Religious School Director
Rena joined the KI team in 2015 as a 6th grade Hebrew teacher and the 7th/8th grade “Mitzvah Makers” facilitator. In 2016 she became the Director of Youth and Family Learning – a position encompassing the basics of coordinating the Religious School program, but focusing on the family experience that occurs as well.
Prior to moving to the Lehigh Valley Rena served as the Director of the Religious School at Larchmont Temple, in Larchmont, NY for 8 years. In the time she created and supervised 2 full-time staff positions and 20 part-time classroom faculty. She was known for implementing new and creative curricular initiatives spanning prayer, Israel, and Jewish values. She realigned the synagogue’s b’nei mitzvah program including annual retreats and family learning opportunities. She worked in partnership with her colleagues developing adult education programs, a new website, and partnership building.
Rena holds Masters Degrees in Religious Education and in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2011, the title R.J.E. (Reform Jewish Educator) was conferred upon Rena by the Reform Movement. This professional designation reserved for those who have distinguished themselves through study and service to Reform Jewish Education. Rena graduated with honors from Dickinson College in 2004 with a BA in both Religion and Judaic Studies.
In addition to serving on the Larchmont Temple faculty, Rena has taught religious school students of all ages at Temple Beth El in San Pedro, CA, Westchester Reform Temple and Temple Israel of New Rochelle as well as served as a shadow for a special needs student at Temple Ohev Shalom in Harrisburg, PA for 3 years. She also taught American Habonim D’ror students who were living in Israel while she lived and studied in Israel. While studying at HUC in Los Angeles, Rena served as a graduate intern at the National Council of Jewish Women – Los Angeles Section.
Her professional positions in the Lehigh Valley include serving as the Managing Director at Congregation Am Haskalah of the Lehigh Valley and serving as the Jewish Education Services Coordinator at the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. She is also the Content Curator for JeducationWorld.com.
Rena serves on the HUC–JIR New York School of Education Alumni Association and the HUC-JIR School of Jewish Nonprofit Management Honorary Doctorate Committee. She is also active in ARJE – the Association for Reform Jewish Educators.
Rena may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org