Meet Our Teachers
Debi M. Rowe, MAJE, RJE, Director of Education and Programs
Each year it is my great honor to introduce our congregation to the wonderful people who teach the children in our Torah School. This year, we have an extraordinary team of caring and talented individuals, who bring, warmth, enthusiasm, joy, and tremendous passion to the holy work of teaching our students.
Jessica Barker rejoins our faculty to teach our Dalet/6th & Heh/7th grades. She has been associated with Temple Beth El since 1986, after moving to San Pedro with her family and enrolling her oldest child in the preschool. Then she took Debi Rowe’s Hebrew class, then all three children attended Torah School, and then she became a teacher at the Temple. Years passed, during which she earned her secular teaching credential and taught at San Pedro High School. Debi called her back to the fold, and she feels lucky to teach the Dalet-Heh class.
Barbara Rheingold-Gerlicki grew up at Temple Beth El and began teaching Hebrew and religious school, music, Israeli dancing and leading the junior choir when she was in her teens. She was a bilingual teacher with L. A. Uniﬁed for almost a decade. Barbara’s family belonged to Temple Beth El for over forty years and she has continued to maintain that connection. Barbara lives in Irvine and is a member of Temple Beth El of South Orange County—her “Second Beth El”, where she is beginning her 31st year as a teacher: Her passionate belief that “Jews never stop learning” guides all she does.
Margaret Moilov also returns to our faculty after a twenty-ﬁve year hiatus. She taught previously from 1980-1992, spanning the 2nd through 6th grades in our school. She and husband Russ raised their two older daughters at Beth El, guiding them to become b’not mitzvah. Her oldest daughter was also conﬁrmed & helped as a madrikhah in Torah School. Margaret claims to have known our Torah School oﬃce volunteer, Gloria Resnick, “forever” and they have collaborated professionally outside of TBE as well. When not teaching at TBE, Margaret works full-time with the Department of Fish and Wildlife as a Grant Administrator, tracking funds and overseeing projects for the betterment of the various creatures and ﬁsh within our State.
Michelle Shahon earned a Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College, and currently serves as the Development Oﬃcer of Hadassah Southern California. She has a strong passion for teaching, and as shared that passion with students of all ages at Temple Beth El for several years. She claims to have known our Torah School oﬃce volunteer, Gloria Resnick, “forever” and they have collaborated professionally outside of TBE as well. When not teaching at TBE, Margaret works full-time with the Department of Fish and Wildlife as a Grant Administrator, tracking funds and overseeing projects for the betterment of the various creatures and ﬁsh within our state. Michelle enjoys reading, traveling, going to the movies and Starbucks. She also loves to dabble in photography and her favorite photo subject is her son, Ethan, who is a Second Grader this year.
Rachel Van Raalte is teaching Torah School at Temple Beth El for her eighth year and has been teaching Hebrew and religious studies for a total of 11 years. She hails from Fullerton, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management with an emphasis in Communications. She currently lives in Long Beach with her wife Tawny, and their daughter, and twin babies born in January.