Meet Our Faculty
|Diane Berg, RJE, Director of Education||(631) 421-5836|
|Maddy Schwartz, Administrative Assistant||(631) 421-5836|
|Peter Chiacchiaro, Vice President of Education|
|Daniel Eig, Religious School Co-Chair|
|Lynne Eig, Religious School Co-Chair|
Diane Berg, RJE has been a Jewish educator for 48 years, earning the prestigious title of Reform Jewish Educator (1996). She earned her Principal’s Certification from the Federation of Reform Synagogues and just completed her 27th year as Director of Education at Temple Beth El. For 11 years, she was Director of the Morasha Teacher Training Institute (SAJES). She served a double term as chair of the Long Island Temple Educators’ Principals’ Council and was on the Board of the National Association of Temple Educators. Diane spent 4 years as Director of Education at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, CT. Often called the temple’s Educational Imagineer, Diane has been creating magical educational experiences at Temple Beth El for 43 years!
Amy Bleecher received her Master’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education from Dowling College and a Bachelor of Art degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Economics from SUNY Stony Brook. She has been a substitute teacher in the Smithtown School District. Amy is our Special Educator and Resource Room teacher.
Debbie Epstein received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education (N-6) from the University of Maryland and her Master’s Degree in Reading Education (K-12) from Hofstra. She has taught both first and sixth grades for 10 years in Valley Stream and has been a volunteer in educational activities at Temple Beth Torah of Melville. Debbie teaches our fourth and sixth grade Judaic classes.
Martin Flaster previously taught sixth grade in our school and returns as our Thursday fourth and sixth grade teacher. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography, Cum Laude, from SUNY Brockport and with a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education in Social Studies from LIU, Greenvale. He has taught for BOCES, Farmingdale Schools and 4-H Camps. Martin retired from a 20-year career as a teacher at Riker’s Island Horizon Academy.
Jaclyn Fox earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from SUNY New Paltz with a Concentration in Earth Science. She went on to receive her Masters of Special Education from Hofstra. Jackie participated in our Hebrew High School when Temple Beth Torah was an affiliate. She did USY on Wheels and traveled to Israel with Birthright. Jackie is presently a Vocational Teacher at the Phyllis L. Susser School for Exceptional Children. She will be our facilitator for seventh grade’s Adventures in Judaism program.
Michelle Hughes received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and Fine Arts from Hofstra University. She has previously taught Social Studies and English before teaching grades four and six here. Prior to that, Michelle was Director of Marketing and Development for the Vincent Smith School in Port Washington. Michelle returns to teach our fifth and seventh grades.
Wendy Isaac received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and her Masters in Special Education from CUNY Queens College. She is State Certified in Elementary Education with students with disabilities. Currently, she is a substitute teacher in local school districts. In her spare time, she is a Vice President of Youth at East Northport Jewish Center and Hadassah life member. Wendy has taught third grade for us and now has moved to teach Level One Hebrew.
Jamie Moses received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from SUNY Cortland and her Masters of Science in Gerontology from Long Island University. She graduated from the Morasha Teacher Training Program (SAJES) with certification from Touro College. Jamie has taught at Temple Avodah in Oceanside, Central Synagogue in Rockville Centre and Temple Beth Torah in Melville. She presently works as a Special Education Aide in the Smithtown School District. She is our Level Two Hebrew teacher.
Brenda Reiss has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from SUNY Stony Brook and holds certificates in Jewish Family Education from SAJES and Touro College, a Certificate of Completion in Jewish Education from United Synagogue, Master’s Program, Board of Jewish Education and the Morasha Teacher Training Program, also from Touro College. She has been teaching and leading Family Education programs in many Synagogue Religious Schools over more than 30 years. Brenda teaches our Level Three Hebrew students.
Maddy Schwartz, our school’s Administrative Assistant, received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from Marymount Manhattan College and Tel Aviv University. She has been teaching and working in schools for the last 29 years. Previously, she spent 8 years teaching the pre-K program at the Jewish Academy of Suffolk County. Maddy has been our Administrative Assistant for 10 years. She brings her skills as an educator to us in so many ways and we are blessed!
Randi Solis earned her Master of Science Degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from New York University and Oxford University. She was a teacher and staff developer in New York City Public Schools and has taught Early Childhood in Private Schools. Randi currently serves on the Lloyd Harbor School Parent/Teacher Board. She teaches our kindergarten and first grade classes.
Nicole Spencer received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and Psychology from SUNY Geneseo. She is an alumna of our Religious School and Hebrew High and was a former classroom assistant. Nicole is taking a gap year before continuing her studies to become a pediatric oncologist. She will be teaching our third grade.
Liza Tenner earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Science with a Minor in Education from Adelphi University. She taught pre-K through seventh grade, inclusion, self-contained special education, speech and language impaired and physically challenged. Liza presently teaches pre-K at P.S. 279 where she also facilitates the summer enrichment programs. This will be Liza’s first year teaching our second graders.
Ann Wieder is a veteran Hebrew School teacher having taught at Merrick Jewish Center for 32 years. She developed and taught their Parallel Educational Program that allowed parents to learn, on an adult level, what their children were learning. Ann is a graduate of the Herzliah Teachers’ Seminary of New York. Ann is part of our Hebrew team and teaches fourth level students.
Aviv Zaro joins us as part of the Israeli teen program of the Randie Waldbaum Malinsky Center of the Sid Jacobson JCC. Aviv comes from Sderot, a very small city in southern district of Israel 1 kilometer from the Gaza strip. His parents, Ethiopian Jews, immigrated to Israel 30 years ago. Aviv enjoyed robotics and the arts in High School. During his gap year before army service, Aviv will be bringing Israel to life for our students and families on Sunday.