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Melissa Cohavi joined our CBY community as our Educator on July 1, 2015.

Melissa Cohavi is a graduate of The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies. She also has a Masters in Social Work from Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work, a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and a Certificate in Non Profit Management from SUNY Purchase.  Melissa is a licensed social worker in the State of New York.  Melissa has extensive experience in the field of Jewish education. She has taught at a number of synagogues in the New York area, was Religious School Coordinator at Temple Beth Shalom in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, the Director of Education and Temple Programming at both Riverdale Temple in the Bronx and at Greenwich Reform Synagogue in Greenwich, CT. and most recently she spent the last ten years at Temple Sinai in Stamford, CT. as the Director of Education which included educational programming from ages 0 through 120. She has written curriculum for all ages, from youth through high school and has extensive youth group experience. Melissa also lived in Israel for three years, where she completed her Masters in Social Work, and then worked as a community social worker in the Neve Yonatan neighborhood of Ramla.

Melissa is the 2004 winner of The Rabbi Edward E. Klein Memorial Prize in Education from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and the 2005 winner of the Marilyn Scheffler Award for Excellence in Education from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Melissa was also the winner of the 2003 Behrman House Award and scholarship for Jewish educators. Melissa was a participant in the Leadership Institute for Congregational School Principals from 2005 – 2007, the Teacher Leadership Program through the Jewish Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College in 2008-09, the Matan Institute for Educators from 2012-13, Centropa’s 2012 winter seminar for educators in Washington DC as well as its 2012 and 2013 Summer Academy in Germany for Centropa educators.  Melissa has presented at a number of conferences, including NATE.  Melissa has spent her summers on the faculty of both the URJ Crane Lake and Kutz Camps. Melissa lives in Rye Brook, New York with her husband, Ilan, and two children, Talia and Adam.

You may reach Melissa at

Wed, July 28 2021 19 Av 5781