Staff Spotlight: Gayle Ehrenberg
Interview with Gayle Ehrenberg, Director of Youth and Family Programs
Gayle Ehrenberg has been a part of the Alpert Jewish Community Center since she came here with friends when she was in middle school. She always thought it was a great place to hang out, and she enjoyed being a part of the community. When she had her first son, Asher, she enrolled him in the Early Childhood Education program, and that’s when the fun began! In 1999, Gayle was offered an administrative position with Lynne Rosenstein in the adult department. She has a degree in instrumental music (she plays the sax!) from Cal State Long Beach with an emphasis in Special Education, so it was natural that she eventually became a part of the ECE staff. She began as an assistant teacher and then eventually taught full time. She also taught in the ECE parent-participation class From the Beginning. Shortly after her second son, Nate, was born in 2001, she became the Volunteer Coordinator for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, a position she held for eight years, until 2009, when she took a leave of absence to care for her ailing parents.
Knowing what a great job she would do, Jeffrey Rips asked Gayle to come back and work as the interim director for the RSVP program last December after we lost Diane Johnson. A few months in, she accepted the position as the new RSVP Director. Because Gayle wanted to have a more integral part of the AJCC, Gayle was offered the position of Director of Youth and Family Programs when Natalie Chernik accepted the position of Director of Membership Services at the end of August.
Gayle explains, “The AJCC has always held a place of comfort for me. Working here feels like a win, win situation. It serves as my home away from home, a place where I can be myself. Not only am I surrounded by the Jewish community my kids and I grew up in, but we are also fortunate to be encircled by such an amazingly diverse population. People from all walks of life have a place in our center. This makes the AJCC a very unique place to be.
“The AJCC Youth, Teen and Camp Program already have a remarkable reputation in our community as a safe haven for our children to play, learn and thrive in. As Director, I hope to build on this already strong platform, adding new & dynamic programming not only for our youth and teens, but for our families as well. I look forward to the ongoing opportunity to work with a dynamic staff at the AJCC and to be in integral part of the vibrant growth and development of the AJCC.”