Meet Our Team

The staff at Ta’am Teva are passionate about working with children in an outdoor education environment. Our educators care for the social-emotional, physical and mental development of all children. With a 4:1 student-teacher ratio, our small class sizes allow our educators to tailor instruction to meet the need of each student.

Margie Pines

Founder & Director

Margie Pines is the founder and director of Ta’am Teva. Margie has over 15 years of experience in Early Childhood Education. She holds a Nature Based Early Childhood Certificate from Antioch University. She received the 2017 Sue Pinsky Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Margie, who is viewed as a leader in the Jewish outdoor education space, provides professional development for teachers at various organizations interested in outdoor education and teaching Jewish values. Margie has seen the social, emotional, cognitive and physical benefits of outdoor education firsthand and is described as a passionate and creative educator by the parents of children in the program.

Carol Kerman

Storyteller & Instructor

Carol Kerman believes in the power of storytelling and provides a key function in the Ta’am Teva community. Through her joyful storytelling, Miss Carol teaches early childhood literacy skills and provides opportunities for young children to use their imagination to visualize stories and develop listening skills. Carol holds a certificate in Early Childhood Education and studied Storytelling at Northwestern University. Carol is a member of the National Storytelling Network, Northlands Storytelling and Illinois Storytelling. Carol worked as an instructor and Drama Specialist at many JCC sites including Am Shalom, Bernard Weinger and “Z” Frank Apachi. Her stories are featured on JCC websites and when early childhood programs were offering remote learning, Miss Carol conducted virtual storytelling sessions.

Zack Slavkin

Instructor

Zack Slavin has been in love with the outdoors since his days at his family’s cabin in Big Bear, California. As a child, Zack loved to snowboard, bike, hike, and explore his home state of Colorado. Zack has been working as a professional outdoor educator for many years, working in daycares, a Hebrew school in Manhattan, and synagogues. Zack also led a group at BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy. Zack is so grateful for the opportunity to kindle the same love he feels for Judaism and nature in young hearts with Ta’am Teva.

Holly Krakow

Education Consultant

Holly Krakow says that Judaism, Early Childhood Education, and Outdoor Education are her passion, as well as her profession. Holly was selected as one of twenty early childhood educators throughout North America to join the JCC Association Sheva Covenant Directors Leadership Institute Fellowship. Holly earned a National Director Credential for Early Childhood Administration through National Louis University. She has a Certificate in Social and Emotional Learning through the Jewish Theological Seminary and Rutgers University for Leaders. What Holly loves most about being an educational consultant is fostering young people’s curiosity about the outdoor world.

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A Day In The Life

See for yourself what a day in the life as a community member at Ta’am Teva looks like.