Dawn Spector, ECEC Director
Dawn has lived in Colorado for almost 16 years and is originally from NYC. She attended college in Jerusalem and afterwards at Queens College in Flushing, NY where she obtained a degree in Englsih Literature and Creative Writing with an emphasis on education. She obtained her Preschool Director’s certification from Aurora Community College and has been involved with Jewish Education for over 15 years. She loves being able to reach children at a young age and help instill a passion for learning and Judaism that will hopefully last a life time. She is actively involved in the community teaching Hebrew at Temple Sinai Religious School, tutoring children in remedial Hebrew for their Bnei Mitzvahs, leading a Rosh Chodesh teen girls group, being a para chaplain through JFS, and volunteering at community events.
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband and three amazing children, reading, cooking, baking, and having people over for Shabbat.
Hannah grew up in New York State and made aliyah with her parents and sisters in 1963. She lived in Israel for 24 years, raising a family and working as a bilingual secretary. Hannah returned to the U.S. in 1987 and met her second husband that same year in Philadelphia. Hannah, her husband and 14 year old daughter have lived in Centennial for 10 years. Before joining our staff, Hannah was the Office Manager at another local synagogue for 4 years. Hannah enjoys meeting the families and being able to help them with all their administrative needs. Hannah has been with us since August, 2012.
Jennifer is originally from So. California, she came to Colorado with her young family in 1992. She graduated from college with a BS degree in Physical Education with a certificates in Adapted Physical Education and Classroom Teaching. She spent many years in Special Education and Regular Education classrooms of all ages. In the more recent years she has been providing home daycare and nanny services. She has been involved in ECE officially in Denver, Colorado for about 4 years. From 2010 – 2012 she was the toddler lead teacher at Rodef. For the 2013/2014 school year she was employed by Denver Academy of Torah. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family (daughter Jade is a regular substitute teacher at Rodef Shalom), keeping healthy, friendship building, “Title Boxing” full body workout training and eventually, relaxing watching BBC TV!
Mahlet Ebrahem is originally from Ethiopia and taught Kindergarten in East Africa. She will be assisting in the Infant Room and is excited to have her son in our Gimmel /3 year old class.
Sadye Sawyer is from Colorado and has worked at Rodef Shalom Summer Camp as a substitute and as a classroom volunteer at Temple Sinai. She has been an extended day floater helping out in all the classrooms. We love how flexible she is and how great she is with the children!
Liat Levine is excited to be the assistant in our one year old program. She is originally from Israel and has worked as a nanny and at BMH-BJ Preschool. She will be incorporating her native language of Hebrew into the daily routines of her classroom.
Jenny was born and raised in southern California. She has been in Colorado since 2009. Jenny has been with Rodef Shalom ECEC since the summer of 2012 as the lead teacher in the Aleph classroom. She has her degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona. When not working with children, Jenny spends her time performing at professional theaters all around the Denver area.
Ilana joined Rodef Shalom Preschool in August 2012. Before that, she taught Special Education classes for 18 years in Denver and Philadelphia. Ilana is our lead teacher in the two year old class. She has a Bachelor in Psychology, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. Ilana grew up in Philadelphia and came to Denver in 1998. Ilana also teaches at Kehilat Rodef and B’Nai Havurah. Ilana has worked with children of all ages. She especially enjoys engaging children’s imagination and wonder through active investigation of the world around them. When not teaching, Ilana enjoys cooking, hiking, and spending time with her beautiful twin girls and husband.
Monica is an assistant teacher in our aftercare program. She has been working with Rodef Shalom since February 2013 and is enjoying working with the children and getting to know the families. Monica has lived in Colorado for most of her life and always enjoyed working with children. She is currently in school working on getting a degree in Early Childhood Education. In her spare time, Monica enjoys being outdoors, reading, playing volleyball, doing arts and crafts, and shopping. She is looking forward to continuing working with such amazing families.
Holly was born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised here in Denver. She has a degree in elementary education with an emphasis in psychology and child development. Holly returned to Rodef in spring of 2013 to be the co-teacher in the two year old room. Before working in this room, she was the lead teacher in the pre-k room from 2006 to 2010. She also has experience working in second grade classrooms. When Holly is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, and playing outdoors.
Fredie Halvorsen, Teacher
Fredie has taught the Pre-k class and the three year old class. With a strong science and math background and a Master’s degree in education, Fredie is in the unique position to bring the magic of science into the school, blending it with her knowledge of the way children learn. As a long time member of Rodef Shalom, Fredie is an active participant in Rabbi’s adult education classes, weekly minyans, and is a regular Torah reader. She is also a long-time teacher in Kehillat Rodef’s Shabbat school program.
Desiree Hamilton has been an assistant teacher at Rodef Shalom ECEC since 2005. She started working with our three year olds, then the Pre-K classroom, and is currently helping as a documentation specialist. Desiree is married and the mother of three ranging in age from 15 to 23. Her oldest son is in a local Colorado band and Desiree loves to hear him play. In her spare time she is a massage therapists, enjoys cooking, traveling, and loves listening to music.
I am very happy to be teaching here at the Rodef Shalom preschool and leading our extended day program as well as working in our Infant Room. I have been working with children since I was 12 and love working with all ages especially infants to 5yrs. old. I am single and the proud aunt of two beautiful nieces, Annabel 2 1/2 and Emma 4 months, they live in Boston with my older brother and his wife.
I have a Bachelors in Human Development and a Masters in Education. I enjoy learning and spending time with family and my close friends and getting to a beach whenever I can travel.
I was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. After completing my degree in Jewish Studies, I moved to Israel. I have lived in Israel for over a decade. There, I started a family and happily pursued a career as an educator and athletic coach. My passion for education has played a central part in my life. I am fully committed to creating a supportive, educational environment for students of all ages to access their strengths, pursue their dreams and grow as individuals. The most rewarding part of being a teacher is seeing the sparkle of inspiration in students eyes and the joyous smiles on their faces each day.
Ziva was born in Israel and moved to Colorado when she was seven years old! Ziva started working with kids when she was 16 at family sports center where she hosted birthday parties. Ziva started working at Rodef Shalom in the fall of 2012. She loves meeting new people and seeing new places so Ziva travels as much as possible! Ziva is currently going to school at CU Denver for a degree in speech therapy and hopes to become a speech therapist at children's hospital one day!
I am so excited to be at Rodef Shalom this year! I graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in psychology. Before teaching, I did grief counseling for kids of all ages. What I love most about teaching is seeing how much the kids learn and grow throughout the year. I am looking forward to helping out in all of the classrooms and working in our extended day program.