Kehillat Ma'arav

1715 21st Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 / (310) 829-0566


Livya Howard-Yashar – 4/5th and 6/7th Judaica

Livya began her teaching career leading Shabbat youth services at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, which was also her elementary school growing up. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied dance, music, and language. Since then she has channeled her passion for the performing arts and language into education, teaching dance in the public school system and working as a private tutor. Livya has also worked as a madricha on birthright trips to Israel, so she truly values the importance of creating unique Jewish learning experiences that are relatable to Jewish minds of different age groups.


Neomi Nemanim – 2nd/3rd and 4/5th Hebrew/T’fillah

Neomi Nemanim was born and raised in Israel. She served in the Israeli army and graduated from Bar Elan University, Ramat Gan, Israel. She studied criminology and special education and then worked as a teacher in Israel for 10 years. She is a very passionate teacher who loves passing down the traditions from our beautiful culture. Neomi has been a part of the KM team for the past 15 years. She lives in Los Angeles with her wonderful family, including two children and the two best grandchildren. She visits Israel at least twice a year.


Hila Robas, 2nd/3rd and 4/5th Judaica

Hila was born in Israel and loves teaching Hebrew and Jewish studies. She graduated the Open University of Israel with a B.A in Psychology and completed 16 Early Childhood Education units at Santa Monica College. Hila focuses on all aspects of development including social, emotional, physical, cognitive, language and literacy. In addition to her work as a Preschool Teacher for several years, Hila provides experiential custom-made Hebrew, Cooking and Judaic workshops for all ages. Worked as a Summer Camp Instructor for 4-12 years old and led tours, trips, created craft projects, games and outdoor activities. Hila is very excited to be teaching at KM and bringing her love and joy of learning to our community.


Sivan Tsoar, 4/5th and 6/7th Hebrew/T’fillah
Born and raised in Israel, she is fluent in Hebrew and had been working as a freelance translator off an on during her time in Los Angeles. She also teaches Children’s Gymnastics and Zumba in Kindergartens and Preschools. This will be her first year teaching Hebrew as a regular staff member. She had been substituting for Hebrew teachers at the Santa Monica synagogue in the past year’s Sunday school. Having studied Theater and Film, she enjoys teaching through Drama and laughter.


Yoni Arbel, 4/5th and 6/7th Hebrew/T’fillah

Yoni is a lifetime Angeleno who comes from a family of Jewish educators.  Growing up, he went to day schools and Camp Ramah every summer. Yoni attended the University of Southern California, and since graduating in 2015, has been working as a musician performing, recording, and teaching throughout LA. He is passionate about Hebrew and Judaic studies, enjoys working with children, and is excited to join the KM community as a Hebrew teacher for the religious school.


Aviv Meraro, 2nd/3rd Hebrew and 6/7th Judaica 

Aviv moved to Los Angeles from NY ten years ago. In the last 6 years he enjoyed teaching in two religious schools and leading Hebrew programs for kids grades 1st to 6th. Originally from Israel, Aviv currently has a small business providing IT support and sales/ rental of Technology. In addition he is the Hebrew instructor at Beverly Hills Lingual Institute. Aviv graduated from Haifa University where he studied math & computer science. He is a big sports fan and when not working you might find him doing some sports activity like football (soccer) or tennis . He also likes to spend time with his wife and two little daughters and to watch live TV broadcasts from Israel. Aviv is excited to share the love he has for Israel and the passion for teaching Judaism.


Joel Waldman, 6/7th Hebrew and 6/7th Judaica and Music Specialist

Joel is a musician (singer-songwriter, arranger, producer) and teacher, graduated from Berklee College of Music (’09) where he graduated with honors and won awards for international contests. He was born in the small Jewish community of Bogotá-Colombia, from a pair of recognized artistic and spiritual parents. Since 17 years old, he’s been hired as a cantor for High Holidays and weddings in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Israel and other countries. Joel can orchestrate music for many ensembles and has experience writing for theater and film.
In 2010, he released his first album in Colombia and started teaching music as well as producing. He’s co-written songs with Grammy award winners like Colombian superstar, Andres Cepeda, in 2014.
Four years ago, he returned to the U.S. as a songleader/chazan and teacher for different Jewish communities like Nashuva, Temple Aliyah, Temple Beth Am, Valley Beth Shalom, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, and  Camp Alonim amongst others. While currently working on a spiritual musical project inspired by Kabbalah, he continues to teach Hebrew, Judaica and Jewish music as intrinsic parts of his values.