Vicki Alper
Vicki is excited to be joining CRS as a n Alef (First Grade) teacher. Vicki is currently entering my second year of teaching as a 3rd-grade teacher in Fox Lake!  She loves shopping, and spending time with my family and friends.  She is a pet lover and likes to take walks with her puppy Buttercup.

Mazel Amster
Mazel was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. She met her husband in Israel, got married and moved to the states two years after, which is home for her husband. She been teaching for 31 years in different schools. She taught at Akiba Schechter, which is located on the South Side, and also taught at CJDS for many years. She is a full-time teacher at Arie Crown School. She also taught in different Hebrew Schools for many years and then stopped for a while, but is back and honored to be part of the team.

Pnina Arsers
Pnina Arsers has been a teacher at Beth-El North Suburban Synagogue for many years. Outside of her work at Beth-El, Pnina is on the faculty of the Rochelle Zell Jewish High School and is pursuing a graduate degree from Northeastern Illinois University.

Alison Berg
Alison will be teaching Dalet students. She has been an elementary teacher for the past 25 years. She currently teaches 4th grade in Arlington Heights. Alison has a BA in education from DePaul University, an MA in technology in education from NLU and an MA in educational administration from NIU. She has 3 teenaged children, one dog and two cats! When she’s  not teaching 4th graders, or fitness classes, you can find her doing anything that involves sunshine! Biking and beach lounging are her favorites!  

Anna Besser
The Director of the Cohen Religious School, is an experienced educator with over 20 years of involvement in Jewish Education. She is committed to making sure every child who enters the Cohen Religious School leaves with a desire to continue their learning, pride in their heritage and a love for all humanity. Anna earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Rutgers University and her Master’s in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Sari Daybook
Sari has taught Sunday School for ten years at Congregation Bene Shalom Temple for the Deaf and Hearing. She currently performs in their sign language choir every Friday night for services and works full-time for New Trier High School as an Instructional Assistant for the Special Education Transition Program. When not working, Sari enjoys cooking, playing with her cats and spending time with her family!

Stacy Daybook
Stacy has a BA in Elementary/Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University, CFJE/Spertus Education Fellowship Seminar, is a member of Israel Curriculum Planning Committee, and a presenter at CAJE Conferences. She currently coordinates the Enrichment Room services for students and teachers at CRS.

Debbie Feiger
Debbie previously taught at Congregation Hakafa in Glencoe  and Congregation Beth Am in Buffalo Grove.  Debbie lived and worked in Israel on the Hachshara program and studied Judaic studies at Orot in Elkanah. 

Rabbi Alex Freedman
Rabbi Alex Freedman is our newest rabbi. He and his family moved to the Highland Park area several years ago. 

Ellie Goldsmith
Ellie Goldsmith grew up in Highland Park and has attended Beth El for her entire life. She is an incoming sophomore at Northwestern University and is super thrilled to be joining the teaching staff at the religious school!

Ariela Haymberg
Ariela Haymberg was born and raised in Israel, but has been living in Chicago for over 15 years.  Ariela also taught at West Suburban Temple Har-Zion.

Randi Heichman
Randi is happy to be teaching at Beth El synagogue where she attended Hebrew school and had her Bat Mitzvah many years ago.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana where she also studied conversational Hebrew.  After graduation she taught kindergarten at Solomon Schechter and more recently taught preschool at the JCC.

Chuck Kahalnik
Chuck has a BA in Political Science & Education from Northeastern Illinois University, and holds a State of Illinois Teacher’s Certificate. He has been serving the Jewish community of Chicago for over 36 years, primarily in formal and informal Jewish education. Chuck has taught at Beth El for the past 13 years, and was the Executive Director of the synagogue from 2007-2016.

Rabbi Michael Schwab
Rabbi Michael Schwab is completing his 15th year at NSS Beth El. He received his BA from Rutgers University, where he majored in History and Jewish Studies, and he received his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) in May, 2004. In addition, Rabbi Schwab received an MA in Jewish Education from the William Davidson Graduate School of Education.

Lori Stark
Lori has worked with learners of all ages ranging from kindergarten to adults in day school, religious school and camp settings. She was the director of Ramah Day Camp from 2000 to 2019. Lori is looking forward to a fun-filled year of inspiring young minds to lead meaningful, knowledge-based, Jewish lives. 

Hannah Sternberg
Hannah is so excited to be joining CRS as the Gan (Kindergarten) teacher! Her previous Sunday school experience is at Keshet Sunday School, which is a Jewish program for individuals with special needs. Through that program, she was a volunteer and then a para-educator, helping implement lessons for both in-person and virtual environments. Hannah believes in a hands-on and authentic approach to Jewish education where the content is intertwined with the students’ own lives. Hannah is working to finish out her senior year at Illinois State University majoring in Elementary Education with an endorsement in ESL. This year, she is participating in a year-long student teaching program where she is in a second grade class in Wheeling, Illinois. In her free time, Hannah enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing her saxophone, shopping, and baking yummy treats.

Sigal Zamir
Sigal has dedicated her career to Judaic and Hebrew language education to children in the Chicago area. She was born and raised in Ramat Gan Israel, and joined the mandatory military service I.D.R. at the age of 18. A graduate of Northeastern Illinois University with a B.A. in Education, Sigal holds a teaching license from ISBE, certified in English and Hebrew.

Ilyce Zoloto
Ilyce Zoloto (“Coach Ilyce”) is the owner and program director of Stretch-n-Grow of the North Shore. She is a Certified Youth Fitness Instructor and a member of NASPE (National Association for Sport and Physical Education). She has been teaching movement classes to young children for the past 17 years. She focuses on enhancing the children’s Jewish learning in an active and engaging enrichment session.

Sifriyah Director (Library)

Rachel Kamin
Rachel Kamin, the Director of the Beth El’s Joseph and Mae Gray Cultural and Learning Center, has also worked as the Preschool Liaison Librarian at the Des Plaines Public Library and as the Director of the Libraries & Media Center at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, Michigan. She holds a B.A. in History from Grinnell College and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Michigan.

Sifriyah Informal Asst. (Library)

Marcie Eskin
Marcie has been the assistant to the CLC Director since January 2010. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Cornell and her Master of Library and Information Science degree from Dominican University. In addition to her work at NSS Beth El, she is the librarian at Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah in Wilmette.