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Meet the RS Staff

Ilana Gertler

Coordinator of Jewish Learning

Ilana is new to Gainesville but not to being involved in Jewish life. Having recently graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Master’s degree in Archaeology with a specialization in Medieval Archaeology, Ilana’s background is rooted in Jewish engagement within her community. She has served as the first full-time Director of Programming for her home congregation at Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park, PA. She has also served as a Youth Services Educator at Beth Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and at the Hillel Jewish University Center in Pittsburgh worked as the Jewish Spirituality and Learning intern. 

Ilana is also no stranger to Jewish camp, having grown up going to Camp Ramah in the Poconos as the child of camp staffers. As she got older, she also became a staff member and served as the Director for the Theater Arts Program. Having participated in USY as a teen, Ilana recognizes the importance of being engaged in Jewish life from an early age and making programs engaging and fun. 

Contact Ilana at or x122.


Amy Kessler: Chavaya Teacher

 I was born in Tokyo, Japan and grew up in Ellenton, FL from the age of 5. I am an undergraduate student at the University of Florida majoring in Linguistics, minoring in Hebrew, and obtaining a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). In my free time, I love to go to concerts and take walks with my 2 cats. Learning Hebrew has made a significant impact on my Jewish identity and I can't wait to share this appreciation with others!

Sadie Jacobson: Chavaya Teacher

Hi! My name is Sadie Jacobson, and I am a 3rd-year Applied Physiology and Kinesiology student on the pre-physical therapy track. I'm from Tampa, Florida, where I studied Hebrew for 10 years at Hillel Academy of Tampa Jewish day school. I also attended Camp Barney Medintz as a camper and counselor for 12 years. I'm excited to apply my Jewish background and get involved with the Jewish community in Gainesville!

Aaron Fintz: Chavaya Teacher

My name is Aaron Fintz. I am a third-year Business Administration major at the University of Florida. Judaism has always been vital to my success and happiness. I was active in USY and BBYO growing up while attending the temple regularly in a religious household. Furthermore, I am very involved in the synagogues and Jewish Student Union at UF.

Rachel Beer: Chavaya Teacher

Hi! My name is Rachel Beer and I am a Junior at UF majoring in psychology. Growing up, Judaism has always played a very important role in my life and identity. I was active in both USY and my synagogue, as well as have spent my summers at Blue Star Camps and my local JCC. I am so excited to be a part of the Congregation B'nai Israel team and am looking forward to a great year! 

Noa Gershoni: Chavaya Teacher

Hi, My name is Noa Gershoni. I was born in Israel and moved to Miami, Florida when I was 12 years old. Since I moved, I love teaching others about Israel and Judaism. I am currently studying Psychology at the University of Florida and am very excited to bring fun and educational activities to Chavaya this year! 

Sara Beer: Chavaya Teacher

Hi, my name is Sara Beer and I am a junior at the University of Florida majoring in Public Relations. I have always had a passion for the Jewish community and wanted to continue my involvement in college. I was heavily involved in both USY and my synagogue and spent my summers at Blue Star Camps. This past summer I was in Israel working at an internship in Tel Aviv. I can't wait for a great year!

Noah Gilman: Chavaya Teacher

Hi, my name is Noah Gilman and I am a third year Business Management major at the University of Florida. I am originally from Coral Springs, Florida where I was extremely involved with USY in high school. I also went to Camp Ramah Darom as a camper for 9 years and worked on staff for 2 years. I spent this past summer in Israel working an internship and exploring the country. I'm excited to begin my third year of Chavaya!


Thu, June 13 2024 7 Sivan 5784