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Our Staff

Executive Directors 

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Rabbi Eliyahu and Draizy Junik

Rabbi Eliyahu Junik grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He spent 4 years studying in Israel, before returning to Brooklyn for rabbinical school. Eliyahu has since spent six years in Vermont and has developed a deep love for Burlington. He appreciates the pace of life here, and all of the wonderful opportunities Burlington provides. When he is not teaching, he can be found baking challah and spending time with his family.


Draizy Junik grew up in Burlington. She studied in Brooklyn and Israel before moving back to Vermont to develop programming for the Jewish community. Draizy loves spending time with her family, going on adventures and experiencing the world. She believes that there is something to learn every moment, everywhere. She is incredibly excited that her long time dream of creating a Jewish elementary school in Burlington has become a reality!

Gan Yeladim Director



Gregory Dennis has over 18 years of experience in the early childhood field, both as a teacher and a director. He has taught children at every stage of preschool and beyond. Greg has his Masters Degree in Education and has been successfully directing child care centers for the past 10 years.

Marketing Director 



Batsheva has been involved in facilitating experiential education along with her husband Michael (UVM graduate 2006) at Chavaya and Pioneers summer camps based out of Bethel, Vermont. She is also a freelance Branding and Marketing expert, helping small businesses build their brand! Batsheva is a mother of four incredible children and loves to spend as much time as she can outdoors! Batsheva is looking forward to working with the Tamim & Gan Family to add to the incredible educational environment we have here at Chabad of Vermont.

Baby Room 

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Stacy Crosby is beginning her 9th year at Gan Yeladim.  This is her first year as the Preschool teacher, working with many children that she had as babies and waddlers.  She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2005 where she majored in animal science.  Stacy grew up in Colchester and currently resides in Milton with her partner Jacques and their son Ottis. She is proud that Ottis is also part of our Gan family. Stacy has a great interest in homesteading, gardening, swimming, crafting and taking drives around the state. She enjoys sharing her love of animals and the outdoors not only with her family but all those around her.



Shira is excited to begin her second  full year at Gan Yeladim. She is originally from Philadelphia, PA and fell in love with Gan and Vermont after visiting and working here last summer. Shira graduated from Bard College as a Psychology and Studio Arts double major. She attended Jewish Day School from elementary through middle school and continued her Hebrew and Jewish studies in college. In her free time, Shira enjoys artmaking, baking, and circus arts.


Jenna is entering her third year at Gan Yeladim and has been the Waddler teacher all three of those years. She graduated from the University of Vermont with her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in 2014. In her free time Jenna likes to go to the beach, spend time with family or friends, and enjoy the outdoors. You’ll rarely see her without a smile on her face.


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This is Patty's second year at Gan Yeladim. She comes to us with an extensive amount of teaching experience at the early childhood/ elementary level in addition to holding advanced degrees in the education field. In her spare time, Patty enjoys taking nature walks with her dog Buddy as well as visiting with her son & daughter.




Maeve grew up Hinesburg, a small town not too far from Burlington. She attended a home based preschool and after-school program for over ten years. She loved it so much that she kept going back in her teen years just to help out. Her hobbies as a kid ranged from dance and gymnastics, to catching frogs and playing video games with her brothers. As Maeve grew up, she began to prefer playing & creating games of all types with her friends. In 2016 she graduated from CVU after shadowing her old provider, and was accepted into UVM as a Psych major. She took classes for two years before she felt burnt out. Maeve loved the content she was learning and the experience she was getting, but it didn’t feel real enough. She realized that being able to interact with and learn from people, especially kids, made her consistently happy! They have the funniest ideas and she adores watching them learn. With safety and reason in mind, Maeve has always let kids play and/to learn in whatever way suits them best. In her experience, the best teacher has always been experience.




Andrea Hulsey has been in the early childhood field for over 7 years. Andrea graduated from the University of Vermont in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in anthropology. Andrea has a passion for teaching young children and loves the fact that she is impacting their lives each and every day. When Andrea is not in the classroom, she loves to cook for her friends and family, garden,


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Barb Roscoe is beginning her sixth year at Gan Yeladim working as a Preschool teacher. Barb grew up in Bristol, Vermont. She graduated from University of New England with an Environmental Science degree with a focus on wildlife. In her spare time, she enjoys working with rehabilitating birds of prey, hiking, live music, and playing outdoors! She is the loving mother of a golden retriever Sandy and two birds Simon and Bodhi. Barb is looking forward to spending the year exploring the curiosities and building a community with the Preschool class this year! 

Support Staff



Julia is beginning her third year of working with young children in a classroom setting. She grew up in Burlington, Vermont and spent 7 years living in California. In her free time, Julia enjoys traveling, yoga, dancing, hula hooping, hiking, and spending time with her miniature dachshund Tiny. She is so excited to be a part of the Gan community once again!

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Beth Starger is starting her third year as the Gan Yeladim Atelieista. She is an artist who specializes in a myriad of different mediums. She uses art as a door between emotion and expression, and loves to guide children as to how to unlock their own passion using all the languages of expression. These languages can include painting, singing, building, dancing, drawing; the possibilities are limitless. Beth was a preschool teacher at Gan for five years. Along side being the Atelieista she is also an activities specialist at a nursing home, a privet art instructor, and a commissioned painter. She has a BA from Hampshire Collage in Literary Journalism and Photography, with a minor in Psychology. She lives in Burlington with her two daughters, Addy and Tully, and her husband Dan.

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Shannon Melnick

Shannon grew up in Southern Vermont and moved to Burlington in 2001. She attended the University of Vermont and Northern Vermont University (formerly Johnson State) where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies concentrating on Psychology Medical Anthhropology, and English. Shannon has a wide variety of experience working with children of various ages in both the private and public sector. This is Shannon’s first year at Gan after working in the South Burlington School District for three years as a Behavior Interventionist. She is excited to work at Gan because her daughter Shira attended the school and summer camp. In addition to her daughter Shira, Shannon also has a ten-year-old son, Max, and a new six-month-old baby, Miriam, and a chocolate lab named Shadow. Shannon loves the curiosity, compassion and unique perspectives that children contribute to the world and all its beauty. One of her favorite times of the day is eating dinner with her own family and hearing about everyone's day. She also enjoys writing poetry, painting and dancing in the living room with her children. She is excited for the new school year and can’t wait to spend time with all the children this Fall