OUR STAFF

Our early childhood program is led by our Director and inspired through collaboration between our teachers.

Professional, dedicated, and loving—these words speak volumes about the team at Burbank Jewish Preschool. Equipped with years of study and professional experience, our staff strives continuously to respond to the individual needs of each child and offer cutting-edge methodology in education.

In order to uphold the high standards of our program, staff meetings and constant development are ongoing throughout the year. This ensures that our teachers remain alert to the ever-changing needs of today's families and to the findings of current research.

 

Our coordinated curriculum has both English and Hebrew, which leads to a high level of academic rigor and an opportunity for interdisciplinary learning that is engaging and meaningful. Current research shows that second language acquisition is highly beneficial to the development of brain functions and cognitive skills.

 

Our teachers are an unusually dedicated group of professionals whose level of commitment to each child does not stop at the classroom door, and whose commitment to early childhood education is truly an avocation. As a result, they bring to their jobs a unique and special blend of professional skills and personal experience.

Rabbi Shmuly Kornfeld

Administrator

I grew up in Seattle, Washington where my father is a leading Rabbi of the Jewish community and serves as the Educational Director of Chabad of Greater Seattle. Growing up in the warm and giving environment of Chabad outreach profoundly affected my dreams and goals.  I attended school in Detroit and at the educational institute Oholei Torah in Brooklyn, NY.  I served as a mentor to students in Kfar Chabad, Israel, worked in several day and overnight camps and headed the learning department in Camp Gan Israel, Montreal.  I visited many cities in the United States, but my favorite travel experience was a summer spent in Ireland, where I was able to provide educational programs and holiday events benefiting the Jewish community there. I studied for my Rabbinical Degree at the Rabbinical College of America, and received it in 1997.

Elana and I married in 1998, and just six months later we opened Chabad of Burbank.  We started out small, in our home, grew into a storefront, and approximately six years ago, bought the building we are currently in, with dreams of the future.  Walking into Chabad daily, gives me personal pleasure, because it serves as a multi-purpose institution for adults and children alike.  All are welcome to our Chabad, and I feel blessed to be able to do what I love—to teach and inspire others, and hopefully add in acts of goodness and kindness into this world, making it a better place for all.

Elana Kornfeld

Director

From a very young age, I always knew I wanted to work with children.  My father is a Cardiologist/Nephrologist and my mother has her PhD in Art Therapy and Counseling.  My parents brought us up in a loving home, with good values and a strong work ethic.  I met my husband, Rabbi Shmuly, in 1997 and we married in 1998. We moved to Burbank just six months later, as soon as I finished college, and opened the Chabad Burbank Jewish Center. We have eight children, and we work together as a family. I can honestly speak on their behalf to say that we all feel blessed to be a part of such a special community. 

 

I originally got my Degree in Speech & Language Pathology & Communication Disorders, interning with special needs children.  I loved playing with them and seeing their wonder and excitement for the world around them.  I slowly transitioned into general education have been involved with teaching children of various ages for the last 14 years.  I found my calling when we opened  Burbank Jewish Preschool.  Together with our wonderful staff, families and children, we have created a school where each child is cherished and loved. I absolutely love coming to school every day (with some of my own children), and it is truly an honor being able to participate and watch the children in our school grow and flourish.

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Marlyn

Office Administrator

Hello hello! My name is Marlyn (pronounced Marlene) I am very happy to be apart of BJP. I was previously working in the medical field as the Admin Office Coordinator in Neurology and Plastic Surgery. I have my AA in Business Management and I also have continued education in Early Childhood.

 

I am excited to be surrounded by beautiful children and an amazing staff. 

Couple facts about me: I have an amazing daughter named Arianna. I have a twin sister and get this, our birthdays are all on August 13!

 

I am here to help with any of your general questions and make your time here at BJP a smooth and enjoyable one.

 

I can’t wait to see what the new school year has in store for us! I am blessed to be part of BJP.

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Morah Moussia 

Hi! My name is Moussia Shapiro and I'm super excited to be teaching at Burbank Jewish Preschool this year! I grew up in Dallas, Texas and I am the oldest of five in a family of Chabad shluchim.  I just spent the past year in seminary in Israel and learned a lot, traveled, and loved being in the country. I've been working in a preschool enrichment center for the past few summers and found it to be a really rewarding experience. I really enjoy playing, babysitting, teaching and working with kids.  I cannot wait to get involved in the Jewish community here as my family and I are very involved in the community in Texas. I am truly so happy to be given this opportunity to enrich and educate. In my free time I love traveling, spending time with friends and family and photography.  I can't wait to have a great year of growth and to get to know the community!

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Morah Mara 

Hello! My name is Mara Lopez Higuera. I am excited to be part of the Burbank Jewish Preschool family enriching the lives of the students we are so blessed to teach every day. It has been an amazing journey learning alongside the children and families we serve. 

 

I am a proud mother of six incredible children. While raising my children, I had the privilege of volunteering as much as possible at their schools and learned a lot from their teachers and staff.  Additionally, I babysat several wonderful children at home for eight years. Once my children were older, I decided to pursue a career in early childhood education. I received my
training through the West Valley Occupational Center in their Early Childhood Education and Development Program. Throughout my career, I have worked with children of all ages and backgrounds. 

 

In my free time you will find me working on a variety of different projects and crafts. Pinterest is my go-to inspiration app! I enjoy singing, cooking new recipes, and spending time with my amazing family, and dogs Nutella and Fluffy.

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Morah Meaghan

Hi, my name is Meaghan and I’ve been working with children for over 15 years. I received my B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Fullerton.

While attending college I went into my degree intending to work in elementary education but it was during this time I realized my passion was working with little ones. I have worked with a variety of ages ranging from infancy to 3rd grade. I have been a student teacher, a youth water polo coach, babysitter, and a teacher for a variety of preschool ages. All of which have led me to my position at Burbank Jewish Preschool.

I am so happy to be a member of this team and a part of the BJP community.

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Morah Shaina

Hi! My name is Shaina Kamensky and I feel more than privileged to have been given the opportunity to work at BJP this year for the first time! I am lucky enough to be the youngest of 11 children, with the eldest being 40 and me, 20. I've been involved with children from a very young age because I became an aunt at the ripe age of 10 months :) Thank G-d our family bloomed with 20 more nieces and nephews since then, and I couldn't have asked for better blessings. I can't remember a time where I developed a love and passion for helping and caring for children because I truly believe it's always been there. 

 

I started babysitting at age 10, and have been involved with many kid programs since the age of 13. I took on volunteer experience for being a junior counselor at a day camp, ran several programs in Synagogues for all age groups, and was in charge of a camp in my backyard two summers ago. During my senior year of high school I participated in a friendship circle campaign called, iShine, where you spend one on one time either with a child who has special needs and/or a sibling of theirs who could really use some extra love, care, and attention. Lastly, I was a preschool teacher last year for a few months before studying abroad in Israel for the year. 

 

Some of my favorite things to do include; traveling, writing, singing, and spending time with my family. This past summer I traveled to Greece, Portugal, Guatemala, and Israel! I LOVED all of them, but my favorite which can never be beaten of course, was and will always be Israel. 

 

I'm so excited to share a year full of, growing, learning, excelling and fun with the children! I love to see their creativity shine and their motivation to learn more and more. I am so grateful to have this position and I'm looking forward to seeing how the children grow cognitively, emotionally, and physically. It is so rewarding to be involved with such a special community, and more years to come!

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Morah Stacy

My name is Stacy Herman and I am so excited to be teaching Pod 2 this year! I am proud that I helped build the foundation of our school with Elana Kornfeld from the very beginning, and I am beyond thrilled to be back home!

I started working in a preschool when I was 17 and I loved everything about it. Working with children was definitely a calling, and I received my degree in Early Childhood Education from Long Beach Community College.

When I'm not in the classroom (my happy place!) you can find me spending quality time with my husband and four children, often at Disneyland (the “Happiest Place on Earth” ™ … outside of the classroom)!

Morah Dee 

Hi, my name is Dee Moore and I’ve been an Early Childhood Educator for 27 years. I received my B.A. Degree in Psychology from California State University of Long Beach, and then continued my education in Early Childhood Education at Los Angeles Valley College in order to obtain the education I needed to teach young children.

 

My passion for teaching young children began in high school when I interned in various elementary schools in Redlands, California. I assisted children in 2nd and 5th grade with homework, tutored students in Math and English, and assisted teachers with test grading.

 

After receiving my education, I was offered a teaching position with young toddlers at The Nurtury Preschool in Sherman Oaks. I immediately accepted the challenge and in time found the love and passion to teach. As my teaching experience broadened, I pursued the challenge of teaching children ages 3-5 years old, which led me to become the Lead Teacher. Years later, I accepted the position as the Senior Head Teacher of all the classrooms.

 

After many years of teaching at the Nurtury Preschool, I accepted a Lead Teacher position with ages 3-5 years old at Warner Bros. Studios Children Center. I then taught there for 17 years.

 

I am very pleased to be a part of a great team and family at Burbank Jewish Preschool. I love how the children continue to help me grow and challenge my teaching skills. I also love the children’s ability to give me laughter and strength to continue my passion, which is teaching young children. I look forward to working as a team with each family.

Morah Faygie 

My name is Faygie and I have loved playing with, babysitting and being around children for as long as I can remember. Every child in my classroom is special, and watching them grow each day is so rewarding and amazing! I love Burbank Jewish Preschool’s philosophy of promoting school readiness by educating the whole child while laying the foundation for creating a strong Jewish identity. I am particularly passionate about helping children develop socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically in a hands-on environment centered around Jewish principles. I feel truly lucky every day for this special opportunity I’ve been given. I am so happy to be teaching in Aleph 2!

 

When I am not in school I love spending time with family and friends, and I also enjoy crocheting. I especially love snuggling with my new baby!

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Morah Blanca

Hi, my name is Blanca, and I this will be my second year teaching and learning in the Nook! We have so many fun activities and lessons planned for this year; I can’t wait to get started!

 

I got my degree in teaching in Guatemala in 2002, and worked for three years there. Since that time I have spent my career working with babies and children, and I absolutely love my job!

 

A few facts about me: My favorite store is Target, and I love listening to music! My favorite drink is tea and my favorite season is winter.

 

I am thrilled to be back in the Nook, and am looking forward to a special and exciting year ahead!

Morah Simi 

Hi, my name is Simi Stiefel, and I am so excited to be teaching at Burbank Jewish Preschool this year! I love being with the children every day and watching them grow and flourish. What makes all the work I put into teaching so rewarding is watching the children grasp the concepts and put them into practice in their everyday play. I love all of my students and feel so loved in return. What better place to be every day than a place filled with so much love and happiness. This will be my sixth year working in a preschool and I can’t wait for the year to start!

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Morah Isabelle

Hi, my name is Isabelle and I feel honored and privileged to have the opportunity to love coming into work evey day. ! I was born in Armenia and moved here when I was 5 years old. I've always had a passion for children and have played and worked with them my whole life. I knew that early childhood, and educating young children was my calling. I was a student teacher in Adat Ariel and then worked there as a lead teacher for 4 years. I also worked in Christopher Robbins Preschool, a boutique Reggio school and when I moved to Burbank and applied for a position at Burbank Jewish Preschool, it was love at first sight and I knew I found my new  home. I worked here for 5 years and then took a 3 year hiatus to birth and raise my twins, Sam and Nola. I'm so excited to be back here with them as students and walk into the building every single day, knowing that my children are in the most spectacular preschool in Burbank!

I look forward to meeting your children and giving them a year filled with love and warmth, helping them find their confidence and creativity within, in the most meaningful environment where they can construct new ideas, learn to think and problem-solve as they discover who they are and the world around them.

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Morah Ilana

Hi! My name is Ilana Coen and I have the pleasure of being one of the Kita Aleph Morahs. This will be my first year lead teaching and I’m so excited for the year ahead!

 

Being blessed to have grown up in a large family, I have always been surrounded with children. I’m one of eight kids and I currently have 19 nieces and nephews... don’t ask me how many cousins I have! Fun fact: I became an auntie at the young age of 6! 

 

I grew up as a traditional sunny LA girl, loving beach days, collecting sea shells and just enjoying all the beauty that surrounds us! I currently live in West LA, and I just celebrated my first anniversary with my high school best friend turned post-high school sweetheart! I feel so lucky to be a part of this beautiful Burbank family and I can’t wait to get to know each of the precious children and families here at Burbank Jewish Preschool. I know we’ll have an incredible year full of learning and growth—I can’t wait to see what we learn from each other!

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Morah Brittany

Hi, my name is Brittany DeWeese. I have been working here at BJP since my second day in LA upon moving here from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania almost 4 years ago. I loved the school right away!

 

I am a professional dancer and choreographer. I graduated from Point Park University with a BA in Dance. Teaching has always been my passion which is why I received a second BA in Dance Pedagogy (theory of teaching). I am so thankful to have been a part of Point Park’s amazing education program and to have had the opportunity to grow as both a dancer and educator throughout my college experience.

 

I have spent many years teaching dance and gymnastics to preschool age children all the way up to high school. This year I am working in the office as the BJP Administrator but I love every opportunity I have to get back in the classroom with the children.