Belinda Keshen (Principal) has more than 25 years of experience in Jewish educational programming, activities and leadership in supplementary schools, synagogues, day schools and summer camps. She is a graduate of the concurrent Jewish Education program at York University, and has her certification as a Principal from the Jewish Day School Principal Certification program. Belinda is qualified as both an English and Hebrew teacher and as a Primary Specialist. She recently received a Graduate Diploma program between the Jewish Studies department at York University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Her approach to Jewish practice and life is pluralistic and she celebrates the diversity of our traditions. She is trilingual, speaking Hebrew, French and English fluently. Her professional career has included many roles. At Temple Emanuel in Toronto, Belinda taught pre-confirmation and confirmation classes and led Israel trips. She has also worked within the conservative movement at Beth Jacob in Hamilton and was the Education Director for Camp Ramah and United Synagogue Day School. Most recently over the last seven years, she was Director of the Centre for Diverse learning at the Posluns branch of Associated Hebrew Day School in addition to her responsibilities as the Vice Principal for the branch overseeing both Judaic and Secular studies programming. She has used art, music and drama as essential components of her curriculum which has allowed her to engage Jewish cantors, artists and performers as educators.
Sheridan Anisman (T.A. Grade 3) is thrilled to be the teaching assistant for the grade one and the Hebrew 1 Bet classes for this upcoming school year. This will be her second year working at DJCS. She attended a Hebrew day school for ten years and furthered her Jewish and Hebrew education at the University of Toronto, where she is majoring in anthropology and minoring in Jewish Studies as well as Education. She is an aspiring special education teacher, and has a vast amount of experience working with children of all ages in both camp and school settings. She has worked at overnight camps in Orillia and Muskoka, spent three summers working at a Toronto day camp, and spent this past summer working at the JCC’s Mini-Me camp. She has spent much time volunteering and completing teaching internships in kindergarten classes, a grade two class, and at Forest Hill Collegiate High school. Sheridan cannot wait for another amazing school year!
Eilat Bakerman (Administrative Assistant) is excited to join the DJCS community as an Administrative Assistant, and is looking forward to get to know everyone. Originally from Israel, Eilat comes with a formal education in Computer science however believes there’s more to formal education, which can occur outside of the structured curriculum in our school’s system that encompasses student interests and development.
Carolynn Bloomer (Ceramics) is a graduate of Ontario College of Art (now OCADU). She has been teaching children and adults, and creating limited-production and one-of-a-kind pieces in her studio for about 30 years. Her work can be seen at her website carolynnbloomer.com. She is delighted to be part of the DJCS community.
Paul Ciuk (Jewish Lens) is originally from Mexico City and has been living in Canada for the past ten years. He studied his BA degrees in Cultural Studies and Psychology, as well as his MA in Theory, Culture and Politics at Trent University. His teaching experience includes: working as a TA at Trent leading multiple seminars in the area of media studies; and also teaching drums, hand percussion, and drama to children aging from 6-12 and adults. During the past two years, Paul had the opportunity to work at DJCS as an administrative assistant. He has a great appreciation for the students, parents and staff and is really looking forward to continue being involved with the school in a teaching capacity.
Rebecca Dalfen (Art Specialist) is both a professional artist and teacher. She has been with DJCS since 2005 as the Art Specialist. Rebecca holds a Bachelors of Fine Art from York University and a Bachelors in Education from OISE. She taught Special Education, Kindergarten, and was as a teacher librarian at the Toronto District School Board. She is currently teaching music and creative movement to kindergarten and grade one students at Rose Avenue Public School.
Anne Harari (Grade 7 & Hebrew 5/6 Bet & Israeli Dance) is a graduate of the Institute of Child Study where she obtained her teaching certificate. Besides raising her three children, Anne’s passion has been in teaching children Israeli Dance, instilling a love for Israeli culture and language through music and movement. Anne taught Grade one here at DJCS over twenty years ago and is excited to be back!
Rachel Harris (Special Education Mentor Teacher and Administrative Support) has been at DJCS since 2011. She holds a Masters in Child Study and Education from OISE. Rachel began her teaching career at the DJCS teaching both JK and Hebrew 3 Bet. She also has worked during the week at Robbins Hebrew Academy, Associated Hebrew School, and Paul Penna. She is looking forward to another fantastic year full of fun and learning!
Jodi Klaiman (Marketing Manager) is a well-rounded communications professional with multiple years of experience in marketing and development in both the non-profit and public sectors. Her creativity is apparent throughout all aspects of her life and is very passionate about making a difference in the community. Jodi received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Western University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Advertising Media Management from Centennial College. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors exploring nature and travelling the world.
Carly Krupnik (Special Needs Coordinator) is joining the DJCS community for the first time this year and is looking forward to getting to know everyone in her exciting role as Special Education Coordinator. She has a degree in Child and Youth Care from Ryerson University and many years experience working with children of all ages and abilities. Currently during the week she teaches at Associated Hebrew Schools. Her education philosophy stands on pillars of inquiry, inclusion and experiential learning. She can't wait to bring that to the DJCS community and learn from the fabulous children, educators and families here!
Shimon Krupnik (Administrative Assistant) is a graduate from the University of Toronto and is excited to be a part of the downtown Jewish community. Along with working with the administrative team at DJCS, Shimon also has years of experience teaching English, science, and history at a local Yeshiva, where he spends his weekdays. He looks forward to getting to know everyone and helping in any capacity. Be sure to stop in and say hi!
Heidi Larman Brown (Grade 1) has been at DJCS since 1986 and is proud to have been a part of this inspiring community for so long. Heidi holds a Bachelor of Education from Queens University and a B.A from York University. She also taught commercial food preparation at Thistletown Collegiate. Heidi is a DJCS parent with two children at the school.
Shira Lass (JK & Hebrew 2 Bet) is excited to be joining the DJCS family. She enjoys playing musical instruments, exploring new ideas and bringing her community together. Shira graduated from York University's Concurrent Education program in 2015 and during the week she works at Associated Hebrew Day School.
Betty Lazebnik (Music Specialist) has been with DJCS since 2009. She holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts from York University and the Orff Certification from the Royal Conservatory. Betty is a highly experienced, longstanding music teacher in Toronto teaching students aged 3 to 12. She continues to be the music specialist for the elementary division at the Toronto Heschel School, where she is the choir director. In addition to teaching, Betty has a background in composition and arranging, and has composed original compositions and orchestrations for many children’s choral events, including one for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a concert with the Canadian Tenors, an evening with Dr. Elie Weisel and many more. She has received two genie nominations for film.
Rabbi Garry Loeb ( Jewish Studies Grade 5 and Hebrew 5-6 Alef) has returned to Toronto, his "hometown" after 35 years as a congregational rabbi in the USA. His wide experience includes many levels of teaching and pioneering work in bringing puppets into Jewish education! In the coming year at DJCS, Rabbi Loeb will introduce Puppet Power for Purim! as an Enrichment Class in December-February.
Sorel Goldberg Loeb (JS 4 and Hebrew 3-4 Alef) was the Director of Education at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale New York for over twenty years before returning to Toronto in 2016. In that capacity she worked with children, families and teachers of all ages and stages. Sorel is passionate about teaching Hebrew and Torah and is the author of Teaching Torah - A Treasury of Insights and Activities. She is excited to be joining the DJCS community.
Elanna Nussbaum (Teaching Assistant for High School) has a Masters of Teaching degree from OISE. She has been working with children of all ages at Centre Camp since 2004. She has recently taught at The Toronto Heschel School and Paul Penna DJDS. This school year she will be working as an occasional teacher for the Toronto District School Board.
Adina Saban (Teaching Assistant SK & Hebrew 4 Bet) is excited to be joining the DJCS family. She enjoys working with children and is a youth leader for preschoolers. During the summers, Adina spends her time as a counselor with children in preschool-grade 4. Adina likes to give back to the community and enjoys volunteering, most recently in Toronto and Israel. She is currently a student at Ryerson studying Creative Industries.
Fargana Sarmasova (JK and Hebrew 3 Bet) is excited to be joining the DJCS family. She holds the BA in Oriental Studies (Hebrew and Jewish Literature) from Baku State University and certifications from Paideia- the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden. Fargana has five years of teaching experience at Jewish school/ preschool and several community education centers. In the time working in education field, she became skilled in program planning, curriculum implementation and documentation. She currently works as a Programs and Education Assistant at Beth Sholom Synagogue as well as a Hebrew teacher at Sholom Learning Hebrew and Judaics School.
Talia Satov (Jewish Studies SK and Hebrew 1 Bet) has a BA in Criminology and a MA in Social Work: Crisis and Trauma Studies. She has a wide range of experience working with children, such as a teachers assistant in nursery classes until senior kindergarten and has worked in aftercare at Associated Hebrew Schools for the past two years. Talia is excited for the upcoming year at DJCS teaching SK and Hebrew 1!
Ruth Schonblum (Grade 3 & Hebrew 2 Alef) has been with DJCS since 2004. In addition to her teaching degree and B.A. in Jewish Studies, she also studied at the Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem and Central Tech Adult Art Program in Toronto. Ruth has been teaching Jewish studies to children and adults since 1980 in both Israel and Canada. She lived in Jerusalem from 1976 to 2001 and has been involved internationally in building bridges for peace projects. Some of these projects took place in Israel and included workshops for students of the many sub-cultures existing in Israel today: Bedouin children, Orthodox Jewish teens, Israeli public school students and Palestinian students. She has participated as a Jewish educator in interfaith meetings in Jordan, Italy, India, Thailand, Malta, Germany and many others.
Debbie Sherman (Grade 2) has been with DJCS since 1985 and holds a B.A. in English Literature from York University and an ECE and Teacher Certificate from OISE. She has been involved in Jewish education in a variety of settings for almost 34 years. She was on the Machon L’Madrechai Chutz L’Aretz (Institute for Leadership from Abroad). She has taught at Leo Baeck Day School and Robbins Hebrew Academy and was the Principal at a Jewish supplementary school in Toronto. She supervised a private Early Childhood Education Program in North York and is a mentor for new teachers within the Board of Jewish Education. Debbie also tutors young children in Hebrew.
Marsha Slavens (High School and Grade 7) teaches DJCS’ exciting once-per-month Sunday Brunch High School Program. She holds a B.A. and B.Ed. from the University of Toronto. Before inaugurating the High School class in 2005 Marsha taught Grade 7 at DJCS for many years, and remains as co-teacher of Grade 7. She also spent a year as acting principal of the school. Marsha brings extensive teaching experience as well as a special love and interest in Israel. She has been a mentor for new teachers with the Board of Jewish Education and the DJCS.
Nicole Staios (Teaching Assistant Grade 4) is looking forward to returning to DJCS as the Grade 4 T.A. this year. She is currently a student at the University of Toronto where she is completing the final year of her Bachelors degree. Nicole is also beginning her teacher education in the Masters of Teaching program at OISE. As an aspiring teacher, Nicole has extensive volunteer and work experience with students of all ages in both school and camp settings. She is looking forward to another great year with the Grade 4 class!
Ayala Winkler (Grade 6 & Hebrew 1 Alef) has been at DJCS since 2007 and holds a Hebrew Teachers Certificate from the Board of Jewish Education’s Midrasha and a Diploma in Teaching Physical Education from Israel. She taught for 12 years in Israel. In Toronto, she was a teacher at Associated Hebrew Day School, Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School, and Temple Har Zion Religious School. Her subjects are varied including Hebrew, Jewish Studies, Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation and gymnastics. Currently, she is also teaching Grades 1-8 at UMCA Rich Tree, an independent private day school in Toronto.