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Rita Becker

Co- President

Rita Becker, originally from South Africa, moved to Irvine, Orange County in 1997, with her husband Jerome and her three children       Daniel, Lance and Monique. After their children had graduated from college, Rita and Jerome looked for a town to move to so that the pace of life would not be as hectic. Rita loves the coast line and Jerome loves the forests, so they found a match in Cambria, where the pines meet the sea. When looking for a congregation, they felt that COT welcomed them with open arms and caring hearts. This felt like home. 

Jerome Becker


Originally from South Africa, Jerome and his wife Rita lived in Southern California since 1997 with their three children Daniel, Lance and Monique.After many visits to the Central Coast, they finally moved to Cambria in 2013.  They found the wonderful warm congregation of COT and said, "We are home!" Jerome is an entrepreneur who has owned a general dealer store in S. Africa and an auto parts wholesaler in Riverside. He enjoys his family and RV'ing across the USA. 

Steve Salzman

First Vice President, Administration 

Nachshon Margalit 

Second Vice President, Ritual and Welfare

Melany Spielman

Third Vice President, Education

Melany Spielman moved to the Central Coast in 2015 when she retired to be near family in San Luis Obispo.  After a career as a recreation therapist, and then a university professor, she is now concentrating on being a grandma to her 8 grandchildren and working to promote the work of COT’s Torah School.  After joining our temple in 2015, Melany and her husband Larry, has loved the warmth and caring in this small but mighty Jewish community. She is a recent convert to Judaism after completing the Intro to Judaism class with Rabbi Janice. She had her Beit Din in summer of 2017.  She looks forward to providing the children of COT with a strong Torah School program with the help of the teachers.

Leslie Moss

Fourth Vice President, Social Events 

Leslie is enthusiastic about being a member of the board, again, after a 5 year hiatus. She and her husband, Rick, moved to Paso Robles in 1978 where they taught in the public school district for over 30 years. They have three grown children and four grandchildren. In retirement, Leslie is involved in several community and philanthropic endeavors.  She treasures time with her family; especially assisting her parents in their golden years.  She and Rick have been members of COT for 20 years and value being part of the North County Jewish community. A significant highlight of  Leslie's life was studying with Rabbi Janice to become a Bat Mitzvah with six other special women, in 2012. 

Larry Spielman


Naomi Blakely


Naomi has served on the Board since her retirement from teaching special education, in 2012.  She relishes the opportunity to be a contributing member to our wonderful synagogue. She and her husband, David, are the proud parents of two young men, one of whom is married and has made them grandparents, one of the best roles on earth!  In addition to visiting them, Naomi is also actively involved in volunteer activities. Both her mother and her mother-in-law are 96, and she and David spend as much time with them as they can. They also play bridge, go camping, and travel.  Last year, Naomi and three other fabulous women became B’not Mitzvah, concluding a year of deeply meaningful study with our Rabbi Janice.

Robin Cohen


I grew up in Boston on Revere Beach, the first public beach in the U.S.A.  I am a graduate of University of Florida, with a bachelors of science degree. Go gators!  In 1975, I followed Mark, my long time friend from Revere,  to Southern CA where we married. We moved to Santa Clarita Valley where we raised our two children, Jeremy and Ashley. Jeremy is a graduate of Cal Poly and Ashley a graduate of MUDD. Any time we wanted to get away,  we always would vacation on the Central Coast knowing some day we would settle here. Mark retired from 41 years at CBS in June 2014 and three months later we moved to Atascadero. We were looking for family and friends and we have gained so much at COT.

Rick Moss

Ways and Means

Rick and his wife, Leslie have lived in Paso Robles for the last 40 years. He spent 30 of those years teaching in Paso Robles. He is the proud dad of 3 wonderful children. He and Leslie have been members of Congregation Ohr Tzafon for 20 years and they both have served in many board and committee positions. One of Rick’s great pleasures is the COT Book Club of which he is a founding member. Since the club’s inception, in 2010, members have read and discussed 73 books.

Cricket  Handler

Social Action

Cricket grew up in Rhode Island, and has been a Californian since age 16. She moved to SLO in 1980, has served as cantor for 3 synagogues, and is a founding member of Temple Ner Shalom. Cricket was ED of the SLO Symphony for 10 years, worked at SLO High in the choir program for 17 years and is proud to be the co-artistic director of Canzona Women’s Ensemble, now entering its 10th season. Cricket is delighted to be joining the board of the temple she now calls home, and looks forward to engaging the membership in new social action activities. Cricket and her husband, Jerry, have 5 children and 6 grandchildren between them!

Nancy Osran

Representative, Member at Large

Jean Lowe

Representative, Member at Large

Samantha Mogull



Irv Shelub

Adult Education

Frieda Russell

Past Co-President

Frieda, and her husband Fred, have lived and raised their family in San Luis Obispo County since arriving from Chicago in 1977. They have been active in the Jewish community and moved to North County in 2011.  Frieda feels happy to have found this new Jewish community. This is exactly how she feels about COT.  "It is our pleasure to be part of this small but mighty group and its amazing religious leader, Rabbi Janice Mehring." 

Fred Russell

Past Co-President 

 Fred is a retired CPA and an active director of Founder's Community Bank.  He and Frieda moved to North County in 2011 to be close to their children and grandchildren who are also a part of the COT family.  Fred and Frieda have been in involved in temple and other charitable organizations for 50 years.  "The hardworking spirit of all our member and the leadership provided by Rabbi Janice make it fun to be a part of COT."  

Thu, April 18 2019 13 Nisan 5779