Abrams, Dylan
Dylan Abrams Hebrew Teacher
Abrams, Dylan
Hebrew Teacher
Bio:

Dylan Abrams is thrilled to be back at Pardes for another amazing year! This is his third year at Pardes and his seventh year of teaching. Moreh Dylan has a Master’s degree in Education from Gratz College, where he specialized in Jewish Instructional Education and Hebrew Language Instruction. He was honored to earn the Graduate Subject Prize for excellence in Hebrew upon his graduation. His undergraduate work includes a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Mass Communication, a minor in Religious Studies, and a certificate in Jewish Studies from Arizona State University, as well as interdisciplinary field work at Monash University in Prato, Italy. Moreh Dylan has studied Hebrew in formal and informal settings for more than 15 years and enjoys sharing his love of the language with his students. In addition to his work at Pardes, Moreh Dylan serves as the Hebrew Coordinator for Temple Chai Religious School and has taught Modern Hebrew at Hebrew High. He has previous experience as a B’nai Mitzvah tutor, Jewish Studies teacher, Retreat/Shabbaton facilitator, and Mitzvah Project mentor. Before coming to Pardes, Moreh Dylan spent ten years as a working journalist, including seven years as a morning show producer/video editor/live shot coordinator at ABC15 Arizona. He has also been published in The Jewish News. He is deeply passionate about bringing his journalism experience into the Hebrew classroom through Project Based Learning. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, traveling, swimming, hiking, drinking coffee, and spending time with his wife and dog.

Abrams, Sara
Sara Abrams Middle School Humanities Teacher / Literacy Coach
Abrams, Sara
Middle School Humanities Teacher / Literacy Coach
Bio:

Sara Abrams is excited to be in her ninth year teaching Middle School humanities. This is her 15th  year at Pardes, and her 20th year of teaching. Miss Abrams graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University and her Master’s degree in Secondary English education from Arizona State University. As a part of her Master’s work, Miss Abrams studied abroad at Cambridge University, where she studied Shakespeare in depth. More recently, she took her education further at Columbia University where she has not only participated in the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Summer Institutes, but the Coaching Institute on the Teaching of Writing and Reading as well.  Furthermore, this summer, she completed the Teacher Leadership Program at Brandeis University. She brings with her a deep-rooted passion for William Shakespeare, the written word, and a perfect cup of tea.

 

Adams, Jennifer
Jennifer Adams Musical Theater Teacher
Adams, Jennifer
Musical Theater Teacher
Bio:

An Arizona native, Jennifer Adams has trained with world-renowned vocal instructors across the U.S., her passion has always been for the classical voice, but her love for music theater has grown over the years. She has been seen on the stage and working extensively as a professional in both Operatic and Music Theatre repertory across the southwest for over 30 years, including Broadway tour contracts, as well as World and Arizona Premiere Productions. An award-winning actor and singer, Jennifer loves sharing her knowledge, experience, and love of the arts with her students. She has also been the music director for countless award-winning productions over the past 25 years, including many youth productions. She has taught music and theatre for numerous performing arts schools, which includes creating and heading the music theater program at the prestigious Arizona School for the Arts in downtown Phoenix. Her students have performed all over the country and abroad, including the Metropolitan Opera, Broadway, Carnegie Hall. She is also the owner/proprietor of a private voice and piano studio in the valley.

Allen, Seli
Seli Allen Kindergarten Teacher
Allen, Seli
Kindergarten Teacher
Bio:

Şeli (Shelly) Allen is excited for her third year teaching Kindergarten at Pardes Jewish Day School. Morah Şeli received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Ege University in Izmir, Turkey and her Master of Science in Education, Early Childhood General Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York, NY. She has taught at several Jewish preschools, in Washington DC, New York City, Pennsylvania, and most recently in Arizona. Morah Şeli also co-founded and was the first teacher at B’Yachad Jewish Preschool in Ithaca, NY. She is passionate about teaching and focuses on the whole child. Morah Şeli has attended Responsive Classroom Workshop as well as Phonics, Reading and Writing Institutes at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University and Stanford Center for Professional Development Mathematics courses. Morah Şeli immigrated to the United States from Turkey in 2005 and has resided in Arizona since 2017. She is the proud mom of two children, Audrey and Max, both of whom attend Pardes Jewish Day School. She enjoys traveling, biking, hiking, camping and movies, and she can frequently be found schlepping her kids around Scottsdale and Phoenix to sports and other activities.

 

Allouche, Rabbi
Rabbi Pinchas Allouche Jewish Studies Teacher
Allouche, Rabbi
Jewish Studies Teacher
Bio:

Rabbi Pinchas G. Allouche teaches seventh and eighth grade Jewish Studies. Additionally, he is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Tefillah. Rabbi Allouche is a sought-after lecturer and popular author of many essays and writings on the Jewish faith, mysticism, and social analysis. Rabbi Allouche was born in Toulouse, France and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and Jerusalem, Israel. His travels have also taken him to Geneva, Switzerland where he provided Jewish Learning Opportunities and activities to adults and youth alike, and to Milano, Italy where he received his rabbinic ordination. Besides his academic pedigree, Rabbi Allouche is highly respected and tremendously involved in the Jewish community of Greater Phoenix. He is a member of the Think Tank Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix. Additionally, Rabbi Allouche is a member of AIPAC’s National Council, and here locally, he is also a member of the Vaad Harabanim, the Orthodox Rabbinic Council – Arizona’s Committee of Orthodox Rabbis.

Berko, Melinda
Melinda Berko Fourth Grade Teacher
Berko, Melinda
Fourth Grade Teacher
Bio:

Melinda Berko is in her 12th year teaching fourth grade at Pardes Jewish Day School. Before coming to teach at Pardes, Mrs. Berko taught fourth grade for 11 years at another Jewish Day School in Scottsdale in addition to first grade in public school. Mrs. Berko graduated with a Bachelors of Art degree in Psychology from Stetson University in Deland, Florida and a Post Baccalaureate in Elementary Education from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. She is certified to teach kindergarten through sixth grade. She also has experience developing training materials and computer based training from her time working at a Fortune 500 company in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  

Burckhardt, Laurie
Laurie Burckhardt Learning Support Coordinator for Middle School; Math Teacher
Burckhardt, Laurie
Learning Support Coordinator for Middle School; Math Teacher
Bio:

The 2022-2023 school year is Laurie Burckhardt’s tenth year as part of the Pardes family. She’s been a professional educator for over 20 years. Mrs. Burckhardt coordinates student support services for middle school and teaches Pre-Algebra. Previously, she taught math, science, language arts, and general studies to fourth through ninth grade students in public schools, private schools, Jewish day schools, and tutoring centers in Illinois, Colorado, and Arizona. In addition, she has run resource and gifted enrichment programs and served as a tutor and academic coach. Mrs. Burckhardt’s undergraduate degree is from the University of Arizona. She has a Master’s degree in teaching and holds an Arizona Highly Qualified teaching license with a gifted education endorsement. Her passion is teaching all types of learners and helping each child build knowledge and self-confidence while increasing their skills and developing a love of learning. Mrs. Burckhardt is a proud alumni parent, too. Her son is a graduate of Pardes.

 

Carter, Anthony
Anthony Carter Middle School Science Teacher
Carter, Anthony
Middle School Science Teacher
Bio:

Anthony Carter comes to the Pardes community having taught general education, math, science and engineering for six years in the BASIS network of schools. He previously worked as an electronics engineer for ten years as well as a touring musician. Mr. Carter cares deeply about creating strong relationships with his students and engaging them in meaningful learning experiences that are hands-on and collaborative. In addition to teaching, he has a passion for creating custom guitars and amplifiers and combining his academic knowledge with his artistic nature.

Carter, Hannah
Hannah Carter Art Teacher
Carter, Hannah
Art Teacher
Bio:

 It is with so much excitement that Hannah Carter returns to the Pardes mishpacha (family) for her third year as an Art Educator! Over her 15-year teaching career, she has had the privilege of teaching students from infants through fourth grade in a variety of traditional and not so traditional settings. Mrs. Carter received her Bachelors of Fine Art from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2010 before moving back to Phoenix, where she grew up. She is passionate about art education and the role that it has in educating the whole child. Mrs. Carter finds a deep sense of pride when students step out of their comfort zones and explore the world around them with an open mind and a creative spirit. She is honored to be able to bring her unique style of teaching to the Pardes students.

 

Clark, Allison
Allison Clark Middle School Math Teacher / Math Coach
Clark, Allison
Middle School Math Teacher / Math Coach
Bio:
Allison Clark, the math coach and middle school math teacher, is excited to be a member of the Pardes Middle School team. This is Miss Clark’s fifth year at Pardes and 15th year teaching. Miss Clark graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Elon University. She also earned a Masters of Art in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix. In addition to her degrees, she holds an endorsement for middle school math. She furthers her education by participating in Stanford’s YouCubed courses. Recently, she completed the Teacher Leadership course through Brandeis University. When Miss Clark isn’t inspiring her students to love math, she enjoys watching hockey, playing card games, eating out, and going to the movies.
DePalma, Nicole
Nicole De Palma Makerspace Teacher / Middle School Science Teacher
DePalma, Nicole
Makerspace Teacher / Middle School Science Teacher
Bio:
Nicole De Palma moved to Phoenix in 2020 with her husband Brandon, her two children Sunny and Elara, and her dog Banjo. During her twelve year career in education, Nicole has taught a wide range of subjects including science, history, technology, and art to kindergartner through twelfth graders. Mrs. De Palma graduated with a Bachelor of Art degree in History from UC Riverside and has a Masters degree in Cross-Cultural Education from National University. Before joining Pardes, she was the manager and lead educator of an intergenerational STEM Studio located in San Diego where she developed curriculum, led classes, and ran their summer camp program for student in kindergarten through eighth grade. Her work history also includes working at the San Diego Natural History Museum as the Lead Educator for their School in the Park program where she taught science classes to students in fourth through eighth grade. The 2022 – 2023 school year will be Ms. De Palma’s third year at Pardes and in addition to her role as the Makerspace teacher, she will also be teaching sixth grade science. She believes in educating the whole child and strives to create a learning environment that fosters creativity, confidence, and enthusiasm for learning. Ms. De Palma is a life-long learner who loves anything hands-on and spends a good deal of time crafting and experimenting with new ideas and materials. When not at school, she spends her time with her family, enjoying nature, reading, crafting, practicing photography, and traveling.
Eckstein, Jennifer
Jennifer Eckstein Fifth Grade Teacher
Eckstein, Jennifer
Fifth Grade Teacher
Bio:

Jennifer Eckstein is excited to be in her 15th year at Pardes and her 21st year in teaching.  She taught third and fourth grade in public schools for six years before coming to Pardes. She spent three years teaching second grade, eight years teaching third grade, and is now in her fourth year of teaching fifth grade which she loves. Ms. Eckstein graduated from Chapman University with a degree in Criminal Justice and earned her post baccalaureate in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University. Ms. Eckstein has had the privilege of attending both reading and writing institutes at Teachers College at Columbia University. She also has an endorsement in Structured English Immersion and is certified in the Collaborative Literacy Intervention Project (CLIP). When she is not at school, Ms. Eckstein can be found on the tennis court, with family and friends, or curled up with a good book.

 

Ettinger, Sarah
Sarah Ettinger MS Humanities Teacher
Ettinger, Sarah
MS Humanities Teacher
Bio:

Sarah Ettinger moved to Phoenix from Los Angeles in 2018. Sarah attended California State University Northridge, where she received her bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language Linguistics and Literature, and her master’s degree in Linguistics with an emphasis on Teaching English as a Second Language. Sarah earned her K-8 teaching credential with the Day School Leadership through Teaching (DeLeT) program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. More recently, Sarah has been accepted for the DeLeT Master’s of the Art of Teaching program.

Sarah has taught at Shearim Torah High School, Sinai Akiba Academy in Los Angeles, 32nd Street USC Magnet School, College of the Canyons, and Santa Monica College. She has also worked at Gesher Disability Resources as a teacher serving students with disabilities in the local Jewish day schools.  Sarah  joined the Pardes faculty in 2019 as the Jewish studies coordinator and middle school Jewish studies teacher. She is excited to return to her roots and move back into eighth  grade  humanities and sixth grade history. Sarah brings her love of history, literature, and interesting facts to every class she teaches. When Sarah isn’t teaching, she’s playing golf in loud golf pants, enjoying movies, trying new restaurants, and having adventures with her family: Seth, Ronen, and Georgina.

Finks, Susan
Susan Finks Middle School Math Teacher
Finks, Susan
Middle School Math Teacher
Bio:

Celebrating her eighth year at Pardes  and her twenty-first year in education, Susan Finks teaches  seventh and eighth grade math. Teacher. She has taught math courses ranging from Middle School Math 2 through College Algebra as a dual enrollment class for college credit in high school. Mrs. Finks has taught in public, alternative, and Jewish day schools in Arizona, as well as served as a private tutor. Earning two Master’s degrees in education from Arizona State University – one in Curriculum and Instruction and one in Educational Leadership — Mrs. Finks holds an Arizona Highly Qualified teaching license with a Gifted Education endorsement. She previously taught Makerspace at Pardes. Additionally, she  served as the STEM Specialist and the Unit Head for Counselors in Training at Camp Shemesh at the J the past two summers. Combining her love of scrapbooking and her techy side, this marks the third year Mrs. Finks will design the yearbook for Pardes. Mrs. Finks is the proud mother of two Pardes alumni sons.

Gafni Mor, Achia
Achia Gafni Mor Hebrew Teacher
Gafni Mor, Achia
Hebrew Teacher
Bio:

Achia Gafni Mor moved to Phoenix with his wife and two children from Israel in August 2019. Both he and his wife, Maya, came to Arizona to teach Hebrew at Pardes because they felt it was their calling and their privilege to teach Hebrew in a Jewish day school, to share their love for the language and its bond to the Jewish people.

Achia’s education includes a B.A in Jewish Thought (Magna Cum Laude), and LL.B (Bachelor of Laws) from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition, he spent many years studying Torah in different Yeshivas and in the Shalom Hartman Institute in Israel. He also taught Hebrew to new immigrants in an Ulpan in Israel.

This is his second time as an emissary in the United States. He previously worked in Atlanta, Georgia as a Hebrew teacher where he taught Hebrew, Judaism, and Israeli culture. 

Achia loves practicing mindfulness and meditation, learning Torah, reading and collecting various books, exercising in the gym, and getting to know people from different backgrounds.

 

Gafni Mor, Maya
Maya Gafni Mor Hebrew Teacher
Gafni Mor, Maya
Hebrew Teacher
Bio:

Before coming to Pardes, Maya Gafni Mor was a Tanakh and Jewish studies teacher in Israel for nine years. After studying in the Revivim Program, she started working as a Middle and High School Teacher in Yachad Modi’in, where she stayed for five years. Maya continued teaching in The Israel Arts and Science Academy (IASA) in Jerusalem for another four years. 

She has a Bachelor’s degree and a teacher’s certificate in Jewish studies and Bible from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Master’s degree in Pluralistic Jewish Education from the Hebrew Union College and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. 

Maya moved to Phoenix to join the Pardes team with her husband and two children in August 2019. Aside from teaching, she loves traveling, hiking, yoga, books, music, movies, and people.