Hebrew School Teachers 2018 - 2019

Mechina: Me'ira Pitkapaasi 

Me’ira Pitkapaasi holds a Master’s in Education and PA teacher's certification. She has completed additional college and graduate degrees in Mathematics, Hebrew Liturgy, and Special Education.  Me’ira has 35 years teaching experience. She has served as a Mommy and Me music and art teacher; K-6th grade Hebrew and Jewish studies teacher; preK-12th math and special education teacher; children’s choir director to name but a few. Me’ira has been an active member of the BI community for close to 20 years. Recently she has worked with our Tot Shabbat team.

 


Alef Bet: Shawn Dresner

Shawn Dresner is delighted to return to teaching at Beth Israel Hebrew School after graduating with a degree in English and Secondary Education from the College of New Jersey. She and her family have been members of Beth Israel for over ten years and is also a Camp JRF counselor and alum. She is very excited to be teaching the Bet-Gimmel class and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and love of Judaism with them.


Dalet - Hay and Vav - Zayin Religion: George Altshuler

George Altshuler is a first year rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, PA. Originally from San Francisco, George previously worked as a news reporter at the Washington Jewish Week and as a teacher at a public charter school for adults in Washington, DC. In 2013, George lived for six months in Haiti, where he taught a journalism workshop in a rural area. He has also worked as a news reporter for J - The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California and he taught high school-level English in San Quentin State Prison in California. George is a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont. 

George comes to Beth Israel enthusiastic about helping students kindle a lifelong interest in Jewish practice and thought. He believes Hebrew school can offer children an important outlet for learning about ethics and meaning in a different setting than school. He hopes to create a classroom environment that is fun, educational and welcoming for students of all Jewish backgrounds.
George lives in Philadelphia with his wife and their 90-pound greyhound. He is a lifelong fan of the Golden State Warriors, and he looks forward to much cheaper NBA tickets in Philadelphia.


Dalet - Hay and Vav - Zayin Hebrew: Daniel Chattler

Daniel is originally from the Baltimore area.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Towson University (TU).  During his studies at TU Daniel developed a strong Jewish identity as he worked for several years in the Baltimore JCC and traveled to Israel on numerous occasions.  Shortly after graduating from University he made Aliyah to Israel in order to serve in the Israel Defense Force (IDF).

During Daniel’s IDF service, he served as a Mefaked Kitah (squad commander) in the Iron-Dome, the short-range missile defense system.  After living in Israel, particularly Be’er Sheva, for several years after his IDF service, he decided to return to the U.S. with his wife and dog where they settled in the Philadelphia area for work and to be involved in a strong Jewish community.  Daniel is very proud to share his experiences, knowledge, and strong Jewish identity with the Beth Israel community, especially its Hebrew school students!  


Principal: Adva Chattler

I was born and raised in Beer-Sheva, in the south of Israel and I'm the oldest of 3 children. After high school, I spent the next 2 years serving in the Israeli Air Force in Intelligence, as a commander for much of my service. After my army service I studied Public Administration and Management and then continued for my Masters degree in Conflict Resolution and Management at Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, in which I graduated with honors. 

During my Masters I choose to write a thesis about educator’s approaches to Peace Education in Israel which was published in Hebrew. Currently, I am working on having the work of my colleague, about Arab teachers, and my work about Jewish teachers published in English, hopefully to be published worldwide. 

Since moving to the states with my husband and our dog, I have volunteered in the Wynnwood JCC and have been working there as an assistant teacher in the toddler class.  As a substitute teacher here at Beth Israel, I fell in love with the synagogue, school and the beautiful community that it holds. I am very excited to meet and work with every one and I’m very much looking forward to a great year!