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Faculty

All Mitzvah Secular Sunday School faculty hold a minimum of a Teacher Certificate from the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Additionally, all faculty pass an independent, comprehensive background check before working with our students.

Emily Miller (she/her) Education Director

A woman smiling gently, wearing a white hijab and floral-print blouse.

Born in New York City and raised in San Diego, I recently made Seattle my home. My Jewish
heritage comes from my father’s side, and with most of his family being on the east coast, we
would often travel back to celebrate the Jewish holidays together. While my upbringing was not
strictly religious, these strong cultural ties helped build the foundation for my identity.


With over 10 years of experience working with children, I am enthusiastic about supporting the
preservation and growth of our Jewish traditions, history, and culture in a non-theistic context. I
look forward to continuing my contributions to the celebration of our Jewish identity and
fostering a welcoming environment for our community.

 


EducationB.A. (Communications) – Sonoma State University

Jeff Treistman (he/him) Kitah Gimel Class (Grades 6-7) & B-Mitzvah 

I grew up in a secular Jewish family in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and moved to Seattle in 1976 when I was 22 years old. That was the year I graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio with a BA in Music. I studied philosophy and comparative literature at the University of Washington for a couple of years, but never completed a program. Instead, I embarked on a 23-year career in the food and wine business, here in Seattle. I went back to graduate school in 2003 to earn my MA in Education the following year, when I started my career as a teacher with Seattle Public Schools. A few years later, I received my endorsement as a Library Media Specialist and worked as a school librarian for 13 years until I retired.

I've been teaching at MSSS for 12 years, and am currently in the leadership training program at the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism to become a Madrikh. Although I had no formal Jewish training as a child (both my parents were atheists, as was my father’s mother), I have always been interested in Judaism, especially its history. I like to say that my temple was the Overbrook Delicatessen, to convey that we were cultural Jews with the ritual of eating smoked fish on Sunday morning, dabbling in Yiddish repartee with the staff, and dropping some shekels in the tzedakah box for Jewish defense.


Certifications: State of Washington Education Certificate – Residency Teacher (First Issue) with K-8 Education, Library Media Specialist, and Math Endorsements

Education: M.A. (Education) – Antioch University Seattle, B.A. (Music) – Antioch College, Graduate coursework in Philosophy and Comparative Literature – University of Washington

Sarah Furstenberg (she/her) Kitah Gan & Aleph Class (Grades K-2)

A woman in the sun with wild, frizzy red hair, blue eyeglasses and silver hoop earrings, smiling warmly. She is wearing a white blouse with a small red dotted pattern.

I’m so pleased to be teaching at SJC's Mitzvah Secular Sunday School. During the week, I am a middle school special education teacher for Seattle Public Schools.

I grew up in Philadelphia and attended secular Wednesday and Sunday school at The Suburban Jewish School, where I wish I had been a better student at learning Yiddish.

My own children are MSSS alumni from more than a decade ago. Being Jewish is a key piece of my identity, and the opportunity to teach here helps me feel connected to a cherished cultural community.


CertificationsState of Washington Education CertificateResidency Teacher (First Issue) with Elementary Education, Teaching Certification – Western Washington University, English Language Learners, Special Education, English Language Arts, and Reading Endorsements

Education: M.A. (Education) - Seattle University, B.A. (Fine Arts) – George Washington University

Sun, 23 June 2024