Our Staff

Bay Area Director: Lisa Peckler

Lisa’s role as Bay Area Director brings her full circle, since during high school she tutored children weekly at a Chicago community center called Onward House. JCL enables her to weave together many strands in her background – deep Jewish involvement, a career-long commitment to the non-profit sector, community building and fundraising. She was most recently director of institutional giving at GLIDE Foundation in San Francisco, after serving in a similar capacity at Dignity Health Foundation, San José State and the Foundation for Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. She has also worked at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (DC) and at the New Israel Fund. Lisa pursued graduate study at Columbia University in Modern Hebrew Literature, and received a Bachelor’s Degree from Smith College with a double major in English Literature and Jewish Studies.

Senior Program Manager: Judy Pam-Bycel

Judy has devoted her professional career to education and fostering better relationships between people from all backgrounds. For fifteen years she served as the Executive Director of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ) in Santa Monica, where she spearheaded new programs to fight bias and bigotry through education. She earned her teaching credentials in Elementary and Special Education, and a Master's degree in Education, from the University of Southern California, and taught special education students for over a decade. Judy feels that literacy is the key to opening the doors for personal success and lifelong learning.

Senior Program Manager : Corinne Jaffe-Gellman

Corinne began her professional career in the healthcare industry. She has considerable experience in program management, strategic planning, marketing and social science research, and grant writing. But it was her role as a lay leader in her children’s school that ignited her passion in education and community building. Being a first generation American, she knows only too well the importance of childhood literacy. Corinne received a BA in Political Science and Economics from San Diego State University and an MBA from the University of Southern California. She sees her position with JCL as an extraordinary opportunity to apply her educational background, and professional and community service experience to an area that she is committed to - literacy and education in underserved communities.

Progam & Communications Manager: Nieema Galloway

Nieema has had the profound experience of working as an educator in youth services and private and public schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of San Francisco (USF). She earned a Master’s degree in Sociology of Education from New York University (NYU) and a Teaching Credential from the University of the Pacific. She taught at The Berkeley School and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, California. She served as the Site Coordinator for the Up On Top After School Program, a non-profit organization that provides literacy-based curriculum through art and enrichment activities for k-5 elementary students from low-income families in the Tenderloin and Western Addition in San Francisco. Nieema is committed to furthering literacy development and youth advocacy for students in underserved communities.

East Bay Literacy Trainer and Learning Facilitator: Amy Schoenblum

Amy is a specialist at designing and facilitating adult learning for educators, out-of-school-time providers, and parents. For 25+ years, she has been a staff developer and curriculum specialist, primarily with the Center for the Collaborative Classroom (CCC)--a national organization that helps educators integrate academics and social-emotional learning. She is one of the developers of Afterschool KidzLit, a national literacy enrichment program for K-8 after-school providers. Amy has a Master’s Degree in English Education from Teachers College at Columbia University, and is a graduate of Brandeis University.  She is passionate about literacy and addressing the achievement gap.

Literacy Trainer: Caitlin Mehra

Caitlin Mehra is a bilingual literacy specialist and consultant. She began her career as a first-grade dual language teacher before becoming a reading interventionist and instructional coach at the elementary level. Today, Caitlin trains and coaches teachers throughout the U.S. and Latin America on the best practices of literacy and language development, as well as writes and translates curriculum for major educational publications. Caitlin continues to work directly with students in the area of reading remediation through her tutoring practice in Sonoma County, where she lives with her husband and two dogs. 

 Literacy Trainer: Cynthia Lasden

Cynthia Lasden is a National Board Certified Teacher and 25-year veteran of the San Francisco Unified School District. She is currently a Literacy Coach, guiding teachers to differentiate reading and writing curriculum in the classroom with a focus on tailoring instruction for students whose learning needs are not being met. Cynthia has a background as a Spanish bilingual and immersion classroom teacher at the elementary level, and has worked as a Literacy Specialist, serving individual and small groups of students who struggle with learning reading and writing. As a bilingual educator, she is dedicated to working with English language learners and is passionate about equity in our schools and serving historically underserved communities. She connects to a wide range of students and families, and has extensive experience in facilitating, mentoring and training educators and families. She lives in San Francisco with her teenage daughter.

Reading Specialist Emerita: Joan Green

Joan has been a teacher and program coordinator in schools throughout the Bay Area for many years, with experience in curriculum and program development as well as teaching reading, ESL, and bilingual US History. She created the first bilingual reading program for San Francisco’s Mission High School and served as Bilingual Program Chair and Resource Teacher in the Sequoia Union High School District. As JCL’s Reading Specialist, Joan is responsible for program design, volunteer training, and parent education workshops. Joan holds a BA from Smith College, and earned her teaching credentials along with an MA in Education from SFSU.