We welcome children from traditional, interfaith, LGBTQ, single and other families.

609-730-1500

learn@jecnj.org

at Har Sinai Temple
2421 Pennington Road
Pennington, NJ 08534

Faculty - Jewish Education Connection

Rabbi Stuart Pollack (Education Director, 9th/10th Grade Teacher)

Rabbi Stuart Pollack has been Har Sinai Temple’s religious leader since 1999. He is honored to be the JEC education director this year. He is also thrilled to be teaching in our Hebrew High and the 10th Grade Confirmation Class. Read more here.

 

 

 

Kayla Krause (Administrator)

Kayla Krause of Trenton, New Jersey, comes to JEC as an alumn of the Har Sinai Religious School. She became Bat Mitzvah in 2008, and was Confirmed in 2011. She continued as a Toran (teaching assistant) from 2011-2013.

Ms. Krause graduated from Rutgers University – New Brunswick in 2017 with a degree in Cell Biology and Neuroscience, and a minor in Chinese. There, she was a member of Hillel and took on several leadership roles throughout the university. In addition to her college course load, she tutored students in Hebrew.

She returned to JEC for the 2017-18 school year as the 3rd and 4th grade teacher. She is delighted this year to return as the JEC administrator.

 

Robin Jacobs (Kindergarten/1st Grade Teacher)

Robin Jacobs is excited to join us this year as our Kindergarten/1st Grade teacher!

She has worked with students one-on-one and has done private tutoring at Kol Emet Religious School for 6 years. Religion is a part of who she is, and it holds a special place in her heart. She loves sharing her knowledge with others, fellow Jews and non-Jews alike. She is excited to share this important part of her life through teaching, and hopes to instill a life-long love of Judaism in all of her students!

Ms. Jacobs is from Bensalem, PA, and has attended Tifereth Israel for over 20 years. She grew up in a conservative community, and became Bat Mitzvah in 2002.

 

 

 

Sophie Goldberg (2nd Grade Teacher)

Sophie Goldberg returns for her second year with JEC. Last year, she was the assistant teacher for the 3rd and 4th grades. She is excited to return to teach 2nd grade.

Ms. Goldberg grew up in a Jewish community and it is a very important part of her identity. She loves going to temple back at home, and is very involved in the Jewish organizations that are on her college campus. She is currently a Junior at TCNJ studying computer science.

 

 

 

Shara Katlin (4th and 5th Grade Teacher)

Shara Katlin (5th Grade Teacher)

Shara Katlin began at working at Har Sinai Temple in 2012, starting as a Teaching Assistant in 4th and 5th grades before becoming a lead 5th grade teacher in 2016.

The daughter of Hazzan Arthur Katlin of Adath Israel Congregation, Ms. Katlin has been an active member of the local Jewish community for over 23 years. She is a special education teacher in the Burlington School District in New Jersey.

Growing up in the local Jewish community, Judaism has always been an essential element of Ms. Katlin’s life. Time spent in Adath Israel’s Religious School Resource Room fostered her love of both special and Jewish education. An active member of United Synagogue Youth (USY), both locally and regionally, Ms. Katlin’s varied Jewish experience has instilled a love of Jewish life and values, as well as an appreciation for community involvement. She enjoys sharing her love of Judaism with her students in hopes that they will derive positive meaning from their Jewish experiences.

A graduate of Rider University (BA, Elementary Education and Psychology), Ms. Katlin is also certified in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. Throughout high school, Ms. Katlin participated in a supplementary Jewish Community High School program through Gratz College in Elkins Park, PA, graduating with a certificate in Jewish Education. She attended Abrams Hebrew Academy in Yardley, PA, and is a graduate of Lawrence High School.

 

Marissa Merino  (6th Grade Teacher)

Mrs. Merino is a certified elementary school teacher and holds a teacher of students with disabilities certification. Through her work, she aims to empower her students to grow academically, physically and emotionally while positively affecting the community around her. When she was younger, Mrs. Merino attended Beth El Synagogue in East Windsor and volunteered at Chai Lifeline with her father. She also volunteers with Special Olympics and is a Special Education teacher at Monroe Township Middle School.

 

 

 

Carol Bluestein (7th and 8th Grade Teacher)

A 25- year member of Har Sinai Temple, Carol Bluestein has been teaching at Har Sinai Religious School for over 18 years. Ms. Bluestein also taught pre-school at Har Sinai for five years; she now cares for her three year-old grandsons during the week. For many years, Ms. Bluestein worked in her family’s jewelry store in Lower Makefield, where she resides. She and her husband, Marvin, have three children: Scott, a jeweler in Buckingham; Amy, an elementary school counselor in Central Bucks; and Jenna, attending Johns Hopkins for her Master’s degree in Public Policy.

As Ms. Bluestein explains, “My greatest joy in teaching Hebrew school is being with the children. I enjoy seeing everything through their eyes. I want them to leave my classroom understanding what being Jewish means, what our history is, why it is important to learn to say our prayers, and how and why we celebrate our holidays. Most importantly, I value my students being good and kind people. Children who have learned Jewish values from the Torah can incorporate them into their everyday lives.”

Ms. Bluestein attended Temple University and Jack M. Barack Hebrew Academy (formerly Akiba Hebrew Academy), a pluralistic Jewish day school, in Bryn Mawr, PA.

 

Susan Sacks (Music Teacher)

Susan Sacks, Music TeacherAfter many years of teaching Spanish and English as a Second Language in private schools, Ms. Sacks became immersed in the world of Jewish music. She has taught in Har Sinai’s Religious School for 26 years. She teaches infant and toddler music classes at Har Sinai, as well as pre-school music locally. She lives in Yardley, PA, with her husband, Fred, and has two sons: Evan, a Washington, DC-based consultant/business analyst, and Jeff, a high school social studies teacher in Brooklyn.

For fifteen years, Ms. Sacks has been an active participant at Hava Nashira, a five-day annual song-leading workshop, where she explores the most current methods of teaching Jewish music, gains access to a vast array of materials, and is exposed to cutting-edge lyricists and performers, who teach and promote Jewish music in camps, preschools and synagogues.

Ms. Sacks has a BA in Spanish from Kenyon College and an MS in Bilingual/ Bicultural Elementary Education from C.W. Post University. She is a certified middle and high school Spanish teacher.


All of these extraordinary Jewish educators are focused providing engaging, meaningful, age-appropriate learning for children of all backgrounds.