Debra Fricano is a Jewish educator, song leader, and pluralistic community builder, and has been the Director of Education at SAJ since Fall of 2019.
Since becoming B*Mitzvah, Debra has worked in teaching, song-leading, and leadership roles in a variety of supplementary Jewish programs and summer camps for two decades, including NFTY, BBYO, Foundation for Jewish Camp, Storahtelling (Lab/Shul), Romemu, InterFaith Community, Temple Tikvah/Emanuel, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, Hunter College Hillel, and a few different summer camps including the reconstructionist Camp Havaya (formerly known as JRF).
Debra was born and raised in Queens to an interfaith family (and grandchild of a Holocaust survivor z”l). Debra was in the first graduating class of the High School of American Studies at Lehman College. Then, completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Brandeis University (with minors in Gender studies, education studies, and peace and coexistence studies), spent a gap year community organizing with AVODAH the Jewish Service Corps in Chicago, and continued with a Masters degree in Experiential Jewish Education from the Davidson School of Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Debra also has training from the JOIN for Justice Fellowship, Pardes summer program, Qushiyot Israel Education fellowship, and other social and emotional / life coaching programs.
At SAJ, Debra is proud to supervise a diverse team of teachers whose genders and sexualities more than represent the diversity of the community. Debra enjoys personally leading high holiday family services, collaborating on how to game-ify and Reconstruct lesson plan materials, and having deep conversations about the G!d we don’t believe in. Debra currently serves as a member of the board of the Reconstructionist Educators Network of (north) America.
Debra recently moved to the upper east side just for a change of cuisine, and in spare time can be found dancing 5 rhythms or bachata, singing karaoke, and cuddling with a black cat named Bagheera,
Debra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (212) 724-7172.