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 received his MBA in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut. He has studied at Yeshiva Kol Torah, the Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem and Yeshiva Gedolah of Waterbury. 
 
 

 

Mrs. Cheryl Epstein
Director of College and Seminary Guidance
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 served as Assistant Principal for many years.  She currently serves as the Director of Seminary and College Guidance, teaches Modern Jewish History and is the senior class mechaneches.   Certified as a Mentor Teacher through the Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP), Mrs. Epstein mentors new teachers at KTA. Mrs. Epstein has worked as a Consultant for Teacher Training at the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education, and is currently an Associate Program Consultant for the Jewish New Teacher Project and an Educational Consultant to the Lauder Etz Chaim School in Moscow.
 

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 an MSW in social work from Adelphi University. Mrs. Gross joined the KTA faculty in 2016 after teaching for several years 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 13 years. She attended Michlalah Jerusalem College for Women, received her B.A. in Jewish studies and social work from Stern College for Women, and earned an M.S.W. from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University. She received additional training in Family Therapy at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Center as well as Contextual Family Therapy and Play and Sandtray Therapy at the Family and Play Therapy Center in Philadelphia in addition to recent training in Emotional Focused Couples Therapy. Mrs. Wachs has many years of experience as a psychotherapist, working with individuals, couples, families, children, and adolescents.

 
 

 

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. Tessa Belluscio
History
 
Mrs. Belluscio teaches Modern European History in grade 9, academic U.S. History in grade 10, and academic and AP U.S. History in grade 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.
 
 

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 for adults. She teaches Beur Tefilla, Historia, Neviim Rishonim, Mishlei, Tehillim, Jewish Philosophy and Chumash Bekius, and is the 11th grade Mechaneches.
 

 

Ms. Stefanie Bloom
Mathematics
 
Ms. Bloom holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.Ed in Multicultural Education from Eastern University, and recently became a Google Certified Educator, Level 2. She has spent most of her career teaching high school math in public and private schools. Ms. Bloom holds six Pennsylvania teaching certifications, including Secondary Mathematics and Secondary English. She has worked in professional development and teacher training in addition to her classroom experience and is also an experienced SAT and ACT tutor. Ms. Bloom teaches algebra II, geometry, and precalculus.
 
 

Mrs. Ann Bromberg
Office Manager
 
Mrs. Bromberg holds a B.A. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University, and she has experience in office administration, advertising, and proofreading. She strives to provide smooth connections between KTA’s educational and administrative needs.
 

 

 

Mrs. Sharyn Chase
STEM Engineering
 
Mrs. Chase has a B.A. in physics from Brandeis University, a Master’s in physics and astronomy from Northwestern University, and a Master’s in secondary education from Saint Joseph’s University. Mrs. Chase holds multiple Pennsylvania certifications in math and science and has taught a variety of these courses over the years.  She has taught at Central High School in Philadelphia for seven years and is delighted to teach STEM at KTA.
 

 

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 exclusively at KTA, where her teaching responsibilities include honors precalculus and AP calculus.
 

 

Mrs. Yael Davidowitz
Fitness
 
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.
 

Mrs. Rhonda deGategno
English
 
Mrs. deGategno earned her B.A. in English Education from the University of South Carolina and her M.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University. She holds teaching certificates in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and North Carolina and is a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescent/Young Adult English/Language Arts. She had many years of experience teaching high school English in public schools before joining our faculty in 2007. Mrs. DeGategno teaches academic and honors English in grades 9 through 12.
 
 
 

Rabbi Yehoshua Duskis
Halacha
 
Rabbi Duskis teaches halacha in grades 9, 11, and 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
 
Miss Eisenberg studied at Bnos Sarah in Yerushalayim. She is completing a B.A. in business from Fairleigh Dickinson University. An alumna of KTA, Miss Eisenberg is thrilled to return to KTA and contribute to the institution that has been so instrumental in her own growth and development. 
 

 

 

Mrs. Rivkah Fox
AP Psychology
 
Mrs. Fox received her Masters 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 schools, and taught Hebrew to new immigrants (Olim). 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 with the country.
 
 
 

Mrs. Miriam Goldstein
Chumash, Navi
 
Mrs. Goldstein received her teaching degree from Yavne Seminary in Cleveland. She holds a Master’s degree 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 Yirmiyahu 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 began teaching art 18 years ago in nursery - 12th grades, and currently teaches K through 8 at Politz Hebrew Academy and grades 9 through 12 at KTA. Mrs. Greene strives to guide students toward in-depth investigation and understanding of our visual world, teaching students skills and techniques to manipulate various mediums.
 
 
 
Rabbi Uri Greenspan
Halacha
 
Rabbi Greenspan taught at KTA for six years. He received smicha from Rav Aharon Schechter, shlita, of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin and from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, shlita. Rabbi Greenspan learned in Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin and the Philadelphia Community Kollel. With more than 20 years of educational experience, Rabbi Greenspan is the founder and rosh bais medrash of the First Seder Bais Medrash.
 
 
 
Mr. James Harris
Director of Security
 
Mr. 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 domestically and overseas for the United States Armed Forces.
 
 
 
Mrs. Zina Ioffe
Physics
Mrs. Ioffe earned her B.S. in Mathematics and M.S. in physics and education at Riga University in Latvia as well as completing two years of post-graduate studies. She teaches physics, mathematics, and statistics at the college level and has also designed, implemented, and taught physics for high school students. She currently teaches physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Mrs. Ioffe joined the KTA staff two years ago.
 
 
 

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 six 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 20 years. Mrs. Kamenetsky teaches the Honors Level Chumash class in Grades 9 and 10, and the Academic level in Grades 11 and 12. She is also the 9th grade Mechaneches (Faculty Advisor) and coach of the champion KTA Torah Bowl team.
 

 

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 of Greater Philadelphia. 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 College 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 Academic and Foundation level courses in Pre-Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra I and II in all grades.
 

 

Miss Rachel Meth
Executive Assistant

A KTA alumna, Miss Meth studied at BYA’s Machon Bnos Yehuda after graduating. She studied at the Design Alive School for Creative Design where she became a certified graphic designer. She works  as a freelance graphic designer for schools, shuls, camps, and Torah Umesorah. Miss Meth liaises with parents, designs the communications, programming, and marketing materials, and assists with back office bookkeeping. 
 

 

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 English 9HO, 10AC and 11AC.
 
 
 
Mrs. Cara Neumann
English
Mrs. Neumann studied journalism and ecology at The University of Arizona. Prior to joining the KTA staff, she taught ecology and developed curriculum for the Tucson public schools. Mrs. Neumann taught multiple subjects at Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch, Westchester Hebrew High School, and Ateres Bais Yaakov, where she also served as elementary curriculum coordinator. She has a passion for the written word and loves working with high school students. This is Mrs. Neumann’s first year teaching 10th grade honors English at KTA. She is thrilled to be here!
 
 
 

Mrs. Liba Rosenbaum
Nevi'im Acharonim
 
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 Master’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 16 years. Mrs. Saks 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 lives. 
 
 

Rabbi Yakir Schechter
Halacha
 
Rabbi Yakir Schechter received his semicha from Yeshiva University and a Master’s Degree from the Azrieli School of Jewish Education. He also spent time learning at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, Mir Yerushalayim, 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
 
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 10th grade academic chemistry, where the students learn to understand and appreciate the atomic building blocks of the world around them.
 
 

Dr. Patricia Towler
Biology, STEM

Dr. Towler is in her fourth year of teaching science at KTA.  She taught biology for 10 years at Middlesex County College, NJ, and science at Beit Chana High School for girls in New Haven, CT. She graduated from St. Louis University with a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Wistar Institute.  Dr. Towler teaches both honors and academic Biology to the 11th grade, and assists in the 9th grade STEM program. She encourages her students to ask questions, think independently, solve problems, and to apply concepts to everyday experiences and observations.

 

Miss Rochel Wachs
Madricha, Student Actlivities Assistant

A KTA alumna, Miss Wachs attended Me’ohr Bais Yaakov where she completed a two-year Judaic studies and college program. She earned her B.A. from Excelsior College and is currently enrolled in a graduate program at University of North Dakota studying special education and autism behavior (ABA) therapy. In addition to serving as a madricha, Miss Wachs also assists our director of student activities, provides student support, and guides students in our Bais Medrash/Yedios Klolios program. 
 

 

Miss Chava Willner
Madricha

Miss Willner is a proud alumna of KTA. She studied at Mesores Rochel in Yerushalayim last year. She also teaches general studies in the Cheder Chabad in Bryn Mawr. Miss Willner is excited to return to KTA and use her talents to contribute to the school as a madricha. 

 

 

Miss Faigy Zeffren
Mechina, Chumash, Nevi'im
 
Miss Zeffren, an alumna of KTA, earned her teaching certificate from Beth Jacob Seminary in Jerusalem. She is currently pursuing her B.A. from Excelsior College. She teaches Trei Asar as well as Chumash and Yehadus for the ninth grade Mechina program. She eagerly anticipates her role in molding the next generation of KTA students.