SINAI Schools is proud to welcome new faculty members to its team across a number of its schools.
Gittie Rothschild joins the SINAI administration as director of SINAI at Yeshiva of Central Queens (YCQ), in the school’s inaugural year. SINAI at YCQ is SINAI’s newest elementary school, which opened its doors this week! Rothschild served as educational director of the special education elementary school YESS for 18 years, and as interim director of YESS for one year before that. Rothschild was a teacher and then assistant principal at Shearim Hebrew Day School in Toronto, Canada, for 11 years. She has taught both secular and Judaic studies, utilizing a cognitive approach and mediated learning experience to help her students achieve. With over 25 years of experience in the field of special education both in the classroom and as an administrator, Rothschild is a firm believer in every child’s ability to learn.
Mrs. Rothschild graduated from the University of Toronto with a combined degree in mathematics and psychology. She holds a master’s degree in Jewish education from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School, and advanced accreditation from the International Center for the Enhancement of Learning Potential (ICELP) in Jerusalem. She has developed and offered workshops for teachers and parents in a variety of venues over the years, focusing mainly on the development of cognitive and learning skills. SINAI Schools is delighted to have her join the educational leadership team.
Dr. Ellen Borsuk returns to SINAI at JKHA this year in the role of assistant director. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Borsuk developed her expertise in special education, and in SINAI’s methodology and approach. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a doctorate in school philosophy and is a certified school psychologist. Prior to joining SINAI, she worked as a psychologist in Marlborough, Massachusetts and also as professor in education at Fitchburg State University. Dr. Borsuk has a deep rapport with the students at SINAI at JKHA, and she moves into her new role with acumen and vision for the future of SINAI.
Maya Shifrin joins SINAI at SAR as assistant director, a new position within that school. A favorite middle school teacher at SINAI at RYNJ for the past eight years, Shifrin is proficient in all areas of special education. Her professional experience in special education extends to The Rashi School in the Boston suburbs as well as the public school system in Connecticut. Shifrin graduated with a bachelor’s from Brandeis University and an M.Ed at Lesley University. She brings not only personal knowledge and expertise to her new position at SINAI at SAR, but a deep understanding of SINAI Schools’ educational philosophy and approach.
Stephanie Summers joins SINAI’s administrative team as educational supervisor at SINAI at RYNJ. Summers comes to SINAI from its partner school, RYNJ, where she worked for 11 years, as an elementary school teacher and English language arts curriculum coordinator for the RYNJ lower school, as a new teacher mentor and eventually as principal of RYNJ’s early lower school. Previously, she taught at Yeshiva of Central Queens. She received her bachelor’s in elementary education from Stern College and a master’s in literacy education from Queens College. Over the years, Summers interacted with SINAI Schools faculty and students at RYNJ and through those interactions fostered an appreciation for the work that they do. Summers is committed to learning, growing and creating the best individualized experience for each child at SINAI at RYNJ.
Deborah Douek is the new art therapist at both SINAI at SAR and SINAI at YCQ. Douek is a board-certified and New York State licensed art therapist, art therapy certified supervisor, certified child life specialist and New Jersey certified teacher for students with disabilities. She has taught at Fusion Academy where she focused on teaching psychology, life-skills, social-emotional learning, Judaic studies and art and mindfulness.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Binghamton and master’s degrees in art therapy from Hofstra University and early childhood education and special education from Touro College. In addition to her position at SINAI Schools, Douek is an art therapist for hospice/pediatric hospice at Valley Health System, and she has a small private practice where she offers individual art therapy for children and adults and facilitates art therapy workshops.