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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 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


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

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 2018 - 2019 STAFF         will be fully updated September 2018

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: update coming soon!

Updated information coming soon!

Teen teaching Assistant: Rose Cohen

2nd/3rd Grade


Info coming soon.

5th Grade

Saturday Lead Teacher #2: Eleanor Carmeli

Eleanor hails from Queens, NY and grew up going to - and loving! - Hebrew School at her home synagogue, Hillcrest Jewish Center. She used to work for Google in California and New York, and recently worked on the 2016 Presidential Election Campaign in Pennsylvania. While her career has taken her around the country, she has always loved working with youth and building Jewish community. She has spent 10+ years in formal and informal Jewish education in Massachusetts, California and New York (from teaching Hebrew School and leading Shabbat services to serving as Hillel President on her college campus at Jewish sleep-away camps). Outside of class, Eleanor enjoys hiking in National Parks (she has been to 15 so far!), salsa dancing, and hosting Shabbat dinner for friends/family. She is excited to join the SAJ family and looks forward to meeting everyone!


Tuesday Lead Teacher: Jacob Ready

Jacob Ready is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and a resident of Brooklyn, NY. He's dedicated to helping children grow into creative, inquisitive, and critical adults. He's worked with elementary and middle school- aged students in contexts both religious and secular at programs including Story Pirates, Brooklyn LAB Charter School, and Iglesia de Memorial San Andres. He is grateful and excited to return as an educator to SAJ Makom!

Teen Teaching Assistant: Gabriel Gitter-Dentz


Tuesday Teen Teaching Assistant (floater for 4/5 & 6th): Jeremy Zorek

Jeremy is a 9th grader at Hunter College High School, and has a strong interest in science and technology. He loves to work with kids, and is always ready to help out. He had his Bar Mitzvah in 2015, and is continuing his participation in the SAJ community; helping out in the educational program - Makom/JJP @ the SAJ.

6th Grade Saturdays

Saturday Lead: Alan Rudt

Alan Rudt is thrilled to be returning to SAJ for his third year as an educator.

Alan has a deep interest in K-12 public education and is passionate about the need to strengthen parental involvement in schools. He works directly with top leadership at numerous school districts to help them strengthen community engagement and improve outcomes for children.  He is the founder and Executive Producer of Open Mic On Education, a cable TV/web show for school administrators.

Having attended yeshiva for many years, Alan has an appreciation for Jewish tradition, culture, and texts.  He is eager to share his knowledge with students and help them find meaning of their own.

Alan is married to Debbie Rudt, Administrative Director at SAJ.  They have two children, Hannah and Adam.

7th & 8th GradeUpdae Coming September 2018


Assistant #1

Assistant #2

TEEN 9th - 12th Grade

Family Service Leaders for High Holidays

Image result for matt checkMatt Check: Matt has been Director of Jewish Education for the Bronfman Center at 92Y since July 2015. He runs Atid, (Jewish Afterschool) and is involved in other educational initiatives as well. Before 92Y, Matt was Director of Young Family Education at Park Avenue Synagogue from 2010 to 2015 and Assistant Religious School Director at Central Synagogue from 2008 to 2010. He holds a master’s degree in Jewish education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a second master’s in public administration from Baruch College. Matt is also an accomplished singer-songwriter, guitarist, banjoist and producer of bluegrass and Jewish children’s music.


Matt will be co-leading services with Tehilah & leading Youth Groups for 4th - 6th.



Tehilah Eisenstadt: See above!

Teen High Holiday Leader

 Inline image 1Rabbi Mick Fine completed his BA in Hebrew Language and Literature at the Ohio State University and continued his studies as a DeLeT Fellow at Brandeis University, where he completed an MA in Teaching Hebrew. He was ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary in May 2013. Mick has spent the past several years working in Jewish education, first as a Hebrew school teacher and then as a full-time Jewish studies educator at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, and more recently editing and writing curriculum for Hazon, Teva, and JDC. He worked as a rabbinic intern in Youth and Family Education at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City, in addition to being a faculty member for many years at the Rebecca and Israel Ivry Prozdor High School. He is currently the Coordinator of Hebrew curriculum at Beit Rabban Day School on the upper west side. Mick enjoys playing the guitar, and spending time with his wife Jaclyn, and his 2 year old son, Nate. 

Wed, September 19 2018 10 Tishrei 5779