Our People

Our Board

President: Tahlia Gordon

Vice-President: Athol Chiert

Treasurer:Tom Levi

Secretary: Ben Neumann

Board Members: David Balkin AM, Leanne Moss, Jill Shapiro

Our Staff

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS:

Lianne Cohen CA, H Dip Tax

Our People 1

Lianne is a chartered accountant with more than 25 years’ experience in senior financial and operations management roles with strong strategic capability and proven success managing, driving and adapting to change.

Lianne is committed to BJE’s mandate of ensuring that all Jewish children have the opportunity to connect with their Jewish heritage. Coming from a professional environment, Lianne expects high standards of quality and excellence in BJE dealings with all stakeholders, both internally and externally.

As Director of Operations, Lianne manages the day-to-day operations of BJE to ensure BJE organisational effectiveness and efficiency. She works closely with the executive team in developing new initiatives, business planning and operational efficiency and with the Board on BJE’s strategic direction.

Her role includes leading and directing the BJE’s overall commercial, financial and operations functions, financial and operational performance reporting, managing BJE’s compliance obligations, developing and maintaining BJE’s policies and managing contracts with third parties.

DIRECTOR OF JEWISH LEARNING:

Jo Gluckman BA BEd (Hons), Dip Ed, MA (Counselling Psychology), MA (Ed Lead), MA (LAWS ADR)

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Jo is passionate about taking a hands-on approach to synergising formal learning with experiential learning to provide the best outcomes for students. Her role also includes building a professional culture of best practice, and enhancing our SRE, Extension and Hebrew curricula and programs.

Jo has extensive previous experience in the education sector as a teacher, school psychologist, and administrator.

HEAD OF JEWISH LIFE:

Ronnen Grauman BA, Grad Dip Ed, MEdLead

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Ronnen is very passionate about and committed to Jewish education. He recently joined BJE as the Head of Jewish Life and is very excited to be in this new role. Prior to BJE, Ronnen worked at Moriah College in a variety of roles. He was Head of Department (Jewish Studies) for 12 years and then became Director of Jewish Studies working with both Primary and High Schools. In 2018, Ronnen was appointed Head of Jewish Life and Learning where he worked with students and staff from the ELC’s through to Year 12. Throughout his 26 years at Moriah, Ronnen also taught Jewish Studies, Jewish History and Classical Hebrew as an HSC subject and has been involved in setting, marking and judging HSC examinations for many years. Ronnen has also accompanied students to Poland and Israel on numerous educational programs.

Ronnen is now responsible for the teaching and learning of Hebrew, SRE and the Extension program and works closely with the educators and curriculum developers. He will also be supporting the youth engagement team and broadening the parent engagement offerings.

Ronnen is married to Natalie and is the proud father of 3 children.

ADMINISTRATION & EDUCATION COORDINATOR:

Heidi Turner

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Heidi has worked in admin for over 25 years, in areas such as marketing, advertising, finance and in the medical field. She has also worked in education for the past 14 years. 

Heidi holds a degree in Business Administration and a diploma in Business Administration (Legal). On top of her busy schedule, she also is a mother of two young adults.

DATABASE & ENROLMENT OFFICER, ISRAEL PROGRAM ADMIN MANAGER:

Cyndi Taylor

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Cyndi is a versatile professional with expertise in both business administration and education. Over the past decade, she has honed her skills across a range of nonprofit organisations, from small to large.
She has a genuine passion for developing relationships and supporting families to achieve the best outcomes for their children.

As BJE’s Enrolments and Database Officer, she leverages exceptional organisational ability and empathy to ensure a seamless enrolment process for families navigating our varied programs.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Cyndi is also a devoted mother of two university students.

SHINSHINIM:

Yael Sacham

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Yael was born and raised in Israel, has one brother and two sisters.

At the age of 7, she lived in India for one year with her family. Having recently completed High School, Yael will return to Israel, after her shlichut in Sydney, to join the army. 

She is Currently participating in her Shnat-Sherut with BJE volunteering in the Jewish community. 

Yael will engage in various activities during her time including:

*Leading the Nesiah program to Israel.
*Participating in and initiating new projects.
*Visiting schools to provide Hebrew and Israel education.
*For HaTzofim, she is initiating a branch in the Eastern suburbs (Shevet Hofim).

Yiftach Kolondner

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Yiftach was born in Hungary and returned to Israel at the age of 3, he has one brother and one sister.

Having recently completed High School, Yiftach will return to Israel, after his shlichut in Sydney, to join the army. He is currently participating in his Shnat-Sherut with BJE, volunteering in the Jewish community. 

Yiftach will be engaging in various activities including:

*Leading the Nesiah program to Israel.
*Participating in and initiating new projects.
*Visiting schools to provide Hebrew and Israel education.
*For HaTzofim, he is initiating a branch in the Eastern suburbs (Shevet Hofim).

YOUTH ENGAGEMENT OFFICERS:

Roy Halberstadt (Israel Program Coordinator)

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Roy is one of the Youth Engagement Officers at BJE. In his role this year, he runs SRE (Scripture) classes in multiple primary and high schools from the North to the East. He also organises events and camps for BJE High School students. Roy was the Rosh Tzevet for the Year 10 Nesiah Israel Program in 2022/23 and will continue to lead the Madrichim this year in the upcoming program. This role involves coordinating, managing and organising the wonderful team of Madrichim (youth leaders). 
Roy was an avid BJE student, attending multiple High School camps and events, and is also a graduate of the 2018/19 BJE Israel Program. 

Roy has been involved in HaTzofim Sydney since 2016 as a Madrich and is currently filling in as the Merakez (Head of Tzofim Sydney). Through this experience, Roy has developed skills in working with students of all ages, and coordinating major events in the Jewish Community. He is also studying a B. Laws & Commerce at Macquarie University. 

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Aaron is one of BJE’s Youth Engagement Officers, helping develop and run activities and programs to engage primary school students, build their connections with other Jewish students and the community, and help them explore what being Jewish means for them.

Aaron has 6 years experience working as a madrich at Hineni as well as holding the role of state president and federal treasurer. Aaron took part on the IBC Israel program in 2020. He is excited to inspire BJE students to develop their connections to Israel, judaism and the community.

Mia Lee-Warden

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Mia is one of the Youth Engagement Officers at BJE. She previously served as a Madricha on the 2022/3 Nesiah Israel Program.

Mia is a Masada College 2021 graduate studying psychology and education at Macquarie University. She volunteers as a Madricha for Betar, Masada, and Friendship Circle.

David Cohen

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David is a university student studying Psychology at Monash. He is a 2018 Masada graduate who has remained deeply involved in the Jewish community. His time and energy are frequently dedicated to to the Sydney community through BJE as a Youth Engagement Officer, as well as a Madrich at Masada College, among other things.

David’s goals at BJE involve enriching the Jewish education and values of those who attend non-Jewish schools in Sydney. His favourite forms of this are camp environments due to their fast-paced, and energetic atmospheres where he can achieve the most in a short amount of time.

As a Youth Engagement Officer his role involves organising and running all youth centred events including mid-week meetups and camps. He is also involved in attending schools across Sydney and implementing Jewish education about Jewish festivals, culture and overall Jewish life.

Shani Leremias

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Shani is a fourth-year student studying Exercise Physiology at UNSW.

As a Youth Engagement Officer, her role is to bring Jewish values and customs into non-Jewish schools in a fun and engaging way for all age groups.

Jared Super

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Jared graduated from Moriah College in 2021 and participated in the Israel gap year program Aardvark.

In 2022, he commenced studying construction project management at UTS. During the same year, Jared traveled to America to work at a Jewish American Summer camp for two months.

He enjoys playing tennis, and his favorite aspects of camp are ruach and engaging in sports.

CURRICULUM DEVELOPER:

Danit Ilsar Dip Ed (Special Education), Professional Development Certificate (Communicative Language Teaching), MEd

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Danit grew up in Israel where she qualified as a music therapist and teacher in special education. After arriving in Australia in 1988, she taught at Hillel/Moriah Kindergarten, including teaching Hebrew, Jewish Studies and music appreciation. Since 2010 Danit has been a curriculum writer at BJE, focusing on the primary school SRE curriculum and the Years  K-2 Extension curriculum.

Danit and her husband have 3 adult children and a number of grandchildren. Danit enjoys spending time with her family and friends, tending her plants, reading, and playing piano.

SPECIAL PROJECTS ADVISOR:

Cathy Milwidsky Dip in Montessori Early Education, BA Ed, Post Graduate in Counselling, Cert IV in Celebrancy

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Cathy was born in South Africa and moved to live in Australia with her young family in 1997, she has worked with  families for more than 35 years as an early childhood educator, a family counsellor, and a leader of early years learning and development.

Cathy joined the BJE team in mid 2023 as a Special Projects Advisor, working closely with the team to expand BJE’s offer across Sydney, and focusing on engaging students through afternoon and school holiday programs.

She advocates for the wellbeing of young children, their families and educators; she believes in nurturing meaningful relationships and is committed to growing a lively and loving Jewish community in Sydney.

MARKETING MANAGER:

Michelle Falk

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Michelle is the Marketing Manager at BJE and comes with a wealth of knowledge in the digital and marketing sector with over 16 years of experience.

Michelle has had a vast amount of marketing experience specialising in the Non Profit Jewish Sector. Her clients have included JCA, The Choice Foundation, UIA, Shabbat Project Sydney, Youth 2 Israel, Together Never Apart, and Gen17 Survey, as well as providing Marketing, Social Media, Video Production & Event experience working for Believe Advertising, CanTeen, 1st Street Financial, Australian Banking Association, Wolper Hospital to mention a few. 

Having had BJE through her high school years, Michelle is extremely passionate about providing students and families with a Jewish Education as well as a sense of community and belonging. 

MARKETING COORDINATOR:

Lais Martins 

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Lais is a seasoned digital marketing professional with over 10 years of experience across European and South American markets. Originally from Brazil, she recently made the move to Sydney.

She holds a degree in International Affairs as well as an MBA in Global Business and Sustainability. After discovering her passion for digital marketing, she has honed her skills in this dynamic field.

Now, Lais is thrilled to be working in the education sector – a cause she is deeply committed to. With her global expertise and dedication to making a positive impact, Lais is poised to drive innovative digital initiatives that will benefit students and the community.

In her spare time, Lais enjoys hiking, traveling and immersing herself in the vibrant culture of her new home in Sydney.