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Education Center Team

Rabbi David Fainsilber

Rabbi David Fainsilber is the spiritual leader and first full-time rabbi of the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe. Originally from Montreal, Rabbi David and his wife Alison joined our community in 2013. You may spot Rabbi David, Alison, and their three children skiing at the mountain, biking on the Lamoille Rail Trail, or schmoozing at the Farmers’ Market. Rabbi David has brought a surge of energy and spirit to JCOGS. He has grown the JCOGS religious school 800%, reaching youth from birth to college. Rabbi David infuses Shabbat and Holy Days with spirit, and composes and records liturgical music. He is instrumental in working across the local community with faith, business, law enforcement, and educational leaders to help form the first homeless shelter in Lamoille County.  Rabbi David is a founding steering committee member of the Racial Equity Alliance of Lamoille (REAL), tackling systemic racism in our community. His pastoral presence is healing in our turbulent world. His impact has been featured in the The Boston Globe, the Vermont weekly Seven Days, and VPR. Prior to moving to Vermont, Rabbi David served as an interfaith CIRCLE Fellow, AJWS Kol Tzedek Fellow, and as a rabbinic intern for Nehar Shalom, Kolot Chayeinu, and MIT and Tufts Hillels. Ordained at the pluralistic rabbinical school of Hebrew College, he also received a Certificate in Organizational Leadership from Boston University and Hebrew College. He is currently part of the fourth cohort of the prestigious CLI Fellowship. Rabbi David is more than slightly obsessed with Crossfit, enjoys chopping wood, and loves wrestling with his kids. Read his writings and listen to his music at www.melodyofeverysoul.com. Contact: rabbidavid@jcogs.org

Beth Weintraub Liberman, MSEd - Director of Education

Beth is passionate about creating a space that supports discovery and inquiry-based learning. She believes strongly that our ancient language and the wisdom of our ancient traditions are as relevant today as ever. She has trained as a museum educator and teacher of Second Language Learners in Vermont, New York, and Tel Aviv, and worked as an educator, arts administrator, and ELL teacher while living in Israel for 19 years. She believes strongly in collaboration as a foundation for building community and has been instrumental in creating the VT/NH/NY Jewish educators forum. She is delighted to be bringing  the JCOGS and Beth Jacob Synagogue communities together for shared Jewish education. Beth employs the use of art and play in her teaching of our experiential learning programs of Kinderlach, Gesher, and Olam Chesed,  strengthening organic Hebrew learning.  Beth also guides our teens in becoming thoughtful and engaged Jewish adults in our Mitzvah and Ateed programs. Contact: beth.liberman@jcogs.org

Jonah Ibson, Jewish Life Educator

When he is not sharing his interest in Jewish life and culture at Olam Chesed, Jonah Ibson is an English teacher, father, travel-fiend, and outdoor enthusiast. He enjoys good food, all four seasons, low-key family adventures, growing things, and reading books. He especially loves making Spotify playlists, gourmet sandwiches, and travel plans. Jonah is particularly drawn to getting young people to think deeply about the biggest questions we can ponder and to seeking truth and wisdom in ancient yet still living Jewish texts and ideas.

Gilana Levavi, Hebrew teacher 

Gilana is passionate about fostering joyful pluralistic Jewish learning communities that engage, challenge and support diverse students as they learn from and with one another. Being an active participant in such communities has been integral to Gilana's Jewish identity. She has taught religious school online and in person in three different communities. She lives in New Jersey, where she is studying toward a master's in elementary education at Rutgers University. Gilana has strong interests in social and emotional learning and is exploring philosophy for children. She earned a B.A. in religion and philosophy with a minor in psychology from Rutgers. Gilana has studied and practiced interfaith dialogue, including at Hartford International University for Religion and Peace (formerly Hartford Seminary). She is excited to join the JCOGS community as a Hebrew teacher!

Tal Mader, Hebrew teacher

"Tal is a native Hebrew speaker born in Israel and raised in Canada, who has spent all of her working years teaching and learning from kids. She is perpetually exploring her Jewish identity and spirituality, and emphasizes the importance of creating a space in which her students can explore and discover their own relationship with Judaism. Tal aims to cultivate a playful and empathetic learning environment in her classes, in which everyone is seen and heard, and enjoys what they're learning. When she's not teaching, she can be found buried in a mountain of infinite art projects or somewhere in a forest, where she finds joy in engaging with nature as a spiritual practice through a Jewish lens. If you're really really nice to her, she might even show you some cool bugs from her insect collection." 

 

Fri, September 30 2022 5 Tishrei 5783