About Makom Community

The Makom Community Team

Working Together to Provide Quality Jewish Education

Beverly Socher-LernerBeverly Socher-Lerner

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & FOUNDER

Beverly is a driven builder of communal Jewish learning spaces. She believes that people can make endless meaning from exploring Jewish wisdom and bringing it into our lives in creative ways. Makom Community invites kids and grownups into learning experiences that do just that. Beverly received a B.A. in Jewish Studies from the University of Maryland then received her M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania in Jewish Education. Beverly was a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar, received the Covenant Foundation Pomegranate Prize, was a Shalom Hartman Created Equal Fellow, and is now in the Mandel Foundation Executive Leadership Program. After running congregational schools in Maryland and New Jersey, working at Barrack Hebrew Academy, and leading Makom Community, she has developed over 100 curricula for learners of all ages. As Beverly continues building community, she is excited to introduce Makom’s pedagogy, Jewish Placemaking, to communities around the country.

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Amanda HollanderAmanda Hollander

DIRECTOR OF TEACHING AND LEARNING

Amanda is a passionate Jewish educator who loves creating immersive experiences for learners and their families. Originally from Sarasota, Florida, she acquired her love for Judaism from her many summers attending and working at Camp Ramah Darom in Clayton, Georgia. She received a B.A. in Jewish Studies and Nonprofit Management from Indiana University and an M.A. in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York City. While at JTS, Amanda also pursued a Master’s concentration in Israel Education from the iCenter, the national hub for Israel Education. During her time in New York City, Amanda led summer teen travel, worked in numerous synagogue schools across the New York metropolitan area, and staffed Birthright Israel trips. She was the Assistant Director of the Lese Center for Living Judaism at Central Synagogue in Manhattan, where she created meaningful experiences for learners of all ages, both in and outside of the classroom. Amanda is so excited to be with all of the students and families at Makom Community, and can’t wait for another year of fun and learning!

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Terri SoiferTerri Soifer

DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY

Terri is a passionate and strategic relationship builder who works in the intersection of Jewish education and fundraising. Terri has spent her career strengthening the Jewish community in Philadelphia at Temple Beth Zion – Beth Israel, the Hillel at Temple University, and recently at the Jewish Theological Seminary in the Mid-Atlantic region. Her background is in Jewish Education and she completed her Masters in Jewish Education from the Davidson School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, with a concentration in Israel Education. Terri has been serving on the board of Makom Community for three years and is inspired by Makom’s thoughtful pedagogy, quality of educators, and impact Makom has on its students and their families. She is excited to support Makom’s mission in a professional capacity. When Terri is not working, you can find her on the frisbee field with her husband Jake, enjoying all the food and activities Philadelphia has to offer, and traveling.

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Gaby MarantzGaby Marantz

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF TEACHER EDUCATION

Gaby is a musical and energetic Jewish educator who grew up in Central New Jersey. She studied psychology and linguistics at NYU and spent many happy summers at Habonim Dror summer camps. Gaby completed her M.Ed. from Widener in Education. She loves dancing, baking intricate desserts, and making the world a more colorful place. She’s excited to learn, sing, create, and giggle with our amazing students every day of the week! She’s also energized to help bring Makom Community’s pedagogy to the wider community of Jewish educators through our Makom Making programming. Gaby was a Matan Institute Fellow in Cohort 10 where she learned deeply about how to engage all our learners at Makom Community.

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Alina MizrahiAlina Mizrahi

Head Teacher

Alina is an educator and community-builder who strives to form connections and support those around her. She grew up in the Jewish community in Mexico City, but has lived in Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, and Denia (Spain). Alina is an educator who loves working in Jewish spaces. She spent the summer at Ramah Day Camp after a year teaching English in Denia.  Alina graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied Cognitive Science and Political Science. She is passionate about all things relating to human behavior. If you want to get Alina talking, just bring up books, travel, yoga, history, or neuroscience.

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Ben RotenbergBen Rotenberg

Head Teacher

“Moreh Ben” strives to make learning meaningful and accessible for all people.  Born in Rhode Island, Ben Rotenberg was energized by Jewish learning at the Solomon Schechter School under Rabbi Alvin Kaunfer, and by early experiences in Jewish camping. He taught Jewish studies at the Perelman Jewish Day School , was Director of Jewish Life & Learning at Camp Pembroke, and was Education Director at the Germantown Jewish Centre. Most recently he was an assistant teacher in Autistic support at the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit.  He has written a dozen curricula for Grades K-10 on subjects like Food Justice in Judaism and Music for Life Skills students.
Ben earned a BA in Jewish Education from Hebrew College, and a MA from the Davidson School at the Jewish Theological Seminary.  He also earned a Masters Fellowship in Israel Education from the iCenter in Chicago, IL.

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Liora HassanLiora Hassan

Communications Manager & Educator

Liora is our genial communications manager and a spirited educator. Originally from Kansas, they graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh in the spring of 2021. Since then, they’ve made Philly their home and are excited to get to know the local community. They’ve taught in Sunday school, virtually, and at Philly’s own Germantown Jewish Centre. In the classroom, she is passionate about exploring the potential of student-centered pedagogy and creative self-expression. And as communications manager, Liora aims to be accessible, engaging, and informative. She values tikkun olam (repairing the world) and is eager to practice it through her work.  In her free time, Liora can be found working on their novel, engrossed in nature or practicing divination.

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Abby BrownAbby Brown

Educator

Abby is an educator and artist born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia with a certificate in Experiential Jewish Education. She spent the past summer at Camp Ramah as one of their art specialists and loves incorporating art into education! Abby’s passion for Jewish learning stems from her upbringing at congregation Kol Ami and many summers at URJ Camp Harlam. As someone who learns differently herself, Abby enjoys problem solving and finding new and creative ways to teach our learners. She is so excited to be a part of the Makom community!

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Ash Fisher-TannenbaumAsh Fisher-Tannenbaum

EDUCATOR & CAMP COORDINATOR

Ash (they/them/theirs) is a spirited play arts educator born and raised just outside Philadelphia, where they earned a B.A. in Theater from Temple University (2016). They spent 3 years building community, teaching, and making avant-garde art, theater, and film in Western Massachusetts, but have been overjoyed to return home to put down roots in the West Philly community and to be closer to their family! Ash has spent the last eleven happy summers teaching and playing at Ramah Day Camp, where they have done many jobs, specializing in Omanut (art), Drama and Rikud (Israeli dance). This summer Ash was delighted to take on their newest role on the Program Direction team at RDC. Ash has taught at BTBJ Religious School, Germantown Jewish Center, with The Bible Players, with Moishe House, and as Jewish Learning Venture’s PJ Our Way Associate 2021-22 to bring multi-modal arts education to a large variety of Jewish spaces. Ash is thrilled to continue their journey with Makom Community as Camp Coordinator this year, and cannot wait to continue to play and grow with our learners and amazing educators.

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Maya WinnegMaya Winneg

EDUCATOR

Maya is thrilled to be an educator for our Nitzanim kiddos. As a Temple ‘20 alum, they graduated with a BA in Film & Media Arts paired with a minor in Education. During college, Maya participated in HIAS Pa’s after-school programs for elementary through high school-aged students in Northeast Philly. Having had a lovely experience with the students and staff, and they bring these community building skills to their classroom. Maya seeks to combine storytelling, education, and community both in the classroom and in their artistic work. They’re excited at the opportunity to do so in an inclusive, Jewish setting such as Makom.

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Olivia Hacker-KeatingOlivia Hacker-Keating

EDUCATOR

Olivia is an educator passionate about accessible, arts based education. She grew up in New York City where she attended and then taught at the Village Temple Hebrew School. She then went on to study film and English at Oberlin College, where she participated in several community based arts education programs including Apollo Outreach Initiative and Oberlin Drama at Grafton. In 2019 – 2020, she worked as a college access fellow at 12Plus, a Philly based non-profit organization dedicated to providing high schoolers at Philadelphia public schools with the tools and guidance to pursue their post-graduation goals. She is part of Makom South Philly team and brings a creative, hands-on Jewish education to the community!

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Reed RichardsReed Richards

Educator

Reed is excited to be on this Makom journey with you! Philly has been her home for the past year but she is an islander at heart. She has previously been a preschool teacher, caterer, and farmer. In her free time, she can be found exploring the Italian Market or helping out at the South Philly Shtiebel. Reed truly values the opportunity to be a part the local community. She is so happy to learn and grow through Torah study with Makom!

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Sara MosenkisSara Mosenkis

DATA AND FINANCE MANAGER

Sara (“Sah-ra”) wears many hats. She is Makom’s bookkeeper, coordinates Beverly’s calendar and supports development and operations, helping keep the Makom ship in shape as we grow. Our former Makom @ Home educator, Sara continues to work with Makom kiddos to offer 1:1 support over Zoom. Sara mostly grew up in Philadelphia, studied Linguistics at Brown University, and now lives in Washington, DC. When she’s not sitting in front of her computer, Sara can often be found singing, tending her balcony garden, or taking walks in her neighborhood (wearing a hat, of course).

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Sarah DrozdaSarah Drozda

Educator

Sarah is an educator and historian who grew up in a small town in Central New York. She moved to Philadelphia at the end of 2020. Sarah graduated with an MA in Museum Studies from Buffalo State College in December 2021, and an MA in Jewish History and Culture from the University of Southampton (UK) in 2018. Their research has tied with their passion for literature and how material culture can be used as a way to connect with heritage. Their path in Jewish education began at Ramah Day Camp and BTBJ. On the weekends you can find her at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History. They are excited to grow with everyone at Makom Community!

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Isabella DorfmanIsabella Dorfman

Teaching Assistant

Isabella will be school pick ups from time to time. Isabella probably looks familiar, as she has been a Makom Community Educator in the past!

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Advisory Board

Executive Board

  • Barbara Schneider
  • Randy Schulz
  • Jessica Slutsky
  • James Stein, Board Chair