Educational consulting Committee:

The committee will advise the school on strategical and community building matters as needed, in accordance with the school’s vision and missions.
Each member of the committee is highly experienced in his/hers own field of experience.
The committee will gather quarterly to hear about current school reports, to discuss the school’s contemporary issues, to get updates and to guide and consult with the staff about the school’s development and strategy.

Yafa Exelrod: Yaffa developed the “YESODOT” method – for independent writing and reading in Hebrew and the “BASICIS” method - for independent writing and reading basic English. Yafa graduated with a degree in psychology from the Lomonosov Moscow State University. She is an expert in Educational Psychology. Yafa made Alia to Israel in 1976. She worked for 12 years in the psychological services and for 6 years she was the coordinated the field of special education. From 1990 she worked in training positions in the Ministry of Education.    

Michal Gutman: Michal begun her professional career in the Jewish world as part of the Israeli center in Palo Alto JCC. As part of her work at the center Michal was instrumental in establishing and developing different projects for the Israeli community of over 20,000 households. Among other things she was part of the leading team in building a first of its kind Hebrew School - “BEGED KEFET” which currently includes 300 students from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Rabbi Reuben Modek: A native Israeli, Rabbi Reuben Modek launched his career as educator with Dror and HaShomer HaTza'ir youth centers in the towns of Haifa and Rehovot. After earning a degree in Social Work from Haifa University, Rabbi Modek moved to the USA where his passion for Jewish education and leadership were refocused. Currently, Rabbi Modek serves as Spiritual Director of Hebrew Learning Circles and its innovative Synagogue-Without-Walls in Nyack NY. Additionally, Rabbi Modek is a traveling workshop leader and speaker on Jewish education and Jewish spirituality in Israel, Europe and the US. Rabbi Modek is the originator of the innovative Legacy Passage Bar and Bat Mitzvah program. Michal is part of the founding team of “EMEK” school and will continue to help the school in the planning level, contributing from her rich experience in order to develop the school and the community around it.


Hedva Ofek-Shay:  manager of Hebrew teaching and supervising in “Remez” school in Manhattan. Hedva has a vast experience with Hebrew teaching and Israeli and jewish contents.

Shirly Zayfman: Shirly is the HSA (Home School Association) president of the Mackay School in Tenafly and represents the school and the general parents’ community in various education boards in town. Before moving to Tenafly, Shirly lived in Hoboken and was the founder of the Israeli club that provided Israelis with a variety of activities including children's activities for holidays, parties for adults, Israeli films, poetry readings, learning Hebrew and more.

While living in Israel Shirly managed the PR and marketing Portfolios of leading High tech companies in Israel and worldwide. After a few years in the business Shirly joined “AFIKI TEKSHORET” a company specializing in building educational content in the topic of communication. Shirly established an educational after school program - “ANI ISRAELI” – a unique and experiential curriculum for children after school. The program was a success and was adopted in many schools in Israel.

Noam Koren: Noam is an independent contractor in the field of consulting, investment and training. Noam has 17 years of experience in developing training programs and teaching of business and technological knowledge. In the past he held numerous roles in Hi-tech companies in the fields of sales, marketing and training. Noam holds a bachelor degree in social sciences with a focus on education and a master’s degree in management information systems. At his leisure Noam enjoys photography, cooking, riding bicycles and playing the piano. Noam lives in Cresskill with his wife, Gabi, and they are the proud parents of Yotam, Maayan and Tamir.           

Supporting Professional Staff:

Aya Shechter: Aya is the Director of Israeli Center at the JCC since 2011. She is the mother of two daughters and living in NJ since 2007. Previously she was the chair and Executive Director of Dor Chadash in NYC, then the largest organization for young Israeli and American Jews. She has years of experience with the Israeli community, the Jewish American community, planning events and building community and cultural programs. Aya is part of the co-founding team of the school and will follow the progress of the school in administrative and planning level.    

Noa Leitersdorf: Noa lives in Tenafly and is the mother of two children. She is a lawyer by profession and decided to join the Israeli center and to contribute her talent and passion for community activities. Noa will be part of the administrative management of the school.

Gili Grady: Gili is the “Shlicha” of the Jewish Agency and works with the Tzofim at the JCC. As part of her work Gili conducts programs for children and youth, in Hebrew and English. Gili established and teaches the “Ivrit Bekef” program at the JCC which is receiving praises from parents and children alike.