"I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and the most from my students."
(Babylonian Talmud, Ta'anit 7A-1)
Rabbi Suzanne Brody
Director of Education and Youth Programming at Temple Beth-El
Rabbi Suzanne Brody loves being part of the Temple Beth-El community. She has followed a unique path: from Wellesley College to a PhD in neuroscience from The University of California at San Diego, to living in Jerusalem for three years while studying at the Conservative Yeshiva and starting a family before receiving rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies of the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, CA.
Throughout all of the stages in her life’s journey, Rabbi Brody’s passion for innovating new ways to share a love of learning about and doing Judaism has found outlets in creating dynamic programming for Jews of all ages. She has worked in both formal and informal educational settings, creating dynamic programming for children and teens through her positions as the Middle School Judaics Coordinator at Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School in St. Louis, MO, the Jewish Educator for the children’s program at the Shtibl Minyan in Los Angeles, the Rabbinic Intern for Camp Alonim, and as the interim Principal at the Pressman Religious School of Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles. She has also designed and taught numerous adult education courses.
When leading tefillot, whether from the bima in the main sanctuary, on the floor surrounded by a circle of toddlers, or in a classroom, Rabbi Brody fuses tradition and innovation as she shares a variety of ways in which to engage with the words and meanings of the prayers.
Head Teacher and Program Director
Gayle Alderman is originally from Pennsylvania and her education includes a BA in behavioral sciences and a minor/concentration in early childhood education. She has worked in Pennsylvania and New York State, most recently in Tompkins County Head Start program, before joining the B'Yachad family in fall, 2015.
Working with children is a privilege and the children need to work (play) in a positive safe environment where respect and kindness are shown to all individuals. I want children to question and seek to find answers with the freedom to have successes and failures. My desire is that each child will build on their skills to make wise decisions and to become problem solvers. Most importantly, I want to have fun as we learn and grow.
I appreciate parents in the classroom supporting your child/children by sharing your gifts and abilities with the class. I am open to your suggestions and ideas for topics of study as we work together to create a positive environment for the children.
Liz Stafford is originally from Memphis, Tennessee. She grew up babysitting and working in her church nursery. Liz attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Art Education, K-12. She later attended the University of Memphis where she attained an endorsement in Early Childhood Education.
Liz has worked as a PreK teacher since 2005. Before her employment at B'Yachad, Liz worked as a Head Start Teacher for Tompkins Community Action and as a teaching assistant at the Ithaca Community Child Care Center (IC3), where she worked with infants and children up to 12-years old. With the birth of her daughter, Brooklyn, Liz took some time off of work to work on her farm and later, to home school her daughter.
Liz is an artist, farmer, sailor, quilter, mother, and wife. She loves working with young children. Her favorite classroom activities are reading and doing messy art projects. Liz began working at B'Yachad last spring and is happy to be back for the 2018-2019 school year.