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 5th/6th 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 four years.  Previously, he served four years as a classroom teacher at the Highlands School in Birmingham, Alabama. Mr. Baselj 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.


Adriana BoylanAdriana Boylan, Lower School Director of Student Life and 4th Grade General Studies Teacher
Ms. Boylan returned to CCJDS in 2016 after taking a sabbatical to travel by bicycle in South America. She previously served CCJDS as a core Math and Science teacher. Currently, Ms. Boylan is the Lower School Student Life Director and the fourth grade General Studies teacher. Her BA is from Penn State University in Secondary Education and Mathematics. Joined CCJDS in 2013.

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.

Ophira DruchOphira Druch, Hebrew

Ms. Druch brings a wealth of experience in Hebrew and Judaic Studies to CCJDS. She was an Associate Director of Education at Temple Sinai in Oakland where she worked for over twenty years, and in 2003 she was the recipient of the Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Ms. Druch studied Business Administration at Cabrillo College and is also a graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. Graduate of MTEI (Mandel Teacher Educators Institute) in San Francisco and Israel. Joined CCJDS in 2013.


Inbal ElbazInbal Elbaz, 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.

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.

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 graduated from St. Mary's College of California with a BS in Psychology. She spent the summer at CCJDS teaching for her third year with Galileo Summer Quest. She has worked as a teaching assistant and tutor during her college years.  Joined CCJDS in 2017. 

Theresa KempelTheresa Kempel, Lower School Teaching Intern

Ms. Kempel has worked as a support professional in both private and public school settings.  She has a degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Merritt College.  Joined CCJDS in 2017. 

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. 

Karin McCarthyKarin McCarthy, 2nd Grade General Studies

Prior to joining CCJDS, Ms. McCarthy had experience in both public and private school settings. She has a BA in Elementary education from the University of St. Francis and a MS in Curriculum from California State University, East Bay. Her interest in education and how to make her teaching more interactive and engaging has resulted in great relationships with, and growth of, her students.  She lives in Oakland with her husband Deepak and two children, Noah and Flynn.  Joined CCJDS in 2017.


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.
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 School Musical
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.

Sam Peyton-LevineSam Peyton-Levine, Math and Science
Mr. Peyton-Levine joined CCJDS after teaching high school mathematics for the first three years of his teaching experience, two of which were at a small boarding school in Dublin, New Hampshire. In Northern Canada he created a leadership canoe expedition that gave young aspiring leaders the chance to hone their leadership skills. Mr. Peyton-Levine always enjoys expanding young people’s minds, whether it’s in an outdoor or classroom setting. In his free time he enjoys distance running and playing the guitar. BS from University of Oregon in Mathematics and Outdoor Leadership. Joined CCJDS in 2014.

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.

Rabbi Elisheva SalamoRabbi Elisheva Salamo, Rabbi in Residence and Judaic Studies Teacher
Joined CCJDS in 2016.

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.

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.


Elizabeth WitmerElizabeth Witmer, Middle School Student Life Director and English Teacher
Prior to arriving at CCJDS, Ms. Witmer taught 9th grade English and served in a variety of roles related to student life at The Thacher School in Ojai, California. She loves teaching English and overseeing the Advisory Program for Middle School students at CCJDS as well as teaching popular electives like Video Journalism and Bear Paw News(paper). She is delighted to get to know students in all grades as Stage Manager for our annual musical. Ms. Witmer’s colleagues and students appreciate her energetic, reflective, and creative spirit. Ms. Witmer has a BA in English and Theater from Lafayette College, where she was the recipient of the English Department's Clinton Kline Prize, and a Masters in Literature from Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English.   Joined CCJDS in 2013.

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