The ARJE is governed by a dedicated and passionate group of Reform educational leaders who work in a variety of Jewish education settings. The ARJE Board engages in the work of visioning, identifying trends and challenges in the world that affect Jewish education and Jewish educators and strategically addressing them.
Marisa Kaiser, RJE
Marisa Kaiser, RJE, has served as the Director of Temple Sinai’s Center for Learning & Engagement in Sandy Springs, Georgia since 2014. In this role, Marisa has led the education team in the Preschool, youth and teen education programs, and adult education through a strategic visioning and change process to engage families and learners of all ages in meaningful learning experiences. She has a Master’s in Jewish Education from the University of Judaism and a Bachelor’s from the Ohio State University. Previously, she was the Alpert-Waldman Family Director of Education Chair at Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot in Irvine, California and Religious School Principal at Temple Judea in Tarzana, California. Marisa is proud to serve as faculty at URJ Camp Coleman, serve as a member of the Education Director’s Council of Atlanta and on the advisory board of Jumpspark, Atlanta’s Jewish teen initiative. She is married to Michael, and they have three sons, Ryan, Benjamin and Nathan.
Rabbi Joe Eiduson, RJE
Rabbi Joe Eiduson, RJE, has served as the Rabbi-Educator at Congregation B’nai Shalom since 2007. Rabbi Joe grew up in Buffalo and is a graduate of The University of Michigan (Residential College), holds a Master of Hebrew Letters and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College and a Masters in Educational Administration from Xavier University. An alumnus of the URJ Joseph Eisner and Goldman Union Camps, Rabbi Joe attributes much of his Jewish identity and rabbinic calling to his summers spent at Reform Jewish summer camps. Rabbi Joe has worked in the field of Jewish education for over twenty-five years. Joe has served on the boards of PARDES, RAVSAK, Planned Parenthood, Big Brothers and has taught numerous workshops in the field of Jewish education. He and his wife, Rabbi Lisa Eiduson, have found their greatest joy and fulfillment in raising their two children, Rosie and Carly, and their two Labrador retrievers, Mason and Bailey.
Missy Bell, RJE
Vice-President for Finance
Missy Bell, RJE, is the Director of Education at B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, IL. She has a Master of the Arts in Jewish Education and a Master of the Arts in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. She did her undergraduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies. Missy grew up in Carmel, Indiana spending summers at Goldman Union Camp Institute.
Outside of her professional responsibilities, Missy loves football, traveling, cupcakes, and spending time with her really cute nephews, Joey and Danny.
Stacy Rosenthal, RJE
Stacy Rosenthal, RJE, has served as the Religious School Director at Congregation Beth Israel in Scottsdale, Arizona since 2007. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona and is a graduate of the University of Arizona. In 2013, she earned her Master in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, where she was part of the inaugural Cohort of the Executive Masters’ program. At CBI, Stacy launched Ma’ayan, a weekly program for high school students designed to engage them in meaningful Jewish learning and Simchat Shabbat, a monthly Shabbat service for adults with special needs. Stacy and her husband, Greg, are proud parents of Alex, Benjamin and Annie.
Shari Isserles, RJE
Shari Isserles currently serves as the Director of Congregational Education at The Community Synagogue of Port Washington, NY where she has been for the past 16 years. She received her Masters of Religious Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2003. Shari has been a member of ARJE for 18 years and has served as a Board Member, Advocacy Team Co-Leader and as Chair of the Joint Placement Commission. Shari grew up at the URJ Eisner Camp and loves that she gets to spend time at camp each summer as a member of the faculty. Shari, her husband Paul and her son Michael live in Port Washington, NY.
Dr. Kathy Schwartz, RJE
Immediate Past President
Dr. Katherine Schwartz, RJE, has served as the Director of Lifelong Learning at Congregation Har HaShem in Boulder, CO since 1997. Prior to serving Har HaShem, she was the Educator at Congregation Sinai in Milwaukee. Kathy also serves as a Clinical Faculty Mentor for HUC-JIR’s Executive Masters in Jewish Education program. She holds an undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, an MA in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service from HUC-JIR and a doctorate in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She has authored text books, served on advisory committees for early childhood education, youth education and loves her time serving as faculty at OSRUI. When she is not serving the Jewish people, she enjoys baking challenges and being out on the trails in Colorado with her husband, Andy and two children Daniel and Gavi.
Members of the Board
Brad Cohen, RJE
Brad Cohen is the Director of Youth and Family Learning at Temple Emanuel in Denver, CO. Brad was the Director of Education for Baltimore Hebrew Congregation for ten years. He holds a Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, from which he also has received a Certificate in Jewish Education focusing on Adolescents and Emerging Adults. Brad’s board and leadership involvement have included serving as Co-Chair of Professional Learning for the Association of Reform Jewish Educators 2018, GreenMount School board member 2018, Chair of Baltimore Area Reform Jewish Education Corporation (BARJE-CO) from 2011 to 2013 and serving on the Associated Task Force on Teen Engagement and Future (2014-2015), Pearlstone Program Committee (2014-2018) and the Camp Milldale Task Force (2015). Brad also spends time each summer as faculty at the Union for Reform Judaism Camp Harlam in the Poconos. Brad was born in Boca Raton, FL and spent several years in Boulder, CO, where he graduated from the University of Colorado and, more importantly, where he met his wife, Claire. They have three kids, Elie, Zev and Olivia.
Heather Erez, RJE
Heather Erez, RJE, is the Director of Youth Education and Engagement at Temple Beth El in Boca Raton, Florida. She is a California native and lived in Israel on Kibbutz Tzora for 6 years where she worked in various educational settings with children whose ages spanned preschool through middle school. After returning to the states, she was the Assistant Director at San Francisco Hillel for 8 years before working in the synagogue world. Heather received her MA in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in the first cohort of the Executive Masters Program. Heather and her husband, Shachar, have two pretty awesome and silly kids, Noam and Eden.
Lisa Frankel, RJE
Lisa B. Frankel, RJE, is the Director of Educational Outreach & Administration at The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) – a division of Hebrew Union College‐Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC‐JIR). Lisa began her career at HUC‐JIR in 1986 where she served as the Administrative Director of the National Office of Admissions and Recruitment until her transfer to the AJA in 2000. She received her M.A. in Religious Education in 2014 from HUC‐JIR’s EMA Program. In her current position, Lisa strives to serve the field of Jewish Education by providing educational resources to educational leaders and students alike.
Lisa and her husband Steven reside in Blue Ash, Ohio and are the proud parents of Ellyn & Micah who both live in Denver, CO with their significant others.
Sarah Gluck has been in the field of Jewish education since she started teaching on Sunday mornings during college. She currently serves as a Director of Education at Temple Beth-El in Hillsborough, New Jersey, where she has been since 1991. Her special areas of interest and sources of great joy are helping kids and adults connect to Jewish life through Hebrew, t’fillah, and spiritual exploration. Sarah earned a B.A. in Middle East Studies at Oberlin College and M.A. and M.Phil. in Arabic Literature and Middle East Studies at Columbia University. While in college, she studied for a year at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Before coming to Temple Beth-El, Sarah and her family spent five years in Israel, serving at the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa.
Sarah and her life and professional partner, Rabbi Arnie Gluck, live in Skillman, NJ. They are the proud parents of two daughters, both Jewish educators in their own right. Outside of her professional responsibilities, Sarah enjoys yoga, being out in nature, and reading a good book.
Dr. Lesley Litman, RJE
Dr. Lesley Litman, RJE, is Director of the Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and works with the Experiment in Congregational Education as the coordinator of its Boston-based initiative. She also consults to The iCenter in the area of curriculum design and professional development in Israel education. Lesley served as the Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Israel in Boston. Prior to her work at Temple Israel, she was the Regional Educator for the URJ and the URJ’s national specialist in Hebrew and Day School education and served on the staff of Jewish Day Schools for the 21st Century, a project of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education. Lesley was a founding member of Kibbutz Yahel in the Arava where she was the first treasurer and headed up the kibbutz’s search for an industrial project. She is a doctoral candidate in Jewish education at the Jewish Theological Seminary doing research looking at the connection between curriculum and innovation in congregational education.
Rabbi Jessica Locketz, RJE
Rabbi Jessica Locketz, RJE, has been the Associate Rabbi and Director of Education at Temple Emanuel of South Hills since 2004 where she oversees all youth and family programming. She serves as the Educational Leader of both the Torah Center religious school and South Hills Jewish Community High School, in addition to spending time in the Early Childhood Development Center and coordinating the Adult Learning activities of the Beit Midrash. Jessica was ordained at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati in June 1999. Before coming to Temple Emanuel, she served communities in Pittsburgh (on the other side of the river) and Northern Virginia. She recently returned to her alma mater as a student in the Executive Masters of Religious Education Program and graduated in May 2016. Jessica and her husband Larry live in Pittsburgh and have two sons, Eitan and Ezra.
Susan D. Morrel, RJE
Susan Morrel, RJE, is the Director of Field Experience at Hebrew College Shoolman School of Jewish Education. In addition, Susan consults for Gateways: Access to Jewish Education, as well as for other institutions and individuals in the field of Jewish Education. She is also a teacher educator and consultant in Philosophical Inquiry in Jewish Education (PIJE). Susan has over 25 years of congregational education experience, as well as experience in Jewish camps and organizations. She recently served as the Director of Education at Beth El Temple Center in Belmont, MA.
Susan holds an M.A. in Religious Education from HUC-JIR’s Executive Masters Program and has been part of Hebrew College’s Clinical Mentor Faculty since 2013.
Susan and her husband Dean are the very proud parents of Alicia, Stephanie, David, and Shaina.
Rachel Opatowsky, RJE
Rachel Opatowsky, RJE combines her background in Jewish and youth education with her passion for community-building as the Director of Education at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Rachel spent many of her summers at URJ Camp Newman and these foundational experiences led her to pursue her passion for Jewish education and engagement after earning her Bachelor’s degrees in Modern Jewish Studies and Religious Studies from California State University of Northridge in California. She then earned her Master’s in Education with a concentration in Judaic Studies from American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Rachel participated in the Young Professionals Fellowship for NewCAJE 5, learned at the Pardes Summer Program in Israel, was chosen to be a part of the Youth Professional 101 Fellowship with the Union of Reform Judaism. Rachel has served on the Professional Learning team for the Association of Reform Jewish Educators since 2018 and has been chosen to co-chair the 2021 Annual Gathering. Rachel lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband Joshua, their son Natan, and their cat Yzma.
Laura Siegel Perpinyal, RJE
Laura Siegel Perpinyal has been the Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Chai since 2011. Under her leadership, the school was accredited by the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE) in 2018.
Laura has been active in the national leadership of the ARJE serving as the Development Co-chair for 4 years, prior to starting her role as Advocacy Team Leader. In 2017 she started her term as President of the Chicago Area Reform Jewish Educators (CHARJE).
Laura attended Indiana University where she graduated with Honors with degrees in Jewish Studies and Political Science. In 2009 Laura graduated from Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion with Joint Masters Degrees in Jewish Education and Jewish Non-Profit Management. Laura and her husband Avi live in Northbrook, IL with their two kids.
Miles Roger, RJE
Miles L. Roger is Director of Education at Temple B'nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, VA. He previously served as the Assistant Director of Religious Education for Washington Hebrew Congregation and Assistant Director at the Bureau of Jewish Education in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to entering Jewish education full time, Miles worked for a local bank in Indianapolis while teaching religious school and serving as a youth group adviser. Miles has been active in the national Jewish education field, serving as the Young Professional’s Chair for NewCAJE and on various committees and the Board of the Association of Reform Jewish Educators. Miles earned his Master of Arts in Jewish Education from the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and a Bachelor of Science in Business degree from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He earned the title of Reform Jewish Educator from the Association of Reform Jewish Educators in 2016.
Rabbi Eve Rudin, RJE
Rabbi Eve Rudin, RJE, is the Director of Education, Youth and Families at Larchmont Temple. Prior to joining the Larchmont Temple team, she served as the Director of the Congregational School at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City, the Director of Camp Excellence and Advancement at the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and served as the Director of NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth) and the URJ Kutz Camp for Reform Jewish teens for the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism). A product of the Reform Jewish movement, Eve graduated with a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University and was awarded a Wexner Graduate Fellowship during her rabbinic studies at HUC-JIR where she was ordained in May 2000. Her undergraduate and graduate thesis work focused upon youth movements and camping, and she has spoken and presented at numerous conferences on experiential Jewish education, camping, faith development and youth mentorship.
Rabbi Rudin is married to Rabbi Elliott Kleinman and, together, they have three children: Emma, Avi and Shira.
David M. Scott, RJE
David M. Scott, RJE is the Director of Lifelong Learning and Engagement at Congregation Beth Israel’s Miriam Browning Jewish Learning Center in Houston, Texas. He has served the congregation full time since January 2014, after practicing law for thirteen years. In 2017, he graduated from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Executive Master’s (EMA) Program with a Master of Arts Degree in Religious Education in 2017 and subsequently received his RJE certification in 2018. David completed his undergraduate studies with a major in Government at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997 followed by a law degree at the University of Houston Law Center in 2001. David is also an alumnus in the Wexner Heritage Foundation class of 2006. David enjoys working with his wife, Rabbi Adrienne Scott, and they have two children, Beryt (12) and Ezra (9).
Barb Shimansky, RJE
Barb Shimansky, RJE, currently serves as the Director of the School for Living Judaism at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach. A native of suburban Detroit, she is a graduate of Michigan State University and earned her MSW from Wayne State University and her MARE from HUC-JIR. Formerly, Barb was a social worker with a focus on children in school, foster care, and juvenile justice settings. She also has extensive experience in Jewish youth education at both the elementary and secondary levels, previously teaching and directing youth programs at congregations in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Barb worked in the area of congregational support for the Union for Reform Judaism, and for five years served as the Director of Education at Congregation Sinai in Milwaukee. Raised in the Reform Movement, Barb is an alumna of NFTY and the URJ Kutz Camp and has served as a faculty member of Kutz Camp, OSRUI, Camp Coleman, and 6 Points Creative Arts Academy. She has facilitated workshops on topics such as informal education and junior youth programming at both regional and North American URJ gatherings, and has published several articles regarding the engagement of youth and families in Jewish learning experiences. Barb resides in Miami Beach with her husband, Jake, and their three children, Ethan, Aidan, and Caleb.
Joel Swedlove serves as the Assistant Director of JCC Maccabi Sports Camp in Atherton, California. Joel has gained significant experience in both formal and informal education having worked for 5 years at Temple Beth-El in San Antonio, TX and 6 years at The Adelson Educational Campus in Las Vegas, Nevada while spending his summers as a song leader, unit head and program director for Camps Alonim, Hess Kramer and JCC Maccabi Sports Camp, respectively. Joel grew up in the Reform movement from his early summers at Camp Swig and Newman to serving as Religious and Cultural VP on NFTY Southern California’s Regional Board. Upon graduating High School he served as youth group advisor and director for congregations throughout Southern California and Las Vegas. Joel has an M.S. in Organizational Leadership & Innovation from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and received his B.S. in Communications from the University of Phoenix. He has a deep love of movies, comic books and sports. Joel and his wife, Stephanie, are the proud parents of two boys, Ethan and Alexander.
Jo-Ellen Unger, RJE
Jo-Ellen Unger is the founding director of the URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy. Throughout her education and career, Jo-Ellen straddled the worlds of Jewish Education and the Arts. Music was a part of her life from a very young age, as she performed in a variety of concerts in multiple venues. She developed her skills in voice, theatre and dance at the Performing and Visual Arts Center (now New World School of the Arts) in Miami, Florida, the Fine Arts program at Florida State University and the National Shakespeare Conservatory in New York City. She held positions in camping and youth and served as a formal and informal education director in Florida and Maryland, both in the congregational world and Hillel. She is a graduate of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, where she earned a Master of Arts in Religious Education. She had the privilege of serving as the 2019 Zeldin Alumni Scholar-in-Residence for the School of Education at HUC-JIR and was named as a 2020 Distinguished Educator by the Association of Reform Jewish Educators.
Rabbi Carrie Vogel, RJE
Rabbi Carrie Vogel, RJE, currently serves as the Director of the Jewish Experience Center at Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades, California. Carrie received her Master of Arts in Jewish Education in 2007 from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC in Los Angeles. Carrie was also ordained as a rabbi from the in 2009 and received a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters in 2006. During Carrie’s time at HUC, she worked at a number of synagogues, camps and day schools in the greater Los Angeles area. Carrie also earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Cincinnati. Carrie and her husband Brian are the proud parents Jonah and Eliza. In her very small amount of spare time, she enjoys baking, being outside and playing with (but really, organizing) LEGOs.
Vicki Weber, RJE
Vicki L. Weber, RJE, MARE, is a Behrman House partner serving as Director of Communications and Customer Support. Since joining Behrman House in 2003, Vicki has served in a variety of editorial, production, and marketing capacities. She is also an author of books for both children and adults, including “It’s Too Crowded in Here!” and “Tradition: Celebration and Ritual in Jewish Life,” as well as educational materials, including “Teach Me Torah” and “Let’s Discover Shabbat.” Vicki received her Master of Arts in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2015 and a Master’s Concentration in Israel Education from The iCenter in 2017. She earned an A.B. in Economics from Bryn Mawr College, is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and had an earlier career at Bank of America and Merrill Lynch as a stock market analyst. Vicki served as a Trustee of Bryn Mawr College from 2005-2010 and from 2011-2017 as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Winston School of Short Hills, an independent, non-profit day school for grades 3-8 serving children with language-based learning disabilities.
Beth Ellen Young, RJE
Beth Young, RJE, is the Senior Director of Education at Temple Judea in Coral Gables, FL. Beth holds a Masters in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, CA and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College. Beth has served the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE) on the national board, as well as co-chairing the Task Force on Excellence 2018-19, planning the South Florida Day of Learning in 2016, and co-chairing the national conference, Imagineering Jewish Education for the 21st Century, held in Seattle, Washington in January 2011. In February of 2016, Beth was recognized with the Distinguished Educator’s Award by ARJE. Beth is married to Rabbi Danny Young and they have twin girls.