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Our Team

Director of Education

Lauren Chizner has been our Director of Education since 2013. Lauren is passionate about making Judaism come alive for students and their families and fostering a connection with Israel.  She has a strong connection to the Reform movement. In her youth, Lauren spent summers at Jewish camp in Texas, was involved in NFTY, traveling to Israel with NFTY both as a participant and then later as a leader, and spent a semester at Tel Aviv University during college. She earned a Master’s Degree from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.  Lauren’s formal career as a Jewish educator began as the Director of Education at Temple Beth El of Great Neck, although she has been teaching since the time of her Bat Mitzvah. She is the proud mother of 3 children, Jacob, Jed, and Rachel. Her husband, Todd, is the rabbi at Temple Judea of Manhasset.

Lauren can be reached at

Managing Director

Patricia "Trish" McGrath has spent her career in support of others, having held the positions of Executive Assistant, Client Services Supervisor and most recently, Operations Manager. Trish spent the bulk of her career, 23 years, working for FOJP Service Corporation, which provides risk management and insurance solutions for the healthcare facilities and Social services agencies within the UJA Federation Program. In her last position, Trish worked for the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, a collaboration between Memorial Sloan Kettering, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine to advance academic drug discoveries.

Trish is an avid photographer, gardener and dog lover who hopes to add a labradoodle to the McGrath family soon. Trish and her husband, Tim, live in Port Washington.

Trish can be reached at


Laurie Ellis has been Port Jewish Center’s bookkeeper since 2002. Laurie is a dedicated and committed member of the PJC team, tracking all revenues and expenses, ensuring timely payroll for religious school and temple staff, following through on all reporting requirements, and helping to keep our costs down by negotiating with vendors. Laurie works closely with the PJC treasurer to ensure accurate tracking of monies and provides valuable information for developing the budget and managing temple finances. Although Laurie’s work is mostly “behind-the-scenes,” she has been interacting directly with members for many years at our Summer Splash event, managing payments and working with the committee to ensure accurate tracking of our fundraising efforts.

Laurie can be reached at

For all other inquiries, 

Please email and we will route your inquiry appropriately.

Sat, April 1 2023 10 Nisan 5783