Executive Director Jill Cooper, comes to Beth David with 24 years of Jewish communal experience. She is a graduate of Temple University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. After a decade of teaching Middle School English and US History in the Philadelphia School district Jill made a career change and opened her own Direct Maketing business by day, and worked and studied part time at Shir Ami, Bucks County Jewish Congregation. While there Jill served as a Pre-school teacher, Religious School teacher, Assistant Youth Advisor, and Administrative Assistant. In 2005, while at Shir Ami Jill was proud to became an adult Bat Mitzvah. She invited every student she had ever taught, and on the invitation it read, the teacher now becomes the student.' Many came; it was very moving for Jill, her mom, and her son."
2018 Marks Jill's ten year anniversay with Beth David. Her son Marc, and daughter-in-law Isabelle, live in New York.
Rabbi Bernstein became a rabbi in 2007 following study at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. During those years of study, he worked in various local institutions and positions in the Philadelphia region, including the Perelman Jewish Day school, the Jewish Community High School of Gratz College, and the URJ’s Mitzva Corps Program. Since becoming a rabbi, he served as an educational consultant to Moving Traditions and the Jewish Community Center Association, as the Director of Education at Germantown Jewish Centre, and most recently as Assistant Director of Development for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities. In addition, Rabbi Bernstein has helped parents welcome their Jewish sons into the community, and newcomer adults into the community as a mohel.
Rabbi Bernstein’s primary professional passion is helping Jewish families further engage in Judaism that is meaningful to them. It is this passion that led him to become a Jewish professional as his second career - he is also a veterinarian. Dr. Bernstein worked as a clinician in small animal practice, and continued his veterinary career as a board certified expert in poultry medicine, working as a vaccine research veterinarian in the Netherlands, in Milsboro, Delaware and in Israel.
Rabbi Bernstein and his wife, Rebecca Meyer, live in Elkins Park. They raised their three daughters in the Netherlands, in Lewes, Delaware, in Kfar Saba, Israel (the family are all are dual citizens) and in Elkins Park. Their “nest” is currently empty, with two daughters living in Israel and one in Madison, Wisconsin. Rabbi Bernstein loves music (especially Israeli and American folk music), is a committed softball enthusiast, an informed and mildly addicted sports fan, and loves most of all learning from others and their life experiences.
Susan joined the Beth David team in 1992 and served as Educator for twenty-five dedicated years serving our students and our adults. She brought tremendous dedication and professionalism to her role. Prior to Beth David, Susan worked as the Assistant Director at Congregation Rodeph Shalom working both the Center City and the Elkins Park Campuses.
Before moving to Philadelphia. Susan taught in religious schools in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri and was voted Teacher of the Year several times. She has also written many curriculum strands and faculty guides, including the innovative "Educator in Residence" and "PALS — Parents as Learners System" programs. Her overall core values view Jewish education as the vital and crucial link to connecting families and congregation.
Susan is a member of Association of Reform Jewish Educators, Association for Curriculum Development, and served as an Interfaith Chaplain for many years at Abington Hospital.
In her retirement Susan plans to travel and write a book. In her spare time she enjoys yoga and photography, her two grown daughters, Tania and Rebeccah, and her six granddaughters.
Ned is a native Midwesterner (Wisconsin and Michigan) and a veteran of Jewish camps in Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with a B.A. in both History and Jewish Studies. He received an MBA from New York University and studied overseas at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and in Paris and London.
Ned moved to the Philadelphia area in 1980 and met his wife, Karen, in 1981. They have two sons, Joe and Ben, and one grandson, Jordan. While Ned and his wife have become “empty-nesters,” they will continue to have the company of Chase, their wonderful bichon frisé, and their two cats, Oliver and Charlie.
During the summer Ned plays softball in the synagogue league on the other side of the Schuylkill River and an occasional game of tennis.
For 34 years, Betty worked tirelessly as the bookkeeper for the Lower Merion School District. When she retired in 2006 Beth David was lucky enough to grab her up as part time Bookkeeper. While Betty is tasked as our Accounts Payable department, she is much more than that and is amenable to helping everyone in the office from filling, to data entry, to envelope stuffing. She’s also been known to go on a lunch run or two. She is married to Tom, a retired Narberth Police Officer. They have three children and two grandchildren. Betty and Tom are avid Phillies fans and season ticket holders. In their spare time they can often be found gracing a casino together.
Dena wears many hats, as assistant to Rabbi Kalisch and Cantor Goodlev and for the past 21 years as a Childbirth Educator. Dena teaches in both private practice and several area hospitals. Dena also co-founded and was Executive Director of the Philadelphia Songwriters Project, an arts and education non-profit. Her degree from Temple University is in Communications. She’s worked as a radio producer, journalist, and marketing/PR consultant. Her organizational abilities have served well as Assistant to the Clergy and as Managing Director of several spiritual communities as well as a Health and Wellness collective in Ardmore.
She has been married to Bill Marchiony since 1987 and has two wonderful daughters - Lila, a Pastry Chef specializing in Gluten Free delights and Victoria, who recently graduated from Temple University and is head writer for an arts and culture television show soon to be airing on WHYY.
Tony comes to Beth David with 20 years of facilities, janitorial and cleaning services experience. Being in the facilities maintenance business for himself for 16 years blends perfectly with the Beth David family. Being around people with families and children, along-side his wife Suzette Artis, has been a "great" employment perk.
Tony has 3 children and has been a resident of Philadelphia for 42 years. He enjoys music, singing, songwriting, sports, movies and playing his Playstation 4. The best of all is family time. Tony has risen through the ranks of Beth David and he doesn't plan on going anywhere!