BZBI, where you learn

Meet our Team

Green Room

Stacey Lasky, Jewish Resource Specialist/Associate Teacher

I am excited to be the Jewish Resource Specialist and Associate Teacher in the preschool this year! After being a Lead Teacher last year and becoming more familiar with the philosophy of the school, I’m truly looking forward to incorporating what I have learned along with my passion for teaching Hebrew, Judaics, and children’s yoga! As the Yoga/Havdalah Specialist at camp this past summer, it has been great to witness the children already excited to practice yoga and become mindful.

I lived in Israel for several years after graduating from the University of Florida with a Jewish Studies degree, and have always enjoyed being a Jewish Educator for all ages. I am now currently earning my MA in Jewish Education at Gratz College.

In addition to the preschool, you can also find me at BZBI teaching Hebrew to Neziner students and leading Tot  Shabbat with our youngest members and their families.

Angelita Benson, Assistant Teacher

I have worked as an Assistant Teacher at BZBI since 2010.  The greatest role I have is as a mother and a grandmother and I am fortunate to spend my free time with my grandchildren. I am a nanny who also feels part of the families that I work with. Watching the children that are entrusted to me grow into kind people brings me great joy and pride. I have worked with many Jewish families within the community. I have learned so much about the passion that these families have for one another. There is a common value that they share and that is to always care for one another.


Blue Room

Wakeelah (Keelah) Jackson, Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Wakeelah Jackson, but everyone calls me Ms. Keelah. I have an Associated Degree in Early Childhood Education and I have over 10 years of experience as both an Assistant and Lead Teacher. I have been at BZBI since 2018. This year I will be the Lead Teacher in the Green Room. Working with children is something I have always enjoyed. What I love most about being a teacher is watching children’s unique qualities flourish, stimulating their very curious minds, and supporting their social-emotional and physical development. I take great pride in working in this rewarding field. I am excited for the start of the school year!

Molly Redding, Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Molly and I am the Assistant Teacher in the Yellow Room. I have been working at BZBI since 2017 and I enjoy being part of this great team! I have an Associate’s Degree with concentration in Education from Delaware County Community College and I am currently in school at Jefferson University for Behavioral Health and Psychology. My previous experiences include working at Kindercare of Malvern and St. Peter’s School. My passion is creativity and art, and I love that I have the opportunity to bring that into this classroom this year.


Red Room

Adam Lahav, Lead Teacher

Shalom! My name is Adam Lahav. I have been working in the field of Early Childhood since 2012 and have worked as a Substitute Teacher, Teacher Assistant and Head Teacher. I received my Early Childhood Professional Certificate from Sheridan Technical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I have been at BZBI since 2017 as a Lead Teacher with the Older 3’s. I am passionate about Early Childhood and have known that teaching children was the career for me since I was 16 years old. Each child that comes into my classroom is unique and special. I create a calm, caring, and educational environment where all children can learn, grow and succeed. I look forward to an exciting school year ahead!

Joann Zimbello, Assistant Teacher

I have been an Assistant Teacher at BZBI since 2010.  I currently work with the Older 3’s classroom during the week and I’m here on Shabbat assisting children and families attending services and children’s programs. I am also studying Modern Hebrew with a dream of one day visiting Israel. I have a B.S. in Business, however, I have been working with children of all ages for as long as I can remember. In my spare time I love to read, listen to music, do Zumba, and go to the theater.

Violet Room

Merissa Richmond, Lead Teacher

I have been a teacher for 19 years, with 10 years working in Jewish Schools. I have a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education and Special Education.  I hold a Pennsylvania State Certifications in Elementary Education and Special Education. This is my third year teaching at BZBI as the Lead Teacher of the Pre-K class. I am the Administrative Assistant to the Principal of the Neziner Hebrew School, as well as, the Lead Teacher of the Hebrew School Bonim class. I believe it is important to have a warm, friendly environment where all children feel welcome and comfortable to be themselves.

Joanne Maza, Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Joanne Maza and I am the Assistant Teacher in Playschool 2. I just moved from New York to Pennsylvania, where I was an assistant teacher for three years before deciding to go back to school. I am currently working towards a bachelors in Criminal Justice. I have experience tutoring History and working as a nanny. I’m super excited to be working with children again and to expand not just their learning, but also my own. I’m a hands-on teacher and I love talking, singing, building, and doing art with children.


Administration

Sara Dasher Goldfuss, Director of Early Childhood Education

Sara has 12 years of early childhood experience in the classroom and as an administrator. She most recently was Assistant Director of Education for Society Hill Synagogue preschool and prior to that held teaching positions at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood and Germantown Jewish Centre. She is passionate about early childhood development and how overall well-being impacts child growth, as well as the parenting experience. She fosters learning and growth using a Reggio-inspired approach to learning. Both Sara and her husband Jamie are Philly natives and live in Overbook Park with their four children, Izzy, Yaffa, Toby, and Adar.

Melanie Fine, Programs Coordinator

Melanie previously worked as an assistant teacher in our Early Childhood program, and she is thrilled to transition from her role in the classroom to a role as an administrator. Melanie graduated from the University of Delaware in 2018 with a degree in Interpersonal Communication. Prior to starting her career in Early Childhood Education, Melanie worked as an administrator for a restaurant in Philadelphia assisting with marketing and event planning. Melanie is so excited to continue working with children while supporting the BZBI community as an administrator.

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