Administration

Chana Paris

Founder & Executive Director

Chana Paris and her husband Rabbi Zalman Paris are the executive directors of Chabad of Tribeca, which My Little School is a division of.  Recognizing the need for a nurturing & progressive Jewish Preschool in the neighborhood, Chana founded My Little School in 2010. She set out to create a preschool where children could thrive under the guidance of educators, who brought to their students rich and meaningful experiential child-centered learning that fully integrated modern educational methodologies with Jewish values. Chana & Rabbi Zalman and their five children live in Tribeca, and are proud of the stellar educational program that My Little School has grown into along with the other divisions of Chabad of Tribeca, offering a warm and welcoming home for vibrant Jewish life in the neighborhood. 

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Jordana Cohen Fruchter, MS.Ed 

School Director & Director of Admissions

Jordana is entering her fifth year at My Little School. She received a BA with honors from The University of Michigan and a MS in Elementary Inclusive Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities from Columbia University. Following graduate school Jordana was a founding faculty member at Avenues: The World School, and was the Assistant Director and Director of Admissions at My Little School from 2014-2018. Jordana was drawn to early childhood education because of the fundamental role these brief yet enchanting years play in the lives of both children and their parents. She believes that a preschool's responsibility extends beyond educating, nurturing and inspiring children, and is inclusive of parents and family members, in that they too should have the resources and support necessary to confidently navigate their parenting journeys. Jordana works collaboratively with the Director of Education and the teachers at MLS to ensure that each classroom's curriculum is informed by the 'best practices' in progressive early childhood education, that Jewish values guide classroom culture and enhance learning experiences, and that a profound respect for each child lies at the heart of every interaction. Jordana's expertise also include her organizational skills, and she is committed to constantly reflecting and building upon the school's infrastructure to meet the needs of parents, teachers and children.

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Elisabeth Rothauser, MS.Ed

Director of Education 

Elisabeth is the Director of Education at My Little School. She received her BA from Hofstra University, MA from Bank Street College of Education, and has received additional state certifications in Gifted and Special Education. Prior to joining My Little School, Elisabeth spent 9 years teaching preschool in Tribeca, the East Village and the Upper East Side. She also ran the preschool summer camp at her most recent school. Elisabeth comes from a family of educators. With a mother, aunts, uncle, and siblings all working in the field of education, Elisabeth grew up knowing that education and ongoing learning was incredibly important. Upon moving to New York City, she enrolled in Bank Street and quickly focused on progressive early childhood education. She believes that children learn best in environments filled with play and natural materials. Teachers are guides who help children navigate social and academic concepts while also allowing space for their own interests to grow and blossom. The home-school connection between teachers, administration and parents is of utmost importance, as teachers and parents are partners in the child’s schooling. As a product of Jewish day school, Elisabeth cherishes the opportunity to continue her career in a Jewish preschool. 

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Chana Lesches 

Office Manager & Admissions Coordinator

Chana has been working at MLS as Office Manager & Admissions Coordinator for five years. In her role she ensures that efficient systems are designed and executed, allowing teachers to maximize their time focusing on children and curriculum, and ensuring that parents have a positive and stress free experience when working with the MLS office. Chana is thoughtful and patient in her approach to managing logistics and the needs of various individuals within the organization, and can always be relied on to have a smile on her face. 

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Susie Meisler 

Parent Educator & Early Childhood Specialist

Susie is entering her fifth year at MLS as our beloved Parent Educator & Early Childhood Specialist. In her role Susie is involved in supporting and guiding parents, teachers and children in all aspects of classroom life. Susie is an active teacher in our Toddler Caregiver & Me Classes, during which she shares her deep knowledge and understanding of child development, and facilitates conversations amongst parents and caregivers to support their growth in their parenting journey. Prior to joining My Little School Susie devoted 40 years of her life to helping children and parents thrive, first as a teacher and then as Director of the Huntington Jewish Center Pre-School, where she oversaw the highly successful program for almost 30 years. Susie's expertise is connecting with kids and guiding their parents through the development stages of raising children.  She developed her passion for nurturing families after starting a parent-and-me group in Singapore, where she lived with her husband and became a mother herself.  Being surrounded by families from all over the world exposed her to a variety of parenting styles and sparked a lifelong interest in family dynamics.  Susan has written hundreds of articles on parenting, continues to serve as a trusted counselor to countless parents, and has developed and led numerous parent-and-me programs.  She received her Masters in Education from Adelphi University.

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Miryam Golding

Operations Manager

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Laura Betancur

Spanish Educator

Laura Betancur is an arts educator, an expressive arts therapy practitioner and a native Spanish speaker from Colombia whose passion and professional experience focus on using language, art and culture as mediums for education, therapy and enrichment. For over ten years, Laura has been using the arts in a variety of forms to create spaces for children to use their imagination, create and tell stories, expand their creativity, learn language and celebrate culture.  She teaches in different settings including My Little school, El Museo del Barrio and the Studio Museum.

Yonatan Gutfeld

Music Educator

Yonatan Gutfeld grew up in Jerusalem, where he studied music composition. He was active in the Tel Aviv singer-songwriter scene and toured the country with his band after releasing his debut album. Yonatan has been living in NYC since 2012, where he records his songs, writes music for theater productions, and teaches children in schools and programs throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. In 2017 he released Time’s Tyranny, an album of new compositions to Shakespeare sonnets in Hebrew translation.

Staff

Professional, dedicated, and loving- these words speak volumes about the team at My Little Preschool. Equipped with years of study and professional experience, our staff strives continuously to respond to the individual needs of each child. 

Employing cutting-edge methodology and liberal doses of warm, loving care, our staff creates activities that engage children’s natural curiosities. My Little Schools' staff creates a supportive environment conducive to the co-construction of knowledge between teachers and children.

As co-constructors, our teachers have multiple, fluid roles as collaborators, researchers, and learners based on the needs of the children and the demands of the explorative learning activity.

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Morah Mel

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Morah Allison

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Morah Perry

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Morah Aviva

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Morah Devorah Leah

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Morah Rebecca

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Morah Miriam

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Morah Rivkah

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Morah Batya

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Morah Beth

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Morah Chana

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Morah Jamie 

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Morah Chani

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Morah Shainy

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Morah Yael

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Morah Jamie 

Professional Development

Our teachers and staff have many opportunities for professional development throughout the year. We provide professional development that addresses all aspect of educating the whole child. Some of the professional development opportunities our staff has participated in include, but are not limited to:

  • Project Leada division of the Jewish Education Project 
  • The Paradigm Project
  • Rena Allen,  Developmental Learning and Special Education Consultant
  • Come Learn With Us, A Summer Learning Series for Early Educators at the JCC Manhattan  
  • Elizabeth McKenna, Educational Consultant, Exponential Returns, LLC
  • Robin Koo, Teaching Beyond the Square
  • Rick EllisMEd, Bank Street College of Education: The Reggio-Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education
  • Dana RosenbloomM.S. Ed., "Dana's Kids:" Separation
  • Susan MeislerEarly Childhood Education Consultant and Parent Educator: Developmental milestones throughout the pre-school years
  • Talia Fenster, RN, CPR Instructor: CPR & First Aid
  • Loren Norman-LennonOTR/L: Spring Ahead Pediatric Therapy
  • Heather Boerner, Chatty Child Speech Therapy, PLLC
  • Jewish Education Project, In-Site-Ful Journeys 2015- Reggio Emilia Wonder of Learning Exhibit, NYC
  • Handwriting Without Tears: Pre-K Readiness and Writing Workshop
  • Selwyn Falk, Epic Security: Safety in School
  • Amit Meir, Security Manager: Emergency procedures
  • Handwriting Without Tears Workshop