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Susan Rizzo
Education Director


Pauline Rosenberg
Assistant Director
 

Kathy Adams
Sprouts (pre-K)

Jolie Baron
Kindergarten/1st grade


Bobbi Simmons-Sarnov
2nd grade


Barbara Schwartz
3rd grade

AllyRose Caruso
4th grade


Rachel Sidebotham
5th grade

Leah Saada-Sherman
6th Grade


Pauline Rosenberg
7th grade


Rabbi Debbi Till
Confirmation and Bogrim


Cantor Renata Braun
Confirmation
and Bogrim

Rabbi Emeritus Alan Katz
Confirmation
and Bogrim


Susan Rizzo (Education Director and Kesher) 

Susan has served the Sinai community in a variety of capacities, including most recently as Trustee, Accessibility & Inclusion co-chair, and Adult Education chair.  Susan has long been drawn to education.  Her educational background already included biology, medicine, deaf education, and linguistics when, in May 2022, Susan earned an additional degree - Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies (Spertus Institute) with a Master’s Concentration in Israel Education (The iCenter).  Her Jewish learning was catalyzed by participation in the Wexner Heritage Program.  

Susan aims to share her excitement about Jewish learning with her own children - Toby (Bogrim; and a fifth-year madrich) and Simon (Confirmation; and a fourth-year madrich) - and with yours!


Pauline Rosenberg (Assistant Director and 7th grade)

Pauline began her career at Temple Sinai in 1997. In addition to teaching 7th grade, Pauline taught in the Kesher program (grades 8-1) for about 20 years. She has also been the Assistant Director for over 15 years. In that role, she mentors teachers, helps with curriculum development, and facilitates professional development for the faculty.  Pauline is also an experienced b’nai mitzvah tutor. Pauline received the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education in 2011. Pauline does not only work with young people; since 2018, she has spent every Friday welcoming in Shabbat with the residents at Wolk Manor (the assisted living facility of Jewish Senior Life). Recently, Pauline co-founded the nonprofit Rochester’s LACE which aims to heal our community through English Language Acquisition and Cultural Exchange.

Kathy Adams (Sprouts)

Kathy has been a part of the Temple Sinai team teaching our young Sprouts since September 2021.  She brings her love and passion into teaching young children. Kathy has worked in the education field for over 20+ years. She has worked at the JCC of Greater Rochester in the Wolk Children’s Center and After School Care for 11 years.  Kathy was born and raised in Rochester, NY, and she has two adult children. 


Jolie Baron (Kindergarten/1st grade)

Jolie grew up in Northern California. She has a BA in Child Development and a Multiple Subject K-8 teaching credential. Most of her career was spent in the K-2nd grade classrooms in public schools as well as over 20 years teaching Sunday school. She has three adult children and 3 young granddaughters.


Bobbi Simmons-Sarnov (2nd grade) 

Bobbi has taught in the SJLL for several years, including fifth, fourth and second grades. She has a BA in Biology from the University of Rochester and conducted research and development at Bausch & Lomb before leaving to be a stay-at-home mom. Bobbi has been involved with the Temple Sinai religious school since 2007, when her daughter Hannah started first grade and her son Matthew started Sprouts. Bobbi has a second-degree black belt in Kyokushin karate and teaches karate to students ages 4 years old through adult. 


Barbara Schwartz (3rd grade)

This is Barbara's fifth year teaching Sunday School at Temple Sinai. Before moving to Rochester, she was a teacher/director for many years at a synagogue in Jamestown, New York. Judaism is a very important part of Barbara's life. It made her feel special growing up in a small town with a very small Jewish population. Her friends all knew and respected their differences. And her synagogue felt like a big extended family! This is what Barbara enjoys most about teaching in the SJLL. Even though Sinai is larger than other synagogues she has been involved with, it still feels like a family. Barbara hopes to instill in her students a love of Judaism such as she has felt her entire life.


AllyRose Caruso (4th grade) 

AllyRose Caruso has been involved in Temple Sinai’s religious school since kindergarten. Her time as a Madrichah following her Bat Mitzvah was what motivated her to pursue a career in education. AllyRose graduated from SUNY Fredonia in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a minor in French. At Fredonia, she was an active member of Hillel, serving as historian, public relations chair, and president during her time with the club. She is currently teaching 4-6 band at Lyons Elementary School and plays clarinet in community ensembles in the Rochester area. AllyRose is looking forward to joining the staff of SJLL as the fourth grade teacher this year. 


Rachel Sidebotham (5th grade)

Rachel has been a part of Temple Sinai since she was a little girl.  She attended the SJLL, became bat mitzvah, and served as a madricha throughout middle and high schools.  She was also part of both SAWCY and RATSY Jewish youth groups and participated in Confirmation and Bogrim.  After school, Rachel moved to Israel and taught English.  When she came back to Rochester, she substitute taught and helped out at the SJLL whenever she could.  She started teaching 2nd grade, then took a break to finish a master's degree in social work.  The school year 2022-2023 marks Rachel's fourth year teaching 5th grade.  A member of the Temple Sinai Board of Trustees and Teen Engagement Leader since 2021, Rachel works with and supervises teens creating and promoting teen-oriented social, cultural, and leadership programs.  EMAIL RACHEL

 


Leah Saada-Sherman (6th grade)

Leah has been part of the SJLL family since 2010 in a variety of teaching roles from the director of Sason to teaching music and 6th grade.  She has a background in Music Education with a BA from Fredonia and an MA from the Eastman School of Music. After 8 years of teaching music in the Churchville Chili school district, she decided to temporarily step away from public school teaching when she and her husband decided to start a family.  Leah is very involved in her daughters' school, is on the board and an active member of Color Fairport Green, and is a member of the Fairport Central School District Sustainability Committee. In her spare time, Leah is part of an African drum and dance company and creates opal jewelry in her basement studio. She lives in Fairport with her husband, two daughters, and Manny (the dog).


Rabbi Debbi Till (Confirmation and Bogrim)

Rabbi Till is the leader of our congregation and a dedicated educator committed to congregants of all ages and stages. She believes group study helps foster connections; as she puts it, "something wondrous occurs when people come together to study and find themselves connecting not only to tradition, but also to one another." Rabbi Till brings that sentiment to young adults, helping our post-b'nei mitzvah teens find lasting meaning and connection to Judaism and to one another. A native of Toronto, Rabbi Till graduated from the University of Toronto, continuing her studies in New York at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion where she earned her master’s degree in Hebrew Literature and Rabbinic Ordination. Read more about Rabbi Till on our clergy page.


Cantor Renata Braun (Confirmation and Bogrim)

Cantor Braun brings to her teaching both her love for children and her strong desire to inspire b'nei mitzvah students to remain engaged in Jewish life. Born and raised in Ukraine, she began her music studies at the age of four, ultimately receiving a master's degree in choral conducting from Donetzk State Conservatory in the Ukraine. In 1999, six years after immigrating the the United States, Cantor Braun received a master's degree in sacred music and was invested as a Cantor from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Cantor Braun brings a wide range of musical styles to her Cantorate and is a passionate advocate of children and young adults as they develop their musical and Jewish selves. She and her husband, David Braun, have two sons, Daniel and Jonathan. Read more about Cantor Braun on our clergy page.

Rabbi Emeritus Alan Katz (Confirmation and Bogrim)

Rabbi Alan J. Katz served as rabbi of Temple Sinai in Rochester from 1986 to 2020 at which time he became Rabbi Emeritus.

A graduate of Lehigh University, he attended Hebrew Union College where he earned an MA in Hebrew literature (1975), rabbinic ordination (1976), and a Doctor of Divinity (2001). He also studied in the graduate program for pastoral counseling at Iona College for two years. 

Many of Rabbi Katz’s activities include reaching across racial, ethnic, and religious lines to create understanding and friendship.

Rabbi Katz is married to Jan, who, after several decades as a Jewish educator, entered Hebrew Union College's rabbinic program and was ordained as a rabbi in May 2021. They have three children, Tamar, Rabbi Noam, and Ben, and are blessed with 12 grandchildren.



Sat, February 24 2024 15 Adar I 5784