Staff

  • Rolly Cohen, Director of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning and of the Center for Jewish Teacher Education
  • Nancy Manewith, Director, BJE Preschools
  • Linda Sonin, Director of the Marshall Jewish Learning Center
  • Marcie Eskin, Librarian, Marshall Jewish Learning Center
  • Lisa Bob Howard, Creative Consultant
  • Linda Kupfer, Coordinator of Events and Projects
  • Bonnie Neubauer, Business Manager
  • Paula Spitz, Assistant Director of  the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning and Board of Directors Liaison
  • Aviel Vaisler, Technology Consultant

  • Janice Cohn, Director Emeritus, BJE Preschools
  • Sara S. Shapiro, Senior Consultant Emeritus
Scroll down for detailed bios:


Rolly Cohen, Director of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Leaning and of the Center for Jewish Teacher Education

Email: rolly@bjechicago.org
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1304

Rolly Cohen is currently BJE Director of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning and of the Center for Jewish Teacher Education. In 2004, she was instrumental in founding the BJE Makor Or Center that serves children and young adults with special needs. Rolly has taught religious school for over 27 years and has participated in the BJE/Supervisor Teacher Program, mentoring beginning teachers. A graduate of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School and Melton Israel Seminar, she is also a Teacher Educator’s Institute Fellow with the Mandel Foundation and a recipient of the Faye and Haskell Lurie Award for Excellence in Teaching. Rolly earned her BS in Education and Fine arts from the University of Illinois, Champaign and her Masters of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies from Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies.


Nancy Manewith, Director, BJE Preschools

Email: bjeecc@aol.com
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1309

Nancy Manewith joined the BJE Early Childhood Centers staff in 1983. Since then, she has served as a teacher in every capacity instructing all age levels, has served as on-site coordinator at one of the largest centers, and has served as Assistant Director overseeing all 5 centers. In 2002, Nancy became Director of the 5 facilities that comprise the BJE Early Childhood Centers. Nancy earned her B.S. and Master of Education degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, is a graduate of the Florence Melton Adult Mini School and participated in the Israel Seminar. In 1993, she was instrumental in bringing the world renowned “Reggio Emilia Approach” to Jewish preschools in the Chicago Metropolitan area and facilitated its integration into our BJE-ECC Judaic program. To further her professional growth, Nancy regularly attends national and international conferences and currently serves on the Board of the National Jewish Early Childhood Network. She is married to Leonard S. Manewith and has two married children, who attended the BJE Early Childhood Centers as young children.


Linda Sonin, Director of the Marshall Jewish Learning Center

Email: linda@bjechicago.org
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1305

Linda Sonin is the Assistant Director and Creative Curriculum Consultant for the BJE/ MJLC. She earned a Masters Degree in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University. Over the past 30 years she has worked as an educational consultant, principal and art educator in a variety of Jewish settings. She loves to help teachers bring greater creativity and love for Jewish learning into the classroom. Linda is the author of Celebrating Israel through the Arts and Walk the Talk: Jewish Values in Action.

She lives in Buffalo Grove with her husband Jeff, and their children Becky and Ben.


Marcie Eskin, Librarian, Marshall Jewish Learning Center

Email: marcie@bjechicago.org
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1300

Marcie Eskin joined the BJE staff as the Learning Center's librarian in October 2000. Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Marcie received a BA from Cornell University and a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from Dominican University. In addition to organizing, cataloging, and classifying the Center’s collection, Marcie provides annotated bibliographies and reference services to MJLC patrons. She is a member of the Association of Jewish Libraries and has served in several leadership roles including President of the Chicago chapter.


Lisa Bob Howard, Creative Consultant

Email: lisa@malcolite.com
Phone: 847-291-7788

Lisa Bob Howard is Creative Consultant for the MJLC. Lisa has a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Judaism, and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Northwestern University. She has worked in Jewish education for over 15 years and is the author of four Jewish textbooks including The Madrichim Manual, The Teacher Training Manual, The Bar and Bat Mitzvah Manual, and The Explorer's Bible Lesson Plan Manual.


Linda Kupfer, Coordinator of Events and Projects

Email: lindakupfer@bjechicago.org
Phone: 847-291-7788


Bonnie Neubauer, Business Manager

Email: bonnie@bjechicago.org
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1302










Paula Spitz, Assistant Director of the Florence Melton School for Adult Jewish Learning and Board of Directors Liaison

E-mail: mailto:paula@bjechicago.org
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1321

Paula received her BA in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from the University of Illinois, in Champaign. She is currently completing her MA in Jewish Professional Studies at Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. She has taught for the past thirteen years at various synagogues in the Chicago suburban community. During that time, Paula completed the BJE Master Teacher program and was awarded the Faye and Haskell Lurie Award for excellence in teaching. In 2005, she completed the Teacher Education Program (TEP) and the Florence Melton Adult Mini School for Educators. The program culminated with the Melton Seminar in Israel.


Aviel Vaisler, Technology Consultant

Email: aviel@bjechicago.org
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1315

Aviel is a veteran technology professional with over 25 years of experience. After serving in the Israeli air force as a technical officer, he held senior managerial positions in the telecom industry, mostly with Motorola. Aviel worked closely with major cellular carriers in Israel and the US to plan and implement the development of cellular technology, networks, products and services.
Combining his passions for technology, education and Jewish life, Aviel joined the BJE staff as Technology Consultant. Aviel is also on the faculties of Anshe Emet and North Suburban Synagogue Beth El Religious Schools as a technology teacher. He also manages and operates his own consulting business, AVINNOVATION Consulting LLC (www.avinnovation.net), aimed at helping small businesses and non-profit organizations improve their operations and grow.
Aviel holds an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University and has a complete coursework for a M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering.
Aviel is a member of PDMA (Product Development & Management Association), PMI (Project Management Institute), IIBA ( International Institute of Business Analysis) and CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) and a proud parent of Solomon Schechter students and alumni.