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Meet Our Staff

Shauna Sikron, Coordinator of Jewish Learning

I am so honored to begin my fourth year as the Coordinator of Jewish Learning and Chavaya director. I work with children of all ages, from infants in our Shalom Baby program to elementary-aged children in Chavaya through high schoolers in our youth group. I love teaching and developing programs in a Jewish context, particularly when it involves learning through food (which so much of Jewish culture does). It is a joy to play this role in the B'nai Israel community. 


Sarah Bertrand, Ritual Teacher

I am so happy to be volunteering as a teacher in Chavaya. I have been teaching in some capacity since I was 18 years old. For many years, I was the educational director for two large religious schools in Fairfax, Virginia and San Diego, California. I've run progams for preschool, B'nai Mitzvah training, as well as adult education. What's most important to me, is that students feel comfortable where ever they go and that they feel that if they are a good person, they are a good Jew.


Hannah Gilman, Ritual Teacher

I am so excited to be a part of Chavaya! I am currently a sophomore at the University of Florida and I'm pursuing a duel degree in Education Sciences and Behavior Analysis. I spent seven years as a camper at Ramah Darom and worked there for two summers as a counselor. In my free time, I enjoy playing and listening to music, swimming, and hanging out with my friends. I have a passion for learning and I can't wait to get to know everyone in the Chavaya community!


Carina Weber, Hebrew Teacher

Hi! My name is Ellie Solomon and I am a junior at University of Florida. I was born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida and always dreamed of following my two older sisters paths at UF. I love to work with kids from working at the Hebrew school to volunteering at Kids Count. For 10 summers, I attended URJ Camp Coleman in Georgia. This past summer, I studied abroad for 3 months in Madrid, Spain. I am double majoring in political science and history and hope to be a lawyer one day!


Ruby Rader, Hebrew Teacher

I will be a Hebrew class teacher this year and a second year student at the University of FLorida studying pre-medicine with a minor in Hebrew language. I grew up in Boca Raton, Florida in a conservative Jewish communtiy and taught at a Hebrew school throughout high school. I also spent 12 summers at Camp Ramah Darom. After I graduated from high school, I took a gap year called Kivunim, where I studied in Israel and traveled to 15 different countries learning about their Jewish communities. When I'm not studying or traveling, I love to go for runs around Gainesville. I am so excited to be a part of Chavaya!


Rose Goldwitz, Hebrew Teacher

Shalom! I'm Rose Goldwitz, and I'm excited to start my second year of Chavaya as one of the Hebrew teachers! Currently, I'm studying Elementary Education and English at the University of Florida. In my hometown of Tampa, I attended a Jewish day school, went to, and eventually worked at, a Jewish camp, volunteered at one of the local Hebrew Schools, and worked as a teacher at the JCC preschool. You might also find me working during the week at the B'nai Israel Community Day School. I can’t wait to meet you all!


Michal Pollack, Hebrew Teacher

 Hi! I’m Michal Pollack and I am from Vero Beach, Florida. I am a senior at the University of Florida studying Psychology. Every summer I go to my favorite place on earth, Camp Judaea, in North Carolina. I also love going to the beach and going out for brunch! In my free time, I enjoy working out and reading a good book. I am so excited to join the B’nai Israel team this year, and I look forward to meeting everyone! 


Rebekah Ford, Arts Teacher

This will be my second year teaching in Chavaya and I'm thrilled to return as an instructor in the Arts class. I grew up in the B'nai Israel community as both a Chavaya student myself and served as the USY chapter president. I have taught in the B'nai Israel Community Day school for several years and am in my second year as adviser to the B'nai Isael Youth Group. I love working with children and being outside in nature and also spend my summers as a camp counselor at Camp Lochearn in Vermont. As busy as I am, I am also a full time student at UF where I study Forest Resources and Conservation.


Delaney Cotton, Arts Teacher

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to join the Chavaya  Family. I'm a senior political science major at UF, and I also work at the English Language Institute on campus. 

This year I will be teaching Arts and can't wait to make some amazing visual midrashim (aka short films) with all of you. In the past I was a film counselor specialist at URJ 6Points Sci Tech Academy. I look forward to meeting you all!


Simone D'Antuono, Floater

 I was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida. Growing up, I lived with my mom, dad, younger brother, and two dogs. Every summer I attended my favorite place: Camp Coleman, a Jewish sleepaway camp in the North Georgia mountains. In high school I was involved in student government, the National Honor Society, the IB program, and the National Council of Jewish Women teens chapter. Currently, I am a junior at the University of Florida where I major in Health Education and Behavior on the pre-occupational therapy track. In the future I hope to be an Occupational Therapist who specifically works with children! In my free time I enjoy spending time with my friends, dogs, going to the beach, and traveling (this past summer I spent 10 weeks interning for an Occupational Therapist in Israel)! I'm so excited to get to know the Chavaya community!


Daniel Vaknin, Music Teacher

Raised orthodox in south Florida, I have been living in Gainesville with my family for 7 years. I speak fluent Hebrew and have been playing music for over 20 years. I’m blessed and humbled to be in my sophomore year as the Chavaya music teacher! 

Thu, May 28 2020 5 Sivan 5780