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Wall of Giving reception

June 13, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Celebrating our Deborah Koenig Early Childhood Center Leadership

Miriam Pedler, Director
Rachel Kurland, Assistant Director
Samara Krieg, Operations Coordinator

Celebrate our growth
Installation of JCC Board of Directors
Recognition of Larry Weiss Sports Teen Leadership Award honorees Dianna Juechter and Logan Epstein who will each receive $1,000 Israel bonds
Light dinner and dessert is served


Rsvp by June 1 to Elena Heydt: or 845 362 4400

Deborah Koenig Early Childhood Center Leadership

Miriam Pedler

Early Childhood Director

Miriam Pedler has been working with young children since she was a young child herself. The daughter of two educators, Miriam’s first job was as a counselor at a backyard playgroup in the summer engaging a group of 12 three and four year olds with two friends. At synagogue in her home town of Teaneck, NJ, she led shabbat groups and babysat through middle and high school, and spent every summer as a counselor (including 5 years at a JCC!) After high school, Miriam lived on a Kibbutz in the northern part of Israel, and worked at a gan (preschool) with infants and toddlers, and knew that that would be the only career path for her. Miriam’s Undergraduate degree in Psychology and subsequent Master’s study in School Psychology, were both from Fairleigh Dickinson University,

Miriam’s experience in the classroom began at Solomon Schechter Day School, in New Milford, NJ, where she worked alongside acclaimed veteran teacher, Ziona Chaimovitz, who stressed the importance of placing the needs of the children as a paramount component in the foundation of their learning, and the importance of play in the development of a child. Through gained experience at Our Gang Childcare Center at Holy Name Hospital, and Tenafly Montessori, Miriam was able to take the role as Head of School at Just Imagine Academy, of Little Falls, where her passion for Early Childhood Education allowed her to create meaningful learning environments for children of working parents. Envisioning the future of thoughtful Early Childhood Education at JCC Rockland has been a dream come true for Miriam, and she is so grateful to David Kirschtel and Eliza Millman, for allowing her this once in a lifetime experience.

Miriam and her husband Tom live in Bergen County with their 4 children; Zoya, a senior in high school, Jack and Ethan, 3rd and Kindergarten at the Academies at Gerrard Berman Day School, and Piper, a waddler at the DKECC.

Rachel Kurland

Assistant Director

Rachel is a long-time resident of Rockland. Born and raised in Pomona, her parents were active members of Pomona Jewish Center. Rachel’s mother worked for numerous Jewish organizations throughout her childhood. Both her mother and father instilled in her the pride of being Jewish and the importance of Jewish values and raising a Jewish family.

She received a BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an MS in Medical Sciences from Hahnemann University, and an MS in Teaching from Fordham University. She started working at DKECC in its inaugural year as the Preschool Teacher, and was originally going to work on a part time basis for 10 months a year. After two months, Rachel realized she found her home, and decided to work year round and became the Assistant Director for Camp JLand at JCC Rockland Camps. Currently, Rachel is a PreK teacher, Director of Camp JLand, and the Assistant Director of DKECC.

Rachel shares Miriam’s love, passion and philosophy of early childhood education. She attended a new directors’ conference for JCCA Early Childhood Centers as well as a two week JCCA Early CHildhood Educator Seminar in Israel. She has a deep rooted commitment to providing high quality early childhood care that incorporates developmentally best practices with Jewish values, which ultimately transcend racial, ethnic and cultural boundaries to her home
here at the JCC-Rockland.

Rachel has a loving husband, Adam, who is on the board of a couple of local charities. Together they have three boys, Alex, Danny, and Cooper, and they hope their values of hard work and helping their community will be passed along to them and their future generations as well.

Samara Krieg

Early Childhood Operations Coordinator

Samara Krieg is a Rockland County native, born in Suffern and raised in New City along with her brother, Ethan.  Her parents Shari and Alan Feldstein are long time members of Temple Beth Sholom, where Samara became a Bat Mitzvah.  Samara has always been involved in the local community whether it was as the neighborhood babysitter, doing volunteer work or as a camp counselor for many years.  After graduating from Clarkstown North in 2004, she went on to graduate from SUNY Oneonta in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in Communication Studies and minor in English.

After college, and a trip to Israel thanks to Birthright, she worked in advertising sales for 6 years at North Jersey Media Group, AT&T and amNewYork.  During that time she met her husband Warren on JDate. They lived in the city for a few years before moving to Hoboken, NJ where their son Ryder was born in 2014.  While on maternity leave, Samara realized that working long days in the city was not going to allow her to spend the time she wanted with her family. Her father Alan, had been very involved in the JCC so this sparked an interest in Samara during her new job search.  She was originally hired in January 2015 by the JCC in a different position, but it soon became evident that she and 3 month old Ryder belonged in the Deborah Koenig Early Childhood Center.

Samara has always loved working with children, so working at the DKECC came very naturally.  She currently resides with her husband Warren, son Ryder and dog Daisy in Mahwah, New Jersey. They feel very fortunate that their family is a part of the community at JCC Rockland.   When time allows, Samara loves Broadway musicals as well as taking photographs, painting and sketching. Samara and Warren are expecting their second child at the end of the summer and look forward to having her join the DKECC in the fall!

Larry Weiss Sports Teen Leadership Award honorees

Dianna Juechter

Dianna Juechter

Dianna Juechter is a senior at Nyack High School and a member of Reform Temple of Rockland. Dianna has played Varsity Soccer for Nyack High School since 9th grade. She also runs Track and Field her senior year. In addition to being a 2 year Varsity Captain, Dianna has won many awards for soccer including MVP 2016-2017, All League 2017-2018 and 2017 Rockland Scholar Athlete of the Week.

Dianna is a member of National Honor Society and Student Council and she is involved in many community service activities including President of Students Opposing Starvation, Helping Hands and President of Heroes and Cool Kids Club.

Dianna will be attending Fordham University in the fall.

Logan Epstein

Logan Epstein

Logan Epstein is a senior at Clarkstown North High School and attended New City Jewish Center for Hebrew School. Logan has played Varsity Golf and Varsity Volleyball for Clarkstown North since 10th grade. He also participated in Rockland Maccabi Games and has played JCC basketball since he was young. Logan is active in New City Ambulance Corps and participates in Clarkstown Police Youth Court. In addition, Logan is President of DECA at Clarkstown North and is a Peer Leader in the World of Difference Club. He has also coached younger athletes in New City Little League and JCC Basketball. Logan is Treasurer of National Honor Society and is also an officer of Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society).

Logan is attending The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and plans to study Finance.


June 13, 2018
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:


Elena Heydt
845.362.4400 ext. 106


JCC Rockland
450 West Nyack Road
West Nyack, 10994
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