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Meet the Teachers and Staff


Abbey Nadera

3-4 year-old class – “Zebras” Room 6

Abbey has worked at BTEE since 2013. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cal State Fullerton, with a major in Graphic Design and Illustration. She also has a master’s degree from Pacific Oaks College with a major in Human Development, specializing in Early Childhood Education. Education is at the forefront of Abbey’s life, and she aims to make a difference in the lives of others through her professional work in Early Childhood Education.


Alejandra Beltran

Pre-K 4-5 year-old class – “Leopards”

Alejandra has been working with children for over 9 years, primarily as an Infant and Toddler Teacher as well as a Behavioral Shadow Teacher. She graduated from Los Angeles Valley College with Certifications in Child Development with an emphasis in Infant and Toddler Studies. Alejandra is also an Illustrator and loves encouraging children to explore all aspects of art, as she believes it can be one of the strongest tools for self-discovery, learning and self-expression.


Allison Fox

3-4 year-old class – “Zebras” Room 5

Allison is excited to start another new year at BTEE! She is originally from Iowa where she earned her BA in Elementary Education and later moved to Chicago where she worked with Bright Horizons and various other families as a nanny. She enjoys all things arts including singing and musical theater. She loves teaching the Zebra class and can’t wait to start her fourth year here!


Yaneyda Felipe

3-4 year-old class – “Zebras” Room 5

Yaneyda has worked as a nanny for 7 years. She is very happy to be working here at BTEE. Yaneyda is currently pursuing a certificate in Early Childhood Education. Her hobbies include photography and singing.


Lea Levin

3-4 year-old class – “Zebras” Room 6

Lea was born in Israel, but has lived in the United States for the past four years. She has been in the child development field for over thirty years, including having her own daycare center. She raised two girls, both college graduates, and is a very proud Mama. Lea loves to sing, dance, and shower your children with love and affection. Her specialty at BTEE is a Hebrew curriculum for the Pre-K

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Claudia Serfain

2-3 year-old class – “Little Monkeys” Room 4

My name is Claudia Serafin, I come from a large family of Mexican  and Guatemalan  nationalities as well as being the youngest of five siblings. I was born in L.A and I love everything about it; knowing there is always something new to explore. I’m an adventurous person, I love the beach, camping and road trips. I’ve always had a love being around children, baby sitting, child care and working with kids of different ages from kinder to fifth grade. 

They are the future and I want the world to be a better place for them.


Nalleli Cortes

3 year-old class – “Monkeys” Room 2

My name is Nalleli Cortes, I was born and raised in South Central LA. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood and Adolescent Development from Cal state Northridge. I consider myself to be a compassionate and creative person. I find it relaxing to take walks on the beach, I love hiking, camping, and I also love going on outdoor adventures with my three pugs. I have always enjoyed being around children; I have been a babysitter, tutor, and teacher’s assistant throughout my high school and college years. My goals are to provide an engaging learning experience for every child by being a passionate leader, allowing them to gain different skills, and allowing myself to learn from them, as every child is unique and brings different experiences. I am excited to teach the kids and to see what their future holds. 


Alvart Minasian

3 year-old class – “Monkeys” Room 2

Alvart graduated from Glendale Community College with an AS and child development credentials. When her own youngest child was attending the Head Start education program, she began to volunteer as an aide there and at their kindergarten program. That’s where Alvart discovered the profound love for children which inspired her to enter this field and become a preschool teacher. After receiving her credentials, she began working at Burbank Temple Emanu El in 1999.

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Kaliyah Rucker

2-3 year-old class – “Little Monkeys” Room 4

Kaliyah is from New York City.  She is a teacher with 5 years of experience in education for children with special needs as well as early child developmental speech and social skills. Kaliyah enjoys arts and crafts activities and science experiments. She also enjoys making songs for her students to sing along that help them retain educational information. 


Gabriela Katz

Office Coordinator

Gabriela Katz joined our team in May 2023, with the general responsibilities to oversee the day-to-day community-wide operations of the synagogue, Early Childhood Center and Hebrew School.  

Among other experiences, she has a decade of experience working in hospice care where she proved adept at communicating with and leading groups of diverse individuals during times of extreme stress.

You may also recognize Gabriela as a parent of an ECC student.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, visiting the Downtown LA Flower Mart or trying out new recipes!

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Devorah Brous

Executive Temple Director

 A mama of two, Dev is an urban homesteader, and the creator of fromsoil2soul where she designs regenerative practices for soul care, community care, and earth care. As a Founding Executive Director for 15+ years of two Jewish environmental nonprofits, Bustan and Netiya, Dev advanced indigenous land rights, community food sovereignty, and healing justice.

Follow her @dev.brous. Check out her TEDx talk about the Sabbatical: We're burning out. What can we glean from nature to regenerate?

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Matthew Kennedy

ECC Director

Matthew Joined the BTEE family in February 2022 and brings with him nearly 20 years of ECE experience in the field. He loves playing music and being silly with the kids.

"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members" 

-Coretta Scott King


Hannah Gere


Hannah has been with BTEE since 2019. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she is a mother of two small humans and one perpetually hungry dog. She is a lover of baking, coffee, nature, and puns.

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