Meet the JLL Team

Sharon Sherry
Sharon Sherry is Federation’s Early Childhood Education and Family Engagement Specialist.  In this role she provides leadership to our Jewish early childhood learning community and helps develop the highest-quality programs for our youngest learners and their families.  Sharon collaborates with and supports Federation’s Jewish engagement programs for families with young children, offers professional development and training for early childhood programs in the Greater Washington area and provides resources to families, educators and institutions.

Learn more about Federation’s Early Childhood Education programming.  Contact Sharon at or 240-283-6230.



Headshot_LisaHandelmanLisa Handelman
Lisa Handelman is Federation’s Community Disability Inclusion Specialist. As a community resource and area specialist, Lisa partners with individuals with disabilities, families and service providers to develop, implement, and monitor opportunities for inclusion of individuals with disabilities into all aspects of Jewish learning and living. Based on the strong belief that disability inclusion strengthens our community, Lisa and Federation’s Disability Inclusion Committee has created disability and inclusion online crowdsourcing guides and tools to connect individuals and families with programs, events and services and to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of individuals with disabilities.

Learn more about Federation’s Disability Inclusion initiatives.
Contact Lisa at or 301-230-7278




Emily Mathae
Emily Mathae is the Administrative Assistant for Federation’s Department of Jewish Life and Learning (JLL). She serves as a resource to the JLL team and to the community, assisting with a variety of projects, managing events, coordinating educational courses, and handling grant requests. Emily graduated from George Mason University in May 2016 with a degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Her study abroad and internship in Israel inspired her to work in the Jewish non-profit sector, which lead her to her position at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

Contact Emily at or 240-283-6219.




Samantha Vinokor
Samantha Vinokor is Federation’s Manager of Jewish Teen Engagement and Philanthropy. Samantha serves as lead educator for the Israel Engagement Fellowship, facilitating a professional development network for youth educators, coordinating JTeen Philanthropy and serving as a resource and mentor for teens and professionals throughout the Greater Washington community. She is available for consultations on teen engagement, professional development and experiential education. Samantha is constantly developing new opportunities for teen leadership and exploration of questions of Jewish identity and connection, and she brings many years of experience as a Jewish experiential educator and a deep passion for connecting with Jewish teens to her work at Federation.

Learn more about Federation’s Teen programming.
Contact Samantha at or 301-230-7283




Avi West
Avi West is Federation’s Senior Education Officer and Master Teacher. Avi integrates accessible and inclusive Judaic content into instructional and identity-building experiences for learners of all ages. As a specialist, he is the coordinator of ROUTES, Federation’s annual community-wide day of adult study, and works to make a more robust framework for adult Jewish learning in Greater Washington. Avi consults with educational leadership and offers professional development workshops for educators and Jewish life presentations for parents. Among his teachers and influencers are his 6 grandchildren in Israel and Gaithersburg.

Avi is available for consultations to professional and lay educational leadership on issues of school vision, policies, and educational strategies.  Specific appointments may be arranged with education directors on learning resources, Judaic enrichment, family programs, and for planning professional development workshops for educators and Jewish life presentations for parents. Avi can also consult on adult learning resources and programs, and can be available on a limited-basis as a Federation scholar for speaking engagements about Jewish life and learning topics.  If a longer-range project, will have multiple meetings and more intense timeline, there may be a fee attached to the project.

Learn more about Federation’s Adult Learning opportunities or resources for professional development.
Contact Avi at or 240-283-6218