Meet our New Teachers

Preschool Principal Rebecca Gautieri is joined by Morah Rose Mitrani, a returning assistant, and Debby Augenbaum, the new teacher for two-year-olds.    Debby most recently worked at the Silver Spring Learning Center and enjoys spending time with her children and decorating her home.  Rose, who is excited to be back at work after a long break, tells us that kids are her passion and make her happy to be here.

The new members of the Lower School staff  joined principals Suzy Israel and Rachel Handloff (center).

Shiraz Ganz (far left), one of the bnot sherut, likes to travel, act, sing and write.  She will be working with the third grade Judaics class and is excited to meet the children.  Shani Peles, the other bat sherut, will be working with the 4th and 5th grade Hebrew classes.  Shani loves sports, art, dance, Zumba and is a fitness trainer.  She has 8 brothers and sisters and looks forward to the Friday Ongei Shabbat.

Edna Ovadia is originally from Israel and will be teaching 1st and 2nd grade Judaics.  She most recently worked at the Yeshivah of Flatbush and is also excited to be the parent of two new children in the school-Sophia, 3rd and Israel, 9th grade.

Atara Mayer (far right) is Berman graduate and permanently joins the lower school administrative team in the Lower School office.  Atara amuses herself by attending street jazz dance classes, driving with the windows open on a sunny day and listening to music and reading. 

Devora Feuer is also a Berman graduate and will be working as an assistant in the first grade general studies classrooms. She loves to exercise, listen to music and read.  She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and looks forward to building relationships with the students and watching them grow.

The new members of the Middle School team are (l-r) Sharon Graff, Candice Goldstein, Janice Marshall, Kate Hauprich and Nikkee Ottaviano (not pictured).

Sharon will be teaching 7th grade life sciences in the middle school and loves to bake, cook and do puzzles.

Candice was born in Dallas, Texas and enjoys yoga, reading, hiking and biking.  She will be substituting for Ms. Olson until she finishes her maternity leave, and she looks forward to meeting new people and facing new challenges.

Janice will be teaching ceramics in the middle school and can’t wait to get muddy with her new students.  She most recently worked at the St. Francis International School in Silver Spring and the Black Rock Center for the Arts and spends her free time ball room dancing and doing origami.  She brings over 15 years of ceramics experience and the study of art in Japan, Indonesia and Italy to the position.

Kate, who joins us from the Yeshiva of Greater Washington, will be teaching 7th and 8th grade math in the middle school.  She enjoys reading, watching HGTV and attending the extracurricular events involving her students.  Kate actually attended Peary High School when it was previously in this building, so we welcome her back to the same physical space.

Nikkee will continue working at the front desk during the day but will stay later and teach the 7th and 8th grade girls gym classes in the afternoon. This will help feed her passion to meet new people, have fun and get the girls moving.  



Racheli Moskowitz will be teaching Navi to 7th graders.  She is excited to get to know and become involved in the lives of her students, and enjoys her own children (twin 5 year olds and a baby).  She is originally from Los Angeles and loves to sing and play piano.

Rabbi Shlomo Buxbaum was born in Brooklyn, NY.  He enjoys reading, playing guitar and hiking, and looks forward to teaching Toshba to 7th graders.  Rabbi Buxbaum is also the rabbi of Aish HaTorah of Washington and is excited to meet, connect with and be inspired by his students’ enthusiasm for their learning.

Tair Abraham was born in Israel but has taught at some of the best Jewish day schools in the United States.  She joins the staff as a Middle School Hebrew teacher and will also be teaching in Sulam.  She enjoys reading, creating educational games for kids, traveling and camping.

Rabbi Avi Levitt and Rabbi Shimmy Trencher are joined by members of the Upper School staff and Torah Mitzion Kollel.  From left to right: Elana Weinberg, Sharon Graff, Kate Hauprich, Adam Van Hart.  The bachurim on the bottom are Saarya Berlinger, Shlomi Weinberger and Elad Timstit.

Elana, who was born in East Brunswick, NJ, most recently taught at the Hebrew High School of New England.  She will be teaching 11-12 grade Chumash and looks forward to forming wonderful relationships with her students.

Sharon (see more about Sharon above) will be teaching 11th grade Physics in the Upper School. Kate (see more about Kate above) will be teaching 11th and 12th grade math.

Adam, who will be teaching 10th and 11th grade English, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and enjoys playing guitar, ice skating and theoretical Physics.  He reports that he is constantly laughing and is excited to push students to learn.

Phyllis Altman, the former JCCGW Art Gallery director who will be teaching digital photography and graphic design to our 10th and 11th graders.  Phyllis was born in Washington, DC, enjoys taking long walks and is delighted to be here and explore with our students. Also not pictured is Everett Lum, the new AP Computer Science instructor.

Alon, the fourth bachur, is pictured here.  Saarya and Alon were both born in the United States and Elad and Shlomi were born in Israel.  Their interests range from science fiction to hiking to playing the guitar to Torah study to computer programming and almost everything in between.  They are all excited to meet new people and get to know the students.

Daniel Chen will be teaching Physics and AP Physics in the Upper School this year. Daniel  was born in Taiwan and currently teaches at Walt Whitman High School. He enjoys playing golf and can’t wait to meet the new students.

Everett Lum was born in Maryland. His hobbies include playing and making games, eating and making food, and listening to and making music.  He currently teaches Computer Science at Richard Montgomery High School and will be teaching the AP Computer Programming course in our Upper School. 


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