Our facility is a community of teachers who are all committed to Jewish early childhood education. We come from diverse backgrounds and settings and we all have one thing in common: our love of children.
Lynne has a degree in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University. Lynne is a founder of Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue in Wheeling and has been teaching a variety of ages for 28 years. She is an avid reader of Speculative Fiction and walks an average of 5 miles a day.
Sabrina has more than 25 years of experience in early childhood education. She graduated from Kennedy King College with a concentration in Child Development and Special Education. Sabrina started at BJE in 2019. In her free time she loves going to the Morton Arboretum.
Wilma retired from the corporate world in 2006. She has been with BJE-ECC for more than 15 years. Wilma says she is "excited to have assisted in the development of these beautiful children in every age group.
"I am happy to be part of their lives and consistently tries to make their time here meaningful and enlightening."
Nuna is from Thailand and moved to Skokie 9 years ago, she is a mother of two beautiful children. Her daughter goes to Devonshire and her son Itai is a student at BJE! Nuna started as a teacher at BJE in 2022. She is working in the infant room and loves it. Every Sunday Nuna and her children go to the Skokie library and read books together. She loves to read to her children and to her students. Nuna says every day children change and she loves to watch them grow up.
Marjorie has a BA in Political Science and a minor in Theatre Arts from the University of Missouri at Columbia. She also has a Masters in Teaching from National-Louis University in Chicago. Marjie started working at BJE in 2022 and has been in the early childhood education field for over 20 years. Marjie enjoys traveling, going to the theatre, creating theatre with children, and spending time with her sister. She enjoys the curiosity, openness, continuous learning and daily challenges of working with young children.
Yael has been with BJE-ECC since 2015. Yael studied at Oakton Community College. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her two children and dog Leo. Yael enjoys working with children because they are genuine and speak from the heart.
Liz has a Bachelor's of Applied Science degree in Recreation Management from Illinois State University. She also obtained her Level 3 credentials for Early Childhood Education from Heartland Community. Liz started at BJE in the fall of 2021 and has been working with children since 2019. In her free time, Liz likes being out in nature, exploring new areas, and photography. Liz says working with children "gives me a sense of accomplishment, feeling like I can make a difference in a child's life."
Nicole started at BJE-ECC in 2020 graduated from the University of Illinois- Champaign with a concentration in Child Development. She enjoys playing the ukulele and enlightens the children with her music! In her free time, Nicole likes all things arts and crafts including knitting and painting. Nicole loves working with children and seeing their growth and development throughout the year.
Joanna has a degree in Health and Wellness through the College of Lake County. Joanna is also a wellness coach and personal trainer certified through The American College of Sports Medicine. She started at BJE in March of 2020. During her free time, Joanna loves reading, the outdoors, hiking, camping, canoeing, and nature. Joanna says she loves children and “am forever fascinated by their view of the world and their thinking and reasoning skills. By working with children I can delight in that and bring a little of the childhood magic into my adult life.”
Farha is mother of four children who all except for one are adults. With the nest becoming emptier over the years, Farha decided to take on her love for children with her interest in learning. Farha is a high school graduate from Karachi, Pakistan and moved to the United States in 1991. Farha has been working with kids in school for over 10 years! Previous places Farha has worked at are Youth and Need, District 69, District 65, Barbereux school, and now she is here at BJE. In her free time, Farha enjoys cooking and exploring various dishes. Farha also enjoys watching many Turkish dramas but will always have a special place in her heart for older Bollywood movies. However, at the end of the day Farha enjoys spending time with her family the most. Farha is excited to help kids grow and utilize her experiences to provide them with a safe and fun learning environment.
Michelle graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Journalism. She was a Chicago Teachers Project fellow, undertaking coursework and intensive training on early childhood Reggio-inspired Jewish learning from 2017-2019. She is currently a JCC WomenInPower Fellow for the 2022 cohort.
Michelle is BJE’s social media marketing guru and teaches Religious School at the Ezra-Habonim Niles Township Jewish Congregation.
During her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, spending time with her friends, family, and cats Finley and Fezco.
"To teach is to touch a life forever."
BJE has been an integral part of Sari’s life. Sari was enrolled in the first class at BJE in Wilmette, and her mother was a teacher and site director while all three of her children were students. Sari began working here in 2013 and because of her long history, her heart is invested in BJE. It is important to Sari to infuse the same warmth and guidance into her students as her teachers did for her. She has lived in Skokie most of her life and before becoming a teacher, she went to beauty school and became a hairdresser. She worked in a salon for 15 years, and then became a mother of three. After having her own, she realized that working with children was her true passion in life.
Pazit has loved working with children her whole life. She strongly believes children should be given a place and respected at any age. Pazit is from Israel, where she was the director of a children's daycare center for many years. She studied special education in college, a field that interested her greatly. She has had experience working in classroom and management roles in kindergartens in Israel and LA. Being a part of the growth and education of children has fulfilled her and brought great joy and passion to her life. She is so happy to be a part of this school and she knows that no matter how much she gives, she’ll get more love in return.
Becky has worked in the Education/Early Childhood field for many years, in various capacities. She received her Bachelor’s degree from National Lewis University in Applied Behavioral Sciences and minored in Psychology and Human Development. Becky is married and has a baby daughter named Millie. In her spare time, Becky likes to spend time with family and friends and go to concerts and musicals. Becky also loves spending time with her schnoodle Harley, reading and listening to music. Her favorite thing about working at BJE is all of the laughs and hugs!
Erida has a bachelor's degree in English Education from Aleksander Xhuvani University, in Elbasan, Albania. She obtained her Illinois teaching license in November 2022.
Teaching has been her passion since she was a little child.
She loves kids, adores them and thinks they are fun, curios and honest.
She has been an ESL teacher from 3rd-9th grade for 2 years, then she moved here in 2009 where she started working in the field of Early Childhood Education.
Erida started to work at BJE in March 2022, after a 10 year experience in a different Jewish community.
“They may forget what you said but they will not forget how you made them feel.”
- Carl Buechner
Avigayil was born and raised in Jerusalem, and lived in London and Kansas before moving to Chicago, where she resides with her son. Abbie has a degree in photography from Columbia College Chicago. Prior to joining BJE in 2016 as an afternoon teacher in Beginning Steps, she ran her own daycare. In her free time, she likes to go swing dancing.
"Working at BJE is my perfect job because I love getting to know children and seeing their personalities emerge."
Libby has a certificate in Early Childhood administration and an ECE Certificate from Oakton community college. She has been working in childcare since 2006 and kicked off her career at BJE in September of 2020.
Libby enjoys cooking/baking, going on long walks with her dog, and spending time with friends and family. She also has a fish named Libby that lives in her classrooms. Libby enjoys working with children because it is very rewarding.
"Watching them learn and grow and getting to know each child individually is amazing, every day is a new and wonderful experience.”
Melanie Steindler graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in psychology and received her masters in social work from The University of Chicago. She started working at BJE in the Fall of 2018. Melanie loves playing with her kids, hanging out with our dog, walking around the city and eating lots of sweets!
"I love working with children because they are so much fun to be around. They are creative, spirited, and funny which always makes for an eventful and entertaining day."
Tali has been a teacher at BJE since 2011. She has a Bachelor degree in Psychology from Northeastern University, which includes studies in child psychology and child development and has continued her studies with early childhood education. Tali was born and raised in Israel and teachers Hebrew School. She is married with 2 children and loves spending time with family. During her free time, Tali enjoys music, art, and adventurous road trips. Tali’s goal is to give children a physical and emotionally safe environment, where they can be who they are, and thrive. One of her favorite things is to be a part of their first time experiences.
Jordan has a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from North Park University. She started at BJE Summer 2021. Jordan enjoys singing, playing the ukulele and writing songs. Jordan enjoys working with young children because she loves seeing the world through their perspective.
"I could chat with them all day!"
Makenna has a B.S. Special Education and A.S. in Psychology from Union University. She also spent two years as a behavior therapist working with children with autism. She started at BJE in February of 2021. Makenna enjoys going on hikes in Marquette Michigan and then stacking rocks on the beach afterwards! She loves working with infants because they’re so curious about the world around them. Makenna thinks it's fun to watch and to help infants experience things they’ve never seen, smelled, touched or tasted before. She also loves to teach early language skills and help children learn how to communicate.
Shannon Tyrrell has two degrees from Northern Illinois University, a Bachelor of Science: Health Sciences- Rehabilitation Services and a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences - Family and Individual Development. Shannon also has a Minor in Deafness Rehabilitation. Shannon started working at BJE in 2020. She enjoys spending time with her dog Finn.
"I very much enjoy watching the kiddos grow and learn new things. Children are our future."
Aaron has a Bachelor's Degree in Health & Wellness and Physical Education & Recreation from Northeastern Illinois University. He started at BJE during the Summer of 2016. Aaron loves spending his free time with his niece Zoey. He has worked with children in both an elementary setting and early-childhood for 17 years.
"I could never imagine not working with children. Helping children and their families to achieve success in school is one of the most rewarding jobs I could have! Also, the most important thing is that the children are healthy, happy and safe. That makes for a great learning environment."