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Religious School Teachers

At Rodeph Sholom Religious School, we believe that our staff are the secret to our success. Our teachers are passionate educators who want to bring Judaism to life for our students and families. 

Take a moment to get to know our incredible teachers for the 2020-2021 school year:

Maria Sallerson-Joyner
Pre-K/Kindergarten

Morah Maria is excited for her 3rd year teaching at Rodeph Sholom. She has 4 children in the school, and has a passion for teaching young children about Judaism. Morah Maria and her family enjoy spending time with her family, going to the beach, or traveling.

Rachel Plowman
1st/2nd Grade

Morah Rachel has been at Rodeph for almot 5 years since moving to Tampa from Wachington State. She has 4 boys (ages 8.5, 10, 11, & 12) and 3 bonus kids (14, 16, &17). She also has 3 dogs, 4 cats, a bearded dragon and fosters dogs and cats for a local rescue (phew!). When not teaching Religious School or wrangling children or furry creatures, Morah Rachel is an accountant.

Jesse Davidson
3rd/4th Grade

Mr. Jesse grew up in Tampa and has been involved in the Jewish Community his whole life. As a child, Mr. Jesse has taken on roles in Kadima and USY, and during his time at USF he joined Alpha Epsilon Pi, where he served as President, served a term as Senator and fought against BDS resolutions, led student leaders several times to Washington DC to the AIPAC Policy Conference, and as an executive Board member, helped revitalize the Hillel and Chabad at USF. Jesse made Aliyah after graduating and served as a special op sniper in Sayeret Haruv Battalion in the IDF, receiving commendations for his outstanding dedication and service.

Since returning home, Jesse has been involved in the JCRC, Tampa Jewish Family Services, JCC after school and camp program. Mr Jesse also has worked at the New Jersey Y Camps, as an archery and chess instructor, Hillel Academy as a substitute teacher and is an Eagle Scout. He brings a wealth of experience, energy, and a deep love of Judaism and Zionism to the team.

Ben Sheikhet
5th/6th Grade

Mr. Ben was born and raised in South Tampa and has attended Rodeph since he was in Kindergarten. Mr. Ben is now honored to give back to the community that gave him so much. He says that it is a privilege to teach at Rodeph as it is the icing on the cake and the cake is teaching. Mr Ben is already in the  field of teaching and during the week I teach at a high school in Valrico. He is a graduate of USF and a proud Bull to this day.
Mr. Ben is thrilled he can continue to make a positive impact in Tampa and the Rodeph community.

Jordan Goldberg
7th Grade

Jordan Goldberg is a recent graduate from the University of Florida and a new resident of the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. Originally born on Long Island, New York, Jordan has spent time living in Connecticut, Ohio, Minnesota, Georgia, and South Carolina. However, he grew up for 11 years in Jacksonville, Florida. Jordan has experience working with children at summer camps and served in the Madrachim program at Congregation Ahavath Chesed in Jacksonville. Jordan is excited for his first year at Rodeph Sholom and hopes to instill within his students a strong connection to the Jewish faith in both a cultural and spiritual way.

Samara Sodos
8th-10th Grade (Confirmation)

Samara Sodos teaches 8th, 9th, and 10th graders. Sam has been a longtime religious school instructor, focusing on Holocaust studies. A Milwaukee native, Sam spent many summers as a camper and counselor at a Jewish summer camp in Wisconsin. She also spent a year studying and working in Israel. Sam moved to Tampa more than 20 years ago to work as a news reporter at WFLA-TV. She and her husband recently got married at Rodeph Sholom.

Jennifer Velt
Hebrew Resource Teacher

Miss Jennifer, as the students refer to her, is entering her 7th year at Rodeph.  She is a well versed teacher in both Judaics and Hebrew for our Wednesday students.  In her spare time she is a Kindergarten through 2nd grade Special Education teacher for Hillsborough County Public Schools, enjoys reading, genealogy researching, needlepointing, and baking.

Nancy Berman
Hebrew Resource Teacher

"Mrs. B" has been a teacher at the religious school for 10 years.  Nancy will be working with students on Hebrew reading skills and prayer on Wednesdays. Nancy has a total of over 20 years of religious school teaching experience, as well as a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies, Advanced Certificate in Jewish Education and a Doctorate in Education.

Sun, October 25 2020 7 Cheshvan 5781