Amir Eden has started teaching “Israeli Spirit” classes for middle school students from all over the U.S. through the Israeli-American Council’s new Ofek Learning Hub — Looking Beyond the Horizon. For more information, visit www.ofekhub.org. Eden holds a B.A in political science and international relations from Florida Atlantic University and an M.A in educational administration from San Francisco State University. He taught Hebrew for 11 years in Las Vegas and has served as a sixth to 12th grade Hebrew department chair, a middle and high school principal, and a K-12 head of Judaic studies, Hebrew, Jewish life, and Israel connections. He is currently a second- through fourth-grade teacher of Judaics and Hebrew at Tucson Hebrew Academy.
Tucsonan Lori Riegel has completed a doctoral degree in educational leadership at Lesley University, with a certificate in Jewish education at Hebrew College. She is graduating in the first cohort of the joint Lesley and Hebrew College doctoral program. Riegel’s dissertation, “Parental Choice in Jewish Education,” explored the factors contributing to how parents decide on Jewish educational enrollment for their children. She recruited study subjects at day schools and supplementary schools in Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Houston. She previously completed a master’s in Jewish education at Hebrew College. Riegel is development director for Southern Arizona at Arizona’s Children Association.
Bryce Megdal, a Tucson native, has accepted a position as cantor for the Congregation of Reform Judaism in Orlando, Florida. Megdal was ordained as a cantor at the Academy for Jewish Religion California in May 2019 and also received a master of Jewish sacred music. Previously, she received a master of Jewish studies with an emphasis in music in Jewish life from AJRCA in May 2015. Her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Arizona are in Judaic studies and studio art. Currently she is a b’nai mitzvah teacher and cantorial singer at Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue in Encino, California. She also remains involved in several synagogues at which she has led services throughout the years, including Temple Akiba in Culver City and Temple Emanu-El in Tucson. See www.brycemegdal.com.