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Our Staff

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Assistant to the Director

Sara grew up in an Orthodox home in Brooklyn, NY. Her parents, one a Holocaust survivor, both immigrants, stressed the importance of Jewish education, strong family units, and hard work. Their devotion to Judaism and its traditions, unwavering and deep-rooted, has guided Sara throughout her life. Sara came to Brotherhood Synagogue with her husband, Stephen, to celebrate their aufruf in 2004. Not long after, with two young children, they became members of the community. Sara studied buying and merchandising at FIT, simultaneously working as a buyer. For the past 25 years, she held various positions both in retail and wholesale markets. Sara hopes to bring her management and customer service skills to her present role. She is excited to be further involved in the Brotherhood community.



Nehama grew up in  a large family in Jerusalem, Israel. Her family is deep rooted in Jerusalem's history living there for over 5 generations. She moved to a Kibbutz when she was 14 years old and later spent three years as an officer in the Israeli Air Force. Following her time in the Air Force, she moved to New York, where she has lived ever since. Her years teaching children in the Kibbutz inspired her to want to work with children & her Jewish faith guides her in her daily life.

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Hayley has taught preK-12 students of varied abilities in socio-economically diverse communities with the DOE where she designed and implemented a culturally inclusive humanities curricula. In public, private, and charter schools, she has gained a wide knowledge of effective pedagogy based on student centered learning, culminating in 20+ years' experience as an artist and educator. Hayley is a NYCTF recipient, and completed her MS in Education at CUNY’s CCNY, and received a BA in Studio Art at Hunter College, with a minor in Creative Writing.

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Jillian was born and raised in New York City. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated in 2021 with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies and a certificate in Disability Rights and Services. After graduating, Jillian worked at a local preschool in Wisconsin as a 3’s Head Teacher and upon her return to NYC she worked as a head teacher for the Turning 2’s Program at the JCC. This fall, Jillian will begin her Master’s Degree at Hunter College, where she will work towards a MSED focusing specifically on Early Childhood. Jillian has worked with children ages 2-8 in a variety of settings for over 7 years and is so excited to start her journey at Brotherhood this coming fall!



Rivki began teaching preschool in Center City, Philadelphia, after studying in a girls' teaching program in Jerusalem. She moved to New York in 2007 and resides in Brooklyn with her husband, Yossi, and their four wonderful children, Mendel, Henna, Dovid, and Ari. Rivki went to Touro College where she earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts (concentrating in psychology, early childhood, and special education) and later received an M.A. in special education. No stranger to the Brotherhood Synagogue Nursery School, Rivki has worked here since 2007. For her first three years, Rivki worked as Director's assistant, after which she started teaching in the Yellow Room. 



Annabelle was born and raised in NYC. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she received her BA in Sociology and certificate in Social Work.  Upon graduating, she spent time abroad working with children ages 4-17. Annabelle returned to New York in 2017 and has been teaching children ages 2-4 since. She earned her MA from Bank Street College of Education in Infant and Family Development and Early Intervention. Annabelle is thrilled to be back teaching at Brotherhood Nursery School. 



Growing up in South Florida, Leah’s first professional experience was as an assistant teacher for many years at the JCC Preschool she had attended when she was younger. Leah then moved to New York City and accepted a role as an assistant teacher at the Rockefeller University Child and Family Center that she held for over five years working primarily with 2 and 3-year-olds. Leah has always enjoyed working with children and being involved in the Jewish community and is thrilled to be blending both of those passions together as a teacher at Brotherhood Synagogue Nursery School. Outside of teaching, Leah is proud to serve as a board member for Jewish Women International’s Young Women’s Impact Network. Her hobbies include exercising, adventurous eating, being in the presence of dogs, and spending time with friends and family. Leah holds a BA in Jewish Studies from the University of Florida and has completed graduate coursework in Special Education through Penn State University.



Naoko was born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan. After arriving in the United States in 1988 she established the Japanese parenting and nursery school program for Japanese-American children at the Educational Alliance. At the same time, she established her Creative Movement and Ballet at Peridance. Now she teaches at several venues including the 92nd Street Y, Park Avenue Synagogue, and Peridance. Naoko is also a master trainer and owner of Gyrotonic® on Broadway.

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