Meet the team.
Here at Center City Jewish Preschool, our teachers see their classrooms as a vibrant mix of both educational and community spaces.
At CCJP we are at the apex of excellent early childhood education, wonderfully-imbued Jewish values, and a community center where friendships are born. Our teachers are an unusually dedicated group of professionals whose commitment to each child under their tutelage does not stop at the classroom door.
We know that our preschool plays an important part in every family that is a part of our program, and are grateful for that opportunity. Each of our teachers bring a unique and special blend of professional skills and personal experience that can’t be found anywhere else, which is what really makes CCJP such a special learning environment.
The staff meets weekly to discuss curriculum, plan programs, and share and exchange ideas in order to uphold the high standards of our program.
Staff development is ongoing to ensure that teachers can successfully adapt to the ever-changing needs of today’s families and to the findings of current research.
Morah Leah Goldman, Preschool Director
Leah Goldman was born and raised in Israel where her family still resides in Tel Aviv. After completing her studies and receiving her degree in education at Beth Rivkah College in Kfar Chabad, she began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in Jerusalem.
In 2001, Leah founded the Center City Jewish Preschool with a small group of only 7 children. The goal was to create a warm and nurturing environment for young children to play, learn and grow and where they would feel loved because their teachers believed in them. Today, the preschool is renowned in the community as a place which unites children, teachers and families in a positive and constructive early childhood experience.
As the director, Leah is committed to providing a superb educational experience for her students through ongoing exploration of progressive educational methods, so that each and every child can reach their true potential and become a contributing member of a caring community. Leah and her husband are the proud parents of seven children.
Morah Alissa Peskin, Assistant Director
Alissa is a native New Yorker and has been living in and loving Philadelphia since 2007. She received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology and her Masters of Education with a dual certification in Inclusive Early Childhood and Special Education from Hofstra University.
Her passion for child-led education led her to explore the Reggio Emilia approach and she found a home with the supportive and like-minded progressive staff at CCJP. She lives nearby with her husband and 2 children, both of whom are CCJP alumni.
Morah Karlee, Lead
Originally from New York, Karlee now lives in Philadelphia with her fiancé. Karlee has been working at Center City Jewish Preschool for three years now and enjoys being part of the wonderful and vibrant community. Aside from early education, Karlee teachers both dance and pilates.
Morah Diane, Lead
Diane completed her B.S. in elementary education at Penn State University, and her Masters Degree in the same area at Temple University. She spent 22 years as a public school teacher teaching kindergarteners. She has served on many school district committees, including one specifically for researching and implementing a developmentally appropriate full day kindergarten program.
Wanting to stay true to her values and beliefs and continue to provide excellent children’s education in a child-centered, nurturing, and respectful atmosphere, Diane took a year off to take courses and network with people and organizations that truly believe in children. Upon observing CCJP utilizing the Reggio Emilia philosophy, she felt right at home with CCJP. Diane lives in Center City Philadelphia and is very excited to join the Daled class this year!
Morah Rene, Lead
Rene has been working at Center City Jewish Preschool for many years now and has seen it grow into the vibrant and lovely community that it is. Rene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two sons. When Rene isn’t teaching, she spends her time going to concerts and especially appreciates jazz. Rene loves providing a nurturing environment where each child can learn the way they do best. She is so happy to be teaching in the Gimmel classroom again.
Morah Kaitlyn, Lead
Morah Kaitlyn has a Bachelor’s degree from Temple University. Morah Kaitlyn has been a teacher in early childhood education for 6 years in Philadelphia preschools, as well as teaching a year abroad. Her favorite parts of her job are engaging children in stories and spending time playing with her students.
Morah Fatima, Lead
Morah Fatima absolutely loves caring for children! She is passionate about children because there is so much to learn from them, like how to enjoy the simple things in life. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2009 in Iran. She continued her education once she moved to the United States and received her master’s degree in Art Education in 2016. She has been working with children for the past 10 years in the position of preschool assistant teacher, preschool art teacher and currently, preschool lead teacher.
She has worked with all ages from children 18 months to 6 years old. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to music of all different genres, creating art, traveling and meeting people of all different cultures. She has traveled to many different countries and gained an appreciation for different cultures.
Morah Leah graduated from Temple University’s College of Education in 2019. She has been with CCJP since January 2020. Leah is passionate about supporting the emotional growth of her students and fostering friendships. In her free time, Leah enjoys cooking, drawing, and practicing American Sign Language.
Morah Grace graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Temple University in 2018 and has been living in South Philly since then. She hopes to emulate CCJP’s values to create a safe and fun environment where students can grow and develop. When she’s not working with the wonderful CCJP staff and students, Grace enjoys hiking, cooking new vegetarian recipes, and reading sci-fi novels.
Morah Tierney grew up in North New Jersey and then lived in the Hudson Valley in New York State. She now lives in South Philadelphia and has been working with Kitah Alef at CCJP since July 2019. She is happy to be a part of a preschool that is so cognizant of each child’s needs and offers such a safe place for them to try new things and to grow. Outside of CCJP, Tierney plays and writes music, goes hiking, and teaches private piano and violin lessons.