Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia

(703) 323-0880

Contacts for Health, Fitness, and Aquatics

HFA Director
Paula Cole

Aquatics Director and HFA Associate Director
Teodora Albu

Fitness Director
Matthew Alvin

Sports and Wellness Director
Elin Kanchev

Exercise and Wellness Coordinator
Keri Drugan

Wellness Assistant
Petya Ivanova

Upcoming Events

Hazon 2013 Cross-USA Ride!

JCCNV Cycle Club joined in.


Time to register
your infants,
toddlers, preschoolers,
and school-age kids!

J Camps

2015-2016 Early Childhood Learning Center


The Voice

Meet our Instructors

Amanda Melilo

Amanda has been competing in triathlons and road races since 2004. She has run over 10 marathons and competed in her 1st Ironman triathlon in 2013. She is also the Co-chair/organizer for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation Ovarian Cycle Event in Washington DC. She is excited to be sharing her love of fitness with her class participants!
Classes Taught: Alternating Sundays, 8:30am Cardio Cycling




Barri DeFrancisci

Barri holds a BFA in Dance from Muhlenberg College and is the Dance Director for the JCC. She has studied and performed with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel, she is certified in Zumba and Barre, and she loves helping people get in shape.
Classes Taught: Tuesday, 9:30am Zumba Gold




Cynthia Maltenfort

Cynthia has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and is ERYT certified through Sun & Moon yoga.  She was the Creative Movement Specialist at the JCCNV for 9 years and then began teaching yoga in the evening. Cynthia clientuploads/cynthia.jpgincorporates many styles and techniques in a fun and loving environment. She believes yoga is a gift for all ages and all abilities.  She loves the creative challenge of bringing yoga to anyone who is interested and is honored to share the journey.
Classes Taught: Monday, 7:15pm Yoga


Denise Wertheim

clientuploads/denise.jpgDenise is a water aerobics instructor and first began teaching at the JCC more than 22 years ago.  In addition to water aerobics, she has worked as a personal trainer and taught a variety of aerobic and weight training classes during her 30 year career in fitness.  “I love the students in my class.  They are an absolute inspiration to me.  They take an active role in maintaining their health and are so supportive of each other,” she says.
Classes Taught: Wednesday, 9:30am H20


Elin Kanchev

clientuploads/fee.jpgElin Kanchev is our new Sports and Wellness Director. Elin is originally from Plovdiv, Bulgaria and currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia. His primary focus is on the personal training component of our department. He will be giving wellness talks, subbing/teaching classes as needed, such as Level 5 strength, Core and Kickboxing and various other things. He has a great passion for Martial Arts. He won the Bulgarian National tournament in 2004, he is a member of the USA boxing Potomac Valley Association, and he's been helping many people get in shape throughout the years as aNASM certified personal trainer.
Classes Taught: Monday, 9:30am Level 5 Strength Training


Fee Pearson

clientuploads/fee.jpgFee has been teaching fitness classes for approximately twenty years. She’s certified through American Aerobic Association International and loves teaching cardio kickboxing.  In addition, she is also licensed to teach Zumba and Zumba Sentao.  Fee is married, a federal government employees and mother to two children.
Classes Taught: Tuesday and Thursday, 7:30pm Cardio Kickboxing


Genae Lamb

Genae has a passion for dance and fitness and loves encouraging others to have fun while achieving their fitness goals. Genae is AFAA® and SilverSneakers® certified and is a licensed Aqua Zumba® and Zumba® Instructor. New to Virginia,  Genae is a military spouse and mother of one daughter. She is excited to bring her enthusiasm and energy to the JCCNV! 

Classes Taught: Wednesday, 10:45am Level 2 Strength, Friday, 9:30am Aqua Zumba




Haruko Newman

clientuploads/haruko.jpgHaruko is certified through AFAA and licensed in Zumba.  She loves dancing and especially dancing with her Zumba ladies and gentlemen. She welcomes everyone and says every class, “We will have a great dance party.”
Classes Taught: Tuesday, 9:30am Stretch; Wednesday, 9:30am Level 5 Strength Training; Thursday, 9:30am Zumba; and Saturday, 8am Stretch



Hilary Kamins

clientuploads/hilaryphoto.jpgHilary is a certified ZUMBA Fitness instructor. She has been licensed since early 2010 and teaches many ZUMBA Fitness formats. She has been featured in the ZLife(TM) magazine, fitness guru, Denise Austin, has attended her ZUMBA Fitness class, and she was chosen to be a ZUMBA Fitness model and backup dancer at the annual ZUMBA Instructor convention in Orlando in August 2013. She teaches Aqua ZUMBA here at the JCCNV -- Splash your way into shape with an invigorating low-impact aquatic exercise.
Classes Taught: Thursday, 9:30am Aqua Zumba

Jane Hansen

clientuploads/jane.jpgJane has enjoyed exercise and fitness through years of jogging and being a group instructor teaching Jazzercise classes. Jane has been with the JCCNV since 1992 as a certified Jazzercise Instructor and Personal Trainer, and she recently completed her degree in Exercise Science from George Mason University. What Jane enjoys most about working at the JCCNV is getting to know the members and learning more about the Jewish heritage and traditions. When Jane is not at the JCCNV, she loves yard and garden work, catching up with her four children, and obedience training her two Pomeranians. Jane specializes in core training, weight training, adults/senior fitness and working with clients with osteopenia.  
Classes Taught: Jazzercise


Jo-Ellen Adkins

clientuploads/joellen.jpgMs. Jo-Ellen Adkins has been taking cycle classes for nine years and became a certified SPINNING(r) instructor in the spring of 2013. She teaches indoor cycling classes at various gyms and has taught indoor cycling for four years at her workplace, a Federal Government agency. Ms. Adkins is passionate about indoor cycling and thrives in teaching students about the physiological, mental and emotional benefits to spinning(r). Ms. Adkins lives in Annandale, VA with her family.
Classes Taught: Alternating Fridays, 6:45am Cardio Cycling


Jodi Pick

clientuploads/jodi.jpgJodi has been active in sports almost all her life. She loves to run, bike and swim. She has participated in several 10 mile races, century bike rides, and sprint triathlons. Her new passion is to teach spin class. She brings high energy and good music to each class, and challenges and motivates all levels of fitness. Jodi has been taking spin classes for the past 15 years and became certified as an instructor six years ago. She is proud to be a pioneer of the new JCCNV spin exercise group. Jodi loves to teach. She has a degree in Special Ed from the University of Arizona and enjoys working with children. In her spare time she tutors and works with the Special Olympics Swim team.
Classes Taught: Wednesday, 7:15am Cardio Cycling; Alternating Sundays, 8:30am Cardio Cycling


Joy Betaharon

clientuploads/Joy.jpgJoy is a fitness enthusiast JCC member turned instructor! She is certified in Spinning through Schwinn Fitness and a mom of four beautiful children. She is ready to help you love cardio cycling.
Classes Taught: Monday, 9:30am Cardio Cycling

Karen Kapen

A native of New Orleans, Karen has lived in the DC area for 20 years.  She has been a member of the JCC for nearly a decade and has practically raised her 4 children there.  An avid exerciser and former competitive athlete, Karen enjoys teaching spinning for its energy and intensity.  She loves the fact that you can get a great workout in a very short period of time--something every busy parent of young children can appreciate.
Classes Taught: Monday, 9:30am Cardio Cycling; Wednesday, 9:30am Cardio Cycling; Friday, 9:30am Cardio Cycling and Alternating Sundays, 8:30am Cardio Cycling

Keri Drugan

Keri is the Exercise and Wellness Coordinator and has been teaching various styles of dance and fitness since 2002. Originally from New Jersey, Keri came to Virginia for college and earned her BFA in Dance from George Mason University. She is a certified personal trainer through ACE and a certified group exercise instructor through AFAA. Keri’s favorite thing about working at the JCCNV is being able to help get the members’ mind and body healthy and fit. She has a strong focus on core training and alignment.  Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, hip hop dancing with her dance team, and visiting family in New Jersey.
Classes Taught: Monday, 8:30am Cardio Dance Fusion; Monday, 9:30am Level 5 Strength Training; Monday, 10:45am Level 2 Strength Training; Wednesday, 7:45pm Cardio Hip Hop Dance Workshop; Thursday, 8:30am Intermediate Core; Thursday, 10:30am Level 3 Strength Training; Friday, 8:30am Cardio Cycling; Friday, 9:30am Intermediate Core and Friday, 10:30am Beginner Core


Lynne Maloney

Lynne is a certified Jazzercise instructor and owner of the JCC Jazzercise program plus she teaches many of them as well. She is also an ACE certified personal trainer. After enjoying Jazzercise classes for many years, she decided to try her hand at becoming an instructor. That was nine years ago and she wishes she had done it sooner! The enjoyment she gets from seeing the positive effects of exercise and getting to know the students in her class prompted her to get her personal training certification almost two years ago. When she's not teaching classes at the JCC, she works full-time in advertising sales at The Washington Post while also teaching Jazzercise and working with personal training clients in their fitness center. Her daughter is in her sophomore year at James Madison Univ (Lynne's alma mater!) and Lynne and her husband live in Springfield with their Schnoodle puppy dog, "Hollie". Classes Taught: Jazzercise


Margery Van Vleet

Margery has been a member of the JCCNV for 15 years.  Her kids attended the preschool and she has been active in fitness classes and activities for twelve years now.  In May 2013, she attended the indoor cycling educational course held at the JCC and immediately began teaching.  She enjoys challenging her class participants, as well as herself every Monday morning.  Margery works out or teaches at the JCCNV most mornings before her “real job” as a Director of Tax at the accounting firm of Grant Thornton.  The thing Margery loves most about the JCCNV is the community feel of the Sports & Fitness participants.  Over the years, she has developed various friendships with her exercise buddies.
Classes Taught: Monday, 6:45am Cardio Cycling; Alternating Fridays, 6:45am Cardio Cycling and Alternating Sundays, 8:30am Cardio Cycling


Paula Cole

clientuploads/paula.jpgPaula has been in the fitness industry for more than 30 years in the field of group exercise, club management and instructor training. She joined the staff at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV) in 1993 where she has been the Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Director since 1994. Her passion is working with older adults through group exercise and helping participants achieve their wellness goals in order to lead healthier, active lifestyles. Her greatest reward is seeing members improve physically and helping them to see how those achievements make a positive impact on their everyday activities. She has been a certified Personal Trainer through AFAA and AFPA, certified in Older Adult Fitness through AAAI, AFAA Group Fitness Instructor and American Red Cross AED/CPR and First Aid Instructor. Paula has two grown children living in the area and in her spare time loves to farm, garden and play with her four-legged family members. She also participates in animal rescue events and hopes to open her own animal rescue home for dogs and horses. 
Classes Taught: Monday, 9:30am Level 4 Strength Training; Tuesday, 7:30am Kickboxing; Tuesday, 8:45am Advanced Core, Tuesday, 11:30am Level 1 Strength Training; Wednesday, 9:30am Level 4 Strength Training 

Petya Ivanova

clientuploads/petya3.jpgPetya started working for the JCC in 2011 as a swim instructor with pre-school children.  She also has 7 years of experience with a swimming pool company.  She is a certified lifeguard and pool operator in addition to having a water aerobics certification.  She enjoys being around the pool and sometimes even teaches in the water just to enjoy the class with her lovely participants. She feels that moving in the water always gives you a good exercise without the feeling of sweating.
Classes Taught: Monday, 9:30am H20; Thursdays, 11:30am Level 1 Strength Training



Rachael Ellis

Rachael has been participating in indoor cycling courses since 2007.  In June 2014, she became certified by Mad Dogg Athletics to teach the Spinning indoor cycling program. Rachael loves teaching indoor cycling because each rider can adjust the class to fit their own needs and everyone has fun!  She teaches in the JCCNV Early Childhood Learning Center as well, and she credits regular exercise for giving her the energy to keep up with the kids every day!
Classes Taught: Thursday, 6:15pm Cardio Cycling


Rob Robertson

clientuploads/rob.jpgRob describes Health and Fitness as his third career.  After attending West Point, he entered the Army, became an Army Ranger and finished as a Lieutenant Colonel.  After the military, Rob started a business with two partners, a Management Consulting firm specializing in improving the workforce.  In 2009, he sold his share of the company to his partners and embarked on his third and current career, fitness.  Rob earned his Master Degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion and starting teaching Tai Chi in 2009.  He is also certified as a personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  Rob is fascinated by human movement and has dedicated himself to helping people meet their fitness goals.
Classes Taught: Tuesday, 10:30am Tai Chi


Tejas Patel

clientuploads/tejas.jpgTejas Patel has been teaching Group Exercise classes (to include Cycle and Bootcamp) since 2009.  He is certified in various formats to include Mad Dogg Athletics, AFAA Group Exercise, Silver Sneakers, and Jillian Michael’s Bodyshred.  He enjoys providing an opportunity for participants to achieve that physical fitness goals.  His other passions include volunteering (for various charitable organizations), playing soccer (indoor and outdoor), traveling all over the world, and runs through beautiful, scenic locations.
Classes Taught: Alternating Sundays, 8:30am Cardio Cycling

Here’s a list of our great subs that help out when we need them!

Bernice Kaufman

clientuploads/bernice.jpgBernice has been attending the water aerobics classes for nearly 25 years.  She has helped the JCC in teaching water aerobics for the past few years and also enjoys leading a group at her community pool each summer.  She loves being in the water and exercising while meeting new friends.
Classes Taught: Substitutes H20 when needed

Connie Leibowitz

clientuploads/connie.jpgConnie is a retired H.S. English teacher who has been an AEA Certified Aquatic Instructor since 2003. She has benefited personally from aquatic exercise and firmly believes in its value to both physical and emotional wellness.  She used to teach H20 Aerobics at the J full- time, but I now divides her time between Fairfax, VA (7 mos) and Sarasota, FL (5 mos), so she is a substitute H20 Aerobics teacher here at the JCC and has also been a seasonal instructor at the YMCA in Sarasota.
Classes Taught: Substitutes H20 when needed




Janine Baumgardner

Janine is a certified Kukuwa African Dance Workout instructor. She has trained extensively in modern dance, ballet, African and Afro-Cuban dance. A native of Northern Virginia, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from George Mason University. She loves to move and to get others to move with her!
Classes Taught: Substitutes Zumba, Zumba Gold and Cardio Dance when needed.



Joelle Kelenson

clientuploads/Joelle headshot.jpgJoelle has been interested in the world of sports and fitness since she was a teenager. She grew up at the JCC in Montreal and she taught swim lessons, coached swim teams, and then moved into teaching water aerobics and other cardio-aerobic classes. Joelle took a break from teaching while she pursued her studies in Israel and Manhattan and received a double master’s degree in social work and Jewish studies. Joelle’s love of fitness resurfaced and she began teaching H20 here while serving as the Director of School Age Programming.  In her spare time, Joelle enjoys reading, being outside, and traveling!
Classes Taught: Substitutes H20 when needed.

Kasha Williamson

clientuploads/kashapic.jpgKasha has been a competitive athlete since attending high school in the Northern Virginia area.  She has competed in downhill skiing, road cycling and collegiate cross country at Virginia Tech. As an adult juggling work, kids, and training, she now primarily trains for triathlons, running, and cycling events. She has competed full and half Ironman’s and is a USAT age-group finisher (top 3 within age group) at the Olympic distance. Kasha was recently named a 2012 USA Triathlon All American (top 5% in the USA).  Her favorite thing about working at the JCCNV is seeing all of the friendly faces and not having to wait for exercise equipment! Outside of work, Kasha enjoys training for her next triathlon or cycling event, vegetarian cooking, travelling, and knitting.
Classes Taught: Subs Cardio Cycling, Core and Strength Training when needed



Lorna Dodt

Lorna is a retired federal librarian who became a certified aquatics instructor in 2009. She teaches shallow, deep and arthritis water aerobics for Fairfax County. She loves teaching and seeing students enjoy the many benefits of water exercise. She loves traveling, taking water classes, walking, and working out. Classes Taught: Substitutes H20 when needed
Classes Taught: Substitutes H2O when needed


Mel Collins

clientuploads/mel2.jpgMel studied dance and fitness training with Keri Drugan.  She loves yoga and is excited to share her passion of stretching with everyone.  In addition to teaching stretch, she is also working on her certification to become a Life Coach.  She is truly honored & grateful to give back by teaching/coaching others in building confidence in them, gain a better appreciation for their hard-working beautiful body, and bring a little more joy into their lives.  Mel lives in Northern VA with her teen & tween & dog (& a few other critters).
Classes Taught: Substitutes Stretch when needed