Meet Our Faculty
Mrs. Esther Auerbach
Mental Health Counselor

Esther Auerbach is a Licensed Professional Counselor as well as a Level II Certified Secondary School Counselor in Pennsylvania.  She has been working in the Philadelphia area for over 23 years providing counseling to school-aged students to help them maximize their academic potential and emotional well-being.  Since 2009, Mrs. Auerbach has been working as a High School Counselor at an all-boys college preparatory high school in Philadelphia.  She provides individual counseling, group counseling, developmental guidance lessons in the areas of stress, anxiety, mindfulness, and time management. Additionally, she administers learning assessments to determine cognitive functioning and academic achievement.   

Mrs. Auerbach holds a BA in Communications as well as a Master of Education in Counseling from Temple University. She holds certifications in Marriage and Family Therapy, Mindfulness Training, and Yoga.  

 

Mrs. Auerbach lives with her family in Merion Station.

eauerbach@themesivta.org

Rabbi Jonathan Bienenfeld
Rebbe

In addition to his teaching position at The Mesivta, Rabbi Jonathan Bienenfeld has served as the Rav of the Young Israel of Cherry Hill since the summer of 2014. Since that time, he has reinvigorated the kehilah with new, innovative programs and learning opportunities. Rabbi Bienenfeld also served as middle-school Gemara rebbe at Politz Day School of Cherry Hill where, in just a short time, he earned a reputation for his warmth, humor, and dynamic teaching style.  Prior to his arrival in Cherry Hill, he served as the Rav of Congregation Eitz Chayim in Toledo, Ohio for three years, following his work as Youth Director and Rabbinic Intern at the Young Israel of Holliswood in Queens. Rabbi Bienenfeld is a musmach of Yeshivas Ohr Hachaim in Kew Gardens Hills--where he was also a member of the Kollel Elyon—and has a BA in Judaic Studies from Touro College. He has previously taught at Kohelet Yeshiva High School and spent five summers at Camp Kaylie in Wurtsboro, New York, where he served in chinuch and administrative roles.

jbienenfeld@themesivta.org

The Mesivta welcomes Ms. Stefanie Bloom as our Chemistry Aide.  Ms. Bloom holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M. Ed. in Multicultural Education from Eastern University, and recently became a Google Certified Educator, Level 2. She has spent most of her career teaching high school math in public and private schools. Ms. Bloom holds six Pennsylvania teaching certifications, including Secondary Mathematics and Secondary English. She has worked in professional development and teacher training in addition to her classroom experience and is also an experienced SAT and ACT tutor. 

sbloom@themesivta.org

Stefanie Bloom
Chemistry Aide

Prior to his appointment at the Mesivta, Keith Bradburd served as Director of Athletics at Friends’ Central School for 34 years.  In addition to his duties as Director of Athletics, he coached a variety of athletic teams; in particular, coaching both the varsity boys’ and girls’ soccer teams for over 28 years.  Mr. Bradburd earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Lock Haven State University, where he was a member of their National Championship Soccer team, and his Master of Education Degree from West Chester University.

kbradburd@themesivta.org

Keith Bradburd

Athletic Director

Jeff Cahill has been teaching Social Studies at the secondary level for over twenty years. He spent his first six years teaching Social Studies at two public high schools outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Since 2004, he has taught multiple levels and 8 different courses at Lower Merion High School including Advanced Placement US History, American Government, Modern History through Media and Advanced Placement Psychology. His educational experience includes a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies Education from Boston University as well as a Master of Science in Political Science from Suffolk University. Additionally, he has completed graduate work at Georgetown University and was Massachusetts’s 2000 recipient of the James Madison Memorial Scholarship.

jcahill@themesivta.org

Jeff Cahill

Psychology

Dr. Rebecca Cohen
AP Literature

Dr. Rebecca Cohen teaches Advanced Placement Literature at Mesivta High School and is Literacy Coach at Bala Cynwyd Middle School. Dr. Cohen comes to Mesivta after serving as a teacher and Professor for fifteen years throughout the Midwest and East Coast. She began her career at East Grand Rapids High School in Michigan teaching American, World, and English Literature as well as directing the one-act play. While teaching, she won the Vandenberg Fellowship to attend Dartmouth College’s summer trimester to complete graduate work in American Literature, where she developed a passion for the literary analysis of teen activism. Dr. Cohen pursued this work as a Dean’s Fellow at Indiana University, Bloomington while she researched and published numerous qualitative and literary analysis studies on the topic of how to create school structures in which adolescents choose “good,”  including a piece on the Heroism of Harry Potter. She completed a PhD in Curriculum Studies and American Studies before moving to Philadelphia to work as an Assistant Professor of Education and American Studies at Ursinus College. Children and life circumstances led Dr. Cohen to forgo academia, raise her family, and lead the board of The Friendship Circle for ten years while co-owning and managing Center City Veterinary Hospital located in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. She recently delegated most of her business duties in order to return to her first love, teaching literature and writing. Her former students range from current leaders in the Education Department, Dow Chemical, and the F.B.I.  She is excited to teach another generation of leaders at The Mesivta High School.

rcohen@themesivta.org

Ray De Sabato served as the founding Principal of Secular Studies at The Mesivta.  Prior to joining the Mesivta staff, Mr. De Sabato served as a Principal at the Friends' Central School for more than twenty-five years.  He has also spent many years teaching Reading, English, and Language Arts at both The Mesivta and at Friends' Central. A passionate sports fan, Mr. De Sabato coached tennis, football, and track teams as well.  Mr. De Sabato is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a B.A. majoring in Psychology and Reading Education, an M.S. in Education, and a Teaching Certificate for Reading, Language Arts and Study Skills.  He also serves as an interviewer for the University of Pennsylvania Admissions Department.

rdesabato@themesivta.org

Ray De Sabato
English

For the past fifteen years, Rina Dunoff has taught both mainstream and special education classes to students ranging in age from pre-school through high school.  With a BA in special education and a MA in literacy, Mrs. Dunoff brings to the table her instinctual ability to zero in on a student's individual learning style, thus crafting a roadmap for their success.  Mrs. Dunoff and her family live in Bala Cynwyd.

rdunoff@themesivta.org

Rina Dunoff
Learning Support

Rabbi Ephraim Goldfein, a senior partner of the law firm Goldfein and Joseph, has over 35 years of legal experience. He has given and continues to conduct many shiurim, both public and private, in the local community. He is a well-respected public speaker and has given many lectures and sermons over the years for Jewish organizations, synagogues, law venues and public events, both locally and nationally.  He received his Semicha from HaRav HaGaon Rav Pinchus Hirschprung zt"l and his Juris Doctor from Villanova University. Rabbi Goldfein served as the President of the Board of Torah Academy for many years and has also served on the Boards of numerous other local Jewish institutions. He is currently serving on the Board of Kosloff Torah Academy, the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, and Beth Rivkah School for Girls. He has extensive experience as a teacher of Limudei Kodesh.  

Rabbi Ephraim Goldfein

Night Seder Rebbe
and Model Bais Din Coach

In addition to his full-time teaching responsibilities at The Mesivta, Rabbi Reuven Goldstein currently serves as the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Elkins Park and is a member of the Bais Din of Philadelphia. Rabbi Reuven Goldstein previously served as Kollel Director of Etz Chaim of Philadelphia. Through his dynamic classes and CLE workshops, he demonstrated an ability to connect to all types of Jews, conveying even the most complex Torah concepts in a clear and meaningful way.  After receiving Semicha from Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in Queens, Rabbi Goldstein attended Yeshivas Bais Yosef-Novhordok and received intensive Halachic training under noted author and posek, Rav Binyomin Forst. In addition, he holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Touro College.

rgoldstein@themesivta.org

Rabbi Reuven Goldstein

Rebbe

Amanda Greenberg is originally from Scottsdale, Arizona.  She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Science from Arizona State University.  Amanda and her husband moved to Philadelphia in 2012, where she earned two Master's Degrees in education and began pursuing her career in teaching.  She has been teaching for 5 years now, and absolutely loves what she does.  She also loves to travel and spend time outdoors with her husband and their 3-year-old twins and 1-year-old.  Amanda and her family live in Philadelphia.

agreenberg@themesivta.org

Ms. Amanda Greenberg

Learning Support

Charles Henneberry is a certified teacher of Social Studies.  His educational experiences and degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology from Dickinson College, post-graduate work in Classics at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in Classical Archaeology from Florida State University, and a Master of Education in Secondary Education from Temple University.  He worked at the University of Pennsylvania Museum before joining the faculty at Lower Merion High School in 2005, where he has taught courses in American History Advanced Placement and Western Civilization.

chenneberry@themesivta.org

Charles Henneberry

US History

Daniel Imaizumi has most recently taught in the Lower Merion School District as a physics teacher for 7 years and has taught Physics and Math at all levels for 14 years around the globe. At LMSD he has received several grants, one for the development of a flipped class web application in mathematics while another most recently for funding alternative energy research projects among AP students. Daniel's inspiration for teaching began with the Peace Corps where he taught in the Cape Verde Islands in West Africa. He received his BA in Physics at New College, the honors college of Florida, received his licensure at the University of Virginia, and a MSEd from Temple University. 

dimaizumi@themesivta.org

Daniel Imaizumi
Physics

Peter Kaczmar

Mathematics

In addition to teaching Geometry and Pre-Calculus at the Mesivta, Peter Kaczmar has taught Algebra II at the Mesivta and has been teaching Math at Lower Merion High School since 1996. He is currently teaching Honors Math Analysis/Trigonometry, AP Calculus and a Senior Seminar Course and he has taught across the curriculum from Pre-Algebra through Calculus.  He serves on the District Curriculum Committee and has provided a series of in-service programs for teachers, as well as workshops at the State and National levels.  Peter has been the recipient of the Cornell University Merrill Scholars Program Award as "the high school teacher who most inspired scholastic development” and the Mathematical Association of America’s Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished High School Mathematics Teaching.  Mr. Kaczmar graduated from Rutgers University and holds a Master’s Degree in Education from St. Joseph’s University and a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Villanova University.

pkaczmar@themesivta.org

Dr. James Keenan

English

Dr. Jim Keenan has been teaching English at the secondary level for nearly 30 years.  In addition to teaching Language Arts at The Mesivta, he meets with Honors and College Prep classes daily at Lower Merion High School.  Jim began guiding students at Sun Valley High School in 1990, and from 1991 to 1999, taught at Phoenixville Area High School before joining the Lower Merion faculty in the fall of 1999. Passionately interested in the relationship between sports and society, he has coached baseball and football teams at the middle and high school levels and included the teaching of sports writing and documentary in many of his courses.  He enjoys working with students in all areas of literacy, particularly in the development of writing portfolios and how to use technology for the purpose of comprehending print based texts.  Dr. Keenan has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ursinus College, a Master of Arts in English from Villanova University, and an Educational Doctorate in Reading and Language Arts from Widener University. 

jkeenan@themesivta.org

Michael Kelly is currently in his 21st year teaching high school to high-achieving students and has been at Lower Merion High since 2002. Mr. Kelly is certified in Social Studies and currently teaches Honors Government and a course in Philosophy.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Arts in History from San Francisco State University.

mkelly@themesivta.org

Michael B. Kelly

Government

Brian Klick has fifteen years of experience working with high school students. He graduated from Widener Univerity with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Secondary Education Social Studies Certification. He also received his Masters in Counseling Education from Widener. He had been teaching at Harriton High School since 2006, where he has taught a variety of college prep, honors, and International Baccalaureate courses including: US History, Western Civilization, African/Asian Studies, Global Studies, Psychology, and Theory of Knowledge.  Mr. Klick has also been intensely active in Harriton's coaching and philanthropic efforts.

bklick@themesivta.org

Brian Klick
US History
Anna Kocher
Art

Anna Kocher is a painter who has been living and working in the greater Philadelphia area for over 15 years.  After semesters spent studying art in Italy and at Temple University, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Gordon College in 2002.  She has since been painting for commission and exhibiting her work locally.  She currently serves on the gallery committee for Community Arts Phoenixville and is part of Souls Shot, a travelling group portrait exhibition showcased throughout Pennsylvania.  She has worked with diverse groups of children and youth of all ages for many years, including teaching private art lessons, classes, art camps, and music classes. Anna lives with her family in Phoenixville, PA.

akocher@themesivta.org

In addition to teaching Chemistry at the Mesivta, Larry McAfoos serves as the Science Department Chair for Lower Merion High School – a position he has held since 2001.  Larry teaches all levels of chemistry from introductory courses through Advanced Placement, leads review sessions for the SAT II Chemistry examination, and serves as a head coach for Lower Merion High School's Science Olympiad Team.  In addition to receiving accolades from professional colleagues, he was nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2011.  Mr. McAfoos received his B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University and his M.A.T. in Secondary Chemistry from State University College at Cortland, Cortland, NY

lmcafoos@themesivta.org

Larry McAfoos

Chemistry

Joy Nissen joins the Mesivta this year as its Special Education intern.  Ms. Nissen is pursuing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Widener University, and is passionate about working with children, adolescents, and families. She received her undergraduate degree with honors in Peace and Conflict Studies from Colgate University, and completed coursework in Psychology and Sociology.  Joy spent the past six years in the business world, managing an international team across three continents. Joy made the decision to leave her company in order to pursue her PsyD, which has been her dream for many years. She has served as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big & Sisters program for six years, and also spent the past year as a research assistant at Georgetown University’s Children’s Digital Media Center, studying STEM learning through media. Joy is excited to work with the Mesivta community and help support students’ needs, under the direction and guidance of Dr. Harris Finklestein.

jnissen@themesivta.org

Ms. Joy Nissen

Special Education Intern

Jeff Nyce has been teaching secondary math for 17 years, the last 15 at Lower Merion High School, where he taught everything from Algebra I to AP Calculus.  He has developed the curriculum for a number of LMSD's math courses, emphasizing real world application of skills and math literacy.  He also taught two years at Palisades High School in Upper Bucks County before making the move to Lower Merion.  Jeff has received a BSE in Mathematics with an option in Actuarial Science from Millersville University in 2002, and a Master's Degree in Technology Education from Wilkes University in 2007.

jnyce@themesivta.org

Jeff Nyce

Mathematics

Justin Occhiogrosso has been teaching mathematics for more than ten years. In addition to teaching Geometry at the Mesivta, he has taught Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, AP Calculus, and College Prep courses at Harriton High School.  Mr. Occhiogrosso also has experience with differentiation, and has developed “flipped” classrooms to provide additional support for students who learn in non-traditional ways. Mr. Occhiogrosso graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Mathematics, and also received his M.A. in Mathematics from Boston University, where he received an award for mathematical modeling. 

jocchio@themesivta.org

Justin Occhiogrosso

Mathematics

Marie Occhiogrosso
Principal of Secular Studies

College Guidance Counselor

English

Marie Occhiogrosso graduated magna cum laude from Duquesne University with undergraduate degrees in English Literature and English Education.  She has a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Marygrove College and College Admissions Counseling from UCLA, and earned a grad certificate in Leadership from Cornell University's School of Business.  She is currently pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership, as she values life-long learning.

 

Ms. Occhiogrosso began her career in education teaching a college-level writing course for Duquesne University.  She then taught 9th-12th grade English at Harriton High School in Lower Merion, and IB, HL and SL students abroad in Vienna, Austria.  Ms. Occhiogrosso prides herself on creating meaningful learning experiences for students of all abilities, and she has been trained in co-teaching for students with special needs, AP, and International Baccalaureate.

 

Ms. Occhiogrosso has worked in standardized test prep since 2004, and has supported students in improving their SAT and ACT scores. She started a private practice on the Main Line guiding students through all aspects of the college admissions process before taking over Mesivta's College Guidance program in 2017.  She is honored and excited to oversee Mesivta's secular programming as Principal.

mocchio@themesivta.org

Bill Quinn has been a Social Studies and English teacher at Lower Merion High School in the Lower Merion School District for 23 years.  Mr. Quinn holds two Bachelor Degrees: one in Communications, with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism, from Temple University, as well as a BA in English from California State University, Heyward.  He also has earned several advanced degrees at Villanova University, including Master’s Degrees in both Educational Leadership and Liberal Studies.  Additionally, he has been a long-time volunteer for both the Radnor Township School District and the Radnor Township Sports Association.  Mr. Quinn and his family reside in Rosemont, PA.

wquinn@themesivta.org

Bill Quinn
US History

Prior to joining the staff at the Mesivta in its inaugural year, Rabbi Yosef Rabinowich served as Shoel Umeshiv at Talmudical Academy High School of Baltimore and as an extended-period substitute at that school and at Ner Israel Rabbinical College.  He has lectured for Project SEED to audiences in Calgary, Sydney, San Diego and St. Louis.  In addition, he has taught Halacha and Mussar for six years at Camp NCSY Sports Kollel and prepared Ner Israel avreichim for Semicha.   An avid reader of Jewish history, Rabbi Rabinowich enjoys integrating stories and lessons from our past into his daily lessons.  Rabbi Rabinowich received ordination from Ner Israel and a Master’s Degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University.  Rabbi Rabinowich and his family reside in Bala Cynwyd.

yrabinowich@themesivta.org

Rabbi Yosef Rabinowich

Rebbe

Jesse Rappaport

World History

Jesse Rappaport is starting his twentieth year in Social Studies education. He has taught all grades, AP, Honors, and the College Prep Level, the last twelve of which have been at Harriton High School. These courses have included World History, US History, and American Government. Jesse has a BA from Hobart College where he was member of the basketball team and the student newspaper.  Jesse was selected as a Statesman Scholar his senior year, a distinction given to athletes with the highest GPA in a given term.  Jesse studied abroad in Israel, and then went on to play professional basketball for two years for Hapoel Naharyia located in Northern Israel. While there, Jesse started an after-school program for the youth in the community, which included basketball instruction and tutoring English.  Jesse was the head basketball coach at Harriton for ten years, before moving on to spend a year coaching at the college level.

jrappaport@themesivta.org

Kevin Ries is a certified teacher of Biology.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of Delaware, and earned his Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Pennsylvania State University.  He has been teaching Biology and AP Biology at Lower Merion High School for the past 17 years.  He is an award winning teacher and soccer coach.

kries@themesivta.org

Kevin Ries

Biology

Roxana Rohe joined the staff at The Mesivta in 2018 with a broad background in Chemistry as well as Biology.  Roxana completed her undergraduate studies at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Biochemistry and Interpersonal Communications. Mrs. Rohe spent the first years of her career as a Chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. After completing her teaching credentials and Master's Degree in Education at West Chester University, she joined the teaching profession. She is currently a full time teacher in the West Chester Area School District where she primarily teaches all levels of Chemistry and Biology I.

rrohe@themesivta.org

Roxana Rohe

Biochemistry

Dean Rosencranz

Mathematics

Dean Rosencranz was born in San Diego and raised in California and Pennsylvania.  He earned a Bachelor's Degree from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.  After 20 years working in Economic Development and Commercial Real Estate Finance, Mr. Rosencranz changed careers and received a math teaching credential from the University of Pennsylvania.  For the next 13 years, he worked at Cheltenham High School teaching mostly Algebra and Pre-Calculus.  In 2011, he became "Math Specialist" at Lower Merion High School.  In this role, he works mostly with struggling math students in small groups. His professional interest is to increase students' depth of knowledge by focusing on problem-solving and real world application.  Mr. Rosencranz teaches Algebra I and Algebra II at the Mesivta High School, and lives in Ardmore.

drosencranz@themesivta.org

Amy Roslow-Lester graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA from Lehigh University in Journalism, and a minor in English. She worked in non-profit public relations before attending Teachers College, Columbia University and completing a Master's Degree in English Education. Amy taught in the NYC public schools, then moved to London, Ontario where she became a certified Montessori teacher and also worked as a private tutor.  Since moving to Philadelphia, she has continued tutoring privately and is excited to re-enter a school setting at the Mesivta. 

aroslowlester@themesivta.org

Amy Roslow-Lester

Reading

Rabbi Yakir Schechter has been at the Mesivta since its inception. He received his Semicha from Yeshiva University and a Master’s Degree from the Azrieli School of Jewish Education.  He also spent time learning at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, Mir-Yerushalayim, the Aish HaTorah Kollel Elyon, and the Philadelphia Community Kollel. With his experience teaching teenage boys in a wide variety of institutions, he brings warmth, passion and excitement into the Mesivta. In addition to teaching, he coached the MTA hockey team for several years, and played the drums for Neginah Orchestra.   Rabbi Schechter and his family reside in Bala Cynwyd.

 

yschechter@themesivta.org

Rabbi Yakir Schechter

Rebbe

Rabbi Gershon Schwartz

Dean of Students

Rabbi Gershon Schwartz joined the Mesivta in 2017 as Dean of Students.  Rabbi Schwartz graduated from Touro College with a B.A. in Managerial Accounting, and received his Semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg shlita of Yerushalayim.  Rabbi Schwartz has taught at Yeshivat Reishit in Beit Shemesh, Israel; Yeshivat Derech Hatorah in Brooklyn, NY; Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (MTA) in NY; and Yeshivat Noam in Paramus, NJ.  Rabbi Schwartz has also worked for several years with youth in camps. He worked for Camp Shoresh  as a rebbe and Head Sports Counselor.  For six years, he worked extensively on special programming and activities for Camp Avraham Chaim Heller and NCSY Kollel.  He also coached basketball and softball for four years at MTA and at the Rav Teitz Mesivta Academy/Jewish Educational Center (JEC).  Rabbi Schwartz and his family reside in Merion Station.

 

 gschwartz@themesivta.org

Rabbi Avraham Steinberg

Rosh Mesivta, Rebbe

Rabbi Avraham Steinberg is the founding Rosh Mesivta of the Mesivta High School of Greater Philadelphia.  Since 2004, he has served as the Rabbi of the Young Israel of the Main Line. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Ohab Zedek on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Throughout his rabbinic career, he has been active in education, teaching at Manhattan Day School, Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia, the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, and Kosloff Torah Academy High School for Girls. Among the subjects he has taught are Halacha, Chumash, Navi, Advanced Gemora, Homiletics, and Jewish Thought.

Rabbi Steinberg is the author of several seforim and articles in rabbinic and lay journals. A talmid of Yeshiva Shaar HaTorah for eight years, he has Semicha from that institution, as well as from the Machon LeTorah Ulehoraah; he was also granted Yadin-Yadin ordination.  In addition to serving as Rosh Mesivta, Rabbi Steinberg gives a Gemora and Tanach shiur at the Mesivta. 

Rabbi Steinberg, his wife, Dini, and their children live in Merion Station, PA.

rabbisteinberg@themesivta.org

Rabbi Daniel Taban has over thirty years of experience in Jewish Education. Early in his career, he served as a full-time rebbe at Yeshiva Elementary School of Miami and at Torat Hayim Hebrew Academy of Los Angeles. At the latter, he was soon promoted to Principal, a position he served in for over 25 years. A musmach of the Talmudic University of Florida, Rabbi Taban has a particular interest in empowering the students whom others may overlook. He has taken many continuing-education courses, including most recently an intensive multi-sensory course in teaching Kriah and Kesivah (Hebrew reading and writing). Rabbi Taban, his wife Shuli, and their family live in Bala Cynwyd, PA.

Rabbi Daniel Taban

Assistant Rebbe

A Philadelphia native, David Thomas is in his 37th year of teaching in the area. Mr. Thomas attended Earlham College where, in 1979, he earned an AB in Chemistry and Widener University where he completed a MEd. in 1988.  Mr. Thomas began teaching in February 1980 at Providence Friends School, now Media-Providence Friends School, where he taught every subject in science over the years.  He also taught Chemistry as a Co-Adjunct Professor at Delaware County Community College, from 1981-1984.  In 1986, Mr. Thomas joined Bishop Eustace Preparatory School, in Pennsauken, NJ, where he has taught Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. In 1988, he joined the faculty of Friends' Central School, where he has taught science to grades 5-8.

dthomas@themesivta.org

David Thomas

Chemistry

John Vaccaro is currently enjoying his 26th year of teaching mathematics at the secondary level. In addition to his teaching duties at the Mesivta, Mr. Vaccaro is a teacher and Mathematics Department Chair at Lower Merion High School.  Mr. Vaccaro taught for seven years near his hometown in Westchester County, New York before making his way to Pennsylvania and joining the Lower Merion High School faculty in 2000.  He has been a local and national level presenter around the ideas of integrating technology, differentiating instruction and problem solving.  While Mr. Vaccaro has taught many different courses throughout his career, his two favorite classes to teach are Geometry, which he is teaching this year at the Mesivta, and Math Analysis & Trigonometry.  Mr. Vaccaro has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Western New England College and a M.A.T. in Secondary Mathematics Education from Manhattanville College.  

jvaccaro@themesivta.org

John Vaccaro

Mathematics

Jessica Watson moved to the Philadelphia area from Brooklyn, New York where she began teaching Literature and English Language Arts ten years ago. There, she was granted the highest level of tenure the New York City Department of Education has to offer.  She designed curriculum for the 9th and 10th grade teachers, headed the technical theater department, served as a teaching coach and mentor to other educators and lead department and grade team meetings. At The Mesitva she teaches English to 11th grade and 12th Grade scholars. In her classroom she is passionate about engaging students in high-level discussions on literature and fostering confidence and competence in writing.  Ms. Watson holds a Masters of English Education (M.A.) from Steinhart School of Education, New York University and a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD.

jwatson@themesivta.org

Jessica Watson
English

Dr. David Weiss serves as Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  An alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion, he heads the Kollel-Erev Iyun Chabura and the Bioethics Iyun Chabura at the Philadelphia Community Kollel, has taught for the Tehila Learning Program for Women, and has given numerous advanced-level shiurim in community Torah venues. Dr. Weiss is President of Kosloff Torah Academy, and serves on the Boards of numerous other local institutions.

Dr. David Weiss

Night Seder Rebbe
 and Model Bais Din Coach

 

The Mesivta High School of Greater Philadelphia

314 Levering Mill Road    Bala Cynwyd, PA  19004

TEL:  (610) 617-9200   |   FAX:  (610) 617-9203   |   info@themesivta.org

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