(Courtesy of Bruriah) Building an even stronger Bruriah for every student, incoming Bruriah Principal Dr. Bethany Strulowitz announced several exciting appointments. Leading educator Debbie Bornstein will join Bruriah in the coming weeks as the new assistant principal of the High School. “I am thrilled to join the Bruriah family and further cultivate Bruriah’s rich legacy where students thrive in their academic and personal development and are inspired to lead meaningful Torah lives,” she said.
An outstanding educator with a passion for helping students grow, Bornstein will join Bruriah’s incredible faculty and staff in modeling Bruriah values and working to help every student achieve her individual potential. Warm, innovative and energetic, Bornstein will contribute to a school culture where the belief in the potential of every student helps them believe in themselves. She will work to strengthen the school-home partnership and support faculty in their pursuit of educational excellence.
Bornstein is an instructional leader and curriculum expert with over two decades of educational experience and currently serves as the Judaic Studies principal at Atlanta Jewish Academy where she has been for nearly two decades. She earned her master’s degree in education administration and supervision from Loyola University, holds a teaching certificate from Neve Yerushalayim, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and chemistry from Hunter College. She has studied leadership at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and completed the YU Lead leadership development program.
Margueya Poupko, Bruriah’s English Department chair and phenomenal teacher, will expand her role and assume the position of director of academic enrichment. Having taught at Bruriah for the past 16 years, Poupko is widely recognized and respected for her ability to empower her students through academic rigor, critical thinking, intellectual autonomy, humor and sensitivity while introducing Torah values within the context of classical texts. As director of academic enrichment, Poupko will oversee the intersection of curriculum, culture and learning in the high school through cross-curricular instruction and enrichment, synthesizing the strong Judaic and general studies programs at Bruriah.
“I’m excited to continue Bruriah’s rich legacy of individualized education, and further enhance our program with innovation to provide meaningful, substantive learning with real life applications. At Bruriah, we support the whole student, the unique person, and equip her to confront the future with sophistication and independence,” Poupko shared.
Poupko earned a degree in English from Stern College where she has also taught on the collegiate level. She earned a master of fine arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College, is certified to teach AP English through the College Board and has worked as an AP reader for the AP English Composition Exam. She is the recipient of the Star-Ledger Teacher Award and the Jerry Gottesman Quest Award for the Pursuit of Teaching Excellence.
In Limudei Kodesh, Rabbi Steven Miodownik has been appointed chair of Bruriah’s Torah SheB’al Peh and Halacha Department. Well-liked and respected by students and colleagues for his warm and engaging demeanor as well as his pedagogical expertise and knowledge, Rabbi Miodownik is passionate about further developing and deepening the TSBP curricula at Bruriah to strengthen students’ critical thinking, fluency and knowledge of halacha. A master educator, Rabbi Miodownik is looking forward to contributing even more to Bruriah’s stellar faculty.
Rabbi Miodownik received semicha from RIETS and a master’s in secondary Jewish education from the Azrieli Graduate School of Yeshiva University. He is the rabbi of Congregation Ahavas Achim in Highland Park, and he previously taught at RPRY for over 20 years before joining the Bruriah faculty last year. He is also the proud parent of two Bruriah graduates and one current Bruriah student.
Complementing Bruriah’s renowned academics is its leading co-curricular program, and Dr. Strulowitz was pleased to announce that Bruriah’s Director of Programming Dena Lichtman will now serve as the director of student life.
Approachable, personable and incredibly authentic, Lichtman brings energy, spirit and creativity wherever she goes. She is beloved by students, respected by colleagues and adored by all who know her. When she graduated Bruriah, Lichtman’s peers noted that her “warm personality and leadership qualities reach everyone” and that “Dena can be counted on for anything.” What was true then remains the hallmark of her personality and her work over the past decade at Bruriah. The students are ecstatic about this appointment, and everyone at Bruriah could not be more thrilled to have Lichtman taking on this leadership role.
Also in the co-curricular realm, Baila Weisberger will be joining the Bruriah team as head of Bruriah’s Middle School programming. Weisberger is a proud Bruriah alumna who brings Bruriah energy to everything she does. As the head of Bruriah’s Middle School programming, she will connect with students, activate their passions and further infuse creativity throughout the Middle School. After graduating from Bruriah, Weisberger attended Michlalah in Israel, graduated from Touro, was a senior staff member at Camp Sternberg and Michlelet NCSY, and taught at YBH in Passaic.
“With such a talented cadre of educators and leaders, I could not be more optimistic about Bruriah’s exciting future as we build an even better Bruriah for each and every student,” said Dr. Strulowitz.