Relgious School Teachers

Rikki Fayne 

Rikki Fayne grew up at TAE, and became a Bat Mitzvah and was confirmed here.  She has two daughters, Madeline and Sophia, who have also attended TAE Religious School.  During the week, she teaches 2nd grade, and looks forward to Sundays when she gets to spend time with our kindergarten class learning about our Jewish community.   

Melanie Berman 

Hello, my name is Melanie Berman and I am very excited to be teaching at TAE! My family and I have been members of TAE for over 13 years. My husband Brian and I have three daughters who have all attended  the preschool and are currently in the religious school. I have been teaching for over 20 years. This year I am very excited to be working with 8th and 9th graders!  I am really looking forward to bringing  my passion of teaching and Judaism to the classroom. 

Bilha Samuel 


My name is Bilha ( BIL-HA) Samuel. I am very excited to be teaching at Adat Elohim this year .  

I was born in Israel . I came to the United States with my family as a teenager and  I attended Fairfax High School. I continued my education and received my B.A in Hebrew Literature and M.A in Education from the American Jewish University. I have taught  in day schoosl and religious schools for over 40 years . I look forward to teaching 6th grade class on Sundays and making the classroom an interactive learning environment. I look forward to meeting the students and the families of Adat Elohim .  

 Carolyn Cunningham 

Hi! My name Is Carolyn Cunningham and I have been involved at Temple Adat Elohim for 30 years. I started as a student, then became a madricha, and finally a teacher. This is my 21st year teaching Religious School at this incredible temple. Last year, I also became the youth group adviser for all 3 youth groups and couldn’t think of a better or more fun job as I am one of the founding members of our Temple youth group.  

I love to cook and have a passion for kids to learn in creative and fun ways. I have been married to the love of my life, Shaun for the last past 3 years.   

As an answer to Covid’s educational challenges, I started my own pod of preschoolers and ran my own summer camp. Temple Adat Elohim is my home away from home and I can’t wait to share all the amazing things it has to offer with my students and their families!. 

Bruce Udelf 

Although Bruce is new to Adat Elohim, he previously taught Religious School for 45 years at synagogues in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and Oakland areas. He has taught every grade from Kindergarten to tenth grade, and was named a Lanier Distinguished Educator (“Educator of the Year”) by the Los Angeles BJE in 2009. Bruce is retired from a career in the field of aging. He has two adult children, and lives in Newbury Park. 

Erin Goldberg 

Hello! My name is Erin and I am so excited to be your teacher this year! I have been teaching religious school for about five years and preschool for seven!  I have my bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. I am married to my husband Daniel and we have an almost 4 year old named Livvy and a 7 month old named William. We also have two dogs, Rudy and Zuma! In my free time I love to read, draw, paint, and go hiking! I am looking forward to this school year with everyone!