Preschool programs, Ktan tan and Gan Gani
Rebecca comes to CBT with 20 years of preschool experience. For the past 8 years, she has served as a loving teacher in Gan Bnai Shalom Preschool, where she still works. 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 9 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 just completed her Bat Mitzvah 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.
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.
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 my life with meaning and pleasure.
2nd Grade & 4th Grade
Rebecca grew up in Tempe, Arizona. She moved to the Bay Area after completing her master’s degree 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. After graduating from the religious school, Rebecca worked as a madricha with pre-K, Hebrew Bet, Hebrew Gimel, and resource classes. Upon graduating high school, Rebecca worked as the Hebrew Aleph and Bet teacher at her home synagogue. Throughout her years as a madricha and teacher, Rebecca tutored B’nei Mitzvah students and Modern Hebrew classmates.
Outside of the classroom, Rebecca works as a speech-language pathologist in adult rehabilitation. When not at work, she loves choral singing and crocheting. Rebecca lives in Benicia with her partner, and is looking forward to getting involved at Congregation B’nai Tikvah.
Rachel (she/her/hers) has been a part of the B’nai Tikvah community since 2008 and has worked at CBT’s religious school for the past five years as a madricha. During her time at CBT, she has been a counselor at Camp Mesibaba, led the tutorim program, and served as the Head Madricha for two years. Rachel is a student at the University of California, Los Angeles and loves spending time with her cats and playing the viola.
5th Grade – Tuesdays
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 my 3 furry babies, teaching various ages and grades at 3 congregational schools, gardening, and volunteering at her 7-year-old 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.
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.
5th Grade – Sundays
Iris Sorokin is a native Israeli, born and raised in Petach-Tikva, a suburb of Tel-Aviv. Iris graduated from Tel-Aviv University where she received a Bachelor Degree in the Bible Studies and in American and English Literature. She also has a certificate in Communication Studies from Bar-Ilan University. Iris moved to the Bay Area 17 years ago after meeting her American husband in Israel. She currently lives in Orinda with her husband, two kids (14 and 12), and their two dogs. Outside of the classroom, Iris works with her husband in their Real Estate firm and is on the East Bay International Film Festival Committee. In her free time, she loves to hike, do street photography and read. This will be her second year teaching at Bnai-Tikvah. Last year she taught Kindergarten class.
Asher Litschwartz grew up in Berkeley, and is an experiential Jewish educator by profession, and has worked in synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, Jewish learning programs and camps. With a love of nature, good stories, witty jokes, and good food, Asher is passionate about ethics and community. Asher respects all paths toward a better world and believes that one of Judaism’s great strengths is its commitment to Tikkun Olam, repairing our world. There is magic all around us and there is nothing that makes Asher happier then stopping with his class to notice the magic around them.
7th Grade – Sundays
Hagit was born and raised in Israel. She served in the army, then received a BA in Early Childhood Education. She has lived in the Bay Area for 16 years and has been a pre-school teacher for 15 years. Her love of Judaism, Hebrew, Israel, and teaching brought her to teach at the CBT Religious School. She enjoys coming every Sunday to work with many wonderful children, teachers and the CBT Community. She believes that children learn the most when they have fun and that’s what she does in class. This is her 8th year at CBT. She looks forward to another great year!
Devra Aarons enters her sixth year this Fall as the “Tuesday 7th Grade Mentor/Educator” here at B’nai Tikvah. 5779 also marks the beginning of her twelfth year as the Executive Director of Contra Costa Midrasha. She believes in creating space for teens to explore their Jewish identity and experience mitzvot, ritual, text and Israel in ways that are relevant and fun for them. In a past life, Devra worked at Traveling Jewish Theatre in San Francisco, was a Field Producer for CNBC and even went to Space Camp! Devra graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University’s Honors College with a BA in Theatre (Directing) and a certificate of concentration in Jewish Studies. She lives in Richmond with her partner and two kids and loves exploring new places and doing yoga.
7th Grade – Tuesdays