Gabriella Rothman, who is a parent of three children at the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island (JCDSRI), remembers when her oldest son started Pre-K and his new teacher came to visit. “Andrea walked in and immediately sat down on the ground with Eitan. She allowed my son to show her his world, and she bridged the transition to a new school, making it easier for all of us.”

JCDSRI Pre-K teacher Andrea Katzman has been conducting home visits before the school year begins since she started teaching at JCDSRI seven years ago. She says that these visits are one of the most effective ways to strengthen home-school connections and allow us to welcome and engage the entire family. “The visits give both children and their parents the opportunity to share what’s on their minds with their new te4acher,” Katzman says. “It’s something wonderful for kids to show their teacher their home and space. When they walk into the classroom, they already feel like they know us, and they feel safe and connected. Our students know that we can be trusted because their parents have invited us into their homes.” 

Adam CohenAdam CohenTemple Sinai’s NFTY-based youth group will be led by Adam Cohen, a native New Yorker who is currently a college student in Rhode Island. The youth group will be divided into two sections: Cranston Area Federation of Temple Youth (CRAFTY) Jr. (grades 6-8) and CRAFTY Sr. (grades 9-12). Throughout both sections, the common goal will be for Jewish teens/tweens to celebrate being Jewish together with programs and events they plan and organize themselves. Teens/tweens looking for Jewish experiences that are fun and draw them together in friendship will find a place in CRAFTY. CRAFTY Jr. will incorporate interactive programs that get the students “up and moving.” These programs allow the students to feel engaged with their peers. For example, a chocolate Seder for Passover is a unique experience that will allow the students to have fun while participating in a Jewish ritual. The senior youth group will also be focused on fun youth-driven activities. Cohen says he is looking forward to assisting them with planning high-energy programs that may involve off-site outings.


Congregation Agudath Achim and The Jewish Community House of Taunton, Massachusetts, invite children and their parents to attend September Hebrew School classes at 133 High St., Taunton, on Thursdays and Sundays in September. Classes meet Sept. 4, 11 and 18 from 4-5:30 p.m. and Sept. 14, 21 and 28 from 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Contact Rabbi/Cantor Anne Heath in advance at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone 781-956-8673. Host families are assigned to visiting families. There is no charge for these get-acquainted classes. Attendance after September requires formal enrollment, tuition and synagogue membership. Learn more about the congregation at

Miriam CaloreMiriam CaloreMiriam Calore is the new head teacher of the South County Hebrew School at Congregation Beth David in Narragansett.

Calore has been teaching Jewish studies and Hebrew for a decade throughout Rhode Island. Prior to joining the faculty of the South County Hebrew School, Calore taught at Temple Beth-El’s Hebrew School and the Jewish Community Day School. A native of Cranston, Calore attended Moses Brown and the University of Vermont, where she majored in religion and political science. After attending an intensive Hebrew language Ulpan Akiva in Netanya, Israel, she returned to Rhode Island.

As the school year begins at Temple Am David, Susan Sugerman returns as Hebrew and Tefillah teacher and assistant director. Also returning is Andrea Smith, teacher of the Eunice Zeidman (E-Z) Program. New to the staff will be Rebecca Dinerman, who will be teaching Jewish Holidays on Sundays. Rebecca is a full-time teacher in North Kingstown and is a homegrown graduate of the Temple Am David religious school program.