New Faculty Comes to Bi-Cultural
Yaakov Faratci will join the Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy of Stamford faculty as a middle school Judaic studies school teacher. The newly formed school opens this year as an outgrowth of the merger of the Bi-Cultural Day School and the Jewish High School of Connecticut.
In addition to his position at Bi-Cultural, Faratci will continue to serve as teen director of Congregation Agudath Shalom in Stamford, a post he has held for the past two year. Together with his wife, Yolly, he also served as youth director for NCSY (National Council of Synagogue Youth), and as city director for Stamford NCSY. Raised in Chicago, Faratci is a recent graduate of Yeshiva University with plans to pursue a master’s degree.
Dr. Taly Ashkenazi
Dr. Taly Ashkenazi will join the faculty to teach Hebrew language to grades 9 through 12.
Born and raised in Israel, Dr. Ashkenazi was a high school teacher in her native Israel, while working towards her Masters in Art History. She relocated to the United States 18 years ago, where she completed her PhD. Dr. Ashkenazi has taught Hebrew and Judaics at the Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, as well as at several local Sunday schools. She has also taught art history at a number of colleges in the U.S.
Shai Ozery will teach Hebrew language in the elementary grades at the Stamford school.
Born and raised on Moshav Givat Yearim in Israel’s Judean Hills, Ms. Ozery relocated to Connecticut in early 2014. She has taught Hebrew and Judaics at The Conservative Synagogue of Westport for the past four years. Prior to that she served as a teacher at Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan and in the Fairfield public school system.
Ms. Ozeri holds a Bachelors degree in Art History and International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a masters in Elementary Education from the University of Bridgeport. She has received training at the Yale Center for British Arts in implementing visual literacy strategies and holds a certificate in Bible and text from NewCAJE, an organization that aims to invigorate Jewish education by inspiring Jewish educators to think creatively and make Jewish learning a joyful experience.
Maytal Lerner will be teaching first grade at Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy of Connecticut. In addition, Lerner will teach Hebrew language and tefillah at the Stamford school.
Born and raised in northern Israel, Lerner moved to Connecticut in 2009. She previously taught at the Jewish High School of Connecticut and the Chabad of Fairfield Hebrew School.
She earned a BA in communication and journalism from Bar Ilan University. She is a resident of Stamford, where she lives with her husband, Jonathan, and three daughters.
Carmel Academy’s Director of Judaic Studies Selected to Revamp Curriculum In Israel
Dr. Tali Aldouby-Schuck, Carmel Academy’s director of Judaic studies and professional development, was one of four educators recruited by the Israeli Ministry of Education to help create a curriculum exploring Jewish Peoplehood for Middle School students across 6,000 Israeli schools.
In this unprecedented collaboration, the ministry was awarded a grant by the UJA-Federation of New York to bring the small team of educators to Israel in July to partner with Israeli curriculum writers to explore Jewish identity and diversity.
Some of the questions discussed as the framework of the curriculum were: What does it mean for Israel to be grasped not only as a state of its citizens, but also as the national home of the Jewish people? What enduring understandings or essential questions should the curriculum writers be guided by? How can the curriculum transcend ideological divisions?
Dr. Aldouby-Schuck reflected on the collaboration: “The process of partnering with Israeli educators to think together about educating young Israelis to think about Jewish life in more complex and nuanced ways was transformative for all of us. It challenged our own thinking about how to engage with core questions addressing Jewish peoplehood and re-envision the relationship between young Jewish Americans and Israelis.”
WDS Announces New Hires for Fall 2018
Naomi Lev joins WDS as head of the elementary school. She most recently served as the head of school at Denver Academy of Torah, where she was also a founding administrator of its high school, a unique experiential education-based Torah education model. She has worked with a wide range of students, from 2 year olds through adults, and has taught both Judaic and general studies across the grades. In addition to managing the elementary school, Lev will oversee MAP assessments, utilizing the data to drive the school’s education and practice, a role she also served in at her previous school.
Rabbi Adam Hertzberg comes to WDS after a four year tenure as an administrator and Judaic studies faculty member at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy. Previously, he taught at Ramaz middle school and SAR High School. Rabbi Hertzberg is excited to be at WDS as the assistant principal of grades one through eight.
Julie Thaler joins WDS early childhood education with 25 years at a variety of schools including Heschel, Ramaz and Solomon Schechter of Bergen County. She most recently taught at Carmel Academy, spearheading a new transitional kindergarten program inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy.
Tina Steinberg will be working as a learning specialist and providing support services in a small group setting. Steinberg received her Ed.M from Teachers College, Columbia University in both general education as well as special education, with a focus on learning disabilities.
Aaron Kogut will be working with seventh and eighth grade students at WDS and overseeing the school’s engineering elective. Kogut has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Yeshiva University, participated in the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education’s Give Back Fellowship and completed a joint master’s degree in bioethics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Karen Daitchman will be teaching Ganon music classes. She has been teaching music for 25 years and performs in concerts for women across the country.
Rabbi Moshe Dechter is joining WDS as a middle school Judaic studies teacher. Rabbi Dechter is a graduate of Yeshiva University and is in his final year at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). Over the summers, Moshe serves as a chinuch head in Camp Morasha.
Jamie Ruah joins WDS as the general studies assistant teacher in second grade. She has taught first grade at PS 41, the Greenwich Village Elementary School and PS 183, as well as the Robert Louis Stevenson School.
Danielle Schlisser will be the new fifth grade general studies teacher. Schlisser received her masters in elementary education from Rutgers University.
Westchester Torah Academy Welcomes New Faculty
Inbal and Yoni Blum
Westchester Torah Academy is excited to welcome Inbal and Yoni Blum as Shlichim from Israel this year. Inbal and Yoni come as experienced educators and look forward to further embedding a love of Am Yisrael, Torat Yisrael and ahavat Yisrael as they teach Judaic studies in our lower school. Having studied at Matan, a woman’s institute for Torah studies in Israel, Inbal looks forward to bringing her knowledge and passion for Torah study, combined with her experience as an occupational and musical therapist, into the WTA community of students and parents. Yoni comes as a seasoned shaliach who always felt a strong pull to educate children and is excited to return to the United States with his family to spread his love of Torah and its values.
Lois Rednick has been teaching children in grades one through nine for over 25 years. She is a reading specialist with experience teaching special education at Eagle Hill in Greenwich, and has taught at charter schools in the Bronx, as well as various other Jewish day schools in the area. Rednick believes that all students are capable of learning to excel with the proper personalized instruction, which is what attracted her to Westchester Torah Academy’s unique educational model. WTA is so excited to have Lois teach second and fourth grade general studies this year.
As WTA opens a middle school this year, we are excited to welcome Winifred Osagie as one of our general studies teachers. Winifred has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a masters degree in environmental conservation education from NYU. She has taught in Greenwich, since 2004 in both public schools and private schools. In the summer, she works at Horizons at Greens Farms Academy, which provides intervention programs for students in the Bridgeport school district. Osagie feels that each child should be treated as a unique person and encouraged to be responsive to individual differences, abilities, and interests to help them maximize their own potential.
Rabbi Avi Hoffman
WTA has welcomed Rabbi Avi Hoffman as their rav beit sefer, and looks forward to the inspiration and limud Torah he will add to our school. Rabbi Hoffman is a founding member of The Jewish Renaissance Experience, an organization that inspires, empowers and educates the greater Jewish community in Westchester. Rabbi Hoffman spent several years studying in Israel, receiving rabbinic ordination at the Jerusalem Kollel and from Rabbi Z.N. Goldberg. Upon his return to New York, he earned a degree in marketing and business management from Touro College and taught middle school math and science. Rabbi Hoffman is excited to strengthen the love of Torah and Mitzvot amongst our students.
Solomon Schechter Westchester Revamps College Guidance Department
Solomon Schechter School of Westchester announces the appointment of two highly regarded college counseling professionals to lead its college counseling department. Laura Miller, Schechter Westchester’s new director of college counseling, and Rose Weinstein, new associate director of college counseling, both have extensive experience at other Jewish day schools in the New York area and impressive track records in guiding students and families successfully through the college application process.
Laura Miller arrives at SW after seven years as director of college counseling at the Frisch School, having previously served in a similar capacity at two other schools over the course of two decades. She is active in the major networks in the field of college admissions and has led workshops on several occasions at the conference of the National Association for College Admission Counseling — most recently in 2017, when she spoke about preparing students for college interviews and organized a session about holistic admissions that included panelists from Brandeis, MIT, NYU and Yale. She has also spoken at conferences of the New York State and New Jersey Associations for College Admission Counseling, the College Board Middle States Regional Forum, the New York State Association of Independent Schools, the Westchester College Guidance Expo and several other organizations. Her articles have been published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, US News and World Report’s “Best Colleges” edition, and the “Ask the Expert” column in Next Step magazine. In 2009, she appeared on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams in a feature about college and the economy. She has been honored with Next Step magazine’s “Super Counselor” award, Teen Ink’s “Educator of the Year” prize and the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools’ “Outstanding Service to Education” award. Miller holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and undertook her graduate studies at New York University.
Prior to assuming the role of associate director at Schechter Westchester, Rose Weinstein worked as a college counselor at Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School. After earning a BA from New York University and a master’s degree in school counseling from New York University, she began her counseling career with internships in both college counseling and general counseling in the New York City public schools. Like Miller, she is known in the field for her professional presentation skills; individualized letters of recommendation; thoughtful work with students on crafting cogent essays and engaging personality that enables her to develop close relationships with students, families and admissions representatives.
Schechter Westchester is an independent K-12 day school serving 780 students on two campuses in Westchester County. The college counseling program is an integral component of the school’s senior year, which also includes an eight-week travel/study experience in Poland and Israel and an individualized internship program. Each year, the school’s graduates are admitted to over 100 different colleges and universities.