SAJ Education & Family Engagement Staff

Tehilah Eisenstadt, Director of Education & Family Engagement

Tehilah EisenstadtTehilah Eisenstadt officially joined our SAJ community on July 5, 2016.

She is a Jewish educator, activist, officiant, consultant, community builder and storyteller. She has worked in leadership roles with prominent Jewish educational agencies and non-profits such as Storahtelling (Lab/Shul), The Covenant Foundation and The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies for more than a decade. She is honored to teach and lecture across the US on Jewish topics where ancient text and ritual intersect with meaning in our lives today.
 
Tehilah believes that her Jewish heritage is what gives her the strength to make the world the place we want to live in, and we want our children/future generations to enjoy and cherish. She works with a team of multi-faith leaders on ongoing issues related to Jewish values, particularly surrounding the abducted school girls in Chibok Nigeria in 2014 and child trafficking issues around the world. Tehilah previously served as Community Director at Luria Academy of Brooklyn, a post-denominational, Open Orthodox, Montessori Jewish Day School. She also served as a curriculum writer, teacher-trainer and community builder for Jewish and Muslim communities, including: Cordoba House, Huntington Jewish Center, Kings Bay Y and Storahtelling. Tehilah has especially enjoyed facilitating adult learning experiences around Jewish texts involving body image/relationships to our bodies and early childhood programs exploring international Jewish culture (food and folklore). Tehilah serves as a volunteer mikvah guide and educator for ImmerseNYC and is on the Board of Directors of AJLI (American Jewish League for Israel).
 
Tehilah received her Bachelor's Degree in Literature from Binghamton University, her Masters degrees in Jewish Education and Midrash (biblical exegesis/"behind the scenes" of the Torah and other Jewish lore) from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and is a graduate of HUC-JTS's Leadership Institute. She is currently following a life long passion of working with children ages 0 - 4, and should complete her certification in Early Childhood Administration by 2017.
 
Tehilah is married to Simon Feil.  They are the delighted parents of Adin Geshem, age 6.
 
Tehilah can be reached at Tehilah@thesaj.org or at (212) 724-7172.

Educational and Community Support Team

Melanie Louis: Asst Director/Dir of Communications

Melanie is an LMSW whose focus is educational, health and intervention social justice initiatives for children. Her devotion to the field began when volunteering with AmeriCorps and grew through studying the nature and nurture of human development at Penn State before a client-centered management Masters at Fordham. She believes in following the research of evidence-based techniques for efficacy and tries to practice the faith through volunteering with community-based organizations.

Her travels have taken her to 27 countries whose children, rich or poor - sick or healthy, she has come to love. Melanie's goal is to apply business acumen to non-profit mission so that hearts expand due to sound minds at Makom and the world over. 

Melanie can be reached at mlouis@thesaj.org.

 

Teen Assistant (Shabbat/Saturdays): Bonji Onuma & Joshua Yagupsky            

Tefilah and Music educators

Cantor Lisa Arbisser, SAJ Cantor  (Tuesday classes and special events Saturday) 

Cantor Lisa Shapanka Arbisser brings a passion for Jewish music and a profound dedication to Jewish community life and learning to her role as cantor of the SAJ. In addition to co-leading services with Rabbi Lauren, Cantor Arbisser teaches music in the after-school education program, Makom/Jewish Journey Project at the SAJ and runs the B'nei Mitzvah program.

Learn more about Cantor Lisa by clicking here.

Please contact Cantor Arbisser at 212-724-7247 or cantorarbisser@thesaj.org

Megan Sass              

Megan Sass is a Jewish educator, musician, and comedian. She has been a member of Storahtelling since 2008, and has worked for many different camps and synagogue communities, including Goldman Union Camp Institute, PassportNYC at the 92Y, Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, JCC Manhattan, The Washington Heights Y, and The Jewish Journey Project, for which created two new curriculum: a class comparing biblical heroes to superheroes, called “From Batman to King David,” and a sketch-writing class called “What’s Funny About the Bible?” She joined the SAJ team in 2012, and is thrilled to be a part of this community!

Teen Teaching Assistant:   Ben Tom      

     PELA, MAKOM & TEEN 2016 - 2017 STAFF

Pela (for newborn - 4 year olds and caregivers)

Lead Teacher: Paul Wolf

Paul Wolf specializes in guitar and has been teaching Judaic music for over fifteen years throughout the country. Since 2008, Paul has called New York City home, teaching at several institutions including the 92nd Street Y and the JCC Manhattan, where he currently resides as Music Director of the Nursery School program. Paul released Life Taking Shape, a children's album which garnered much success in 2012 and is currently working on an album with his band, Meditesh. In his free time, Paul enjoys playing with his sons, Ezra and Caleb, and introducing them to great music.  
 
Teen Teaching Assistant: Simon Chambers-Trubach

K/1st Grade

Lead Teacher: Ela Wilschanski

Ela is originally from Jerusalem, Israel, currently living in NY attending a Master in Fine Art program. For her army arm service in the IDF, she was a nature teacher for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. After completing her service, she became an Art instructor. For the past thirteen years, she has been teaching both subjects- Art and nature, simultaneously and separately. She also worked at English speaking programs in Israel such as Young Judea, Onward and Birthright. Ela loves to pay attention to the daily cycle of the sun and moon and the yearly cycle of season changes. She is vey exited to join the JAS community!

Teen teaching Assistant: Rose Cohen

2nd/3rd Grade