CAARS Faculty 2020 – 2021

Karen Channon, Pre-K

Karen Chanon is an experienced Pre-K teacher at Agudas Achim.  She has taught Pre-K for 4 years.  Karen enjoys teaching Sunday School with a focus  on Jewish Values, Jewish Holidays, Jewish Blessings , Jewish Symbols and Hebrew words through dramatic play, art activities, snack time and cooking.  Karen enjoys seeing her student’s gain self confidence, learn how to respect themselves, as well as others, while facilitating  an introduction to Jewish life.  She has four fabulous children Jacci and Josh who recently got married and are living and working in Dallas, Reid who is living and working in Chicago and Ryan who is  living and working in Dallas. Karen has lived in Austin for 40 years and she has worked at the ECP for 8 years doing the week as a two’s teacher.  She is active in her Synagogue , loves her community and is enjoying learning Hebrew and practicing the prayers and blessings daily.  Karen enjoys spending time with her family and friends, walking, swimming, eating good food, and playing mahjong.  Karen looks forward to meeting your child, as she will learn and listen to your child, as well as enrich your child.  

Jacob Levy, Kindergarten

Jacob joins us for his first year as Kindergarten teacher, having recently graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington with a degree in Jewish Studies.  Originally from Indiana, he is excited to become a member of the Longhorn family as graduate student at UT.    Currently, he is working towards his Masters of Social Work Degree. In the free time he has, Jacob spends most of it in the great outdoors or with his dog, Wrigley!  He can’t wait to meet everyone and experience all that Austin and CAA have to offer!

Sarah Milligan, 1st Grade

Sarah Milligan is a musician and educator based in Austin, Texas. When she is not teaching 1st grade CAARS Sarah can be found teaching private music lessons and working at the Shalom Austin ECP. Sarah has been teaching private music lessons since 2012,  Jewish Education since 2018 and is excited to combine her love for music and the Jewish Community through Jewish Education. 
Sarah holds a Bachelors of Music and Minor in Arts Management and Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. During her time at UT, she was active at Texas Hillel and Chabad, went on her Birthright trip, and was an intern for JHP’s Texas JTribe. 

Joseph Mabry, 2nd Grade

Joseph S. Mabry is a Senior at the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a major in Government with a minor in Hebrew and a Commission through Army ROTC. Before attending university, he served as an Americorp volunteer with City Year, teaching fifth grade and Running K-5 afterschool programs in the South Bronx. Joseph works in multiple leadership roles in Jewish, ZIonist, and secular spaces. He currently serves as a BBYO Advisor for Tibor Rubin AZA #875 in Austin, is extremely active in Texas Hillel, and has been a Ronald S. Lauder Fellow with the World Jewish Congress. Joseph is committed to developing the next generation of Jewish leaders by helping young people positively influence their communities while developing strong moral values through Jewish learning. 

Dina Barrish, 5th Grade

Dina Barrish is a freshman at UT Austin majoring in journalism. She is from a suburb just outside of Chicago and taught religious school at her local synagogue throughout high school. When she isn’t writing for The Daily Texan or participating in AEphi sorority events, she enjoys spending time with friends, hiking, and eating deep-dish pizza. She can’t wait to join the CAARS community!

Marc Friedman, 5th Grade

I am Marc and I currently teach 5th grade @ CAARS. I’m originally from San Antonio,  but I have deep roots to Philly…GO BIRDS. I love a good ruben, but can’t find one in Austin.  I used to be a stand up comic and you may see me in the occasional commercial. I’ve been teaching the amazing kids of CAARS for the better part of a decade.  I used to teach Zionism to 7th graders but this year I have been charged with the task of teaching 5th grade kids the importance of Jewish values.  I truly enjoy my time here!

Stacey Glazer, 6th Grade

Stacey Glazer has been teaching 6th grade at CAARS since 2009.  Originally from Syracuse, NY, she grew up in Gainesville, FL, and has her degree in theatre with a Spanish minor from Florida State University.  For her first ten years out of college, she traveled the country doing theatre, and whenever she was stationary, she always taught Hebrew school.  She has taught in Hickory, NC; St. Pete, FL; and West Palm Beach, FL.  She landed in Austin in 2006 and is so happy to call Austin and Agudas Achim her home.  She has been a bartender in a hotel for most of the time she has lived in Austin while acting and directing regularly.  With the pandemic, her latest directing gig, and her bartending gig were put on hold.  So, she listened to a voice that has been in her head since college, but that she had ignored.  Stacey is proud to have started graduate studies at Jewish Theological Seminary.  She will be receiving a certificate in Jewish Ethics and Social Justice in conjunction with Columbia University and a Masters in Jewish Education.  Stacey is married to Marc Friedman, a fellow teacher here at CAARS.

Sam Rosenstein, 6th Hebrew, 7th, & 9th Grades

Sam Rosenstein is thrilled to be a part of the CAARS teaching team once again this year. Since moving to Austin in 2013, he has served as a B’nei Mitzvah tutor for the congregation, and has taught everything from 5th grade Jewish studies to Hebrew, Israel, and the Shoah. This year Mister Sam is thrilled to be teaching the 6th grade Hebrew pods, as well as serving as the 9th grade Modern Israel teacher in the first year of the jtx joint high school program. In the past Mister Sam has served as advisor to Kadima and USY chapters both here in Austin as well as in Dallas, and has lead youth High Holiday services for a number of years.  Sam’s passion is bringing Torah, the State of Israel, and a love of Judaism alive for all of his students in both formal and youth group education, while finding new and different ways to enjoy living Jewishly.  

Cheryl Hersh, Hebrew

Cheryl Hersh is a Certified Parent Coach® with a wealth of experience in the world of education.  She began her career teaching religious school while in high school. Most recently, she shepherded Austin Jewish Academy as its Head of School for seven years, following her tenure as a public school teacher, Director of Religious School and middle-school principal at Los Angeles’ Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am. Social and emotional well-being have been at the heart of her life’s work, which include certifications in the Ojai Foundation’s Council program, and Conscious Discipline as well as the Parent Coaching Institute.  She holds a Masters in Education and an MBA in Non-profit Management.  Cheryl lived in Israel for several years and has two adult children.  She loves the Hebrew language and is excited to share her passion with your children.

Malka Dubrawsky, Hebrew

Eighth grade art class introduced me to art and I haven’t been the same since. I went on to graduate from college with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Studio Art. I have worked as a fiber artist and then making more functional textiles, designing fabric, teaching and lecturing, and writing two books. Of late I’ve been drawn to designing and crafting one-of-a-kind quilts for clients and resale as well as creating hand dyed fabrics, both quilting and apparel weight, for other home sewers. 

I have worked as both a Torah Trope and Hebrew Teacher at CAARS for over 5 years. I was the AJA middle school advanced Hebrew teacher 2019-2020. I also work as a private Hebrew tutor and B’nei Mitzvah Tutor, at CAA, TBS, and CBI.

Maya Fela, Hebrew

Maya was born and raised in Israel and moved to Austin four years ago. Maya’s Bachelors is in Criminology, Sociology, and Anthropology and studied Clinical Criminology in graduate school. In Israel, she had over a decade of experience in education in various settings, and in Austin, she teaches and tutors Hebrew and Jewish studies. Maya likes to provide an inviting, exciting, and joyful learning environment to accommodate a wide variety of learning styles and needs. Maya enjoys reading, being outdoors with her dogs and swimming.  

Aron Neesman, 7th Grade Elective

Aron Neesman is relatively new to the Austin area and is really excited to be joining the CARRS faculty. He recently moved here from the Boston Metro Area, When he’s not not teaching at CARRS he can be found at either any of the local coffee shops around or at Cedar Creek Elementary where he’s a Middle School Teacher. He has a love of movies and all things comic book and specifically Batman. 

Ben Saffer, Songleader

Ben Saffer has been performing clarinet professionally in Austin for 24 years, including with klezmer band Mazel Tov Kocktail Hour. He regularly leads services and chants Torah at Agugas Achim and has two daughters enrolled at CAARS. This is his third year to have the pleasure of teaching Jewish songs and music to the students of CAARS.