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Nevei Kodesh Religious School Staff 

Meet Our Team 

 

Hazzan Shayndel Adler: K'tanim Teacher & Director of Family Life

K’tanim (Parent/Tot) Class

 As a child, I attended Jewish Renewal and Conservative congregations in Southern NJ. My greatest joy during that time was singing in a Hebrew children's choir. I began my journey as a Jewish educator working as a JCC summer camp counselor until I moved to Tennessee at the end of high school. In TN, I studied Psychology and Hebrew at UT Knoxville.  In 1995-96, I lived in Israel and taught kindergarten on Kibbutz Ein Dor. In 1996 I moved to Berkeley, CA and became an early childhood educator and Hebrew school teacher. Then I moved to the redwoods where I earned a BA and teaching credential in Liberal Studies/Elementary Education with minors in TESL (teaching English as a second language) and speech communications. I taught in multiple public and Jewish schools throughout Humboldt County. From 2002-2005, I worked at Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach, CA. My family then moved to the greater Sacramento area where I became a Waldorf Teacher and taught at various Waldorf and Jewish schools from 2006-2017. I attended Aleph Ordination Program to become a Jewish Renewal Cantor from 2011-2019. In 2017, I became a supervising teacher/education consultant for a homeschool charter school.  Simultaneously, I worked as administrator and teacher of The School of Uncovering the Voice for over a decade. From 2012 to 2021, I served as cantor/educator in California at: Congregation Bnai Harim (Grass Valley), Congregation Bet Haverim (Davis), Temple Beth Hillel (Richmond); and as high holiday cantor for St. Thomas Synagogue and Temple Har Zion, NJ. In 2020, I moved from CA to Denver and my husband and our four children (ages 18, 15, 11 and 1) are settling into our new life in Colorado. In my free time, I enjoy creating sacred healing music and being in nature.

 

Asherah Adler-Eldridge: Kindergarten/1st Grade Lead Teacher

Kinder-1st Grade Class

This is my second year as the Kinder-1st Grade Lead Teacher. I have been surrounded by education and Judaism my whole life. Growing up in a household with a cantor/educator has given me incredible insight into what a positive impact a great teacher can have upon students. 

I assisted as a madricha in religious school for three years for preschool through seventh grade classes and was gifted by the minds and interactions of every age group. For five years, I was the Tot Shabbat and holiday programming assistant for families with young children alongside Hazzan Shayndel at Congregation Bet Haverim in Davis, CA. It was inevitable that I would fall in love with early childhood curriculum and the joyful energy of preschoolers, kindergartners and first graders. 

 

 

 

Melissa Goldman: 2nd & 3rd Grade Lead Teacher 

2nd - 3rd Grade Class

My name is Melissa Goldman and I teach 2nd/3rd grade religious school at Nevei Kodesh. This will be my 11th year teaching religious school in general, and my 6th year teaching at Nevei!

I have a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a fine arts concentration, and I am currently working on my master's degree in school counseling.

When I'm not teaching religious school, I'm spending time with my husband and two daughters, watching tv, baking fun cakes, or Jazzercising. I love teaching this 2nd/3rd grade class, and I look forward to working with your children!

 

 

 

Jenny Schiff: 4th & 5th Grade Lead Teacher

4th - 5th Grade Class 

I have spent most of my life in the world of dance. Having begun my professional career at the age of 11 in Los Angeles, I am lucky enough to have experiences that span the globe. At a young age I discovered teaching and it has been one of my greatest loves. Sharing movement that expresses who we are is one of the most powerful ways of of connecting.

Using movement and other artistic medium while teaching at Religious School allows me to combine two of the things I love most; art and Judaism. I look forward to exploring Jewish life and our ideas about Hashem, being in community, and having some fun with all of you. 

 

 

 

 

 

Rabbi Diane Tiferet Lakein: B'nai Mitzvah Teacher & Hebrew Teacher 

6th - 7th Grade, B'nai Mitzvah (Crossing The River)

I am excited to for my 4th year of learning/teaching as a part of the Nevei Kodesh Religious School! I began my  journey in Jewish Education many, many years ago, when my older daughter (now 22 and a recent college graduate) was young and complained that she did not know any other Jewish children (she was one of only two Jewish children in her elementary school in Germany). Since then, I have been actively working to ensure that my own children and other children have ample opportunities to engage in a joyous Jewish learning and praying environment - and my younger daughter recently celebrated her Bat-Mitzvah at NK!

I have worked as an educator in multiple congregations and hold a Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew College. I also received rabbinic ordination from ALEPH, the Alliance for Jewish Renewal. I served as the Rabbi of Chawurah Gescher (Freiburg, Germany) and Migwan (Basel, Switzerland) prior to moving to Boulder from Europe in 2018. I currently freelance in Germany and the United States – with an emphasis on education, pastoral care and spiritual direction – and can be found online at RabbiWithin.org. I am also a part of the Spiritual Leadership and the CTR team at Congregation Nevei Kodesh and enjoy teaching about Prayer, Lifecycle events, Torah, God and Jewish Renewal to both children and adults. Earlier in my life, I was a cultural anthropologist – and lived extended periods of my life abroad in Sweden, Thailand, China and Germany.

 

Lael Har: Hebrew & Art Specialist 

Lael works with all of our students on Sundays & Tuesdays. 

Born in Israel my family and I moved to the United States when I was ten and I experienced first hand the challenges of learning a second language. At age fourteen, I was the assistant teacher at Beth Shalom, a Jewish Sunday school my mom started and directed in Iowa. Then through high-school and college, I became a teacher, then school director.

Armed with a BFA in multi media I moved to Boulder to start a career in graphic design and in 2005 I became a full time artist, showing, selling and teaching painting at Lael Gallery & Studios in North Boulder. At the same time I continued to teach Hebrew, Jewish studies, and B'nai Mitzvah, incorporating fine art projects and experiential learning for Congregation Har Hashem (2003 -2006) and Congregation Nevei Kodesh (2004 - present). I did take a break at some point to have a couple of kids (Tamar 15, Elan 12). Their Jewish education motivated me to continue participating as a teacher at our school. Tamar now 15 is following in my footsteps as teacher assistant (Madricha) teaching with her Ima like I did decades earlier. 

Midor L'Dor, we are happy to continue our family and Jewish tradition.

 

Ari Shafstein: Hebrew, Music & Prayer Leader

Ari works with all of our students on Sundays.

Hi everyone! For those of you who have not yet met me, my name is Ari and I just graduated with my masters in music education at CU Boulder!

I joined the Nevei Kodesh team as the religious school music teacher a few years ago when I arrived to begin my degree program. Before making my way to Boulder, I studied music and philosophy at the University of Florida, where I led music for services at the Hillel House and worked as the music teacher at a local Hebrew school. After graduating, I moved back down to South Florida where I worked as an SAT tutor, but it was a job destined to be short lived. A few months after returning home, I got a job offer to be the musician in residence at Temple Israel in Cape Town, South Africa. I spent three wonderful months in Cape Town working as a songleader, music teacher, youth worker, and b'nei mitzvah tutor before returning to the United States, but my wanderlust wasn't satiated just yet. Luckily for me, a synagogue in Melbourne, Australia was looking for a music teacher and assistant to the cantor, and next thing I knew I was heading down undah'. I spent a full year working in Melbourne (or Melbin, as the locals say) before returning to the United States once more to continue my education here in Boulder. It's been a wild ride, and one that I'm glad has landed me here with this wonderful community.

 

Jay Schwartz: Hebrew Prayer Teacher

4th-7th Grades: Tuesdays

Beloved community: My name is Jay Schwartz (she/her) and I am a Jewish educator, herbalist, farmer and song leader. I graduated from Brandeis University two years ago, with a degree in Education & Creativity, Arts and Social Transformation. I am deeply passionate about making Judaism feel like a living text, one that is filled with many invitations to connect with our bodies, spirits and ancestors. I love guiding meditation, dancing and finding local and wild herbs to make rituals with. I am so excited to guide the children of this community into deeper, more joyous and compassionate awareness for their Jewish journeys this school year. 

 

 

Fri, July 1 2022 2 Tammuz 5782