CESJDS Staff Spotlight

CESJDS has top-notch educators! Learn more about the talented and passionate faculty and staff at CESJDS.

Dr. Eytan Apter, Middle School Social Studies Teacher and Israel Engagement Coordinator

Dr. Eytan Apter, Middle School Social Studies Teacher and Israel Engagement Coordinator was born in Rockland County, NY, where he attended a Solomon Schecter School. He then spent his High School years in Bergen County, NJ, as a student at The Frisch School. Eytan then made the move to Philadelphia where he attended the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a degree in History and English.

After college, Eytan moved to New York City where he became an investment banker, and then worked in the entertainment industry for two years at VH1. Not finding satisfaction in either field, he reflected back on his High School ambitions, and decided to make the jump into education.

Opportunity arose when Eytan was offered a mid-year teaching position with a local Jewish day school. With his bachelor’s degree in History, and having taught Hebrew school in the past, he was ready to move into this new role. After teaching for a few years, Eytan realized that he found his life-long career. This would lead him to receive a Master’s degree in Teaching and PhD in Education from Fordham University.

After teaching at two different schools in Manhattan for 10 years, family connections drew Eytan and his wife Stacey to the Washington, DC area. Though connections from Solomon Schechter, Eytan found the right fit for his next career move at JDS. “JDS is the first time I have taught in a pluralistic school, and I have really enjoyed that aspect of the School,” Eytan said. “I was given the opportunity at the time to have big discussions about Pluralism, and to revamp some of the minyanim at the time, as well as the social studies curriculum.”

“I am so glad that I have been with JDS for so long,” Eytan said. “It’s a warm environment where there are opportunities to grow, while also being a professional environment where faculty truly have a voice.” Eytan feels a strong connection to the mission of the School, and with the material he teaches in Zman Kodesh and social studies classes.

Since coming to JDS in 2011, Eytan has also taken on the position of Israel Engagement Coordinator. In this role, he has worked with colleagues to tie educational events into everyday curriculum, including last year’s Herzl Week, where the Upper School students were asked to examine Israel’s past before it became a state. Eytan has also taken on the role of Coordinator of the Irene and Daniel Simpkins Senior Capstone Israel Trip. “I taught this group of seniors when they were in 8th grade, so I have really gotten to know them and I adore them,” he said. “To be able to work with them, even behind the scenes, it’s a pleasure to be able to make this trip happen for many of them. Even though we are dealing with COVID, I always want to take that opportunity to give back to the students.”

With his mother being from Brooklyn and father from Israel, he always felt a strong sense of his own Jewish identity. “Having a piece of each of them in me gave me a strong sense of Jewish Identity in religion, culture, and connection to Israel.” His family history and educational background drew Eytan to the Israel programming at JDS. “The idea that we may all have different opinions but we are all really connected by this love of Israel is very important to me as I work in the role.”

Outside of school, Eytan enjoys being in nature with his wife and children and hiking. During the last year the family has been enjoying the state parks Virginia and Maryland have to offer, making it a Sunday tradition to go exploring.

Noah Stoler '09, Kindergarten General Studies Teacher

Noah (Arber) Stoler ’09, Kindergarten General Studies Teacher, was born in Silver Spring, MD, as the oldest of four siblings. Noah grew up in the CESJDS community, having attended JDS for 13 years, and joined the faculty in August of 2020. “I loved the infusion of Judaism everywhere at JDS,” Noah said. “I also was very impacted by many of the teachers I had, some of which are my mentors to this day as an educator, a connection which came from JDS.”

After graduation, Noah attended the University of Maryland, where she majored in Jewish Studies. While at Maryland, Noah was active with many organizations on campus, including Hillel, where she held leadership positions. After deciding that education would be her path, Noah would go on to receive her Master’s in Jewish Education and Special Education from Hebrew College.

While receiving her Master’s degree, Noah took a job with JDS as a shadow to a student who needed behavioral support in the classroom. “That experience really shaped my journey in education, and wanting to make a difference in students’ lives,” Noah said. “I feel like that’s really where my career started.” From that experience at JDS, and the 1-1 support she provided, Noah learned that she was interested in working in early childhood education and with children with learning challenges and special needs.

After working with JDS, Noah went to work at a preschool in Kensington for 4 years as the lead teacher in a classroom for 3-5 year olds. Noah was able to utilize her knowledge and passion for teaching children with learning challenges in this position. From there, Noah was offered an assistant teaching position with the Lab School of Washington, a school for children with dyslexia and language-based learning challenges. “Working at the Lab School was a really cool experience where I had the opportunity to really work with this population that I am really interested in, and that I had dipped my feet into but never truly experienced,” Noah said. “It was amazing to learn the different ways to structure learning based on the student’s individual needs.”

After 1.5 years with the Lab School, Noah was offered a position with Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax, VA. The school was searching for someone with both an early childhood and Jewish education background to create and implement a new pre-kindergarten program. In this position, Noah built the program from the ground up, and wrote curriculum while developing and teaching the coursework.

The changes brought by COVID-19 led Noah to look for a position closer to home. After she heard about the openings in early childhood education at CESJDS, she came home in more ways than one. “It’s pretty crazy to be at JDS as a Kindergarten teacher because I was here in this building as a Kindergartner,” she said. Though the classrooms may be in a different place, the building elicits a lot of happy memories for Noah as a child.

“I will have momentary flashbacks to when I was here and I will tell my students ‘Oh, I remember sitting on this spot on the blacktop with my friends laughing.’ They love that.” Noah is also now working with some of the teachers she had while in the JDS Lower School, including Tobi Bassin and Mira Mordfin. “There are just connections everywhere for me.”

Coming back as a faculty member feels like an extension of the community she felt as a student. “I know coming to work that we are all in this together, whether it’s dealing with COVID and all of the educational changes, or daily goals, that community feeling is very strong at JDS,” she said.

Through all of the changes necessary during this time, Noah is up for the challenge. “I love having the opportunity to work with such a small group of students, and really provide more 1-1 support during a trying time,” Noah said. “I am happy to be able to provide in-person instruction for the kids, though it is sometimes nerve-wracking to come into the building during a pandemic. I think it’s extremely important.”

Outside of school, Noah loves to sing and spend time with family. Noah considers herself a foodie, with some of her favorite hobbies being cooking and baking. “I like to post pictures of my recipes on Instagram, and cook for my husband, [Ariel Stoler ’06], and family.”

“I am so grateful to work at JDS,” Noah added. “The School has a great reputation. I felt it was a great privilege to be here as a student and feel the same way being back as an educator. I have always wanted to be a Jewish day school educator and it’s been amazing reaching those goals back at JDS."

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