Aaron Bloch

JCRC/Executive Director, Goldring Family Foundation Center for Jewish-Multicultural Affairs
aaron@jewishnola.com | 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.  

Arnie D. Fielkow

arnie@jewishnola.com | 504-780-5600


Arnie D. Fielkow has enjoyed a long career in sports, politics, law, and Jewish communal work. Before coming to the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Fielkow served as President and CEO of the National Basketball Retired Players Association. Twice elected to the New Orleans City Council as President, he helped rebuild New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. He also served as Executive Vice President of the New Orleans Saints from 2000-2005.


In 2017, he became CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. He has focused on the building and strengthening of relationships with synagogues and other community partners, as well as expanding the big tent under which the Federation operates, by creating: JNEXT, a program for Gen-X Jewish New Orleanians; LGBTQ outreach through JP NOLA; a professional mentoring program designed to retain top talent in New Orleans; and two landmark external relations centers: the Goldring Family Foundation Center for Jewish-Multicultural Affairs, and the Sherry and Alan Leventhal Center for Interfaith Families.


Fielkow is married to Dr. Susan Fielkow, and has five children and two grandchildren. He received his BA from Northwestern University and his JD from the University of Wisconsin.


Read Arnie's full bio here.

Caitrin Gladow

Senior Director, Communications & Marketing
cait@jewishnola.com | 504-780-5614


Caitrin Gladow is the Senior Director of Communications and Marketing 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 Table at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, and wherever she can find an opportunity serve her city. 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 an alumna of the 2021 cohort of the Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute of Justice. In 2022, she joined the board of Youth Run NOLA. 

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

Melody Kirkwood

Senior Director of Administration
melody@jewishnola.com | 504-780-5688


Melody Kirkwood 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!

Amanda Loflin

Director of NextGen and Mentorship
amanda@jewishnola.com | 504-780-5600


Amanda Loflin serves as the Director of Next Gen and Mentorship, engaging Jewish young adults, facilitating community, and providing opportunities to support them in their professional development.  Amanda was born and raised in New York City and first came to New Orleans in 2012 working in live music and events.  After a hiatus away, she is elated to be back in the city that she loves and calls home.  Her experience in event production and management supports her work building community and planning gatherings for Jewish young adults.  Among other volunteer work and governance, Amanda served as the chair of her synagogue's Social Justice Committee, and on the board of Greensboro, North Carolina's Jewish Next Gen group.  She is a proud mama to three amazing kids.

Joel Meariman

Senior Director of Finances & Human Relations
joel@jewishnola.com | 504-780-5606

Joel Meariman was 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 Administrative Coordinator
brenda@jewishnola.com | 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

Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships
garrett@jewishnola.com | 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

Senior Director of Jewish Education, Advocacy & Allocations
michelle@jewishnola.com | 504-780-5604


Michelle Neal has been at the Federation 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. 

Chelsea Nutik

Director, Sherry & Alan Leventhal Center for Interfaith Families
chelsea@jewishnola.com | 504-780-5675


Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, Chelsea also lived in Charleston, SC where she received her B.S. in Physical Education at the College of Charleston.  With almost a decade in New Orleans, she brings an extensive background in mon-profit management and education to her role with the Federation. She is excited to create resources and opportunities for connection, learning, and practice of Jewish values, that feel accessible and serve as an anchor point for interfaith families in the New Orleans community. 

Upon moving to New Orleans in 2014, Chelsea  served as both a K-12 enrichment and middle school English teacher. In 2016 she founded Project Peaceful Warriors, a non-profit which supports healing-centered learning spaces in New Orleans through trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness. As founding Director, she grew the organization to serve over 30 schools and community-based organizations, reaching over 15,000 young people and 5,000 educators in the Greater New Orleans area.  During this time, she collaborated with the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine to measure program impact and her work was published in the Journal of Psychology Research and  Behavior Management. She now serves as a very proud board member. 

Chelsea is a graduate of the Jewish Federation's Katz-Phillips Leadership Development class of 2019-2021, during which she built strong and lasting connections to the New Orleans Jewish community.  Her community involvement additionally includes facilitating postpartum support groups with The Fourth Trimester & Beyond, an initiative of Tulane’s Psychiatry Clinic. She is currently in the process of completing her Healthy Birth Ambassador training through Healthy Birth Louisiana, a lasting innovative, culturally-specific intervention to reduce poor birth outcomes in the state of Louisiana and beyond.

Sidney Payne

Senior Director of Facility Management
sidney@jewishnola.com | 504-780-5607

Sidney Payne is the Senior Director of Facility Management 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.

James Stewart

Community Security Director
james@jewishnola.com | 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.

Sherri A. Tarr

Chief Operating Officer
sherritarr@jewishnola.com | 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.

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