Today is May 12, 2021 /

8100 Stevenson Road, Baltimore, MD 21208 | 410-486-6400 (Emergency Line - 410-880-8610) | Member Access | Email

Chizuk Amuno Congregation

Our Staff

Michele Berman

Michele has been part of the Goldsmith family for over eleven years.  Michele has her B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park with a major in Radio, Television & Film and a minor in Studio Fine Arts.  Michele spent her twenties in Los Angeles, California working in the Film Industry.  She then returned to her hometown, Baltimore to settle down and start a family.  Michele then became certified in Early Childhood and School Age Growth and Development.  She served as the Director of the Afterschool Program at The Boy’s Latin School.  Shortly thereafter she began teaching at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center.  In her free time, Michele enjoys spending time with her family- her husband, Craig, daughter Cammie and son, DJ.

Freda-Dale Cohen-Kruger

Freda-Dale was born in Montreal, Quebec.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from McGill University in Montreal and a Graduate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University in Montreal.  Freda-Dale has been teaching for thirty-six years, nineteen of those years have been at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center.  She has two daughters, Sydney and Mekenzie.  Freda-Dale’s goal in life is to be a unique individual who is always creating and recreating herself.  Her favorite quote that influences her teaching philosophy is: “Life is not about finding oneself.  Life is about creating oneself.”

Alison Feldstein

Alison has been teaching at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center for over ten years.  She has over thirty years of teaching experience.  Alison has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maryland.  Recently, Alison participated in a Community of Practice, which focused on leadership and was supported by the Center for Jewish Education. Alison takes at least 24 hours of continuing education annually.  She is credentialed by the State of Maryland at the highest level.  Alison is married with two children.

Arlene Fox

Arlene has been in the education field for over forty years.  Her teaching experience includes being a reading specialist, teaching Kindergarten, second grade and preschool.  Arlene has been a teacher/teacher’s assistant at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center for over seven years.  She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Towson State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in reading.  Arlene’s accomplishments include being a top honoree in the Baltimore Son’s Reading by 9 Teacher Recognition Program, a recipient of the Governor’s Citation for Outstanding Ability and Services and a nominee for the Irene Steele Most Promising Elementary Teacher Award.  Arlene grew up in Baltimore.  She and her husband, Harry have two married children and five grandchildren. 

Becky Gordon

Becky is in her seventh year as the music teacher for Goldsmith Early Childhood Center.  Becky has a degree in Occupational Therapy from Towson State University and has completed additional coursework in Hebrew and music at Baltimore Hebrew University, Peabody Institute and Towson State University.  She has worked as a Judaic music specialist and puppeteer since 1980, with populations ranging from babies to senior citizens, in preschools, Jewish day schools, afternoon religious schools and in various informal settings.  Becky is an avid cook, baker, reader and knitter.  She enjoys sharing the joy and magic of music and Judaism with her students.  She is married to Steve Gordon a teacher at Krieger Schechter Day School.  Together Steve and Becky have five children and seven grandchildren.

Lauren Kean

Lauren Kean has been at the Goldsmith Early Childhood Center since 2014 as an assistant teacher.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Towson University in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work.  Lauren was born and raised in Baltimore.  She is married with two wonderful daughters.  Lauren loves working with children to make a positive impact in their lives.

JoAnn Mechak

JoAnn has been teaching at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center since 1987 following a previous teaching position as a first grade teacher at Hernwood Elementary School in Baltimore County.  She holds both a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Education Degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson University.  JoAnn and her husband, Michael have a daughter, a son and four grandchildren.

Julie Okun

Julie joined the Goldsmith Early Childhood staff over ten years ago.  She studied Early Childhood Education at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Julie enjoys watching children grow and helping them learn.  She is a Baltimore native, proud mother of three and grandmother of six.

Isabel Pinson

Isabel is the librarian at the Goldsmith Early Childhood Center.  She holds degrees in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and Library Science from Queens College, N.Y.  Isabel is a native New Yorker.  She and her husband have two grown daughters.  She is also the author of the picture book, “Bubbe’s Belated Bat Mitzvah” (Kar-Ben Publishing), written to honor the milestone of her mother becoming a Bat Mitzvah at the age of 95.

Michelle Pooner

Michelle has been teaching at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center since 2002.  Prior to that time she worked as a pre-school teacher at Daytimers Early Learning Center and as an Assistant Director at Kinder Care Learning Center.  Michelle has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from University of Maryland College Park.  Michelle and her husband, Alan have a college age daughter.

Orly Purrio

Orly was born and raised in Israel and served in the Israeli Army.  She has over twenty years of teaching experience, including eighteen years at the Goldsmith Early Childhood Center.  Additionally, she joined the Rosenbloom Religious School faculty at Chizuk Amuno in 2011.  Orly developed the Hebrew Immersion program at Goldsmith, and has been the Hebrew language teacher with the program since its inception in 2000.  She has a certificate in Early Childhood Hebrew Immersion from the Jewish Theological Seminary Gross Hebrew Language Institute, New York, NY.   Orly is credentialed by the State of Maryland and takes at least twenty-four hours of continued education every year.  Since 2015, Orly has participated in the PJ Ashkelon-Baltimore Connection partnership with the Center of Jewish Education.  She helps facilitate connections between preschool families both in the Hebrew Immersion class and Ashkelon, Israel. Orly and her husband, Dirk, have two children.  According to Orly, “teaching my students is not a job, it’s a calling I am enjoying each day.”

Adrienne Reicher

Adrienne joined the faculty at Goldsmith in 1987.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland College Park in Early-Childhood Education.  Using her previous experience as a kindergarten teacher and in writing curriculum she worked to develop the K-5 program.  Prior to commencing her teaching role in K-5, Adrienne taught science to the pre-school students and organized programming events for the school.  She has been teaching the K-5 program since its inception.  In 1995, Adrienne was the recipient of the Teacher of the Year award from CJE.  In 2013, she received the Mrs. B honorarium.  Adrienne is credentialed at the highest level by the State of Maryland.  She and her husband, Gary have one son who is a graduate of Goldsmith and Krieger Schechter Day School.

Elaine Salsbury

Elaine graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a major in Consumer Studies.  After beginning her career as the owner of a staffing firm she followed her heart and entered the education field.  She served as an Early Interventionist with Baltimore County Public Schools.  She enjoyed her placement at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center so much that she joined its staff as a Teaching Assistant in K-5.  She continues in that role today.  Elain loves to spend time with her family, traveling, antiquing, cooking and with her students. 

Paige Schwartz

Paige has been a teacher at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center for over 18 years.  She started her professional career as an attorney, practicing for seven years before making the decision to become an educator.  In 2004, Paige received her Certificate in Early Childhood Leadership from Villa Julie College.  In 2016, Paige was awarded the Early Childhood Teaching Excellence Award from the Louise D. Morton J Macks Center for Jewish Education.  Paige grew up in Richmond, Virginia but has been a part of the Chizuk Amuno community for over 30 years.  Paige and her husband, Michael, have one daughter, Jenny and a son-in-law Patrick.

Jodie Silverman

Jodie has been a teacher at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center since 2005.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in music from New York University’s School of Education.  Jodie began working with children while touring the country performing in children’s theatre productions.  After moving to Baltimore in 2004, Jodie became certified in early childhood education.  She and her husband are the parents of a current Krieger Schechter Day School student.

Rebecca Snyder

Rebecca has been working at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center since 2011 as a 4’s teacher as well as an enrichment teacher. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Child, Youth and Community Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from Curry College in Milton, MA. When Rebecca is not working at Goldsmith she works for Washington Talent and enjoys getting the party started for cooperate events, weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. She also does face painting for birthday parties and events. She recently purchased her first home.

Stephanie Weinstein

Stephanie has been a teacher at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center since 2001.  Prior to that she was a three-fours teacher at Bet Yeladim in Columbia, Maryland.  Stephanie attended the University of Maryland, College Park where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Family studies.  However, she felt that her true calling was early childhood education.  After graduation, she pursued a Maryland State Teaching Certificate from Towson University.  Stephanie is a lifelong Chizuk Amuno member and even attended preschool at Chizuk.  Stephanie and her husband, Keith, have two children.  They like to spend time with family at the beach and cheering on the Orioles, Ravens and UMCP teams.

Susan Witte

Susan been a fours teacher at Goldsmith Early Childhood Center for over 14 years.  She loves coming to work each day and is passionate about teaching children.  Susan enjoys applying innovative teaching methods while keeping the traditional educational values and goals make learning exciting.  Susan is just as thrilled to have the chance to share in your child’s growth and development as she was her own son’s.