At the ECC we have passionate, qualified staff who are dedicated to helping your child learn and grow during this fundamental time in their lives.

Our staff are:

  • Experts in the field of childhood education
    • Our head teachers hold a Masters in Early Childhood Education and state certification
    • Many of our assistant teachers are currently working towards a Masters in Early Childhood Education at top programs such as Bank Street and Hunter College
  • Experienced
    • Our head teachers have been with the school for years and many helped shape the program since its inception in 1978
  • Committed to excellence
    • No matter what their tenure, our teachers are always developing their classroom skills and learning alongside peers and students


Jacqueline Israel

Director of Early Childhood Center

Jaci Israel is Director of CBE’s Early Childhood Center and has enjoyed a long relationship with CBE where she began her preschool teaching career in 1986. Since then she has coordinated Pre-K programs for several nonprofit agencies and initiated the Project Reach Youth’s Universal Pre-K Program. She has also worked extensively with elementary age students with learning disabilities as a teacher at the Mary McDowell Center and as an Orton Gillingham tutor. Jaci has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s degree in Special Education. Her proudest achievements by far are her son and daughter.

Phone:718-499-6208 x4

Katie Browning

Associate Director of the Early Childhood Center

Before starting at the ECC in her role as Associate Director in the fall of 2021, Katie Browning had been with the ECC for the previous three years as the Early Childhood Consultant, coaching teachers around curriculum development, supporting team partnerships, and developing strategies to support students’ learning at the ECC. She has an extension background in preschool school education, as a classroom teacher, and as a special educator. Katie began her teaching career as a classroom teacher at the Little Program at the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, and after completing her master’s degree in special education, she joined the staff at Rivendall in 1996 as a special education itinerant teacher (SEIT). As a SEIT, she lent her special education expertise to classroom teachers and families while working to support students in a variety of preschool settings, including the ECC. Katie’s work over the years has also included the provision of workshops to teachers and parents, carrying out educational evaluations, and private tutoring.

Phone:718-499-6208 x2

Caitlyn Bradley

ECC Department Coordinator

Caitlyn Bradley is the Department Coordinator for the Early Childhood Center. She began working at CBE in 2008 as an extended day helper in the ECC. Caitlyn then moved to the CBE KIDS Afterschool Program where she worked as a counselor and an administrative assistant. She finally came full circle and started working in the ECC again in 2016. Caitlyn was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts from St. Francis College in 2013.

Phone:718-499-6208 x1

Tom Pnini

ECC Admissions Coordinator & Art Studio Teacher

Tom Pnini is our ECC Admissions Coordinator and Art Studio Teacher. Tom runs our “Cardboard Studio”, a classroom that has been completely transformed into an interactive art studio for kids to explore their creative side without limits. Our preschool students work with Tom in the Cardboard Studio as part of their curriculum.

Outside of the ECC, Tom is a successful artist. He creates time-based works and large-scale installations. He has exhibited in museums and galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Milan, Toronto, Moscow, and Israel. He holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Hamidrasha College (2008) and an Master of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design at the New School (2010).

Congregation Beth Elohim greatly appreciates Gruss Life Fund for Jewish Education for their support of the teachers at CBE.