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About – Our Teachers

The adult’s role in children’s journey is to support and facilitate their growth and development. To assume this role- to teach young children, is a great privilege and responsibility. Teaching is a mission – a valued and time-honored Jewish tradition.

We look for teachers who are passionate and will offer a nurturing experience for the children. Our teachers have a deep understanding of children and the way they think, and have the desire to create meaningful relationships with the children. All our teachers believe in the importance of seeing each child as an individual. Our teachers plan and adapt the curriculum and the environment to meet the needs of each child.

In the Reggio Emelia approach, the teacher sees herself as a learner – alongside the children – open to new thoughts and ideas. The teacher listens carefully to the children, observes and documents their work, and provokes and stimulates their thinking. As teachers, we are committed to strengthening and enriching our knowledge of young children by continuing our own education.

Our teachers are professionals who encourage our children to reflect, to be independent, to explore, to cooperate, to negotiate, to wonder, to love and to laugh.

 

 

Infant Center Teachers

soniaSonia Fleck
More than my profession, teaching is my passion. I have been teaching for more than 15 years and excited to come back for my second year at the Infant Center.
I was born and raised in Colombia and got my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education in Colombia at “Universidad de la Sabana”. I believe children should be treated with respect and as individuals because they each learn in their own special way. Children have extraordinary potential and they each learn at their own pace. For me, it’s really important to include families (nurture & nature) because the family system has a huge impact on a child’s development and each family is their unique qualities as well. I’m looking forward to another great year working together with my team at PJECC as the lead teacher and watching the children grow in body, mind and spirit.
 
img_1353_#2Wendy Delcompare
Nothing makes me happier than knowing I am making a positive difference in the life of a child. I believe children hold a significant value in our world. My duties as an educator and caregiver are not only to teach and nurture children, but to learn from them as well. Every moment or activity is a mutual learning experience. It is an opportunity for children to grow developmentally in every aspect and an opportunity for teachers to learn, support and appreciate each child’s uniqueness. I have always had a passion for working with children, which lead me to obtain my Associates degree in Child Development. I am pleased to be a part of PJECC’s Infant Center. The first few years of a child’s life are the most critical and I am determined to maintain a warm, loving and overall enriching learning environment. A successful future stems from a strong foundation and that is exactly what can be found at PJECC. I am looking forward to a great school year!
 
EdilaEdila Galicia
As a young girl, I always wanted to become a teacher. I earned my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Development and have been a teacher since! There is something special about working with the children in the Infant Center that I just love. Even at a young age, children have this innate ability to explore their surroundings with their growing imagination. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the children grow together in all areas of development. I am looking forward to another great year together with them.
 
ChanaChana Levin
Working with children has always been a joy of mine. Growing up in a large family gave me the opportunity to constantly and consistently see the growth and development of children of all ages. I was lucky enough to be able to take early childhood development college courses throughout my years of high school. I am currently furthering my education in psychology while working here at PJECC. Working with children is a growing experience which continues to surprise me every day. I am surprised by how much it is possible to learn from children despite how young they are. I continue to be surprised by their depth and wisdom. Most of all though I love the children’s innocence, their love for each other, their lack of judgement and the smiles and happiness that exudes from them every single day. I am honored to join and be a part of this wonderful PJECC family, and I look forward to coming to school everyday.

Two Year Olds Teachers

shirlyShirly Bendavid

I am very delighted to join the wonderful team at PJECC! I have been teaching and inspiring young minds for many years and love every minute of it. I hold a BA in child development as well as California State Credentials. These young minds always keep me on my toes and never seize to amaze me with the amount of brilliant information they hold. My favorite thing about teaching children is the fact that you can actually see the knowledge growth throughout the year. The moment there is a connection of information in their minds is the moment that makes my job most meaningful. I thrive not only educate our children, but to also provide them with all the necessary skills they will need in the years to come. I always ensure our classroom is a place where students feel safe, happy, and inspired for learning!
 
Mayra Sanchez
I am a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s College with a B.A. in Child Development. I’m motivated and excited for my 5th year at the Infant Center. My undergraduate years have given me the experience and knowledge to work with the children of the future. As once John F. Kennedy said, “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future”. Now it’s a dream come true, I’m a teacher who is passionate about my career and ready to make a difference in their lives. I love working with children and can’t wait to start spending time with them while they discover the world that is front of their eyes. I’m ready to team up with Palisades Jewish Early Childhood Center to make a difference in the children’s lives.
 
Colby Davidson
I’ve been part of the PJECC family for three years and I never have enough words to say how happy I am to be part of such a warm, fun and innovative school and community. I’m a nurturer by nature, and now a mother to an almost-two year old girl, and I hope to provide a warm and loving environment for your children just as I would for my own child. My goal is to help your child develop their independence and teach them vital life skills so that they can grow confidently and joyfully at PJECC and beyond. I’m a Northern California native but transplanted to Los Angeles to pursue a BA in Geography from UCLA. I also spent a year studying in Israel at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva. As such, my passion has always been to inspire others to share my curiosity for the world that surrounds us. I’ve spent many wonderful years as a Jewish educator. My experience includes teaching in after school Hebrew and Jewish studies program in the valley, facilitating a group for teenage girls and mentoring high school students at local synagogues. My teaching philosophy is to always make learning fun and relevant and I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to create memorable learning experiences for your children. I truly can’t wait to learn with them this year at PJECC.

Three Year Olds Teachers

img_1353_#2Elise Benveniste
I am so excited to be starting my 2nd school year at PJECC. I have been teaching in the Jewish early childhood field for over 20 years. I have great love and respect for young children and believe that they are very capable to lead their own learning through inquiry, investigation and research.
I will provide a safe, loving and nurturing environment where each individual child feels important and has a voice. I plan to incorporate literacy, math, science, engineering and technology into our daily curriculum and set up meaningful provocations that will intrigue these young minds to ask “what is that, how does it work and can I do it”?
I am a Southern California native and have attended both Pirece and Valley Colleges. I hold my Early Childhood Certificate from UCLA and have been teaching in Jewish preschools all over the San Fernando Valley as well as the Palisades.
 
Yehudis Greenberg
Teaching children always been my passion. After studying psychology and early childhood education at U.C.L.A. I began my journey in this wonderful world. Every day is an adventure. I particularly enjoy the arts and am always looking for ways to incorporate new ideas and methods in the classroom. I find the children’s programs at the Los Angeles Crafts Museum and the Hammer Museum to be great sources of ideas and inspiration. It is so exciting to explore and learn with the children.

Four & Five Year Olds Teachers

chaya1Chaya Cunin
Teaching is something I care passionately about. I believe that each child is a whole world, and therefore should be treated as such. As a teacher for young children, I believe that my job is to respect each child as an individual and to recognize their own unique qualities. I love spending time with children, watching them discover the world around them. After studying education abroad and attending an intense teacher training program in New York, I am really looking forward to spending my second year with your wonderful children. I am so blessed to be part of the PJECC family!
 
SylviaSylvia Olmedo
Nothing makes me happier than knowing I am making a positive difference in people’s lives. It has always been one of my greatest motives in life, which is why I began my college journey wanting to study Nursing. I quickly discovered however, that my true passion was working with children. I believe they hold a significant value in our world. Therefore, I decided to pursue a career within the Child Development field. Everywhere I go, children gravitate toward me. I possess a strong work ethic and I am very committed to my duties as an educator and caregiver. I enjoy bringing a fun, loving and positive energy into the classroom. I am always willing to lend a helping hand and ensure other people’s needs are met before my own. I find it very rewarding putting a smile on other people’s faces. I come from a family of five sisters, which has definitely played a factor in my motherly nature with children. The first few years of a child’s life are the most critical and I am determined to maintain a warm, loving and overall enriching learning environment at PJECC.

Director

img_1352_#1Chana Hertzberg
I feel privileged to be a part of the Palisades Jewish Early Childhood Center, with its excellent reputation for growing and nurturing young children’s hearts, minds, and souls.Holding a B.A. in Child Development, an M.A. in Clinical Sociology, and having over twenty years of experience in early childhood education, I have found it most important to focus on providing a kind, loving and nurturing educational atmosphere that plants and teaches new and engaging ideas into young minds. Children have tremendous potential. They are bright and capable, and therefore, we must create an environment to develop and challenge their young minds in the best way they can receive and “take-in” these new skills and concepts.Having been born in Russia and raised in sunny California, as well as having lived, married, and mothered in the land of Israel, are all experiences that have enriched my life. These things have taught me to appreciate all children’s inherent differences, and to learn from them. By being attuned to each child’s needs, interests, and emotions, we can empower every child to reach their full potential.

Assistant Director

img_0649_#1Nechama Cunin
Working with children has always been my passion. I’ve always been drawn to the little ones and their wonder and excitement for the world around them. In the past, I have led youth groups and summer camps in Silver Spring, Maryland; Westport, Connecticut; Donetsk, Ukraine as well as right here in Pacific Palisades. After graduating high school, I spent a year in Tzfat, Israel, where I earned my degree in Jewish Early Childhood Education. Being up to date in the best practices with in this field is always a priority. I look forward to another wonderful year working at the Palisades Jewish Early Childhood Center. I look forward to working together with the parents to make the children’s formative years very special and together we will watch them grow and flourish.