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Our Staff

Our Staff
Get to know a little more about who we are

Our degreed and certified teachers are dedicated, creative, and incredibly mindful. A low teacher turnover means that our teachers not only get to know your children and see them grow, but they collaborate across years to create a seamless and nurturing environment. We have a strong collaboration with our Rabbi, Rachel Kobrin, and Cantor/Hazzan, Howard Glantz.

In Memoriam: The AJ Family recently lost one of its own with the sudden passing of Barbara Greenberg. A dedicated teacher, colleague, and friend, she had worked at AJ since 1995 leading the SINAI Class and was of the Special Education Coordinator. She is survived by her husband, Rich, and three daughters, Lisa, Naomi, and Julie. Barbara’s favorite season was the “Fall - because the air is crisp, the leaves are pretty and it’s the start of the school year.”

Miri Arania is an Assistant Teacher in our Infant Room. Originally from Israel, Miri lives in Huntingdon Valley. Miri is married and has three children: two sons, Yarin and Renan, and one daughter, Milan. Although Miri has an accounting background, she has a true love for working with infants. She has earned her Child Development Associate (CDA).

Michelle Bernstein is the Early Childhood Director of AJ Preschool and Infant Center. While she has been working in this role since 2007, previous to that she was also one of AJ's Pre-K teachers for three years. Michelle lives in Elkins Park with her husband, David, their son, Seth, and their daughter, Gwendolyn. Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Michelle received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her Master’s Degree in Education, specializing in Children’s Literature from Arcadia University. Michelle truly enjoys her leadership role at AJ, as she enjoys not only helping create the friendly and nurturing community in the Preschool and Infant Center, but feels part of a larger “family” in the synagogue as a whole. Michelle also teaches for Manor College as one of their Child Development Associate (CDA) instructors.  Michelle enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, reading, playing violin, and cheering for her Green Bay Packers!

Cheryl Berson is one of our lead toddler, or “Kahol” teachers. She has been working at AJ since 2006. Cheryl is married to Alan and has four children – Ben, Jessica, Eliana, and Risa. Cheryl has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. “I chose to teach because I am outgoing and dramatic and I love to speak in front of people and to sing. I have a strong Jewish background, which I love to incorporate into my teaching. I find teaching preschoolers very rewarding!”

Donna Betesh works as an assistant with Gan – Hebrew Immersion. Donna has been working at AJ since 2010 and truly enjoys sharing her native Hebrew language with the children. She has over 35 years of Hebrew teaching experience. Donna loves watching the children grow, learning the Hebrew language and the enjoyment they get from her class!

Gili Bitan is one of our Kahol (two year old) Assistant Teachers and has been working at AJ since 2007. She lives in Horsham with her two daughters, Terra and Aria. Gili has a Bachelor’s Degree in Archeology. She loves working in the field – during the day, night and in cold or hot weather. Many times you will see a crowd of children gathered around Gili as she and the children dig for worms and other “goodies” in the playground! She has a Child Development Associate (CDA).

Carol Boring is one of our Pre-K, or “Adom” Lead Teachers. Carol has PA Certification in Special Education and Early Childhood Education. Carol chose to work in the field of education because “I like learning and its fun to learn along side of my students. I love children’s books, art, music... It’s a fun job and never boring! There is always more to learn about development, being a better teacher, and about the subjects, content, and concepts I help students to discover. I love to share in the creativity of the students and    the other teachers.”

Margaret (Peggy) Cohen is our lead infant teacher. Peggy lives in Roslyn with her husband Stephen. They have three grown kids: Heather, David and Alex. Peggy has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood from West Chester University and a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art. Peggy has a wealth of professional experience, including being the director of a camp for the mentally handicapped, an art teacher for children in preschool all the way through high school, an assistant early childhood director and the director of another early childhood program. Peggy loves watching the growth and development of young children and likes to be the “positive force that aids in their progression.” Peggy’s favorite hobbies include reading and scuba diving!

Barbara Cooperman resides in Jenkintown and has been working at AJ since 1992. She currently works with our Adom (Pre-K) children in the morning and our Lavan (Preschool) children in the afternoon. Barbara has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and “100 years of experience working with children!” If she were stranded on a desert island, Barbara would make sure to bring her family, coffee, and a few good books! Barbara’s family includes her husband, four amazing children and four beautiful grandchildren!

Danielle Gleason is one of our Lavan (three-year-old) lead teachers. Danielle lives in Chestnut Hill with her husband, Ted. Danielle graduated from Cheltenham High School in 2004 and from Muhlenberg College in 2008, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and an Elementary Education teaching certification. Danielle worked as a substitute teacher in the Cheltenham School District and was also a Lead Toddler Teacher at the Malvern School of Upper Gwynedd. Danielle also works at the Southampton Day Camp in the summer. Daniell adores   children, especially young children. She likes watching them learn and discover their environment.

Joy Hershman lives in Elkins Park. Her family consists of her husband Eric, her son Alex and her daughter Samantha. Joy has been working at since 1998. Joy is one of our Lead Teachers for the Adom (Pre-K) classes. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Individual and Family Studies and a Master’s Degree in Education. Joy chose to work in Education because she loves watching the children grow emotionally, socially, academically and physically and enjoys making a positive difference in their lives.

Sue Jacobs works as an assistant with Adom B (4’s). Sue lives in Jenkintown and is the proud aunt of several children who graduated and currently attend AJ! Sue has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood, and masters in elementary and special education, and is certified in Early Childhood and Special Education. She taught in the School District of Philadelphia for 35 years in kindergarten, first grade and special needs. She loves being able to “help a child discover that he/she can be successful at many skills and build their self-esteem.”

Lindsay Klein began working at AJ in 2012. She has worked in both Yarok B and C. At 13, she began working at a preschool day camp and has been working with young children ever since. Lindsay has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Elementary Education from West Chester University and is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an education honors society. Having grown up in a synagogue preschool, she feels right at home at AJ! She enjoys cooking, being with her family, and spending time with her friends.

Leslie Kraemer is our Music Teacher and lives in Elkins Park. Her family includes her husband, Lance, her sons Adam and Brett, daughter-in-law, Aimee and granddaughter, Alexandra. Leslie has two Bachelor Degrees and has a professional background specializing in Linguistics, Music, and Education. Leslie chose the field of education because of “the thrill and satisfaction of seeing the love of music and the light of understanding in the children’s eyes.” She has holds a Child Development Associate (CDA).

Amy Leech has been working at Adath Jeshurun Preschool and Infant Center since August 2007 as an assistant teacher. She has worked in the Infant Center, Yarok Kahol classrooms and is currently our Administrative Assistant. Amy lives in Horsham, Pennsylvania with her husband Emilio and their daughters Lia and Brielle. Both girls currently attend AJ preschool as well. Amy received her Child Development Associate (CDA) in 2013. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends. Amy chose to work with children because she enjoys watching them grow. Everyday is a new and exciting adventure for them!

Kerrie Mayo works with our babies in the Infant Center. Kerrie has been working at AJ since 2008. Kerrie's daughter, Kaylani, also attends the Preschool. Kerrie truly enjoys working with infants, watching them grow into toddlers and mature into "big kids!" She has holds a Child Development Associate (CDA).

Shani Petersen works with our Young Toddler, “Yarok,” children. She has been working at AJ since 2008. Shani lives in Huntingdon Valley with her mother, Eti, her father, Avi, and her younger brother, Ori. She also has an older brother Yossi. Originally from Israel, Shani graduated high school there and is currently working on her Child Development Associate (CDA). Shani has a natural ability to connect with young children, for them to feel safe, secure and happy. Shani’s favorite season is winter – she loves building snowmen and she loves the smell of winter!

Michelle Ravitch is our Lavan (three year old) Lead Teacher and has been working at AJ since 1989. She is married to her husband, Joel, and has two daughters, Rachel and Sara. Michelle holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State in Individual and Family Studies and a Hebrew teaching certificate from Gratz College. Michelle says that “teaching young children is fun and challenging – I enjoy watching them change and grow.”

Kandy Robkin is one of our Kahol (two year old) teachers and has been working at AJ since 1990. Kandy has been married for over 33 years and has two children, Noah and Carly. She also has a dog, Yogi. Kandy is one of our teachers who help beautify and maintain our beautiful sensory garden for the children. Kandy quotes, “Working with children truly inspires me to be the best I can be!” She has holds a Child Development Associate (CDA).

Jill Slobotkin has been teaching Creative Movement at AJ since 2007. She was our Camp Kitov Director from 2008-2012. Currently, she is an assistant teacher in our Kahol B classroom. She resides in Meadowbrook, PA with her husband and two sons. Jill graduated from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences in 1985. She also received her Child Development Associate in 2011.