Faculty

   
Jacki Angelo

Jacki Angelo, 1st Grade General Studies
Ms. Angelo began working at CCJDS in 2011 as a substitute teacher and quickly became a valuable member of the CCJDS team. She worked as a Teacher's Assistant for the kindergarten and first grade classrooms before becoming our 1st Grade General Studies teacher.  She has a passion for working with the primary grades and focusing on nurturing young students' creativity and imagination.   Jacki has also taught dance and gymnastics to children ages 3 and up and loves to incorporate movement activities into the classroom. Ms. Angelo received her BA in History as well as her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Saint Mary's College of California.  Joined CCJDS in 2011.

Hagit Ayalon

Hagit Ayalon, Kindergarten Hebrew/Judaics and 6th Grade Hebrew
Ms. Ayalon loves working with students of all ages at CCJDS! Ms. Ayalon’s warmth and creative energy are a great fit for our eager learners. Prior to moving to the United States, Ms. Ayalon taught both middle school and high school in Israel.  She graduated with honors, BA in English Linguistics and a Masters in Education from Hebrew University. Joined CCJDS in 2011.
 

     


Daniel BaseljDaniel Baselj, 3rd Grade General Studies

Mr. Baselj came to CCJDS from Northern Lights School in Oakland, where he taught for two years.  He is excited to teach at CCJDS because he loves the sense of community he feels from the families he meets each new school year. He also feels that the work his class does in SHIR HaLev service learning and the impact it has on each student can last a lifetime.  Previously, Mr. Baselj served four years as a classroom teacher at the Highlands School in Birmingham, Alabama. He entered teaching through his eight years of experience as a Learning Specialist in Pittsburgh, PA. Colleagues, parents, and supervisors describe him as a gifted educator, strong team member and delightful person. His classroom has a rigorous curriculum which values creativity in a child centered environment. His BA and MA are both from the University of Pittsburgh.  Joined CCJDS in 2016.


Racheli Ben ShushanRachel Ben Shushan, Fine Arts

Ms. Ben Shushan is a talented artist and dedicated teacher.  Born in Israel, she worked in the Iriyah Matnas V'Votizor V'Naamat - a highly regarded children’s art program - until moving to the US.  Since arriving in the Bay Area in 2005, Ms. Ben Shushan has taught art at Jewish Day Schools.  At CCJDS she has taught art and Hebrew.  Currently, she teaches our Fine Art Elective in Middle School, our K-5th grade art classes and a popular after-school art enrichment program.  Trained at the Michlelet Oat Art School in Jerusalem. Joined CCJDS in 2006.

 

Lawrence DelaneyLawrence Delaney, Assistant Principal and Humanities Teacher

Mr. Delaney, originally from Wales, taught second through sixth grades in Oakland, Germany, and Dubai prior to coming to CCJDS. He brings great enthusiasm for teaching, as well as musical and athletic talents as leader of our rock band and one of our physical education instructors. Mr. Delaney enjoys introducing the students to cricket and non-contact rugby. He authored a children’s book, “Detective Sniffer Investigates,” a best seller on Amazon. Visual Cultures (Magna cum Laude), University of Derby in England; MA Media and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; Post-Graduate Certificate in Education and MEd Education, Open University, England. Joined CCJDS in 2006.
     

Inbal ElbazInbal Elbaz, 4th Grade Hebrew/Judaics and 8th Grade Hebrew
Ms. Elbaz, originally from Israel, began teaching Hebrew and Judaic Studies at CCJDS in 2002.  After a break of a few years in which she had 3 children and moved back to Israel, CCJDS welcomed Inbal back as a Middle School Hebrew teacher.  Previously, Inbal worked as an English teacher and advisor at Amirim High School in Kfar Vradim.  BA in Education from HaKibbutzim College major English. Joined CCJDS in 2002.




Courtney Falcon, Aftercare Director
Ms. Falcon moved from Long Beach, California and chose to leave a position at Disneyland, to help bring a little bit of magic to the beautiful campus of CCJDS.  She brings 13 years of experience working with children at schools in the East Bay and Long Beach areas. Ms. Falcon plans engaging and fun Aftercare activities, provides a helpful Homework Club, and creates a nurturing environment that helps children recharge after the school day, make friends, and thrive.  She is currently completing her BA Degree in Liberal Studies from Arizona State University. Joined CCJDS in 2018.

Galit Franbuch

Galit Franbuch, PhD, 1st Grade Hebrew/Judaics
Dr. Franbuch was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel and moved to the United States in 1996. With a great deal of warmth and talent, she has enthusiastically taught Hebrew and Judaics in Bay Area Jewish Day schools and religious schools since 1996. BA Psychology and Criminology, with honors, Bar Ilan University, Israel; MA Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, Alameda; PsyD. Clinical Psychology, Family and Child Emphasis Area, California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University, Alameda, CA. Joined CCJDS in 2008.



Karen Frock, 5th Grade Humanities, 6th and 7th Grade Language Arts
Ms. Frock brings two decades of experience teaching at international and local independent schools, most recently for four-year terms at the Bentley School and The Academy.  She has her BA in English Literature from the University of Michigan; MA in Education, with an emphasis on Reading and Language Arts, from UC Berkeley; and an MBA from San Francisco State University.  Joined CCJDS in 2018.

Mirit Grembek, 5th-8th Grade Hebrew
Ms. Grembek 
first taught at CCJDS from 2006-2010.  She rejoined the Hebrew department in 2018.  Ms. Grembek has her BA degree from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev and an MBA from Ono Academic College in Kiryat Ono, Israel.  Joined CCJDS in 2006.

Maya Haritan, 4th Grade General Studies

Ms. Haritan is a graduate of Valley Beth Shalom Jewish Day School and has her BA in Liberal Arts and Masters in Education from the University of Southern California. Prior to CCJDS, she taught at Aspire Monarch Academy in Oakland for five years.  Joined CCJDS in 2018.


Franchesca Ignacio

Franchesca Ignacio, Middle School Teaching Intern

Ms. Ignacio is a graduate student at National University, working towards her Masters in Education and English Teaching Credential. She loves teaching at CCJDS because the community members (parents, teachers, and students) help each other grow into better people. Two of Ms. Ignacio's favorite projects are the newspaper and the literary magazine, because they can help students develop their creative writing skills and add some adventure to their Middle School experience. She spent the summer at CCJDS teaching for her fourth year with Galileo Summer Quest. Previously, she has worked as a teaching assistant and tutor.  She graduated from St. Mary's College of California with a BS in Psychology. Joined CCJDS in 2017.

Sani Kia, Lower School Teaching Intern
Prior to joining CCJDS, Ms. Kia worked for seven years in an aftercare program, facilitating enrichment activities and providing academic support to elementary and middle school students.  Ms. Kia first came to CCJDS in 2017 as a substitute teacher and aftercare assistant.  Now, as a full-time Teaching Intern, she supports Lower School teachers and students in the classroom and assists in Aftercare. Ms. Kia has a BA degree in Biology from San Francisco State University.  Joined CCJDS in 2017.

Orli Loewenberg, 3rd Grade Judaics
Ms. Loewenberg came to CCJDS from Tehiyah Day School where she taught Hebrew and Judaics. She is excited to be teaching at CCJDS because students get to embody the Jewish values they learn about by putting them into practice in their Shir HaLev service learning.  One of her favorite projects with her students is when they learn about how a Torah is made and then they become scribes and write their own Mezzuzah scroll.  Ms. Loewenberg taught previously at Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, Oakland Hebrew Day School, and Yavneh Hebrew Day School in Los Gatos. She also worked in the Life Lab Science Program promoting resource conservation and environmental stewardship. She has a BA degree in Cultural Anthropology from McGill University.   Joined CCJDS in 2018.


Cesar MartinezCesar Martinez, Spanish

A native of Toluca, Mexico, Mr. Martinez studied Accounting at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional in Mexico City.  Mr. Martinez also has experience teaching illiterate adults how to read and write.  At Viva el Español Mr. Martinez has taught a wide range of ages and proficiencies, from 1st grade beginning students, to bilingual elementary school students, to Los Chavos (teens), with whom he has a particularly great connection.  He loves to teach and says “I feel like I’m a child again when I work with children." Joined CCJDS in 2010.




Aliza MayAliza May, Hebrew 

Ms. May teaches Second Grade Hebrew. She received specialized training at the Tal Am Language Institute, Jerusalem campus. She also provides support to other classroom teachers, primarily for the lower elementary grades. Joined CCJDS in 2016. 







 


Jeannie McKenzieJeannie McKenzie, Music
After a 15-year career as a massage therapist, violinist and mime artist, Ms. McKenzie found her way into the world of Orff Schulwerk. Drawn by the emphasis on movement, composition and collaboration, she decided to become a music teacher. Her past teaching experience includes teaching music at Charles Drew Elementary School in San Francisco's Hunter’s Point, Julia Morgan School for Girls in Oakland and Windrush School in El Cerrito. She is also a certified Biodynamic Cranial-Sacral therapist and continues her studies in embryology and nervous system “Settling.” Ms. McKenzie plays violin, cello and ukulele for various projects and is realizing her dream of becoming a beekeeper and goat herder on her urban farm in Oakland. Joined CCJDS in 2011.
     
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Zivile Oteroe Otero, Middle School Math
Ms Otero was born and raised in Lithuania, where she started working as math teacher in 1986. She also has work experience in the Ministry of Education and Science, and the National Examination Centre of Lithuania. In 2013 Ms. Otero moved to the United States and started to work at the Russian School of Mathematics. Her goal is to make every student feel successful, and she prefers to show different ways to a solution to accomplish this. BA in Math, MA in Education (diplomas evaluated in USA). Joined CCJDS in 2014.



Renée PenegorRenée Penegor, Drama and Cross-Curricular Arts Integration
Ms. Penegor graduated with an MFA from A.C.T. and has over 15 years of experience acting, teaching drama in private and classroom environments, producing and directing K-5 performances and cultivating meaningful experiences for students that go beyond theatre. Most recently, she taught at Strandwood Elementary School in Pleasant Hill, where she helped to develop a curriculum integrating the arts with core academic subjects. Ms. Penegor also has a BA in English Literature, Theatre, and Women’s Studies (Dean’s List) from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse.  Joined CCJDS in 2016.



Hadas RaveHadas Rave, Director of Jewish Life and Judaic Studies Teacher

In 1997 Ms. Rave moved from the United States to Israel and taught for nine years at the alternative school - Meitar on Kibbutz Bet Oren, before coming to CCJDS. In addition to being our Director of Jewish Life, Ms. Rave leads our SHIR HaLev service learning program and Israel education program. She also teaches Judaic studies.  In 2017 Ms. Rave was awarded the Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Studied Communications at Drury University; BA Elementary Education, Warren Wilson College, North Carolina. MA in Jewish Education through Hebrew Union College.  Joined CCJDS in 2008.


Sarah ShwedelSarah Shwedel, Kindergarten General Studies
Ms. Shwedel benefits from a strong understanding of the CCJDS K-1 curriculum and an extraordinary ability to nurture our youngest students, who arrive at kindergarten with diverse backgrounds and levels of maturity and preparedness. This along with Ms. Shwedel’s intelligence, kindness, and strong organizational and communication skills make her a star as the Kindergarten General Studies teacher. Ms. Shwedel has a BA in Liberal Arts from Chico State and her Multiple Subject Credential from Cal State East Bay. Joined CCJDS in 2010.

    


Dr. Michele Spitulnik

Michele Spitulnik, PhD, Dean of Faculty and Director of Science Education
Dr. Spitulnik taught high school chemistry and physics in Michigan before pursuing a doctorate in science education from the University of Michigan. In 2002, she joined the faculty at the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley, designing middle school science curriculum and implementing professional development courses for science teachers. She helped to design the scope and sequence of the K-8th grade CCJDS science curriculum, which is unparalleled in our local schools.  As our Dean of Faculty, Dr. Spitulnik mentors all of our General Studies, Hebrew and Judaic Studies teachers, helping them develop and implement innovative and dynamic curricula.  She also loves to work directly with students and currently teaches 7th and 8th grade science.  BA, Chemistry, Vassar College; MS, Materials Engineering and PhD, Science Education, University of Michigan. Joined CCJDS in 2008.
   
Catie Warburton, 2nd Grade General Studies
After a professional career in the field of scientific instrumentation, Ms. Warburton taught science in the Lafayette School district for five years and spent two years as a second grade Instructional Aide at Lafayette Elementary School.  Ms. Warburton has a BA degree in Biological Sciences and German Language and Literature from UC Santa Barbara and her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Notre Dame De Namur University.  Joined CCJDS in 2018.


Kenny Widmann Kenny Widmann, Middle School History
Mr. Widmann is a professional writer returning to teaching after starting a family. Earlier in his career, Mr. Widmann taught Middle School History in both Tennessee and South Carolina. BA in History from Connecticut College and a MA in American Civilization from Brown University. Joined CCJDS in 2017. 







Sharone WiezelSharone Wiezel, Hebrew

Ms. Wiezel, born and raised in San Francisco to an Israeli family, grew up speaking Hebrew at home and attended the Hebrew Academy. She moved to Israel after high school graduation and joined the Israeli Defense Forces, serving in the paratroopers. After teaching English as a Second Language for nine years in Israel, Ms. Wiezel enjoys bringing Hebrew and Israel to life for our students here in the Bay Area. BA in Education, specializing in ESL, from Seminar Kibbutzim in Tel Aviv. Joined CCJDS in 2008.

     

Marci Winer, Fifth Grade Math/Science, Sixth Grade Science, PE Leadership
Ms. Winer worked for nine years in the Lafayette School District, teaching General Studies subjects and leading the Physical Education Program at Springhill Elementary. She also served as a CCJDS substitute teacher in the past, capably stepping in for several long-term assignments. Ms. Winer has her BA degree in Political Science and Business from the University of Arizona.  Joined CCJDS in 2018.

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