Our LeadershipJanuary 11, 2021 2022-07-13 9:28
Keri Loventhal, Director, Aaron Milken Center, who has over 20 years of experience—will lead our early childhood program into a new era as we prepare to break ground on our state-of-the-art, $30 million facility. Loventhal graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara, earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology. She later earned her master’s in education from the University of Judaism (now the American Jewish University), along with a second bachelor’s degree in Hebrew literature. She also pursued professional growth with the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters, Skye and Payton, her boyfriend Marc, taking Peloton classes, Pilates, and reading.
Jayne Rosen, Early Childhood Associate Director, Aaron Milken Center, comes to us with over 25 years of experience in early childhood education. Most recently, she was the Director of Admissions and Assistant Director at Temple Israel of Hollywood’s Bay-Nimoy Early Childhood Center. Jayne is known for creating interactive events and curricula that promote connection and support a life-long love of learning. Along with some of our Parenting Center Team, Jayne was awarded a fellowship from the First 36 Project, a groundbreaking pilot program by Simms/Mann Institute, providing professional development with the goal of facilitating strong, meaningful bonds between parents and children.
Tami Weiser, Head of School, has a rich background of educational experiences including serving as the Head of School at Heschel West Day School and Principal, of Palisades Elementary Charter School. Mrs. Weiser worked in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 22 years as Principal, Assistant Principal and Magnet Coordinator for a highly gifted magnet, Annenberg Grant Coordinator, and classroom teacher.
Senior Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback graduated from Princeton University in 1991 and was ordained as a Rabbi by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1998. He trained as a Jewish Educator at HUC’s Los Angeles campus, where he received an M.A. in Jewish Education. He served Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, California, as Rabbi and educator for eleven years, until moving to Israel with his family in 2009 to become the Director of HUC’s Year-in-Israel program. In addition to overall management of the graduate level program, he served as an instructor in Jewish Liturgy. Rabbi Zweiback is a lecturer at HUC-JIR and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.
Sharon Spira-Cushnir, Executive Director, brings to her role over two decades of service to Los Angeles-area nonprofits, including having overseen programs as Chief Operating Officer of two premiere social service agencies, St. Anne’s and Chrysalis. She also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit capacity-builder Executive Service Corps, leading a cadre of more than 100 volunteer executives in providing transformational consulting services to over 150 nonprofits annually.
Jennifer West, Aaron Milken Center Curriculum Director, has worked in early childhood education for 25 years both as an educator and as an administrator. Jennifer was the director of a corporate child development center for 16 years before moving on to the role of Senior Manager of Education and Curriculum for a childcare corporation. Jennifer enjoys helping teachers create curriculum that challenges children, and spending time with her partner Brian and daughter Gillian. Free time is often filled with visiting family, swimming, and exploring California.
Beth Behar, Director of Admissions and Exmissions, is looking forward to starting her 13th year at Wise School and Aaron Milken Center as the Director of Admission and Exmissions. She was raised in Los Angeles and graduated from Beverly Hills High School. She attended Indiana University and received a B.A. in History. Immediately following college, she worked in Public Relations for CNN in London. After returning to Los Angeles, she served as a fundraiser for Dianne Feinstein’s Senate campaign. She then worked on several more statewide campaigns including Gray Davis and John Garamendi. Prior to coming to Wise, she worked as the Program Officer for The Streisand Foundation. In addition to her work at Wise, Ms. Behar has served as the Chair of ESAD, the coalition of all private schools in Los Angeles. Mrs. Behar and her husband Bryan are the parents of Samantha and Jack, both Wise School graduates.
Jenna Pitson, Aaron Milken Center Parenting Center Coordinator, has a background in early childhood education and was a preschool teacher at Wise. Jenna has her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin and completed her fellowship with the Simms/Mann Institute’s First 36 Project in 2018. Jenna is a Wise School Alumna and her three children also currently attend Wise School.
Genene Turndorf, Aaron Milken Center Parenting Center Coordinator, has been an integral part of both the Wise EC and Parenting Center for over 25 years as an educator and as a parent. After graduating from Stephens College with a degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, she taught in both the Houston Independent School District and Temple Beth Israel’s Shlenker School prior to joining the Stephen Wise Community in 1994. Most recently, Genene completed a fellowship with the Simms/Mann Institute’s First 36 Project, a program designed to use the latest neuroscience research to educate EC teachers and parents. She has always exhibited both her love for teaching young children and her commitment to including and supporting parents in their children’s Jewish education.
Amanda Bernstein Amanda Bernstein, Office Manager, came to Wise School with a strong background in customer service after spending three years working as a lead teller at Wells Fargo. Amanda started her career as an Emergency Medical Technician, as well as being a dispatcher and field training officer, working in emergency and non-emergency settings. She started as an Administrative Assistant at Wise School and is now the Office Manager of Aaron Milken Center. She holds a BA in Psychology from California State University, Channel Islands. In her free time, Amanda enjoys shopping with her teenage daughter, Aurora, and playing with her four Siberian huskies (Aspen, Boulder, Colorado, and Denver).