Bureau of Jewish Education
Bureau of Jewish Education
Cultivating Jewish pride, participation, and leadership in
Southern California teens and youth

Contact Us

For more information about any Bureau program, please contact us at:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (949) 435-3450
Fax: (949) 435-3456
Bureau of Jewish Education
1 Federation Way, Suite 205
Irvine, CA  92603
Our normal office hours are Monday-Thursday 8:30am-5:00pm and Friday 9:00am-3:30pm.

Bureau Office Staff

David Lewis, Chief Executive Officer
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Born and raised on Long Island, New York, David discovered his professional interest in Jewish education while working at the URJ's Greene Family Camp in Texas, where he experienced the power of transformative Jewish experiences in the context of a shared and valued community.  David has earned masters degrees from Hebrew Union College in Jewish Education (MAJE) and Communal Service (MAJCS), a masters in Social Work from University of Southern California, and completed course work in a joint Ph.D. program from Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia Teachers College.  In addition, David participated as a fellow and an adjunct faculty member at the Institute for Informal Jewish Education (IJE) through Brandeis University.  David's greatest inspiration comes from his relationship with his family.  David's beloved wife, Rabbi Leah Lewis, serves as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shir Ha-Ma'alot in Irvine.  Their 3 children, Gabriel, Jonah and Nomi, fill his life with joy and just the right amount of chaos.  David also has passions for music, cinema, and guitar.

Tanya Tsikanovsky, Director of Youth Engagement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joining our Team July 1st, 2014!!!!

Tanya Tsikanovsky, 27, a Los Angeles, California native, is a Birthright success story. After participating in Taglit-Birthright post college graduation, Tanya fell in love with the country and returned to Israel for New York University – Polytechnic's accelerated Master's program, where she received a Master of Science degree in Organizational Behavior. She was then given the opportunity to staff a Birthright trip, which served as the main inspiration for making her career commitment to Jewish Life. She spent the past two years as Director of Jewish Student Life at the University of Hartford Hillel and is happy to be returning to sunshine and working with this amazing Orange County community.  She is thrilled to be the Director of Youth Engagement for the Bureau of Jewish Education and hopes to help each Jewish student build a personal foundation of acceptance, understanding, and pride for their journey to self-discovery, and that through that journey they come to see that being a Jew is synonymous with being human. She is hoping to help you find the Jew in you and to inspire all of us to always live who you are.

Sheri Gropper, Director of Operations
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Sheri has worked at the Bureau of Jewish Education since 1999.  She currently manages the office, coordinates our adult volunteers, and runs selected youth programs.  Sheri spearheads the Bureau's Mitzvah Mania program for 6th graders and their families, and the "Teens Take Action Volunteer Resource Guide".  She coordinates our TIES summer Israel adventure, manages the President's Volunteer Service Award program, and administers scholarships for TALIT Nation participants.  Sheri joined the team at the Bureau after working 11 years in Jewish family education.  She recently completed the National Educators’ Institute for Jewish Service-Learning, and looks forward to helping empower our teens with a lifetime of leadership, service, and activism.  She has a BA from Cal State Northridge and has participated in CAJE (Continuing Advancement in Jewish Education) and American Jewish University courses.  When she's not at work, Sheri and her husband, Charles, try to keep up with their 2 adult children, Amanda and Michael.

Heather Zemmol, Development Activities Coordinator
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Heather has been with the Bureau since 2011, after developing an interest in Jewish Education during her Birthright trip to Israel. During her time with the Bureau, Heather has coordinated all Bureau fundraising efforts including grant-writing, annual campaigns and events such as the very successful Dinner With a Scholar and Sunday With a Scholar series. Before the Bureau, Heather interned under Dr. Marta Shinn at Child Guidance Center of Santa Ana where she worked on the grantwriting team, raising funds for research in combating childhood obesity and eating disorders. She received a BA in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton where she graduated Cum Laude, and is currently working towards her MA in Education, her School Counseling Credential and LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor). When she is not working or in class, Heather is kept plenty busy by her (almost) two-year old daughter, Alexis.

Carly Uslan, Assistant Director of Youth & Experiential Education
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Carly was born and raised in Westlake Village, California, but moved to Orange County five years ago to study at Chapman University. There she received her BA in Religious Studies, Philosophy and English. Carly developed a love for Judaism while growing up in a vibrant youth community at Temple Adat Elohim in Thousand Oaks, and as a camper at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps, but discovered an interest in teaching while working at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana throughout her college career. She has worked in various positions at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps and Camp Mountain Chai, and is very excited to now be working for the Bureau of Jewish Education. Carly hopes to one day continue her Jewish education in graduate school to work towards a Masters degree in Jewish Education, as well as a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters and ordination.