SOMERS, N.Y. – Hebrew Congregation of Somers has hired Jill Liflander as its new school principal.

Liflander is well-known at the synagogue, having formerly worked as a teacher in its religious school for five years. She brings an arts and education background, creative energy, and a love for children and Judaism.

Liflander said she plans to use her teaching background and aristic range of skills in movement, dance, puppetry, visual arts, and performance experience to create fun and exciting encounters with the arts.

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“All of my work is about freedom of expression, social justice, imagination, joy, and the thrill of encountering the beauty and power of the arts,” Liflander said.

She is also a puppeteer, having created a one-woman puppet troupe, Jilly Puppets. In addition to performing in schools, fairs and libraries, Liflander created a pre-school curriculum that she said engages young students in imagination, musical learning, physical exploration and interactive learning experiences.

Using principles of Arts Integration as defined by the Kennedy Center’s “Artists as Educators” training, her training as a dance educator and her degrees in elementary education and anthropology, Liflander said she plans to bring the thrill of live artistic experiences into elementary school classrooms.

Liflander dances with the Rivertowns Artist’s Workshop in lower Westchester, volunteers to deliver arts education to children, and trains in capoeira (a Brazilian dance/martial art).

Families in the community are invited to attend the synagogue’s special Family Service at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 9, to meet, greet and welcome Liflander to the synagogue and to the Northern Westchester Community.