Stacy Kesner, M.A.

Stacy Kesner is our Early Childhood Center’s Director and serves as the heart and mind of our ECC programming. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development with a Mental Health Specialist option. She continued her education, receiving her Master’s in Early Childhood Education with an Educational Psychology option. Stacy also holds teaching and administration credentials in Early Childhood Education from the Builders of Jewish Education. She has received recognition for her extraordinary leadership skills as Director of Temple Emanuel’s Early Childhood Center.

Stacy is inspired to work in Early Childhood by her passion for Judaism. It is this passion that led to her career in Jewish Early Childhood Education. Over the years, Stacy has combined the best new practices in early childhood education with her own sensibilities to create a program that nourishes the students as they begin to connect socially with each other and encourages them to love learning. Her favorite part of the day is greeting and interacting with our families each morning and seeing how our students are growing as individuals.

Stacy believes “play is a primary source for understanding oneself, others and the environment… play is the real work of childhood.”

Carol Akiba

Carol Akiba has been an educator since 1989 and at Temple Emanuel’s ECC since 2002. She possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from California State University, Northridge as well as administrative credentials from UCLA. Carol was also awarded the Lainer Most Distinguished Early Childhood Educator Award from the BJE.

Carol believes that every class is a team of learners and she enjoys watching each child grow from a tiny seed at the beginning of the year to a flourishing flower by the end. She is constantly amazed by her student’s cognitive abilities and their empathy for others. Carol’s favorite part of the day is when the class comes together for group discussions as she enjoys their responses.

Lilya Aleksandrovskya

Lilya Aleksandrovskya is one of Temple Emanuel ECC’s lead teachers. She has vast experience working in the Early Childhood Education field, starting in the 1990’s then coming to work at Temple Emanuel in 2000. Lilya graduated from Pedagogical College in Odessa, Ukraine then came to the United States and studied Childhood Development at Los Angeles City College to earn her teaching certificate. She later attended UCLA Extension to further her knowledge in Child Development. Lilya is also the proud recipient of the Smotrich Family award of Merit for Innovation Judaic Curriculum in Early Childhood Education and a recipient of the Lainer Distinguished Early Childhood Educator Award.

Lilya is inspired to work in Early Childhood Education because she gets to see her students learn and develop right before her eyes. She loves listening to their stories and sharing her own stories with them. Lilya values and respects every student who enters her class because they are their own young person, each with their own unique personalities and interests.

Alison Berkowitz

Alison Berkowitz is part of our administrative staff as well as a teacher at TEBH ECC. She is a former graduate of our center and has been a member of our staff since 2017. She earned her Certification in Child Development from UCLA Extension.

She is inspired to work in Early Childhood Education by seeing the growth and development in each child while seeing them reach their full potential. Her favorite part of the day is interacting with the students and their families everyday.

Liz Baseman

Liz is one of our ECC’s assistant teachers.

Mojgan Kahenasa

Mojgan Kahenasa is one of our assistant teachers at Temple Emanuel’s ECC. She has lived in Beverly Hills her entire life and also attended UCLA Extension where she completed Child Development courses. Mojgan has been working in the child development field with children ages three to five since 2007.

As the mother of four children herself, Morgan is well-aware of the importance of early childhood education. Mojgan enjoys working with her students and watching them grow and play. Her favorite part of the day is circle time and art when she can interact with the children.

Kalanit Kamara

Kalanit Kamara is one of Temple Emanuel ECC’s teacher’s assistants. She came to our ECC as a substitute in 2017 but loved teaching so much, she decided to stay as a permanent staff member. Kalanit attended Valley College and West Los Angeles College. Kalanit also tutors in the Hebrew Language and Judaic Studies as well as prepares students for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Kalanit is inspired to work in Early Childhood Education by the community of Temple Emanuel’s ECC. Seeing her own niece, nephew, and daughter attend the ECC gave her firsthand experience to see, from the family’s perspective, how nurturing and inspiring the center is for children’s development. She loves every minute she spends interacting with the children.

Robin Platt

Robin Platt has been with Temple Emanuel’s ECC since 2007, assisting in the classroom and teaching Parent and Me classes. Robin is now solely in the classroom and inspired by seeing the fun and excitement in her students each day.

Robin’s favorite part of the day is blowing bubbles with the students and listening to their stories during lunchtime. She has three children of her own that have all attended our ECC. Robin is a great contributor to the loving, nurturing environment at the ECC.

Savannah LaDuke

I am so thrilled to be a new member of the Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills family. My passion for kiddos began when I started working with children 8 years ago. As a role model, I love to encourage creativity, kindness, and exploration. I graduated from the University of Minnesota and studied Early Childhood Education through a program at UCLA.

Mojdeh Soleymani

Mojdeh Soleymani has been in the teaching field since the 1990’s. She attended California State University, Northridge majoring in Child Development with a minor in music. She is also the proud 2015 recipient of the Lainer Distinguished Early Childhood Educator award from the BJE in Los Angeles.

Mojdeh is inspired to work in Early Childhood Education by the one-on-one interactions with each student, as well as the response she receives from asking the children abstract questions. Her favorite part of the day is when she can incorporate nature and art into the curriculum.

Nikki Solomon

Nikki Solomon is one of our ECC’s lead teachers. She has over 25 years of therapeutic companionship and early childhood teaching experience. Nikki attended Santa Barbara City College, then went on to take child development courses at Santa Monica College to become an early childhood educator.

Nikki loves helping children master new skills and enjoys helping children explore social interaction. Her favorite part of the day is when a child’s face lights up because they have mastered a new task. Nikki also loves helping each child transition from home to the school experience.

*All members of our team are required to have their Covid-19 vaccinations