Our Staff

Executive Director Marcie Platkin


Marcie Platkin has been the executive director of the North Shore Jewish Center since July 1999. Marcie was born in Laurelton, Queens and raised in Jericho, Long Island. She graduated from Ithaca College and received her Masters Degree in Social Work from Adelphi University. She first worked as a community organizer for the Jewish Association for Services to the Aged (JASA) and then continued with JASA as the director of a senior citizen center within a Brooklyn housing project in the Manhattan Beach area.

In 1988, Marcie served as the constituent and community advisor to State Senator Donald Halperin, as he represented the Sheepshead Bay/Midwood/Flatbush areas of Brooklyn. When Senator Halperin became the State Commissioner of Housing under Governor Cuomo, she continued to serve and represent them as administrator of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. In 1994, Marcie left the public sector and became a social services coordinator for low income housing tenants.

Marcie is extremely proud to be the executive director of our wonderful congregation and is a member of NAASE, the Conservative movement’s professional organization of synagogue executives. Marcie says there is a feeling of chevra and fulfillment working for NSJC and she is involved in every aspect of congregation life. She is the “queen of multitasking” and enjoys working with her staff. Marcie brings her strong administrative management and people skills to NSJC as well as her personal commitment to Judaism. Marcie cherishes the membership as they have embraced her as a member of the synagogue family and she is committed to seeing NSJC thrive.

Marcie and her husband, Marc, live in Jericho. They are members of Temple Beth Torah in Westbury. They are proud of their two sons, Michael and Ross.


Heather Welkes, Religious School Principal

Heather Welkes headshot

Shalom! I love new ventures! I love freshly sharpened pencils, notebooks that haven’t been written in yet, and new markers with vibrant colors that have yet to fade. As a child, I loved getting ready to go back to school because my mother would take me shopping and let me pick out a new dress that I would wear to synagogue on Rosh Hashanah for the first time. There is so much excitement and anticipation when the new year starts. I love the idea of starting fresh and new. This year, for me, is especially meaningful, as I start a new role as the Religious School Principal at NSJC.

Stepping into this role is very exciting for me. Although I am giving up my first grade classroom where I have spent the last three years teaching, I am excited to be able to reach out to all of our students, parents and teachers in ways that are engaging and meaningful. Our “Religious School” is being re-branded as a “Jewish Learning Center (JLC)”. We have already begun the process of investing time and money into curriculum development and programming which will be relevant and joyous, and we will continue to create a space that encourages friendship, community and learning. With two teaching certificates and a combined seventeen years of secular and religious school teaching experience, as well as the experience of being a small business owner and a college administrator, I am both ready and excited to take on this task.

I look forward to meeting our parents often. One of my goals for this year is to create and foster community. Please know that I am always open to any ideas and feedback, and that I look forward to partnering with our teachers and families as our students continue their adventure on their Jewish journey. Please feel free to contact me at principal@nsjc.org or stop by just to say hello.

Heather Welkes


Cantor Stephen Barr, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tutor


Mary Ellen Shouler, Administrative Assistant/Assistant Bookkeeper


Our administrative assistant and assistant bookkeeper, Mary Ellen, came to us as a temp in 1999 and now works full time.

This multi-talented lady loves working at NSJC because we are more like a big family, something she says you rarely see in a typical workplace. She is impressed with how our members look after each other and pull together in good times and bad.

Known for her sweet and calm disposition, Mary Ellen who has a BS in computer science and was a “stay at home mom” for 15 years, is always helpful even while multi-tasking on the computer, phones, door buzzer, doing bookkeeping, fixing a software problem or helping out a member. Her warm smile greets everyone who enters the office.

Mary Ellen grew up in Smithtown and still lives there with her husband, Steve, and their four children. In her spare time she loves woodworking, gardening, boating and remodeling. She has been known to apply her “handi-woman” skills in our building, as well.

Gustavo Hernandez, Custodian


Our daytime custodian, Gustavo, was born and raised in Columbia, South America where he worked on his family’s farm taking care of the animals and learning to operate and repair large farm machinery.

Following his family, he arrived in the USA in 1997 and gained citizenship in 2004. He has been working at NSJC since 2002 and most appreciates how kind our members are to him, and each other. He is especially fond of the teachers and students, helping them with their Spanish while “high-fiving” the kids as they pass by.

Gustavo loves his job because he can apply his many skills and talents for the benefit of our members. In his spare time he paints, does construction and fixes cars.