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Educators

Meet the Teachers and Staff

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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.

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Alejandra Beltran

4-5 year-old class – “Leopards” Room 1

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.

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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!

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Yaneyda Felipe

4-5 year-old class – “Leopards” Room 2

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.

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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

4-5 year-old class – “Leopards” Room 2

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.

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Eloisa Gutierrez

3-4 year-old class – “Zebras” Room 5

Hi my name is Eloisa.  I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley CA.  I’m a mother of my 10 year old son and happily married to my husband for 11 1/2 years. I have a passion to work with children and have over 15 years of experience. I have my child development units and have worked with both toddlers and Pre-Kindergarten students.  I also have years of experience working with elementary school age students through the Department of Recreation and Parks summer camp program. I'm happy to work here with the BTEE-ECC team!

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Sarahy Iniguez

2-3 year-old class – “Monkeys” Room 4

I’m Ms. Sarahy! 

I have 15+ years of experience working with children. Half of that experience came from being a teaching assistant for LAUSD, preschool, kindergarten, and first grade.  I also have experience working with special needs children.

 

 Furthermore, my second language is Spanish, and I am learning ASL. I am continuing my studies on child development and becoming a future educator and director.

 

"The key to a bright future is educating and giving children the right tools they need to succeed."

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Alvart Minasian

2-3 year-old class – “Monkeys” Room 4

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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Milagros "Selah" Leinwand

4-5 year-old class – “Leopards” Room 1

My name is Ms. Selah, I was born and grew up In Lima Peru, and came here to Los Angeles 28 years ago from Israel, where I used to live.

I have a passion for and over 20 years’ experience working with Early Childhood. Formerly I worked as a Developmental Interventionist. I began teaching Pre-school 8 Years ago at my current Synagogue, Adat Ari El, where I am honored to be part of the Torah and Tefillah Team.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences in my country of birth and enriched my studies locally obtaining my units in Psychology and Early Childhood Education. In addition, I am an Educational Facilitator at the Simon Wiesenthal’s Museum of Tolerance, a Certified Volunteer Naturalist for the MRCA-Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, and I am trilingual: English/Spanish/Hebrew.

Personally, I do identify my teaching style as a fusion of Developmental, Play-based & Nature-based approaches of learning.

In my free time, you will find me hiking with my companion pet bird Cockatoo Lola, perhaps also riding my bike along the coast. I swim on a regular basis after a workday, I love water, I eat healthy, and I am committed to a Holistic life and the practice of Mindfulness. I also love to read, write poetry and short stories. I meditate, sing, and dance.

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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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Matthew Kennedy

ECC Director

Matthew Joined the BTEE family in February 2022 and brings with him 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

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Hannah Gere

Bookkeeper

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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