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Adelina Guerrero, Teacher

Adelina Guerrero is from El Salvador and now lives in Maryland with her husband. She loves working with children because she believes that they are flowers in a garden. Adelina has been working with children for the past 25 years and looks forward to continuing to serve the leaders of tomorrow.

Ashley Ross, Teacher

Ashley Ross is a native Washingtonian who has lived in the DC area her whole life. She took three early childhood education courses while in high school and has worked at the Gan since 2009. She hopes to one day have her own childcare center and recently welcomed her daughter Amina to the extended Gan family!

Becca Crompton, Teacher

Becca Crompton is a passionate Early Childhood Educator who recently earned her Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education. Inspired by her grandmother, a Latin and English teacher, Becca hopes to continue the legacy of igniting her students’ curiosity and love of learning. This is her fifth year at the Gan and sixth year teaching total.

Ben Wacks, Teacher

Ben Wacks has been with Adas Israel since 2012, starting as a teacher with the Religious School then joining the Gan family in 2016. On the side, he mentors students in helping prepare for their B'nai Mitzvah. He loves celebrating Shabbat with the children and running around exploring outside. He's made DC his home since he moved from South Florida in 2008. He enjoys volunteering and connecting with other young professionals in DC through Federation, Sixth & I, and many others.

Diane Fernheimer, Teacher

Diane Fernheimer has been an Early Childhood Educator for many years. She enjoys listening to and having conversations with young children. Diane comes from a family of five and is a proud aunt to three amazing nephews.

Darci Lewis, MA, DONA PCP, Assistant Director & Curriculum Specialist
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Darci Lewis has had a wide array of experiences within the field of Jewish Early Childhood Education. She has degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, having earned an M.A. in Jewish Communal Education. Darci is also a DONA-Certified Postpartum Doula. Her work as a Postpartum Doula connects her with families during their prenatal and postpartum time. Through prenatal classes, postpartum groups, and in-person support.

Darci is passionate about progressive values-based early childhood education. She has travelled to Reggio Emilia, Italy several times, attending Study Institutes and visiting their world-renowned schools. She believes all children deserve to be treated as competent, capable, and creative individuals. Currently, Darci is the Assistant Director and Curriculum Specialist for the Gan HaYeled at Adas Israel. She also consults within the community, having served as a Curriculum Specialist, Art Studio Specialist, and Professional Development Trainer for many schools and institutions, both locally and nationally. Darci also plays an active role in the Pedagogista Circle of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

Erin Weisman, Teacher

Erin Weisman is an Early Childhood Educator who has worked in public, charter, and private schools in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Copenhagen, and Washington, D.C. She is inspired by the Reggio Emilia teaching philosophy and believes strongly in meeting children where they are developmentally. Once, a student called her “Alexa,” mistaking her for his at-home Amazon device. 

Janet Harari, Teacher

Janet Harari spent most of her life in the New York metro area. She graduated from Rutgers University and has been an early childhood educator for more than twenty years. Janet has been teaching at the Gan since 2010 after relocating to the DC area with her family. She has three adult children and lives in Rockville, Maryland.

Jocelyn Dorfman, Operations Manager
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Jocelyn has been at Adas Israel since August 2017. She taught in the Gan and was an Administrative Assistant for three years before transitioning into her role as Operations Manager. As Operations Manager, Jocelyn oversees licensing and compliance, health and safety (including COVID-19 policies and procedures), communications, and other aspects of the Gan. She is also the Families with Young Children Engagement Coordinator at Adas. A native Washingtonian who grew up across the river in Arlington, Jocelyn attended Brandeis University for her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Women’s & Gender Studies and holds a Master of Education in Counseling (Boston University) and a Master of Science in Psychology (University of North Texas).

Jocelyn has worked with young children in many different settings throughout her educational and professional careers and is passionate about providing children and their families meaningful and joyful experiences, meeting children where they are, and partnering with families to establish a life-long love of learning. Her absolute favorite activities with children are reading books, building, and anything that involves getting messy. Outside of Adas, you can find Jocelyn cheering on her baseball team, the 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals.

Rabbi Kerrith Solomon, Director of Education at Adas Israel Congregation

Rabbi Kerrith Solomon joined Adas Israel as Director of Education in the summer of 2014, overseeing and directing all aspects of congregational education for members age 0-18, and their families. She has a rich and varied background in education and Jewish learning and her educational practice and philosophy is based on her experiences working in synagogues, day schools, camps, campus, Federation and Israel. She previously served as Senior Jewish Educator at Tufts University Hillel and Director of Teen Programming and Family Life Educator at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York and has worked in a variety of other formal and informal settings. Kerrith completed the Hartman-Hillel iEngage Fellowship for Campus leaders and is currently a participant in the second Senior Educators Cohort of M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education. She enjoys sharing her learning with the Adas community.

Kristein Ross, Teacher

Kristein Ross has been in early childhood since 2004 working with children between the ages of six weeks and ten years old. Before she came to the Gan, she was a teacher at an early childcare center in Maryland for eight years. She has been working at the Gan since 2014 and is currently attending Trinity Washington University to get her Associates degree in Early Childhood. She also has two school-age children at home.

Kristen Russi, Teacher

Kristen Russi is passionate about Early Childhood Education, adores working with children, and is thrilled to be starting her third year at The Gan. Her favorite activity is anything involving art. She also enjoys travel, reading, fashion, cooking, and spending time with her family.

Lauren Chambers, Teacher

has been in the Early Childhood field for the past 15 years, spending the last seven at the Gan. Children have the capability of making the gloomiest of days much brighter with their innocent humor and strong willingness to learn through the world around them. Every day is exciting when you're a teacher! Lauren lives in Maryland with her husband Terrance and two boys, Terrance Jr. (T.J.) and Landon.

Megan Soe, Office Manager
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Megan has a varied work history in both administrative and non-administrative fields. She has a BA in History from Augustana University and an MA in Art History from King’s College London. Her early work experience includes teaching dance and providing child-care for individual families. In her role as Office Manager she often steps into classes and loves opportunities to interact and play with children and families. Megan started her journey at Adas as an Administrative Assistant in the Rabbinical office and then joined the Gan team in March of 2019. 

Before joining Team Adas, Megan worked as a professional Tour Guide at the United States Capitol Building, a Tour Manager for a travel company in Iowa, and a cross-cultural event coordinator in Paris, France. Megan enjoys helping family and friends explore the world by helping them plan their travels. She spends her evenings and weekends reading, playing piano, singing, and exploring the DMV with her sister,

Neidia Ramsay -Swann, Teacher

Neidia Ramsay -Swann was born in Jamaica and grew up in Bowie, Maryland. She started her career as an administrative assistant with middle school-aged children and discovered her love for young children after starting her own family. Neidia opened her own home-based daycare in 2012. She joined the Gan faculty in 2016 and is currently working on her associate degree in Early Childhood Education.

Noa Livni -Lehman, Teacher

Noa was born on a Kibbutz and started working with children as a teenager. Noa was selected to the competitive Program of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. Before long, she was a counselor (and certified tour guide) teaching children, teenagers, and adults on hiking trips. She has worked with children in many different settings and has served as a director of summer camps. Noa has been with the Gan since 2005, teaching mixed-ages classes; she always incorporates nature and the environment into her curriculum with her students.

Noah Hichenberg, EdD, Director of Gan HaYeled Preschool
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Noah is a celebrated and innovative contributor to the field of Early Childhood for more than 12 years. Noah joined the Gan team in July 2019 and brings with him a deep understanding of children and families and demonstrated leadership and excellence in the field. He formerly served as Director for The Saul and Carole Zabar Nursery School at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan for six years; he was a classroom teacher in the same school prior to becoming the director. He completed his Doctorate of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, in Curriculum and Teaching with a focus in early childhood education. At Teachers College, Noah's research and dissertation focused on the power and agency that a preschool child brings to the world, by examining the ways children actively change the world through their intentional efforts. Noah's research weaves together the fields of cognitive development, anthropology, history of childhood, and educational philosophy.

Noah received his master’s degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education (Birth through Eight Years) from Fordham University in Manhattan, as well as his bachelor’s degrees in American History from Columbia University and Jewish History from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Noah served on the chairing committee for New York City's hosting of "The Wonder of Learning", the world-renowned traveling exhibit curated by the educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy, hosted by one city internationally a year and also co-chaired the exhibit's premiere day of learning for 1,000 teachers. Noah also founded, and directed for it's first four years, the Come Learn With Us professional development series, an annual conference hosting 250+ teachers. Noah and his wife Shira live in Bethesda with their four young children

Stephanie Slater, MSW, Director of Early Childhood Development and Family Support
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Stephanie Slater is a clinically trained social worker who has worked in the field of Early Childhood Development for 28 years. Stephanie believes young children are competent, capable and resilient. She relishes in their untarnished view of the world and is delighted by the joy they bring to every experience. She has worked at Adas Israel’s Gan Hayeled Preschool for 17 years. Through individual consultations and community-wide webinars Stephanie has supported an innumerable amount of families navigating parenthood, and has significantly grown Gan HaYeled’s capabilities for supporting young children with developmental delays and/or special rights. Her work has laid the foundation for a culture of developmental diversity and inclusion, and her vast network of clinicians in the DMV area has supported students and propelled them toward an upward trajectory for future learning.

Stephanie holds a BA in Psychology from SUNY College at Oneonta and a Master’s in Social Work from Adelphi University. Stephanie has a Certificate in Early Intervention from Georgetown University and serves as a consultant for The Matan Institute. There, she develops workshop curricula and trains teachers on the benefits of Early Identification and Intervention. Stephanie also serves the community as a diversity and inclusion expert, participating in local and national conference panels geared toward creating and sustaining inclusive settings in early education. She is a Certified Children’s Yoga Instructor. Her most rewarding role is mother to Sophie (19) and Macie (16) and wife to Matt.

Sat, January 23 2021 10 Shevat 5781