Religious School Educators

Jump to: Kindergarten1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | 5th | 6th | 7th

Molly Lin-Utzig

Kindergarten/1st Grade 
Molly Lin-Utzig grew up attending B’nai Tikvah as a student, Bat Mitzvah, and now teacher. She is excited to be teaching K/1 because she enjoys watching students grow and learn.

Zach Zagon

Second Grade

Zach was raised in the Bay Area and has been a part of the CBT community since childhood. He both attended Hebrew School and had his Bar Mitzvah at CBT. During the week he works as a Special Education Assistant at Valley View Middle School and is currently a student majoring in psychology with the goal to become a special education teacher. In his free time, he enjoys powerlifting, playing with his dog Moose, and spending time with his family and friends. He is excited to be teaching second grade at CBT on Sundays and strives to create a fun environment where his students can learn more about their Jewish heritage.

Rina Kirsch

Third Grade

Originally from Massachusetts, Rina moved to the Bay Area with her family 7 years ago and has been living here full time for the past 3 years. She graduated from Juniata College, located in Pennsylvania, in 2019 with a degree in Biology and Theatre Performance. She was an active member of United Synagogue Youth, Hillel, and attended Camp Ramah New England. She has several years of experience as a TA and a substitute teacher, most recently working at CCJDS. She is very excited to teach the 3rd-grade class!

Ellen Fasman

Fourth Grade
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.

Mitch Goldman

Fifth Grade
Mitch is overjoyed to be returning to B’nai Tikvah: the place where he went to Hebrew School, became a Bar Mitzvah, and worked as a madrich. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in mechanical engineering. Mitch has worked as an educator for the past 5 years, first as a tutor and then as the middle school math teacher at St. Joseph in Alameda. He is extremely excited to be rejoining the B’nai Tikvah community to share his unique Jewish perspective with his students and to help them grow in faith. In his free time, Mitch enjoys creating math-based art, rapping, dancing, gardening (particularly peppers), cooking, doing crossword puzzles, and more.

Julie Trost

Fifth Grade

Julie is a Bay Area native and had her Bat Mitzvah in Tiburon, CA. She attended college and earned her Teaching Credential at UC Davis, completed graduate degrees in Reading and Language Arts at Cal State East Bay, and taught third grade in both Newark and Walnut Creek. She loves teaching reading and writing among other things.  Julie lives in Walnut Creek with her husband, her two sons, and six bunnies. The Trosts have been members of CBT since 2012.


Rebecca Abraham

Sixth Grade

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.



Marshall Sachs

Seventh Grade

Marshall has been passionate about Jewish education ever since first working as a camp counselor at a Jewish camp at 17 years old. Over the years he has served in many roles including religious school teacher, summer camp program director, and youth director, and is excited to join the staff of B’nai Tikvah. Marshall has a degree in biology from UC Berkeley, and recently completed a master’s degree in teaching through Miami University’s Project Dragonfly. During the week, he is a science teacher at Orinda Intermediate School. In his free time, Marshall loves being out in nature, hiking, and traveling to learn about new places.