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Seth Young, Executive Director

Seth Young brings a wealth of strategic, financial and operational experience from tenures at multiple Jewish organizations in Westchester County, NY, and Fairfield County, CT. Seth’s most recent position was as Associate Head of School at Carmel Academy (Carmel), a Jewish day school, in Greenwich, CT, overseeing Communications, Admissions and Development services. Seth also supported volunteer engagement while at Carmel, working closely with the Director of Facilities Management, supporting the Security Committee, engaging heavily with the Board of Trustees and as a strategic partner with the Head of School.

Prior to Carmel, Seth spent three years as a Development Executive at UJA-Federation of New York, cultivating relationships and supporting many campaigns and initiatives. Seth also spent time at Westchester Jewish Center (WJC), holding several roles in formal and informal education for multiple cohorts as an educator and administrator. Seth was the Assistant Principal of the Hebrew High School at Westchester Jewish Center (WJC) for 10 years, continuing in his role while working at UJA-Federation and at Carmel. Seth is also an active volunteer in his Jewish community in Stamford, CT.  Seth grew up in Syracuse, NY, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Bible Studies through a joint program at Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

 

Mindy Citera, Nursery School Director

Mindy (Bailin) Citera has been the director of Bet Torah Nursery School since 2001 and has been a teacher in the religious school since 1995. She holds a Master's degree in elementary education from Boston University and a Bachelor’s degree in English Education from SUNY Albany.  She has taught at the college, high school, middle school and elementary school levels, as well as pre-school and parenting classes.  Mindy is the author of Around New York City with Kids, a Fodor’s Guide published by Random House. She has also written for numerous parenting magazines and newspapers over the last 30 years on parenting, education and children’s health. Mindy began teaching at her childhood synagogue in Bellmore, New York in 1970 and has worked in youth groups, religious schools, day schools, camps, and preschools in Long Island, Albany, Buffalo, Boston, Virginia, and Chappaqua before coming to Bet Torah.  Mindy and her husband, Jerry, are the proud parents of Michael, an L.A.-based stand-up comic, Jenn, a New York City-based Events Planner and Rachel, enrolled at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

Gina Fass, Director of Education for the Religious School

With over 20 years of experience in Jewish education, Gina Fass joined the staff of Bet Torah as the Director of Education for the Religious School in July 2016.  She holds dual Master's degrees in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion and is a graduate of the prestigious Wexner Graduate Fellowship.  Prior to joining Bet Torah, Gina served as a director of education at synagogues and Jewish camps in Minnesota, California and Connecticut.  She has also taught high school and middle school Jewish Studies at Day Schools in Houston and Stamford.  She has directed youth programs, a community Hebrew High, and inclusion programs for Jewish teens with special needs.  A world traveler, Gina has lived in cities across the United States, in France, and in Israel. She and her husband Jonathan, are the proud parents of Michal and Erez and live in Stamford.

 

Nili Ionascu, Director of The B'nei Mitzvah Program and The Schleiffer Learning Center

Nili Ionascu was born and raised in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem. She concentrated on Arabic and Middle Eastern studies in high school and utilized that knowledge in her service with the I.D.F.’s intelligence division before and during the Six-Day War. After completing her army service, Nili continued her focus on Arabic and Middle Eastern studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she also ran track.

Nili obtained a graduate degree in education from Hebrew University, and taught Hebrew and Arabic at schools in Jerusalem and East Jerusalem before leaving to work as a film editor in Israeli television. After moving to the United States, she began working at Bet Torah in 1981, teaching Hebrew and tefillot to students with special needs. Since then, Nili has been directing Bet Torah Religious School's special needs program and preparing students for their b’nai mitzvot. She is a recipient of the Westchester Association of Hebrew Schools Teacher of the Year Award and the Ernest Rothschild Award for excellence in education.

 

Loen Amer, Director of Experiential Learning for Children and Teens

Loen Amer has been an experiential Jewish educator working with teens since she was one herself. Before joining the Bet Torah family, she was the Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator for Ramah Israel. As an educator on Long Island, Loen worked with teens at two Conservative congregations: Beth Sholom in Roslyn Heights, where she was a teacher and Youth Director for five years, and the Woodbury Jewish Center where she was Youth Director for three years. She was the Wohl Family Engagement Coordinator at the Hillel at Hofstra University, and also volunteered as the Education Coordinator for the Rakevet Division of MENTY USY.

Loen has a voracious love for lifelong Jewish learning, and most recently studied Torah le’shmah, Torah for its own sake, at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. She has also studied at Gratz College, Columbia University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Loen lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side and enjoys baking and reading.

Fri, October 7 2022 12 Tishrei 5783