Carolyn Kappes, ECC Director
Carolyn’s 20+ years experience in education began as an elementary school teacher in Anaheim City School District, teaching 2nd to 4th grades. In 2002, she joined the Temple Beth El team, and since then has taught religious school grades PreK to Madrichim. Carolyn and her husband, Chris, also own and operate a technical staffing company, for which she has been the accounting/payroll supervisor. Carolyn began her work with the ECC in 2013 as a preschool teacher and simultaneously returned to school to pursue a degree in early childhood administration. She now holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Arizona State University, CA Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Chapman University Graduate School of Education, and an Early Childhood Education Administration certification from Saddleback College. Carolyn and Chris and their three children, Elizabeth, Charlie and Ben have been members of Temple Beth El for over 15 years, and she is so happy to be working with the ECC students and families in this capacity!
Miss Alane, Administrative Assistant
Alane Dolensky is joining our staff having worked previously as an Executive Assistant and Human Resources Specialist in the Entertainment, Locker Systems & Medical Fields. She recently accomplished her lifelong dream of obtaining her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, K-5 from Cal State University Fullerton and has been a Reading Instructor at SVUSD. She was raised in the San Fernando Valley, became a Bat Mitvah at Temple Ramat Zion, and has a B.A. in Communications from USC. Alane and her husband Alan are empty nesters living in beautiful San Clemente. They have a Brady-Bunch family consisting of Sara (27), Max (25), Dani (25), and Kevin (23). The family loves spending time together and have gone on many adventures, including Belize, Maui, & Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Alane is a huge fan of “The Bachelor” and anything pop culture. She enjoys arts/crafts, cooking, puzzles & games! Please stop by and say “Hi” on your next visit. Alane is looking forward to meeting all of you and getting to know everyone soon!
Miss Beth, TBE SOC ECC Lead Teacher
Beth Parker has been working at our ECC for the past 16 years. Her professional experience includes early childhood education, marketing, and management in the software industry. Beth has a Bachelor of Science in Business/Marketing with a minor in Psychology from San Diego State University. She also has her early childhood teaching and administrative certification from Saddleback College. Beth loves teaching at the ECC because, “All my special little people, watching each unique individual grow, develop and learn each day. Having a job that I look forward to each day. Making a difference in each child’s life and in each families experience and growth.”
Miss Wendy, Teacher
Wendy Yesharim wears many hats at Temple Beth El. She is an ECC teacher, the Program Director and B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator at Temple Beth El. She has been dedicated to the field of Jewish education for more than 20 years. Starting out as an assistant pre-school teacher on the east coast, she quickly learned that she has a love for supporting children and families. She also takes great pride in creating and developing, an educational consulting business focusing on the emotional and physical developmental needs of adolescents. Wendy earned an Early Childhood teaching and administrative certification from Saddleback College. She is passionate about insuring that young children have a positive and loving first school experience. Wendy cherishes her time in the classroom because, “no matter what is going on the world, her classroom is a place of love and laughter.” Temple Beth El has been her home since the opening of the ECC, as a parent and educator, and she is delighted to be able to continue her work as an ECC teacher while she also works as Program Director.
Miss Patti, Pre K Teacher
Patti Shapiro came to Temple Beth El as our Kindergarten teacher 12 years ago. Patti’s work experience includes teaching kindergarten at Temple Beth David, 1st grade at Los Angeles Unified School District, 3rd – 4th grade at Hebrew Academy. Patti has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art from Cal State University Northridge and her California Teaching Credential from University of Judaism California. Patti has lived in New York, Los Angeles and Orange County. Patti loves teaching preschool because, “I can sing my way through the day.”
Miss Lana, Teacher
Lana Sorsher has been teaching at the ECC for the past 9 years. Lana holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts Degree in Early Childhood pedagogic and psychology. Lana has lived in Russia, Florida, Arizona and California. Her work experience includes; working as an early childhood curriculum specialist, Parent/Toddler class coordinator and facilitator, and as an early childhood teacher. Lana loves teaching preschool because she enjoys, “watching kids grow very fast; seeing kids’ sense of humor.”
Miss Kelly, Teacher
Kelly Olshane has been teaching at the ECC for 12 years. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cal State Los Angeles and early childhood education certification from Saddleback College. Kelly’s experience includes working as a paralegal and senior recruiter. Kelly has lived in Encino, Palm Springs, Newport Beach, Israel and Orange County. Kelly loves teaching preschool students because, “when I had a child of my own I realized I didn’t want to go back to corporate America. I had a desire to around preschool children and there are tremendous rewards including watching a child grow academically, socially and emotionally. This job is so rewarding.”
Miss Gabi, Teacher
Gabi Love has taught at the ECC for the past 7 years working as a shadow, an assistant teacher and now a lead teacher. Gabi attended Orange Coast College and received her Early Childhood Education certification from Saddleback College. Gabi was born and raised in San Diego and has lives in Mission Viejo with her husband and two children for the past 12 years. Gabi loves teaching because she loves watching the children experience something new every day and watching them grow and develop over the year.
Miss Judy, Teacher
Judy Rosen comes to the ECC with over 34 years of experience in education. Judy taught preschool through 5th grade in Santa Ana Unified School District for the past 34 years in both regular education and special education classes. Judy has a Bachelor Degree in Child Development and Psychology. She also has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, a Learning Handicapped Credential and Severely Handicapped Credential. Judy loves teaching because, “I love seeing the moment when something clicks for a child. It is so wonderful to see the expression on a child’s face or hear them say, ‘Oh, now I understand.’”
Miss Liela, Teacher
Liela Majedi has been working at the ECC for 4 years as both an Assistant Teacher and now a Teacher. Liela has a lot of experience working with children at the Kids Club at the JCC in Irvine and as a counselor at Camp Rosh Eida and Camp Newman. Liela is also a Religious School and Hebrew School teacher at Temple Beth El. Liela holds an Associates Degree in Teacher Education. Liela will be graduating from Cal State University Fullerton with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child and Adolescent Development in June of 2019. Liela plans to pursue a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Liela loves working at the ECC because she loves being able to shape and nurture young minds. She loves the relationships she builds with the children and the families.
Miss Samantha, Assistant Teacher
Samantha Zibeck holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado, a Juris Doctor Degree from University of San Diego and her Early Childhood Education certification from Saddleback College. Samantha was an attorney at the Orange County Public Defender’s office for 16 years, was an active volunteer at Moulton Elementary School and a volunteer with the LNYSA soccer league. Most recently, Samantha has been a substitute teacher at the ECC. Samantha’s and her family have been Temple Beth El members for more than 14 years. Samantha loves working with children because she loves listening to them and watching them figure things out for themselves.
Miss Lesley, Assistant Teacher
Lesley Jacobs joined the ECC in May 2019 as a substitute teacher. Lesley and her two daughters have been Temple Beth El members since 2012. Her daughters went through the Early Childhood Center and currently attend Hebrew school and Shabbat Chai. Lesley has lived in Illinois, Newport Beach, Irvine, Northern California, and now Aliso Viejo. Lesley worked at the JCC in Irvine as an assistant preschool teacher. She also worked at California Coast University as an Admission Counselor and Allied Business School in Admissions. Lesley attended Neve Yerushaliym, “the largest college for Jewish women in the world. Founded in 1970 to educate baalot teshuva in the why and how of living an Orthodox Jewish life.” She earned her Early Childhood Education certification from Saddleback College. She also holds certification in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) though the Irvine Police Department. “Irvine CERT program provides private citizens with the basic skills they need to protect themselves, their family, and neighbors, and to respond to the immediate needs of the community in the aftermath of a disaster when emergency services are not readily available.” Lesley’s favorite thing about teaching or working in a preschool is the love of children’s curiosity and their love of learning. “I like making a difference; I think teachers make a huge difference in helping to improve the lives of children and their families as well.”
Miss Sarah, Assistant Teacher
Sarah Surfas comes to the ECC with over 15 years of experience in early childhood education. She has taught toddlers since 2004 at a variety of preschools including, Environmental Protection Agency Preschool, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Preschool, St. Luke’s Episcopal Preschool in Cincinnati, and Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach. Sarah earned her Associate degree in Early Childhood Education from University of Cincinnati. Sarah has lived in Kentucky, Ohio, Arkansas, and now in Coto de Caza, California. You may have seen Sarah around the ECC because her two daughters, Simone and Sabrina, are former and current students. Sarah loves teaching preschool because she loves, “to be a part of this important foundation of a child’s education. I enjoy helping them reach their full potential.”