Teacher Bios

Madison Cohen (Kita Bet)

Madison Cohen is a senior at Pelham Memorial High School. Madison attended the PJC Learning Center from fourth grade through seventh grade, when she became a bat mitzvah at the PJC. Later, she volunteered as a photographer and madricha for the PJC Learning Center. Madison is excited to now be working as a teacher at the PJC. She loves finding creative ways to explore the different aspects of Judaism with her students. She is also a founding board member of Gesher, a community service-based program for Jewish teens. Madison participated in a fellowship program with the Shalom Hartman Institute to join a cohort of emerging Jewish thought leaders to explore challenges facing modern Jewish identity. After finishing her research for her capstone project, she concluded that the idea of tzedakah, charitable giving, could bring the different Jewish sects together around a common cause. She presented her final project to members of the PJC and moderated a discussion. Madison also spends her time in a leadership role with GensConnect, a non-profit that pairs teenagers and senior citizens to create cross-generational bonds, and is on the editorial board of the Pelham Examiner.

Jerusha Coltof (Kitot Nitzanim-Gan & Lomdim b’Yachad Staff)  

Jerusha Coltof has been teaching in the Pelham Jewish Center for 23 years. She has taught children from Nitzanim through Kitah Zayin. Jerusha is a Special Education teacher, working with young children with various learning disabilities. She earned her degrees from Boston University, Manhattanville College and Touro College.  As always, Jerusha is looking forward to a wonderful year with your children!

Sandra Daniels (Shabbat & Family Sunday’s Leader)

Sandi has been an Early Childhood educator for over 20 years, working with children ages 3-5.  She earned a Master’s Degree from Manhattanville College in Early Childhood Education.  She ran a lovely Tot Shabbat program for many years.  The services were engaging and interactive, and connected children and their families to Shabbat through prayers, songs, movement, games and stories.  Sandi has subbed in a Gan class, and has done many leave replacements.  Currently, she is working at Riverdale Temple, in a UPK class.  She is looking forward to continuing the shared partnership with PJCs parents and children on Saturday morning during Torah Time.  Sandi has three grown children and two wonderful grandchildren.

Elise Goldenberg (Kitah Alef

Elise Goldenberg grew up in the Pelham Jewish Center, considering it her second home.  As a child, she went on the PJC’s first family trip to Israel, was involved in youth programming and served as a Madricha.  She has experience working with children of all ages, as well as children with special needs.  Elise is currently studying Early Childhood Development at Westchester Community College.  She is looking forward to her fourth year as a teacher at the PJC Learning Center, and to a wonderful year with her Kitah Alef students.

Emily Herzfeld (Lomdim b’Yachad Staff)  

Emily Herzfeld is excited to be returning to the PJC, where she had previously taught Kitah Gimmel from 2005-2007.  She has a Master’s Degree in Early Education and has been teaching in nursery schools for over 15 years.  In addition to Kitah Gimmel, Emily has taught Gan classes at religious schools for 10 years.  She is also a learning specialist at the Beth El Synagogue Religious School.  She is a certified yoga instructor (200 hr and children’s) and has been teaching yoga for eight years, with a focus on children’s yoga, Jewish-themed yoga and children’s Jewish-themed yoga.  Emily is the host of The Jewish Yogi podcast.  When she is not teaching religious school or yoga, she can be found enjoying her friends, her family and nature.

Sonia Levin (Hebrew Learning Specialist)

Sonia Levin is a Hebrew Language and Reading specialist.  She received an M.A. in Education from Tel Aviv University and a second M.A. in Jewish Education from Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.  Her research was focused on teaching Hebrew decoding skills to children with dyslexia, and other language/reading disabilities, based on data available in Israel, Europe, Russia and the United States.  Through her practice with this novel decoding system, Sonia found that it can be used to teach Hebrew reading not only to children with learning disabilities but to students at any level.  In addition to being a seasoned teacher, Sonia also facilitates professional education training.  During the week, she works as a reading learning specialist at SAR Academy in Riverdale, NY. She currently lives in New Jersey with her children.

Amy Shapiro-Kessler (IsraellinkKitah Zayin & Hebrew High School) 

Amy Shapiro-Kessler is a licensed social worker and educator with an M.S.W. from Hunter College.  Amy’s Master’s Degree in Social Work included a dual concentration in Administration and Community Organizing, with a specialization in Children & Families.  She was Director of an adoption program for a large non-profit organization and ran a therapeutic recreation program for children ages 5-18.  Amy has worked in religious schools for over 20 years, and has taught every grade, including holidays, Judaica, history, Hebrew reading and writing, as well as B’nai Mitzvah preparation.  She has been Director of Education at the Greenburgh Hebrew Center in Dobbs Ferry since 2015, where she leads both the Early Childhood Center and Religious School.  Amy was a teacher at the PJC in 2012, and was delighted to return to the PJC Learning Center in 2020.  She is currently taking classes at the Academy of Jewish Religion, and hopes to achieve her dream of becoming a Rabbi one day.  Amy lives in Dobbs Ferry with her two children, dog and bunny.  In her free time, she enjoys relaxing on her deck with a cup of tea and a good book, taking road trips and any outdoor adventure she can think up!

Linda Rosenblatt (Bubby’s Kitchen)

With over two decades of coaching people how to retrain the brain with a healthier and happier mindset, Linda Rosenblatt teaches youth, adults and families the importance and value of empowerment, through culinary and nutrition education and energy healing.  She is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, carries an Integrative Health Coach Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is attuned in Usui Reiki Ryoho Level I and II.  

Lori Weber (Shirah Chadashah/Music)  

Lori Weber holds both a B.S. in Music Therapy from SUNY Fredonia and an M.A. in Music Therapy from NYU. She has sung in various bands throughout the Tri-state Area: performing for weddings, corporate events, nursing homes and more.  Lori currently works for a variety of local synagogues in Westchester, teaching religious school music and leading Kabbalat Shabbat for services/Jewish holiday programming for seniors residing in assisted living facilities.  Additionally,  Lori teaches private piano and guitar lessons to children and adults.  She is currently pursuing her Cantorial Studies at the Academy For Jewish Religion (AJR), and works as a Cantorial Soloist during the year, leading both Shabbat and High Holiday services for different synagogues in the Tri-state Area.  She has also served as the Jewish Chaplain for the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM during the summers of 2019 and 2021.  Lori lives in Westchester with her amazing husband, Robert, and two beautiful sons — Sammy and Zachary.