Our Staff


School Director Aviva Panush


Aviva Panush has been involved in formal and informal Jewish Education for over 30 years. Prior to her current position as School Director at Shaarey Zedek, Aviva served as Associate Director for Professional Development at Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education in Metropolitan Detroit where she created community-wide professional development initiatives and conducted training sessions for school directors, family educators and teachers.  Simultaneously, she was Director of their Florence Melton Adult Mini-School, where she is currently an instructor.

In her fifteen years as Educational Director at Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor, Aviva designed new religious school curricula, improved the Middle School and post Bar-Bat Mitzvah programs, developed a Madrichim Program for High School youth leaders, created a Teacher Induction Program, and established Family Education programs.  While serving as the Acting Executive Director of the Toledo Board of Jewish Education, Aviva directed their Community Hebrew School and the Judaic Studies program at their Hebrew Academy, and began the process of generating a Middle School through PEJE (Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education).  As School Director at Congregation Kehillat Israel in Lansing, Aviva instituted multi-graded, ability-level, interest-level and family education programs.

Aviva consulted for a Reform Temple in Columbus, where she designed a self-paced Hebrew/ prayer curriculum for non-classroom based learning. Also as consultant, she led a half-day workshop for the Education Committee of the Reconstructionist Havurah of Ann Arbor, determining curriculum priorities and structural components for their emerging Sunday School.

Aviva was co-chair of the Daytime Program Committee for CAJE (Conference for Alternatives in Jewish Education) in 2000, and has presented teacher training and curriculum workshops for schools in Ann Arbor, metropolitan Detroit, Toledo, Columbus, Charlotte, NC, and at national CAJE conferences.

Aviva holds a M.A. in Educational Leadership with a focus on Community Education as well degrees in Urban Planning and Environmental Education.  She completed the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute and is a member of CAJE (Coalition for Advancement in Jewish Education) and ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).  She is happily married to Mitchell Silverman and the mother of Shoshana, a teacher at Rodef Shalom, a Reform Day School in Manhattan.