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Professional Staff

Clergy                                                                                                   Administrative Staff

Executive Director Lynne Balaban


 

Ritual Director Sol Hettena

Sol Hettena has served as Bnai Aviv's Baal Koreh (Torah Reader) for two years and has tutored numerous b’nai mitzvah students over the past 15 years. He is an important addition to our team especially with the approach of the High Holy Days.

Prior to his affiliation with B’nai Aviv, Sol was a b’nai mitzvah tutor and teacher at several other Conservative congregations in South Florida: Beth David Congregation in Miami, The Scheck Family Religious School at Beth Torah Benny Rock Campus [BTBRC] in North Miami Beach, The Solomon Schechter Day School [now Hochberg Prep] at BTBRC, and Temple Sinai in Hollywood. At Temple Sinai he fulfilled a dual role as Education Director and Ritual Director. At Solomon Schechter, Sol taught the "three T’s": Torah, Tefilah, and trope to grades four through six and conducted daily Shacharit services for grades three through six. Sol led Shabbat Service for all grades at the Scheck Family Religious School and co-created, with the education director, a program called the "Trope Club”, which taught haftarah cantillation to gifted students as young as fourth graders; his students chanted the Haftarah on Shabbat, in the main sanctuary, when there was no Bnai Mitzvah.

Sol grew up in Far Rockaway and Woodmere, New York and was raised in a traditionally observant Jewish home. He attended Jewish day schools and yeshivas, spending two years of high school in Israel. He began his college career as a secondary education major but he graduated from the State University of New York in Oneonta with a dual major which resulted in a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics and Theatre. He served as president of The Murray Hill Synagogue in New York from 1996-1998 and was always involved in Jewish organizations in various roles.

After a successful twenty-one year career in New York as an Investment banker and money market trader, he took early retirement, relocated to Florida, and began to pursue his initial dream of teaching and working with children. To this end he earned a certificate in Jewish studies and began his second career in education. He has had success working with many "special needs" students and recognizes the individuality of each student. Consequently, he tailors his methods to each students' individual requirements to ensure their success. 

Sol can be reached at Sol@bnaiaviv.org or 954-384-8265.

Director of Lifelong Learning - Elizabeth Singer

Elizabeth (Liz) Singer had a typical upbringing with in the conservative movement in St. Louis, Missouri. She was involved with youth group and attended religious school, which eventually transitioned into a classroom teaching role. Following high school she enrolled in Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, where she was awarded a degree in Theater and a minor in Political Science. College was a time of exploring a variety of interests, these included becoming very involved in Israel advocacy. Due to her interest in political advocacy, and in nonprofit professional work she pursued a Master degree from Saint Louis University in Social Work with an emphasis on community organizing. Following this Liz spent a total of three years in long-term programs in Israel, including two years at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Upon her return to the United States she worked in the Jewish community in variety of educational roles, including coordinating a an anti-stigma program through Jewish Family & Children's Service, as well as serving as Director of congregational schools in both the reform and conservative movements. As it became clear that Liz's interest in Jewish Education had been a consistent thread throughout her professional life, she began to take classes at the Davidson School of Education at JTS. She was awarded a Master's in Jewish Education with two concentrations; Leadership within Synagogues and Communal Settings, and Israel Education.

Now that Liz has found her home at B'nai Aviv, she looks forward to integrating a variety of learning modalities to pull meaning out of the ancient texts so students can draw connections to their lives today. Showing students the scope of all the wisdom that Judaism has to offer will help work towards the goal that B'nai Aviv serves as the hub of Jewish learning and Jewish life in the area.

Liz can be reached at Liz@bnaiaviv.org or 954-384-8265.

Early Childhood Education Center Director Mindy Bernstein

Mindy has been working in the Early Childhood Program for over 20 years. Mindy has a B.A. in Elementary Education, Special Needs and a director’s credential including VPK from the State of Florida. Mindy’s formal education offers her a unique approach to early childhood education by allowing her to meet the educational and developmental needs of each child. Mindy enjoys making a difference in the lives of so many young children and their families. She feels so fortunate to be able to do what she loves by sharing her passion for early childhood education with everyone within the B’nai Aviv family.

Mindy can be reached at Mindy@bnaiaviv.org or 954-384-6605.


 

Youth Director Todd Morchelies

 Todd has served in this position since 2006. He began his career as Youth Director of Temple Sinai of Hollywood in 1995 and served in this position for ten years. Prior to his start at B’nai Aviv, Todd was the Youth and Camp Director at Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus. Todd has extensive experience with many types of children's programs including after-school programs, camps,and elementary schools. Todd had also been the Program Director for the Kadima and USY Leadership Training Institute (LTI) at Camp Blue Star in North Carolina and Camp Ramah Darom in Georgia for ten years.

Having worked with children and teenagers for many years, Todd presents himself in a manner that relates to the young person's mind and sociological atmosphere. At the same time, he sets the proper example of what a child or teenager should follow. Todd's relationship with "his" kids enables him to become close with them and to develop a feeling of trust and love throughout their growing years.

Todd enjoys working in a Jewish atmosphere which enables him to learn and progress through life obtaining Judaic knowledge. He had been brought up in a conservative Jewish atmosphere by observing the laws and taking part in many Jewish experiences while growing into adulthood. He was Junior Congregation President at Adath Yeshurun Synagogue in North Miami Beach and then proceeded to become the Supervisor. While in his high school years, he took part in USY activities, attended conventions, and made many new friends.

Todd has many hobbies of which mostly relate to the arts. He enjoys photography, singing, acting, and any other type of performing. He has performed on Karaoke stages in front of large audiences, most recently as a finalist in the main theater of a Royal Caribbean Cruise in front of over 2,000 people. He grew up mostly taking part in many athletic activities ranging from Basketball, Softball, Football, and Street Hockey.

Todd has been married to Lisa Bloom-Morchelies since November of 2000. The couple has a daughter Alexa and a son Ryan.

Todd can be reached at Todd@bnaiaviv.org or at 954-349-1879.

Facilities Director -Joe Castro

Joe is originally from New York, but he has lived in South Florida since 1995. Most recently he was the chief engineer at 1060 Brickell. In this capacity he was responsible for a team that managed a 2-tower condo consisting of 567 residential units, 16 commercial units and an 80,000 gallon pool.

In his spare time he enjoys working on his motorcycle and spending time with his wife and children. He has 7 children ranging in age from 3 to 30 years old.

Executive Director Emeritus Allan Ross


 

Mon, October 15 2018 6 Cheshvan 5779