A Message from our Director:
Welcome to Kol Emet Preschool! It is my sincere pleasure and honor to work with a loving, professional staff, amazing parents and exceptional children.Kol Emet Preschool started as a “one room” preschool that grew overnight because of a stellar reputation.Our staff is committed to the care, safety and developmentally appropriate practice for young children.My educational background includes a BA in Art Education and Judaic Studies from Rutgers University, and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education (Valedictorian) from Gratz College. I hold a Director’s Credential, PQAS Certificate and State teaching license. Currently I am pursuing a Doctorate in Early Childhood Education. I share this because I am truly committed to our school and our community.I always say I have the best job in the world and I truly mean it! Every day and every moment is filled with exploration, engagement, and enjoyment.
Pracheem (T & Th) – 2 year-olds
The perfect “first time” exposure for young toddlers. From learning to share, to painting, working with clay, music and more, this is an ideal environment for our newest and youngest children. Children in this class usually turn 3 between January and August.
Daboreem (M/W/F) – 2 year-olds
These children either have just turned 3 or will be 3 by December. A little more sophisticated than our youngest group, they are included in more special activities and have more social and learning opportunities.
Notzitzim (M/W/F) – 3 year-olds
Notzitzim incorporates a little more academics with a lot of time to explore, play and socialize. This is a perfect class for a “taste of preschool.”
Doobeem (M-F) – 3 year-olds
Doobeem is a well-rounded 3 year-old program. Every day is filled with learning, compromising, art, music, outdoor play, and social opportunities. Children thrive on routine, and Doobeem provides routine by meeting everyday.
[Please note that depending on registration, both 3 year-old classes may be combined. We always abide by state-mandated ratios.]
Solileem (M-F) 4 and 5 year-olds
Solileem is our Pre-K program. This state-licensed program meshes perfectly with preparatory Kindergarten standards. Phonemic awareness and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are all included through daily explorations.
[Depending on enrollment, our 4 year-olds will be grouped based on half- and full-day registration.]
Ahnaneem (M/W/F Enrichment for Pre-K)
Emergent curriculum at its finest. Children learn about Social Studies, Science, and Culture through their interests and our staff’s creativity.
Afternoons (M-F) for 2s and 3s
Every day is a different experience:
M – Art
T & Th – Emergent Monthly Units
W – Science
F – Healthy Living & Cooking
Aby Armbruster, Lead Teacher – This is Aby’s 3rd year at Kol Emet Preschool. Aby earned her BA in English at the University of Delaware. She has been home raising her 3 kids for the past 17 years and is currently working toward her Master’s in Education at Holy Family University. In her free time, Aby enjoys baking, gardening, skiing, and traveling with her family.
Raizel Feifer, Assistant Teacher – Raizel has worked at Kol Emet for several years, both in the Preschool and the Religious School, in many roles, including as a Preschool substitute, but this is her first year as a full-time assistant teacher. She previously worked at Abrams Hebrew Academy for many years, as a substitute, assistant teacher, and Resource Room Teacher. Prior to her various roles in Education, Raizel was a drug & alcohol and mental health counselor. She practiced individual, family, and group counseling in various public and private settings. Raizel graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY with a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology. She received her BA from Beaver College (Arcadia University now), majoring in Psychology and minoring in Philosophy. When not at work, Raizel enjoys crafting, books, movies, and going to the beach. Spending time with her family – husband, son, parents, and sibs – and friends is very important to her. Raizel’s favorite things about working with children is making strong connections and being a part of their developing a love for learning, as well as sharing in their growth, joy, and successes from new experiences.
Claudia Block, Teacher/Gym Teacher – Claudia has taught at Kol Emet Preschool for 14 years. Previously a pharmaceutical representative for Johnson & Johnson, she holds a BA in International Relations, and a Masters in Elementary Education. When not working, Claudia likes to work out, cook, go to the beach, and watch her son play soccer. About teaching, Claudia says: “I love the energy of the kids and the pure innocence. I love watching them learn all year and to see how much they have grown by the end of the year.”
Amy Hampel, Lead Teacher – This will be Amy’s 5th year as one of our teachers. Amy is a veteran Hebrew school teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching 2nd grade at Congregation Beth El, where she also taught 3 year-olds in preschool. She has also taught in the 2 and 4 year-old classrooms at The Northern Hebrew Day Nursery in Philadelphia. Prior to pursuing her Masters in Elementary Education at Arcadia University, she graduated Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and worked at Toys R Us in their Human Resource Dept. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys reading mysteries, playing mahjong, creating fun-themed fleece tie blankets and watching Philly sports with her husband and three sons. Her favorite thing about teaching preschool is “seeing the excitement on the children’s faces when they are learning something new.”
Melissa Huffman, Assistant Teacher – This is Melissa’s first year Kol Emet Preschool. She was a regular substitute teacher at last year and has been a part of the Kol Emet community since 2012 when her children began their preschool education. Melissa is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. Prior to teaching, she worked in the Mother Baby and Neonatal Intensive Care Units. In her free time, Melissa enjoys cooking for family & friends, riding her Peloton bike, and spending time with her husband and 3 children. Melissa says, “I look forward to creating a nurturing, loving, and safe environment for my students where they are free to grow and learn through play.”
Karen Lewin, Teacher MWF; Assistant teacher T/Th – This is Karen’s first year at Kol Emet Preschool and she is so excited to be here. Karen has been teaching for over 20 years. She earned her elementary education teaching certification while studying at Clark University and later a Master’s degree in Jewish education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Karen has taught in a variety of settings including Jewish day school, synagogue preschool and Hebrew school. Her favorite thing about teaching is watching learners experience “Aha!” moments. Karen enjoys spending quality time with her husband, her son and her cat.
Lisa Rogers Miller, Lead Teacher – This is Lisa’s 9th year at Kol Emet Preschool. Lisa has taught 5 morning 3’s, assisted the 3 morning 3 year old class, shadowed a child and taught a movement class as part of the Messy Babies class. This is the 2nd young 2 year old class that Lisa has taught. Prior to teaching at Kol Emet Lisa taught young and old 2’s at Ohev Shalom Preschool. Lisa attended LaSalle University where she studied biology and education. When not teaching at Kol Emet Lisa has been the owner and director of Dance Dynamics in Huntingdon Valley for 26 years. When not teaching or dancing Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband, dog, father and a few cats. Lisa also enjoys cooking, baking and reading. About teaching Lisa says: “My favorite part of teaching, particularly 2’s is watching them discover that school is a safe place where they are loved and will have lots of fun. Watching them experience or accomplish something for the first time is extra special.”
Liz Ravitch, Administrative Assistant/STARS Administrator – This is Liz’s 4th year working at Kol Emet, but she is the proud parent of two Kol Emet Preschool graduates! Liz earned a BA in Psychology and Religious Studies from the University of Rochester, and a PhD in clinical psychology from Hahnemann University. When not at work, Liz enjoys spending time with her kids and with friends, various types of crafts, and doing puzzles.
Terry Skovronek, Assistant Teacher – This is Terry’s 1st year at Kol Emet Preschool. Terry has been a proponent of Waldorf education and a volunteer in Waldorf Schools for 20 years. She bring with her an enthusiasm for out-door play and exploration. Terry attended Simmons College where she received at BA in Psychology. Prior to teaching at Kol Emet, Terry dedicated her time as a member of the Board of Directors for 3 nation non-profits, each focused on protection of legal rights and care at end of life and after death. When not teaching or advocating, Terry enjoys handwork and deeply loving her two adult children.
Mor Smorgonsky, Assistant Teacher – This is Mor’s first year at the Kol Emet Preschool. Before Joining Kol Emet, Mor was a staff member at St. Andrew’s School in Newtown and worked with Pre-K children. Mor and her family moved to the area from Israel where she worked at the Adler institute for Child Development and Psychology as a course administrator while also taking courses in the Adlerian Philosophy fundamentals. Mor has two girls who graduated from the Kol Emet Preschool. In her spare time, Mor enjoys cooking and especially loves baking, as well as traveling with her family and friends. As a native Hebrew speaker, Mor will make sure our pronunciation is always correct.
Dianne Stevens, Assistant Teacher – This is Dianne’s first year working at Kol Emet Preschool. She previously worked at Abrams Hebrew Academy as an Assistant Teacher for 3 years and as a Teacher for 2 years. She is currently enrolled at Northampton University to obtain her CDA. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 4 kids at the beach. What she loves about teaching is seeing a child’s face light up when they learn something new.
Annmarie Tesarck, Assistant Teacher – This is Annmarie’s 2nd year at Kol Emet Preschool. She has been teaching for over 20 years and has her BA in Elementary Ed. After raising their three children with her husband she went back to teaching in early childhood education in the Pennsylvania area. When she teaches she loves to incorporate music , movement and art in the classroom. The most rewarding thing about teaching is seeing children learn through play. Annmarie feels very fortunate to be working alongside such dedicated and warm-hearted teachers.
Lauren Young, Lead Teacher – Lauren has been teaching at KE for 13 years. Before that, she taught Pre-K for the N. Hanover (NJ) School District for 8 years. Lauren earned a BS in Education from the University of Delaware, and a Master’s degree from Villanova University. When she’s not teaching, Lauren loves taking fitness classes, going out to dinner with friends, spending time with her family, and taking beach walks. According to Lauren: “Teaching preschool (Pre-K) is very rewarding to me. I am passionate and truly concerned for the best interest of every child in my class. I enjoy planning creative lessons to inspire all the kids. I love children and love to help them develop a love of learning. I look forward to sharing my love for early childhood education with your child and excited that I am given an opportunity to be part of their education.”
We were looking for a local preschool for our 3 year old and had no idea where to go. A dear friend recommended Kol Emet. My first reaction was, “I am not Jewish, am I allowed to go there?” My friend, who is Catholic, said, “OF COURSE!!!” And we are forever in her debt because it was the BEST choice we have made so far for our daughter. Kol Emet is excellent in education in a way that promotes love of learning, they are caring, kind, funny and become your family. If you are still looking, please visit them. They fill up quickly but Miss Carrie always finds a way. We have moved up to elementary school but will forever hold a special place for our Kol Emet family. Love them to pieces!
Bonnie, parent of former student
I absolutely love everything about the incredibly high standards set at Kol Emet Preschool. My son has learned and grown so much during his time there. The teacher to student ratio is low, so each child gets individual attention. The director and staff are incredibly involved and responsive to all needs. Most importantly, I know that when I drop off my son each morning he will be happy, safe, and loved.
Natasha, parent of son in Pre-K
Two years ago I looked into switching my oldest child to Kol Emet Preschool after hearing a number of my neighbors rave about how wonderful the school was. It only took one visit to let me see what an amazingly warm and inviting environment it is, and two years later I can truly say that every teacher there knows and appreciates both my children for who they are as individuals. I know they are in safe, loving hands when I drop them off, and I feel that my oldest will be well prepared for Kindergarten next year both academically and socially. We couldn’t be happier with Kol Emet Preschool!
Beth, parent of son in Pre-K and daughter in 2 year-old program
Both of my children are thriving at Kol Emet! For the younger one, there is extra special attention given to helping him adjust to a classroom setting. For my older one, he is engaged on so many levels: making friends and learning about the world. He loves going to school so much, he asks me to take him on the weekends! It is also such a comfort to me to know both of my children are in such good hands when I’m not there.
Kathleen, parent of son in Pre-K and son in 2 year-old program
We chose Kol Emet Preschool because when we visited, Carrie Walinsky, the director, and all the teachers were practically bursting with enthusiasm and love for what they do and the children in their care. There is a special sense of community and compassion that one feels the minute you walk in the building. Kindness and generosity is imbued in everything they do, and it is a joy to watch the children respond in kind.
Anne, parent of daughter in Pre-K and daughter in 2 year-old program