Sherri A. Tarr

Chief Operating Officer | 504-780-5609


Sherri Tarr joined the staff of the Jewish Federation in August 1999 as the Women’s Campaign Director.  Throughout the years, she added the title of Young Leadership Director, then became the Assistant Campaign Director, the Campaign Director, the Development Director, the Assistant Executive Director and is now the Chief Operating Officer.

She is a past President of Gates of Prayer Sisterhood and of Congregation Gates of Prayer, and has served on numerous Gates of Prayer Committees including the Choir, Nursery School and Worship and served on the Rabbinic Search Committee in 2017.

A native of Orlando, Sherri is a graduate of Emory University and the Georgia State University College of Law. She is married to Dr. Matthew Tarr, and is the mother of two children - Josh and Kayla.

Aaron Bloch

JCRC/Executive Director, Goldring Family Foundation Center for Jewish-Multicultural Affairs | 504-780-5608


Aaron Bloch was born and raised in New York and has called New Orleans home since 2015. A graduate of Binghamton University, 2001, and New York Law School in 2005, Aaron practiced law in New York for seven years before moving to New Orleans to accept a position with the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) as an Education Pioneers Fellow. During his time at OPSB he focused on school accountability, the unification of schools under Act 91, and the formation of a new school at the New Orleans juvenile detention center now known as the Travis Hill School. In 2017, he left OPSB to work on a New Orleans City Council campaign and has since worked on dozens of local campaigns and ballot initiatives as a strategist, manager, digital communications specialist, and field director. 


Aaron first came to the Jewish Federation of New Orleans in 2017 as a Board Member of JNOLA, and most recently served as a co-chair of the board from 2019-2021. He is a member of the New Orleans Coalition and previously served as a member of the Friends of Travis Hill Advisory Board, formed to support New Orleans’ system-involved youth with mentorship and support as they leave New Orleans adult jail and juvenile detention facility and return to the community. He recently passed the Louisiana Bar Exam and is awaiting admission to practice in Louisiana.  

Kassie Cosgrove

Chief Development Officer | 504-780-5600


Kassie Kissinger Cosgrove serves as the Federation’s Chief Development Officer and responsible for developing and overseeing the execution of the organization’s high-level strategic plan for fundraising. Born and raised in the area, Kassie has a deep passion for and pride in the local New Orleans community especially after returning home in 2018. Prior to her role with the Federation, Kassie worked in Advancement and the School of Liberal Arts at Tulane University. As the Director of Development for the school, Kassie helped to build relationships with prospective donors, alumni, parents and friends and worked closely with school leadership and Advancement colleagues to share the mission and vision of Liberal Arts and Tulane, benefitting numerous programs, faculty and students.  Among the major gifts and strategic priorities that Kassie helped to achieve is her important work with the Department of Jewish Studies.  Collaborating with school leadership and colleagues in Advancement, Kassie helped develop a strategy that led to great success for the growing department including the creation of the Suzanne and Stuart Grant Center for the American Jewish Experience.  During this time, Kassie built strong relationships with donors and a great appreciation for the Jewish community and she is eager to continue her work in helping to advance the mission and vision of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans.


Prior to her fundraising career, Kassie worked in various student affairs roles at Valdosta State University and the College of Charleston. She also worked at her national Panhellenic sorority headquarters, Alpha Chi Omega as the Director of Lifetime Engagement.


Kassie has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Loyola New Orleans and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.  She completed the Certificate in Fundraising Management (CFRM) program from Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).  She is also an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) New Orleans chapter.


As a “retired” marathon runner, you can find Kassie “running” around after her two sons and French bulldog in Lakeview and then enjoying a glass of vino with her midwesterner turned southerner husband.  She enjoys all things N’awlins especially the Saints, snoballs, crawfish and Mardi Gras with her Krewe of family, friends and neighbors.

Caitrin Gladow

Marketing and Communications Director | 504-780-5614


Caitrin Gladow is the Marketing and Communications Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. Since 2008, she has crafted the organization’s internal and external messaging, as well as steering development strategy for online giving. Cait is responsible for running the organization’s annual GiveNOLA Day campaign, which has resulted in a first place finish for amount raised by a small organization for the past five years. She also guides the Federation’s Partnership2Gether relationship with New Orleans’ sister city of Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel, as well as local interfaith and poverty relief outreach efforts.

Prior to the Jewish Federation, Cait worked in corporate public relations for Kaplan Higher Education Online. She graduated from Florida State University in 2001 with a BA in History. She volunteers in New Orleans with the Gleason Initiative Foundation, Community Works of Louisiana, the New Orleans Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee, Catholic Charities, and Second Harvest Food Bank. Cait is also the founder of the Greater New Orleans Seminole Club, which brings garnet and gold to the Crescent City. She recently completed the Loyola University Institute of Politics fellowship, and is a member of the 2021 cohort of the Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute of Justice. 

She is a proud resident of Broadmoor, where she lives with her husband and three children.

Erica Golden

Executive Director, Sherry and Alan Leventhal Center for Interfaith Families | 504-780-5672


Erica Golden graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Jewish Studies from Tulane University followed by a master’s degree in Behavioral Health Psychology. Committed to making meaningful change in the Jewish community, Erica earned her Master’s of Social Work and a Certificate in Jewish Communal Leadership from the University of Michigan. During her time in New Orleans, Erica worked at Slater Torah Academy, and was actively involved in Chabad at Tulane, Tulane Hillel, and Tulane’s Jewish Studies department. She has worked with numerous Jewish community organizations across the country, most recently serving as the Youth Engagement Director at Temple Beth Am in Miami. In that position, Erica guided hundreds of young congregants and their families on their Jewish journeys through relationship building and frequent programming. Erica is dedicated to lowering barriers to entry to the Jewish community for all and sharing the joy she finds in Judaism. 


Thrilled to return “home,” you can find Erica exploring Mid-City with her Shih Tzu Jack.

Melody Kirkwood

Office Manager/Executive Assistant | 504-780-5688


Melody Kirkwood was hired in May 2018 as the Executive Assistant to Arnie Fielkow and Office Manager. She comes to the Federation with a vast background of experience to include music education, corporate communications, marketing and graphic design, fundraising and special event management.  


In addition, Melody has a true passion for volunteering. She has served in various capacities for several non-profit organizations to include Big Brothers / Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs, the New Orleans Sports Foundation, the Will Clark All-Star Golf Tournament benefitting “Athletes for Autism”, Archbishop Rummel High School Parent Booster Board and was the event director for the Great 100 Nurses Celebrations in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas.


Having been raised by parents who loved Mardi Gras, Melody has been a member of several Krewes over the past 40 years!  Most recently she was the founding member and Captain of the Knights of Jason, Inc.  Due to Melody’s experience as a Krewe Captain and Officer, she has received several awards including the Key to the City of New Orleans from former Mayor Marc Morial and a proclamation from Parish President Aaron Broussard and the Jefferson Parish Council for her contributions in reviving the economy of Jefferson Parish after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.


Melody has one son, Trey Kirkwood and two beautiful toy poodles, Tori and Maddie!

Joel Meariman

Controller | 504-780-5606


Joel Meariman wass born and raised in the Greater New Orleans area. He is a proud alum of East Jefferson High School and The University of New Orleans. He earned his BS in Accounting from UNO is 1991. He has been a CPA for over 25 years.

Joel is a father of 6 kids. He recently became a grandfather. In his leisure time, he enjoys spending time with family. He feels his family is his greatest treasure. He enjoys watching all local teams - especially the Saints and Pelicans.

Brenda Montamat 

Office Assistant | 504-780-5605

Brenda Montamat was born and raised in New Orleans. She currently lives with her husband in Metairie. She has two stepchildren and two grandsons. Brenda has held an administrative position for 28 years.

Her hobbies include reading, football, bike riding and spending time with her grandkids. She loves her New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers.

Garrett Moore

Sponsorship & Strategic Revenue Manager | 504-780-5674


Garrett was born and raised in New Orleans. He received his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans. He has been an active member in the Jewish community, and spent the last several years in the Jewish non-profit sector. He looks forward to contributing to the great work in the New Orleans community. 

As a true Louisiana native, he enjoys spending his time with his family, his dog Sandy, and watching anything LSU and the Saints. 

Michelle Neal

Director of Jewish Education and Allocations Programs | 504-780-5604


Michelle Neal has been the Director of Jewish Education and Allocations Programs since September 2017.  Her previous position was as Outreach Coordinator at the Louisiana State Bar Association in the Member Outreach and Diversity Department, where she traveled across the state working with local bar associations and recruiting volunteers.  For 25 years prior to the Bar Association, her work consisted primarily of fundraising.  Over the years, she served as a fundraising consultant for Eden House; Grant Writer for Kingsley House; Director of Development at the Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans and Girl Scouts of Louisiana; and as Major Gifts Director at Volunteers of America National Office.  

In her down time, she volunteers with several animal rescue organizations, including the Humane Society of Louisiana; as well as with organizations focused on substance abuse recovery.

Michelle graduated with Honors from Trinity University in Washington, DC, majoring in Communications.  She lives with her long-time husband, Burt, with their youngest child and six special needs rescue dogs.  She is proud to be called “mom” by seven children, ranging in age from 18 – 38; and is “nana” to ten. 

Sidney Payne

Facilities Manager | 504-780-5607

Sidney Payne is a Facilities Manager at the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans where Sidney Manages the Maintenance staff in the areas of HVAC, plumbing, Electrical, Janitorial, and landscaping. Sidney has many years of experience managing budgets, safety inspections, construction projects, vendosr and equipment.
Sidney completed college coursework at Dillard University, Loyola University and Delta College where he received an associates degree in Architectural design.
Sidney has worked in Casinos, Financial Institutions, and Universities achieving employee of the year several times in his career in Financial Institutions.
Sidney enjoys helping others and volunteers with the American Cancer Society with their annual relay for life event.

Tana Velen

Next Gen and Programming Director | 504-780-5628

Tana Velen moved to New Orleans in 2015 and through luck and opportunity, began her career at the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans at the same time. She is the NextGen & Programming Director and oversees the Federation's Young Adult Division, JNOLA, generously sponsored by the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust, as well as the Jewish Federation Mentorship Program presented by Emily Schoenbaum, Jones Walker, and Metairie Bank.


She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English in 2008 before joining AmeriCorps NCCC where she received the Presidential Lifetime of Service Award recognizing over 2000 hours of service. It is the appreciation of volunteerism and Tikkun Olam, translated to repairing the world, she found within the New Orleans Jewish community that continues to make her proud to be a member and part of the Federation team who serves them.

James Stewart

Community Security Director | 504-780-5600


James Stewart has over 35 years of experience in law enforcement – 21 of those in various positions within the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). As the Supervisory Resident Agent in Pensacola, Florida, Stewart supervised all criminal programs, including violent crime, public corruption, civil rights, health care fraud, and cyber-crime, and oversaw a Joint Terrorism Task Force to address counterterrorism and domestic terrorism investigations in the territory. In addition to his domestic portfolio, Stewart completed two tours overseas supporting counterterrorism investigations and activities in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Prior to joining the FBI in 1996, Stewart spent 13 years with the New Orleans Police Department, working a variety of assignments in patrol, narcotics, vice, intelligence, and homicide. Most recently, Stewart served as Chief of Police for the City of Hammond, where he oversaw improvements to Internal Affairs, expanded diversity training, and increased overall officer training as well as community engagement and outreach.

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