Religious School Teachers

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YAFIT JOSEPHSON, 2nd/3rd Judaic Studies Teacher & 4th/5th Hebrew Teacher

Yafit Josephson was born in Los Angeles and raised in Israel since she was 2 years old. She relocated to Los Angeles in 2003, following her 2 years of IDF service, and graduated from USC School of Theatre in 2008. Throughout her school years, she discovered a passion for teaching and working with children of different age groups. She has been teaching Hebrew and Judaic Studies through the use of Theatre and improvisation games at several Jewish schools in Los Angeles for the past 13 years, such as Sinai Akiba Academy, Wilshire Blvd Temple, Hillel Hebrew Academy and Adat Shalom. She is a big advocate of Experiential Learning and loves to incorporate hands-on activities, group projects & performances, and lots of Theatre games in her classes in order to create a meaningful, creative and fun Jewish experience for her students. She is very excited to join the Kehillat Ma’arav community for her third year and infuse her love of Judaism to her students and their families. In addition to being a teacher and an actress, Yafit is also a proud mother to a 16-month-old boy name Harel, and a wife to her dear husband, Oran.

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Dorit Marciano Weiss, your child’s Hebrew Educator at KM.

I was born and raised in Eilat, Israel, and yes, served in the Israeli Defense Force as a Hebrew Teacher to illiterate soldiers. I hold a professional certificate as a Social Educational Worker from Bet Haarava College, Jerusalem and a degree in Elementary general Education from Ministry of Edu, Tel Aviv. I also hold an A.A certificate in ECE. (SMC) and a certificate of supervision and administration in ECE through UCLA Extension.

After moving to L.A. in 1989, I worked as a Hebrew language teacher and as a Judaic Specialist for children ages 5 to 16 in various private schools.

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Livya Howard-Yashar – 2nd and 3rd grade Hebrew/4th and 5th Judaica

I began my teaching career leading Shabbat youth services at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, which was also my elementary school growing up. I graduated from Sarah Lawrence College where I studied dance, music, and language. Since then I have channeled my passion for the performing arts and language into education, teaching dance in the public school system and working as a private tutor. I have also worked as a madricha on birthright trips to Israel, so I truly value the importance of creating unique Jewish learning experiences that are relatable to Jewish minds of different age groups.

Neomi Nemanim – 2nd/3rd Hebrew and 6th/7th Hebrew/T’fillah

I would like to introduce myself to the new families, my name is Neomi Nemanim and I am one of several Hebrew teachers in our school for 2nd/3rd and 6th/7th Grade. I graduated from Bar Elan University, Ramat Gan, Israel where I studied criminology and special education. I was teaching for ten years in Israel before I came to America. I have been living in Los Angeles with my family for the last twenty years, and teaching at Kehillat Ma’arav for the past ten years. I love being part of the Kehillat Ma’arav family!

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Moshe “Moe” Rubel – 4th/5th grade Judaica, lead teacher for 6th/7th grade Judaica

For over the past decade, Moe has been involved with several Jewish organizations, synagogues, day camps and youth programs throughout the globe to aid the development of Jewish children, ranging in age from 5-18, while reinvigorating their desire to uphold a Jewish lifestyle by better understanding Judaism’s core values and sacred history.

Most recently, Moe served as the 8th Grade Religious School teacher at Sephardic Temple. Prior to joining Sephardic Temple, Moe oversaw Nessah Israel Synagogue’s youth program as its director, managing eight counselors along with interactively teaching over 100 children of all ages the fundamentals of God, Torah, Mitzvot and our unwavering love of Israel. Moe’s experience in education and youth development date back to 2003, when he started working as a counselor for his local synagogues before moving into a program supervisor role, all the while serving as a Summer day camp director, both locally and overseas.

Outside of KM, Moe operates a full-service marketing consultancy specializing in advertising technology. Moe grew up in the Pico/Robertson neighborhood in Los Angeles, CA and holds a B.A. in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing from the University of Southern California, along with an Associate of Arts in Print & Broadcast Journalism from Santa Monica College

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Saba Zahir – Judaic Studies assistant teacher in 2nd and 3rd grade, and 6th and 7th grade.

This past summer, she graduated from the DeLeT (Day School Leadership through Teaching) program at Hebrew Union College, with a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Certificate in Jewish Education. She thoroughly enjoys teaching and learning about Judaism, and is thrilled to utilize her newly acquired skills in the classroom this year! In addition to teaching at KM, Saba teaches first grade general studies at a local Jewish day school.

Two years ago, Saba graduated from UCLA with a bachelor of arts in psychology and a minor in applied developmental psychology. She dedicated most of her undergraduate studies to researching the way children think, grow, learn, and thrive. She also worked with children in various internship settings, which ultimately led her to discover her passion for being a classroom teacher.

What Saba loves most about teaching children is the connection she creates with each child. She believes in getting to know each child’s individual needs and interests, and catering her teaching to those needs as much as possible. Saba likes to describe her educational philosophy with the famous quote from King Solomon: “Teach a child according to his/her way, and even when the child is old, he/she will not depart from it

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GIDON SHIKLER, Music Specialist

Gidon was born in The Netherlands to a Dutch mother and Israeli father – the latter whom has been a Cantor for almost 50 years at a synagogue in Irvine. Gidon was raised in Southern California from the age of 1 until he moved back to Holland for high school at the age of 14. He is an accomplished singer, songwriter and musician whose original songs are infused with groove, positivity, joy and upliftment. Along with creating his own music, he enjoys collaborating and performing with different artists, showcasing his flexibility in playing many instruments including guitar, saxophone, drums and percussion. He is very experienced in teaching music to a variety of age groups in different continents – ranging from being a Montessori music teacher in London, to Jewish music education at Synagogues in South Florida and Southern California.