Manda Graizel, Director of Jewish Innovation, is an East-Coast transplant who was raised in Teaneck, New Jersey. She received her BA in Sociology, Holocaust and Comparative Genocide Studies from Clark University in 2006 and has been working in the Jewish world ever since. During her decade in Jewish education, she has worked for Hillel, BBYO, numerous religious schools on both the east and west coasts, and most recently was the coordinator for the Diller Teen Fellows Program at Westside JCC. She received her Master’s in Education at The American Jewish University in 2011 with a focus in Outdoor and Experiential education. She says her biggest academic achievement was the A+ she received in her class on camping. When Manda is not working to create meaningful Jewish experiences, you can find her traveling, practicing yoga, playing Mah-Jong or hunting down the best cup of coffee in LA.
Claire Bergen is a credentialed educator with an M.A. in Teaching and 15 years of experience teaching music and other subjects in public schools and after-school programs in the Los Angeles area. As a certified Secular Jewish Vegvayzer/Leader/Madrich, with full rights to solemnize marriages and other life cycle events in accordance with Secular Jewish and intercultural traditions, Claire has worked for 8 years at the Sholem Community as lead lerer (teacher), Curriculum Specialist, bas/bar mitsve mentor and officiant. Claire uses they/them/their pronouns. Claire uses they/them/their pronouns.
Yael Berger, JLC Core Sunday Teacher/Hebrew Pod teacher, A Native of Scarsdale, New York, Yael is a senior at USC studying communication and political science. Prior to joining the Trojan Family, Yael participated in a year-long gap-year program called Kivunim, where she was based in Jerusalem and studied Hebrew, Arabic, Middle East Politics, and traveled to 12 different countries, with a focus on Jewish communities in the diaspora. She attended Solomon Schechter School of Westchester from Kindergarten through 12th Grade. Outside of School, Yael worked as a counselor in a sleep away camp for 4 summers and has held internships at AJC Los Angeles and IBM, as well as at a public relations firm in Tel Aviv. At USC, Yael is involved with Tamid Group, USC Hillel, Trojans for Israel and is a sister of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.
Natasha Bogopolskaya, JLC Core Sunday Teacher/Hebrew Pod teacher, I’m originally from Ukraine and grew up in San Francisco. I recently relocated to Los Angeles from the East Coast after living in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore - where I taught in Jewish religious schools every year. During the week, I’m a school psychologist for a public school system. In my free time, I like to study languages, read, practice yoga, and swim. I’m excited to join the JLC and Silverlake JCC community!
Niki Eger, JLC Core Sunday Teacher/Hebrew Pod teacher, Niki is a native Angeleno. The majority of her Jewish Education comes from attending and working at Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa for 15 years. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2012 with a Bachelors Degree in Poetry and is now continuing her education at CSUN, working towards a Masters in Speech and Language Pathology. Niki has traveled to Israel many times and worked as a counselor on Taglit Birthright and Habonim Dror’s MBI, but most of her trips simply involve eating mountains of PezekZman while visiting family and friends. Her absolute favorite place in Israel is a beach in Akko where there are so many seashells that the waves sound like wind chimes. Niki couldn’t be more excited to join the JLC at SIJCC where she hopes to build new relationships with the Jewish Community and meet some great kids.
Jessica Dollin, JLC Core Sunday Teacher, is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. Jessica moved to Los Angeles three years ago and currently works on the Hulu show I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman. She attended Sunday school, Hebrew school and became a bat mitzvah at the reform congregation, Temple Chai. Jessica continued her Jewish education when she went through Confirmation as a senior in high school. She was also an active member in her youth group, NFTY. Jessica is new to the JLC team this year and is excited to be a part of the Jewish Learning Center!
Brett Fromson, JLC Core Sunday Music Specialist, is a singer-songwriter and music educator originally from Cleveland, Ohio. Brett graduated from the USC Thornton School of Music’s prestigious Popular Music Program in 2014, and has since continued to pursue his music career as both an artist and a teacher. He has over 15 years of Jewish camp experience and education, and for more than 6 years Brett has served as a music teacher or song leader for various camps and organizations. Brett’s released an EP in January of 2014 entitled Heartbeat Like A Train. Brett is excited to be back as the music specialist for JLC!
Meredith Goldberg-Morse, JLC Core Sunday Teacher, grew up in the Philadelphia area before moving to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California. While at USC, Meredith built upon more than a decade of Jewish education by becoming an active member of Hillel and Chabad. She currently works in media, connecting films and TV series with social impact. Meredith is also involved with the non-profit organization 826LA, where she tutors and conducts creative writing workshops for elementary, middle, and high school students.
Anna Goodman, Originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, Anna studied Psychology and Sociology at Suffolk University in Boston before moving to Los Angeles to work in education in 2016. She is a current Teach for America corps member, teaching Special Education at San Pedro High School. She grew up attending Jewish Day School and Young Judaea summer camps before spending a gap year in Israel with Young Judaea’s Year Course. This is Anna’s second year teaching at the JLC and she is very excited to be teaching 3rd grade!
Sara Greenfield, JLC Core Sunday Teacher. This is Sara’s fourth year teaching 3rd Grade (The Genesis of Stories) for the JLC. She previously spent 3 fun-filled years working with the JCC in Chicago as an Aftercare Site Supervisor and Camp Counselor. She originally hails from Detroit, Michigan, where she received her Jewish Education from Congregation Bet Chaverim, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Theatre Performance. Sara has been living in LA (and loving it) for the last four years and works as an actor when she is not teaching or caring for children. Her hobbies include dancing, moderating her incredibly cool classic-lit book club, and trivia.
Abby Litman, JLC Core Sunday Teacher/Hebrew Pod teacher, is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist living in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Southern California’s Popular Music Program in May 2015 with a degree in songwriting. In her free time Abby plays music, hikes around Griffith Park and works on art projects. Originally from Washington D.C., Abby went to a Jewish day school and excited to be continuing her involvement in the Silverlake Jewish community.
Rosie Moss, JLC Core Sunday Teacher/Hebrew Pod teacher/B’nai Mitzvah Mentor, has been teaching at the Jewish Learning Center since 2012. In that time she has lead children’s programming for the SIJCC annual retreat in Palm Springs, privately mentored students in preparation for the Bar & Bat Mitzvahs and officiated their ceremonies, and engaged students from Kindergarden to 5th Grade. Originally from New York City, she was a Youth Group leader and Hebrew school teacher for Temple Sinai and The Shul of New York, as well as a Tot Shabbat leader for the 14th Street Y. She has also spent a significant amount of time in Israel, where she studied at Tel Aviv University and interned at Habima, the National Theatre. When she’s not teaching, Rosie is an actress, trained at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and Upright Citizens Brigade.
Alan Niku, JLC Core Sunday Teacher/Hebrew Pod teacher. “Niku" was born in the back seat of a Greyhound Bus rolling down Highway 41. Since then he has kept rambling through Northern and Southern California (and a couple dozen other countries), often working for Camp Ramah and other Jewish institutions, where he has worked with Jewish kid’s teens and adults as a counselor, vocational trainer, Unit Head, and teacher. Most recently he has decided to bring together his passions for storytelling, music, and writing all together and is getting his MFA in Film Production at the University of Southern California. Niku speaks 5-8 languages (23 if you count made-up ones).
Ye’ela Rosenfeld, JLC Core Sunday Teacher/B’nai Mitzvah Mentor, a native Israeli, has been living and working in Los Angeles for the past 9 years. She has come to the States to achieve her Master’s degree in Film Directing and Graduated with Honors from the American Film Institute in Hollywood. Ye’ela currently writes and directs several film projects. Six years ago, Ye’ela discovered Jewish education and fell in love with it. With a unique curriculum that she has written, she found a way to incorporate film and theater into Jewish learning and engage dozens of students in her program all across Los Angeles. As a part of the unique and fun curriculum she has been teaching, Jewish history, politics and current events, as well as Hebrew and prayer. She is also a Bar-Bat Mitzvah tutor and enjoys bringing her students from a blank slate to standing on stage with pride. Ye’ela, her husband David and their son Ori are also a part of the ECE family and feel so lucky to be a part of this wonderful community.
Moriah Taylor, JLC Core Sunday Teacher/Hebrew Pod teacher, grew up in Northern California but has lived the last 4 years in Israel. After traveling around Asia for 6 months, she has returned to California and is currently studying Cognitive Science at UCLA. Moriah enjoys yoga, hiking, and the TV show The Office. Ask her about Israel, Hebrew, traveling, and over-all adventuring!
Noam Taylor, JLC Core Sunday Teacher/Hebrew Pod teacher, is a returning bruin (or double bruin), currently in the Master of Architecture program at UCLA. Between finishing his bachelors at UCLA and returning for his Master, Noam lived in Oakland, New York and Israel, taking any excuse to travel along the way. Since childhood Noam has been a part of various Jewish organizations and youth groups, including leadership and a staff position at both UCLA and UC Berkeley’s Hillels. He is a Northern California native who loves spending time outside whether running, climbing, hiking, camping or just anything.
Jon Weinberg, JLC Core Sunday Teacher, Jon is a filmmaker, actor and educator originally from Minneapolis, MN. Jon received a degree in theatre from the University of British Columbia and continued his training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic art. Jon is the theatre instructor at Art Experiences in Burbank, and also works as an educator and performer with Theatre Dybbuk, a theatre company that presents provocative theatrical presentations and innovative educational opportunities based on Jewish folklore, rituals and history. Jon has appeared on film, stage, TV and the occasional Doctor Who audio Drama. His award winning feature film, Funeral Day, was released this past summer. Rent it or buy it now! (shameless plug). He has been a proud East-Sider since 2005!
Marnina Wirtschafter, JLC Core Sunday Teacher, hails from Berkeley and moved to LA to study Communications and Theater at UCLA. After graduating, she worked at IKAR and taught at the Sholem Community School. Marnina is an active alumna of the Bronfman Youth Fellowship and Bend the Arc’s Jeremiah Fellowship. Her Jewish education started before kindergarten and never stopped. She is passionate about making Jewishness accessible, meaningful, and joyful. Marnina also works as a tutor, babysitter, actor, violinist, and singer.