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Pam Appelman

Pam Appelman was born and raised in St. Louis and graduated from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising. She has been a member of B'nai Amoona from the time she and her husband, Howard, were married. Pam and Howard have three daughters, all of whom went through the Early Childhood Center, B'nai Amoona Religious School, and BAUSY. They are also alumni of Solomon Schechter Day School.

She fell in love with the ECC when her own children attended, and has been working as the Administrative Assistant since the fall of 2005. She assists the Director, Anita Kraus, in the operation and administration of the ECC. Her position includes a variety of duties for the ECC families and teachers, as well as special Early Childhood programs.

Pam enjoys working with ECC parents, the children, and the wonderful teachers and staff.

Anita Kraus

Is a 20 year veteran of early childhood education in the St. Louis Jewish community and is thrilled to be the Director of Early Childhood Education at B’nai Amoona. She taught at Epstein Hebrew Academy as well as Temple Israel's Deutsch Early Childhood Center and Hebrew school. She also served as co-director of the Rabbi Mark and Carol Shook Camps of Temple Israel during the summers.

She graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Kansas and have been married to Kenny for the same number of years. She has two sons, Danny at Wash U law school and Ben at Drake University, We love spending time together and traveling.

As Director of Early Childhood, she creates programming, education opportunities, family services, and she gets to hang out at camp as the Camp Director of B’nai Ami. Her goal is for families with young children to connect with each other and to mentor happy and self-confident children that grow and discover something new every day.  She truly feels very lucky to be a part of the B’nai Amoona educational family.

Avital Ostfield

Avital Ostfield comes to St. Louis from Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, Mich., where she was first a teacher and then for the past two years served as director of Congregational Services.

In her position at B’nai Amoona, she collaborates with Shelby Cohen, Director of Youth and Camp, and Anita Kraus, Director of Early Childhood Education, “to enhance the quality and depth of learning for all of the synagogue’s students."

Ostfield was born in Israel and raised in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. She received an undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon in 2010 and a master of social work degree with certification in Jewish Communal Leadership from the University of Michigan. Prior to her graduate studies, Ostfield participated in Teach for America, working for two years as a teacher in Detroit public schools

Rachel Bray Spezia

Rachel Bray Spezia was born and raised across the river in Belleville, IL.  She received her Bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville while serving as treasurer of Hillel and participating in several other community service and special interest groups on campus.

After graduation, Rachel spent a summer interning at a nonprofit art studio where she introduced the love of art to less fortunate children in the St. Louis area.  Periodically, Rachel also teaches art classes at Laumeier Sculpture Park and The Foundry Art Center.  She was drawn to work for B'nai Amoona's Youth and Camp department because it combines her love of children with her love of Judaism.

When Rachel isn't at her desk, she may be found with her husband James and their dog, Rex, and two cats, Archie and Romeo.

Fri, May 25 2018 11 Sivan 5778