Rabbi Julie Schwarzwald

CBI Preschool Director/CBI Director of Congregational Learning

I am dedicated to the idea that since we are each created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God, a quality preschool education should be accessible to all. Having grown up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, I have a BA from Wesleyan University in Education Policy Studies and an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University in Computing in Education. After years of teaching all ages in public, private, and day schools, I received rabbinic ordination in 2019. Getting to know our youngest students and celebrating Shabbat with them each Friday is a highlight of my time at CBI! 

Yuliana Cruz

Twos Head Teacher

I have over 15 years experience working with children as a caregiver, teacher assistant and as a head teacher. As I started out my career path I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I believe to be a teacher you have to love what you do. As a teacher I hope to provide a nurturing and safe environment where a child can flourish, grow, learn through experiences and play.

Celestria Wells

Twos Head Teacher

Mila Naiman

Threes Head Teacher, Assistant Director

I have over 25 years of experience in Early Childhood Education (ECE) with a focus on children starting at the age of two. I have worked with children on the autism spectrum and provided early intervention support both in school and in private therapy sessions. Most recently, I have been a head teacher for the 2’s and 3’s classes at CBI Preschool. I’m passionate about working in ECE because it’s such an important stage in a child’s development. Every day, I’m helping children build a foundation for their educational and social development in a fun, stimulating and hands-on environment. The reward for me is seeing the children’s growth and development throughout the school year. My favorite part of the day is circle time which offers many learning opportunities. I love to come to school every morning and see the kids smiling as they enter the classroom.

Ilana Tenenbaum

PreK Head Teacher

I received a BA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Kean University. I joined CBI Preschool in 1986, first as a head teacher of the Twos classes and  then transitioning to head teacher of PreK in 1994. I believe that children are like sponges in that they can absorb whatever comes their way. I love watching their bright faces as they accomplish new tasks. My favorite part of the day is when I see how imaginative and creative the children are during free play. I love listening to their conversations which then motivates me to work on ways to enhance their already inquisitive minds.

Meg Schneider

Assistant Teacher

I have over 25 years of experience working in early childhood as a caregiver, school substitute, and presently as an assistant teacher in CBI’s PreK program. I love working with young children, watching them grow into bigger people and seeing their minds at work and imaginations take off. The entire day I’m with the children is my favorite part, from seeing their smiles as they enter the building to morning meeting when we get to talk with them. I enjoy watching their faces light up as they learn new things and listening to them speak about themselves. They are all amazing human beings and have taught me to be a better person.

Geraldine Vick

Assistant Teacher

I have been involved in early childhood for many years, first in preschools in Newark and then as a state-licensed day care provider in my home. I love children and people and find my job very rewarding. I recognize that each child is different and enjoy helping them develop their skills. I am currently an Extended Day Teacher in the extended day program. I am a warm, loving, caring, trustworthy, responsible teacher who absolutely enjoys what I do.

Susan Kashan

Congregational Learning Administrator

I have been with CBI since 2015 as an Administrator and as Manager of the Teen Assistants, first in the Religious School, then with the clergy, and finally morphing to assisting the Preschool & Religious Schools.  As a former preschool aide and a former Religious School Kindergarten teacher, the young children always bring a smile to my face.  I also enjoy working with the parents facilitating in the registration process, as well as providing teachers with the tools they need to focus on the children.  Seeing the youngsters play brightens every day for me!