Mother of 7, one of 14 siblings & hailing from the prestigous Rabbinic Hecht lineage, it is no wonder that this 6th generation American woman has devoted the last 20 years of her life to educating children of all ages.
In 1998, After spending 2 years studying and touring abroad, Devorah graduated from Beth Rivkah Seminary in Yerres, France with her European Pedagogie degree. She immediately began teaching full time in Brooklyn and Queens New York, 2nd grade and preschool respectively.
In 2000, she moved to Fort Lauderdale with her husband Rabbi Schneur Kaplan and their young son, embarking on the mission to share her love for learning and her passion for teaching. She opened a Hebrew school and ran several youth programs that have grown exponentially. She writes her own curriculum incorporating Judaic values and traditions in an innovative and modern way. Today she proudly boasts over 100 students in her Hebrew school and tens more in her home-schoolers, mommy n me Bar and Bat mitzvah clubs and myriad of other youth programs in Downtown.
Devorah’s devotion to Judaism and her passion for creative learning is evident in the quality education that her and her husband provide at the DJCC. With the increased demand in the growing Jewish community Devorah embarked on the mission to open a Preschool. The Reggio Emilia philosophy; to cultivate within children a lifelong passion for learning and exploration, combined with teaching Jewish values, is what led Devorah Kaplan, to commit herself to the pedagogy. She wholeheartedly believes that children who are drawn into learning through positive experiences in a holistic setting develop a love of learning that they will carry with them throughout their lives, and this is not limited to schoolwork.
Among Devorah’s many talents she also speak 3 languages French, Hebrew and English.
She is a licensed water safety instructor, life guard, responding to emergencies and was a CPR & First Aid instructor & WSIT. She is NY licensed aesthetician, and worked for 4 years as a wig designer for religious women and cancer patients.
Miss. Sue is a sought after Early Childhood Educator. She worked as a Parent/Child Educator for Nova Southeastern University’s Family Center for 13 years. She received her Early Childhood Development Associate Degree from NSU. She is trained and certified as a Music Together Teacher. She is an experienced innovator of Infant/Toddler classes. She has taught ‘Music Together’ at Nova Southeastern University Family Center as well as creating and developing programs such as Baby Rocks & Baby Rolls for NSU and Fun Fit Baby/Toddler Programs for Ellen’s Ultimate Workout. Prior to teaching Sue has worked for Carnival & Marriott Hotels in the field of Sales & Marketing for 12 years.
Dr. Marla Reis is a licensed psychologist and has been practicing in South Florida for the past 20 years. She has assumed a variety of life roles such as therapist, green living consultant, parenting expert, doula, and entrepreneur. Dr. Marla has raised her family in an organic and natural lifestyle and has experience with attachment parenting, conscious discipline, and collaborative learning.
Dr. Marla has been passionately involved in the way children are educated – both her own and others – as her children attended Montessori schools (no Reggio schools back then!) during their preschool and elementary school years. She also served as co-President of the School Advisory Forum (SAF) at Virginia Shuman Young Montessori Magnet School, during which she worked closely with the Principal to implement programs and address parent/community concerns.
In her private psychology practice, Dr. Marla specializes in family and couples therapy and has extensive training and experience in issues related to parenting. She also works with individuals to help them obtain greater communication and harmony in relationships, thereby increasing connection in relationship.
While a graduate student, Dr. Marla received an Assistantship at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital during which she worked with teenage mothers through a grant program designed to provide medical and social rehabilitation to those mothers and their cocaine-exposed infants. She was responsible for carrying out research protocol, administering and scoring assessment tools, report-writing, and documentation. As a doctoral student, Dr. Marla served as Co-Administrator and Supervisor at the University of Miami’s Mental Health Clinic.
Education & Qualifications
Dr. Marla completed a one-year Internship training at Nova Southeastern University where she worked in the university’s mental health clinic and received specialized training, with a focus on working with Serious Emotional Disorders in Children (PSED – Pediatric Serious Emotional Disorders).
In addition to her professional training, Dr. Marla conceptualized, designed, and operated an award-winning organic cafe. She also served as Vice President of Brand Experience for various local businesses, in which she worked alongside the CEOs/Founders to develop and implement business concepts, conduct market research, create branding, and perform all social media and online marketing.
She received both her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida and is a Licensed Psychologist in the State of Florida (License #PY 8176).
Susan Chizner is a Speech Language Pathologist in private practice in Fort Lauderdale specializing in early intervention.
Susan is licensed and certified by the state of Florida and nationally by the American Speech and Hearing Association.
She received a Master of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Columbia University. She has worked with children and adults in school, clinic, and hospital settings in New York, Washington DC and Florida for more than 25 years.
This is Susan’s second year at the DJC preschool, and she especially enjoys helping parents and teachers maximize and enhance the children’s communication skills.