- Rolly Cohen, Director of the Marshall Jewish Learning Center
- Nancy Manewith, Director, BJE Preschools
- Selma Brown, Assistant Director, BJE Preschools
- Janice Cohn, Director Emeritus, BJE Preschools
- Sara S. Shapiro, Senior Consultant
- Marcie Eskin, Librarian, Marshall Jewish Learning Center
- Linda Sonin, Assistant Director, MJLC
- Paula Spitz, Board of Directors Liaison
- Linda Kupfer, Jewish Teach Initiative ( JTI) Coordinator
- Bonnie Neubauer, Business Manager
- Sue Chait, Marshall Center Administrator
- Ellen Holtzblatt, Makor Or Coordinator
- Lisa Bob Howard, Creative Consultant
- Aviel Vaisler, Technology Consultant
Rolly Cohen, Director of the Marshall Jewish Learning Center
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1304
Rolly Cohen is currently BJE Director of Education, overseeing the Marshall Jewish Learning Center, a cutting-edge teacher center and the Center for Jewish Teacher Education that offers Morasha: The Florence Melton Adult Mini-School for Educators, teacher training and graduate classes. 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
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.
Selma Brown, Assistant Director, BJE Preschools
Selma E. Brown has worked for the BJE Early Childhood Centers for twenty years, becoming Assistant Director in 2002. She has served as Coordinator of the BJE Early Childhood Center at B’nai Tikvah in Deerfield since 1987. Since earning her B.S. degree in Education from Temple University in Philadelphia, she has been an educator and instructor for a variety of age levels and capacities, creating programs, mentoring teachers, and working with families. She is married to Walter Brown and has three children.
Janice Cohn, Director Emeritus
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1312
Janice Cohn accepted a Fellowship to the University of Chicago and received a Masters Degree in Social Work focusing on early childhood development. She worked with top consultants in this field while on the staff of the Jewish Children's Bureau for six years, prior to raising her own three children. Disappointment with early Jewish education led her to create her own Sunday school, and after several years of teaching preschool, to accept the challenge of creating Jewish preschools with an age-appropriate curriculum that integrates our Jewish heritage with the latest knowledge in the field of early childhood education. From her first BJE class of fourteen, she has taught and directed the Early Childhood Centers to its current five schools and more than 600 children.
Sara S. Shapiro, Senior Consultant
Sara Shapiro is currently a senior consultant for the BJE.
Marcie Eskin, Librarian, Marshall Jewish Learning Center
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.
Linda Sonin, Assistant Director, MJLC
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.
Paula Spitz, Board of Directors Liaison
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.
Linda Kupfer, Jewish Teach Initiative (JTI) Coordinator
Bonnie Neubauer, Business Manager
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1302
Sue Chait, Marshall Center Administrator
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1308
Sue has taught primary grade students in both public and religious school. She received her BA from Eastern Michigan University and a Master's Degree in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Currently she is helping to maintain the center's library collection and assists the staff on special projects. She is married to Zane Chait, teacher, storyteller, and entrepreneur. They have two adult children who live in Vermont.
Ellen Holtzblatt, Makor Or Coordinator
Phone: 847-291-7788 x1301
Our New Makor Or coordinator is Ellen Holtzblatt. Ellen will be working with students one -on- one who are recommended by their religious school principal. Enrichment sessions will focus on Bible, Jewish Holidays and Hebrew taught in a fun and interactive way, using music, drama, art and movement. Ellen has worked in Jewish education for 18 years as a teacher, mentor, and administrator. She earned her M.Ed in Special Education from The University of Illinois at Chicago, and has degrees in visual art and art therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ellen has taught students with a wide range of academic abilities in self-contained and inclusion classrooms in both religious and secular schools. In 2004, Ellen traveled to Russia with a team of educators to facilitate workshops for Jewish teachers on integrating art and learning, using creative modalities for expression, communication and to enrich comprehension. Ellen is a graduate of Morasha, The Florence Melton Adult Mini-School for Educators, and attended the culminating seminar in Israel. As a freelance artist, Ellen exhibits her work internationally and is included in numerous public and private collections.
Lisa Bob Howard, Creative Consultant
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.
Aviel Vaisler, Technology Consultant
Email: email@example.com 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.