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Meet Our Morahs

Mandi Warner

School Director

This is Mandi's sixth school year as the Director of Early Childhood Education at Beth El. She began her career in early childhood education back in 2003 when she graduated with her undergrad in Elementary Education and a minor in Social Studies from Fredonia State University. Mandi worked at a Preschool in Victor, and then moved on to the JCC of Greater Rochester when she began my Masters’ Degree in Literacy Education (birth-6th grade certification). Mandi fell in love with teaching early childhood Jewish Education while at the JCC, she realized that that was her passion. While she was there, back in 2011, Mandi had her son, Brayden. When Brayden went to kindergarten, and after ten years there, Mandi realized that she wanted to do more with her career. Temple Beth El has been the absolute perfect fit. Keshet is by far the warmest preschool Mandi could have ever imagined. She has always believed that children learn best when they feel good about themselves, and she bring that philosophy to Keshet every day. In her spare time, Mandi enjoy's spending time with her husband Paul, her son, and her two pugs/ pug-mixes.  Mandi also enjoys hiking, playing board games, and watching comedy movies.

Daphne Futerman

Keshet Special needs coordinator

Daphne Futerman  has enjoyed every minute working with children for over 30 years.  She was a social worker in an integrated special education preschool program at Rochester ChildFirst Network for 22 years.  From there she moved to Hillel School for 4 years as social worker/educator.  Daphne started consulting at Keshet in October 2019.  She has an MS in Social Work from Columbia University.  She is married and has 2 grown sons, one who lives in NYC and the other in Tel Aviv.  Daphne loves exercising, any outdoor activities, being at Canandaigua Lake, reading, volunteering, and a new found pandemic interest in cooking.

Gan Gadol (4 Year Old Class) 

Melinda Yanoff

Melinda has been teaching in the Rochester area since 1989.  Before coming to Keshet she taught in Elementary Schools in the Rochester area and spent 8 years teaching Preschool at the JCC.  She has worked at TBE for 20 years and at Keshet for 10. Along with Gan Gadol she teaches 1st grade in our Limmud Youth Education Program and was the youth group leader for Halutzim for five years.  Melinda has a B.A. in Political Science and Law and Society from SUNY Binghamton.  She holds an M.S. in Elementary Education with Permanent Certification for Preschool through sixth grade from Nazareth College of Rochester.  She has spent her summers working at the RMSC, Sisol and Camp Keshet.

Elise Friedlander

Elise is starting her 4th year at Keshet. She has 15 years experience in early child care. She has a 11 year old daughter and a son who would have turned 7 this year. She enjoys cooking and crafts, and spending time with her family. She loves working with young kids and watching their faces light up with each new experience. She’s so excited for this new school year!

Gan Katan (3 Year Old Class)

Marcy Worden

Marcy Worden has been teaching in Rochester in an integrated preschool setting for many, many years. She has a Masters in Special Education from Nazareth College. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids. She enjoys musicals, traveling, and walking her dog. She loves teaching kids and showing them the world around them.

Lori Donnelly

Lori Donnelly, the newest third teacher in gan Katan is a lifelong resident of Rochester.  She attended St. John Fisher College for her undergraduate work, and then earned a Master's degree from Nazareth College in Elementary and Special Education.  

Lori has two amazing daughters, ages 18 and 23, who are the light of her life! She has loved being in the early education field for the last 13 years, both as a Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten educator.  Lori looks forward in joining the amazing Keshet team of children, families, and teachers for many incredible and wonderous experiences ahead!

Gan Katantan Aleph (2 Year Old Class)

Franceen Elias Stein

Bio Coming Soon!

Iris Giancola

Bio Coming Soon!

Gan Katantan Bet (2 Year Old Class)

Flo Lissade

Flo Lissade is married to her best friend, Joel. She is a very proud mom of three daughters. She enjoys being part of the Keshet team. She is very excited to be with the Pitzels for the 3rd year in a row!

Orna Korn

Orna Korn was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, and served in the air force for two years during the Yom Kippur war. After her military service, she worked as an accountant for a large insurance company. In 1983, her husband’s job moved their family to the United States on a joint program between Israel and the USA.  It was very important to them to hold tight to culture, holidays, music and food of our homeland. As her children have grown, they have successfully been able to transfer these attributes of our heritage to their families. Orna would like to transfer the Jewish and Israeli tradition and values which she cherishes, beyond her home and offer the rich traditions to many American homes. She began teaching to both young and adult students, Hebrew, Judaica and Israeli culture whenever the opportunity arose, both privately and through synagogues. She has been teaching in every location her life has taken her, including Florida, Illinois, Texas, as well as New York State. She taught at Beth-El Limmud for many years. In her free time Orna likes to read modern Israeli literature, paint on silk scarves and pins, and make handcrafted Jewelry. She is a mother of three children, and “Savta” of three wonderful grandchildren.

Barb Miller

Barb Miller has taught at a NYS Registered in home daycare for 26 years, and at the JCC Wolk Children’s Center for 6 years in the 18 month old room. She spent 4 years as the lead teacher in Infants 2. She has 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren.

Maggie Luddy

Bio Coming Soon

Beth Lax

Beth is originally from Syracuse NY. She ahs been living in Rochester for 21 years. Beth currently lives in Fairport with her 2 boys Jarryd (16) and Danyiel (12) who both attend Fairport Schools. Beth taught in the public school system for 30 years. Her roles included Elementary Classroom Teacher, Special Ed Teacher & Literacy Specialist. She serves on a parent committee for the school of Jewish Life & Learning (SJLL). Beth's interest include tennis, theater, golf, scrapbooking & pilates. She enjoys spending quality time with her boys and attending their extra-curricular activities. Beth loves working with young children. This past summer she had the opportunity to sub at Camp Keshet and really enjoyed it. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be working at Keshet Preschool as a floater and getting to know the kids in the classroom.