Congregation Bnai Tikvah

Congregation Bnai Tikvah

1558 Wilmot Road, Deerfield, Illinois 60015
Phone: 847-945-0470 |

Staff and Employment



B’nai Tikvah is always looking for talented individuals to join our administrative and teaching staffs. If you are interested in career opportunities with us, please let us know!

Learn About Opportunities to Join Us



 Teacher TBA

Deborah Elkaim

1st Grade 

Debbie Elkaim has taught at B’nai Tikvah for 20 years. Her husband and seven children teach her something new every day. She loves teaching kids and looks forward each week to teaching the community’s children.

Deborah Proper

2nd Grade 

Deborah Proper has taught at B’nai Tikvah for 3 years and is no stranger to teaching or to Congregation B’nai Tikvah. She holds a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and previously taught 1st through 4th grades in New England. She also taught Hebrew school in the Boston area. Deborah and her family are members of B’nai Tikvah and her older son attends the BJE preschool. They enjoy the strong sense of community – something her husband has enjoyed since being a founding member (at age 3).

Marsha Kasanov

3rd Grade A (Sun and Tues) & 4th Grade C (Wed)

Marsha Kasanov has taught at B’nai Tikvah for 37 years. She continues to enjoy the look of recognition when a student sounds out a word they already know, such as “Shabbat” or “Shalom”, and realize they can read it in Hebrew! Marsha lives in Arlington Heights with her husband, Joel. Together they have two children and four grandchildren. Along with her interest in Jewish education, she is a Judaic fabric artist and creates various types of Judaic ceremonial fabric items such as tallitot, kippot, chuppot, ark curtains, etc.

Zipporah Perlmutter

3rd Grade B (Sun and Tues) 

Zipporah Perlmutter has taught at B’nai Tikvah for 34 years. Born in Israel, she studied Hebrew, English Literature, and the Hebrew language at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Teaching Judaica is her passion – she is just as excited and enthusiastic every year as she was her first. Zipporah lives in Skokie.

Irit Talor

4th Grade A (Sun and Weds) – 5th Grade A (Tues)

Irit Talor gets great joy from teaching the Hebrew language, prayers, customs, traditions and Jewish values. Having been born, raised and educated in Israel to Holocaust survivor parents, Irit realizes the importance of Jewish education for the continuation of our people and heritage.

Myra Friedland

4th Grade B (Sun and Weds) 

Myra Friedland was an elementary Physical Education teacher for over 30 years, the last 26 years of which have been at Solomon Schechter Day School in Northbrook. She also taught religious school at Congregation Beth El in Highland Park.

Susan Schwalb

4th Grade C (Sun) 

Susan Schwalb has taught religious school for 13 years, the last 3 at B’nai Tikvah. When she is not teaching at B’nai Tikvah, Susan teaches at North Shore Academy, in Highland Park, a therapeutic day school for students with behavior disorders. Susan has two children, a 4 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, scrapbooking, and reading.

Hanna Schiffman

5th Grade A (Sun) & 6th Grade B (Wed) 

Hanna Schiffman arrived in Chicago in 1985 from Israel and has been teaching Hebrew ever since. Working with children of different ages gives her the satisfaction of knowing that she can make an impact on their Jewish lives. Her goal is to create a warm, safe and fun environment in which your child can learn, flourish and grow. Hanna works at Solomon Schechter Day School and tutors children preparing for their B’nai Mitzvot and children and adults in conversational Hebrew and Bible.

Anita Gelbart

5th Grade B (Sun and Tues) & 6th Grade C (Wed) 

Anita Gelbart has taught at B’nai Tikvah for 29 years.  She enjoys teaching Hebrew, History, Torah, and Jewish Heritage. Along with teaching at B’nai Tikvah, Anita works at Hillel Torah Day School in Skokie as the Educational Coordinator. Despite a very hectic schedule, she finds time for power walking, swimming in the summer, reading, cooking and entertaining for Shabbat, and spending time with her children and four adorable grandchildren.

Leora Eidenberg

5th Grade C (Sun and Tues) 

Leora Eidenberg has taught at B’nai Tikvah for over 20 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree from University of Chicago in Social Work. Aside from teaching, Leora tutors students in Hebrew and for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. She temporarily employed as a Medical Social Worker, is a freelance event planner, and a life Coach. In her spare time she is part of a book club, plays Maj and Canasta, loves biking and tennis, traveling, and attending concerts. She has a son and daughter and is in the process of planning her wedding for next year.

Pnina Mazor

6th Grade A (Weds) 

Pnina Mazor has taught at B’nai Tikvah for 7 years. She holds a Master of Education from Loyola University and Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies from Hebrew Theological College. In addition to her work at B’nai Tikvah, Pnina has taught 7th & 8th grade Bible at Solomon Schechter Day School in Northbrook for the last 30 years. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, zumba, and working out. Pnina lives in Highland Park while her twin sons pull her in different directions, having settled in New York City and California.

Matt Rissien

7th Grade (Weds)

Matt Rissien is the Director of Youth Activities at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook. Matt grew up in Overland Park, KS, where he was very active in BBYO. He attended University of Kansas where he graduated with degree in Religious Studies. After graduation college, Matt worked as a Residential Fellow at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, NC. Matt is thrilled to be joining the B’nai Tikvah team!

Lawrence LeVine 

8th & 9th (Weds)

Bio coming soon!

Ariana Hershon

9th (Weds)

Ariana Hershon is teaching at B’nai Tikvah for the first time. She moved to the Chicago area from Boston to be the Youth Director here at B’nai Tikvah after spending the summer at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. She graduated in May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in Resource Economics. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and traveling, as well as cheering on her home teams (Go Red Sox!).

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