Religious School Educators

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Rebecca Seidenspinner (she/her/hers)

K’tan Tan
Rebecca Seidenspinner

Rebecca comes to CBT with 20 years of preschool experience. She currently teaches Pre-K at Pleasant Hill Rec and Park Preschool and served as a loving teacher in Gan B’nai Shalom Preschool for ten years. While she was attending classes at Diablo Valley College in Early Childhood Education, she worked concurrently in a preschool that her son attended for seven years.

What Rebecca loves most about working with children is watching them learn and grow. The most amazing thing for her is to see the excitement in their eyes while they are learning and exploring. She loves to help families as they strive to give their young children a Jewish experience.

Rebecca is married and has three children. She enjoys working in the garden and taking care of her small backyard farm where she raises chickens. She also loves to ride her red bicycle to the farmer’s market.

Leece Gottfried has been a member of CBT for 12 years. She was born and raised in New Orleans, LA and met her husband, Harry, on year course in Israel at 18 years old. She grew up learning Hebrew through her Hebrew day school, Young Judaea, and going to Camp Judaea in North Carolina for many summers. Her daughter, Rachel grew up at CBT and serves as a Madricha in the school. Leece is super excited to be part of CBT’s religious school and loves spending time with her kindergartners!

Leece Gottfried (she/her/hers)

IMG_0377-1 - Leece Gottfried

Orit Winton

1st Grade
Orit Winton

Originally from the Bay Area, Orit lived in San Luis Obispo, Hawaii, Israel & San Diego before returning here after her first daughter was born. She is the proud mom of three amazing girls (5 yr old and twin 3 yr olds) and has spent most of the last five years with them. Prior to having kids, she worked as an HR Director for many years, completed her MBA at Bar Ilan University, and taught Sunday School at a local temple in San Luis Obispo while attending Cal Poly. Orit started working at B’nai Tikvah 2 years ago when she was looking for more Jewish programs for her girls and began running K’Tan Tan and Gan Gani, and helping with Mesibaba. Now that her oldest is in Kindergarten, she is excited to be here every Sunday with the 1st graders as well as leading our team of awesome Madrichim.

Alex grew up in the Bay Area and has been a member of the CBT community ever since he can remember. He went to Bergin University and got a degree to follow his passion for dog training. He trains PTSD and mobility service dogs. He has taught children Tae Kwon Do and parkour and focuses on making learning fun and interactive. He has two dogs and enjoys being outdoors, paddle boarding, and watching cromodies (comedy crime shows).

Alex Mikesell (he/him/his)

2nd Grade
28e562cb-6175-45a6-8f59-8792d8bdff69 - Alex Mikesell

Ellen was born in the Bay Area and has roots in Chicago. She has three children and two cats.  She graduated from UC Davis with degrees in Biology and Physical Anthropology. Ellen also teaches high school biology and physiology. Ellen has been teaching at CBT with love and passion for many years.  Her work with children fills her life with meaning and pleasure.

Ellen Fasmen

4th Grade
Ellen Fasman

Oren Abrahams

5th Grade – Sundays
Oren Abrahams

Oren Abrahams has been a member of Congregation B’nai Tikvah since he was born. He grew up at CBT Religious School and became a Bar Mitzvah in 2008. After religious school, Oren stayed extremely active in the Jewish community by attending Midrasha and taking various leadership roles in BBYO where he participated in local, regional, and international conventions with BBYO. Beginning in 2013 Oren was a Madrich for 3 years and then acted as the Madrichim coordinator for 2 years, where he redesigned the Madrichim program, focusing on inspiring and empowering our teens. Oren is currently the JV baseball coach at California High School and is so excited to begin teaching 5th grade at B’nai Tikvah. He remains extremely committed to Judaism and has a very passionate connection with Israel due to his Israeli heritage.

Leeor grew up and was educated in Israel and served in the IDF as a Teacher Soldier. She settled in the Bay Area in the 80’s, where she raised her family of two daughters, now grown up. Ever since coming to the Bay, Leeor has been involved in Jewish education, teaching children and adults in various congregation schools, as well as Tehiyah Day School. She is currently residing in the community of Pleasant Hill/Martinez, raising her 3 furry babies (a senior toy poodle named Matoki and 2 adorable cats), teaching various ages and grades at 3 congregational schools, gardening, and volunteering at her granddaughter’s elementary school in Pleasant Hill. Leeor is super excited to return to B’nai Tikvah Religious School and can’t wait to meet your coming in 5th grader soon.

Leeor Frankel (she/her/hers)

5th Grade – Tuesdays
Leeor Frankel

Rebecca  Abraham (she/her/hers)

6th Grade
rebecca abraham

Rebecca Abraham grew up in Tempe, Arizona. She moved to the Bay Area after completing her Masters in Speech Language Pathology at Arizona State University. While in college, Rebecca was an active member of Jewish life on campus, taking classes in modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, and holding leadership positions in the Hebrew language club ‘Medabrim’ for two years.

Throughout her time in Tempe, Rebecca was an active member of her home synagogue. She was a camper and then a counselor at a Jewish overnight camp. She worked with a wide range of ages first as a madricha, and then as a teacher. During this time, she also tutored B’nei Mitzvah students and Modern Hebrew classmates.

Outside of the classroom, Rebecca works as a speech language pathologist at 2 nursing homes in the East Bay. When not at work, she loves choral singing and crocheting. Rebecca lives in Concord with her partner. Rebecca is a founding member and current chair of Keshet at CBT, a social group for people of all genders, orientations, and ages at the synagogue.

Devra serves as the Executive Director of Contra Costa Midrasha in Walnut Creek, CA, where she shepherds Jewish teens in a journey of exploration and identity development. In this role she’s reconstructed curricula to focus on maintaining teen mental health and building life skills. Her creativity and willingness to experiment has brought an intergenerational film project, an exchange program with American and Israeli teens and a renewed Philanthropy Board to the Contra Costa community. She teaches food justice, yoga and gardening, using Talmudic teachings; and loves to examine the lives of women in the Torah with students of all ages. Previously, Devra produced theatre, television and news. During high school, she attended Space Camp and was subsequently thrilled to interview Buzz Aldrin years later upon the 30th anniversary of the Apollo landing. Devra was born in Phoenix, AZ and currently lives in Richmond, CA with her family. 

Devra Aarons (she/her/hers)

7th Grade – Tuesdays
Devra Aarons Headshot Aug 2018