Meet our Staff


Ethan Linden

Ethan Linden has been the rabbi at Shir Chadash Congregation since the summer of 2009.  He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2007 and spent two years as the Assistant Director of Camp Ramah in New England.  Ethan graduated from Cornell University in 1999 with a degree in International Relations and Ethics.  During Rabbinical School, he took a year-long leave of absence to be a Melton Senior Educator at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He cheers from afar for his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates, though they never fail to find ways to hurt him.  He loves New Orleans.

Sandy Lassen
Execuctive Director

Sandy Lassen is a native New Orleanian who graduated from Newcomb College with a degree in American Studies and Mathematics and has been active in Jewish organizational work all her life.  She and her husband, Elliott Lew, have four daughters, one son, and two grandsons; they are hopeful for more!


Meryl Zimmerman
Religious School Director

Meryl Zimmerman was born and raised on Long Island, New York. Her father, Mark Zimmerman, was bar mitzvahed at Chevra Thillim, and later met his wife Janet when they both worked at the New Orleans JCC. Therefore, Meryl feels that she is fulfilling her destiny by moving to New Orleans and becoming a Professional Jew. After graduating from Washington University in Saint Louis (B.A. Anthropology), she moved to New York City to pursue jazz singing. She earned a Masters degree in Jazz Voice from the Manhattan School of Music, and has performed jazz, blues, rock, and classical music throughout the city. She’s coming directly from Kane Street Synagogue in Brooklyn, where she has worked as the assistant to the Education Director, led Tot Shabbat, taught in the Hebrew school, led family High Holiday services, and developed and taught Bialy Rock, a Jewish music class for babies and toddlers. Meryl is very excited to be joining the Shir Chadash community! She’s also a HUGE Saints fan- Who Dat!


Danielle Spadoni
Executive Assistant

Danielle Spadoni is a native New Orleanian and has been working at Shir Chadash Congregation for over sixteen years.  On her off time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Tony and son, Austin.