Eric was born and raised in southern California. He attended University of California Santa Barbara where he graduated with a degree in Theater Arts. Eric went on to work in the film industry while simultaneously working as a Hebrew School teacher. As his enjoyment working in the Jewish community far exceeded that of the film industry, Eric decided to change career paths, focusing on Jewish education and programming, working as a teacher for many age groups, Youth Group Director, and Regional Program Coordinator for United Synagogue Youth (the youth department for the Conservative Movement). Continuing to evolve and grow in his positions, Eric decided to return to school to pursue an MBA. In 2001 he earned his MBA from San Diego State University, receiving a Qualcomm Social Entrepreneurship Award for his work with the San Diego Unified School District, and completing his thesis project, a five-year feasibility study for the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla. Eric has been proud to work as a Synagogue Executive Director ever since. While in San Diego, Eric met his wife, Melissa. They live in Long Beach and adore their two young children, Max and Harlin
Sharon Amster Brown was born in Texas and grew up in Dallas, Chicago, and Orange County, California. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she received a degree in Communication Disorders and Speech Science. She then went on to receive a Joint Master’s degree in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2000. While in graduate school, Sharon worked at the Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles and Temple Beth Sholom of Santa Ana. She is now the Educator of Temple Israel of Long Beach, where she has served for the past ten years. In 2004, Sharon received the distinguished Reform Jewish Educator title. In addition to her work at the Temple, Sharon serves on the Board of Directors for The Women’s Division of the Long Beach Jewish Federation, The Orange County Jewish Educators Association, The Alumni Association for Hebrew Union College, and The National Association of Temple Educators. Sharon and her husband, Adam, live in Long Beach and are the proud parents of Johanna, Brandon, Sadie, and Levi.