Director of School of Early Learning, Interim Executive Director
I have been formally involved in the field of Early Childhood Education for the past 26 years. Being a teacher is something that I always wanted to do. From playing school in my parents’ basement, to always wanting to stay after school to help my teachers, and volunteering at the Temple Beth Torah summer camp, being with children and teaching was in my blood.
I was the director of Temple Beth Torah preschool for 18 years, the same school I attended as a child. In 2004, Temple Beth Torah merged with Old York Road Temple-Beth Am and this became our new home. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Education from Beaver College, now Arcadia University. Additionally, I served as co-director and programming coordinator for the Lower Moreland Parenting Center for eight years. In this capacity, I facilitated many group discussions, workshops and parenting classes.
I try to stay at the cutting edge of my field, and attend continuing education classes bringing fresh ideas back to our school. I describe myself as a hands-on director, meaning I will do anything to escape my office and interact with the children. As a mother of three boys, now young men, I know that a child is your most precious gift, and as director, I strive to provide a safe, loving environment in which to thrive. I would be happy to answer any and all questions you may have related to either the synagogue or our school. Beth Am in Hebrew means “house of the people,” and for your children, our school becomes their “home away from home.” We welcome you!
You don’t have to be Jewish to love Jewish music! With a Bachelor’s Degree (with distinction) from the University of Rochester Eastman School of Music, I joined Old York Temple-Beth Am in 1984 as music director. I earned a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music where I was a full scholarship student and was the recipient of the Elaine Brown Tribute Award. I have studied at Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music and at Westminster Choir College. Although I earned a Law Degree from Temple University, I didn’t practice law for long. Music fills my life, teaching at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, serving as artistic director for the Ambler Choral Society and as the concert accompanist for the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia, the oldest men’s singing society in the US. Believing that making music is a healthy life-long pursuit I have also begun working with a chorus made up of residents at Foulkeways Retirement Community in Gwynedd.
I have served as director of music at the Unitarian Society of Germantown (USG) since 1983. I believe that music is a force that can bring people together and enable them to learn about each other. At both USG and Old York Road Temple-Beth Am, I work with the adult choirs, always striving to help people discover their spirituality through making music. Here at Beth Am, along with Cantor Zarkh, I accompany the Children’s Choir. We have recently formed the T’filah Band that brings guitar, strings, brass, woodwind and percussion together. It gives me a chance to get in touch with my inner Jewish rock star. I also assist with our very own klezmer-style ensemble and I also have one at USG. We make a joyful sound!
|Jackie Lehner||Administrative Assistant to the Clergy & Religious School & Webmaster|
|Meryl Lewin||Administrative Assistant, School of Early Learning|
|Bonnie Marks||Administrative Assistant|
|Ed Lehner||Building Superintendent|
|Jerry Artis||Custodial Staff|
|Julius Findley||Custodial Staff|
|Arthur Thomas||Custodial Staff|