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Faculty

Aveyn Barnett is a sophomore at Muhlenberg with a passion for Judaism and teaching. They taught kindergarten and first grade Hebrew School at their home synagogue for five years in New Jersey. They are part of several student groups on campus, including being a Muhlenberg Tour guide and a vocalist in the largest on-campus choir. They enjoy bringing a variety of teaching methods, including ample physical activity to their lively group of fourth graders at KI.
Steffa Burke, second-third grade teacher, may be a familiar voice if you listen to WMUH-FM an Friday mornings.  She hosts “Kol Ha-Emek,” the Voice of the Valley, Muhlenberg College’s Jewish culture program, from 8:00 till 9:30 AM.  Steffa is also music director of the Lehigh Valley’s Gay Men’s Chorus, and further, is the director of the Liberty Bell Museum in Allentown.  She teaches her students with a solid Judaica grounding and a great sense of fun.  What kids wouldn’t want to learn the Hebrew letters by forming them out of Play-Do – which they made themselves?
 
Asher Clissold, fourth-grade teacher, is a first-year student at Muhlenberg.  He’s the son of a cantor with a Jewish day-school education and he has just returned from his second trip to Israel.  An accomplished guitarist, Asher is brimming with enthusiasm for Jewish culture and traditions.  His students come to class excited to find out what’s on tap this morning.
Shari Gluskin - a kindergarten, first grade teacher - is a long time Jewish educator who believes in learning through fun, hands on, interactive instruction. She taught pre-K and kindergarten here at KI for ten years before moving on to become the director of another Synagogue. Certified by NY state to teach Biology, Chemistry and General Sciences, Shari is now working in Special Education at Parkland High School where she brings that same love of learning to at risk children. She is excited to once again to work with our beginning learners.
Emily Hamme, fifth-grade teacher, returns to KI to teach her energetic class about the global Jewish community.  She is, in fact, a geography buff, and this gives her students a new way to see the variety of our people’s histories and expressions.  Emily likes to use non-traditional approaches to learning, including hands-on cooperative projects, skits and debating.
Jacob Lader, sixth-grade teacher, returns this year to lead his students through their Jewish studies in a thoughtful, listening style of teaching.  His Muhlenberg studies in art and neurology give hum a unique background and perspective on our people’s experience.  And his training in Israeli martial arts also gets his students’ attention!
Alan Salinger, seventh-grade teacher marks his 19th year as a religious school instructor. He works with Bar-Bat Mitzvah students, and instructs adult Hebrew classes. Over the years, religious school students have enjoyed discussions about Judaism’s ethical teachings and their application to current real situations. Alan spent two years in Israel working and studying on a kibbutz, and then as a planner living in Jerusalem.
David Eiskowitz, eighth grade teacher, is a longtime educator at Keneseth Israel.  His mission is to re-visit the subjects the students studied before becoming b’nai mitsva, but on an adult level: the Torah, the holidays, the state of Israel.  He also guides the examination of difficult topics: the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, and personal identity.  David’s students also explore the kosher laws and family history, and visit the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
Natalie Sams, Confirmation class teacher, is a fifth-generation KI member; her roots here are quite deep! She loves working with teens and is especially passionate about the fulfillment of the mitsvot of treating all people with respect.  Natalie received rave reviews as ninth grade teacher last year, and we are all pleased that she has “fleeted up” to teach the Confirmation class (that’s our Rabbi Seth Phillips’ term).
Max Kasler, music teacher, has a singular mission: to get Jews singing!  He and his guitar can lift the mood of a student, a class, or a whole auditorium, and connect us with our heritage through the irreplaceable gift of song.  Any KI student who wants to learn guitar chords and play along is invited to join his music club.  Max’s website is http://www.maxkasler.com/
Avital Zemel
Fri, February 21 2020 26 Shevat 5780