bio coming soon.
RABBI BEN CHAIDELL
Rabbi Ben Chaidell is excited to begin his rabbinic career at
Adath Israel Congregation. He recently graduated in May
2018 with rabbinic ordination and a master's degree in Jewish education from the
Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Jewish community has always been close
to his heart. Growing up in New York, he attended another
Adath Israel- a Conservative Synagogue in Riverdale. Rabbi
Ben majored in religious studies at Yale College and co-coordinated the
egalitarian minyan there as well as became active
in AEPi, the Jewish fraternity on campus. After
college Rabbi Ben spent two years as an Education Fellow with the Institute of
Southern Jewish Life (ISJL), where he traveled to Jewish communities across the
South. Rabbi Ben is excited to teach the senior seminar this year and to create
a special space to carry this year's seniors through this big moment of their
Mitch is excited to return to the Mercaz classroom this year. He was the
recipient of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for excellence in Jewish education and the Walter
Hattenbach Teacher of the Year Award. Mitch is a former Mercaz Board
member. He is on staff at Adath Israel Congregation as their Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Teacher. He also teaches Music and Trope in the Adath Israel Religious School
and directs the Adath Israel Choir and band. He is married to Sherry
and has three Mercaz graduates: Jeff, Emily and Ben.
Phylicia Dashoff is a Cincinnati
transplant who recently moved from South Florida. There, she grew up in a
Conservative shul where she was very involved in her religious school, Hebrew
High, and USY. Phylicia works at Adath Israel and is the Coordinator of Youth
and Family Programs, and is very excited to expand her capacity to teach teens
in the formal setting. She lives in Hyde Park with her fiancé, Jason, who is a
third year Rabbinical student at HUC.
Stephanie Kogan created and led the Teaching
Assistant Program (T.A.P.) for the Bureau of Jewish Education and Jewish
Federation of Cincinnati for 13 years. She has trained and supervised over 200
teaching assistants for Cincinnati’s synagogues and temples through T.A.P. and
Mercaz. Many graduates of the programs work as religious and Hebrew school
teachers during their college years and continue to serve Jewish communities
across the country as education directors, teachers, communal workers, and lay
leaders. Stephanie is looking forward to continuing her work with the madrichim
(teaching assistants) at Mercaz. Stephanie taught at Yavneh Day School (now
Rockwern Academy) for many years. She is a graduate of UCLA and the University
of Cincinnati, earning a B.S.Ed. and M.Ed., and also studied for one year at the
Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem.
Bio coming soon
Lowell Lustig holds a Juris Doctor degree from Capital University Law School in
Columbus, OH. He is a graduate of
Hunter College where he studied Jewish History and Adolescent Education with a
specialization in Social Studies. He also studied Archaeology and Talmudic
Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and learned in the Beit Midrash as
part of the Jewish Studies Program of the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie,
IL. Lowell is a puppeteer and
founder/director of Saturday Torah
Live which has been widely used
by BBYO. He currently serves on the
Board of Directors of the Robert H. Jackson Center located in Jamestown, NY.
Justice Jackson served as the Chief Prosecutor of the International War Crimes
Tribunal at Nuremberg in the years after WWII. Lowell returns to Cincinnati from
Syracuse, NY where he served as Associate Dean for Advancement at the Syracuse
University College of Law and Executive Director of Hillel at Syracuse
University. Lowell currently serves on the national staff of the American
Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science as Executive Director,
DR. DEBORAH NETANEL
Dr. Deborah Netanel holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, the Rubin Academy of Music-Jerusalem, and the
University of Cincinnati with areas of specialization in music, Jewish music and
Judaic Studies, contemporary Israeli issues, and Holocaust Studies. She has
presented papers and lectured at both national and international conferences,
and performed as a cellist and pianist all over the world. She is also an
acclaimed composer with recent debut performances in London and New York City.
Dr. Netanel joined the faculty at Rockwern Academy in the fall of 2011 as a
member of the the Judaic Studies and Hebrew language department where she
teaches Judaic Studies, Hebrew language, Israel studies and Torah trope to the
middle school students. She is passionate about the idea of connecting American
Jewish teens with their Israeli counterparts, and helping each student find
their personal connection to Israel. In 2016, Dr. Netanel was a recipient of the
Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.
Erica Riddick is a current
JewV’Nation Fellow and is excited to join the talented
staff of Mercaz in facilitating Jewish engagement.
Originally from Chicago, Erica enjoys the natural beauty and arts communities of
Cincinnati. When not at Mercaz, she works as a
Project Designer for a residential architecture firm and feels blessed to be
invited into people’s homes to create the stages upon which families play out
their lives. An enthusiastic lifelong learner, Erica seeks engaged conversation,
has a penchant for asking “why” and believes in the power of play. With free
time, she is usually torn between taking a walk, having a snack or napping.
Erica is an avid reader, competitive ballroom dancer and
Asaf grew up in Tel Mond. In school, he studied geo-globalisation and theatre.
He has studied at the Agency Association for Holocaust Survivors in New York
City and has volunteered with a boarding school for troubled children. He is
very close to his family, which includes his parents, his twin brother Dan, who
is also a ShinShin, and his older sister. Asaf is looking forward to giving
himself to the army next year and is eager to both teach and learn from the
Cincinnati community this year.
Adi is 18 years old and from Netanya. She likes to dive, read, and hang
out with her friends. She is interested in history, politics, physics, movies,
and video editing. She has two siblings, Ori (15) and Michal (7). Her majors in
school were physics and Arabic. She’s not sure yet where she will serve in the
IDF, but she’s looking forward to a meaningful service. For now, she hopes to
bring her Israel to Cincinnati, and by doing that, learn as well.