Rabbi Adam Zeff has served the Germantown Jewish Centre community since 2002, as Student Rabbi, Assistant Rabbi, and now as Rabbi. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2007. In addition to his other responsibilities, Rabbi Zeff enjoys bringing music and storytelling into his rabbinic work at GJC, where he also serves as the hazzan and choir director. He has trained as a singer and musician for many years, studying western classical music, South Indian classical music, and diverse Jewish musical traditions. Rabbi Zeff holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Cheryl, a physician, live in Mt. Airy with their three sons, Zeke, Avi, and Mati.
Daniella Forstater is a music educator and Jewish songleader/prayer leader in the Greater Philadelphia area. In her experience, music has the ability to teach, heal, and inspire, and can be a powerful vehicle for connecting to our Jewishness…and humanness. She is thrilled to begin her second year as a member of the teaching team at Germantown Jewish Center and is eager to collaborate with students, families, and classroom teachers to make joyful noise!
Lee is a life-long Mt. Airy resident. He grew up and became bar mitzvah at GJC, and he and his family have now returned as members. In his day job he is an attorney for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, where he is a trial attorney and supervises the Southeast Regional Office for the Office of Chief Counsel.
This is his eighth year teaching at GJC. This year he will be teaching the 6th Grade and will also be part of the Teen Tuesdays (7-9th grade) program. He began teaching more than thirty-five years ago and he is very proud that his oldest is also teaching at Germantown and that his youngest was a member of the 2017 Confirmation class.
Melanie is delighted for her fourth year of teaching at the GJC Religious school, and to be administering our new Wednesday Hebrew program. Having traveled from place to place for many years, she came back to Philadelphia a few years ago, and returned to the congregation that was her second home for all of her childhood and adolescence. She is a proud graduate of the GJC Religious School and a special intensive program at Gratz College, and served as a Torah reader, B’nai Mitzvah tutor, madricha, and leader of Junior Congregation services – way back in the 1960’s! She holds a BA in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College and an MA in Education from American University. She has served as a teacher, Education Director, Head of Jewish Studies, and Head of School at a variety of congregational schools and Jewish Day Schools throughout the United States. She served as Conference Chair and member of the Board of Directors of CAJE ( Coalitions for Alternatives/Advancement of Jewish Education), and was the author of Jewish educational materials for Torah Aura Productions. She is eager to share her expertise and her love of Jewish learning with a new generation of students and their families.
Ariel Silverman is very excited to return this fall for her third year as the Gan (kindergarten) teacher at the Germantown Jewish Centre Religious School. Before coming to GJC, she taught first grade at another congregation for five years, and worked in the classroom as a teen aide for six years. When she’s not in the classroom, she is a student working towards an education degree.