Hasia Monselise (Director) was born and raised in Israel. She studied art education at Beit Berl College and graduated from SUNY Empire College with a BA in Education and Art. She taught at many schools in the New York area, including Solomon Schechter, Beit Rabban School Stein Yeshiva, Chabad Palisades and JCC Harrison. Hasia has always loved working with children and believes that educating our future generation is the most rewarding work. She helps them prepare to become Jewish adults. "Our children have the fullest potential to speak Hebrew. I am happy to see children gaining more knowledge every day. That’s what makes me happy and motivated to continue to teach."
Melissa Weinhaus (Assistant Director) and her family moved to Grand Rapids from the Washington DC area. Melissa was born and raised in Southern California. After graduating with a BA in sociology from San Diego State University, Melissa went on to earn her teaching credential in elementary education. Melissa has lived and taught in a variety of locations including Fairfax County, VA, Managua, Nicaragua, and the suburbs of Detroit. Her son and daughter, along with two tabby cats, a lab mix, and a leopard gecko keep her busy. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, doing yoga, and exploring new places.
Rabbi Michael Schadick (Temple Emanuel) has been rabbi of Temple Emanuel since July 2000. He was born in southern New Hampshire and received his Bachelor's Degree from Connecticut College. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in May 1994. He has served congregations in Orlando, Florida and Plantation, Florida. Rabbi Schadick lives in Cascade Township with his wife Susan and his daughter Shira.
Rabbi David Krishef (Congregation Ahavas Israel) received ordination as Rabbi from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1994. Since then, he has served as the rabbi of Congregation Ahavas Israel, a Conservative synagogue in Grand Rapids, Michigan and blogs at EmbodiedTorah.com. He writes the popular weekly “Ethics and Religion Talk” column for therapidian.com and the Grand Rapids Press and serves on the Spectrum Health Bioethics committee. He has also taught Biblical Hebrew at Grand Valley State University, and Introduction to Judaism courses at Kuyper College and Aquinas College. He is a contributing author for the Judaism chapter of a World Religions textbook (published by Teacher Created Materials) and a set of revisions to the URJ CHAI Judaic curriculum for use in a Conservative or joint Reform/Conservative religious school.
Elisabeth Rosewall (Hebrew) is a native Californian with a BS in Design from the University of California at Davis and has lived in Grand Rapids since 1985. She has taught both 4-7th grades and Hebrew since 1990 both at Temple and Ahavas as well as in South Haven. She currently focuses on Hebrew and tutors b'nei mitzvah students at Temple Emanuel. Elisabeth has a passion for learning and Jewish education and loves teaching Hebrew classes for adults. She especially enjoys those who learn differently and tries to find the spark in each. She feels blessed by her two children, Emily and Eric, (and the presence of cats in their lives).
Shoshanna Jackson (Hebrew)
Tami Emesh (Hebrew)
Emily Rosewall (Hebrew)
Sarah Morin (Gan Katan)
Danielle Flaumenhaft (Pre-K) moved back to Grand Rapids last year after living in Kalamazoo, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, and Lansing. Danielle graduated from Kalamazoo College with a bachelors in Psychology and completed her masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University. Her two kids, Joseph and Sydney, who are 3 and 6 years old respectively, keep her and her husband, Dan, very busy. Danielle is excited to be back at UJS to teach, as she was an aide many years ago.
Claire Fisher (Kindergarten) is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University. She studied Multimedia Journalism there. Currently, Claire is living in Grandville and working as a technical writer. For the last six summers, Claire worked at a Jewish summer camp and loved getting to know all the kids and planning fun activities for them. She loves making jokes, playing games, and reading books. Claire is really excited to be a part of the United Jewish School team.
Nicole Katzman (2nd grade) and her family are new to the Grand Rapids community. They moved this summer from Rhode Island. Nicole is the Executive Director at the Jewish Federation. Her oldest children, Jacob and Nathan attend college at the University of Michigan. Her younger children, Steven and Lindsey are in high school and will be active participants at UJS. Nicole earned her BFA from the Atlanta College of Art, and two Master degrees from The Rhode Island School of Design, (MAT, MAE). She holds a teaching degree in Art Education and is certified to teach grades PreK- 12 in both Rhode Island and Michigan. Nicole co authored the PJ Library book, Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles, and is a huge advocate for children and adults with special health care needs. She has worked on Rhode Island legislation and advocacy for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Nicole has over twenty five years of teaching experience and taught religious school for a total of fourteen years in her former community. She is very excited to be teaching grade 2.
Avi Forstein (3rd and 4th grades)
Sharon Spungen (5th and 6th grades) is a martial artist and Taekwon-Do instructor, mom of two fabulous young men, published writer, attorney, educator, and committed volunteer in numerous education-related organizations. She has been teaching Taekwon-Do since 2005 where she discovered her love of teaching and brought it into the "regular" classroom in 2017 as a substitute teacher. Sharon has grown up all around the country and returned here to Grand Rapids with her family in 1998 shortly after the birth of her oldest son. She has a commitment to helping all learners succeed and find meaning in their Jewish heritage and community. Sharon is excited about teaching the 5th and 6th grade classes and bringing Judaism to life.
Rabbi Michael Schadick (7th grade) has been rabbi of Temple Emanuel since July 2000. He was born in southern New Hampshire and received his Bachelor's Degree from Connecticut College. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in May 1994. He has served congregations in Orlando, Florida and Plantation, Florida. Rabbi Schadick lives in Cascade Township with his wife Susan and his daughter Shira.
Rhonda Pappas (8th Grade)
Lindsay Propper (9th and 10th grades) grew up in Jupiter, Florida, and first moved to Grand Rapids in 2008 to study Sustainable Business at Aquinas College. During this time she taught 4th and 5th grade at UJS, where her favorite lessons involved discussions and activities which encouraged students to find their own personal connection to Judaism. After a few years away from Grand Rapids, Lindsay is excited to be back and re-joining the UJS community. When she’s not at UJS, Lindsay works in the sustainability department at Steelcase, enjoys painting and calligraphy, and is on a never-ending quest to perfect her challah recipe.
Deet Newman (Art)
John Moga (Art)