September 29, 2023
September 29, 2023

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Ma’ayanot Welcomes Outstanding New Faculty

(Courtesy of Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls) Ma’ayanot is excited to begin another year of learning and growth with highly qualified and dynamic new faculty members, as well as veteran faculty taking on expanded roles.

Rivka Alter will be teaching Tanakh, Jewish philosophy and Halacha, and running Ma’ayanot’s Senior Experience program. Alter taught Tanakh and was involved in Judaic programming at the Denver Academy of Torah for 15 years. Upon moving back to NJ, she completed Nishmat’s Yoetzet Halacha program and currently works in the Teaneck community and in Riverdale as a yoetzet halacha, and is an experienced kallah teacher, even mentoring other kallah teachers through Nishmat’s training program. For the past five years Alter has taught Women in Jewish Law and Tanakh, and served as the grade dean for seniors, at YUHSG. She is “looking forward to working with the wonderful students and families of Ma’ayanot and to being part of an amazing team of teachers!”

Robert Gladding is a long-time teacher of AP Literature, American literature, global literature, Shakespeare, drama and filmmaking. A graduate of Middlebury College, as a 2002 NYC Teaching Fellow he earned his master’s in secondary English education from City College while teaching full-time. Before becoming a teacher, he was an actor, director and playwright, and actively applies those skills in drama and acting electives, as well as in English classes. As a lead teacher for the NYCDOE Summer Arts Institute (partnered with the Tribeca Film Institute), he mentored teen filmmakers in writing and producing narrative and documentary short films. He plans to bring this dynamic mix of skills and disciplines to his ninth and 10th grade English classes at Ma’ayanot, and to the senior “Page to Stage” elective.

With an extensive three-decade career, Freidi Hyman holds a summa cum laude bachelor’s from Touro College and a master’s degree in special education and Jewish education from Touro College Graduate School. She has taught mathematics at The Idea School since 2019, and has been a valued member of the Frisch faculty for 18 years. Her visionary educational approach is highlighted by the successful Bat Mitzvah Plus program she originated at Congregation Ahavath Torah in 2015. Hyman’s aspirations for working at Ma’ayanot include “enriching the school’s warm environment that is clearly evident, as well as fostering students’ confidence and capabilities in mathematics, guiding students to recognize their potential, encouraging positive self-perception, and nurturing the development of a growth mindset.”

Ma’ayanot is also thrilled to welcome Shani Motechin, who will be leading our new Ma’alot program. Ma’alot is an extension of our Learning Center support and will provide additional, customized learning opportunities for select students. Motechin earned a bachelor’s in psychology from Stern College, a master’s in special education from Hunter College, and has been a beloved special education inclusion teacher at Moriah since 2007.

With 15 years experience teaching in yeshiva high school classrooms, Nina Taub has designed and taught courses focusing on world history, Jewish history, current events and an elective on African American history, and currently teaches a course at Touro University’s Masters in Jewish Education & Special Education on the methodology of teaching Jewish history. She graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva University’s Honors Program with a bachelor’s in history, and holds a M.S. Ed in Museum Education from Bank Street College. At Ma’ayanot, Taub will be working to integrate Jewish history into the world history curriculum, “helping students understand how our heritage shapes our present experiences.”

Ma’ayanot is especially proud to offer members of our outstanding faculty new roles and opportunities. As part of our investment in teacher learning and growth, Tammie Rapps has been appointed director of teacher learning and induction. She will lead our new teacher mentoring program and ensure that every teacher, new and veteran, joins our community of learners committed to the craft of teaching. Samantha Kur, our revered English department chair, has also accepted the role of Arts department chair. She will implement a holistic vision for arts education, balancing Ma’ayanot’s desire for accessible arts education for all with opportunities to develop expertise. Esther Slomnicki, a beloved and accomplished biology teacher, will coordinate our health sciences concentration. Her leadership will guide a successful course of study to true excellence.

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