Faculty & Staff Directory
Ms. Jodi Bruce, Head of School, joined Lehrman Community Day School in 2003 as the Director of Early Childhood. Prior to becoming the Head of School she served as the Dean of Education at Lehrman.
Ms. Bruce came to us with thirteen years of teaching and administrative experience in the Miami Dade Public Schools in both Early Childhood and Intermediate Education, where she held a variety of teaching positions and administrative responsibilities. During her tenure in the public school system she was recognized with numerous honors and distinctions. Ms. Bruce is a 2010 graduate of the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute, under the auspices of Brandeis University. Ms. Bruce was awarded an educational specialization in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2001. She also earned a Master of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Nova Southeastern University in 1998. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from the University of Florida in 1990.
A resident of Aventura, FL, Ms. Bruce grew up in North Miami Beach and is married to Rick Bruce. Personable and with a quick wit, you will find Ms. Bruce to be warm and intelligent. She has a busy life outside of school as well, where she enjoys reading and spending time at the beach.
Janet started her relationship with Lehrman Community Day School as a parent who eventually became PTA President. She has worked for Lehrman since 1993 and is now Chief Operating Officer. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Janet earned a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management from Endicott College. She managed, owned and operated restaurants in Massachusetts before moving to Miami in 1981. Janet and husband Michael have two children, Jennifer and Jonathan, both graduates of Lehrman. The third generation, granddaughter Logan, is following in their footsteps and is now a student at Lehrman as well. Janet loves being a grandmother, traveling, cruising and visiting with her family, but two other notable claims to fame are that her ice sculpture was selected for her college graduation awards dinner and she had a cameo appearance in the 1998 film “There’s Something About Mary.”
After six years in the Lehrman Early Childhood classroom, Erica was promoted to the Director’s office in 2010. An inveterate story-teller, Erica loves to pop into classes to read, or tell stories from memory. As a teacher, she loved to do science experiments, especially helping kids grow in terms of their sensory development. Erica came to Lehrman from Sinai Jacobson Academy’s early childhood program. Erica was born and raised in Miami. She received her undergraduate degree in journalism and her master’s in occupational therapy. Erica and husband Ari are excited that their sons, Spencer and Andy, are part of the ranks of Lehrman students.
Linda, formerly Director of Admissions, now Director of Education, traveled a long and circuitous route before arriving at Lehrman in 2007. Her destiny as a Jewish day school educator began at the age of 11, when she entered Akiba Hebrew Academy (now Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy) in suburban Philadelphia. After receiving her BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania, Linda returned to teach middle school at Akiba. Eventually, her four children progressed through synagogue nursery school, Solomon Schechter Day School, and finally Akiba, from which they all graduated — a culmination of continuous involvement in Jewish education of 27 years. In the midst of this activity, Linda was named a Jerusalem Fellow, a fellowship for senior Jewish educators, and the family spent three years in Israel. This followed six years at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York where she and husband, Stephen, co-edited World Over Magazine, a national children’s publication. On their return to the US in 1986, Linda and Stephen founded a Jewish educational publishing business, working closely with The Jewish Agency and its Israel youth trips. In 2000, Linda was asked to head a new Reform middle school in Atlanta; that was followed by an appointment as Solomon Schechter Day School Middle School principal in Chicago. She received her MA from The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2003, and received her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Barry University's School of Education in 2016.
Ayala came to Lehrman in 2008 to teach Hebrew and head the department; she now serves as Director of Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Ayala earned her BA in biology from Bar Ilan University and taught high school biology. When husband Shlomo was transferred to Venezuela, Ayala became Principal of Jewish Studies in the day school. Tel Aviv University certified Ayala to train Hebrew and Chumash teachers and she worked with teachers across Latin America.
After coming to Miami, Ayala served as Hebrew Academy’s Head of Hebrew language and a mentor in the NETA program. She also prepared groups of girls for a collective Bat-Mitzvah, organized by WIZO.
Ayala and Shlomo have four children, and six grandchildren, two of whom are Lehrman students. In her free time, Ayala likes to read, sing and listen to music. In her past, Ayala performed as a singer and organized choirs in Israel and Venezuela.
Vanessa Shamosh is a native of Mexico who has lived in South Florida with her family since 2003. Vanessa comes to Lehrman with over fifteen years of experience in not-for-profit Jewish organizations.
With a background in Political Science, she is a dynamic individual who has held a variety of administrative and leadership roles in our community, including programming, communications and admissions. For Vanessa, Jewish Day School is the place where her personal and professional Jewish journeys intersect. She is passionate about Jewish education and strongly believes in the impact that Jewish day school has in students.
Vanessa lived in Israel where she attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Mechina. She is a graduate of Prizmah’s Atidenu Program and of the JTS’ Day School Leadership Training Institute. She is often invited to speak at independent school and Jewish day school conferences . She has also mentored other Admission professionals.
On her free time, Vanessa enjoys running, spinning, scuba diving, reading and going on nature adventures with her family.
Early Childhood: TURNING TWOS
In 2011 Carolina began her relationship with Lehrman as a mother to Lehrman grads Cindy (class of 2018) and Tommy (class of 2014). After working at Beth Moshe Congregation for four years, and an additional three years at Temple Beth-El in Hollywood, Carolina "came home"—to Lehrman. Originally from Argentina, and currently a resident of Surfside, she loves to spend time (anywhere!) with her children, and to travel back home to visit family.
Tina, who has taught generations of Lehrman children, came to the school in 1987 from our neighbor, Biscayne Elementary. While teaching at Lehrman, Tina also did testing at Feinberg Fischer for ten years. A native of Cuba, Tina has two grown children and two granddaughters and a grandson. Tina loves to knit and study Bible. Tina aids abused women in a shelter supported by her church and she works weekly with delinquent teens in an effort to steer them toward more productive pursuits.
Lucia, who was born in Brazil, came to Miami in 2000. When she was still in Brazil, she volunteered at a daycare center; it was there that she realized how much she loved working with children. Since moving here, she was in charge of the Stars Learning Day Care, and worked at Temple Menorah. She loves working at Lehrman. Her hobbies are dancing and music, and of course, spending time with her son, Aitor.
Early Childhood: TODDLERS
Joanie spent this past summer at Camp Lehrman. She formerly taught at Ocean Reef Academy, and will join Ms. Mila in our oldest toddler section.
Mila came to the USA from Vilnius, Lithuania (the former USSR) with a degree in accounting. Only in America could her dream of working with children come true; she studied and received her CDA Certification from St. Thomas University. She also studied Behavioral Observation and Screening in Child Care at the Department of Children and Families at MDCC and Jewish Learning at Melton Academy. She came to Lehrman after 20 years at MAR JCC and Temple Sinai. As a typical “yiddishe momme,” she loves to be with children, read, bake and cook, sing, and dance.
Jessica joined the Lehrman team in early 2015. A graduate of Barry University and a fourth generation Floridian, Ms. Jessica's philosophy is to provide a safe and positive learning environment while encouraging children to learn, explore, and express themselves in a safe, loving environment. Her energetic personality makes her a perfect fit for our Turning Twos group.
Parents have seen Paula dancing and singing with their toddlers at Lehrman since 2003. Off campus her specialties are Zumba and salsa. In 1999 Paula came to Miami for vacation from Argentina, where she worked for a company specializing in sand production. She liked this town so much, she found herself coming back to live permanently! Paula is married to Eduardo and in her free time she enjoys having dinner with friends and playing with her beautiful shih tzu, Lola.
- Post-graduate Unviersity of Central Florida
- Post-graduate University of Central Florida
Edline has been working with children since 2000. A toddler associate teacher at Lehrman since 2016, Edline enjoys every aspect of teaching and loves how much her students teach her as she is teaching them. Edline treasures the opportunity to work with young children and be a part of their foundation years at school. She loves being part of the Lehrman family.
Early Childhood: NURSERY
Merline (Mimi) came to the USA from Nassau, Bahamas. She was raised in Miami and loves the opportunity to visit her hometown as often as she can. Merline has an AA in Early Childhood Education and is continuing towards her BA. Merline came to Lehrman from the MBJCC in 2017. She loves watching the progress her students make throughout the school year. Her favorite thing to do with the students is art and she enjoys having the opportunity to express herself creatively as well.
Ana came to Lehrman in 1987, then a young mother whose children attended the school. Veronica is an Optometrist, married and a mother herself, and Luis has a degree in business administration. Ana, however, is still where she loves to be, winning the trust and hearts of Lehrman kids in her playful, yet structured way. She is known for the wonderful books the children make at year’s end, as well as the joyful photos she takes of her ‘kids.’ Each year, Ana chooses a theme which she has never repeated in all of her years at Lehrman!
Karen is honored to be a part of the Lehrman family. She came to Lehrman in 2013, from California, where she earned an Associate degree in Early Childhood from Lake Tahoe Community College. Karen has been passionate about teaching for decades and she finds teaching some of the first foundations of early childhood education important and rewarding, Karen is grateful for what she is privileged to do everyday. Karen and her husband, “an amazing man,” have three young adult children and two little chihuahuas.
Isabel was born in Guadalajara, Mexico where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She worked as a sales representative in a Mexican hotel chain and later, moved on to the American Consulate in Guadalajara as a visa analyst. Isabel came to the United States in 1991 where she married and worked as a teacher’s assistant at Temple Menorah’s Childhood Care Center for 13 years. Clearly she enjoys working with children and enjoys Lehrman as well.
Danielle, born and raised in sunny Boca Raton, is a proud Jewish day school alumna. Being a diehard Gator fan, she graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management in 2007. She landed her dream job with the Miami HEAT and even has two NBA Championship rings (just ask and you may be able to sneak a peak), but she realized that while her career in sports was fun and exciting, she wasn’t feeling fulfilled. So she decided to go after her true passion: educating young children. Danielle took a two year hiatus from Miami to work at a Jewish school on Florida’s west coast. She returned to find the job at Lehrman was exactly what she wanted. After a few months as a substitute, she fell in love with the school. Danielle accepted a full time position in 2016 and has never looked back; she is confident that she is now a lifelong member of the Lehrman family. Walking into her classroom each morning and preparing for each day with the adorable Turning Twos is a big part of how she found her passion and overall happiness.
Maribel taught almost every age group when she taught at Lehrman a number of years ago; she worked most recently as an Early Childhood associate teacher at the Gordon School. Maribel will join our Toddler team, the age group she worked with this summer at Camp Lehrman.
Early Childhood: PRE-KINDERGARTEN
Marissa has been an early childcare educator for the past 11 years, coming to Lehrman from Gainesville, FL. She has spent the past five years studying the Reggio Emilia approach. Marissa believes that every child possesses an innate curiosity, and it is that curiosity that drives her interest to understand her world and her place in it. Marissa hopes to guide that curiosity and a love of exploring in a safe, nurturing environment.
Lourdes (Lulu) from Mexico to Reno, Nevada in the early ’90’s where she worked for Merck Pharmaceuticals for over 15 years. However, her passion has always been caring for children. She volunteered to work with neglected children where her passion grew. Escaping the cold weather, she moved to Miami and in 2017, Lourdes joined the Lehrman community. Today she loves the opportunity to work and learn from her students every day. Lourdes enjoys a good book, a walk on the beach, and watching the sunset at South Point with her husband and grown children.
Natalie is a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher who began her career at the RASG Hebrew Academy, where she worked for eight years prior to coming to Lehrman. Natalie received her National CDA from Miami-Dade College. She lived in Israel for seven years and she is married and has two adorable children. Natalie speaks three languages: English, Hebrew, and Russian.
Jachelline, who came to Miami from Colombia in 2002, earned her BS in Family Professional Services. Jachelline says the best part of her job as an early childhood assistant is watching the kids learn and grow; she has been doing that at Lehrman since 2005. When not at school, Jachelline enjoys spending time with family and studying.
Jenna joins the Lehrman team full time after serving consistently in the role of substitute last year. She taught in Colorado for 30 years; most recently she worked as a Preschool teacher nearby at Tauber Academy in Aventura. Jenna has a degree in Elementary Education from Pittsburgh State University. On a personal note, she has two grown children and one grandchild.
Ingrid, a Miami native, joined the Lehrman family in 2013. She began working in early childhood education in 2001 and her dedication to educate and nurture children only continues to grow. With a background in art and music, Ingrid enhances her classroom with her enthusiasm, creativity and curiosity. Ingrid has a true passion for working with children, and watching them grow, learn and challenge themselves. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her four nieces and nephews, kayaking, traveling, and practicing her photography skills.
Yolanda, who began her teaching career in Venezuela, joins our EC from St. Patrick Preschool. With over 20 years of experience, Yolanda’s passion is working with young children and she loves expressing herself through creative activities. She joined Camp Lehrman this summer and enjoyed meeting our families and working alongside Lehrman teachers.
Jen began her teaching career in Kindergarten and has been a PK teacher for the past 8 years, coming from Beth Torah/Suzy Fischer ECA. Jen is thrilled to be part of the Lehrman family!
Jen was born in NYC, grew up on Miami Beach, and is a Ransom Everglades Alum. Her love for working with and educating children has come full circle. She was a child psychology major in college (received a B.A. from GWU) and quickly became a pre-school teacher upon graduating. Along the way, she decided to follow her creative and artistic side by pursuing a career in fashion (Earning an Associates degree in Fashion Buying and Merchandising from FIT in NYC), ultimately becoming a Home Goods Buyer at Bergdorf Goodman specializing in textiles and vintage products. After reflection, she went back to school, receiving a M.A. in education from NYU (with honors). She is certified in Early Childhood Education, as well as Childhood Education (K-5).
She feels that through her love, teaching, and encouragement, she is able to provide those stepping stones needed to become a valuable and productive asset to society. Jen is honored and enthusiastic to share in this process. Her varied background and life experiences have enriched her potential as a creative and thoughtful teacher. She is encouraging, and nurtures the strengths of children, continuously bringing this approach to those she teaches.
During Jen’s free time, she spends as much time as she can outside tending to her orchids, needlepointing, knitting and cuddling with her adopted cats and fiancé Ted. She also LOVES spending time with her parents who live in Weston, and her sister (an orthodontist) and her family who live in Pinecrest.
Lower Elementary: GRADES K-2
- Betsy Levy
- Ayca Nihal
- Jelena Matovic
- Jackelyn Revesz
- Sarah Terheyden
- Meryl Rotenberg
- Gina Schwartzman
- Caren Horvitz
- Caroline Kapp
- Lillian Marcus
- Raquel Heisler
- Rebeca Naierman
- Ashleigh Muhlrad
- Valerie Ganin
- Allison Shusterman
- Lauren Stern
- Melissa Simani
- Natalie Bernard
- Rebecca Walter
- Joanne Silberstein
Betsy, who came to Lehrman in 1994, loves meeting the Meanies, growing gumdrop trees and making crystals with kindergartners and sharing the memories with returning alums, including younger son Sam, a law student. Betsy received her degree from Florida Atlantic University and did graduate work at Barry University. Betsy, a voracious reader, feels passionate about watching a child develop into a reader, knowing that she was part of that process. Betsy enjoys antiquing, gardening, sewing and playing with her dog Dexter.
Jelena was born in Serbia and moved to Oakdale, Long Island in 2001. It was there that she received her BA in History and Economics. We are glad that in 2005 she moved to Miami where she received her Masters Degree from FIU in Liberal Studies and soon became certified for elementary school teaching. Jelena, once a professional rower, loves beaches, parks and anything outdoors; she especially loves spending time with her family. Jelena has three children, Bosko ('19), Magdalena ('21) and Andja, who is still in our ECD program.
Jackie moved from Caracas, Venezuela to the United States in 2002. She lived in Philadelphia, PA where she received her AA degree in Early Childhood Education. While living in Philadelphia, she worked in a preschool and realized she had a lot of patience and loved working with kids. In 2010, she moved to Miami. She loves being an Associate in our Kindergarten. Jackie married in the summer of 2014, and added to their family in 2015, which cut back some on her spare time activities: travel and shopping!
Sarah, or Ms. T., as she has been known to generations at Lehrman, came to Miami from her native Joliet, IL to study at Barry University. After graduating in 1986 she came to Lehrman and, to our good fortune, never left. All three Terheyden children are Lehrman alums: son, Jake, was Hebrew valedictorian. Mrs. T. loves everything about teaching her young students: dancing with her class every morning or engaging them in STEM activities. When not in school, she loves playing in mud...she is an avid OCR enthusiast, participating in Spartan, Tough Mudder and other obstacle course races.
Caren has been inspiring young children for over 15 years. She came to Lehrman from Temple Beth El in Hollywood in 2015 and thoroughly enjoys her work in our kindergarten. She has worked as a lead teacher in early childhood and is a certified yoga teacher for young children. Caren, the mother of a 'tween' son, is familiar with the rhythms that young children experience and thus, prides herself with the gift of channeling energy in a most productive way in the kindergarten classroom.
Lillian was born and raised in Miami. She attended Jewish day school and graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelors of Arts in psychology. Lillian has worked with children since the age of 15 and enjoys teaching, as well as learning from them. When not in the classroom, she loves to spend time with her family and friends.
While this is Dr. Raquel's first year at Lehrman, it is her sixteenth year teaching, mostly K- grade 2. Before coming to Lehrman she worked at Scheck Hillel Community School for ten years. In addition to a PHD in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Raquel has a strong background in teaching writing, having attended extensive coursework at Columbia's Teachers College in Reading and Writing workshops. She has twins, Eli and Hannah, in the Nursery program at Lehrman.
Rebeca began at Lehrman in September, 2019 as a 1st grade Teaching Associate. She attended BILU, a Jewish school in Maracaibo, in the state of Zulia, Venezuela; she completed her degree in civil engineering from the Technion, in Haifa, Israel in 1972. In 1983, Rebeca joined the staff at Moral y Luces Herzl Bialik, a Community Jewish school in Caracas, Venezuela. During her 35 years at the school she taught Mathematics and Computer Sciences. For 17 years she was also the coordinator of the Department of Education Information. In 2017 Rebeca moved to the US and worked at Jewish day schools. For the past 18 years, together with the Sochnut’s (Jewish Agency for Israel) Branch of Education trips for diaspora students, she planned 5-7 week trips for 10th grade students.
Ashleigh grew up in Ontario, Canada, and moved to Miami Beach when she married Mark. She earned her BS in Journalism from FIU, and her MS in Teaching and Learning from Nova Southeastern University. Ashleigh taught 2nd grade at the RASG Hebrew Academy before joining the Lehrman family with sons Sammy, Matthew, and Joshua who flourished at Lehrman, from Turning Twos through fifth grade. When not in the classroom, Ashleigh enjoys working out, spending time with family, and traveling. She especially loves unwinding from the school year in Colorado, where she can be found playing tennis, hiking, and doing paddleboard yoga.
Valerie was born in Paris, France. When just a tween, she moved to Manhattan where she lived for seventeen years. She graduated from New York University in 1985 with a BA. In 1993, she moved to Florida and now resides in Hollywood with her two teenage boys. After being employed for eight years as a preschool teacher at Temple Beth El Preschool, she decided it was time to "move her cheese,” to start a new chapter at Lehrman as a 2nd grade teaching assistant. In her spare time, Valerie enjoys the beach, dancing, and photography.
Melissa was born and raised in the West Palm Beach area. She obtained a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Florida. The desire for seasons and snow drew Ms. Simani to North Carolina where she taught second grade at the Lerner School and later to Washington, DC where she taught Third grade at the Jewish Primary Day School. After her ten year exile from Florida, Melissa returned in the summer of 2018 to marry Simon, and fortuitously, join Lehrman’s faculty. In her free time, Ms. Simani enjoys yoga, running, hiking, and traveling to new places.
Rebecca, who was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, attended Purdue University and graduated with degrees in both photography and art history. She despaired of the cold weather and after taking time to travel, Rebecca decided to take her skills to sunny Miami. She found her first job in education at Miami Country Day School where she enjoyed many years as a K-12 Media Specialist before she joined Lehrman’s faculty in 2017. Rebecca and her family live in Biscayne Point, and in her free time she loves kayaking and spending time with her son and their dogs.
Joanne received her BS in Elementary Education from Penn State University. She taught elementary education in Montgomery County Maryland for 20 years, and she and her husband raised her daughter Jill and son, Adam. She relocated to Florida in 2015 to be near her son, daughter-in-law and beautiful grandson, Adrian. After teaching second grade at The Gordon School, Ms. Silberstein came to Lehrman as an associate teacher and is thrilled to be a part of our family. Outside of school, she enjoys exercising, reading, and cooking.
Upper Elementary: GRADES 3-5
Although born in Buffalo, Karen Freedman Alvarez grew up in Columbus, Ohio, becoming a Buckeyes fanatic. Karen moved to Miami and Lehrman in 1983 and never looked back. She loves her students, treating them as if they are her own children. Outside of school, Karen spends time with family, walks the beach, plays tennis, and fishes on the family's flats boat. Son Eddie, a Lehrman alum, who was a Bar Mitzvah on Thanksgiving, Karen’s favorite holiday, now often returns to the school to serve as a counselor on school trips.
Lindsey is a Miami native and Jewish day school alumna. She graduated from Florida State University in 2013 with a BS in Early Childhood Education, and is a die-hard Seminole fan! After graduating, Lindsey returned to Miami and began teaching pre-kindergarten for the Gordon School of Beth David. She joined Lehrman in 2014 as a first grade assistant and is now a first grade teacher. Outside of school, Lindsey loves paddle-boarding, snow-skiing, sailing, and spending time with her family.
Kenny, who began his career at Lehrman in 2013 teaming up with Karen Alvarez, received his MA in Reading from Barry University. He is a veteran teacher who comes to us with a background of working in both independent, Jewish day and public schools. Kenny is a firm believer that school is a place where ideas and education should be facilitated more than taught.
Janet is Lehrman’s resident Brit and so it is no surprise that she loves to teach the European history component of the 4th grade Core Knowledge curriculum! Her favorite activity is the 'Wax Museum’ project. Janet began teaching at Lehrman in 1981 and her children, Amanda and Jeremy, are both Lehrman graduates. She has a bachelor’s degree from FIU and a master’s in education from Nova Southeastern University and Janet serves as Lehrman’s Core Knowledge coordinator.
Hope received an MA in Arts and Education from Towson University and taught second grade for five years at Miami Country Day School, before joining us at Lehrman in 2012. Hope, who has experience working with elementary students through fifth grade, was very enthusiastic about returning to her Jewish Day School origins; she is a graduate of Krieger Jewish Day School in Baltimore, MD. Hope’s daughters Soleil and Simone are Lehrman students.
Danielle came in 2019 to Lehrman as our fifth grade general studies teacher. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Honors Philosophy at Western University in London, Ontario and her Elementary Teaching License at the University of Windsor. She has had the opportunity to teach in many cities including Toronto, New York, and most recently Los Angeles. She has worked with students from kindergarten through 8th grade as a classroom teacher, educational coach, and school administrator. She is especially fond of upper elementary students because of their thirst for knowledge and collaboration skills.
Judi is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University and has been at Lehrman since 2003. She has taught a variety of age groups -- fifth grade, second grade as well as writing across the curriculum and across the grades. When she teaches reading, which she loves doing, she always completes the assignment, modeling the sharing with the students. Judi’s identical twin daughters, Marti and Dani, attended Lehrman from toddlers through upper elementary. Outside of school, Judi enjoys Barry's Bootcamp, spinning, cooking, and reading.
Originally from Argentina, where she earned her Masters in Education and Psychology, Cintia came to Miami with her husband, and their daughter and son. Once here they adopted a tri-color beagle named "Missy.” It was also here that Cintia obtained certification in K-6th Grade General Studies, and in K-12th Grade Spanish teaching. Cintia sees every day in the classroom as an opportunity to encourage students to push boundaries, find their potential and work to the best of their capabilities. She believes that every single child has a special strength and that guiding them to find that strength helps them become successful young adults.
Kyle received her MA in Educational Leadership from Barry University and BA in Elementary Education from Florida International University. She has a wealth of experience as a teacher, curriculum specialist, reading resource teacher, and as an assistant principal in Miami-Dade County.
Mika was born in Israel’s Galilee and she served in the Israeli Air Force as a human resources coordinator. She came to the US in 2005. With her constant smile, her love of kids and great passion for child development is clear. She believes in a loving and gentle learning environment to develop self esteem, creativity, learning skills, and imagination. Mika also has a deep connection to Judaism and Israeli culture. Her hobbies include spending time with family, relating to nature, art, yoga, dance, and travel. Mika’s daughter Gaya is currently a Lehrman student.
Jerusalem born Morah Etti served in the military police in the Israeli army , occasionally guarding prisoners. She came to America to visit her brother; the visit turned into forever when she met and married Adam. Etti earned her Master’s in Jewish Studies and Jewish Education from Siegal College and taught for 15 years in Jewish day schools in Atlanta, serving as a pilot teacher in the TaLAm program. Etti enjoys reading and computers, and of course family, which includes three sons, two of whom are current Lehrman students.
Morah Monica joined Lehrman as a Hebrew and Jewish studies teacher in 2014. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monica learned to speak Hebrew and graduated with a Hebrew teacher’s degree. She taught Hebrew for 15 years in the elementary department of the Sholem Aleichem school until 2002, when she moved to Guadalajara, Mexico. There in the “Colegio Israelita” she taught in both elementary and middle school. In 2005, Monica and her family migrated to Miami where she joined Beth Moshe as an early childhood teacher. Monica became acquainted with Lehrman as early as 2004 when her children attended the school; now she is glad to return using all her experience and skills as a teacher.
Sigal, the mother of four, was born in Israel, where she served as a commander in the IDF. Following her service, Sigal was a Shlichah(emissary) and youth director in Belem, Brazil. Sigal received a B.ED. in the History and Geography of Israel, specializing in Experiential Education, and an M.A in teaching Hebrew as a second language from Middlebury College of Languages. She is fluent in Hebrew, Spanish, and Portuguese. Sigal has more than 20 years of experience as a teacher and Jewish educator. She believes that learning Hebrew, Jewish values, and Israel should be interactive, fun, and relevant for the student’s age.
Rachel, a sabra, takes great pleasure in helping children develop Hebrew and Judaic skills. Mother of three and grandmother of nine, Rachel began her career at Beth Torah Day School. She studied at St. Thomas University, earning her CDA in Kindergarten Education, and her Hebrew Teachers license while at Temple Menorah’s religious school. Rachel has been at Lehrman since 2000. Known for her joyful spirit, deep love for Judaism and personal connection with her students, Rachel specializes in the TaL AM and Chalav u'Dvash curricula.
Revital joins our Hebrew and Jewish Studies staff. Revital served in the IDF as an officer, and received her BA in education from Seminar Hakibbutzim College of Education in Ramat Aviv specializing in Hebrew language and literature. She has taught here in Miami for over 15 years, primarily at Jacobson Sinai and most recently at Tauber. One of her four children is joining us at Lehrman.
Morah Tiki came to the USA from Kfar Giladi in the Upper Galilee where she began her teaching career. She received her degree at Seminar Oranim of the University of Haifa. After teaching at Lehrman from 2000-2004, she moved to Kol Ami, but Lehrman was always home. Morah Tiki teaches both Hebrew and Jewish Studies, bringing her special flavor of Israel, and imparting her deep love of the subjects she teaches. Tiki is married and has four sons and seven grandchildren, two of which are students at Lehrman. She enjoys swimming, reading and films.
Angela grew up in Israel where she served in the intelligence forces in the Israeli army. She earned her BA in Special Education from Levinsky College of Education, Tel-Aviv. Angela moved to Florida in 2013 after a sojourn of 11 years in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2014, with 12 years of teaching experience behind her, Angela joined Lehrman. Angela and her husband have three children; the youngest daughter, Lior, is a Lehrman student. Angela is fluent in four languages: English ,Hebrew, Russian, and Thai! She enjoys reading, cooking, dancing, and being with the family.
Mali was born and raised in northern Israel, where she served in the Israeli Air force and graduated from Kinneret College. While working at Lehrman as an elementary associate, she worked to complete her Judaic and Hebrew Teacher’s licensing through CAJE and Talam professional development training. Mali moved to Miami from New York with her family. Her sons, David and Daniel, and daughter Liya, are part of our Lehrman family.
Mr. Daniel, who was born in Argentina, came to the United States in 2001. He studied economics at the University of Buenos Aires and ran a company that entertained and amused children at thousands of birthday parties. Daniel is also a composer and his children's song “yo nunca vi” (I never saw) has more than 25 million views on youtube in its various international versions. He worked at Lehrman from 2004 to 2008 and returned in 2014. Father of two (his son is a physician and his daughter in international PR), Daniel is a soccer fan and enjoys barbecues with family and friends.
Gabe, born and raised in Miami Beach, came to Lehrman from the Miami Beach JCC where he coached and did children’s programming for four years. During that time he realized he really enjoys not only coaching kids and tapping into their athletic abilities, but also learning from them and playing a part in their growth and development. He is currently pursuing a degree in primary education at Miami Dade College. When he is not teaching, he enjoys working out and improving his personal fitness and he tries to squeeze in family time as well.
Deborah’s students will tell you that there are no mistakes in art; they also put everything into their work. Deborah is an excellent role model: In between her BFA (Bachelor in Fine Arts), Magna Cum Laude and her MFA, both from the University of Miami, Deborah worked in her studio and had her own showings. She also studied art and art history in Italy, as well as ceramics at Alfred University in New York. At Lehrman Deborah has taught all ages and her students have participated and competed in competitions such as the Miami-Dade County Fair, the American Bar Association Law Day contest and the Miami Jewish Federation’s High Holiday Card Contest. She loves to create art, bake, travel and be with family, including daughter Sarah, a Lehrman alum.
Coach Aaron, a native Miamian, trained to be an EMT and a Paramedic. Later he returned to FIU and has coached for the City of North Miami and Village of Miami Shores. He came to Lehrman in 1998. Not surprisingly, Coach’s favorite place to be is outside: gardening, bike riding, running, swimming and going to the beach. He works out frequently and plays on a competitive Flag Football team.
Michael joined Lehrman in 2005, and hails from Canada where he received a BFA from McGill University. He is a father of four, including two Lehrman alums. Using Bells, Xylophones, flutophones, drums, guitars and of course voices, the children produce beautiful music and learn to read at the same time. A major passion for Michael is producing Lehrman’s Musical Theatre productions, which have included Aladdin, Fiddler on the Roof, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, and currently, School of Rock. Outside of school, Michael serves as a professional musical director and musician.
Hayley, a Lehrman alum, received a BA in American Studies and Psychology from Columbia University. She uses her broad knowledge to make Science a dynamic class. She loves telling students about how the world works around them and encourages them to "think like Scientists!” Hayley's passion for teaching stems from her time as a teacher in Breakthrough Miami. In college, she worked as a Teaching Assistant for the Freedom and Citizenship Program, leading her own sections, preparing students for college, and tutoring. During her free time, Hayley loves finding ways to make life eco-friendly, reading, cooking, and walking around for vitamin D.
Originally from Houston, Mary Alice grew up in northwest Florida. She moved to Miami five years ago with her husband and their two sons. Mary Alice has danced all her life, training with the Radio City Rockettes, Houston Ballet, Austin City Ballet, and Alvin Ailey. She graduated from Troy University with a BS in psychology and a minor in dance. She has a passion for teaching dance to young students, which brought her to Lehrman. Her hobbies include baking, traveling, dancing (of course), healthy cooking, exercising, and anything else that keeps her moving, happy, and healthy.
Diane became a techie before IBM developed the PC! After years in business, she taught at Bet Shira Solomon Schechter Day School and then Temple Beth Am. Diane came to Lehrman in 2006 to teach and take responsibility for all things technological. Diane loves finding new areas of technology to excite learning in our students. Mother of two married sons and grandmother to Julia, Ethan, Annabelle, and June, Diane is also a past Region President of Hadassah; she currently serves in a leadership position on the National Assembly.
Ilana is a graduate of Mills College (BA in Education) and Nova SoutheasternUniversity (MA Educational Technology), Ms. Traub is a veteran educator who came to us from Hochberg Preparatory School after spending 10 years at Hillel Community Day School as their Director of Educational Technology. Ms. Traub helped us define and grow our iKnow Emporium as it develops as the hub of learning and discovery at Lehrman.
Nicole came to Lehrman as our counselor in 2010 from the Dan Marino Center where she worked with children with disabilities. Before that she founded and ran the outpatient children and teen program at Ft. Lauderdale Hospital for depressed and anxious adolescents.
At Lehrman she works with children in classrooms, in small groups and individually, both pro-actively and as needs arise. Ms. Nicole, as she is fondly known school-wide, received her BA from the University of Kansas and her MS. from Pratt Institute, specifically in Creative Arts Therapy with a speciality in Movement Therapy. She trained at both Mount Sinai and St. Vincent Hospitals in New York City, achieving Board Certification there. She also worked at Lenox Hill Hospital.
Her over twenty years of experience include working with both families and children, and especially children with behavioral issues, learning disabilities depression, among other mental health issues and she is certified to work with children on and with: Mindfulness, anxiety, anger management, ADD and autism. When she is not at school, Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, including Lehrman students Tommy '18 and Alexandra '21.
Mariet, a LPN, joined Lehrman in 2018 with a number of certifications and licenses as well as extensive experience in hospital and home health care pediatric nursing. Mariet has a Diploma in Nursing from Mercy Hospital School of Practical Nursing, an Associates in Arts from Broward College, and is on her way to a BS in nursing from Broward College. When not being a skilled nursing professional, Mariet loves being the mom of her elementary-school daughter, and even finds time for cooking, health and fitness, reading, dancing, and travel.
Cantor Joshua joined Lehrman in 2016 as the Director of Jewish Life. He also serves as cantor at neighboring Temple Menorah.
Using innovative teaching methods, Cantor Josh seeks to inspire our children to love their heritage. He teaches about tefillah (prayer), Jewish holidays, Jewish values, and parashat hashavua (the Torah portion of the week). His unique games and activities, along with his weaving of classic Jewish stories, makes his class time both exciting and anticipated.
Cantor Josh has served as Rosh Chinuch (Jewish Education head) at Camps Ramah in Canada and Judah West. He also worked at the American Jewish Committee headquarters as the Assistant Director of Domestic Policy and Legal Affairs where he lobbied and presented amicus briefs to the Supreme Court on issues relevant to the Jewish community and religious freedoms. He lived in Jerusalem where he worked as a writer and editor for the Jerusalem Post. At Temple Menorah, along with preparing children (including many Lehrman graduates) for their bar and bat mitzvah, Cantor Josh creates innovative Jewish programming.
Cantor Josh grew up in Atlanta and is a Braves fan, but he and his wife have made Miami home. When not at Lehrman or Menorah, Cantor Josh can be found working on his latest Jewish music album, playing basketball, wiffleball, or riding bikes with their three children.
José has lived in many places -- born in Cuba, studied in the Northeast, worked in the Caribbean and the Southeast --and then he came to Lehrman in 2000 to man our accounting department with his cheerful optimism and endless patience. Jose has two grown daughters, Solange–Marie and Nicole-Suzette. His wife, Marcia, is an expert in special education. Outside of work Jose enjoys sports and TV, and he reads self help books and biblical-related literature.
Stella, our new front desk administrative assistant, fills the position vacated by Renee Steinman who retired at the end of the 2018-2019 school year after 47 years at Lehrman. You will recognize Stella if you frequent the Miami Beach JCC where she wore many hats for the past six years, including: Director of Membership Services, Front Desk Supervisor, and Registrar and Camp Office Administrator.
Born in Barcelona, Ruth left at six and lived in the Caribbean, Florida, and Long Island, before coming to Miami Beach in 1992. Ruth graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Psychology. At Lehrman since 2005, she feels right at home here. In her free time, Ruth can be found at the beach, snorkeling, paddle-boarding, or bike riding. Fond of detective/spy novels, she enjoys documentaries and anything regarding history. A soft spot in her heart is for animals; given the opportunity and funds, Ruth would travel the world to do good. Ruth is fluent in English, Spanish and Catalan.
Maya moved from Israel to the states at an early age and loves living in sunny South Florida. Graduating from Florida International University with a degree in Psychology, Maya always had a passion for education. She quickly found her love for teaching and working with children. After holding both teaching and administrative positions at Brauser Maimonides Academy for six years, Maya is thrilled to join the Lehrman family. Maya enjoys time with her family, her pets or simply spending time outdoors.
Lehrman is fortunate that Brooklyn-born Amy came to Miami. Amy brought her three children to Lehrman, loved it so much that she became president of the parent association, and is now administrative assistant and teaches after school dance and theater classes. Amy, who started dancing at the age of three and continued into her 20s, performed and taught dance for 15 years. Her current favorite is hip hop. Besides time spent with her family or on the dance floor, Amy likes to travel.
“Papa Joe,” beloved by generations of Lehrman kids, was born in Haiti, grew up in Brooklyn, and moved to Miami in 1976. He has been strategizing Heats games with Lehrman students, parents and staff since 1996, but his heart has always belonged to his beloved Yankees. Papa is at Lehrman when the sun rises and he is still here way past sunset, yet he still finds time to watch sports, read, and spend time with his wife and their five children.
Ruby, who has been at Lehrman since 2005, was born in South Carolina, but moved to Florida when she was five. She lived in New York for 20 years while her children finished school, but then moved back here where she has lived ever since. Ruby has three daughters and one son, and five grandchildren, all of whom live in New York; she visits them over the winter break. Away from Lehrman, Ruby spends time at church, attending services several times a day on Sundays.