B'nai Simcha Staff and Team
Chana Blugrind, Director
Chana is originally from Denmark. She earned her Bachelor or Arts in Denmark in Child Development, Special Education and Early Childhood Education. Chana graduated with her MAEd in May of 2020 from American Jewish University of Los Angeles. Chana has over 25 years of experience in the field of ECE and is especially passionate about creating, supporting and making a developmentally appropriate preschool experience available for all children, as well as offering parenting and caregiver and me classes to support families.
Chana has four children of her own ages 8, 10, 12 and 16 and her partner, Yan, has two children ages 9 and 11. Together they have created their own little Brady Bunch. They enjoy taking trips to Palm Springs, camping, hiking and of course, visiting family in Denmark. Chana is also an avid trail runner and has completed multiple ultra marathons. She loves running in the mountains here in Pasadena and this is her favorite form of self care.
Jill Vidal, Assistant Director
Jill's experience and background extend over 25 years of working in early childhood education, both in the classroom, administratively and as a school director. Jill believes early childhood education is not a livelihood, but a passion and a gift. For her, working in early childhood education is an every-day blessing; from receiving hugs, to hand-drawn pictures and being told "you look pretty today!"
Jill is originally from California, and spent 10 years in Texas with her husband, Alan, raising her two children Shane and Maya. They relocated back to California to be closer to family. What she loves most about California is the weather and going to the beach. During her free time she enjoys hiking, watching Prime or Netflix and my favorite activity is reading!
"Young children are the most caring and warmest individuals and it’s a privilege to be part of such an amazing program! As the B’nai Simcha family continues to grow it is exciting to be part of the school’s future!" -Jill
Our Teachers and Staff
We have an incredible, dedicated, competent and educated group of teachers at B’nai Simcha. Some have worked in Early Childhood Education for over 30 years, some are just starting out their careers in ECE, and everything in between. Our staff have completed various levels of education and everyone is excited to learn more and share their wealth of knowledge. We have two full days of professional development a year and we meet once per month as a full staff where we spend a minimum of an hour on staff development. We take turns sharing new knowledge and help one another review what we have learned in the past and how we can best adapt our knowledge, philosophy and expertise with new research.
All staff meet for evaluations with our Director twice annually where goals are set. Our Director also meets with staff individually or in small groups regularly to set goals and further learning. We encourage our staff to pursue further education and support them in reaching their goals by providing support with homework and flexible schedules. We are currently working with a curriculum expert and are building a STEAM based experiential and developmental appropriate program that takes root in the Jewish Holidays.
All staff are CPR and first aid certified.