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."
2017 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 Levey served as Beth David's Educator for twenty-five dedicated years. She has brought tremendous dedication and professionalism to her role. Her title reflects her charge to offer education to Beth David's adults as well as our preschool aged, Lower School, and Upper School students. Susan joined the Beth David team in 1992. Prior to Beth David, Susan worked as the Assistant Director at Congregation Rodeph Shalom working both the Center City and the Elkins Park Campuses.
From High School through Graduate School, Susan taught in Religious Schools in Ohio, Illinois and Missouri before moving to Philadelphia. She was voted Teacher of the Year several times. Susan blended counseling and Jewish education as her joint career goals as she worked in the Philadelphia Jewish community before joining Beth David. 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 during his junior year and in Paris and London during his second year of graduate business school. He speaks both Hebrew and French.
Ned moved to the Philadelphia area from Detroit in 1980 and met Karen in 1981. They married in 1982 and have two sons, Joe and Ben. Joe graduated from Cornell in 2010 and works in the Philadelphia area. Ben graduated from Penn in May 2013 and is living and working in Center City. Karen is a professional grant writer and has been a synagogue religious school teacher for over 25 years. She and Ned have lived in Lafayette Hill since 1985. While they have become “empty-nesters,” they will continue to have the company of Chase, their wonderful bichon frisé, and their two cats, Oliver and Charlie. Joe and his wife, Steph, are now parents to Jordan Jacob, Karen and Ned's first grandchild.
Ned has worked in a number of positions in the Jewish community since 1988 and is enjoying working in the office at Beth David. 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. In 2006 she retired, and we were lucky enough to grab her up. She is married to Tom, a retired Narberth Police Officer. She has three children and one grandchild.
Dena wears many hats, as the Rabbi's Assistant and a Childbirth Educator for the past 21 years. Dena teaches in both private practice and several area hospitals. Dena also co-founded, and for the past 12 years 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 Executive Assistant and Managing Director of several spiritual communities and at a Health and Wellness collective in Ardmore. Dena was raised on the Main Line, and has been back in this area for the past 15 years.
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. Dena’s only son is a black standard poodle named Indigo.
Antonio "Tony" Artis comes to Beth David with 20 years of facilities, janitorial and cleaning services experience. Being/Editor/assets/Tony.jpg in the facilities maintenance business for himself for 16 years goes perfectly with the Beth David family. Being around people with families and children, along side his wife Suzette Artis, has been a "great" employment opportunity.
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 been an employee of Beth David Reform Congregation for a long time now and he doesn't plan on going anywhere!