Questions for the PJCC?
Do you have any questions about the PJCC? If so, please contact us at:
- Phone: 650.212.PJCC (7522)
The PJCC Executive Management Team
Executive Management Team
We are proud to introduce you to our dedicated team.
Paul comes to us in 2015 after more than a decade of visionary leadership as executive director at Temple Sinai in Oakland, California. Prior to that, he led programs at the Osher Marin JCC as the director of youth and family programs and director of teen services, where he developed and oversaw hundreds of community events and programs for all ages.
"The unifying themes of my career are commitment to leadership and strengthening community," Paul says. "Professionally and personally I seek opportunities for learning, growth, and transformation. I'm inspired by the PJCC's Guiding Principles. They will influence how I guide the Center as we continue to build relationships, cultivate community, and impact lives."
Before his work at the JCC, Paul earned a Master's Degree in Psychology and served in a variety of roles. His expertise included work as a special education teacher, a community liaison for the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta, and an outdoor guide for an adventure travel company. His varied interests and hobbies include a love of nature, world music, comparative religions, film, and world travel.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Paul moved to the Bay Area in 1995 and met his wife, Laura, while working at the Marin JCC. The couple are the proud parents of Elijah, 11, and Gabriel, 8, and Laura has a successful Life Coaching business; in addition, she teaches dance and fitness courses. They enjoy family time exploring nature, being physically active, and taking part in community events. They also recently welcomed their newest family member, a three-year old Cocker Spaniel named Daisy who is being tolerated by their cat, Stanley.
Rabbi Lavey Derby
Director of Jewish Life
Rabbi Lavey Derby joined the PJCC as Director of Jewish Life early in 2011, and brings with him a distinguished background as a Wexner Heritage Foundation faculty member, Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and Founder and lead teacher of “The Idra: A Community for Jewish Spiritual Learning and Practice”. As the long-time rabbi of Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon, California, he helped build a community based on the principles of Torah study, spiritual quest and practice, and social justice.
Previously Rabbi Derby served as the Director of Jewish Education of the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan and as a faculty member and personal advisor to Rabbi Yitz Greenberg at CLAL -- the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and as the Director of the Council for Jewish Life of the Federation of Greater Los Angeles. He has taught for the Institute of Jewish Spirituality and for the Industrial Areas Foundation, and has lectured extensively across the country on subjects ranging from rabbinic and Jewish thought to Hasidism and contemporary Jewish spirituality. He is certified as a Jewish mindfulness meditation teacher from the Institute of Jewish Spirituality.
Rabbi Derby is the eighth generation descendent of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev and comes from a family line of rabbis that traces back to the 16th century.
Laura Toller Gardner
PJCC Chief Marketing & Membership Officer
With more than 20 years of strategic marketing experience, Laura is responsible for leading and managing our Center’s process of innovation – identifying and developing creative new strategies, opportunities and ideas to further the mission of the PJCC (Foster City, CA). She also leads all marketing and communications initiatives, and membership acquisition and retention for our JCC community.
Prior to joining the PJCC, Laura served youth and family causes in leadership capacities, including achieving unprecedented revenue and fundraising growth at both the YMCA of the Mid-Peninsula (Palo Alto, CA) and The Harker School (San Jose, CA). And she led national communications for animal-advocacy organization In Defense of Animals (Mill Valley, CA).
Laura is an animal lover and companion-animal rescuer…hence the reason she and her husband James have an ever-growing animal family. Laura also contributes pro bono services to her husband’s non-profit organization Good Karma Bikes, serving the homeless, very-low wage workers, and people in recovery.
Chief Financial Officer
Fred Weiner has been the PJCC’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since February 2007. Currently, he is also the CFO for the North Peninsula Jewish Campus and Wornick Jewish Day School, which are PJCC’s partners on the 12-acre Campus. He leads and manages the finance, facilities, information technology, and human resources departments, and legal and risk management areas as well as plays an integral and instrumental role in strategic and long-term planning and implementation for all of these organizations. Fred has over 35 years of diverse management experience in public and non-profit organizations including financial management and analysis. He served in various department head and financial management positions with the City and County of San Francisco for 20 years. He also held consulting, analytical, and management positions involving Federal, and California State, regional and local agencies during his career. He has a Master’s Degree from Stanford University and Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He is married with three daughters, and two grandsons.
Director of Programs
Stephanie Levin brings over 15 years of experience in innovative program development, implementation and evaluation with significant expertise in Jewish Family Education, Special Needs Education and Inclusion, Service Learning, Preschool and Elementary Education and Jewish Camping. Stephanie originally joined the PJCC from 1999 -2002 and then returned to the agency in 2007. As the Director of Programs, Stephanie leads staff in the creation of outstanding programming of all types for people at every age and stage of life. In addition to her work at the PJCC, Stephanie has worked in a variety of Jewish communal organizations in the Bay Area including Berkeley Hillel, JCC of San Francisco, the Center of Jewish Living and Learning and Coastside Jewish Community. Stephanie holds a BA in Women’s Studies from Mills College and is a graduate of the Tikea Fellowship for Educators of Jewish Teens. She was awarded the prestigious Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Informal Jewish Education in 2009.
Maria S. Burns
Born on Cape Cod, MA, our Director of Development, Maria S. Burns, CFRE, joined the PJCC in August of 2014. Maria oversees the fundraising operations for the PJCC including annual gifts, planned giving, grant writing, the NPJC land campaign and other initiatives for the community. Prior to joining the management team, Maria worked as the Director of Annual Giving at Stanford Medical Center Development, raising millions of dollars each year for training, research, and programs at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Stanford University School of Medicine. Over the years, Maria has also managed annual giving and event operations for the following organizations: San Diego State University (San Diego, CA), Lancaster Country Day School (Lancaster, PA), Connecticut Food Bank (New Haven, CT), the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (San Diego, CA & Wethersfield, CT), and Up with People (North American region). Outside of work, Maria, her husband, James, and their two boys live in San Mateo and enjoy traveling, visits to the zoo, and spending time at the Center.