Our Teachers

Our Teachers

Maya Fela

Maya Fela

Hebrew

Shalom!
My name is Maya, I live in Austin, and I teach Hebrew at Austin Jewish Academy. I like to provide an inviting, exciting, and joyful learning environment while offering a wide variety of learning styles and needs.
In Israel, I tutored and taught strategies to high school and college students with learning disabilities to help them reach their full potential. Learning a language should be fun, and it is the most effective way to learn. I’m a true believer in games which in my experience, have a tremendous impact, both educationally and socially. I can’t wait for all the wonderful learning ahead of us!

Sharon Freeman

Sharon Freeman

Hebrew

Shalom! my name is Sharon and I live in Atlanta. I have chosen the teaching profession out of true love for the education discipline. I am enjoying guiding students to maturity, using a unique combination of education knowledge coupled with eighteen years of experience.
I like to incorporate games and technology into my classes and a lot of fun. So if you want to learn Hebrew in an experiential way too – I’d love you to join me!

Nava Berg

Nava Berg

Hebrew

Nava was born in Israel, and grew up in the sunny port city of Haifa. Looking for adventure and excitement led her to live all over the world including Canada, Greece, Germany and the US. Her love of working with people and helping others has led her to teaching languages for over the past decade. There is nothing more satisfying than making a difference in people’s lives and seeing them achieve their goals. Being a teacher is not just about teaching grammar and vocabulary, but effective communication skills, confidence and the ability to deal with uncertainty. Amongst other things Nava has a passion for creating things and even built an off grid tiny house which she lived in with her family. She can’t imagine life without books, her friends and macaroni and cheese. Nava currently lives with her family in Austin TX, and enjoys the laid back fun atmosphere of the city. She teaches Hebrew and Jewish studies, along side her many hobbies including pottery, cooking and exploring the city.’

Sarit Radaei

Hebrew

Hi!

My name is Sarit and I am currently located in Los Angeles. 

I chose to work in Hebrew education because of my love for Israel and for teaching children. I enjoy teaching kids of all ages and love seeing them make progress in learning the Hebrew language and in appreciating the culture and history of Israel. I like to teach in a way that fosters  experiential learning and believe that this is the way to plant the love of the Hebrew language within my students. Looking forward to meeting you all in my class!

Dana Bar-OR

Dana Bar-Or

Hebrew

Dana Bar-Or is a Middle School Director and has 16 years of teaching experience mainly in Middle School and Upper School. Dana was highly involved in the IAC and served as the first member of the Gavanim leadership group. Her teaching style is engaging and students centric. In her free time she enjoys practicing her boxing skills. In the past, while in Israel, Dana worked as a lawyer in Haifa her home town.

Ornit Levinson-Suter

Hebrew

Ornit Levinson-Suter is an English and Hebrew teacher with many years of experience, working for both the Israeli Ministry of Education as well as the Education system in the USA. Ornit holds a BA in Family and Child Studies from Montclair State University, New Jersey, and a teaching certificate from the Kibbutzim College, Tel-Aviv Israel. In 2018 Ornit moved to California from New York and lives in the Bay area. She is currently, working both as a classroom teacher and as a Jewish educator in the community. Ornit believes in a differentiated learning experience for each student. She likes to use creative and engaging teaching and technology in her classroom. Ornit’s goal as a teacher is to be able to engage the students in developing meaningful relationships through learning new and exciting things and by sharing their experiences. She would like to see her students feel comfortable enough to try using Hebrew in situations outside the classroom. Ornit’s teaching view on learning a language is that sometimes a small step in the right direction can turn out to be the beginning of a march to victory. Do not hesitate to take small steps!

Hanita Hayim

Hebrew

My name is Hanita Hayim and I have been a Hebrew teacher for more than 20 years. I started my teaching career in Israel when I taught first, second, and fifth grades in elementary school.

Out of love for the Hebrew language and the desire to pass it on to future generations, I studied teaching Hebrew to the upper grades. I also specialized in teaching Hebrew as a second language.

After a few years I came to the conclusion that my goal in life is to teach Hebrew in countries overseas.  About 6 years ago I moved to the US and since then I have been teaching Hebrew in a Jewish school.

I really like teaching Hebrew and enjoy hearing the children speak Hebrew.

Yakov Gross

Hebrew

Yakov was born and raised in Israel and currently lives in New York City. Yakov is an experienced Hebrew teacher with years of teaching Hebrew and Israeli culture. Since he relocated to the US, Yakov has been working as a Hebrew teacher and a youth guide in several schools and Jewish community centers in Manhattan. During his career, Yakov worked with a diverse population and ages, including children with special needs. His passion for education began during his military service as a commander in an elite unit where he was responsible for educating the next generation of Israel. Following his military service, Yakov was engaged in various army-preparation programs and he continued to study Education in college.        

Yakov believes that having fun in class is the key to learning. Perseverance, investment, and hard work are the hallmark of success.

 

Jenny Ackerman

Hebrew

Hi, my name is Jenny. I will teach Hebrew level 1 through Israeli songs, poems, books and more.  I am a teacher for more than a decade. I started my carrier in the Israeli army as a teacher. I hold a master degree and I specialized and worked as a special Ed teacher. I am a mom of 2 wonderful kids. Teaching is my passion and I can’t wait to share with you my knowledge and my fun way of teaching. 

See you soon! 

Mirit Balkan

Mirit Balkan

Hebrew

Mirit Balkan, a Mom of 3, arrived in Cleveland a decade ago from Israel. She brings with her over twenty years of experience in group facilitation with expertise in Conflict Transformation and Peace Building. Worked at The Yitzhak Rabin center and Gilo center for Civic society and Democracy in Israel, and at The Jewish Federation of Cleveland, a Nonprofit that fundraises and distributes funds for Jews in need, locally and globally. She is a mentor and facilitator for IAC – Israeli American Counsel – Gvanim community Leadership program, and is continuously looking for ways to create significant dialogues and meaning for individuals and groups.

Dalia Mendel

Hebrew

Dalia Mendel is an experienced Hebrew teacher with years of teaching Hebrew and Israeli culture. Dalia relocated to the US in 2014 with her family and since then has been teaching Hebrew to different age groups and in different Jewish organizations such Jewish day schools and Temples. In her classes, she will focus on the four Hebrew language skills – speaking, reading, writing and listening using authentic Israeli songs, games, teacher prepared materials, videos and more in order to keep her students engaged and meet different learning styles. Dalia brings her love and passion to Israel and Hebrew in her classes.

 

Irit Izhar

Hebrew + Baking


My name is Irit Izhar, my family and me moved to the United States in 2007 , we reside in northern New Jersey. I’m trained as a Hebrew teacher with B.Ed from Israel.

During my years in the US, I tought Hebrew in various schools and after school organizations, to students from many age groups, including adults, middle school and elementary school aged kids. Mainly focusing on children that are making their first steps in learning the Hebrew language. By doing this I acquired techniques and methods to help those young learners, who mostly read and write English in their day to day life.

And to keep things interesting, I’m also a trained pastry chef and spend a lot of time exploring this area, with focus on healthy and tasty baking products. This also allow me to teach Hebrew through doing and get to more students through non-verbal senses.

I invite you and the future generation to join me in a journey and learn the wonderful Hebrew language, with its multitude of layers. Promising an interesting learning experience, that will strengthen the connection to our language and culture.

Irit Izhar

Zehava Dahan

Zehava Dahan

Hebrew + Israeli Spirit

I have been working as a Jewish educator in the Bay Area for 30 years, both as a classroom teacher and as an administrator. For me the most exciting aspect of working with learners is the creation of a warm environment through a wide partnership of teachers, parents, and learners.
My goal is to use that partnership to develop inquisitive, engaged, and caring children who will become lifelong learners and compassionate human beings.

“I learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and most from my pupils.” (Yehuda haNasi, in Ta’anit 7a).

“מִכָּל מְלַמְדַי הִשְכַלְתִי – וּמִתַלְמִידַי יוֹתֵר מִכּוּלָם”

Amir Eden

Amir Eden

Israeli Spirit & Hebrew

Shalom,
My name is Amir. I am an Israeli American. I hold an M.A in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University. I have twelve years of experience as a Hebrew teacher, six years as a “Modern Israel” teacher, three years as a 6th to 12th Hebrew Department Chair, two years as a Middle and High School Principal, and six years K-12 Head of Judaic Studies, Hebrew, Jewish Life and Israel connections. I also had the honor of leading 19 educational trips to Israel. I had the pleasure of serving:
Brandeis Hillel Day school (CA) , Donna Klein Jewish Academy (FL) , Jess schwartz college prep (AZ), Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus (NV), and Tucson Hebrew Academy (AZ).
I also had the honor of serving as the founding Board Chair of the Israeli Scouts and The founding Regional Director of IAC in Las Vegas.
I am married, a father of two young men and in my free time I love to travel, read, cook, play and coach soccer.
I am exited of the opportunity to lead you on a special journey as we explore our spectacular Jewish heritage while learning about our own part in it.

MOR COHEN

Mor Cohen

Israeli Spirit

Mor Cohen was born and raised in Israel and works as a Jewish educator, focusing on Hebrew teaching, Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutoring, Israeli Spirit, and Judaism. She has been working with students of all ages from all around the United States.

In the lessons she teaches, Mor pays great attention to creating a constructive environment. As a professionally trained performer and filmmaker, she uses arts and crafts, acting exercises, and music in her lessons, through which the students get a creative outlet to explore new ideas in a fun, interactive way.

Yeal Marx

Yael Marx

Enrichment

Yael is a teacher and an educator for more than 30 years. She holds a master degree in literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her book clubs started 6 years ago and are focused on human point of view and academics.

Tal Hadari Menagen

Enrichment

Nice to meet you!

My name is Tal Hadari.

I’m 43 years old, and I live in Israel. I’m an expert in Organizational Behavior (M.A. in Organizational Sociology) with extensive experience working in the private and government sectors. About a year and a half ago, I decided to focus on what really matters – in my opinion – and I built a magical social initiative – #You’ve Got It, (“Yesh Lach Et Ze” in Hebrew).

#You’ve-Got-It  focuses on personal empowerment, with an emphasis on young women, teenage girls and more. This initiative includes empowering videos in social media, private coaching sessions, lectures, mini group sessions, group coaching, writing a book, and in the spirit of this period – Zoom sessions and a lot of other surprises. 

Who comes to me?  Girls that decided they want to succeed!!

In which area? Any area of life. 

And together we can learn HOW! If you want to really get to know me: I love dark chocolate, can’t stand the smell of coriander, and if I want to relax – all I need is to sit by  the beach and watch the waves.

And what I truly believe in is that when you have faith you can accomplish anything you desire. 

Well – almost. 

The rest we can learn together.

Maya Lotan

Maya Lotan

Enrichment

My name is Maya Lotan, I am a tour-guide and Jewish educator since the days of my military service.
I hold a master’s degree in Israel studies with a specialization in modern history.
I am originally from Tel Aviv, and I love the city and its history and culture.
I have been guiding for over a decade families from abroad, birthright and school trips.
I have also initiated Tiyul-Ledet (hike-birthday) – tours and trips for parents on maternity leave and a concept of combining birthday celebrations in nature.

Sivan Arbel

Enrichment

Sivan Arbel is an Israeli vocalist, composer, and educator who has performed all around the world in places such as The Lincoln Center in New York City, the Minsk Jazz Festival in Belarus, Bratislava Jazz Days Festival in Slovakia, Boston Jazz Festival, and 4020 Festival in Austria, to name a few. Arbel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance from the Newpark Music Center in Dublin and is a graduate of the Jazz Performance program at the Rimon School of Music in Israel. She has collaborated with musicians around the world such as the Japanese band Ichimujin, Brazilian Pandeiro player Túlio Araújo, Groove it Forward Project and pianist Guy Mintus. 

Arbel has also released two albums: Broken Lines in 2016 and Change of Light in 2019, which was selected as the Best Vocal Disc of 2019 by Jazz2K.

 
Elad Kabilio

Elad Kabilio

Enrichment

Celebrated by the New York Times for “his vibrant playing full of texture and nuance” Israeli Cellist Elad Kabilio has dual career as performer and educator. He currently teaches at the Manhattan JCC, 92Y, Manhattan School of Music, The Harmony Program and gives interactive concerts with the concert series MusicTalks. Mr. Kabilio has performed in prestigious hall such as Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum, Philharmonie Berlin and Teatro La Scala in Milan. Mr. Kabilio holds 4 degrees from Tel-Aviv University, Mannes College of Music – New School University and Manhattan School of music.

Shlomi Katz

Enrichment

Shlomi Katz has been training in martial arts for 34 years, and teaching youth and adults, civilians and soldiers, for over 26 years. He served as a fighter in Special Forces in the IDF and later as the head of Krav Maga and hand to hand combat in the LOTAR – the Counter Terror School (CTU) of the IDF. He train all the Special Forces including, seals, special unite in the air force etc.…. Shlomi specialized in brining elite soldiers with no background (in hand to hand combat) to a high level of fighting. And in combining the hand to hand fighting skills with the armed fighting. After the military, Shlomi trained and consulted different security organizations and opened his own school for civilians. He raised hundreds of martial arts students that reached the highest level of krav maga. Many of them also reached to the top of Israeli full contact fighting. Among them; world champion in Pankration, Israeli karate full contact champions, kickboxing top rank fighters etc.…

In 2008 Shlomi moved to Sunnyvale California and in 2009 he open his Krav maga and martial arts center called Kravzone. Since then He teaches there along with one of his senior black belt form Israel, Tomer Davidovich and several of black belts that he raised in the states.

Michal Laufer

Michal Laufer

Parenting

Michal Laufer is a 49-year-old, mother of 2, and currently living in Kibbutz Dan, Israel – a beautiful place in the upper Galilee. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s  Degree in communications. Michal is the creator of board games for kids, the “Give&Get Games” – games that develop communications and social skills, encourage values, emotional expression, will power and positive thinking.
“My inspiration for creating these kind of games evoked from my last job as a manager in the Israeli kid’s TV channel that made me wonder about the content kids are exposed to these days, and also form my studies of Torah and Kabbalah. I believe that when we give our kids the right tools – of course in a fun way! – for life, based on the knowledge that the more you give the more you get, their future will be really good!”- Michal Laufer

Shiri Rosenblat-Itzhak

Parenting

Shiri Rosenblat-Itzhak holds a Masters in Psychology counseling from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is a certified Executive Coach (school of continuing education at NYU), is a member of the ICF and holds certificates in positive psychology (Cipp, CAPP). Shiri has over 20 years of experience working with teenagers and young adults.
She is grateful for her family and friends, finding her calling in life, and coffee.

Karin Adoni Ben-David

Parenting

Karin Adoni Ben-David, is a highly sought-after Certified Nutritionist and Health Coach
specializing in healthy lifestyles, emotional eating, and sugar detox. After suffering from severe eating disorders for over a decade, she transformed her life and now devotes herself to the practice of health and nutrition. Today, she empowers the lives for her clients, just as she did for herself, through healing the mind, body, and soul through the power of food.
Karin utilizes a comprehensive approach that combines nutrition, education, support, and behavioral change. Karin made her mark as a nutritionist at one of Israel’s most successful practices. Working with celebrity clientele and using the most cutting-edge resources, Karin developed her unique and effective approach to eating and obtaining a
positive self-image. Later, she became the Head of the Nutrition Department at Reebok Sports in New York City. Today, Karin has an exclusive, private practice in Los Angeles and leads the popular and successful online nutrition programs for clients nationwide.
Karin’s programs restore the body to balance through eating real and delicious whole foods, setting them apart from conventional nutritional practices.

Yael Omer

Parenting

Yael holds a master’s degree in special education, has been a parenting specialist for the past 20 years, she is a behavioral therapist and an ADHD expert.
Yael is the founder and owner of the International Parenting School (PIS), which provides lectures, workshops, and individual training to parents from around the world.
She also leads a parent-specialist training program, in the Alfred Adler approach, in collaboration with the Michal Dalyot Center and the Haifa University Clinical Center.

Lilach Geppert-Shapira

Parenting

Lilach has been working with parents for more than 15 years. She has a Masters in psychology, practices CBT and ACT Therapy, is a Parent educator, and a Life and marriage coach. She is also a Certified Gottman Seven Principles Leader.

Yael Mann Shahar

Parenting

Yael Mann-Shahar, holds a B.A in psychology and M.A in organizational development.

Yael spent parts in her life in Canada, researching different cultures and the influences of technology on our lives. 

During the last few years, Yael is involved in the field of “Psychology of Technology” – relatively a new field. The field examines the psychological and neurological influences that smartphones and the internet have on our lives.