Meet Our Faculty
|Samara Rossi, Religious School Director||(631) 421-5836|
|Maddy Schwartz, Administrative Assistant||(631) 421-5836|
|Elyse Pimsler, Vice President of Education|
|Daniel Eig, Religious School Co-Chair|
|Lynne Eig, Religious School Co-Chair|
Samara Rossi was born in Brooklyn, New York, but grew up in the five towns and Long Beach. Being diagnosed with ADHD during her high school years led Samara to have an interest and gift for working with special needs children. Her grandparents were a huge influence in her formative years and their love of Jewish culture, values and family history contributed in cultivating her exploring Jewish education. Her teaching journey began at her childhood synagogue, Temple Emanuel of Long Beach, where she was mentored by “a brilliant women and exceptional educator” Vicki Cabrera, whom Samara thanks for guiding her to where she is today.
Samara believes strongly in experiential education that focuses on the student’s interest to guide their learning experiences; her past experiences include Director for Youth Engagement, Director of Holiday Programming, Classroom Educator and special needs Behavior Intervention Therapist. She has enjoyed working with children from nursery school age through high school. Prior to her career and passion for education, Samara was the Northeast Warehouse Seller Division Manager for JPMorgan Chase Mortgage division.
Samara has a degree in Early Childhood and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Adelphi University with a dual degree in Child Psychology and Social Sciences with an Alpha Sigma Lambda Honors award for excellence. Currently she is in the process of completing a dual honors program with Fordham University for General and Special Education. Samara and her husband Joe live with their two children Bella and Sam in Huntington.
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 over 10 years. She brings her skills as an educator to us in so many ways and we are blessed!
Lauren Abrams graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh where she received her Bachelors of Science in Childhood Education and Masters of Science in Special Education. She graduated with the Summa Cum Laude honor from the advanced five year program. Lauren has five years of teaching experience and is New York State Certified to teach children through 6th grade. Lauren found her love for teaching children with special needs in high school, where she volunteered in the ACE programs for students with different abilities. Lauren wants to teach children to love learning and reading and hopes her students walk out of her class as the best version of themselves. Lauren has always felt connected to Judaism and is beyond excited to deepen her student’s connection as well.
Jamie Goerke received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Binghamton University. She started volunteering with Temple Beth El Religious School in January of 2021 as an administrative assistant and substitute teacher. After getting a wide variety of experience helping to run events, handle office responsibilities, and stepping into the classroom, she became our Library/Tech Enrichment Teacher. In this role, she works on school-wide projects that utilize both technology and books in our expansive children’s library to enhance the experience that children receive in the religious school classrooms.
Laura Hedeen is a Seattle native, with a degree in Early Childhood and Family Studies. After college, she spent 5 years in Israel, where she opened and managed a bilingual nursery school for children ages 0-3. She is fluent in Hebrew, and uses RIE/child-led philosophies in her work with young children and families. We are happy to welcome her and have her as a teacher in our school!
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.
Hilary Kalb received her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Queens College. She has been teaching in our Community Hebrew High and in our Religious School for the past 14 years. Hilary will be bringing her vast experience in teaching Jewish values to our students.. She is very excited to re-join the Temple Beth El staff this year as she works to help out in the Religious School office. We are thrilled to welcome her back.
Eliana Kayelle (they/them) is thrilled to have joined the Temple Beth El Religious School team as an educator for the 5th grade as well as enrichments in the areas of T’fillah, music and theater. Eliana has studied theater and dance, and has directed and choreographed productions across Long Island, NYC, and Westchester at the academic and professional levels. Eliana is a student in the first cohort of Pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary, studying to become a Rabbi. Their Rabbinic project, You Gotta Give ‘Em Torah, is focused on LGBTQ Torah education. Eliana is also on the steering committee of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Long Island. Before joining TBE, Eliana worked at Camp Ga’avah, an LGBTQ day camp, as the Assistant Director and Jewish Content Coordinator where they met our Religious School Director, Samara Rossi. Eliana is here to meet students where they are at, motivating them to dive deeper into Torah and Jewish thought. They are here to build confidence and foster Jewish originality in their students through innovative activities and creative expression and hope to inspire students to think about how our Jewish texts and traditions relate to them here and now. Eliana’s goal is to have students leave their learning environment feeling positive, accomplished, and ready to learn even more.
Jennifer Levine Reilly moved to Huntington 5 years ago after marrying her husband, Kevin. Morah Jen is a passionate educator who achieves great personal satisfaction through her hand on Judaic teaching approach of values, traditions and history with our students in our TBE community. With great enthusiasm, she has been working here at TBE and this is her second year. Jen has been a Religious School Educator for the past 25 years as she worked at Temple Shalom of Norwalk, Connecticut and Temple Beth El of Fairfield Connecticut, as well as other synagogues in the Huntington area. In her down time, Jen enjoys quality time with her husband, their daughters as well as their beautiful grandchildren, Paige and Lucas.
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.
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.