Tom Pnini is our Early Childhood Center’s 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 a Master of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design at The New School (2010).

Tom Pnini

ECC Admissions Coordinator and Art Studio Teacher

Photographed and Interviewed by Nate Jaffe, Communications Associate

“CBE has been like a home away from home for me. It’s a place that represents all the parts of me as a whole, a father, a husband, an artist, and an educator.” – Tom

Nate: How long have you worked at CBE?
Tom: Eight years.

Nate: Where are you from? If not NYC, how did you get here?
Tom: I am from Israel. I moved here to do a Master in Fine Arts.

Nate: What is your favorite part of your job?
Tom: The smiles from the kids.

Nate: What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
Tom: Visiting my family in Israel.

Nate: Do you collect anything?
Tom: I have a small collection of art—mostly barters I made with other artist friends.

Nate: Aside from necessities, what is one thing you could not go a day without?
Tom: Coffee!

Nate: What is your favorite movie, tv show, or book of all time?
Tom: Movie, Stand By Me. TV Show, The Wire. Book, Stoner by John Williams.

Nate: If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?
Tom: Ayman Odeh, an Israeli Arab politician.

Nate: What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?
Tom: Wake up after 7am, see art, and travel.

Nate: What motivates you?
Tom: Creativity.

Nate: Who inspires you or who is someone you look up to?
Tom: My wife Sonya, who is also a teacher here in the ECC!

Nate: What’s your favorite quote or mantra?
Tom: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”- The Princess Bride

Nate: Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
Tom: The National.