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Get to Know our 2019-20 CJL Faculty

Rabbi Wendy Pein ~ Director of Congregational Learning
Rabbi Pein has twenty years of rabbinical experience, having served as the senior rabbi of Adat Chaverim in Plano, TX and as a congregational rabbi for nine years in Westchester, NY.  This year, Rabbi Pein will be an instructor for our Kitah Zayin seventh grade class and will be facilitating a 3-part parent series on current Jewish sociological trends. Rabbi Pein is currently pursuing an Executive M.A. in Jewish educational leadership through Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. She is also a part-time chaplain and lecturer at senior care centers in Westchester, NY.  Rabbi Pein is passionate about Jewish education and revealing how Judaism is relevant and meaningful to our modern lives. She resides in Harrison, NY with her family and lives by the maxim to “keep growing and learning.”

Chazdon ~ Kitah Dalet (Fourth Grade and Merkaz Ivrit ~ Hebrew Resource Center)
Chazdon has taught Hebrew for many years, “the most enjoyable of which have been at TINW.” This year he is teaching Kitah Dalet (fourth grade) and Kitah Vav (sixth grade) Hebrew and Merkaz Ivrit (Hebrew Center-reading support). Lane appreciates being part of the long, long chain of teachers and students that have sustained the Jewish people for thousands of years. He feels that this is a “chain we cannot allow to break”. Lane appreciates the “special feeling when a teacher sees a student grasp a concept or skill that’s been eluding them. Even better is seeing the student’s confidence grow and motivation get stronger.” Lane incorporates many game-like, small group learning stations to accomplish learning objectives. He looks forward to implementing “Hebrew Through Movement” techniques in his classroom instruction.

Laura Copel ~ Kitah Vav (Sixth Grade)
Laura Copel has 18 years of teaching experience at Temple Israel - including first, sixth and seventh grades, incorporating music as much as possible. Laura is looking forward to another sixth-grade year using Hebrew in Harmony to introduce diverse musical settings for prayers while sneaking in some reading skills as well! She is a long-time member of Temple Israel and a past Sisterhood president. A published composer of Jewish music, Laura plays flute in Sh’ma Na Na, Temple Israel’s band and is music director of B’not, a women’s vocal quartet. Laura also teaches music at Temple Beth El in Chappaqua and is the Coordinator of Families with Young Children at the Union for Reform Judaism.

Rachel Crouch ~ Kitat Bet/Gimmel, Kitah Zayin / TIPSY Advisor
Rachel Crouch will be our Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion educational intern and will be teaching 7th grade students on Wednesday evenings and teaching our Bet/Gimmel class (2nd and 3rd grade class) on Sundays. In addition, she will be coordinating community building activities for 8th-12th grade students on Wednesday evenings. Rachel is the former Teen and Education Administrator of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY. She has an extensive Union of Reform Judaism camp background, both as a camp counselor and program coordinator, and is also a song leader. Rachel will also be will be our TIPJY and TIPSY advisor (junior and senior youth group advisor).

Betsy Deckert ~ Kitah Dalet (Fourth Grade)
Betsy Deckert has been an educator at Temple Israel for 14 years. Her family has been a TINW member for 21 years and her 3 children celebrated their b’nai mitzvah at TINW. She teaches the 4th grade Judaica sections in the CJL. She feels “honored to get to know the children of our community (and their families).”  She looks forward to a wonderful year in the CJL!

Judy Kropf ~ Kitah Hay (Fifth Grade) and Kitah Vav (Sixth Grade)
Judy Kropf attended a Solomon Schechter Day School in Florida, tutored b'nai mitzvah students, taught folk dancing, and was an involved member of the local Young Judaea group. She attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem and taught English as a foreign language to high schoolers in Israel.  Judy taught the Tot Shabbat program at the First Hebrew Nursery School in Peekskill and Hebrew school at Beacon Hebrew Alliance in Beacon. She joined the CJL Faculty at Temple Israel in 2016, teaching Kitah Hay Judaica/Life Cycles and the 8th and 9th grade Path to Confirmation class, as well as Rosh Hodesh topics for teen girls.  Judy is excited to add teaching Kitah Vav to her resume and to share her passion for teaching about Israel, Hebrew and mitzvot.

Daniel Fogelman ~ Shevet Facilitator
Dan Fogelman is proud to represent the Brotherhood in teaching Shevet for the 2019-2020 school year. He is a lawyer for the Social Security Administration and enjoys history, languages and music. He is married to Cantor Lauren Fogelman and is the father of Alex.

Mollie Hantman-Weill ~ Zayin (Seventh Grade)
Mollie Hantman-Weill joins the CJL Faculty this year to teach 7th grade.  She is a graduate of Trinity College where she studied religion, minoring in Jewish Studies.  She teaches 3rd grade at Temple Beth El in Chappaqua where she also organizes and plans community events.  Mollie believes that education is the best method to strengthen the America Jewish community.  She looks forward to sharing her knowledge and passion with the students and faculty of the CJL.

Cherie Marcus ~ Gan / Aleph (Kindergarten / First Grade)
Cherie Marcus is a dedicated member of TINW. She “found a home here at TINW in 1992.” From 2004-2007, Cherie taught Hebrew and Judaica to grades 5 and 6.  She then moved to North Carolina for 7 years, where she taught Hebrew and Jewish culture/history to grades 3, 5, and 7.  Since Cherie and her family returned to New York in 2014, she has taught grades 8/9 and Gan/Aleph (K/1).

Ofek Rimon-Astrogano ~ Israeli Emissary
Ofek Rimon-Astrango will be our Israeli emissary who will be spending time in the CJL this year.  Ofek is a young Israeli adult who is serving the Westchester Jewish community before his Israeli army service. He has been a leader in an Israeli youth movement, a sports instructor and has engaged in community service projects to help a lower income community in southern Israel. Ofek will be spending time with our teens during CJL on Wednesday evenings throughout the year.

Stacy Shapiro ~ Path to Confirmation (8th and 9th), Madrichim (Teen aides) Coordinator and Rosh Hodesh Facilitator
Stacy has over 20 years of leadership expertise in the Jewish community which includes teaching youth, developing curriculum, and leading Rosh Hodesh and parenting groups.  She has served on the faculty of the URJ Kutz Camp and the URJ Creative Arts camp.  Stacy will take on the lead educator role in the 8th and 9th grade Path to Confirmation class.  She will also serve as our Madrichim Coordinator. In this role, she will be supervising our Madrichim (teen aides), meeting with our Madrichim on a monthly basis, discussing ways in which they can teach and support CJL students and facilitating leadership opportunities for them in the CJL.

Susan Smith ~ Kitah Hay (Fifth Grade), Kitah Vav (Sixth Grade) and Merkaz Ivrit (Hebrew Resource Center)
Susan Smith has been a member of Temple Israel since September of 1991 when she married her husband Chris at TINW. Susan comes from a family of religious educators and her father is a retired Reform Rabbi. Susan has been a Hebrew tutor and educator since her high school years. She has been a Jewish educator at Temple Israel for the past 12 years. Susan enjoys teaching Hebrew and Judaica studies and often sees her students at Anne M Dorner Middle School in Ossining where she works full-time as a teaching assistant.

Ariela Wehrle ~ Merkaz Ivrit (Hebrew Resource Center)
Ariela Wehrle has previously taught in the CJL and now works as a Hebrew Resource Instructor in the CJL. She was born and raised in Israel and moved to the United States in 1990.  She taught at "Havura on Hudson" for two years. Since 2010, she has been teaching at TINW.  She loves “TINW as a Jewish haven and as the school for Jewish education.”  Her current position as a Hebrew resource teacher involves working with small groups on their Hebrew reading skills and introducing HTM - Hebrew Through Movement – an approach where students learn Hebrew by hearing and responding to Hebrew commands. Ariela believes that students learn best when learning is joyful and playful.

Wed, April 1 2020 7 Nisan 5780