Classes and Faculty


MASKIT offers Hebrew School programming for all ages. MASKIT instills a deep understanding of Jewish community, history, and identity through cultural and religious markers like holidays, calendar, ritual, Hebrew language, Eretz Yisrael, and t’fillah (prayer). Each year builds on the next in terms of Jewish literacy, Hebrew reading comprehension, and cultural awareness. MASKIT meets on Tuesday and Shabbat.


Tot Shabbat: Infants – Toddlers

Using arts and crafts, music, singing, storytelling, and movement, Tot Shabbat engages tots with Shabbat-themed songs and prayers, and includes Hebrew, Torah, and Jewish culture through music, games, art, and more.


Shabbat: Meets alternating Shabbat mornings, 10:30-11:30. Parent or caregiver must stay with each child.

Elementary School

Students learn Jewish concepts, language, and more from our collaborative teaching team. 


Teachers focus their lessons on introducing children to the Hebrew alphabet with the goal of enabling them to read and write. Students learn about Jewish traditions, holiday and Shabbat rituals and prayers, the importance of Jewish practices, and ethical behavior such as giving tz’dakah and doing mitzvot.

As students get older, they continue their progress in Hebrew reading, writing and conversing in Hebrew, and will learn more advanced concepts in Jewish ethics, values and traditions. They will develop basic understanding of Jewish values, culture, and tfilot, and feel ready to start exploring their Jewish identity. 

Schedule: Alternating Shabbat mornings, 10:30-11:30AM; Tuesdays 3:30-5:30.

Middle School

Our middle school program is an experiential path preparing students to engage in Jewish life on a deeper level and explore tradition, rituals, history, and text. Our focus includes history, art, culture, and language, through dynamic individual and community projects, discussion, and movement-based activities. Students works towards fluency in Hebrew reading and writing, become familiar with the structure and content of Tanach, and are exposed to the unique elements of Jewish heritage, including art, sports, food, geography, and philosophy. 

Students are guided as they begin to engage in higher level questioning and experiential projects, preparing them for the Bar/Bat mitzvah journey as creative thinkers and eager learners, open to challenges, unafraid to ask questions, and excited to be part of the Jewish community.

Schedule: Alternating Shabbat mornings, 10:00-11:30AM; Tuesdays 3:30-5:30.

High School: Nesher

As the preteen Bar/Bat Mitzvah chapter comes to a close, Nesher gives teens the chance to delve into the big questions: theology, identity, peoplehood, science, and so much more, in a small group setting that prioritizes the values of respect, confidence, growth, and pride. Through guided conversations with Stephanie and Ayelet, we explore the concepts of God and belief; dive deeper into our ancestral stories; study ancient Near Eastern history and culture; discuss patterns of language and ritual; and unpack antisemitism and the complex ways it has operated in different times and places. We give teens the tools to begin to shape their own personal Jewish practice and consider their place in Jewish community.

Schedule: Determined by the group


Morah Amelia: Tots


Amelia Bienstock is a New York native who has found her home in Astoria, and is heavily involved in the local Jewish community. 

Amelia is passionate about working with kids, and sharing the love of Jewish community with future generations. She has been leading children’s high-holiday services ever since she became a bat-mitzvah at age 12, and has additional experience working in a supervisory role with kids as a babysitter and a camp counselor. Most recently, she served as the Operations Associate at Valence College Prep Middle School in Rego Park, Queens. 

When Amelia isn’t singing nursery rhymes or writing articles, she is an improv comedian, a runner, an avid podcast listener, a visual artist, and a passionate dog Mom, all of which she will be bringing to her new role as Tot Shabbat leader! 

Amelia received her bachelor’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and has a Master’s Degree from NYU in Political Comedy (yes, really). Amelia has written for a variety of print and digital publications, including Time Out New York, as well as a Jewish Swiss publication, Aufbau Magazine. 

Moreh Alex: Elementary and Middle


Alex Parke is a clarinetist and music educator from São Paulo, Brazil. Alex has been part of various musical projects and has gained renown for his musicality and musical intention. As an ethnomusicology major at Bard College, Alex focuses on the Klezmer style rooted in the tradition of Ashkenazi Jews, while also giving attention to other styles such as Brazilian and European classical music.

He has experience working with Jewish youth groups in Brazil, Israel, and the US, as well as having worked with MASKIT for one year.

Alex is also the founder of several active musical groups, including the Bard College Klezmer Club, The Living Shtetl, Tigerdog Zebrafish, Folkloria, Rushevsky Duo, and the São Paulo-based Klezmer Três Rios. Alex’s music can be found here.

Morah Stephanie: Middle and High School


Stephanie Luxenberg is a Jewish educator and artist with a degree in Creative Writing and Fine Arts. She integrates her diverse professional background in technology, program management, curriculum development, and community engagement to build on all areas of Jewish communal growth.

Stephanie has worked with students of all ages and learning needs, both through individual instruction and in the classroom setting. Her teaching experience includes the Jerusalem School for the Deaf, Hebrew Academy of West Queens, and MASKIT. She has also worked at East Midwood Jewish Center, The Village Temple, Astoria Center of Israel, and is now as part of the founding team of Ashreynu.

Her art practice, Studio Shoshan, draws heavily from Jewish nature, agriculture, and history, and she is passionate about exploring these themes with MASKIT students in the classroom.

Morah Ayelet: Middle and High School


Ayelet Pearl is a rabbinic student at the Academy for Jewish Religion and a Master’s candidate in Art History and Museum Studies at the City College of New York, working to explore creative ways of bringing Jewish culture, arts, practice, and history to museums and other cultural spaces.

She has led the MASKIT Education Program for over a decade, and has completed advanced coursework and professional certifications in meeting the needs of all learners, as well as differentiated learning. This summer, she completed the four day Learning Lenses workshop through Hidden Sparks.

Ayelet is consulting at the Voelker Orth Museum as the Community Engagement Coordinator, and also serves in a rabbinic capacity at Cedar Crest Senior Living Community. She has a certificate in curating from the University of the Arts London, is a member of the Jewish Art Salon, and has written for the visual arts section of the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Her art work can be viewed at Av Rimon.