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Nevei Kodesh Religious School Staff 

Meet Our Team 

Director of Family Life: Hazzan Shayndel Adler

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 17, 14, 10 and newborn) are settling into our new life in Colorado.In my free time, I enjoy creating sacred healing music and being in nature.

Preschool/Kindergarten/1st grade lead teacher:

Asherah Adler-Eldridge

I am so happy to be joining Nevei Kodesh as the preschool through first grade 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.  I already love the Jewish renewal community (having been immersed in it by my Jewish renewal cantor/mom) and I can't wait to meet my new students! Let's have a fun and amazing religious school year!

Bet / Gimel - 2nd & 3rd grade lead teacher:

Melissa Goldman

Hello all! My name is Melissa Goldman. I am 33 years old, a mother of two adorable daughters (5 years old, and almost 3 years - in October!), and a career educator! This will be my fifth year teaching at Nevei Kodesh, and my tenth year teaching religious school in general. I have a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a minor in fine arts, a post-baccalaureate degree in ELL (English Language Learning), and am working on my master's degree in school counseling. This means I'm great at incorporating arts and Hebrew learning into my classroom, and my superpower is figuring out how to make every student feel welcome, included, and special. I look forward to meeting my new students and their families, and having an amazing religious school year!

Hebrew/Art specialist:

Lael Har

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 11). Their Jewish education motivated me to continue participating as a teacher at our school. Tamar now 15 is following in my footsteps in her second year 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.

Dalet / Hay - 4th & 5th grade lead teacher/ Hebrew /CTR:

Jon Gottsegen

I am very excited to be sharing my love for Jewish learning with the Nevei Kodesh community and families. My involvement with Jewish life got serious when my first son, now 27, was born and I remember the joy and singing I experienced for the first time. After having a second son, now 25, helping with family activities in Jewish communities, coaching my son's soccer team and then moving to Denver, I connected with the Jewish renewal community here. That led me to training in Davvening Leadership through Aleph and as a 'Torah Trek' guide to help people connect to Jewish spirituality in nature. Most recently I became certified as a mashpia ruchani (spiritual director) and I love to do what I call 'earth-based spiritual direction'. Throughout all this time, I have helped lead shabbat and holiday services in various communities, and I have even started shabbat gatherings in the mountains. I leyn Torah fairly regularly in Denver, and I love to engage in the Hebrew of the text, applying my own translation to it and even chanting that translation. That brings the text alive. As my students develop in their Hebrew skills, I hope to infuse this life into the Hebrew as we learn together.

CTR (Crossing the River) B'nai Mitzvah Teacher/ Hebrew:

Rabbi Diane Tiferet Lakein

I became involved in Jewish Education when my older daughter 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 (I have two daughters, 12 and 21) and other children have ample opportunity to engage in a joyous Jewish learning and praying environment. 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 two years ago. 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 I am a part of the Spiritual Leadership and the CTR team at Congregation Nevei Kodesh this year and enjoy teaching about Prayer, Lifecycle events, Torah, God and Jewish Renewal to both children and adults. I am also available to tutor and/or officiate for B'nai Mitzvah. Earlier in my life, I was a cultural anthropologist – and lived extended periods of my life abroad in Sweden, Thailand, China and Germany.

Music/ Hebrew and Prayer Leader: 

Ari Shafstein

Hi everyone! For those of you who have not yet met me, my name is Ari and I am a second year Master's student in music education at CU Boulder! I joined the Nevei Kodesh team as the religious school music teacher two 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.

Madrichim (Teen Program) & Movement Specialist:

Jenny Schiff

I am so excited about this year's Madrichim! We are going to come together to empower ourselves and our community. Some of this will happen right here in our school through assistant teaching. We will also use artistic outlets to discover our relationship to social action and how we can participate in the healing of ourselves and others. 

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. 

Tuesday Elective Teacher and Religious School Substitute Teacher:

Jay Schwartz

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 a year 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. 



Sat, January 29 2022 27 Shevat 5782