As the Head of School, Steven Bogad brings to Yavneh Day School a depth of experience in public and private school education and an exciting vision for Jewish day school living and learning. Mr. Bogad maintains a warm environment for students, parents and faculty based upon his abilities in vision-building, Jewish reflection and managing change.
In his early years, Steve was a teacher and then principal in the Goleta Union School District. At that same time, he was also the Education Director at Congregation B’nai B’rith in Santa Barbara. In the private sector, Steve served as the long-term Head of School at Valley Beth Shalom Day School in Encino, CA and was the Founding Head of School for the Columbus Jewish Day School in Columbus, OH. Mr. Bogad also shared his expertise and vision for Jewish education during his tenure as Head of School at the B’nai Shalom Day School in Greensboro, NC and as the High School Principal at the Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Boca Raton, FL.
Steve's academic background includes a B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Religious Studies from the University of California (Santa Barbara). He continued his studies at UCSB, earning an M.A. in Educational Administration and Curriculum. Steve did further graduate work in the area of Educational Technology. Concurrently he earned California credentials in Teaching, Pupil Personnel Services and Administrative Services. More recently, he has continued with his studies at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and at the Harvard Principals’ Center. He has served on the Board of Directors for the California Association of Independent Schools and for the Jewish Community Day School Network (RAVSAK).
Director of Jewish Studies and School Rabbi- Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper
Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper joined the Yavneh family in 2007. A graduate of Stanford University, she earned a B.A. in History, graduating with Honors in Jewish Studies. She was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary and received an M.A. in Education. Rabbi Hahn Tapper is also an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship.
Prior to coming to Yavneh Day School, Rabbi Hahn Tapper served as the Director of BCI and Adult Programs at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, a trans-denominational Jewish experiential education retreat center. She also worked at Reform and Conservative Jewish summer camps across the country and taught at various Jewish day schools in both the New York City and Los Angeles areas. Additionally, she lived in Israel where she studied Sacred Texts at the Pardes Institute and worked for the Hillel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Hahn Tapper engages our students in the joys of the Jewish community through a variety of creative forms of education and spirituality. She enjoys watching the students explore their Jewish identities as they focus on Jewish life connections discovered through the arts, the outdoors, and alternative Tefillot (prayer).
Rabbi Hahn Tapper says that her interest in the Rabbinate began when she was a teenager at Camp Swig, watching the sunrise with her bunkmates from atop a mountain. She lives in Redwood City with her partner, Dr. Aaron J. Hahn Tapper, along with their two young children and two cats.
Melissa Fehl joined the Administrative team at Yavneh Day School in 2007. As our Director of Finance and Operations, Mrs. Fehl has a strong background in Human Resources, Office Management as well as experience in the Jewish (non-profit) sector. Born in San Diego, Melissa received her B.A. in Psychology from New York University.
Melissa says that she decided to the join the Yavneh community because she enjoys working in the non-profit environment, the Jewish atmosphere and also the business setting. These three factors all merge together at Yavneh and fit with her belief system and her work ethic. She says, “I enjoy the people, the sense of community, the feeling that I belong here.” Also a Yavneh parent, Mrs. Fehl is thrilled to see how her daughter is maturing here.
In her free time, Mrs. Fehl loves cake decorating, traveling (Disneyland is a family favorite!) and spending time with her extended family in the Bay Area and beyond. She lives with her husband and two children (both Yavneh students).
Dr. Diana Bernbaum Wilmot is Yavneh’s new Director of Admissions. Diana received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Education from University of California, Berkeley.She began teaching Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the age of 19 at two synagogues in North Shore Chicago while attending Northwestern University as an undergraduate. Growing up as a conservative Jew in East Brunswick, NJ, she completed 13 years of Hebrew School, was Bat Mitzvahed, active in USY, and determined to continue her Jewish journey studying and working abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and as an intern for the American Jewish Congress.
Post college, Diana has taught middle and high school level mathematics in New York City and Los Altos, and completed her California administrative credential while working as an administrator for the Santa Clara County Office of Education.Currently she works as an administrator for the Palo Alto Unified School District, and looks forward to contributing to the administrative team here at Yavneh.She has two enthusiastic children, Harrison (Kitah Alef), and Aviva (one year away from Gan), and a wonderfully supportive husband, Dewey.
Director of Marketing - Joy Null
Joy Null joined the Yavneh team in 2012 as the Director of Marketing. Joy received her BA in Social Sciences from San Jose State University. She comes to Yavneh with 18 years of experience in marketing and communications having worked with companies ranging from energy saving ("green") electrical products to semiconductor equipment. Joy is excited to bring her expertise to Yavneh and help get the word out about all the wonderful aspects of the school.
Joy lives in San Jose with her husband Jonathan and two children, who are both be Yavneh students. She enjoys tennis, knitting, writing and "family game night".
Office Administrator- Jennifer Horton
Jennifer Horton was born and raised in Northern California and joined the Yavneh Day School staff in April 2013 as our Office Administrator. She brings to our front office warmth, professionalism and organizational skills which she has acquired from her 15 years of administrative and customer service experience. Jennifer is currently pursuing a dual major, a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education. Prior to Yavneh, Jennifer worked as the Front Desk Administrator for a private middle school in Palo Alto. She loves working with children and has two young children of her own that attend school in San Jose. Jennifer spends most of her free time with her friends and family. Her hobbies include camping, hiking, and building living room forts with her children.
Nancy Elghiani emigrated with her family from Iran almost six years ago, and joined the Yavneh staff in 2010. Many Yavneh students remember Nancy from the JCC preschool where she was a teacher for four years. Though Nancy’s primary role at Yavneh is in accounting and human resources, Yavneh’s younger students love to visit her cube to tell her about their day or to seek a bandaid for a scraped knee or an envelope for a lost tooth. “I enjoy working at Yavneh because of the friendly, professional environment and the many chances to see kids’ happy faces throughout the day.”
In addition to working at Yavneh, Nancy is pursuing a degree in accounting and business, a journey she began before she left Iran, where she worked in accounting and payroll for several years. When she’s not working or studying, she enjoys cooking, watching movies, and spending time with her nephew, family and friends.
Kitah Gesher Teacher - Arissa Balaban
Arissa Balaban is a Yavneh graduate who returned to Yavneh in 2011 as our Gesher (Junior Kindergarten) teacher. Arissa graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz where she studied Psychology and Education and received a Masters and Credential from Santa Clara University. She brings over a decade of experience in education with her, and many happy memories of being a student and substitute at Yavneh. She is a published author, behavioral specialist, occupational therapist, sports enthusiast, and sometimes even a Duck Mascot!
Says Arissa: "I believe that teaching and learning should be a fun and engaging process focused on a child's interests and strengths. Yavneh is home, and I'm excited to become a member of this great team."
Kitah Gesher Teacher - Sherrie Rose Mayle
Sherrie Rose has been teaching young children for ten years, working in both JCC and synagogue environments as a preschool teacher, program coordinator, and director. When not teaching, Sherrie Rose enjoys spending time with her husband, dogs, and turtle. She also volunteers with the local early childhood professional organization, teaches college courses, practices yoga, and enjoys indulging in sushi. She speaks Spanish and French fluently. She also speaks and understands simple Hebrew and can read Hebrew well.
Sherrie Rose has a goal to visit all 50 states and tries to visit a new state every year. Recently, she and her husband honeymooned in Yellowstone and checked Wyoming off her list. Sherrie Rose is passionate about young children's development and is looking forward to teaching in the Gesher classroom.
Hana Cidon has been teaching Kindergarten at Yavneh Day School since 1998. Before coming to Yavneh, Hana taught Kindergarten for 15 years at the Solomon Schechter School of Raritan Valley, New Jersey. Her love for teaching is evident in the classroom and she readily admits, "I am devoted to working with kindergarten children." Mrs. Cidon says that teaching at Yavneh Day School challenges, nourishes and enables her to share with her students everything she values.
Mrs. Cidon's degree and teaching credential come from the Seminary for Education Training (in Israel), where she taugh Kindergarten for 15 years. Besides spending time with her husband, 4 children, and 3 grandchildren, Mrs. Cidon enjoys creating earrings and working in her garden.
Sara Winger joined the faculty in 2011 as a Team Teacher in Gan. "I love the innocence of this age," says Sara. They are always happy and excited to be at school, share their work, and develop into students. I love to see how much progress kindergartners make during their first year in school."
Sara has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Jose State University and several years of experience in the classroom. Her former Principal said of Sara, "She is one of the finest teachers I have ever observed."
When Sara is not teaching, she loves to run on the Los Gatos Creek Trail and ride her road bike with friends. She also enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with friends and family.
Kitah Gan Co-Teacher - Sandra Garcia
Sandra Garcia joined the Yavneh Faculty in 2010. Parents and children are immediately drawn to her kind and calm demeanor. Children feel truly loved and noticed in her presence; Parents feel heard. Sandra hopes to become a teacher one day and is currently pursuing a degree in Education.
In her spare time, Sandra is an adventurer - sky-diving, climbing mountains, and traveling. She also loves to spend time with her friends and family.
Alicia Ammann joined the Yavneh faculty in 2010 as our First Grade Teacher. Born in Los Altos, Ms. Ammann has a B.A. in English from Santa Clara University along with a multi-subject credential from the College of Notre Dame.
Ms. Ammann chose a career in education because she enjoys making the learning process fun and exciting for students. Engaging students is her passion and priority. She admires the Yavneh environment for its close-knit community feel and looks forward to cultivating relationships with students and parents alike.
In her spare time, Alicia enjoys hiking, playing tennis and most outdoor activities. She is an avid Stanford Basketball and Football fan and shares her home with her cats, Sasha, Saphire and Scrappy.
Kitah Alef General Studies Teacher - Kevin Deaton
Kevin Deaton joined Yavneh Day School in 2009 and has worked as a lower school co-teacher and middle school arts elective teacher. Currently, Mr. Deaton is serving as a 1st grade teacher. Born in London, Kentucky, Mr. Deaton received a B.F.A. from the Academy of Art University San Francisco and a M.A. in Education specializing in curriculum and instruction from San Jose State University.
Mr. Deaton believes that effective learning contains elements of skill building, engagement, academic rigor, and exploration. His hope is that education frees individuals to realize their own potential and value to our global society. He appreciates Yavneh's strong sense of community, Jewish identity, and family.
Outside of teaching, Mr. Deaton enjoys reading,, hiking, running, weightlifting, video games, and all forms of artistic practice. He lives in San Jose with his partner and his cat, Luna.
Kitah Bet General Studies Teacher - Monique Miller
Monique Miller, Yavneh’s 2nd grade teacher, joined the faculty in 2008. Born in Long Beach, she completed her studies at Fresno Pacific University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies, her teaching certification and a credential as a Reading Specialist. Having taught for over 15 years, Ms. Miller has always enjoyed working with children, watching them grow as they discover new things.
Ms. Miller knows that each school really has its own individual sense of community and she loves the integrated environment here at Yavneh. She knows that teaching is essential for building the minds of tomorrow. Her passion for reading plays out in the classroom, where she revels in expanding the horizons of her young learners.
Ms. Miller says, “Teaching is an art” and she knows that it is her responsibility to be the “artist” for our students. In her spare time, Ms. Miller enjoys playing the piano, socializing with family and friends and spending time with her daughter and her dog.
Hebrew Coordinator and Hebrew and Jewish Studies Teacher - Ilana Friedlander
Morah Ilana started at Yavneh Day School in 1991. She was originally a 2nd grade teacher and is now a Hebrew and Jewish Studies Teacher as well as our Hebrew Coordinator. Born in Israel’s Jezreel Valley, Morah Ilana earned her teaching degree in Elementary Education (K-2) from Nahalal Teacher’s College. She furthered her education at UC-Santa Cruz’s extension campus where she focused on Special Education.
Morah Ilana said that she likes being a teacher because she enjoys interacting with children and she wants to give of herself and share what she knows about Israeli culture, Jewish holidays, Hebrew language and more. She likes when her students have the “light-bulb moments”. She is quite comfortable with the environment at Yavneh because it reminds her of being in Israel.
In her spare time, Morah Ilana enjoys reading, watching TV and taking long walks. Morah Ilana lives with her husband and one son as well as her dog, Yukon. Her daughter is married and lives in Israel. Morah Ilana visits Israel often in order to visit her grandchildren as well as other family and friends.
Mrs. Gila Naveh became a part of the Yavneh faculty in 2009 as a co-teacher for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in grades 1,2,3 and 5. Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Mrs. Naveh received her B.Ed from the Levinsky College of Education in Tel Aviv.Prior to joining Yavneh, Mrs. Naveh was an Elementary School teacher in Israel for over 12 years. After immigrating to the United States, she was a Hebrew instructor at the University of Utah.
Morah Gila says that she chose to be a teacher because she likes working with children and she enjoys helping them develop and grow into more able-bodied people. She is a firm believer in the uncompromising quality of teaching and considers learning a life-long process.
Mrs. Naveh very much enjoys the atmosphere, the children and the faculty here at Yavneh. She says that from the very first day, she felt welcomed so warmly and was thrilled when she received the opportunity to be a part of this community. She says, “I feel very fortunate to be part of Yavneh Day School and the educational activity. This is what makes me happy to come to school.”
When she has free time, Morah Gila enjoys reading and traveling, and values precious moments with her family.
Kitah Gimel General Studies Teacher - Janet Powell
Janet Powell, a Bay Area native, acquired her B.S. in Industrial Psychology from Cal State University Hayward. Later, when she began volunteering in her daughter's second grade classroom, Ms. Powell realized her love of working with children; she soon decided to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher.
After having taught for 11 years in independent schools, Ms. Powell joined the Yavneh community in Winter of 2009 as the third grade General Studies teacher. Ms. Powell believes that every child is unique and gifted, and encourages a challenging, accepting learning environment. Ms. Powell feels that Yavneh is a true community that provides solid foundations in both academics and Judaism.
When she is not teaching, Ms. Powell enjoys being active, playing tennis, traveling, walking, reading, gardening, and spending time with her daughter, a Yavneh volunteer.
Kitah Dalet General and Jewish Studies Teacher - Renee Fine
Renée Fine began teaching at Yavneh Day School in 1999. She has been a teacher for over 16 years and has taught 2nd, 4th and 5th grade here at Yavneh. She is currently our General Studies 4th grade teacher. Renée studied at San Diego State University and National University in Madrid, Spain and has her B.A. in Social Work and in Spanish. She most recently completed a Hebrew Ulpan at the University of San Francisco.
Renee chose to become a teacher because she enjoys children and wants to create a positive educational experience in the classroom for as many students as possible. Teaching at Yavneh is a “dream come true” for Mrs. Fine because Yavneh’s school philosophy to integrate Judaism with General Studies is a concept Renée believes to be key in enabling young minds to see the value of living a Jewish life in the global community. Mrs. Fine holds dear the celebration of Shabbat and “living the Jewish Calendar." When she is not teaching, she spends time with her five children (all of whom have attended Yavneh) and her husband.
Shirley Goldstein has been with Yavneh since early 2000. Shirley obtained her international teacher’s diploma from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She immigrated with her husband to the United States from Durban, South Africa in 1999. While in South Africa, Mrs. Goldstein was Head of Hebrew and Judaica at Carmel College Elementary school for 17 years. Prior to moving to California, Shirley and her husband lived in Atlanta, Georgia, where she taught Hebrew and Judaica at The Epstein School, a Solomon Schechter school. In 2005, Mrs. Goldstein won the Diller Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. With over 45 years of experience in Jewish education, Shirley has a true passion for enabling her students to make connections between Jewish values and the world around them.
In her private time, she enjoys being with her husband, their sons and their wives, and their grandchildren. Shirley also enjoys handcrafts, music, sports and theater, and loves to paint ceramics specializing in Jewish themes. She is firmly committed to Yavneh Day School and Jewish community involvement.
Taly Lavee was born in Israel, where she earned her Bachelor's degree in English Linguistics from Ben-Gurion University. She later earned a teaching credential for elementary and high school. In addition, she is the winner of the National Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for excellence in Jewish Education.
Ms. Lavee has always had a passion for language, and from a young age, she knew she wanted to be a teacher. Teaching is where she exercises her creativity, love for children, and passion for communication. When she sees a child light up with understanding or exercising their critical thinking skills, she knows she's doing her job. Joining the Yavneh faculty was an easy decision to make. At Yavneh she feels connected to home and her culture and feels supported by the warm, welcoming community.
When Ms. Lavee isn't teaching, she enjoys spending time with friends, taking long walks, doing yoga, swimming, watching funny movies (especially in 3-D), and traveling around the world. Although she considers her students as a part of her extended family, her immediate family consists of her husband and two beautiful daughters.
Hebrew and Jewish Studies Teacher - Aviva Greenberg
Aviva Greenberg is new to Yavneh Day School and to California. Her family relocated to the Bay Area in January for her husband's work. Morah Aviva has three young children who attend Yavneh and the JCC Preschool. Born in Ohio, her parents made aliya when she was an infant. She grew up in Israel and served in an Intelligence Unit in the Israel Defense Forces where she won several competitions. She majored in English and drama at the University of Haifa and has a teaching certification and a Masters Degree in TOEFL. Morah Aviva has been teaching for over 15 years including, most recently, 8 years at the well-known Reali High School in Haifa where she also founded and directed the school choir. She has also taught Hebrew in Atlanta, GA at the Davis Academy.
For Morah Aviva, teaching Hebrew is more than teaching a language. It is a beautiful combination of culture, values, religion, and the study of our Homeland. At Yavneh Day School, she already feels at home and enjoys working with a welcoming staff and community and with inquiring and intelligent students.
In her free time, Morah Aviva enjoys playing with her children, traveling with her family, baking, and singing.
Middle School Jewish Studies and Hebrew Teacher - Meira Gotesdyner
Meira Gotesdyner joined the Yavneh staff in 2005 and teaches Middle School Hebrew and Jewish Studies. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree and her teaching credential from Bar Ilan University in Israel. She has over 13 years of teaching experience and enjoys her work immensely. Why does she love being at Yavneh? She finds the friendly atmosphere irresistible and the academic excellence that Yavneh offers is exceptional. Additionally, she says that Yavneh provides a safe and warm environment which is important to students and parents, alike. Not only is Mrs. Gotesdyner a committed teacher, she is also a dedicated Yavneh parent. She is a mother of four with one Yavneh graduate and two current Yavneh students. In addition, she has one preschooler. In her free time, Mrs. Gotesdyner enjoys cooking and a variety of outdoor activities.
Middle School Language Arts Teacher - Patricia Lee
Patricia Lee was born and raised in Southern California and first came to the Bay Area when she received her B.A. in English from UC Berkeley. After graduating, she taught at a public middle school in Korea for one year before returning to Southern California for her Masters in Education and Single Subject Credential in English from UCLA. After teaching English at a middle school for a couple of years, she and her family moved to the Bay Area. While raising her children, she has worked as a reading instructor and tutored college students.
In her spare time, Patricia enjoys reading, watching movies, going to the beach, playing Sudoku and word games, and spending time with her three children, husband and dog. She loves traveling and experiencing new adventures, and is looking forward to her new journey at Yavneh.
Middle School Social Justice Teacher - Susan Ellenberg
Susan Ellenberg has worn many hats at Yavneh over the past thirteen years. She joined the community as a parent in 1996 and served on the board of trustees for eleven years, including three as Vice President for Development and three as Board President. When Yavneh added a middle school in 2005, Susan was instrumental in helping to create a social justice program that would become an important component of the middle school curriculum. The multi-year curriculum focuses on many areas of social justice including awareness, advocacy, philanthropy, and community service.
Susan has taught social justice in the classroom for the past two years. She holds a B.A. in Jewish History from Barnard College and a law degree from Columbia University. She lives in San Jose with her husband Steve and their three children Zach (Yavneh class of 2008), Molly (Yavneh class of 2009) and Naava (Yavneh class of 2013).
Middle School Social Studies Teacher - Nick Walker
Nick Walker joined the Yavneh Day School faculty in 2010. Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, Nick graduated Cum Laude from Quincy University in Illinois and received a B.A. in History. He currently holds a clear California single subject credential in social studies, and has been certified in Illinois and Arizona as well. While working at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson, AZ, Nick was twice honored as one of the best teachers at Foothills by the CFHS basketball team on Teacher Appreciation Night.
Mr. Walker became a social studies teacher because he wanted to develop and enlighten the future leaders of America through his passion for history. He chose to teach at Yavneh because of it's dedicated staff and administration at the school.
When Mr. Walker isn't teaching, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, camping, hunting, traveling, fishing, hiking, and playing or watching a variety of different sports including football, basketball, baseball, and wrestling. Likewise, he treasures his time with his son, Elijah, and his two cats.
Middle School Math Coordinator/Teacher - Sarah Lau
Sarah M. Lau joins Yavneh in 2012 as the new Middle School Math Teacher and Coordinator. Born in Singapore where she spent most of her life, Sarah left for graduate studies at Harvard University where she earned her Masters in Education in 2007. She worked at Boston Latin School for a number of years before moving to the Bay Area in 2012 (where her husband joined a startup).
Sarah loves teaching and tutored students from elementary school through high school. Because of the cross-country move, she continued to tutor her Boston students online via video conferencing. In her spare time, Sarah loves to play mathematically challenging board games with her husband and friends. She also loves to bake and cook, and would like to travel around the world some day!
Middle School Math Teacher - Roma Rajpal
Roma Rajpal joined Yavneh in 2012 as a part-time middle school math teacher. She has a California Teaching Credential in Mathematics, a BS in Mathematics from the University of Connecticut, and a Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis in cross cultural teaching from National University in San Jose. Mrs. Rajpal has worked as a middle school teacher in the Cupertino School District, as well as at The Harker School.
Other than her passion for teaching mathematics to children, Mrs. Rajpal enjoys spending time at home listening to music, singing, reading, organizing the home, or cooking meals for her family. She especially loves spending time with her 15 year old daughter and looks forward to visits from her two college age sons. Her husband is an engineer turned consultant who is also a health and fitness enthusiast. Mrs. Rajpal feels privileged to be a part of a caring community at Yavneh, which strives to provide academic excellence and strong character values to children.
David Oliver was born in Ireland and has been in the United States for 15 years, living in California, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He earned an honors level Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and a Masters from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. Since 1992, he has worked in the Life Sciences industry in sales and marketing for companies such as Covance Inc. and Genzyme Inc. before founding his own life science consultancy firm. In recent years, he has transitioned his career to teaching and education in order to help overcome the decline in scientific literacy. He has extensive experience in teaching groups of varied abilities and has taught after-school programs for Mad Science of the Bay Area Inc. and Science Adventures summer camp. He lives in Mountain View with his two cats, and for fun rows (crew), serves in the California Army National Guard (7 years), is a civilian First Responder, and volunteers in his community.
Recently, Mr. Oliver had the privilege of coaching Yavneh 8th grader Santa Clara County and State Science Fair winner in psychology. He also had a winner in the 2011 County Science Fair, Yavneh's first year participating. He spent the summer as one of 34 Stanford Summer Fellowships working on DNA synthesis and learning skills on transferring "real world" science to the classroom.
Mr. Olivers goal is to “instill in my students a love of science and show how it can make a difference in the world” as well as exploring the contributions of the Jewish people to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
Middle School Coordinator, Hebrew/Jewish Studies Teacher and Israel Resource Specialist - Shalom Rosenberg
Shalom Rosenberg joined the Yavneh faculty in March 2011 as the Israel Coordinator. In addition to teaching Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Shalom is also the Middle School Coordinator and serves as the Israel Resource Specialist, where he oversees Yavneh's partnership with the Avital School, our sister school in Israel. Shalom is a native New Yorker and moved to the Bay Area in 2009. He has been a Jewish Educator for the past decade and has taught in Jewish schools, camps, and organizations of all denominations on both coasts of the United States.
Before coming to Yavneh, Shalom was the Edah Program Director/Founding Lead Educator and Youth Advisor at Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley. He also taught adults and children at Congregation Emanu El in San Francisco, Palo Alto JCC, the Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Shaar Zahav, JCC Manhattan, Kane Street Synagogue, Park Avenue Synagogue, Shaaray Tefila, the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, and the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps in Malibu.
Shalom graduated with honors from Brooklyn College where he studied Film and Education. He grew up in Brooklyn, NY but also spent some of his childhood in Israel. Shalom sees teaching as way to bring people and families together. His passions and interests include teaching about Judaism and Hebrew, Israel, film studies, pop culture, reading, travel, photography, and more. Shalom is married to Rabbi Adam Rosenwasser. They live in Belmont with their two pets, Shachar the cat and Phaedra the dog.
Darrin Garcia joined the Yavneh Day School family in August of 2009 as our Physical Education Specialist and Coach (Go Yavneh Blaze!). He is also our 6th Grade Advisor and he has been teaching and coaching for over 13 years. Mr. Garcia attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and a received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He is currently studying toward his M.A. in Kinesiology from St. Mary’s College.
Darrin knew at a very young age that he was surrounded by positive people and he is honored to have that very same role in the lives of his Yavneh students. Mr. Garcia says that he chose Yavneh because he was “impressed by its sense of family and community”. He feels Yavneh is a “team” in every sense of the word. When Darrin is not teaching and coaching, he spends his time with his family and enjoys following the Dallas Cowboy Football team.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Angela Gold grew up in a very musical and artistic family. She has a B.S. in Art Education (K-12) and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Missouri–Columbia. Morah Angela combines her passions for the creative arts and Jewish culture to give students skills and experiences that they can integrate across the board: from school subjects to daily life to Jewish identity -- all are threads in the colorful and harmonious tapestry of life. In addition to teaching Music classes, Angela can be found leading music at our many Tefillah gatherings, special holiday programs, and class milestone ceremonies. Says Angela, “I really enjoy getting to help create the musical vibe of this community. Some of my favorite musical moments are when I hear the students singing as they walk down the halls of the school, or when they spontaneously jump out of their seats to express their joy while singing a new favorite song."
Angela enjoys traveling, skiing, social dancing, live theater shows, photography, and jewelry-making in addition to playing the guitar and singing. She is active in the Jewish community and feels inspired at Yavneh Day School to share her talents with our students and faculty alike.
Art Teacher and Kitah Gimel Aid - Judy Schultz
Judy Schultz came to Yavneh in 2005 and served as the Gan Co-teacher and Gan/Gesher Art teacher for five years. Judy is now Yavneh's art teacher. She has taught cooking and nutrition electives in the Middle School. "I love it when a student comes up to me and says 'I made dinner for my family last night, and my mom wants the recipe.'"
Judy majored in interior design and art and received her degree from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Prior to Yavneh, she was an assistant teacher for three years at a local private school where she coordinated the after-school care program. Judy became a teacher because: “I love teaching children, working with different personalities and different abilities, and helping all students learn and feel confident.” Judy and her husband have two children who both attend Yavneh. In her spare time, she enjoys surfing, hiking, painting, working out, camping, reading, riding horses, and spending time with family and friends.
Victoria Schnitzer is our Learning Specialist here at Yavneh Day School. With more than 14 years of teaching experience, Vicki is dedicated to the learning process, mixing creativity and proven learning methods to foster the bond between teachers, parents and students. Her flexibility and unique style inspires her students and she is proud to watch her students grow spiritually, intellectually and academically.
Mrs. Schnitzer says that she “loves the creative process of reaching each child and helping them develop into self-assured learners.” Born in Brooklyn, New York, Vicki had an undergraduate degree from San Jose State University in Social Science and Early Childhood Education. She has done graduate work at Pacific Oaks College and UC Santa Cruz in Educational Therapy. Vicki lives in Los Gatos with her husband. Their married sons also live in the Bay Area.
Shanin Fox is the Librarian at Yavneh Day School, having joined the faculty in the Fall of 2008. Additionally, Ms. Fox teaches Literacy and Library Skills. She has a degree in English Literature and a Masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Ms. Fox decided that she wanted to be a librarian because she wanted to share her love of books and her passion for reading and learning with students and teachers, alike.
Ms. Fox chose the Yavneh environment for our warm, family atmosphere and because the school’s focus is on teaching the students the necessary skills required for the 21st century. When Shanin is not teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, scrap-booking, hiking, cooking and spending time with her family.
Yavneh Day School, accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools, is a beneficiary of the
Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, and a member of the Solomon Schechter Day School Association.