The Temple Beth Torah School of Early Learning at Old York Road Temple - Beth Am staff promotes a warm, friendly and family feeling atmosphere.  All staff members are professionally trained and experienced early childhood educators. They all hold current Red Cross certification in first aid and many complete CPR training every other year.  Their love of teaching children fills the air at the school.


Cindy AuspitzTeacher & Gym Teacher

        I am so happy to be working at the School of Early Learning. I am a busy wife and mother to 3 amazing children. I believe in doing ART every day and also using the power of play in almost everything we do. I love to come up with silly little songs for everything; whether it is for washing hands, learning about the seasons or a holiday. You will almost always find me with a huge bag of pool noodles that I use in my movement classes. I just love to watch your children react to a cool new song, march like a dinosaur or stretch their bodies into pizzas. I attended Moore College of Art and Design and Temple University in Philadelphia. I am currently working towards my Childhood Development Associates degree (CDA) with a focus on young toddlers. I also work at a local art gallery and teach youth gymnastics. I just can’t sit still! My family and I are always on the go visiting the zoo, a park or a museum. Look for us…we will be the ones marching, skipping, jogging, laughing and having a great time!


Orna Avitan, Assistant Teacher

        I was born in Israel and came to the United States 25 years ago. In Israel during high school I attended the Rubin Academy of Music. After high school, I went into the Israeli army for 3 years. Following this time, I worked for the Israeli government as a secretary. I currently live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I have been married for 40 years. I have 5 children and 9 grandchildren and 2 of them come to school at Beth Am. I have been an assistant teacher for 14 years and I have been teaching Hebrew enrichment classes for the last 8 of those years. In closing, let me just say that I love my job!


Nannette Bieber, Teacher

              Hi! I am Nannette Bieber, better known as “Bieber” to the many children I have taught over the past 39 years. I am originally from Trenton, New Jersey where I attended Rider College. When my daughter was 3 and attending nursery school, I was asked if I would like to “help out” with her class. I fell in love with all of the children and I have been working as a toddler teacher ever since. I am a widow with a wonderful daughter, Nicole, who is also a teacher. I am very fortunate that I am able to see my grandson Brody each day as he is a student in our school. I definitely feel that teaching your children is the most rewarding career that I could have chosen. I look forward to creating many more happy memories as a member of the teaching staff of the Temple Beth Torah School of Early Learning at Old York Road Temple- Beth Am.

 Jessica Bryman

Jessica Bryman, Assistant Teacher

        As the mother of two children who attend the School of Early Learning, I have seen first hand what an incredible school it is.   That is why I am so excited to be a part of the school as an assistant teacher this year.  I have had many experiences working with children including as a swim instructor, camp counselor, nanny, and most importantly as a mom.  I look forward to watching your little ones grow and flourish!

 Marsha new

 Marsha Cohen, Assistant Teacher


        I am an assistant teacher in Temple Beth Am’s pre-k class. I started, however, when we were located at Temple Beth Torah on Welsh Road and now have been with Sherrie for 24 years. I have enjoyed working with the children and watching them grow and develop. I have an AS degree in child care from Temple University and I am married with 3 children who also attended TBT nursery and Hebrew school. I am now a “mommom” to 3 beautiful granddaughters and I grandson. Let me finish by saying how much I enjoy my time working with your children.


Deb Cozen, Assistant Teacher

       Hello, my name is Deb Cozen, but the children call me Miss Deb or Miss Debbie. This year I work in the School of Early Learning as an assistant to Mrs. Vicky  and Mrs, Rosenblatt. This delights me. I love teaching this age. The stuff of life is still new and exciting. I so love this age! I have a BA in Elementary Education plus an M.S. in General Education, and I taught Middle School Science for 8 years prior to having my own children. I then spent 10 years working in the preschool my own children attended. For the past 4 years, I have enjoyed being on staff at SOEL where I love working with the children and teachers alike.


Illene Davis, Assistant Teacher

        I have been working for 27 years between Temple Beth Torah and Old York Road Temple-Beth Am, but I have been working with young children for the last 34 years. Even as a little girl myself of just 10 years old, I was running a day camp at my house for the neighborhood children. I suppose it was always in me to take care of children and to this very day, I still absolutely love it!

Jill Gershenson

Jill Gershenson, Assistant Teacher & Late Care Staff

                Hi!  I am Jill, the newest member of the School of Early Learning staff.  I have spent the last four years working and living in France where I met my husband, Rodri. I am currently taking classes in early childhood development and I hope to put what I learn into practice with my First Steppers and in late care.




Monique GraBois, Assistant Teacher

        Most people call me Mo, but my full name is Monique GraBois. This year is my first year working full time as an assistant teacher at TBT School of Early Learning at Old York Road Temple-Beth Am. I’ve been a substitute for the past few years. My passion and desire is in working with children, teaching them new things and watching them grow and develop. I am married to Perry GraBois who is a lifelong member of OYRTBA and we have 2 boys Aaron (5th grade) and Jarred (8th grade) who recently celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. Our sons attended this wonderful preschool and Aaron is currently enrolled in OYRTBA’s Hebrew School. I am looking forward to an exciting fun-filled year here with your children and my colleagues.


Annette Griver, Assistant Teacher

        I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I moved to New York City as a young girl. I am married and the mother of 4 children. I moved back to Philadelphia 23 years ago and I joined the School of Early Learning at Temple Beth Torah 17 years ago. I absolutely love my job and I am looking forward to many more happy years as a part of Sherrie’s preschool staff.


Vicky Jack, Teacher

        I am currently the lead teacher in one of our school’s pre-k classes. For the past 35 years, my Early Childhood degree from Temple University has given me the opportunity to work with children in many different settings. I have been a nanny, a toddler teacher and a pre-k teacher. I also worked at an overnight camp in Bucks County for 19 years as a unit head and girls’ head counselor. I am very fortunate to be able to come to work every day to a place full of curiosity, discovery and innocence. With a hug or smile, the children remind me daily how rewarding this job is. My objective when teaching is to always provide a warm, nurturing and loving environment by offering children “hands on” experiences through which they can explore, learn and grow. I am married to a talented children’s recording artist and we have 4 wonderful children; 2 sons, a daughter and a daughter-in-law. I enjoy traveling and reading and I love any kind of dog!

 Caleema Jackson

Caleema Jackson, Teacher

        My name is Caleema Jackson and I am a new teacher here at Old York Road Temple-Beth Am. I am very excited to add what I can to this wonderful school. I have extensive training and experience with children of all age groups and with both mental and physical delays. I have learned to identify and focus on small and large goals for children. I am a very energetic and happy woman as well as quite humble. I also always have an ear to listen and learn. As a teacher, my goal is to have the children learn and have fun at the same time. I keep an open door policy so all children and parents can feel free to come visit with me. I am dedicated to helping all children grow and develop at their own pace while I serve as a guide and a hand they can reach out to.


Laurie Jacobson, Teacher

        I attended Penn State University and graduated with my degree in special education. I have 4 children, 3 grandchildren and I have been married for 37 years. I have been teaching for more than 20 years and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I look forward to and enjoy my days with all of my adorable boys and girls. I strive for each child to have fun learning in a safe, loving and nurturing environment. The best days are when the children learn through hands on, messy, whimsical activities. In our classroom, our home away from home, each unique child forms a part of our classroom community and contributes to our team in their own special way.


Leslie Kraemer, Music Teacher

        I am the preschool music teacher here at Beth Am. As far back as I can remember music has been so very important to me. I have been teaching piano and preschool music for over 31 years. I was a Head Start teacher right out of college. I am a certified “Music Together” teacher and I have earned my CDA. I have developed several special musical programs here at Beth Am. High Holiday services, as well as our monthly Friday evening Tot Shabbats and Torah for Tots on Saturday mornings are a delight. Singing, dancing and playing music with the little ones always puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step!


Meryl Lewin, Administrative Assistant & Teacher

     My main role in the School of Early Learning is Sherrie’s assistant, but this year I will also be teaching in the First Steppers classroom. I have been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for more than 22 years. Suffice it to say that I am never at a loss for something to do when I am here at school. As for my education, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in history from Temple University and I earned my teaching credits later at Gwynedd Mercy College. When I am not at school, you can find me reading, knitting, shopping or enjoying some time on the beach. I have been married to my husband, Allan, for almost 36 years and we have a daughter, son-in-law, adorable grandson and another grandson due in late December. It is a pleasure working with you and your wonderful children each day and I look forward to greeting you in the morning out at carpool line!



Donna Martino, Teacher

        I am the lead teacher in one of our school’s 3 year old classes. I have been working in the field of early childhood education for more than 21 years now and all I can say is that this is one of the most rewarding careers I could have chosen for myself. Each year and every single day with your children brings joy, laughter and pure fun into my life. Outside of school, some of my hobbies include baking, gardening and finding new little towns to explore with my wonderful husband. I look forward to many more years of joy with the children who attend our preschool.


Alicia Paul, Teacher

        I am currently the pre-k teacher in the School of Early Learning and the kindergarten teacher in the Beth Am religious school. I have been teaching for 14 years now, ever since I graduated from the University of Delaware with my bachelor’s degree in education. I first came to Temple Beth Torah as a teaching assistant with the 4 year old class and the very next year I began teaching pre-k/K in my own classroom. I absolutely love teaching because the children can always put a great big smile on my face. On a personal note, I am lucky enough to be the mommy to a fabulous 6 year old who just started 1st grade in the Upper Moreland school district and a 3 year old who is currently in the three year old program here at SOEL Beth Am.  


Dena Rosenblatt, Teacher

        My name is Dena Rosenblatt. I am a graduate of Penn State University and I am certified in early childhood and elementary education. I have been teaching for 26 years; 17 of those years have been spent with Sherrie either at Temple Beth Torah or here at Temple-Beth Am. During the past 15 summers, I have been a senior counselor to 5 & 6 year old boys and girls at Camp America Day Camp. I have been married for 24 years and have 2 amazing children: Melissa who is in her Senior Year at West Chester University and Brett who just started his Freshman Year at Pitt. I am also involved with the Special Olympics and a special program at the Synagogue that I belong to called “Celebrations”, a special Shabbat program that allows families of children with disabilities to attend a Shabbat service/hands on program once a month. These 2 volunteer activities make me very happy. I am also an animal lover. I have 3 cats that were all rescued from shelters. Teaching has made a huge impact on my life and I hope that I have done the same for my students. I feel blessed to do what I love most and that is to be able to work with children and make a difference in their young lives.

 Ashley Rothstein

Ashley Rothstein, Assistant Teacher

          Hi! I am Ashley Rothstein and I am one of the new assistant teachers in the School of Early Learning. I am 24 years old and I live in northeast Philly. I enjoy playing on the internet, bowling, and spending time with my beautiful niece. I absolutely love spending my days with the infants and first steppers and I am looking forward to a fun-filled, rewarding year.



Jacqueline Gabbidon-Smith, Teacher

        I have been the lead teacher in the Infant Center for the last six years. I have a Bachelor’s degree in education with more than 20 years of experience working with children. I immigrated from Jamaica many years ago and I am married with 2 daughters. My hobbies include gardening and cooking. I believe that children are our greatest asset and they should be nurtured in such a way as to bring out the very best in them. I am looking forward to continuing to serve the families of the School of Early Learning.       

 Sherrie Web Photo

Sherrie Turetsky, Director

        I have been involved in the field of Early Childhood Education for the past 28 years. First, I was the director of Temple Beth Torah preschool for 18 years, the same school I attended as a child. In 2004, Temple Beth Torah merged with Old York Road Temple-Beth Am and this became our new home. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Education from Beaver College, now Arcadia University. Additionally, I served as co-director and programming coordinator for the Lower Moreland Parenting Center for 8 years. In this capacity, I facilitated many group discussions, workshops and parenting classes. I describe myself as a hands-on director, meaning I will do anything to escape my office and interact with the children. As a mother of 3 young men, I know that a child is your most precious gift and as director I strive to provide a safe, loving environment for them to thrive. I would be happy to answer any and all questions you may have related to either the synagogue or our school since our tagline is “home away from home”.

 kim williams 2

Kim Williams, Assistant Teacher

        My name is Kim Williams and I am one of the new assistant teachers for the infants and first steppers in the School of Early Learning. I am the mother of four children. I love traveling, cooking, reading, and spending time with my family. I attend CCP part-time and I look forward to entering the nursing program. In the future, I would like to work as a pediatric nurse in pediatric behavioral health. I am very excited to begin this new journey with the School of Early Learning and I look forward to a wonderful year!



Stacey Wilner, Assistant Teacher 

        I have a degree in Secondary English Education from Temple University. I have worked at the Temple Beth Torah School of Early Learning for 10 years where I am happy to work with Marlene Rosen and our 3 years olds. When the regular school day is done, I turn my attention to late care in which I am the coordinator. This is a great opportunity to meet and interact with children of many different ages. It is also a wonderful opportunity to explore my creative side by engaging in various activities with the children. During the summer, I work as a specialist at Camp America and I also give swim lessons during my off hours. I am also happy to share that I am beginning my second year teaching 1st grade in the Old York Road Temple-Beth Am religious school. When I am not at camp or school, I am home with my children, 19 years old and 15 years old, my husband and 3 dogs.