Reform Judaism’s first Kesher College Israel Experience. Stu is a past vice president of Temple Beth Elohim, which later merged with North Shore Synagogue.
Stu received a BA in Mathematics from SUNY Albany, a dual MA in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Studies from Gratz College and completed the Institute for Non-Profit Management program at Columbia University’s Business School.
Stu lives in Plainview with his wife, Dana, a teacher, and his children, Greg and Layna. When not at the synagogue, Stu can be found surfing the Internet, working in his yard, strolling the Jones Beach boardwalk or spending the weekend at an amusement park. An avid fan of ’80s and ’90s pop culture, he welcomes your music, movie and TV trivia questions.
Vicki Perler has been the director of early-childhood education at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck since July 1994. Her background includes positions as the infant toddler director and director of young child services at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington; founding director of the early-childhood center at Temple Beth-El in Huntington, New York; kindergarten teacher in Prince Georges County, Maryland; music director of Gaithersburg Hebrew Congregation Hebrew School in Maryland; and preschool teacher in the federal Project Growing Together.
Vicki received her BS in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maryland, an MS in Early Childhood and Special Education from Adelphi University and a postgraduate certificate in Educational Leadership and Administration as a School Administrator Supervisor (SAS) from Long Island University and the New York State Department of Education.
She is the President of the National Jewish Early Childhood Network, as well as past president. The recognized leader in her field, Vicki is the co-author of “Standards for Jewish Nursery Schools of Greater Washington.” She is a Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative (JECEI) grant recipient who led her Reggio-inspired school to achieve National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation.
Vicki is an accomplished piano player who brings music to her school and personally engages with all classes and children. She and her husband reside in Syosset, where they are active in their synagogue and Jewish education on Long Island.
Joy Palevsky has been office manager and assistant to the executive director since October 2014.
Before joining the staff of Temple Beth-El, she served in administrative and operations positions at the New York Stock Exchange, brokerage houses and investment banks. Joy has been responsible for the oversight and management of office facilities and personnel at several New York–area corporations.
Cari Horn joined Temple Beth-El as controller in January 2006. She has decades of financial experience.
After earning her BS in Finance from New York University in 1988, Cari worked for corporations and organizations including Putnum-Berkley Publishing Company, NYC Office of Management and Budget, and KeyCorp. More recently, she has focused on nonprofit accounting.
Joy Allen has been part of the Temple Beth-El team, working in various roles since she began in August 2014. During the past few years, she has spent a significant portion of her time interacting with our temple families while focusing on synagogue-wide programming, social-action initiatives, teen engagement and students within our Kulanu school.
Joy is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Innovation at the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management, part of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. She previously earned a certificate in Human Resources Fundamentals from Baruch College and a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies from Queens College.
Raised in Great Neck, Joy started her journey at Temple Beth-El shortly after marrying her husband, Josef. Throughout her tenure, the couple welcomed daughters Violet, 5, and Simonne, 3, and puppy, Jerry. The loving mom has been a proud and active parent within Temple Beth-El’s early childhood for the past four years.
When she’s not creating fun recipes, you can often find the Great Neck resident sipping homemade iced coffee, sitting in local coffee shops, or playing in the park with her family.