Our Administration and Teachers
Rabbi Michael Schadick (Temple Emanuel), Interim co-Director of the UJS, has been rabbi of Temple Emanuel since July 2000. He was born in southern New Hampshire and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Connecticut College. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in May 1994. He has served congregations in Orlando, Florida and Plantation, Florida. Rabbi Schadick lives in Cascade Township with his wife Susan and his daughter Shira.
Rabbi David Krishef (Congregation Ahavas Israel) Interim co-Director of the UJS, received ordination as Rabbi from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1994. Since then, he has served as the rabbi of Congregation Ahavas Israel, a Conservative synagogue in Grand Rapids, Michigan and blogs at EmbodiedTorah.com. He writes the popular weekly “Ethics and Religion Talk” column for therapidian.com and the Grand Rapids Press and serves on the Spectrum Health Bioethics committee. He has also taught Biblical Hebrew at Grand Valley State University, and Introduction to Judaism courses at Kuyper College and Aquinas College. He is a contributing author for the Judaism chapter of a World Religions textbook (published by Teacher Created Materials) and a set of revisions to the URJ CHAI Judaic curriculum for use in a Conservative or joint Reform/Conservative religious school.
Elisabeth Rosewall (Hebrew) is a native Californian with a BS in Design from the University of California at Davis and has lived in Grand Rapids since 1985. She has taught both 4-7th grades and Hebrew since 1990 both at Temple and Ahavas as well as in South Haven. She currently focuses on Hebrew and tutors b’nei mitzvah students at Temple Emanuel. Elisabeth has a passion for learning and Jewish education and loves teaching Hebrew classes for adults. She especially enjoys those who learn differently and tries to find the spark in each. She feels blessed by her two children, Emily and Eric, (and the presence of cats in their lives).
Shoshanna Jackson (Hebrew) has been teaching with UJS in the 5th & 6th Grade Hebrew classroom since her family moved to Grand Rapids in 2015. They are members at Congregation Ahavas Israel. Previously, she has taught both Hebrew and Judaics for Reform and Reconstructionist schools in Ann Arbor and served the JCC there as their Youth, Teen & Camp Director. Shoshana loves languages: she has formally studied six languages, including Arabic during her time as a linguist in the US Army. She is neurodivergent and believes all students can be successful with the proper application of the right coping tools! Shoshana thinks being Jewish is the coolest thing ever and wants to share that enthusiasm with students and their families in UJS.
Emily Rosewall (Hebrew)
Sarah Morin (Gan Katan)
Claire Fisher (Kindergarten) is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University. She studied Multimedia Journalism there. Currently, Claire is living in Grandville and working as a technical writer. For the last six summers, Claire worked at a Jewish summer camp and loved getting to know all the kids and planning fun activities for them. She loves making jokes, playing games, and reading books. Claire is really excited to be a part of the United Jewish School team.
Joshua Cohen (3rd and 4th grades) was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. After attending Hillel Day School and the Jewish Academy, he attained a bachelors degree in Psychology at Michigan State University in East Lansing, before moving to Grand Rapids where he has been for the past four years. In that time, Joshua has dedicated himself to planting roots in West Michigan, becoming Secretary of the East Hills Neighborhood Council Executive Board, developing numerous social networking events and initiatives for his community, in which he has recently purchased his first investment property. Joshua is passionate about real estate, playing guitar in his band, Sherman Gepherd and creating meaningful community events in his neighborhood.
Sharon Spungen (5th and 6th grades) is a martial artist and Taekwon-Do instructor, mom of two fabulous young men, published writer, attorney, educator, and committed volunteer in numerous education-related organizations. She has been teaching Taekwon-Do since 2005 where she discovered her love of teaching and brought it into the “regular” classroom in 2017 as a substitute teacher. Sharon has grown up all around the country and returned here to Grand Rapids with her family in 1998 shortly after the birth of her oldest son. She has a commitment to helping all learners succeed and find meaning in their Jewish heritage and community. Sharon is excited about teaching the 5th and 6th grade classes and bringing Judaism to life.
Nicole Katzman (7th grade) is the Executive Director at the Jewish Federation. Her oldest children, Jacob and Nathan attend college at the University of Michigan. Her younger children, Steven and Lindsey are in high school and will be active participants at UJS. Nicole earned her BFA from the Atlanta College of Art, and two Master degrees from The Rhode Island School of Design, (MAT, MAE). She holds a teaching degree in Art Education and is certified to teach grades PreK- 12 in Michigan. Nicole co-authored the PJ Library book, Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles, and is an advocate for children and adults with special health care needs. She has worked on Rhode Island legislation and advocacy for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Nicole has over twenty-five years of teaching experience and taught religious school for fifteen years in her former community in Rhode Island. Nicole is very excited to be teaching 7th grade.
Avi Forstein (8th grade)
Allie Egrin (9th and 10th grades)
Deet Newman (Art)
John Moga (Art)