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Joanie Smeltz, Director of the Ohr Kodesh Early Childhood Center

Joanie has been the Director of the Ohr Kodesh Early Childhood Center since 1991. She received a B.S degree from West Chester University in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Joanie lives with her husband Bruce in Columbia, Maryland. She has three married children and is the very proud and joyful grandmother (“GJ” Grandma Joanie) of six grandsons. The Ohr Kodesh Early Childhood Center (OKECC) in 2008, under Joanie’s leadership, was chosen as one of 12 pilot schools in the country to be awarded a three-year-grant to elevate the quality of Jewish Early Childhood Education.

Direct Line: (240) 450-3488     Email:

Ruthie Cohen, Assistant Director of the Early Childhood Center

Ruthie joined the Ohr Kodesh Early Childhood Center in the role of assistant director in the summer of 2018. She received a B.S in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Towson University and has a B.A in Jewish Education from Binah Institute. Ruthie worked in corporate finance for 10 years before switching careers after finding her passion for early childhood while working in her daughter's preschool. Ruthie recently earned her graduate degree (M.Ed) in Early Childhood Education from Towson University. She lives with her family in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Direct Line: (240) 450-0673    Email:

Rebbeca Eng, Pedagogista of the Early Childhood Center

Rebecca joined the OKECC team in 2022.  She has a B.S. in Family, Youth, and Community Science and a M.Ed in Early Childhood Education: Curriculum and Instruction.  She has worked in the early childhood field through a variety of different position including: classroom teacher, “specials” teacher, assistant director, summer camp director, program director, certified classroom observer, and early childhood consultant.  She has a huge heart for promoting positive outcomes for preschool aged children and serving their families.  

Direct Line: (240) 450-0674    Email:

Gail Goodman, Administrative Director of the Early Childhood Center

Gail has been with the Ohr Kodesh Early Childhood Center since 1994. She received a B.S. in Education from Boston University. After teaching high school in Boston, then moving onto a career in Human Resources she made the switch to working in early childhood after volunteering at her own children's school. Gail grew up in New York but has lived in Silver Spring, for more than 35 years with her husband Michael.  She has two married sons and three grandchildren. 


Direct Line: (240) 450-0674   Email:

Wed, December 7 2022 13 Kislev 5783