Aligning with King Solomon’s wisdom, Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori believed that learning should occur naturally and joyfully for each child. She observed that young children learn best in an environment that allows for hands on experiences. The teacher is a link between the child and the prepared environment, and the child is free to fulfill his potential. Most of the educational materials found today in a Montessori classroom were developed by her over 100 years ago and allow children to develop the tools needed for creative learning as well as stimulate mental and manual agility. Each child works at his/her own pace.

Jewish Environment
At Olam Jewish Montessori of Beth Jacob, we promote ahavat yisrael (love for our Jewish community and Israel) and ahavat olam (love for the world). We accept applications from Beth Jacob members and from the greater Jewish community. In an integrated secular and Judaic environment, our program enables hands on learning of Torah, mitzvot, culture and Hebrew language.

The Olam Jewish Montessori Difference

• Teacher is a guide and acts as a link between the child and the environment
• Self-paced curriculum
• Individual or small group lessons consistent with child’s abilities
• Critical cognitive skills develop before age 6
• Learning by doing
• Multiple age classes (ages 2-6 in same class)
• Long blocks of time allows for greater concentration
• Motivation is self-initiated through stimulation of the class environment
• Materials presented follow a psychological order in learning and when learner is ready and interested. Satisfies child’s curiosity; natural individual learning pace
• Unique materials are made from natural materials whenever possible and are child sized; important for sensory and motor development.

Meet our Staff



Dawn Kreisberg
Dawn Kreisberg is an innovative educator, leader and inspiring mentor to her peers. For over 30 years, she has specialized in teaching, creating new educational practices, and leadership development. Her past experience includes Early Childhood Director at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Day School in Beverly Hills for 7 years, the Education Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Georgia for over 7 years and the Director of Gan Israel Preschool in Atlanta for 5 years.  Dawn has extensive experience in curriculum development, principals and practice of education, adult supervision and mentoring. She is a current member of NAEYC (National Association of Education of Young Children) and CAEYC (California Association of Education of Young Children), the Covenant Foundation in New York and the Center For Initiative For Jewish Education (CIJE), in New York.  Dawn holds a Masters Degree in Jewish Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education and Administration/Principal credentials from the Siegal College of Judaic Studies.  Dawn is the loving and proud mother of four children. She lives in LA with her husband and her youngest son who will be a senior in High School this year. Her hobbies include spinning, canoeing, hiking, cooking and reading. Dawn is the Director of Olam.




Sonya Neutel
Sonya Neutel was born in Cape Town, South Africa, where she graduated from the University of Capetown with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After completing her degree she lived in Israel, where she was enrolled in the WUJS (World Union of Jewish Students) program and worked as an intern at the University of Jerusalem. She worked as a travel consultant for 17 years. She is a nurturing mother of three children who went back to school to further her education as a teacher. She completed her teaching internship from 2009 -2010 at the Monarch Bay Montessori Academy, and has completed her training as a certified Montessori teacher from the Montessori Teacher Academy in Dana Point as well as at the Center for Jewish Montessori. Sonya is a co-founder of Olam and will be starting her sixth year as a lead teacher at the school.






Sandhya Batra
Sandhya Batra has been in the field of teaching and education for more than 25 years. She is a fully certified Montessori teacher and completed her Montessori Training in 1983 from the renowned Bal Bharti Training Institute in New Delhi, India. In addition, she has a B.A. in English and Political Science from Delhi University and a Bachelor of Education in English and Social Studies. She researched behavior and psychology in preschool children from different backgrounds and helped them learn with different educational tools at the N.C.E.R.T. Delhi. Sandhya has experienced so much joy in teaching children and is particularly passionate about the preschool age group. Her vast experience in teaching is predominantly in Montessori schools and has ranged from preschool to High School in both private and public schools. During her spare time Sandhya enjoys being with her family. Her special interests are drawing, painting, and cooking. She is the mother of two children. Sandhya will be starting her sixth year at Olam this Fall  as a lead teacher and we feel blessed to have her on our staff.




Samantha Watton
We welcome Sam to Olam. This is her first year as an assistant in a Montessori environment and she brings experience working with children from various early childhood programs. She received her early childhood credentials from Norco Community College. Sam enjoys hiking,swimming and listening to music.

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