The Temple fulfills many important needs in the lives of our members — from ritual and spiritual guidance, Jewish education, the celebration of life-cycle events, and sometimes comfort in difficult and stressful situations. Our staff does everything they can to help meet those needs.
 
Our clergy and staff support and positively represent the overall mission of Congregation Ahavath Chesed. All congregants are treated with courtesy and the utmost confidentiality. If need be, a member may be referred to the appropriate representative of the synagogue who can help that congregant with his or her issue.
 
They understand that the growth, nurturing and future development of our synagogue is dependent in part on their actions as ambassadors on our behalf and behalf of the principles taught and practiced by the Jewish faith. When you call the office, any of our capable and competent staff is willing to help you – just ask!
Aliya Bass, Bookkeeper

Aliya is from a small town, about two hours away called Valdosta, GA. She has always had an interest in accounting, which probably came from her grandmother, who used to keep the books for her grandfather’s business. 

Aliya has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Finance and a Master’s in Business Administration, which she obtained from Valdosta State University. She moved to Jacksonville, FL to pursue more opportunities and she continues to sculpt her craft with our Temple team. 

Ellen Berson, Development & Program Manager

Like so many before her, Ellen followed her family to Florida.  Ellen brings to Temple a background in education, marketing, and television and theatre production.  Her passion for the arts keeps her busy traveling to exhibits and museums around the country.  Once settled in, she found her way to the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens where she serves on the Board of Cummer Beaches (an affinity group of Cummer Museum) and is the Gala Chair for the annual Cummer Beaches Fundraiser held at the TPC Sawgrass Country Club.  

Mary Ellen Hathaway, Clergy Assistant

Mary Ellen has a strong background in executive level administrative support and office management, most of which has been in the non-profit sector. She began working with Temple as the part-time Religious School Administrative Coordinator in January of 2017.  As staffing needs arose that she could fill, she was transitioned to a full time position.  Mary Ellen was promoted to Clergy Assistant in May of 2019.  Her primary responsibilities are to provide administrative support to the clergy team relative to worship, life cycle events, and pastoral care.

Kimberly Janis, Administrative Assistant

Kimberly was born and raised on Eastern Long Island. She attended the University of Rhode Island where she studied Journalism and psychology before transferring to Johnson & Wales University where she received degrees in Culinary Arts and Marketing. 
Kimberly joined the staff of Temple in 2015 after a 21-year career in New York City as Director of Morrell & Company Fine Wine Auctions. While she loves her adopted city, (especially the weather), she is still not a fan of lizards or snakes. 
Evan Taub, Korman Youth Director

Evan Maxwell Taub grew up in Ocala, FL for 18 years and then went to Syracuse University in Upstate New York for his Bachelor’s degree in Education. Growing up his summers from 3rd to 10th grade were spent at URJ Camp Coleman in Cleveland, GA. Evan now has the privilege to be a staff member there each summer as a part of his Youth Director/CLASP Fellowship position at The Temple. His goals are to grow our youth groups, increase the number of our kids going to URJ Camps, and to be an advisor for The Temple youth. He can’t wait for all the amazing programs we have this year and to get to know everyone in the community.

Beth Turner, Administrative Assistant

Beth Turner grew up at The Temple. Her parents, Michael and Michele Brenner, were very active in synagogue life and passed that love onto her. She was very involved in JAFTY and the Madrichim program. She went to college at Florida State University, where she received both a BS and MS in English Education. She then went on to study at Gratz College, where she received an MA in Jewish Education with a focus in Administration as well as a Graduate Certificate in Judaic Studies. After spending several years working at Beth El-The Beaches Synagogue as a teacher and eventually becoming the Education Director and Communications Specialist, she returned to The Temple to teach at TIR. She is thrilled to be serving as a full-time Administrative Assistant (in addition to teaching and tutoring) at the place she has always called home. Beth lives in Ponte Vedra with her husband Roy.