Youth Institute Madrichimot
Madrichimot is the gender-neutral plural Hebrew word for "educational guide." At Malkhut, we see our teachers as guides and fonts of knowledge to aid in your child's exploration of their Jewish identity. Each teacher chooses the appropriate form that feels true for them - madrich (male), madricha (female), madricheh (gender-neutral). To learn more about our use of gender-neutral Hebrew, visit the Nonbinary Hebrew Project.
Stephen Figurasmith (Malkhut & Me and Music Madricheh)
Stephen (they/them/theirs) is a Jewish educator and songleader with a particular focus on early childhood music and social justice activism. They have taught classes and led family programs at JCCs, synagogues, preschools, community centers, libraries, and summer camps throughout the metropolitan New York area. Stephen lives in Valley Steam, NY but has ties to the Jewish community in Jackson Heights, where they and their wife Rachel previously lived and led programs for Jewish families with Kehillat Tikvah. Stephen believes in never underestimating the capacity of young children to recognize injustice, grapple with big ideas, and be agents of change, and sees Jewish music and education as a vehicle to support children and families in these endeavors. Stephen is grateful to serve the Malkhut community as a teacher for Malkhut & Me and the Children’s Learning Program.
Susan Naomi Bernstein (Shtilim Madricheh)
Susan Naomi Bernstein (she/they) first attended Malkhut for High Holiday services in 2018 and was co-facilitator of Malkhut’s 2020-2021 Antiracism Reading Group. An educator, writer, and artist with a PhD in English, Susan’s work with students focuses on writing as a process of discovery at the intersections of arts and activism. Teaching in a variety of spaces and places across the US, Susan has worked as a teaching artist for primary school students with Writers in the Schools in Houston, Texas and, most recently, as a college writing teacher for the City University of New York system and Arizona State University. Susan publishes in academic journals, writes a blog for Macmillan Learning, was a winner in the Queens Public Library 125th Anniversary Poetry Contest, and exhibited quilts in Phoenix, Arizona. Susan lives in Queens with her partner Steve Cormany and their orange tabby cat, Destiny.
Marina Bardash Nebro (Anafim Madricha)
Marina (she/her/hers) is excited to bring her non-traditional and museum education training to the children of Malkhut. With a background in art history and history, and professional experience teaching all ages, she is passionate about fostering diverse, accessible, and loving learning-based spaces. It is her belief that education is a tool for building strong communities. As an educational guide at Malkhut, she will put students front and center in their learning and spiritual journey. Through democratic teaching and learning, we are all experts in our own experience.
Rachael Diamond (Mekhinim & Olim Social Justice Madricha)
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Rachael (she/her) comes to Malkhut with a background in political organizing and Jewish environmental education. After graduating with a B.A. in philosophy, Rachael worked as an organizer with an environmental organization before moving to NYC where she is excited to be exploring the Jewish life and community. In her spare time, she loves running, backpacking, and baking challah.
Sharone David (Mekhinim Hebrew Decoding & Olim Prayerbook Hebrew Morah)
Sharone David (she/her) really enjoys teaching Hebrew! She has taught Hebrew and Jewish studies at reform synagogues, Jewish Day Schools, and home settings (groups and individuals) all over NYC for the past 20 years. She enjoys working with children of all ages and is flexible in matching her teaching to each student’s individual learning pace, strengths, and challenges. Keeping learning fun and engaging is key! Sharone is a fluent Hebrew and English speaker, having grown up in Israel, as well as in the United States. She was a soldier in the Israeli Air Force and has a BA in Psychology from CUNY. Having lived in both countries has given her a unique perspective on both American and Israeli culture. Sharone currently resides in Jackson Heights with her 12-year-old son, Aviv, who is in the Olim Program. She enjoys reading, coming up with healthy and tasty meals, swing dancing, and playing Settlers of Catan with her son.
Emily Herzlin (Olim Madricha)
Emily (she/her/hers) is interested in Jewish spirituality, particularly the intersections of mindfulness, meditation, and Judaism. Emily hopes to help spiritual seekers connect to the powerful practices of mindfulness, compassion, and ethical action within Judaism. Emily cares deeply about social justice and supporting interfaith families. Emily lives in Queens, NY with her spouse, Kris, and is the Rabbinic Intern at Malkhut. She is the founder and guiding teacher of Mindful Astoria, a local meditation community. She has an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University.
Sophie Bushwick (Olim Madricha)
Sophie Bushwick (she/her) loved learning Hebrew in school and began helping other students with the language as a teenager. She has been tutoring students in Jewish studies, prayer and Hebrew ever since. Sophie lives in Jackson Heights and works in Manhattan as a science writer.