Our Team

The Makom Community Team

Working Together to Provide Quality Jewish Education

Beverly Socher-Lerner

Founding Director

Beverly Socher-Lerner, Founding DirectorBeverly is an innovative and passionate Jewish educational leader who believes that each person constructs meaning in his or her life based on his or her experiences. Makom Community is built around creating learning experiences for families and children that are both joyous and meaningful.

Beverly received a B.A. in Jewish Studies from the University of Maryland (UMD). While she was at UMD, she researched Israeli Education at Israel’s National Library in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Education Archives on an Isadore and Bertha Gudelsky Scholarship for Research in Israel. Beverly was also a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar, an egalitarian yeshiva in New York City. Beverly received her M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania in Jewish Education. In the last ten years directing synagogue schools at Congregation Shaare Tikvah in Upper Marlboro, MD and Temple Beth Sholom in Cherry Hill, NJ, and working at Barrack Hebrew Academy, Beverly has developed over forty new curricula for students and families of all ages. Beverly is a 2019 recipient of the Covenant Foundation Pomegranate Prize and a Shalom Hartman Created Equal Fellow in 2020.

She is excited to build community with families here in Philadelphia to advance this new model of Jewish education for urban children and families that is taking root around the country in Berkeley, CA, Silver Spring, MD, Atlanta, GA. This new model meets the distinct needs of urban families and creates joyous, immersive, and effective Jewish education in a whole new way.

Gaby Marantz

Afterschool Coordinator

Gaby Marantz, Afterschool CoordinatorGaby 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 recently completed her M.Ed. from Weidner in Education. She loves dancing, baking intricate desserts, and making the world a more colorful place. She’s excited to have the opportunity to learn, sing, create, and giggle with our amazing students every day of the week!

Gaby is a Matan Intstitute Fellow in Cohort 10, learning deeply about how to engage all our learners at Makom Community.

Noa Urbaitel

Camp Coordinator

Noa is often described as a ball of energy, and is always ready with a joke or a fun fact. She was born and raised in Vermont, and graduated from Drexel University with a B.S. in Dance with a concentration in education. When she isn’t at Makom Community, she loves reading, travelling, playing with her insane cat, Luna, and exploring different museums in Philadelphia. Noa is excited to run some amazing camp days, and help shape the next generation of excited Jews!

Joseph Nagle

Program Assistant

Joe is from Lower Bucks County but currently resides in the greatest city in the world, Philadelphia. He loves rooting for the Phillies and Eagles. He returns to Makom Community after spending 4 years with the Philadelphia Outward Bound School since he taught at Makom Community in our pilot year. Joe is Catholic and active in the Jewish community raising his kids, organizing Heymish (a monthly Friday night Shabbat service and potluck dinner), and participating in National Havurah Committee programming with his family. When he is not at Makom Community, Joe can be found hanging out with his amazing wife, Joline, and two daughters Hannah and Wendy, or cycling around Philadelphia.

Miryam Coppersmith

BMitzvah Teacher

Miryam is a Jewish educator, performer, and writer (and she loves to mix these things together). She studied Dance and Creative Writing at Oberlin College before moving to Philadelphia. Miryam trained as a “Storahteller” with Lab/Shul and has since worked as a Jewish educator in a variety of settings from one-on-one tutoring to classrooms to camp. Miryam has spent the past two summers serving as the Dance Arts Mentor at URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy. When not at Makom Community, she might be found teaching workshops around the country on embodied Torah study, creating dance-theater performance pieces, or teaching blues dance at Powerhouse Blues in West Philadelphia! Miryam is thrilled to be building the BMitzvah program with our students and can’t wait to see what we create together.

Advisory Board

Executive Board

  • Walker Allen
  • Jeremy Bannett
  • Terri Soifer
  • Barbara Schneider
  • Mike Slutsky
  • James Stein, Board Chair