April 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Meet WTA’s Faculty and Staff for 2022-23

(Courtesy of WTA) WTA’s pursuit of excellence is a passion that shows in our commitment to provide the most enriching academic environment and experience for students and families. Supported by our core values, WTA’s uniquely innovative and joyfully creative approach to Jewish day school education is embraced by each member of our teaching faculty and administrative staff. This year, we are privileged and delighted to welcome to our school family an exceptionally gifted and accomplished new cohort of educators and administrators, along with an exciting new educational venture in WTA history—the launching of our Zra’im program for two-year-olds!

 

Early Childhood

The teachers in WTA’s new Zra’im (2s) program are trained in a proven educational model that encourages and empowers the youngest students to explore, discover and create their own learning pathway within a safely prepared and supervised environment, featuring hands-on activities designed to support the important developmental stages of very young children.

General Studies/English Language in Zra’im will be taught by Emily Daboin, whose love of nature, the outdoors and the arts inspires her to express her teaching methods through creative means, and who believes that cultivating an imaginative and welcoming space is essential for children to reach their highest learning potential. Morah Emily is herself the mother of a 3-year-old, so she understands and is sensitive to parents entrusting their child to a school environment for the first time.

Jewish Studies/Hebrew Language will be taught by Gabriella Nussbaum, a proud WTA parent (all four of her children are attending WTA this year!) and former teacher in Shorashim and third grade, who has also taught in second and third grade at SAR. Morah Gabriella grew up in Italy, and moved to Israel after graduating high school. She attended Bar Ilan University, where she earned both a B.A. in history and political science, and a M.A. in communications. She is happiest at the ocean or on the ski slopes, can’t live without coffee or gelato and, yes, her family does eat pasta daily! She is looking forward to a wonderful year of teaching and growth with the children in Zra’im.

Completing the Zra’im team of dynamic educators, and also very much looking forward to being part of the new program’s early education journey, is Assistant Teacher Rivka Zorbaron. Morah Rivka has worked in early childhood education for about 14 years, primarily with 2- and 3-year-olds.

WTA also welcomes a new Hebrew teacher to Gan Prachim (Kindergarten) this year. Daphna Neiger, who holds a B.A. in English literature and a M.A. in Jewish studies, moved from Israel to New York with her family in 2002. She began her 15-year teaching career first as an ESL teacher in Israel, and later as a Hebrew teacher for Grades 9-12 at The Leffell School in Hartsdale, New York. She and her husband have a daughter named Lianne and a cat named Lila at home. Morah Daphna is very happy to be part of the early childhood team, and is excited to begin the new year at WTA!

 

Lower School

Deborah Fass Jacobs, now joining us as the general studies teacher in first and second grades, has a passion for teaching reading and math to young and creative minds. With a M.A. in special education and a degree in elementary and inclusive education, Morah Deb spent the greater part of her career at the Birch Wathen Lenox School in Manhattan as a teacher in grades four and five, and a learning specialist in grades K-five. Her goal for the upcoming year at WTA is to make sure that each student in her classroom develops a love of learning, and feels confident and successful in all that they do, while having a lot of fun along the way! Morah Deb lives in Chappaqua, New York. She loves reading, playing board games with her three children, and riding her Peloton.

Assistant teaching in general studies is Debbie Erdheim. Morah Debbie is an honored recipient of the Ellen Frontianack Award for Creative Teaching. She holds a B.A. in education from Lehman College, and has been teaching in public and private schools for over 30 years. She has two married children and three grandsons. In her spare time, Morah Debbie loves to spend time with her family, visit Israel and do Pilates.

Assistant Teaching Hebrew and Jewish studies in first and second grades will be Niva Marmer (also a proud WTA parent). Morah Niva was born in Israel, and earned her degree at Ben Gurion University in the Negev. At school she was one of the coordinators of PERACH (a coaching and mentoring program) for over 120 students, and after graduation, worked helping at-risk teen girls stay in high school. She and her husband moved to New York in 2006, where they are raising their four children. She has taught Hebrew at the Chabad of Riverdale, and second grade at SAR. Morah Niva is also a certified yoga instructor for adults, children and prenatals.

 

Middle School

As a teacher of Chumash in Grades four, seven and eight, Sarit Tzuk-Hormadaly says she wants to inspire a love of Torah learning in her students, and help each student explore the study of Chumash with curiosity and wonder. Morah Sarit holds a B.A. in political science and a M.A. in public organization management, both from Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan. She has worked previously as both an elementary and middle school teacher, as director of a youth center, and as manager of a community center in Jerusalem. Just last year, she and her husband, Yonathan, moved to Stamford. In her free time, she enjoys taking long walks by the water, canoeing, dancing, meeting new friends and taking Torah classes.

 

Specialty Subjects and Administrative Staff

The halls are alive…with the sound of music! This year, we are thrilled to welcome acclaimed performing and recording artist Brian Christopher as our music teacher. Moreh Brian graduated cum laude from New York University, where he received a achelor of Music degree in jazz guitar performance. He has taught music privately for over 25 years, and his students have won competitions and performed in bands throughout Westchester County. At WTA, he will offer group classes in guitar and ukulele. Students will be introduced to music theory and fundamentals, and learn chords to Jewish, folk, rock and popular songs. There also will be a Contemporary Ensemble Music Class open to students who have achieved a basic ability to play their instruments. Drums, keyboard, amplifiers and microphones will be available in class, and students who can already play drums, electric guitar, electric bass and keyboards, as well as vocalists, are encouraged to join.

In addition to our teaching faculty, WTA welcomes some new additions to our administrative staff, including two new school nurses, Nora Klion-Wolloch, R.N. and Sharone Halperin, R.N.. With a background in nursing that spans 45 years, Nurse Nora has worked in many different hospitals and has taught nursing at various colleges. For the past 22 years she was a school nurse in the New Rochelle public school district, where she worked with students from pre-K through high school. For 15 summers, she also worked at Ramah camps, Nyack and Berkshires. In addition to her nursing skills, Nurse Nora brings expertise in New York State medical regulations compliance. She is the mother of four adult children and two grandchildren, lives in the community, and is very much looking forward to being part of the WTA family. A native of New Rochelle, Nurse Sharone received her B.S.N. degree at the College of New Rochelle, and her M.A. in clinical nurse leadership at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. She has been a nurse at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx since 2007, first in Pediatric Hematology Oncology, then in the Fertility Clinic, and most recently in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She is passionate about patient education, and really loves making health care information available and accessible. Besides being a school nurse, Nurse Sharone also will be a liaison for early childhood parents, providing support to children with special education needs. Married for 10 years, she and her husband have four children.

Tovah Weisel, coming on board as our executive administrator, grew up in Mount Vernon, Ne3w York, and now lives in White Plains. She holds two M.A. degrees in education, and has been a middle and high school English teacher for the past 16 years, working with a wide variety of student populations. As a teacher, she has worked extensively in an ever-evolving, data-driven environment. She is a creative problem solver with an eye for strategic planning, who during Covid further honed her communication skills to conduct her classes via Zoom and RingCentral. Tovah is excited about joining the WTA family, and about making the transition to the administrative side of academia. When not working, Tovah spends her time reading, baking and being a mommy to her two young children.

We hope you will all have a chance to meet and greet our new faculty and staff members. Please join us in warmly welcoming them to WTA!

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