Sign In Forgot Password

Stefani Carlson 

Director of Congregational Learning

Stefani Carlson is a lifelong Jewish learner, as well as an experienced and innovative educator, leader and mentor. Since graduating from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in English Language and Literature (1990), Stefani has lived, learned, and taught in communities in Virginia, Colorado, California, New York, Texas, Illinois, and Ohio. 

Stefani is a graduate of Cohort 7 of the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute (MTEI), and its partnership Graduate Certificate program in Jewish Education from the University of Cincinnati’s Center for the Study of Jewish Education. She holds a Master of Arts in Educational Studies, with a concentration in Foundations of Education and Social Change, from the University of Cincinnati. She is a member of the Network for Research in Jewish Education (NRJE) and the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE). She has published articles in Portraits of Jewish Learning: Viewing Contemporary Jewish Education Close-In, a project of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education of Brandeis University, and in the Journal of Jewish Education.

Stefani and her husband, Steve, have two adult sons, Alex and Evan, and are delighted to be making their home in Houston.

Lucy Mosbacher

Assistant director

Lucy brings a rich depth of Judaic knowledge to her position as Assistant Director of Helfman Religious School. Lucy has been connected to both Becker and Helfman as a parent and teacher for the last several years. Having recently received her Masters in Jewish Education from Gratz College, she focuses on instilling a deep commitment to Judaism and Jewish education in her students, her children, and herself. In her free time, Lucy enjoys playing with her three children, gardening, reading, and needlepointing.

Becca Schwartzberg


Becca joins the Emanu El community by way of New Orleans. A graduate of Hofstra University with a Publishing Studies Degree and a minor in Jewish Studies and Hebrew Language, Becca's mission is to help energize a new generation of engaged Jewish youth.

Her background includes 10 years of Jewish camping, youth group participation and leadership at NFTY​​​​​​, collegiate Hillel activity, and Hillel professional staff experience at Tulane University.

A native of Denver, CO, and a former Long Islander, Becca enjoys baseball, hockey, vocal jazz, and really good food.

Charles Colona 


Charles is a native of San Diego, CA. He grew up in a Reform Jewish synagogue, where he was active in religious school and youth group programs. He attended Jewish day schools all through his elementary and middle school years and spent a year at a yeshiva high school. He attended San Diego State University, where he received a degree in linguistics with an emphasis on teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), and a minor in Arabic and Islamic studies.

Charles was an ESL teacher for adults on student exchange visas for five years before coming to Houston. Charles comes to Helfman Religious School with more than 15 years of experience teaching Judaism to many ages. Charles has also been a B’nei Mitzvah tutor for several years and has experience in organizing youth group activities for middle and high school age students.

Charles is greatly looking forward to teaching and community building with the youth of Emanu El!

Elizabeth Townsend

Education assistant & helfman registrar

Elizabeth is a native Houstonian who has been walking the halls of Congregation Emanu El since she was a toddler. Many of her earliest memories are spending time with her family at synagogue and learning in religious school. After spending a few years in the beautiful city of Durango, CO, she returned to Houston and our congregation. She has served many rolls here at Emanu El from being both a Becker and Helfman teacher, wearing many administrative hats, to most recently holding the title of Membership & Engagement Coordinator. She is so excited for the next step in becoming our Education Assistant & Helfman Registrar. She and her husband Luke enjoy family adventures with their daughter Esther and Labrador Lilly.

Tue, August 3 2021 25 Av 5781