Printed from ChabadofLexington.com

Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

 

From Our Director, Vicky Benedek

Our staff at JPL is the best! I would choose each and every one to be my child's or my teacher. I would also have each one as my mother, my sister, and my best friend. I feel so lucky to work with such dedicated, devoted, loving, and professional teachers. I think that anyone who visits our program will feel that the mutual respect, love, and cooperation permeate the school. After visiting with us, I know you will agree with me.

As for myself, I grew up in Israel and came to the USA with my husband. I have been involved with the Chabad Center and the preschool for 25 years. Teaching and directing the preschool is work I love to do because the children, the families, the staff, the Rabbi, and the community make JPL my second home. 

I live in Lexington with my husband and my mother. We are the proud parents of two sons, one daughter and two young grandchildren.

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Wendy Damsky and Alex Cores -- Gan Rimon (4 & 5 year olds)

Capture_wendy.PNGWendy Damsky has been teaching at JPL for the past 10 years, leading the pre-K class and preparing them most successfully for kindergarten. Wendy has extensive background working with children. She completed her undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology and worked for many years as a Speech Therapist with children from birth through Kindergarten.  She also completed her Master’s degree in Child Development and Family Therapy.  During that time she taught preschool and trained undergraduates to become Early Childhood Teachers.  She then returned to direct the school where she was the Speech and Language Therapist. Wendy is also certified in Massachusetts as an early childhood lead teacher and program director.  At home Wendy enjoys spending time with her husband Scott and her children Jacob and Anna.

Alex Cores has been working at our summer program since he was 15 years old! This year he joined Wendy to assist in her pre-k class. Alex has extensive background and an associate’s degree in instrumental music and choral performance. He is currently taking classes towards completing his undergraduate degree and is also very involved in a choral group of children with various challenges.

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Sharon Cores (Alex’s mom) and Martha Deitsch -- Gan Tamar (3 & 4 year olds)

Sharon Cores has been teaching at JPL for the past 14 years.  She began her professional life with a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, working in a variety of residential and clinical settings with adults with disabling conditions. During those 25 years, Sharon provided direct care, ran family and patient support groups, trained and supervised staff and worked as part of a hospital clinical team. When she decided on a change in career she obtained an Early Childhood teaching certification through Hebrew College and began teaching here at JPL – lucky for us.  When not teaching, Sharon enjoys time with her husband David and two sons, Scott and Alex.

Martha_JPL.JPGMartha Deitsch has been on our staff for the past 8 years. Martha’s degree is in Dance and Art, and has extensive PTA work at her daughters’ school, Maimonides Day School in Brookline. At JPL, Martha has been our heart and soul in everything she does, especially in creating our Torah Story felt board collection, and by enhancing every aspect of the program. She holds a BA in Theatre and Dance and was a member of the Topf Center for Dance Education and the Children’s Entertainment Division of the American Program Bureau.  Martha and her husband Ira reside in Lexington and are the proud parents of two daughters and one granddaughter.  

 

 

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Vicky Benedek and Maya Alagna -- Gan Gefen (Toddler Class)

Vicky Benedek has been the director of JPL for the past 23 years. Her formal college degree is in elementary education with a minor in special education, She has also taught middle school in Israel, Prozdor Hebrew High School in Brookline, 14 wonderful summers at Camp Yavneh, directed an afternoon Israeli supplementary school.

Maya Alagna is new to our program and we feel lucky that she was looking for a program for her 5 year-old son, Eli. We scooped her up along with her 2 year-old daughter, Ariel. Maya has worked with young children on a kibbutz in Israel and has also been a nanny for about 15 years. Maya has studied at Northeastern University in the program of Deaf Studies.  

Shirley Xu Li, works on Mondays in the toddler class. Shirley has an associate’s degree in early childhood and is currently pursuing a degree at Lesley University. She started helping us out in the summer and we are happy to have her with us.

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Angela Schatz and Tal Shaom-Kobi (Enrichment Program)

angela.jpgAngela Schatz is a 2001 graduate of Lesley University.  When she was a JPL parent in 1994, Angela began her present position as Creative Dance specialist there — she has now been with us teaching our creative movement class for the past 20 years! In addition to teaching at preschools, Angela teaches Israeli Folk Dance, Line Dance, Hebrew language and Conversational Hebrew and she facilitates Tot Shabbat programs at various congregations. Angela has a rich background in dance, having choreographed and performed in both Israel and the U.S.  Angela’s joy of teaching is evident in class where she utilizes song, art, games, dance, hard work and love. She uses her skills and experience to work with infants to 96 year-olds. Angela comes every Wednesday and teaches a 30 – 45 minute-class to each group. 

Tal Shaom-Kobi is our music teacher. For the past four years Tal, a graduate from Berkley School of Music, arrives every other week accompanied by her accordion, “boobah Mati” and a bag full of instruments. She too provides a 30 minute enrichment program for every class.

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Our preschool is part of the Chabad Center of Lexington under the guidance of Sarah and Rabbi Alti Bukiet. They provide the center with a wonderful, warm atmosphere, open and inviting to ALL – regardless of affiliation. Please know that you are always invited to programs and services.