Alison Bronstein

Education director




jodi bloom

7th grade  teacher

Jodi Bloom has spent her professional career in Jewish non-profits, including as Assistant Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council at Palm Beach Federation, membership coordinator at the Jewish Women's Foundation in New York City and as Manager of Donor Relations for the Jewish Communal Fund, a donor-advised fund in NYC.  She holds a dual Bachelor's from New York University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in Sociology and Hebrew and Judaic Studies and has a Master's degree in Jewish History from Southampton University in the United Kingdom where she received a scholarship to complete her Master's degree.  She has previously taught at the Epstein School and is currently also teaching at CBSCS.  She serves on the Board of Directors at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School where her sons are enrolled.  She and her husband, who comes from South Africa, lived in Johannesburg immediately after getting married and since returning to the States have made Central New York their home where they have two sons.


karen roberts

4th grade assistant teacher

Karen Roberts is originally from Philadelphia, PA.  In Philadelphia she attended Temple University and Gratz Hebrew College, from which she obtained a Hebrew Teacher's Certificate.  She participated in the year-long program at Hayim Greenberg Institute in Jerusalem.  Upon completion she received a Certificate for Hebrew Teachers in Golah (Exile).  While in Israel, she also took some courses at Hebrew University, including Archaeology with Yigael Yadin.  She taught at Har Zion Temple in Philadelphia and at Temple Adath Jeshurun in Bala Cynwyd.  In addition, she graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A. in Arts and Sciences, with a major in Religion.  She has a M.A. in Religion and an M.B.A.


Cantor Paula pepperstone

5th grade teacher

Cantor Pepperstone grew up in New Jersey singing in her synagogue's children's choir and reading Torah regularly.  Encouraged by her rabbi and cantor to attend the Jewish Theological Seminary's H.L. Miller Cantorial School, she did so after graduating from Indiana University's School of Music and also receiving a Jewish Studies Certificate.  While at Indiana University, she served on the Hillel board, led Shabbat and High Holy Day services, taught in the local synagogue's Religious School, and tutored her first bar/bat mitzvah students.  She taught bar/bat mitzvah students full time for two years at the Indianapolis BJE before heading to cantorial school.  After graduating from JTS, she served six years as the cantor of Keneseth Israel in Louisville, KY, where her responsibilities included teaching in the Sunday School and the community Hebrew school, followed by three years teaching extensively in Clevaland, OH.  Now looking forward to her fifth winter in Syracuse, she is the Director of the Rabbi Jacob H. Esptein High School of Jewish Studies, and serves as Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas in a variety of capacities, including as a Sunday School teacher.  She has served on the Executive Council of the Cantors Assembly and the Education Committee at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School, and now on the SJFS/Group Residence Board and as the Chair of SAJE (Syracuse-Area Jewish Educators).  Cantor Pepperstone is looking forward to working for another year at the Syracuse Community Hebrew School.


cecelia ellis

6th grade teacher

Cecelia Ellis has been active in the Syracuse Jewish community since moving here in 1987.  She has worked at the Temple Hebrew schools, youth groups and camps, and has volunteered for Hadassah and Sisterhood.  She has tutored many students for their B'nai Mitzvot.  She works in the Liverpool school district with special education students.  Cecelia lives in Dewitt with her husband and daughters.  She loves teaching the 6th grade at the Syracuse Community Hebrew School.


4th grade  teacher

ora jezer

3rd grade Teacher

Ora is excited to be teaching the 3rd grade at the Syracuse Community Hebrew School.  She brings decades of experience as a Special Education and Regular Education teacher, Developmentalist, and B'nai Mitzvah tutor.  She taught in a variety of religious school both in the CNY area and in Massachusetts in addition to subbing and teaching at the Rabbi Jacob Epstein School.  Currently, she will be a presenter for the SUNY Morrisville EOC Program.  Her education includes a BS from Cornell University and a MS in Education from Syracuse University.  Her Jewish Education includes the Solomon Schechter Day School in Hartford, CT and the Rabbi Jacob Esptein School.  Recently, she was awarded a scholarship study at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.  She is passionate about leading youth towards increasing their sense of Jewish identity and taking leadership roles in Tikun Olam.


andrea speer

Special education teacher

Andrea received her Bachelor's degree in Special Education from the University of Connecticut and her Master's degree in Special Education from Syracuse University.  She has taught for over 30 years in the Jewish and Syracuse communities to students of all ages from Pre-Kindergarten into adulthood.  She is married with two children.  She loves working as the Special Education teacher in the Syracuse Community Hebrew School.