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Our Staff

Stephanie Ben Simon, RJE, Director of Education
Stephanie comes to the Temple Sinai community harboring a passion for high-quality Jewish education for all ages and stages of our lives. She believes that Judaism is magical and can enhance our lives as we infuse each day with the rich wisdom of middot and mitzvot – values and good deeds – from our Jewish tradition.

Stephanie has experienced Jewish education first-hand in Israel and through involvement in many communities throughout the United States. These communities ranged from West Hartford, CT, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, to experiences in the Midwest, South, Northeast, and finally landing here in NorCal.  During her travels throughout Israel and the United States, she deeply valued the power of how organized Jewish communities from abroad, the Midwest, South and Northeast could solidify and enhance nurturing, reliable relationships.

While working in the field of Jewish Education, Stephanie obtained her MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Davidson School of Education and was awarded her Reform Judaism Educator Certificate. Stephanie is married to Shay Ben Simon – a native Israeli – and they are excited to grow their family here in Oakland, CA with all of you. Stephanie is especially ready to get to know you and what makes Judaism magical for you.


Michele Quiat, Youth Director
Michele is a Bay Area native. She grew up in Moraga and attended Temple Isaiah where she began her lifelong work with children. She earned a bachelor of science from the University of Arizona in Interior Design with a minor in Art History. After graduating, Michele joined Temple Sinai as a religious school teacher and loved it so much she went on to get her teaching credential from St. Mary’s college in Moraga.

Michele spent many summers at Camp Swig and continues to bring her love of Jewish camping and her abundance of energy to her work. She has served as the youth director at Temple Sinai since 2011, planning events for 4-6 graders, SiTY (Temple Sinai’s NFTY chapter) and 2 Rosh Hodesh groups for girls. She also runs the madrich progam for the religious school.

Michele lives in Lafayette with her husband, Ken, three teenage daughters and two dogs.

Sat, February 22 2020 27 Sh'vat 5780