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.

Amanda Phillips

Center City Director

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 a wonderful year of fun and learning!

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 and Community Storyteller

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!

 

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.

Isabella Dorfman

Program Assistant

Isabella was born and raised in Massachusetts. She received her Bachelors degree from Bryn Mawr College, where she studied History and Middle Eastern Studies. After graduation, she spent a year teaching English in Jerusalem as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow. When she is not at Makom Community, Isabella loves going to dance classes, attending events around the city, and reading comics!

 

Advisory Board

Executive Board

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