Clergy & Staff

Meet the heart and soul of Temple Beth Tikvah, Our Clergy, and Our Staff.

Our Clergy

Rabbi Brian Beal

A native of this region, Rabbi Beal grew up in Monmouth County, NJ and served as the JFTY (now NFTY-GER) Chaplain. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Emory University and went on to serve as a professional fundraiser for his alma mater for seven years. Rabbi Beal received a Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters in 1997 and ordination in 1998 from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1998, where he wrote a thesis on Judaism and the Twelve Steps. 

Rabbi Beal served Temple Shaari Emeth in Manalapan, NJ, where he was particularly focused on engaging youth and young families. He was the rabbi of Temple Beth Torah in Nyack, NY–now called the Reform Temple of Rockland–for thirteen years, where he worked with staff and volunteers to develop award-winning social justice experiences, initiated an interfaith symposium in partnership with local synagogues, churches and a mosque, and fostered a welcoming environment for people with disabilities. Most recently, he served as the interim rabbi at Beth David Reform Congregation in Gladwyne, PA, Temple Beth-El in Jersey City, and Congregation Beth Chaim in Princeton Junction.  

Rabbi Beal can be reached via email @ rabbibeal@templebethtikvahnj.org

Cantor Emeritus Charles Romalis

After arriving at Temple Beth Tikvah, Cantor Emeritus Romalis set out to create an atmosphere of joy and celebration through his cantorate and to create a wonderful and meaningful musical legacy second to none. In the process, he also helped ensure that Temple Beth Tikvah serves as a spiritual home to everyone.

Cantor Emeritus Romalis embodies the title Sh’liach Tsibur, a sacred term for what it means to be a cantor: a messenger for the community. He has a gift for focusing on the positive aspects of life and making people feel good and better about their own lives. He truly is the eternal optimist.

During his 50 years as Temple Beth Tikvah’s Cantor, he has worked with people of all ages, including teaching all grades in the Religous School and adult Hebrew Learning. He has been involved in all aspects of clergy leadership and education like youth director, principal of the primary grades, and adult and children’s choir director. He has officiated at many life-cycle events such as weddings, renewal of vows, funerals, unveilings, baby naming, and more.

Cantor Romalis has been a guiding light that has helped Temple Beth Tikvah embrace the diverse and enriching musical traditions of the Jewish people. He has created an extraordinary legacy that will continue to serve Temple Beth Tikvah’s congregation into the future.

Cantor Intern Erica Rubin

Cantor Intern Erica Rubin is currently serving as Cantor Intern and Jewish Educator at Temple Beth Tikvah, in Wayne, NJ. She previously served as Cantor and Jewish Educator at Congregation Sons of Israel in Nyack, New York, in Rockland County. She served as Spiritual Leader/Cantor and Hebrew School director at the Jewish Center of the Moriches in Suffolk County on Long Island, New York. She has also served at various congregations including B’nai Israel in Wilmington, North Carolina, Shomrei Torah in Wayne, New Jersey, Congregation B’nai Israel in Fleishmans, NY and Temple Beth El in Oneanta, NY.  She has also served as a Jewish Educator at WTA in New Rochelle, NY, Greenburgh Hebrew Center in Dobbs Ferry, NY, and at Riverdale Temple, in Riverdale, NY, ​

Cantor Rubin is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, magna cum laude, majoring in Anthropology while also studying at Manhattan School of Music for Vocal Performance.  She is a graduate of Saint John’s University with a Master of Education and is currently studying at the Academy for Jewish Religion, Cantorial Program and Jewish Studies. Cantor Rubin is also a professional opera singer, singing her coloratura soprano roles all over Europe for the past 15 years, such as the Queen of the Night from the Magic Flute and Madame Mao from Nixon in China.

As the cousin of the great Cantor Pierre Pinchik, Erica is thrilled to continue her family’s tradition of serving the Jewish community as a spiritual leader and chazzan. As Cantor Intern, she hopes to inspire all through prayer, through the teaching of our Jewish texts and rituals, and is excited and honored to lead you in all of your important life cycle ceremonies.

Cantor Erica can be reached via email @ CantorErica@TempleBethTikvahNJ.org

Our Staff

Alissa Okrent – Director of Education

Alissa has been a Jewish educator for over 27 years, serving as the principal of Temple Shalom in Succasunna, NJ, for the last five years. Over the years, she has taught every grade level, from kindergarten through high school, utilizing an array of established Jewish curriculums. During her tenure as principal, Alissa created a Madrichim program for classroom support, introduced virtual learning to support classroom activities before COVID forced other religious schools to do the same, established regular communication vehicles with faculty and parents, and was recognized as an outstanding mentor.

Alissa can be reached via email @ Principal@TempleBethTikvahNJ.org

Joyce Fein –Director of Operations

Joyce has been serving the Wayne community since 2005.  She was the Program Director and Assistant Director of the former YM-YWHA of North Jersey.  Joyce then held various leadership positions at the Wayne YMCA.  Prior to her community center work in Wayne, Joyce was a JCC professional, working in programming and marketing for the Marlene Meyerson JCC in Manhattan and the JCC of Mid-Westchester in New Rochelle, NY.  

Joyce lives in Wayne with her two boys, Jason and Aaron.

Joyce can be reached via email@Director@TempleBethTikvahNJ.org


Jennifer Melhado —Temple Bookkeeper: @Finance@TempleBethTikvahNJ.org

Dawn Toussas—Events Coordinator: @specialevents@TempleBethTikvahNJ.org

Marie Tomasko—Temple Secretary: @Office@TempleBethTikvahNJ.org

%d bloggers like this: