Meet the ECC Team


Genet Araya, RJW ECC

Agnes Ciarkowska, RJW ECC

Vanessa daSilva, RJW ECC

Jaylee Deffenderfer, E-T ECC

Zora Goldstein, RJW ECC

Renu Hakim, E-T ECC

Leanna Harney, RJW ECC

Soledad Jacinto, E-T ECC

Rachel Kuchinsky, RJW ECC

Alisa Liebowitz, RJW ECC

Nazia Saeed, RJW ECC

Interested in joining our team? We are always looking for motivated early childhood professionals! Contact us to learn more about available positions

For positions in Maryland at RJW ECC         For positions in DC at E-T ECC


female teacher sits on floor showing a lulav to a child

Kfirah HaLevi, RJW ECC Director

A Maryland native, Kfirah earned her B.A. at the University of Maryland before making aliyah to Israel, where she earned her M.A. in Art Therapy at the University of Haifa.

Kfirah joined the RJW ECC in 2018 after moving back to the area from Israel. With her experience as a child therapist, she is especially interested and engaged in the social emotional development happening in our classrooms. With a strong connection to her Jewish values and identity, Kfirah believes in building a community of acceptance, engagement, and love of learning. She is excited to be returning this fall for her second year as Director of the RJW ECC.

Kfirah lives in Damascus, Maryland and loves hiking with her husband, Shy and their dog, Eva, as well as painting, reading and treasure hunting in thrift stores.

Kfirah can be reached at or 301-354-3285

young child works at table while teacher in mask looks on

Kristin Zeldes, E-T ECC Director

Originally from Arizona, Kristin moved to D.C. to attend George Washington University where she earned her B.A. in Psychology, then spent three years studying acting at The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. Kristin joined the E-T ECC as a threes teacher in 2018 and is excited to be returning this fall for her third year as Director of the E-T ECC.

Kristin has a background in theater and is passionate about designing learning environments that empower children to communicate their feelings, ideas and stories through storytelling and creative expression. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Innovative Early Childhood Education through CU Denver and Journey Boulder School.

In her free time, Kristin enjoys walking and hiking, traveling, trying out new recipes or restaurants around the city and checking out local theater and art shows!

Kristin can be reached at or 202-895-6340