Ayelet Mittelman

ECC Director

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Ayelet was lucky enough to spend her childhood moving around Israel and California before settling in Long Island, NY. She graduated from Pratt Institute where she dabbled in as many art mediums as she could fit into a semester! Ayelet comes to the ECC with more than 20 years of management, administrative and healthcare experience. Ayelet and her husband, Matt, are proud parents of ECC graduate, Maya, and their newest addition Sadie is one of the happy students in our ECC.

Ayelet has always had a love of her Jewish and Israeli roots. When you stop by to visit you will find Hamsas adorning her walls, as a constant reminder of her family in Israel. Being first brought into the ECC as a parent, Ayelet had a unique perspective on then joining as a staff member. The ECC is her second home, and the teachers, Clergy and staff are her second family. Being the director of the ECC is a labor of love. You will not find a bigger cheerleader for the ECC!! Ayelet loves to paint and build things with her daughters, and to play dress up and go on adventures with them. When Ayelet has a few moments to herself, she can be found reading a good book, painting, making jewelry, or watching 80's movies. Ayelet also really loves Nutella.

Ayelet loves visitors, and as a typical Jewish mommy, will likely offer you some food. Come on by and say hello!
To learn more about our ECC, please contact Ayelet at amittelman@bethelsnj.org

 

AMY WEINSTEIN

ECC Curriculum and Instruction Director

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Amy Weinstein comes to Congregation Beth El’s Early Childhood Center with more than two decades in the field of education. She spent the last three years as the Director of Education at the Malvern School of Marlton. Prior to this she was a Special Education Teacher for 17 years in the Mansfield Township School District. During her time in Mansfield, Amy served in several leadership roles on several school and district-wide committees, including the Chairing the Professional Development Committee for three years. Amy is an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma – a professional organization of female educators. She holds a dual B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education and a M.S. in Educational Administration. Amy, her husband Rob, and her two children (Nora and Aviva) are proud members of the Congregation Beth El – our spiritual home. When not at work, Amy enjoys travelling, reading and spending time at the beach. 

Amanda Barrish, MSW, LSW

Student Support Advocate

Amanda joined our team during the 2021-2022 school year. Amanda graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology from Muhlenberg College. She earned her MSW and Graduate Certificate in Promoting Child and Adolescent Well-Being from Rutgers University School of Social Work and is a Licensed Social Worker and Certified School Social Worker.  

EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER FACULTY

Suzy Peltzman

Head Teacher - Infants

Suzy has been with Beth El for more than 4 years. Prior to joining our family, Suzy worked as a pediatric nurse for CHOP. She has also worked as an RN in the medical surgery unit in the OR and as a camp nurse at JCC Camps at Medford. Suzy has 3 grown children and 2 dogs. According to Suzy, "I love teaching in the baby room. I feel like they are such clean slates. I love seeing them grow, learn, and discover new things. I love encouraging their social, motor, and developmental skills. I also love working with the parents, it's all a team! I look forward to coming to work everyday and seeing my babies!"

Sandy Finkelstein

Head Teacher - Young Toddlers

Sandy has been with Beth El for 8 years. This is her 6th year as a head teacher for the young toddlers. Sandy has a degree from Ithaca College. According to Sandy, “I love working with this age because I get to see these kids turn from babies into real people. I get to see them learn to walk and talk and communicate. I feel like we get to know each other.”

Michal Alboher

Head Teacher - 2 Year Olds

Michal has been at Beth El for 15 years. She is originally from Israel and says that this school in particular “feels like home.” Michal says “First of all, I like the world of anything with kids. I like the way they change, this is why I chose this age to teach because this is when they change. I think it keeps me young."

Michelle Licht

Head Teacher - 2 Year Olds

This is Michelle's 2nd year at Beth El. She has been working in Early Childhood Education for 15 years. According to Michelle, "I like the fun and adventure of teaching and expanding young brains."

Baila Plittman

Head Teacher - 2 Year Olds

Baila's 3rd year with us at Beth El. Prior to joining our family, she worked in Montessori preschools for many years. According to Baila, "I love Beth El, it's one big family! I just love being a part of the kids' growth. This is the perfect age. They go from being a baby to a child. I love to see their potential."

Samantha DiRico

Head Teacher - 2 Year Olds

Sam has been at Beth El since 2011. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Sociology. According to Sam, “I love teaching because the children always put a smile on my face, they have one-of-a-kind stories and it’s amazing to see how much they grow. Beth El feels like one big family."

Becca Ralph

Head Teacher - 3 Year Olds

This is Becca's 2nd year here at Beth El. She has been teaching for 8 years now in a variety of settings. She got her start while she was in high school, working in a young toddler classroom after school. She continued working with young toddlers during college. Becca spent almost 2 years teaching English in China to children as young as age 2, and up to age 16. After moving back to the states, Becca taught Pre-K 4 in an inclusive preschool classroom based on Creative Curriculum for Absecon Public Schools. According to Becca, "I was so excited to join the Beth El family both for myself and my son. My favorite quote about education comes from the wonderful Rita Pierson. She said: "How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks, who were not afraid to think, and who had a champion? Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be. "I try to always be a champion for my students."

Lora Hellman

Head Teacher - 3 Year Olds

Lora has a Nursing Degree and a Masters Degree in Education. She has enjoyed teaching the 3's at Beth El since 2011. She is also a mother of two wonderful grown children. Lora is fluent in Russian and Hebrew as well as in English! According to Lora, "my goal is to instill confidence and a love of learning in each child so that they will always enjoy learning and have positive attitudes towards acquiring education. I try to create a loving, nurturing, and fun classroom experience for children. I call all my children "MY LOVIES," and I enjoy seeing the children grow, develop, and mature. I believe that when you teach you also learn, and I hope that my teaching makes a difference in their lives."

Sheryl Morales

Head Teacher - 4 Year Olds

Sheryl has been with us at Beth El for almost 25 years! She has worked with ages infants through four year olds, teaching the fours for the past 15 years. She is the brains behind much of our innovative programming including the summer’s “Drive-In Movie!” Morah Sheryl has an degree in Elementary Education and Speech Pathology from Kutztown University and a Masters degree in Childhood Studies from Rutgers University. According to Morah Sheryl, “I have only ever wanted to be a teacher and I am so happy that I get to do this everyday.”

Joan Yesner

Head Teacher - 4 Year Olds

"Miss Joan" has been teaching preschool and Kindergarten enrichment for more than 20 years. She joined the Beth El ECC family during the 2020-2021 school year. Miss Joan graduated from Rutgers and has also completed post-graduate courses in Applied Behavior Analysis. According to Joan, "My happy place is being in the classroom. It is a magical place where we create a community of learners. Where we are all part of something bigger than each person individually. Where we learn together, not only academics, but empathy, team work, social skills, life skills and more." In the spring of 2021, Morah Miss Joan won the Sixers Queen of the Classroom award and won tickets to a Sixers playoff game and a meet and greet with Tobias Harris.

Susan Giglio

Head Teacher - 4 Year Olds

Susan has worked with us for more than 20 years and is a treasured member of our teaching staff. She began working as a lead teacher in the 4 year old program where she helped to create the curriculum/program that is still being used today. 14 years ago, she was asked to move up to the Kindergarten program and has enjoyed this role immensely. According to Susan, “I have the “best” job. I get to watch the joy in the faces of the children when they realize they have read their first word or written their very first sentence! It is a wonderful feeling.”

Rabbi Nogah Marshall

Educational Director

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As Educational Director, Rabbi Nogah Marshall oversees curriculum, staff supervision, and instruction of our Early Childhood Center. Rabbi Marshall has focused her work on children, families, and special needs individuals. She specializes in creative curriculum development, family & adult education, and building a passionate, inclusive, nurturing Jewish community. Her educational philosophy centers on experiential education coupled with religious observance, “One of my goals is to create a love of Judaism in my students so that they want to learn and incorporate it in their daily lives. This can be done by creating a solid foundation and a strong sense of community. It’s not just about education, but about community.” 

Rabbi Marshall received her Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University, and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary and earned a Master of Hebrew Letters. While attending Brandeis University, Rabbi Marshall was a member of the swim team, violinist in the Orchestra, as well as a member of the traveling Israeli dance troupe, B’yachad. She loves to travel and has a strong passion and love for the State of Israel. And one of her hidden talents is juggling!

Rabbi Marshall, her husband Scott and their children Karni, Eyden, Austin and Jaclyn are thrilled to be a part of the Beth El family.

Our Fabulous Assistant Teachers:
Jodi Abrams

Roseann Bishop
Ronit Daniel
Renee DiMatteo
Elana Doar
Claudia Hernandez
Karen Hess
Ana Lemus
Paula Levine
Dakota McAllister
Shera Shalit
Joann Sherman
Charity Smith
Rachel Smythe
Jillian Swope