Administration and Faculty

ADMINISTRATION

 Rabbi Baruch Lichtenstein
 Menahel
 Rabbi Lichtenstein is a musmach of Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. He holds a B.S. in Biology from The City College of New York (CCNY) and a Master’s degree in School Administration from   Teachers College of Columbia University. He also holds state certification as a secondary school principal. His more than four decades of experience in Jewish education include teaching and     administrative assignments on both the elementary and high school levels
 
 
 

 Mrs. Brendy Siev
 Assistant Principal, General Studies
 AP English Language and Composition
 

 Mrs. Siev taught English at TAGHS/KTA for grades 9 through 12 on all academic levels, and also served as the school’s marketing director, and student yearbook and newspaper advisor. She   subsequently served as director of general studies at Bais Yaakov of Boston High School and taught English and mentored new teachers at NSU University High School in Florida. A graduate of Bnos Chava Teachers’ Seminary and Barnard College, Mrs. Siev has a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Nova Southeastern University. She has also completed post-graduate programs at   the Harvard Principals’ Center, Framingham State University, and the Yeshiva University - School Partnership. Mrs. Siev oversees the general studies program at KTA. She teaches AP Language     and Composition to the 12th grade.

 Rabbi Yaakov Deutscher
 Executive Director
 

 Rabbi Deutscher earned his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut. He has studied at Yeshiva Kol Torah and the Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and at Yeshiva     Gedolah of Waterbury. 

 
 

 Mrs. Cheryl Epstein
 Dean of Students
 History 
 Mrs. Cheryl Epstein earned her B.A. in History at Harvard University and her M.S. in Social Work at Columbia University. A member of the KTA faculty since 1990, Mrs. Epstein has served in a variety of   teaching, guidance and administrative capacities at KTA.  In addition to her role as Dean of Students, Mrs. Epstein teaches Modern Jewish History and serves as the Director of Seminary and College   Guidance. Mrs. Epstein is certified as a Mentor Teacher through the Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP), and she mentors novice teachers at KTA. Mrs. Epstein has worked as a Consultant for Teacher   Training at the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education and as a private consultant to Jewish Day Schools in the United States and in Moscow. In her capacity as an Associate Program   Consultant for the Jewish New Teacher Project, she designs and facilitates professional development for day school teachers and administrators.
 

 Mrs. Sarah Leah Greenspan
 Director of Educational Services
 Chumash, Yedios Klolios
 Mrs. Greenspan received her teaching certificate at Bnos Chava Seminary in Jerusalem. She earned a B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Education at Touro College, and an M.S. in Special   Education at Adelphi University. Mrs. Greenspan has taught in New York in both regular and special education settings, and was responsible for educational administration and education evaluation at   the Yeled V’Yalda Early Childhood Center. Mrs. Greenspan teaches the skills-based Chumash sequence in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12, and coordinates the school-wide independent study of Yedios   Klolios. As Director of Educational Services at KTA, Mrs. Greenspan supervises the Learning Center, and provides support, direction, and coordination to students, parents, and teachers.
 

 Mrs. Faige Gross
 Director of Student Activities
 Chumash
 Mrs. Faige Gross received her teaching degree from Bnos Sarah Seminary in Israel. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Touro College and a M.S. in Social Work from Adelphi University. Mrs. Gross   joined the KTA faculty in 2016 after several years teaching in New York. She teaches the honors- and academic-level Chumash classes for grade 10, and also serves as the Director of Student Activities.
 
 
 

 Mrs. Ettie Wachs
 Director of Guidance

 A licensed clinical social worker, Mrs. Wachs has been the Director of Guidance for more than 14 years. She attended Michlalah in Jerusalem, received her B.A. in Jewish studies and social work from   Stern College, and an M.S.W. from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She received additional training in family therapy at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Center and sand tray therapy at the   Family and Play Therapy Center in Philadelphia. Mrs. Wachs has trained in emotional focused couples therapy as well as the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. She has many   years of experience as a psychotherapist.

 
 

 

FACULTY

 Rabbi Avraham Baum
 Halacha
 
 Rabbi Baum received his rabbinic ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, and he earned a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University. He is a halacha rebbe for grades 9   through 12. With more than 20 years of teaching experience, Rabbi Baum strives to impart to his students a love of learning halacha.

 

 

 
  Mrs. Leah Becker
  Executive Assistant
 
   Mrs. Becker holds a Bachelor's degree in Multimedia Design from Touro College. She has done freelance work for schools and nursing homes, and interned at a marketing and design firm. Mrs.           Becker facilitates communications, marketing material, and assists with bookkeeping in KTA’s business office.

 

 

 Mrs. Tessa Belluscio
 History
 
 Mrs. Belluscio teaches Modern European History in grade 9 and academic and AP U.S. History in grades 10 and 11. A graduate of Rowan University with dual degrees in history and education, Mrs.   Belluscio engages her students’ creative and analytical minds by encouraging them to interact with primary sources and “problems” in history through writing prompts, large- and small-format   discussion, and project-based learning. She strives to challenge her students while providing the necessary modifications and scaffolding to help each student achieve success.
 
 
 
 Miss Elissa Ben-Eli
 English
 A graduate of Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts, with a degree in Secondary English Education and a Master’s in English for Teachers, Miss Ben-Eli teaches English in   grade 9, 10, and 11. She encourages all her students to have a voice and take the skills and knowledge learned through their education into life and future successes. 
 
 
 
 

 Mrs. Rachael Biberfeld
 Limudei Kodesh
 
 Mrs. Biberfeld earned her teacher’s certificate from Beth Jacob Seminary in Jerusalem, and her B.A. in English from Rutgers University. She has many years of teaching experience in both Judaic and   general studies in high schools throughout the country, as well as extensive experience giving shiurim to adults. She teaches Kivun, Historia, Neviim Rishonim, Mishlei, Tehillim, and Chumash Bekius,   and is also the 10th grade mechaneches.

 

 

 Mrs. Ann Bromberg
 Office Manager

 Now in her sixth year at KTA, Mrs. Bromberg holds a B.A. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University. She has worked in the fields of office administration, advertising, and proofreading.

 

 

 
 Mrs. Chaya Raizy Burr
 Navi
 Mrs. Burr has taught a variety of grades, from pre-school through seminary, in the United States and in Canada. She holds a teaching degree from the Bais Yaakov Teachers Seminary in Brooklyn.   Mrs. Burr strives to instill in every student a love of learning and pride in her Jewishness.

 

 

 Mrs. Carol Davidoff
 Mathematics
 
 Hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, Mrs. Davidoff graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a B.S. in mathematics and chemistry and an H. Ed. in mathematics and science   education. She has taught at public and private schools in South Africa and Philadelphia, including the Torah Academy middle and high school. Mrs. Davidoff now teaches ninth grade honors Algebra   and 11th grade honors pre-calculus at KTA.

 

 Mrs. Yael Davidowitz
 Fitness Director
 
 Mrs. Davidowitz is an alumna of Torah Academy Girls High School. She earned her B.A. in Judaic Studies from Stern College, her B.S.N. from Columbia University School of Nursing, and her M.S.N.     from Rutgers University School of Nursing. She is a certified fitness instructor and behavior change specialist through the American Council on Exercise and founded Thrive Studio, a full-service   exercise studio in Queens, NY. Mrs. Davidowitz works part time as a nurse practitioner in primary care with a specialty practice in weight loss counseling.  As director of the fitness program for all grades   at KTA, Mrs. Davidowitz is passionate in her belief that physical fitness is a key ingredient to one's physical and emotional well-being.
 
 

  Rabbi Yehoshua Duskis
  Halacha
 
 Rabbi Duskis teaches halacha in grades 9 through 12. A musmach of Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood, Rabbi Duskis has been teaching middle school and adult students throughout the   Philadelphia region. As well, he received his B.A. in Liberal Arts and pre-medicine from Thomas Jefferson University.  With his enthusiasm and effusive love of Torah, Rabbi Duskis hopes to increase his   students’ understanding of Torah law and its value in their lives.
 
 

 Miss Devora Eisenberg 
 Receptionist
 
  An alumna of KTA, Miss Eisenberg studied at Bnos Sarah in Jerusalem and completed her B.A. through Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Accounting. Miss                  Eisenberg is thrilled to work at KTA, contributing to the institution that has been so instrumental in her own growth and development.

 

 

  Mrs. Rivkah Fox
  AP Psychology
 

  Mrs. Fox received her Master’s of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania School of Education’s Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division. Prior to moving to the United States for      graduate school, she received a teaching certificate at Bnos Chava Seminary in Jerusalem, further developed her advanced Jewish textual skills at Moreshet, and completed her B.A. in Humanities.         Mrs. Fox completed a life coaching program and hopes to use these skills to help students both in and out of the classroom. 

 

Mrs. Shoshana Golan
Ivrit
 
Born in Israel, Mrs. Golan was a teacher in the IDF and in Israeli schools, and taught Hebrew to new immigrants (Olim). In Philadelphia, she taught Hebrew and Judaic studies at Perelman Jewish Day School for 28 years. She very much enjoys teaching Hebrew language and grammar. Mrs. Golan believes that learning Hebrew helps her students strengthen their connection to the land of Israel and their identity as Jews. Her goal is that when they visit Israel, her students will feel at ease speaking Hebrew and using it fluently to interact within the country.
 
 

Mrs. Miriam Goldstein
Chumash, Navi
 
Miriam Goldstein received her teaching degree from Yavne Seminary in Cleveland. She holds a Master’s in Special Education and a New York State Teacher’s Certificate. Following nearly a decade of experience in New York as a limudei kodesh teacher as well as a special education public school teacher, Mrs. Goldstein joined the KTA staff in 2013. She teaches the honors and academic levels of Chumash in grade 11, and Shmuel Beis in grade 12.
 
 

Mrs. Abigail Greene
Art
 
Mrs. Greene graduated with both a B.A. from N.Y.U. and a B.F.A. from Moore College of Art. She has been teaching art for 21 years and she currently teaches art to grades K through 8 at Politz Hebrew Academy and grades 9 through 12 at KTA. Mrs. Greene’s goal is to give students an in-depth investigation and understanding of our visual world, learning skills and techniques to manipulate various mediums. The result of the art program should produce a diverse portfolio reflecting creative visual art forms.
 
 
 
 Miss Shana Greenspan
 Madricha

 An alumna of Kosloff Torah Academy, Miss Greenspan spent the past year studying at Tehilas Bais Yaakov in Jerusalem. She is earning her B.A. in Liberal Arts and hopes to further her education into  accounting. Miss Greenspan is excited to be a KTA madricha and looks forward to sharing with the students all that she has learned. 

 
 
 
Mr. James Harris
Director of Security
 
Mr. James Harris has been a respected member of the KTA staff since its inception on our Bala Cynwyd campus. Mr. Harris has more than ten years of experience in security and safety supervision. Prior to working in security, Mr. Harris served in the United States Armed Forces where he spent three years overseas in Europe as a soldier. 
 
 
 
 

Mrs. Rivka Isaacson
Theater Director
 
Mrs. Isaacson earned a B.S. in business, management, and economics from Empire State College and an M.B.A. from La Salle University. She lives in Northeast Philadelphia where her husband serves as a rabbi of Congregation Beth Solomon. She has extensive experience producing plays and concerts and has been directing the KTA annual play for seven years.

 

 

 Mrs. Miriam Kamenetsky
 Chumash
 
 Mrs. Kamenetsky earned her teacher’s degree from Bais Yaakov Seminary in New York. A veteran teacher with many years of experience, she has taught Chumash in our school for 21 years. Mrs.   Kamenetsky teaches both honors and academic level Chumash to grade nine. She is also the ninth grade mechaneches.
 

 

 

Mrs. Jennifer Kuwahara
Mathematics
Mrs. Kuwahara earned her B.A. from Swarthmore College and her Master’s in Education from the University of Southern California. She also has her 7-12 Mathematics teaching certification through Point Park University. She has taught and tutored high school students of all levels and backgrounds for more than 13 years. Mrs. Kuwahara is an expert SAT and ACT Math teacher. In the classroom, she strives to foster students' natural inquisitiveness and desire to learn about the world they live in. Mrs. Kuwahara teaches Pre-Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II, and Pre-calculus.

 

 

Mrs. Doris Lipsky
Librarian, Sewing Elective

Mrs. Lipsky is the KTA librarian, costume designer for the annual production, and sewing elective instructor. After earning a teaching certificate from Gratz College, she substituted at Caskey Torah Academy and taught at after-school Talmud Torah programs.  Mrs. Lipsky was a proof reader and bibliographer for a private corporation. She has been sewing for more than 50 years and taught various sewing classes for the past 20 years.
 

 Mr. Lawrence McAfoos
 Chemistry
 
 In addition to teaching Honors Chemistry at KTA, Larry McAfoos teaches Chemistry at Lower Merion High School, where he served as Science Department Chair for 13 years. At Lower Merion he   teaches general, Honors and AP Chemistry. He also teaches Chemistry at the Mesivta High School. In addition to receiving accolades from professional colleagues, he was nominated for the       Presidential Award for Excellence in mathematics and Science Teaching in 2011. Mr. McAfoos received his B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University and his M.A.T. in Secondary Science Education   from the State University of New York at Cortland, New York.
 

 Mr. Leib Meadvin
 Mathematics
 
 Mr. Meadvin is a graduate of Rutgers University, CCAS, where he earned a B.A. in Fine Art, and of Temple University, where he earned an M.A. in Mathematics. In addition to teaching at KTA, Mr.   Meadvin teaches at the Community College of Philadelphia. This year at KTA, he teaches Foundation level courses in Pre-Algebra, Geometry, Algebra I, and Consumer Math.
 

 

 

 Mrs. Rivky Milgraum
 English
 
 Mrs. Milgraum attended Brooklyn College as a Presidential Scholar and earned her degree in secondary English education (Grades 7-12). She holds a Master’s in special education from Queens   College, and has Pennsylvania certification in English and special education. Prior to joining the KTA faculty, Mrs. Milgraum taught 8th grade English and 11th grade SAT prep at a private school in   Queens. Mrs. Milgraum teaches ninth-, tenth- and eleventh-grade English.
 
 
 

 Mrs. Liba Rosenbaum
 Nevi'im Acharonim, Chumash
 
 Mrs. Rosenbaum graduated Bais Yaakov Seminary with a teacher’s diploma. She has taught children and young adult of all ages. Mrs. Rosenbaum uses her educational experience and caring manner   to maximize each pupil’s potential. She believes in each student’s ability to succeed and hopes to help many more to achieve their goals.
 

 

  Mrs. Anne Saks
  Mathematics
 
  Mrs. Saks earned her B.S. and M.S. of Engineering from Cornell University. She worked in industry for several years before earning her certification in teaching. She has been teaching and tutoring all    types of math in both private and public schools for over 15 years. Mrs. Saks most recently taught math as an adjunct professor at Widener University. She enjoys motivating her students by       
  incorporating real life situations into math class so the students can see the impact that mathematics has on their everyday life. 
 
 

  Rabbi Yakir Schechter
  Halacha
 
  Rabbi Yakir Schechter received his semicha from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Azrieli School of Jewish Education. He also spent time learning at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, Mir                    Jerusalem, the Aish HaTorah Kollel Elyon, and the Philadelphia Community Kollel. While not at KTA, he is a rebbe at the Mesivta High School. With his experience teaching in a wide variety of                  institutions, he brings warmth, passion, and excitement into KTA.
 
 

  Mrs. Sara Spiewak
  Chemistry, STEM
 
  Mrs. Spiewak taught general chemistry for four years at NYU as an adjunct professor and simultaneously substituted at various private schools in Manhattan and the Bronx. She received her                    Bachelor’s in chemistry from Stern College and Master’s in chemistry from NYU. Mrs. Spiewak teaches 9th grade STEM, where the students develop their independent problem solving abilities, learn      to code, and create electronic devices. She also teaches 10th grade academic chemistry, where the students learn to understand and appreciate the atomic building blocks of the world around them.
 
 
  Miss Chaya Steinberg
  Madricha
 
  Miss Steinberg, an alumna, returned to KTA after a year of study at Bnos Sarah Seminary in Jerusalem. She is continuing her studies in social sciences at Sara Schenirer Institute. Miss Steinberg is        looking forward to being back in the school she gained so much from and generating positivity and ruach in the halls.
 
 
 
  Miss Eli Tanner
  Educational Support 
  General and Kodesh Teacher
 
  Miss Tanner, a KTA alumna, graduated from Touro College with a B.A. in Psychology. She is currently studying both General and Special Education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate              School of Education. Miss Tanner teaches skills based Navi, History, Science, and Chumash classes, and leads a Writing Workshop for the 9th and 10th graders. She is thrilled to be back at KTA!
 

 Dr. Patricia Towler
 Biology, STEM, Anatomyand Physiology

 Dr. Towler graduated from St. Louis University with a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Wistar Institute on the University of Pennsylvania campus. She taught   Biology for ten years at Middlesex County College, NJ, as well as Chemistry and Anatomy / Physiology at Beit Chana High School in New Haven, CT.  For her fifth year at KTA, Dr. Towler is teaching   11th grade Biology (both honors and standard), 9th grade STEM, and 12th Anatomy and Physiology.  The goal for each class is to encourage students to ask questions, think independently, solve   problems, and apply scientific concepts to their everyday lives.

 

  Ms. Stephanie Harris
  English and History

  Ms. Harris teaches English 9HO, 10AC, 11HO, 12AC and 11th grade American History. She received dual degrees in English and History with a focus on minority and third-world studies from Cornell    University and her teaching certificate in English (grades 7-12) from the University of Pennsylvania. She previously taught English at a middle school in Philadelphia and is excited to join KTA’s staff      to share her passion for reading, writing, and history with students!