Our Staff

Bryan Bierman, Executive Director

Bryan Bierman has been a key part of the Temple Israel community since 2012 and has held the role of Executive Director since 2021. With a Bachelor of Science in Youth Development and a Master of Social Work from Springfield College, as well as a graduate certificate in Public and Non-Profit Management from the University of Connecticut, Bryan brings a unique blend of academic and practical expertise to his role.

His career reflects a deep commitment to youth development and leadership. Prior to joining Temple Israel, Bryan gained valuable experience at the New England Adolescent Research Institute in Holyoke, MA. His passion for camp-based programs has also been a constant theme; he worked as Program Coordinator at Camp Tevya in New Hampshire in 2011 and held various leadership positions at YMCA day camps for eight years prior.

Beyond his work at Temple Israel, Bryan has played a significant role in international sports and community organizations. He served as Lead Accommodation Manager for Team USA during the 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022 International Maccabiah Games. Additionally, he contributed to the Jewish community by serving on the Federation of Upper Fairfield County board from 2019-2021 and 2023-current and leading as President of PEP-RJ (Program and Engagement Professionals of Judaism) from 2018-2021. He is also currently on the Board of the CT FBI Citizens Academy. 

Bryan’s commitment to community extends to his personal life as well. He is married to Emily Eisen Bierman, the BBYO Community Director for New York, and they are the proud parents of Ava and Everett. Their shared dedication to youth engagement and Jewish values underscores Bryan’s enduring influence both at work and at home.

Contact information: bbierman@tiwestport.org or 203-227-1293 ext. 305
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Stephanie Schwartz, Director of Programming and Member Engagement

Stephanie Schwartz is the Director of Programming and Member Engagement at Temple Israel.  She joined our team in the fall of 2021.  Stephanie has been a Jewish Professional for over 20 years and has served in several roles in the Jewish Community: as a Temple Educator, Youth Director, and camp professional.  She is the Vice President of Professional Development for PEP-RJ (Programming and Engagement Professionals of Reform Judaism). 

She has also been an active leader and member of ARJE (the Association of Reform Jewish Educators), a Jewish Big Sister, and a faculty member at URJ 6 Points Sports Academy – California and URJ Camp Harlam. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Virginia Tech and a Master’s in Education from American Jewish University.  She has relocated to the east coast from Southern California to bring her closer to her family and for this amazing opportunity.  Stephanie enjoys traveling, photography, and cooking in her spare time, especially her newfound passion for making challah.

Contact information: sschwartz@tiwestport.org  or 203-227-1656 ext. 314
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Lindsay Weiner, Director of Early Childhood Education

Lindsay Weiner is the Director of the Early Childhood Center at Temple Israel. She joins Temple Israel with a passion for and commitment to the field of education. Lindsay began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in New York City before shifting her focus to early childhood education as a member of the faculty at The Conservative Synagogue in Westport. In 2018, Lindsay left the classroom to establish The EQ Child, a consultancy devoted to developing Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) programming and curricula for early childhood programs. She has worked with school administrators, teachers and parents in the tri-state area to incorporate and prioritize SEL with greater focus and intention. Lindsay is passionate about a Whole Child approach to education, and supports strong collaborative relationships between schools, families, and communities.

 Lindsay received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and master’s degrees in education from New York University and Bank Street College.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Hartford chapter of Girls on the Run, an organization committed to the social-emotional development of girls through a research-based curriculum that empowers girls through running. She lives in Westport with her husband and two children.

Contact information: lweiner@tiwestport.org  or 203-227-1656 ext. 312

Gabi Strasfogel-Ryklin, Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education

Gabi Strasfogel-Ryklin, MSEd is an Early Childhood Special Educator and Learning Support Specialist. She holds her Masters in Early Childhood Special Education with an advanced certification in Autism. She has been an Early Childhood Special Education teacher in New York City for eleven years- and has experience in a wide range of learning styles and developmental variations, specializing in process, development and issues in Executive Functioning.

Her diverse body of work ranges from direct service to family support and coaching, additionally educational evaluations, teacher mentoring and curriculum support, and most recently to running Social Skills and Play Groups in Brooklyn. She believes in a holistic approach to learning both in schools and at home and believes in the professional collaboration between the student, their teachers and family at home serves as the foundation of exponential student growth and development. Gabrielle received her Severe and Multiple Extension from Bank Street College of Education, her dual Masters in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Hunter College, and graduated with a Bachelors of Art from the University of Michigan. Gabi lives in Wilton with her husband and two daughters.

Contact information: gstrasfogel@tiwestport.org  or 203-227-1656 ext. 344


Kate Cykman, Director of Experiential Education

Kate Cykman is excited to be the Director of Experiential Education at Temple Israel! During the 2022 school year Kate has been an educator at Kesher. Previously she served as the Youth and Curriculum Coordinator at Congregation Beth El in Bangor Maine for 7 years, and as an educator at multiple other synagogues. She is a current participant in the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute, a 2-year program building Jewish educational leaders. Outside of work Kate enjoys art, cooking, traveling, and playing games with her family. She, her wife Aubri and son Aiden are so excited to start exploring Connecticut and to get to know the whole TI family! 

Contact information: kcykman@tiwestport.org  or 203-227-1656 ext. 306

Noah Zeitlin, Communication and Marketing Coordinator

Contact information: nzeitlin@tiwestport.org  or 203-227-1656 ext. 313





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 Karyn Jusino
Ext. 307 | kjusino@tiwestport.org

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Lilach Levy
Ext. 308 | llevy@tiwestport.org

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Eric Gluska

Ext. 300 | egluska@tiwestport.org

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Geri Stone
Ext. 335 | gstone@tiwestport.org

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Lani DeBoer
Ext. 303 | ldeboer@tiwestport.org 

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Erin Simon
Ext. 302 | esimon@tiwestport.org 

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Troy Golding

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Lester Jones

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Jesse Stevens