AJSC Staff

We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact your athlete's coach. For all questions related to administration, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact Head Coach Derek J. Gelber at 305-271-9000 Ext; 289

Coaching Staff

Derek J. Gelber

Aquatics Director / Founder & Head Coach


Derek J. Gelber is the Aquatics Director for the Dave & Mary Alper JCC, founder of the Alper J Swim Club, Alper J Swim School, and the Alper J Master Swim Team.  Derek comes to us from Gulliver Schools where he was the Assistant Aquatics Director, the Head Masters Swim Coach, and an assistant Senior Swim Coach. In his first three years as a Gulliver assistant coach, Derek helped coach the Gulliver High School swim team to four State Championship Titles. Since Derek took over the Gulliver Masters team in February 2015, his team had the largest growth of any Masters program in the United States inside of twelve months.

As an athlete, Derek has numerous swimming accomplishments, which include: Junior National Champion 100 m Freestyle, Junior National bronze medalist 200 m Butterfly, USA silver medalist 200 m Butterfly and USA bronze medalist 800 m Freestyle Relay (Team USA in Israel, Maccabiah Games). Derek served as the Head Age Group Coach for the Boca Raton Swim Team, as an Assistant Coach with Oxbridge Academy swimming program, and as Head Site Coach for FLA Aquatics in Delray where he was responsible for coaching groups ranging from novice swimmers to adult Masters. Derek was a two-time state champion and state record holder for Parkway Central High School in his hometown of St Louis, Missouri. Additionally, Derek has been the Swimming Coach for Team Miami in the 2017 JCC Maccabi Games hosted by the Alper JCC. Derek is AFO certified, is an ASCA Level II certified coach, and is in good standing with USA Swimming. 

We're super excited to have Derek as a member of our J Family!

Juan Carlos Cabrero

Asst. Aquatics Director / Asst. Coach


The Alper JCC would like to welcome Juan Carlos "JC" Cabrero as our new Assistant Aquatics Director & Assistant Club Coach.  JC started his employment with the Alper JCC as a lifeguard 12 years ago as he finished his high school studies. After winning numerous academic awards and making the AP Calculus Honor Roll, he continued his studies at Miami Dade College where he earned his Associate Degree.  During his tenure at Miami Dade JC followed his passion for helping others by becoming EMT certified.  

JC also has a passion for all things SCUBA.  He studied at the National Association of Underwater Instructors SCUBA Academy where he received his SCUBA Instructor’s Certification and went on to earn his Commercial Diver, Technical Diver, Rescue & Salvage Diver, and Specialty Deco-Diver Certifications.

JC has been an invaluable asset to the Alper J’s Aquatic Center for over a decade, applying both his CPO license and his skills as a mechanic. Often you will see JC fixing things around the pool with his own tools, purely from his immense pride for what he calls his "second home."

This year the Alper JCC has brought American Red Cross training and certification courses in-house.  This means that the Alper JCC can train and certify our staff in addition to the public right here on our campus. As a certified ARC instructor, JC has accepted the role of Head Instructor for this initiative.

Coach JC is a registered USA Swimming Coach and is ASCA Level II certified. Welcome to the AJSC family Coach JC!

Roy Sonenshein

Asst. Coach


Roy Sonenshein has been a part of the Alper J family for over 30 years and has been with the J professionally for five years. Coach Roy is AJSC's Lead Swim Fit coach and Assistant Age Group coach.  He is registered and in good standing with USA Swimming, and is Lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor (WSI) certified. 

Fun fact: Coach Roy claims to be retired, but you'll see him here every single day working hard developing young athletes.  We are very lucky to have Coach Roy spend his "retirement" with the AJSC family.

Alina Halley

Asst. Coach


If you have been a member of the Alper JCC anytime in the past 20 years, you've probably seen Alina Halley in the halls, the pool, or running around campus while her father taught swim lessons.  Alina has been an Alper J "lifer" first attending swim lessons at the age of three.  She started her professional career at the J as a lifeguard and camp supervisor (pool).  Alina is currently working on her associate's degree in journalism, as well as a business operations-marketing certificate at Miami Dade College, in hopes of one day be able to work on radio. Leadership and coaching coarse through her veins giving her the passion and drive to excel at everything she does.  We are proud to announce she has joined our Age Group coaching staff. Coach Alina is in good standing with USA Swimming and is certified in Lifeguarding and CPR/First Aid/AED.