Hi! I am Denise and this is my 7th year teaching at STaRS. I’ve been at Shomrei Torah for over 30 years and have worked in the temple office for 12 years. Teaching at STaRS has given me rewards that I never expected. Just seeing the bright shiny faces of these little 5-yr. olds warms my heart! Kindergartners are eager to learn which makes teaching them fun and energizing. It is exciting for me to be able to teach the basics to the children and then witness them learning. Judaism holds a special place in my heart and my goal is to create that special place in the hearts of the children as well!
Shalom! My name is Anne Matalon and I am looking forward to teaching 1st grade at STaRS this year. My husband Eran and I have been Shomrei Torah members for more than 20 years. It is amazing to think about all of the changes we have lived through…. From one part time Rabbi and rented space we outgrew, to our dedicated full time staff and own campus. I’m pretty sure we hold the record for longest parent tenure, we have had at least one child at STaRs every year since 1999. Our oldest son Fred is 19 and lives in Israel. Our second son Jake is 15 and works as a madrich at StaRS. Our daughter Lily is 8 and in 3rd grade at STaRS. I volunteered behind the scenes at STaRS when I served as Chairwoman of the StaRS parent Committee. On the Committee I came to realize how much effort, dedication and passion for Judaism goes into making STaRS thrive. I am also a geriatric R.N. with masters degrees in gerontology and health administration. My interests include: spending time with family and friends, celebrating Shabbat, hiking, kayaking, cycling, travelling especially to Israel, Spanish, learning modern Hebrew, reading, dancing and keeping the dream alive that my childhood team the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series. Here’s to a great year 5774!
I am very excited to have the opportunity to teach the second grade this year. I have been a public high school teacher for 19 years and am looking forward to a new experience with younger children. My two daughters Anna and Leah were both students in STARS and both enjoyed acting as madrichim. In fact Anna will be a madricha in the first grade this year. My husband Michael and I joined Congregation Shomrei Torah 18 years ago and our family has been blessed by many wonderful times and memories associated with CST and we look forward to many more. When I am not teaching I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking (especially baking), reading , and working in my garden.
My name is Norman Eisley, and I am very excited to be teaching the third grade class this year! This will be my 10th year teaching here at Shomrei Torah, and this year looks to be packed with a bunch of really neat changes to the curriculum that I think everyone will like. My wife Sharon and I have been living here in Santa Rosa for about 12 years now. Our first son, Benjamin is now about 9 years old, and will be attending the 4th grade here this year. Our second son, Phineas, is now coming up on seven years old and will be in the 1st grade here. I have a background in computer-assisted instruction and I taught ESL to children and adults while I was living in Taiwan (I subsequently was Dean of a technical school…but that is another story…) and did research on developing computer-based ESL programs. I am also a semi-professional storyteller and served on the Board for the Storytelling Association of Alta California (which organizes the Bay Area Storytelling Festival). My Grandfather was an Orthodox Rabbi and I spent about a year living on kibbutzim in Israel studying Hebrew. I also speak Spanish and Mandarin. I now work for Edward Jones helping people to meet their financial goals (another kind of teaching job I suppose…)
Hi everyone! My name is Emmy Wagner and I’m the newest member to join Shomrei Torah as a STaRS teacher.
I just got back from a five month teaching experience in Israel. Along with eight other Americans from all over the United States, we taught English to poverty stricken Israeli’s and Arab’s in grades third through tenth. It was an extremely humbling and gratifying experience that challenged my teaching abilities but also allowed me to explore the great depths of culture, my own Jewish Identity and the true meaning of community.
Once back from Israel, I had a lingering desire to continue my work with the Jewish Community. I was lucky enough to contact the JCC and get a job with Rick Concoff as the assistant program director for the Jewish youth group, Chaverim. I couldn’t be more excited to start working with Rick and of course with the STaRS program this year! After a year hiatus, I’m back at the SRJC earning my second AA (first was for the Social and Behavioral Sciences) in Kinesiology with a focus in physical therapy. I’m happy to be back as a student and a soon to be teacher at Shomrei Torah. I look forward to meeting and working with you all this year! If anyone has questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Hi! My name is Chloe Kruskol and it is my 4th wonderful year here in the STARS community! I will be teaching fifth grade and I am so excited for the upcoming religious school year! I am currently a senior at Sonoma State University and am from Los Angeles, California. I am a liberal studies major with a sociology minor but my passion is social justice and advocacy. I grew up with my father teaching 5th grade at our temple down south and was and continue to be very active in the Jewish community. I studied abroad in London this past spring and got to lead my very own Passover Seder! I am looking forward to bringing my love of Judaism and Kehillah Kedosha to the classroom! If you have any questions please feel free to call me at (818) 307-6980 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, my name is Marcia Gladstone and I consider myself blessed to be your child’s 6th grade teacher. I have been teaching for over 45 years, have been involved in Jewish education for over 33 years and have been part of the Shomrei Torah school since it’s inception. Eight years ago, I was fortunate to have been named teacher of the year by the Diller Foundation in San Francisco. I have a bachelors degree in elementary education and philosophy of religion and advanced degrees in special education and child psychology. I have taught everything from pre-school to middle school and have a particular passion for students on the cusp of adolescence. I find them insightful, funny and inquisitive. They often have strong opinions which they love to share and yet they have open minds and hearts-any teacher’s dream. I love art, sewing, reading, friends, long walks and Judaism. For me being Jewish and sharing that passion nurtures my soul. I will never teach my students nearly as much as I learn from them. I consider myself unbelievably lucky to be able to do something that brings me such joy. I look forward to getting to know each of you and please know that I am always available to address any questions or concerns.
Hello. My name is Ilana Stoelting. I have been lucky enough to grow up here in the Sonoma County Jewish community. I attended religious school at Beth Ami until I had my Bat Mitzvah. I was then very involved with both Kahilla (now Chaverim) and USY in high school. I went to UC Davis for college, where I received my BS in biological sciences. After college I went to Israel where I spent six months living like a local, working on ambulances for Magen David Adom, and traveling a bit. Now I am back in my hometown and working for Sonoma County Regional Parks and running the Jewish 20′s group, Sonoma County Tribe.
I am very excited to be working at STaRS this year as the 7th grade teacher and perhaps teach a little Israeli dancing too.
Shalom! My name is Brandon Binder and this is my first year at Shomrei Torah. I am currently a senior studying Music Education at Sonoma State University. I have the honor of being the URJ Service Corps Fellow, meaning that I will be creating a partnership between Shomrei Torah and URJ Camp Newman. Throughout the year, I will be integrating camp-style programming into life at Shomrei Torah. I have spent the last two summers on staff at URJ Camp Newman and look forward to sharing my love of camp with all of you. If you have any questions about Camp Newman or just want to introduce yourself, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Elisabeth Van Nuys
Teaching has been a passion for many years. Originally a public school teacher, I’ve enjoyed teaching in supplementary schools for many years. My experience includes being director of two religious schools and serving as an educational consultant to schools, media and companies. I hold a Master’s Degree in Education and have a couple of advanced degrees in other fields as well.
I was fortunate to grow up at a time and in a place where the public schools were outstanding and many of its teachers were nothing short of miracle workers.
Here’s a quote about my town, Oak Park, MI: ”The school system was renowned statewide for decades in large part due to the efforts of often wildly progressive and dedicated teachers.” “Wildly,” is probably an understatement. Dedicated, they absolutely were. My own teachers made education seem like the best and most fascinating thing in the world and it rubbed off on me. I would like to pass it on. My job at Shomrei is to support the teaching of Hebrew in our Wednesday classes and to be available to assist the teachers. I’ll be working with individuals as well as groups and, occasionally, whole classes. The goal, as always, is to make learning interesting, challenging and engaging. I’m looking forward to it.