Faculty and Staff:
Rabbi David Rebibo – Founder & Dean of Students
Rabbi Rebibo is the Orthodox Jewish congregational rabbi, founder and dean of Phoenix Hebrew Academy, an Age 2-8th Grade Jewish day school, and head of the kosher certifying agency VA’AD in Phoenix, Arizona. He is also president of the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of Greater Phoenix. He is a driving force behind the development of the Orthodox Jewish community of Phoenix and has been since 1965.
Rabbi Weiner is a veteran teacher of many years, first in Baltimore, Maryland, and then for a number of years as a member of the Phoenix Hebrew Academy staff. Originally from Providence, Rhode Island, he received his Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt, OB”M, and his Masters Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Loyola University Chicago. Additionally, he is a graduate of both the Jewish Education Leadership Institute and the Maurice Ralph Julis Principal Trainting Institute. Rabbi Weiner’s passion for education and attention to detail are well known throughout the community.
Rabbi Harris Cooperman – Director of Development and Seventh Grade Boys Judaic Studies
Rabbi Cooperman, originally from Brooklyn, New York, has been a fixture in Phoenix, Arizona since 1984. He served as principal of the Phoenix Hebrew Academy for more than 20 years. A master educator, Rabbi Cooperman has decades of experience teaching classes and shiurim to Jews of various backgrounds.
Mrs. Sheila Shaffer– Director of General Studies and Seventh and Eighth Grade Social Studies
Mrs. Shaffer is a veteran Social Studies teacher from the Washington School District. She comes to PHA with over two decades of experience as a teacher and administrator. Mrs. Shaffer brings a passion for literature and writing to the classroom. She holds her Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Arizona State University.
Mrs. Alyssa Zupnick– Preschool Director
Mrs. Zupnick, a veteran of the Tucson Hebrew Academy who additionally spent a year teaching underprivileged children in Israel, has been a beloved teacher at the Phoenix Hebrew Academy since 2010. In that time she has taught various grades ranging from 3 years old in the preschool to 5th grade, spending the last 3 years in Kindergarten. Alyssa is excited to bring her knowledge and expertise of Early Childhood Education to the Phoenix Hebrew Academy preschool.
Ms. Gabby Jiminez– Two-Year-Old Class
Ms. Jimenez, now in her second year at PHA, comes to us from the Greenfrog Child Development Center with years of experience as a toddler caregiver and holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Phoenix College.
Mrs. Yona Weitzner– Two-Year-Old Class Aide
Mrs. Deanna Musaev– Three-Year-Old Class
Ms. Leti Cordova– Three-Year-Old Class Aide
Ms. Kylie Mony– Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten General Studies
Ms. Mony, a native of Arizona and a beloved member of the PHA staff, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Grand Canyon University with a degree in Early Childhood education. This will be her fifth year teaching at our school.
Mrs. Robin Samuel– Pre-Kindergarten Judaic Studies
Mrs. Samuel is a long time member of the PHA family, having sent all three of her children to our school. She holds a degree from California State University Northridge, and has 20 years of experience teaching in Early Childhood at a number of Jewish Day Schools.
Ms. Elizabeth Reyes– Pre-Kindergarten Aide
Mrs. Chanie Honig– Kindergarten and First Grade Judaic Studies
Mrs. Honig, a beloved member of our staff, has been in Jewish education for over 25 years. She founded the only Jewish day school in San Jose CA, which she led until she moved to Los Angeles and eventually Arizona. A veteran of our school, her hands-on approach engages her students, and her catchy melodies bring a lively atmosphere to her classroom.
Miss Mindy Gordon– Kindergarten Aide
Ms. Norma Walker– First and Second Grade General Studies
Ms. Walker graduated from Minot State University in Minot, ND with a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and a concentration in reading. She is a veteran teacher of 25 years with the Mesa Public School District #4, and has taught at PHA for over 7 years as well.
Mrs. Lakie Blech– Second Grade Judaic Studies and Fourth Grade General Studies
Morah Lakie brings years of teaching experience to PHA, having taught a variety of ages and subjects both in Phoenix and in Silver Spring, MD. Additionally, she is trained in the Montessori Method of Education, allowing her to diversify her lessons and reach many different levels within the classroom.
Miss Yehudis Hausner– Third Grade General Studies and Sixth Grade Language Arts and History
Ms. Hausner graduated from Brooklyn College in New York City with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in studio arts. She has five years of teaching experience at Keshet Learning Center in New York. She has also worked with STAR (science technology and research) after school programming at Erasmus middle school.
Rabbi Nachman Goldenberg– Third and Fifth Grade Judaic Studies
Rabbi Goldenberg, now in his third year at PHA, earned his Bachelors degree from Thomas Edison State College as well Rabbinic Ordination from the Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva in Queens, New York. Aside from his passion for teaching and connecting with his students, he is known for his pleasant demeanor, patience and sense of humor.
Rabbi Ari Bleeman– Fourth Grade Judaic Studies
Rabbi Bleeman, a veteran master teacher, is a graduate of the Ner L’Elef Teachers Program in Jerusalem, Israel, as well as the Machon Aluph Bina Teacher Training Program. Prior to joining the PHA staff, he served in several different capacities in the field of education, including Student Activity Coordinator at the Eitz Chaim Yeshiva in Moscow, Russia.
Rabbi Sholom Twerski– Fourth Grade Girls Navi
During his many years living in Israel, Rabbi Twerski received Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovitz at the Jerusalem Kollel. In addition to being on the PHA staff, he serves as Rabbinic Administrator of the Greater Phoenix Vaad Hakashruth and Associate Rabbi of Beth Joseph Congregation.
Mr. Derrick Register – Fifth Grade General Studies
Mr. Register has over 35 years of professional work experience in civil engineering as a project manager, and as a math instructor. He has a Master’s degree in Accounting, Master’s degree in Computer Information Systems, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Phoenix. Additionally, he has over 25 years of experience as an amateur boxer and personal trainer, and has refereed youth basketball for the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation.
Rabbi Yisroel Isaacs– Fifth Grade Boys Mishna
Rabbi Isaacs, a fixture in the PHA family, serves as Rabbi of Beth Joseph Congregation, and is Co-Director of the Greater Phoenix Vaad Hakashruth and the Jewish Enrichment Center, an educational and outreach organization. He also serves as Rabbinic Coordinator of the Phoenix Community Eruv. Some of his hobbies include Hebrew bibliography, keeping abreast of contemporary halachic issues and meeting new people.
Mr. Joel Michalski– Sixth Grade Math and Science and Seventh and Eighth Grade Language Arts
Mr. Michalski received both his Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University. After working in the Lake Havasu School District for several years, he joined the staff of PHA. Now going into his fourth year at PHA, he is a familiar face on campus. His classes are known for the wide range of exciting educational activities which they often include. He’s thoroughly excited to add even more dynamic activities to his classes this year.
Rabbi Avraham Perton– Sixth Grade Boys, Seventh Grade Boys Gemara, and Eighth Grade Boys Judaic Studies
Rabbi Perton studied at Ner Israel Rabbinical College and the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Talmudic Law and a Teaching Certificate from Ner Israel’s teacher-training institute. Additionally, Rabbi Perton studied at Netzach Yisrael in Rechaviah, and later on at the Kollel of Rabbi Travis (author of Praying with Joy series and other classics). He received four Rabbinic Ordinations: from the Israeli Rabbanut, Rabbi Zalman Nechmeya Goldberg, Rabbi Azriel Aurbach and from Rav Asher Weiss. In addition to his rabbinic studies, he participated in the two year, “Ohr Legolah,” teacher-training program accredited by the State of Israel, licensing him to be a teacher in the Diaspora. He has a passion for teaching Torah and inspiring students to reach their potential in all areas.
Mrs. Sara Twerski– Sixth Grade Girls Judaic Studies
Mrs. Twerski is a widely respected veteran teacher who holds a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. Before joining PHA, she taught Middle School classes for several years in the New York area.
Mr. John Stofan– Seventh and Eighth Grade Math
Mr. Stofan holds a BS in mathematics from California University and an M.Ed from the University of Miami. He has previously taught math in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Arizona. He also has served as Kaplan’s National Director of University Partnerships, Sr. Director of Admission’s for a private university, and Director of Student Activities for three major universities.
Mrs. Eva Barach– Seventh and Eighth Grade Science
Mrs. Barach is originally from Brooklyn, NY. She worked towards her Biology degree at the College of Staten Island. Mrs. Barach moved with her family to Phoenix 3 years ago and enjoys all the things it has to offer. She also brings with her a love for Scientific studies and a fascination in exploring Science and it’s correlation to the truths found in the Torah.
Mrs. Chaya Sgro – Seventh and Eighth Grade Girls Navi and Hashkafah
Coach Bisi Letunde-Addey– Physical Education
Mrs. Brooke Foster– Art
Brooke Foster, known to her students as Morah Brooke, is a Phoenix based artist and Fine Arts teacher. She grew up in Orange County, California and moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University. While she was pursuing her undergraduate degree, Brooke developed a passion for sharing her knowledge of the Art World. She enrolled in Art Education courses and began her career as an educator, working as the Fine Arts teacher in various schools and extracurricular programs. After graduating from ASU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Brooke settled in Phoenix where she continues to build her personal portfolio of original artwork and share her love of the Art World with students of all ages.
Ms. Jill Wilson– Resource Teacher
Ms. Wilson joined Gesher Disability Resources (formerly Council For Jews With Special Needs) in 2010. Originally brought on for inclusion consulting, Ms. Wilson has navigated the Jewish preschools, day schools and religious schools earning trust and repeat requests for assistance. Ms. Wilson has increased the list of schools who benefit from the agency’s services including tripling the number of children served each year. Additionally, Ms. Wilson leads special education trainings to teachers and camp counselors. Ms. Wilson holds a B.A. in Special Education K-12 and an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education, is Certified in Special Education Cross-Categorical and Elementary Education, and has 15 years teaching experience.
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