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School Scoop

10/01/2019 06:58:47 PM


Rokki Parrinello and Mandy Thalhammer, Co-Principals

Over the last decade-plus it has truly been an honor to shimmy, shake, and waltz our way from one year into the next with THE BEST religious school Tzevet (staff) around! It is an absolute pleasure for us to know them and to love them. Please continue reading our bi-monthly Teacher Feature to learn more about our Amazing Tzevet and how they have chosen to participate in the dance at Beth Tikvah!

Teacher Feature

Dianne Hirsch

Dianne has called Beth Tikvah’s Religious School home for the last 21 years! She has taught Pre-Kindergarten/ Kindergarten Judaics on Sundays as well as preschool for the ECC.  Professionally Dianne facilities programming for young children at the Elk Grove Public Library.  In each of the settings she works in she strives to help young children gain an understanding of diversity and inclusion.

Her passion for continual learning is evident through her participation in professional development participation with the Board of Jewish Education.  Here Dianne focuses on knowledge and skill development to improve student learning. While Dianne’s curriculum scope is vast, Hakarat Hatov (to be grateful) is the value she finds the greatest connection to and most rewarding to teach her students.  Dianne chooses to continue to be involved in Jewish education to “create a memory [for children] of being at home in a Jewish setting.”

Dianne is part of the Rikkud (dance) in her involvement in both the Religious School and ECC.  She also likes to volunteer for and attend Sisterhood activities.  Her involvement as part of “the dance” in any community is important “because it can give us opportunities to connect with people, to reach for our goals, and makes us feel safe and secure.”


Katie Forsythe

Katie began at Beth Tikvah 13 years ago when she moved from Ohio to Illinois as a newlywed.  She has taught several grades from 2nd through High School and truly found her niche with the 8th-12th Graders where she chooses to work to keep kids connected to their Jewish education.

As a clinical counselor by trade, Katie’s openness and willingness to discuss critical and complex issues from the Jewish perspective yields high levels of engagement with her students.  She encourages her students to “join the dance as Jews” by “helping them make critical decisions for themselves and work to improve things they feel are not right.”  Katie’s most rewarding experience is at the end of the year when the seniors speak from the heart and share their commitment to Beth Tikvah, why they continued to come each week, and why younger students should also do so.

Katie shares that being part of “the dance” in any community helps to improve the feeling of being connected.  At Beth Tikvah Katie “dances” within the Religious School and within her circle of friends.


Thu, August 13 2020 23 Av 5780