The teachers of the Shtilim (which means saplings in Hebrew) class, serving children ages 3-4, are Lauren and Ayala.
Teacher Lauren has been at BACNS since 2003. In addition to teaching the Threes class in the morning, she provides aftercare in the afternoons. Lauren also leads the Tot Shabbat program, a Jewish experience for young children and their families at Shomrei Torah held once a month. At Beth Ami, Lauren is part of the Beth Ami and You Tot Shabbbat Program.
Lauren attended The University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa where she received a BA and Higher Diploma in Education. Also she has taken Early Childhood Education classes in the Bay Area. Prior to BACNS, Lauren was a teacher at Gan Shalom Preschool in Berkeley for 11 years, and was the Director/Head Teacher for the last four years there. Lauren says that she loves the children and working with her fellow teachers. “I feel blessed and privileged to work with such a dedicated, good-humored, creative and amazing staff here and love our community.
Teacher Ayala moved from Israel to Sonoma County in 2011 to be the director and lead teacher for the pre-school aged kids at Camp Newman, where she remained until taking the job of director of the religious school at Congregation Shir Shalom in Sonoma last year, teaching the mommy and me class as well as classes for older students. She has a degree in music, and loves bringing her guitar and interactive children’s songs into circle time and throughout the school day. She teaches yoga to children in a variety of ways, from Aleph-Bet yoga to telling yoga stories. And she is passionate about bringing ecology into the classroom, creating open-ended eco-design projects using materials found on nature walks with the kids. She believes that social-emotional development is at the heart of early childhood education, and that children learn by doing, playing, and interacting.
Beth Ami Community Nursery School is a program of Congregation Beth Ami, and is supported by the Jewish Community Federation (JCF) of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, as well as Jewish Learning Works and First Five Sonoma County.