Our JLC Staff

Administration

Rabbi Yechiel Hoffman, EdD, Director of YLE

Yechiel Hoffman empowers people, across all generations and backgrounds, to enrich their personal and professional journeys through meaningful learning experiences. As Director of Youth Learning and Engagement, Hoffman provides organizational, educational, and spiritual leadership to the Los Angeles’ Temple Beth Am community. He most recently served as LimmudLA’s Executive Director, connecting Jews through volunteerism, community organizing, and cross-communal learning experiences.

As an organizational leader, Hoffman employs his professional and academic experience to support innovation and growth for both start-up endeavors and legacy institutions. Hoffman excels at animating networks and fostering meaningful engagement and purposeful relationships.

Hoffman began his professional journey in the film industry, running a comedy club, the Laugh Factory, and serving as a literary manager for writers and comedians—and then he turned to Jewish education. An educational innovator, Hoffman created the Teens@LimmudLA Presenters program, the Viral Judaism Project, and the High School Jewish Futures Project.

Most recently, Hoffman co-founded JEDLAB, a field-wide Jewish education network, promoting relationships and collective inquiry, collaboration, and experimentation to further the quality and growth of Jewish education. Hoffman serves of on the board of Jumpstart, transforming the broader Jewish community through social entrepreneurship. As a community activist, he serves as a rabbinic adviser, activist and outreach expert for issues related to LGBT inclusion, Women's issues, and education. As a doctoral candidate, in education, from Northeastern University, Hoffman applies organizational leadership and learning models to purpose-driven networks of learners and activists.

Lisa Clumeck, JLC Director

Lisa Clumeck is a native of Los Angeles, born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California San Diego in Theatre and her Masters of Arts degree in Education with a concentration in Judaic studies from the American Jewish University here in Los Angeles. Lisa is passionate about Jewish Education, the Arts, and Student Centered Learning. She believes in empowering students to find their personal passions through their Jewish education. As a mentor of JLC teachers, Lisa empowers teachers to meet their students at their interests and infuse their passions into the curriculum.

Her experience in the field spans more than fifteen years and includes a variety of formal and informal learning experiences. Lisa studied in England where her passion for integrating the arts with other aspects of life including her Judaism became a priority. She has worked in almost every capacity of administration and teaching throughout her time in Jewish education. Lisa has created multiple opportunities for students to study Judaism through their personal interest. Her most notable endeavor is with The Performing Arts Academy, at Valley Beth Shalom, in Encino, CA , where she transformed the Religious School experience by teaching Judaism through the lens of theatre, dance, and music.

Lisa began her professional journey as an actress and arts entrepreneur. Her experience in performance, stage craft, and visual art coupled with her passion for Jewish education has allowed Lisa to develop and create Jewish educationally opportunities for adults and children, and other professionals in the field. In this capacity, Lisa develops curriculum, creates family, adult, and youth programming, and provides meaningful and exciting ways for students of all ages to learn and engage.

Lisa also participates in the American Jewish University’s Dream Lab, a project dedicated to engaging artists in Jewish education. In her spare time Lisa enjoys yoga and making people laugh!

Lisa sees herself first and foremost as a teacher; her commitment and dedication to educate using the whole child approach is a driving force in her life.

Farrah Noah, Operations Coordinator

Farrah Noah comes to Temple Beth Am as the Operations Coordinator in the Youth Learning & Engagement department with vast experience as a non-profit professional. First, as the Assistant Director for Imago Relationships International, where she managed membership relations for over 1000 members world-wide and planned 3 international conferences; and more recently, at the BJE as the Program Administrator for two endowment programs that supported Jewish Day Schools in the Los Angeles area: the Jim Joseph High School Affordability Initiative and Generations LA.

Farrah lives in Los Angeles, where she grew up and attended Jewish Day School. She has a BA in Political Science from the University of Arizona and an MA in Teaching from Boston University. She has two young daughters who are proud students at the Jacob Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am. She is also a devoted fan of the New England Patriots and wishes she had more time to read political thrillers.

Faculty

Kitah Gan/Alef (Kindergarten/1st Grade) Esther Ben-Hayim

Esther Ben-Hayim is a familiar face in Pressman Academy, where she has been a teacher’s assistant for the day school’s kindergarten class for the last 3 years. Esther was raised on a small kibbutz in Northern Israel. After serving in the Israeli Air Force she moved to LA, completed a BA in Economics and later continued her education by participating in the DeLeT (Day School Teachers for a New Generation) a program of HUC-JIR Rhea Hirsch School of Education. You may have seen Esther in the JLC last year as she often stepped in as a substitute for the kindergarten and first grade classes. Esther is passionate about Jewish education and her work with TBA’s children. When she is not teaching, Esther is busy with having fun and with taking care of her two beautiful daughters, Maya and Sophia.

Kitah Bet (2nd Grade) Gina Rozner

Gina was born and raised in Los Angeles and moved from the valley to the city last year when she became a part of Temple Beth Am community. Gina’s teaching experience spans across a wide age range as she has worked in preschools, elementary schools, and religious schools throughout the city. She finds great joy and passion in teaching young children about Judaism. In addition to teaching for the JLC, Gina is also a teacher in the Pressman Academy’s ECC during the week. One thing Gina is particularly passionate about is finding creative ways to make learning come alive. When she is not teaching, Gina enjoys snowboarding or spending time at the beach!

Kitah Gimel (3rd Grade) Molly Sigel

Molly grew up in Oak Park, California, a suburb outside of Los Angeles. She was however, born in the city of Los Angeles, and named at Temple Beth Am! Her family moved to the suburbs while she was in preschool where she spent much of her childhood. Molly grew up as an active member at Temple Etz Chaim, a conservative synagogue in Thousand Oaks. She was very involved in United Synagogue Youth (USY) while in high school and went to Ramah California. Later in life Molly worked at Ramah in Nyack as a counselor. After graduating from high school, she went on The Nativ College Leadership Program in Israel, a post-high school gap-year program in Israel through the Conservative Movement. For college, Molly attended Binghampton University in upstate New York where she majored in Human Development and minored in Education and Judaic Studies, she completed her degree and graduated in May 2015.
Molly has always loved working with children and being a camp counselor, and is especially excited to teach this year in the JCL at Temple Beth Am. Molly is starting her Masters in Social Work at UCLA this fall and hopes to eventually become a medical social worker in the hospital setting.

Kitah Dalet (4th Grade) Rachel Salston

Rachel, is a native of New Jersey. She is currently in her fourth year as a student at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies of American Jewish University. Rachel just returned from a year at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem as part of her rabbinical school program. Rachel is a graduate of Brandeis University, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and a minor in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. In addition to her studies at Ziegler and the Conservative Yeshiva, Rachel has also spent time learning Torah at Yeshivat Hadar and the Drisha Institute both in Jerusalem. Rachel considers herself a world traveler and adherent to causes of social justice. She lived in Mumbai, India in the summer of 2013, teaching English and early childhood education to slum children with the Gabriel Project Mumbai, a partner of the JDC; and has traveled to the Thai-Burma border with AJWS as a component of the AJWS Global Justice Fellowship. Rachel also holds a separate career as a Soferet STaM (a Jewish ritual scribe, literally a "writer of Torah scrolls (S), Tefillin (T), and Mezuzot (M)) and operates a Torah repair business serving synagogues and communities around the country. In her spare time, she loves baking cakes and challah, sewing and embroidering, running, and practicing yoga. She strives to teach her students her personal value of bringing Judaism into every aspect of one's life: learning, relationships, and even hobbies.

Kitah Hay (5th Grade) Marcy Stieglitz

Marcy Stieglitz aka “Morah Marcy” understands that “Inquiry” is the key to true learning and seeks to create rich environments where students can learn together. Marcy holds a Masters of Education from the American Jewish University. As a program director in the field of Early Education and Jewish Education, she participates in both local and prestigious national networks. She has experience as an educator for preschool and elementary age students. When she is not pouring all of her effort into her passion of Jewish Education, Marcy is spending quality time with her husband Paul and their three children. She enjoys biking, hiking and reading all kinds of books.

Kitah Zayin (6th Grade) David Schnabel

David Schnabel recently moved to Los Angeles from Tampa, Florida where he enjoyed teaching religious school and leading youth groups at Florida’s Congregation Kol Ami. Originally from New York, David currently works as a video coordinator for a sports franchise and is also pursuing a career in film music. David graduated from Vanderbilt University where he studied music and Jewish studies. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys bowling, playing trombone and walking his dog Freckles. David’s passion for teaching Jewish education is evident in his close relationship with Judaism. He has been known to create fun and welcoming environments in Jewish education by sharing his talents in music, sports, and film with his students.

Specialists

Rachel Cohen, – Hebrew & Hebrew Through Movement Specialist Kitah Gan – Bet (Kindergarten -2nd Grade)

Rachel Cohen grew up in a small village in Israel and started her teaching career when she was 19, teaching troops, while serving in the Israeli army. Her formal teaching education started in Tel Aviv, where she worked with children with special needs. Rachel immigrated to the United States in 2000 and continued to pursue her education in Childhood Development at West Los Angeles College. In 2007 she joined Pressman Academy ECC as a lead teacher. Pressman Academy has become a second home to Rachel and she enjoys her work very much. Rachel’s passion is teaching Ivrit (Hebrew) with dances, songs, play, and utilizing the all five senses. She loves teaching and enjoys the opportunity to learn from her students. Rachel is committed to making learning fun and meaningful for all of her students.

Lee Lahmy, – Hebrew & Hebrew Through Movement Specialist Kitah Gimel – Vav (3rd Grade-6th Grade)

Lee Lahmy grew up in Israel in a multi-lingual home in the ancient Arab town of Ramla. She received her teaching credentials and certificate from Seminar Hakibutzim, the college for teaching in Tel Aviv. In 1980, Lee immigrated to Los Angeles where she received her teaching credentials in Child Development from West Los Angeles College. Her love of exploring her Jewish roots led her to American Jewish University (AJU) in Los Angeles to study the History of Eretz Israel and Am Israel (the land and people of Israel). While at AJU, she also studied Jewish Philosophy from the renowned Rabbi M. Finley. In 2008, Lee met Rabbi Leider and made a commitment to become a member of the great Beth Am Family, teaching and serving its young students in the Religious School. Lee always finds the time to hike the hills and enjoy nature. Two of her most beloved hobbies are Hebrew literature and dancing, especially Israeli Folk dancing. The biggest lesson Lee has learned and would love to pass on to her beloved students is the art of learning.

Parent Involvement

There are many opportunities for parents to get involved in the JLC. Parents are encouraged to attend and participate in family programs, parents only social events, and attend our Sunday Havdallah service, every Sunday at the JLC. Parents who are looking to get involved by volunteering as a room parent or helping to organize other events throughout the year should contact our JLC Committee Chair, Nancy Cohen. Please email jlc@tbala.org to connect today!

Tefillah/Music Specialist, Joel Waldman

Joel is an artist, composer, arranger and teacher. He is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music ('09), where he was given a scholarship and studied voice majoring in Contemporary Writing and Production. Joel was born in Bogotá, Colombia, a son of artistic parents, he taught himself to play the piano at the age of 5 and by 9, he was already singing songs for TV adds and jingles. Joel had also started to write his own songs and learned guitar as well and by 19, he was hired as an official singer for the High Holidays of the Jewish community in Medellin, Colombia. He has sung in wedding ceremonies in Panama, Costa Rica and many other countries. In 2007, he composed the music for the theatrical production of The trial of God, presented Off Broadway in New York and in other theatres of Boston, MA. In October 2009 Joel won the Daniel Dayz contest "Berklee sings in Spanish" in Mexico city, broadcasted by TELEVISA and viewed in more than 60 countries.

Among his arrangements and writing gigs, he's created score and parts preparations for the movie 8 SECONDS distributed by Warner Bros. and for different artists including, Whitney Houston, Vinnie Colaiuta, Carlitos del Puerto, Juan Gabriel and Doc Severinsen. He and has shared the stage with merengue superstar Juan Luis Guerra, Carlos Vives and Tommy Torres, among many others. In 2010 Joel released his first album.

Since being in Los Angeles, he has been a songleader and Hazan for many different Jewish communities including, Valley Beth Shalom, Nashuva, Temple Aliyah and Valley Outreach Synagogue. Joel is currently working on a music therapy album inspired by Kabbalah, and continues to teach music, arrange, compose, produce and perform.

JLC Events COMING UP!

JLC Staff

Rabbi Yechiel Hoffman, EdD
Director of YLE

Lisa Clumeck,
JLC Director

Farrah Noah,
Operations Coordinator

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