Francesca Axe

Francesca Axe, 2nd Grade, Resource Room & Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tutor

        It is with great pride that I am a member of the Old York Road Temple Beth Am teaching staff for my thirteenth year. I am delighted to return to teaching the second grade class on Sunday mornings. The students are precious and I find their thirst for knowledge invigorating. On Tuesday afternoons as part of the Resource Room staff, I will be evaluating all fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students on their Hebrew reading proficiency. The students will then be placed according to their suitable level. I enjoy working with the different grade levels and I look forward to yet another productive and stimulating year at Old York Road Temple-Beth Am.



Cindy Band, 5th Grade & Confirmation Academy
        My name is Cindy Band and this will be my 15th year teaching at Beth Am. I teach 5th and 8th grades and love what I do. I have a son, Dylan, who is going to be a senior this year at Lower Moreland High School. My husband Jeff, Dylan, and myself are all members at Beth Am. I have two adorable Bichon's named Desi and Lucy. They are brother and sister and you will hopefully meet them when we bless the pets this year.

        I have a BA in Elementary Education and a MA in Reading Specialist, so I am a dually certified teacher. I taught in the Philadelphia School District until Dylan was born and then resigned. However, I have kept up with my certificates as I have been a substitute teacher in the Lower Moreland School District for 9 years. A huge honor for me was in June, 2008, when I won the ACAJE Grinspoon/ Steinhardt Teacher of the Year Award for Jewish day and supplementary schools. I am excited and looking forward to a great year with your child and meeting you as well.


Rebecca Kaplan

Rebecca Kaplan, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tutor

        I have worked in Jewish education since 1972, both in Day School and Religious Schools. It is so wonderful being part of the Beth Am community since 1977. In addition to working at Beth Am and Jewish Day School, I was a group leader for Operation Understanding.


 Yana List

Yana List, 3rd Grade, Confirmation Academy & 9th Grade Core Teacher

        My name is Yana List and I am very excited to join the Temple Beth-Am faculty. I will be teaching third grade and Confirmation Academy. I have taught elementary and high school classes in congregations in Philadelphia and Mobile, Alabama. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to bring my experience with and passion for Jewish education to Temple Beth-Am! 

        I began my own Jewish education at Perelman Jewish Day School (Forman Center) and I graduated from Akiba Hebrew Academy (now Barrack). I have a BA in Biology and Educational Studies from Swarthmore College, a MA in Curriculum Development from Ball State University, and I am a licensed biology teacher. I currently teach biology at William Tennent High School (in Warminster), and I love working with students every day!

        I am looking forward to a great year filled with learning, discovery, and love of Judaism!



Alicia Paul, Kindergarten

        Hi! I teach kindergarten class in the Beth Am religious school. I am also the Pre-k/K teacher in the School of Early Learning at Beth Am, which makes my job in the religious school one to look forward to! Not only do I get to have some of my students for a second year, but we welcome new children to the kindergarten class! I have been teaching religious school kindergarten for the past seven years, and I absolutely love coming to Beth Am on Sunday mornings to teach the children about the Jewish holidays as well as some of the Bible stories. My kindergarten room is a fun, hands-on way to start your journey through Beth Am! 



Avi Remetz, 4th Grade & Youth Advisor

        My name is Avi Remetz and I live in the Fairmount area of Philadelphia. I received my undergrad in Jewish studies from Temple University, whose sports I still follow very passionately. I am currently working towards a master’s in Jewish Education. My passion for Judaism comes from my years in USY both as a teenager and a volunteer staff member. I hope to help our youth find their own balance with Judaism in their lives, and help them grow as people. I enjoy music a lot, from collecting vinyl (of which I have over 500) to seeing live music as much as possible. I am always willing to have a conversation about anything, so feel free to approach anytime! 


 Bruce Sham

Bruce Sham, Resource Room

        "One who denies a child knowledge of our religious heritage steals the child's inheritance." These words of the Sanhedrin 91b spoke volumes to me as I am a parent of a child with a disability. In a time when religious schools had no programming for children who learn differently, I am very proud to say that Beth Am was at the forefront of this movement to "Teach All Children According to their Ways" and I am proud to be part of that movement. I grew up at Beth Am and have been involved in the school for over 30 years, working in the Amanda Sham Resource Room for Children with Special Needs.  I am proud of our ability and commitment to include every child in our religious school and every family in our synagogue. 


 stacey stein

Stacey Stein, Resource Room

        My name is Stacey Stein, and I am very excited to be joining Beth Am's Religious School this year as a Resource Room teacher. I am a special education teacher for the School District of Philadelphia, and this year I am teaching an Autistic Support class for 4th and 5th graders. In 2005, I graduated from Rider University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Psychology. I also completed the Autism Endorsement Program and received my Master's Degree in 2013 in Special Education Advanced Practice from Holy Family University. My husband and I have been members of Beth Am since getting married in 2010, and we are looking forward to giving back to the community and watching our son grow up in the Beth Am family.


 OTorgeman Photo

Orna Torgeman, 5th Grade

        I, Orna Torgeman was born and raised in Haifa, Israel. As a teenager, I served my country in the Sherut Leumi program by teaching sixth grade at a public school and working with a program to rehabilitate juvenile offenders and at-risk youth. I  also wrote and produced shows for hospitalized children. I graduated from Haifa University with a B.A. in Jewish History and Jewish Philosophy and a teaching certificate.  While at Haifa University, I was the coordinator of the university’s Jewish Philosophy Department and organizer of many international conferences. My first teaching position was at her the Philadelphia area at the Solomon Schechter Day School, and in the year 2000, I joined the faculty at Kohelet Yeshiva High School.  I have been a part of the Beth Am faculty for almost 10 years.  I live in Philadelphia with my son Daniel, who is a business student at Yeshiva University.


 Alison Walters

Alison Walters, 4th Grade & Confirmation Academy

        I have been teaching at Beth Am since 2007. This will be my second year teaching fourth grade. I am the proud parent of Emily and Jillian. 

Matti Whitman

Matti Whitman, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tutor

       I am a graduate of LaSalle College and Gratz Hebrew College.  I've been involved in Jewish Education for many years and presently teach third grade and Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  My goal is to instill a love and knowledge of Judaism, Hebrew and Israel in my students.

 JeffZucker Headshot

Jeff Zucker, 1st Grade

        I have loved educating others for many years. I suppose it all began with my days at camp. As a child and teenager I attended a local day camp and learned not only sports and social skills, but patience and creativity as well. I then took my love of camp to the next level by attending Camp Harlam, a URJ camp in the Poconos. At Harlam I was both a counselor and unit head for nearly every age camper. That experience added a love of Judaism and tradition to my repertoire.
Partly because of my years at camp, I then became an elementary school teacher in Philadelphia. After teaching most grades between kindergarten and fifth, I longed for a new challenge. I then received a certification in teaching English as a Second Language (ESOL). I have been teaching English language learners ever since. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my wife, Jaime, and two daughters Sydnie and Ani. I also have a deep love and appreciation for music and play, not only the guitar, but the ukulele as well. 
I look forward to joining the Beth Am Faculty and meeting all students, their families and congregants.