We are thrilled to introduce the newest Matan Institute Cohort! These talented educators are participating in a year-long professional development experience with Matan, helping to ensure that their communities will be inclusive of all learners.
Read more about this impressive group below.
Chen Abraham became the Religious School Coordinator of Temple Beth David Religious School, Palm Beach Gardens, FL after being on staff for four years. Her passion for teaching, and her warm and professional style in all of her interactions with students, parents and peers make her a perfect fit. Chen graduated from Open University in Israel, where she was awarded a BA in Business Administration and Economics. She then served as a member of the Israel Defense Forces for five years. She has been a religious school educator for more than thirteen years, teaching students in Canada, Israel and Florida. Chen lives in Jupiter, FL with her husband Shlomi and their two boys, Leo and Tom.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Adam Bender’s journey started at his home synagogue of Beth Judea, Long Grove, IL, which helped to nurture his Jewish identity through his participation in USY and synagogue Hebrew High. Adam participated in the Nativ College Leadership Program in Israel before earning his BS from the University of Minnesota. In past summers, Adam has enjoyed traveling the country on USY on Wheels East, and recently spent a summer studying at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem. Before joining the TIC (Temple Israel Center in White Plains, NY) team as Teen Engagement Director, Adam was in Israel as a madrich on Nativ, working with students to help them form their own Jewish identities and relationships with the State of Israel. Prior to his year in Israel, Adam spent two years as the Director of Teen Engagement at Westchester Jewish Center (Mamaroneck, NY) where he developed a new Hebrew High platform, and engaged with the Teen Community in meaningful Jewish experiences. Adam is currently studying for his MA in Jewish Education at The William Davidson School at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Beth Cohn Copelovitch believes in building meaningful connections to Jewish life and the Jewish community through education and people. She was raised in Falls Church, VA in a family that valued and continues to value Conservative Judaism and a strong connection to the Jewish community. At Brandeis University, she earned a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. Beth received her Master’s in Jewish Education in the inaugural class of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Currently, she is the Education Director at Beth Israel Center in Madison, WI. Previously, she worked as a teacher at Cohen Hillel Academy in Marblehead, MA, as well as many other positions in formal and informal Jewish education. Beth is married to Mark Copelovitch, whom she met at a USY convention long, long ago and they have two children, Micah and Dafna.
Lori Jaffe is the Director of Student Services for students in Pre-K through 12th grade at Golda Och Academy in West Orange, NJ. Lori received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from University of Georgia and her Master’s degree in Social Work from Temple University. After receiving her Master’s degree, Lori worked as a clinical social worker for the Jewish Family Service in Cherry Hill, NJ and went on to receive a post-graduate certificate in Family Therapy from the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. Her family relocated to West Orange where Lori’s two daughters attended Golda Och Academy (formerly Solomon Schechter Day School) from K through 12th grade. Lori worked part time for GOA as a clinical Social Worker and eventually became a full-time guidance counselor. With nearly three decades of experience, Lori was made Director of Student Services in 2020 and chaired the Jewish Life and Experiential Education Team from 2019-2021. Lori is passionate about meeting the social, emotional and academic needs of the GOA students and making learning accessible to all learners. Since becoming the Director of Student Services (and with help of Matan), Lori has expanded the support services and accommodations that GOA provides for students with learning differences. In her spare time :), Lori likes to spend time with her daughters, dabble in DIY projects, and has been known to binge watch a show or two…
Jackie Klein is the Religious School Director for Temple Israel in West Palm Beach, FL and has two MA degrees, one in Jewish History and the other in Jewish Communal Service. Jackie has a passion for Jewish community and pluralism in all forms. After spending time in London, and attending Limmud Festival in the UK, Jackie has seen the power that comes through Jewish unity. She is excited to be part of a fellowship that pulls from all different communities to create as much inclusivity in the Jewish world as possible. Feel free to reach out if you want to talk about Daf Yomi, Star Trek, or Pokemon Go!
Elaine Manno is the Religious School Director of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Walnut Creek, California. She is a graduate from San Francisco State with a degree in Modern Jewish Studies. Elaine’s background includes 10 years of teaching and 15 years of working in business and finance. She is excited about enriching students’ Jewish experiences with elective programming, Youth Group activities, and creating a place where the students find a confident, Jewish self-identity.
Ari Moffic was ordained from Hebrew Union College in 2007. She completed a Master’s degree in Jewish Education before rabbinical school. Ari has spent her rabbinate supporting interfaith families, as an LGBTQIA+ ally and in the field of Jewish education. She is passionate about fostering Jewish education that is accessible and inclusive. She is currently the Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Beth-El in Northbrook, IL. Ari lives in Vernon Hills, IL with her husband, Rabbi Evan Moffic, their tween and teen daughters and lots of pets.
Rabbi Joshua Rabin is the Senior Director of USY – United Synagogue Youth at USCJ – United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Josh is a recipient of the Wexner Field Fellowship and the Ruskay Fellowship for Jewish Professional Leadership. Josh lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife, Rabbi Yael Hammerman, and their children, Hannah and Shai. You can read more of Josh’s writings by visiting www.joshuarabin.com.
Hayley Schapiro, LCSW, is the Special Needs Education Community Coordinator at the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County (Florida). She works as a trainer, support, and teacher-educator for the area’s community Day School and religious school programs. She acts as a liaison and advocate between education/school and community resources. Hayley serves on the Palm Beach County Federation’s two committees on inclusion: one for community Education Directors and the other for Early Childhood Directors. She also participates in the Jewish Disabilities Network (JDN) for the Jewish Federation of the Palm Beaches. Her prior experience is in both school and clinical based environments.
Rachel Sher is the new Director of Youth Programming and Engagement at Park Avenue Synagogue. She has extensive experience in Jewish youth and teen programming, camping, tikkun olam, and inclusion. Rachel oversees the entire Youth and Teen departments (3rd–7th Grade, 8th–12th Grade) and works with the College Connections, Day School Community, and Jewish Camping committees.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Rachel expressed a love for singing and theatre from an early age. She received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from The Boston Conservatory and her ordination and master’s degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew College in June 2020. During that time, Hebrew College partnered with Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland, MA to offer her a fellowship investing in the next generation of Jewish educators. She was the High Holiday cantorial soloist at Temple Anshe Amunim in the Berkshires for three years. Meanwhile, she often participated in pastoral and pulpit duties at NewBridge on The Charles, a Hebrew SeniorLife community. In May 2020, Rachel presented a capstone recital exploring the Amidah blessings as exploratory songs from the heart. Over the course of the pandemic, she led online Shabbat and holiday services for communities around the country whose budget could not support a full-time cantor. Rachel lives in Delray Beach with her partner Jake, a marvelous tenor and cantor in Boca Raton. In her spare time, Rachel loves to make art, bake challah, and work out.
Rachel Treshan has been a Jewish educator for the past 18 years and has most recently become the Vice Principal of Family Outreach for the Woodbury Jewish Center in Woodbury, NY. She has a Bachelors in Political Science from Hofstra University, a Master;s in Childhood and Special Education from Touro College, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Behavioral Intervention in Autism from UMass Lowell. Rachel will be completing her doctorate this semester in Special Education from Nova Southeastern University. She is very involved with her synagogue and is the new sisterhood president. When Rachel is not working or studying, she can be found spending time with her husband and 6 year old son.
Diana Tubman is the Youth Engagement Program Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester in Rochester, NY. Her work focuses on empowering Jewish teens to build stronger Jewish identity and community through methods of relationship-based engagement and design thinking. Diana is a native to the area, growing up in the same city she now works in. She enjoys rooting for the Green Bay Packers, candle making, and exploring NY State with her partner and her dog, Echo.