Jen Adler, Executive Director
Jen Adler has been the director of Community Midrasha from December 2016 to its merge with the Jewish Federation in July of 2017. She is now happy to serve as the manager of teen engagement for the Jewish Federation and to continue her work with Community Midrasha. She is a nationally board certified English teacher with twelve years’ experience in the classroom and four years as a curriculum specialist and mentor teacher. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Literature from Ramapo College and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Goucher College. Originally from New Jersey, Jen and her family moved to Durham in 2008.
Lara Haft is an educator, writer, and community organizer who loves cooking breakfast food at night. She is passionate about creating accessible, pluralistic spaces for Jewish curiosity both in and out of the classroom. When she’s not at shul or the JCC, you can find her advocating against the school to prison pipeline or crafting at the Scrap Exchange. Lara will be teaching our 8th and 9th grade electives.
Sandra Korn is a member of Judea Reform’s Board and involved in a number of Triangle Jewish community and social justice organizations. This is her third year with the incredible teens of Midrasha. She’s also taught or subbed at religious schools at Judea Reform, Beth El, and Temple Beth Or in Raleigh, as well as teaching teens through Duke TIP. Sandra is an assistant to a book editor by day. She lives in Durham with seven chickens. Sandra will be teaching our 8th and 9th grade electives.
Bettina Salas is a first generation American born to the parents who immigrated from the former Soviet Union, currently Ukraine. She grew up on Long Island. After getting married and having two beautiful boys, who are now four and two, she moved to Durham. Bettina enjoys cooking, bike riding, spending time with her boys, and learning about nutrition and new technology. Bettina will be facilitating our 10th grade program.
Yehudis Bluming is the co-director of the Chabad of Durham/Chapel Hill and was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She has traveled around the country leading various youth and teen programs. She’s been a counselor, head counselor, and the director of Jewish camps for teenagers, as well as the teen program coordinator for a high school of 600 students. She also headed a young adult-teen program for one year in Melbourne, Australia. She has produced 7 musical CDs that have sold over 10,000 copies and inspire young children about their rich history and musical traditions. Yehudis will be teaching our 8th and 9th grade electives.
Averyl Edwards is the director of teen engagement at Beth El. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2017 with a double major in Jewish Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies, and a minor in Modern Hebrew. She was very involved with her campus Hillel and Sababathe Jewish a cappella group. Through Hillel, she attended a leadership program called Leadershape, and participated in a Birthright extension program which consisted of volunteering in refugee communities in South Tel Aviv. During other trips to Israel, Averyl dug for two seasons at UNC professor Jodi Magness’ excavation of a 5th Century synagogue at Huqoq, in the north of Israel. Averyl will be teaching the 11th grade program.