We know an early learning environment is as good as the people supporting it; that’s why we hire the best!  We currently are accepting resumes for well-qualified, collaborative full time and part time teachers and substitute teachers.  Interested teaching candidates, please email Beth Arnold Helmey – beth@ahavalearning.org

Experience and/or Education in the field and excellent references are a must!

Experience with Reggio Emilia/Constructivist Philosophy and/or Project Approach a plus!

Teachers must be comfortable using technology to communicate with parents and colleagues and/or willing to learn new tech skills (Blogging, Facebook, iPod touch, Constant Contact, Google Docs, etc.)

Please share if you have any of the following skills in your cover letter/resume: yoga, gardening, guitar/song-leader, story-teller, studio art or art education, Hebrew language, Judaic knowledge, etc.

Our Director

Beth Arnold Helmey

Beth Arnold Helmey was thrilled to join the Ahava team in its inaugural year in August of 2015. A native of Atlanta, Beth has fond memories of attending Ahavath Achim Synagogue as a child, and was excited to rekindle her affiliation with the congregation. She holds a BFA from the University of Georgia and an MA in Teaching from Mercer University. Before joining Ahava, Beth had 11 years teaching experience as a Kindergarten teacher and as a Special Education paraprofessional in Gwinnett County Public Schools.  Her introduction to the Reggio Emilia philosophy began when she and her two children were a part of the Cliff Valley learning community. She considers herself fortunate to have been immersed in a program that emphasized the importance of a play-based education centered on the child’s interests. As a believer in the Reggio Approach, Beth continues to refine her practice, using reflection and documentation as tools for her own learning.  Her ongoing professional study has included visiting the preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Beth continues to draw inspiration from collaboration with teachers, and enjoys learning from new sources of inspiration through Ahava.  Beth guides our curriculum, mentors and supervises our teachers, and partners with families to ensure a quality learning environment is provided for the students.

Our Faculty and Administration

HEIDI HERMAN, ADMINISTRATOR

Heidi Herman was born in South Africa and emigrated to Atlanta in 2001 with her husband Barry and their sons, Daniel and Aaron.
After a long career as an administrator and team leader in various organizations, Heidi discovered her passion for working in the early learning school environment as the Administrator at Chaya Mushka Children’s House preschool in Sandy Springs, for the last 3 years. She loves the varied aspects of her job, especially nurturing and interacting with the children, while being a trusted friend to their parents.  Heidi strongly believes in the Reggio Emilia way of learning.
Heidi looks forward to utilizing her strong administrative skills, which together with her passion for working with the children and their families, will ensure that she serves their needs, as well as those of the teaching and administrative staff.

BEVERLY HEGMON, EDUCATOR – KEHILLAT SHALOM

Beverly Hegmon taught preschool environment for more than ten years before joining the Ahava faculty, four of which were in a Reggio Emilia inspired school.  Beverly’s kindness, and her gentle and warm nature make her a perfect fit for our youngest children! Growing up in Atlanta, Beverly attended the Paideia School and studied at Hampton University in Virginia.  She is a mother of 2 teens and 1 Boston Terrier.

JOANNA GOLD, EDUCATOR – KEHILLAT SHALOM

Joanna (Jojo) Gold grew up in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan and was happy to escape the cold winters when she moved to Atlanta nine years ago! Jojo has worked in Early Childhood Education for more than ten years and has experience with a range of ages from newborn to 4 year olds. Jojo holds a CDA and an infant/toddler Montessori certification from AMS.  She has attended several college courses in ECE at Indiana University and plans on finishing her BA in the near future! She taught infants for the past 7 years and has a great passion for teaching and nurturing the youngest of children.  Jojo has also taught Sunday School at The Temple. She is looking forward to embracing and learning more about Reggio Emilia philosophy and implementing it in the classroom!  She believes that parent/teacher communication is the key to a child’s success and is passionate about parent education.  Jojo has a 3 year old Nephew and 7 month old neice, to whom she is very close and she adores spending time with them!

PRECIOUS LYONS, EDUCATOR – KEHILLAT SHALOM

Precious Lyons is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, who has seven years of experience working with young children. Precious joins our faculty this year after we have gotten to know her as one of our favorite substitute teachers since 2016. Precious is looking forward to furthering her own education as she pursues a CDA.  She is a mother of one son, Jhaiceon. Precious is excited to join the Ahava team, and she looks forward to the journey that lies ahead!

JULIA EGBEBIKE, EDUCATOR – KEHILLAT SIMCHA

Julia Egbebike is excited to join the Ahava community.  She has worked with children ages 1-5 for over 7 years. Julia holds a BA in psychology with a minor in education from the University of North Florida. Julia’s favorite part of teaching is witnessing children develop their own personalities and beliefs, and she is honored to take part in the education of our future leaders and community members. Julia looks forward to learning more about the Reggio Emilia approach and using it in the classroom. When Julia is not teaching, she loves to hike, travel, try new foods, and spend time with her friends and family.

MELANIE KAPLAN, EDUCATOR

Melanie Kaplan has experience teaching and tutoring preschool through college age students. Melanie has an extensive science background, and holds a MS in Space Sciences, a BS in Physics, and a BS in Space Sciences, from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. Melanie has an insatiable curiosity and loves learning, and she believes that children learn better and appreciate learning when they are given opportunities to choose their own areas of interest – to explore, discover, create, investigate, dream, and experiment. Being part of the Jewish Community is extremely important to Melanie. She is very involved at her Shul, Congregation Shearith Israel, where she frequently volunteers to read Torah and Haftarah, and is a Hebrew Enrichment and Support Teacher for their religious school. Melanie is delighted to be able to share her love for Judaism, Torah, Science, and Learning with our Ahava Community!

KAVITA BRAHMBHATT, EDUCATOR – KEHILLAT SIMCHA

Kavita Brahmbhatt holds a Bachelors of Arts in Child Development and Family Studies from University of South Carolina-Upstate.  Kavita loves challenging children and wants to help them explore and develop. She is excited about continuing to work with young children and expanding her knowledge of the Reggio Emilia approach within the Ahava community.

STEPHANIE BARNES, EDUCATOR – KEHILLAT TIKVAH

Stephanie Barnes is a teacher in the energetic infant classroom, and has been working with children of all ages for the past eighteen years. Stephanie also has been a paraprofessional in the school system working with children with special needs, has background as a nanny for children with special needs, parent guidance and consulting, as well as some administrative work and teacher training.

Stephanie feels that it is important to understand the mind structure and capabilities of the children as she wants to make sure that children are in the best environment and position to learn and excel.

Stephanie has a Career Studies Certificate in Early Childhood Education as well as an Advanced Early Childhood Education Certificate. She also holds a Certificate as well as an Associates and Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Development, and had always graduated with honors including Cum Laude. Most recently, Stephanie was awarded the Outstanding Student in Early Education for the Tift Campus of Mercer University.

Stephanie enjoys watching children grow and develop to become the best that they can be and communicating with parents in trusting relationships.

NJERI (NAJ) FORD, EDUCATOR – KEHILLAT SHALOM

Njeri (Naj) Ford was born and raised in Portland, Oregon where she found her passion for working with children as a volunteer at her church’s nursery. Naj recently graduated with honors from Clark Atlanta University with a degree in psychology. Naj has many years of classroom experience as a tutor and teachers assistant at both Jones Elementary and Finch Elementary School located in Atlanta, Georgia. Her hobbies include painting, makeup artistry and cooking. She looks forward to continuing to deepen her knowledge of early childhood education and the Reggio Emilia philosophy.

BETELHEM (BETE) TEWELDEBRHAN, EDUCATOR – KEHILLAT MASA

Betelhem (Bete) Teweldebrhan was born and raised in Boston, Massachussets and grew up in a large family, where she first developed her love of children.  She started volunteering at day care centers while attending high school.  After graduating highschool, she worked at several childcare facilities and babysitting on the side. She is currently attending Atlanta Metropolitan State College, majoring in Early Childhood Education, and minoring in Business.

KELSEY PARSELL, EDUCATOR

Kelsey Parsell attended Argosy University where she earned her BA in psychology and, while she loves studying and implementing brain-based learning, she is equally passionate about art, music, creativity, and nurturing a passion for learning in children. She has worked with children in many facets including as a babysitter, in a daycare, as a nanny, and a teacher. Before joining Ahava, Kelsey taught classes encouraging cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development for young children and their families. She is excited about continuing to encourage the growth and development of young children and furthering her knowledge of the Reggio Emilia approach within the Ahava community.

JIZELA BOMBARDIERE, EDUCATOR

Jizela Bombardiere is a Florida native who obtained her Associate’s in Education from Indian River State College.  She moved to Atlanta to advance her education and career. Jizela’s passion is educating young children at the preschool age, and she is looking forward to being a part of the Ahava family and to creating a comfortable environment for our children to succeed while she completes her Bachelor’s degree in Early Education at Kennesaw State University.

LYNN ABRAMS, KITCHEN MANAGER

Lynn Abrams began working with Ahava in early 2016 as a substitute teacher, and joined us as a teacher in our premier infant/toddler classroom.  Lynn was excited to try something new, and began planning nutritious menus and cooking delicious food in early 2017. Lynn is a lifelong AA congregant who has experience as a nanny and loves working with the youngest children!  Lynn has a BA in psychology, loves to travel, and practices tai chi regularly!

“MR. MICHAEL” LEVINE, MUSIC TEACHER

“Mr. Michael” Levine is the co-founder of The Learning Groove (TLG) music & movement company.  He also is the music producer of the first four New York Times bestselling Pete The Cat books by Eric Litwin and James Dean, and he regularly performs Pete The Cat stories & TLG songs at concerts, workshops & keynotes throughout the nation.

As a singer-songwriter, he has won many awards and has opened for such acts as Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows, Live, Joe Walsh, and many more. As a performer for children, he plays guitar and uses the latest hip-hop technology to demonstrate how interactivity can make reading & music awesome for kids.