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Rabbi Yitzchok Raskin, originally from Casablanca, Morocco, has lived in Burlington, Vermont with his family for the past 30 years where he is the Director of Chabad of Vermont. A relatable and engaging speaker, he has captivated audiences of all backgrounds and ages. His ability to explain deep and intricate concepts in an understandable manner makes him a sought out educator.     

Rabbi Raskin has been a guest lecturer at the University of Vermont, the International Conference of Lubavitch Emissaries and has spoken throughout the Unites States, France, Morocco and Israel. For the past five years he has been teaching the popular JLI (Jewish Learning Institute) courses on an array of topics including Jewish ethics, Jewish mysticism and philosophy, Jewish history and culture and Jewish belief and practice. JLI's courses are accredited for continuing legal and medical education and all courses offer CEU credits. 



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 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!  


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Melissa Bissonette, has been the administrative assistant at Chabad of Burlington since 2011.  She is involved in various duties throughout the organization.   Her favorite has to be getting to say "hi" to the preschool children as they pass by her office to go outside.  She has been married for over 25 years to her husband John.  They have two grown children, Samara and Spencer, along with many fur-babies.  She loves to shop, hike and attend church. 
Her favorite food has to be nachos!


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Andrea Hulsey has been in the early childhood field for over 6 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, and be outdoors


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Adele Hohertz-Serpan, while not from the Northeast, decided to stay in Vermont after earning her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Vermont.  Her background is in human ecology, nonprofit development, and social services.  Her passion lies in supporting folks as they connect with and explore new resources.  When she is not working, she can be found backpacking, or curled up reading in a coffee shop.