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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

Office Manager

Cindy Ellner is our supportive and accommodating Office Manager taking on many organizational and communication tasks for the temple. Cindy is the person to contact for program information and reservations, making tribute donations, or general PJC information, among other responsibilities. She helps welcome new members visiting PJC or those interested in learning more about membership. Although not everyone gets to see Cindy regularly, they know her voice, as Cindy is the person answering calls coming in to PJC and making calls to the congregation on behalf of the Rabbi and board to remind members of important events. Cindy is in the PJC office Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. She 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 Ellis can be reached at


Jose Blanco is our Custodian and the trusted caretaker of our physical plant. Jose may also be reached through the main PJC email.

For all other inquiries, please email and we will route your inquiry appropriately.

Mon, July 4 2022 5 Tammuz 5782