Our leadership team offers years of experience in education combined with a passion for inspiring students to reach their greatest potential.
Mrs. Rochie Berkowitz, Principal
Chumash and Moadim Teacher
Mrs. Rochie Berkowitz has been a girls high school teacher and mechaneches in Cleveland for over 17 years. She received her BA from Maimonides College and her teachers’ training and certification through Yavne Teachers Seminary and Ateres Bnos Yerushalayim. In addition to the time she has spent in the classroom, Mrs. Berkowitz utilized opportunities to connect with her students in her roles as Student Council Coordinator and Director of annual school productions. Over the years, she has managed countless extra-curricular programs, developed fundraising campaigns and coordinated various learning programs for students in grades 9-12. Mrs. Berkowitz is the 2015 recipient of the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland's Ratner Goldberg Teacher of the Year Award. She founded Bnos Aliyah, an independent program for both high school and post high school girls looking to take ownership of their Torah learning outside of a formal classroom setting. Her passion for chinuch habanos is driven by her love and admiration for her students, their struggles, and their successes. As Principal of Chaviva High School, Mrs. Berkowitz’s vision is to create an atmosphere of motivation and positivity in which students are encouraged to reach beyond their comfort zone to discover their greatness within.
Mrs. Berkowitz will also be teaching Chumash, Moadim and Megillas Rus to the 9th grade this year.
Mrs. Elissa Chanales, Assistant Principal
Chumash and Navi Teacher
Mrs. Elissa Chanales has been in the field of girls’ education for 20 years. She has worked with many different types of students, collaborated to plan programming and curriculum with fellow faculty members and fostered strong relationships with both students and parents. She earned her Bachelor’s of Education and her Teudat Horaah (Israeli Teaching License) from Michlalah Jerusalem College. She taught in two Israeli high schools and worked with seminary students before traveling to New York to study for her Masters’ in Education. Mrs. Chanales earned her M.Sc. from the Azrieli Graduate School of Education of Yeshiva University and continued to complete her doctoral coursework in School Administration, all while continuing to teach. She was the Assistant Principal of the Yeshiva of Elizabeth (JEC) in New Jersey, where she supervised faculty, led professional development, school-wide scheduling and fostered relationships with parents and students. In her role as Assistant Principal at Chaviva High School, Mrs. Chanales looks forward to guiding academic learning and fostering sincere and passionate spiritual growth.
Mrs. Chanales will also be teaching Chumash to the 11th and 12th graders this year at Chaviva.
Administrative Support Team
Mrs. Sarah Rena Grodko, Academic Coach
Mrs. Sarah Rena Grodko has experience as a teacher both in the classroom as well as in an individualized, small group setting. Mrs. Grodko holds a Master of Education Degree through Notre Dame College and is a licensed K-12 Intervention Specialist. In addition to advising and supporting all students and staff, Mrs. Grodko also runs a weekly workshop that helps 9th graders strengthen core academic and life skills to help set them up for success in Chaviva and beyond. Mrs. Grodko believes in the importance of educating each student based on her unique abilities and is eager to help meet each Chaviva student’s diverse needs through effective research-based teaching practices.
Mrs. Aliza Koval, Mechaneches, LEV Program Director, Senior Advisor
Navi and Penimi
A native of Monsey, NY and a graduate of Hadar Bais Yaakov Seminary in Jerusalem
and Thomas Edison State University, Mrs. Koval received her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Long Island University and has worked in the field of Special Education for over 18 years. She was the Director of Student Services for Sha’arim in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and helped create the Judaic Resource room at Arie Crown Hebrew Day School in Chicago. Her passion for helping children has led to her directing a camp for special needs children in Montreal, Canada for 6 summers; as well as serving on the Head Staff at Oorah Girls Zone for the past 5 summers. Here at Chaviva, her door is always open; where students can find loving guidance, a smile and a listening ear. Seeing the students flourish and blossom brings untold joy to Mrs. Koval’s day!
Mrs. Koval will also be teaching Sefer Shmuel, Sefer Melachim and Penimi this year.
Ms. Magdalena Lucas, College Guidance
World History, Modern American History, Government, Economics, Speech/Debate, ACT Prep
Ms. Magdalena Lucas is in her third year of teaching History at Chaviva High School. She grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and moved to Cleveland after graduating with a dual bachelor’s degree in History and Adolescent Young Adult Education with a Minor in Classical Studies from John Carroll University in 2018. She teaches a full class load including US History, Modern World History, American Government, Speech/Debate and Economics at Chaviva. Ms. Lucas loves engaging her students in making connections between the historical content that they are learning about in class and their own lives. By making this connection, her students are reminded that history is relevant and important to their lives as young women, whether an event happened one hundred years ago or one hundred days ago. This year, Ms. Lucas will be guiding our Juniors and Seniors as they prepare for college and career. She oversees the ACT Prep course, manages the College Credit Plus Program, and will be assisting our seniors with college applications and the like.
The Educational Team at Chaviva High School is comprised of highly qualifified professionals, who seek to inspire and guide the next generation of leaders in our community. By working as a collaborative unit, Chaviva's staff is able to create a culture and environment of collaboration, innovation and excellence.
Rabbi Dovid Aaron Gross
Rabbi Dovid Aaron Gross is the Rav of Kehillas Beis Doniel in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He studied in the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, Mir Yerushalayim, Beth Medrash Govoha where he received semichah, and Kollel Ateres Chaim Boruch in Cleveland Hts. In addition, he is Administrator of Yavne Teachers’ Seminary and Director of Bais Havaad Halacha Center’s Midwest Division. He has published Sefer Toras Chesed, a collection of essays from Rabbi Chaim Kreiswirth, The Five Minute Sermon on Chumash, The Five Minute Sermon Around the Year, 30 Days to Bar Mitzvah – An Illuminating Guide to the Mitzvah of Tefillin, 30 Days to the Pesach Seder and 30 Days to Simchas Torah.
Rabbi Gross is the official posek for Chaviva High School and teaches our weekly shiur on Parshas HaShavuah which can be heard here
Rabbi Pinchas Landis
Rabbi Pinchas Landis grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from a performing arts high school, he traveled the country for a year as International B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) President. Throughout this time he became more interested and aware of traditional Judaism. Rabbi Landis spent a total of nine years learning at Yeshiva University, Ohr Somayach Tanenbaum College, and the Ner Israel Rabbinical College. He has also done postgraduate work towards a Masters in Community Counseling at Johns Hopkins University. Before moving to Cleveland, Rabbi Landis was a congregational Rabbi in Cincinnati. Rabbi Landis currently serves as the Education Director for Partners In Torah. Rabbi Landis is a dynamic and fascinating speaker and teacher, specializing in the areas of Jewish Inspiration and Jewish History. He also enjoys rock climbing, reading business books, working out, graphic and web design, and playing with anything electronic.
You can hear some of Rabbi Landis's lectures here.
Dr. Moshe Ornstein
Dr. Moshe Ornstein learned in the Yeshiva of Philadelphia and in the Mir Yeshiva in Yerushalayim. He then studied business and biology at Lander College for Men / Beis Medrash L’Talmud. He received his M.A. in biotechnology from Columbia University and his M.D. from Stony Brook University. He subsequently completed his medical training at the Cleveland Clinic. He currently serves as an oncologist, mentor, and medical school faculty member at the Cleveland Clinic, where he has received multiple teaching awards. In addition, he also teaches a night seder halacha chaburah at Yeshiva High School of Cleveland. Dr. Ornstein is very successful at developing and teaching a stimulating, interactive, and student-centered halacha curriculum that is both academically rigorous and fun!
Mrs. Adina Forouzan
Mrs. Forouzan holds a Masters in Special Education and completed numerous teacher fellowships, including Rabbi Feigenbaum’s teacher’s program to further her teacher training. She has been teaching for close to 15 years with a passion to motivate students to reach their highest potential. As an educator and professional organizer, Mrs. Forouzan is attuned to details, productivity, efficiency, and organization which further enhances her students' learning experience. She is very passionate about educating students according to their strengths and natural tendencies. She applies her differentiated approach in the classroom and supports students to maximize their potential.
Mrs. Sarah Chava Greenblatt
Mrs. Greenblatt has been working with teens in and out of the classroom for over ten years including after school enrichment programs and one on one mentoring.
She graduated Seminar Yerushalayim with an Honors Teaching Certificate and obtained a Bachelor's in Liberal Arts through TTI.
Mrs. Greenblatt also plays piano and has directed many school productions and smaller events.
She has a passion for growth in Torah learning and enjoys connecting with the girls and encouraging them to excel in their learning and spiritual growth
Mrs. Elisheva Halle
Inspired by the profound affect her high school teachers in Columbus and seminary teachers in Machon Raaya had on her, Mrs. Elisheva Halle set out with a mission to pass on her passion for Torah. She has taken numerous chinuch courses and is excited to apply all she has learned to create a supportive classroom environment where students will feel valued and their strengths highlighted, thereby motivating them to succeed. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Halle is a graphic designer and creative writer, and has published several short stories in Jewish magazines. She looks forward to using her creativity to make dynamic, enriching classes that will inspire students to become Ovdei Hashem.
Mrs. Peninnah Lipton
Koheles & Shir HaShirim
Mrs. Penninah Lipton has been mentoring people of all ages for many years. Mrs. Lipton has a unique way of connecting with individuals and knows how to guide one to recognize what is holding them back from greatness. This ability makes her an optimal teacher for Koheles as Koheles is about understanding the truth in life and implementing that truth into everyday living. Impassioned about living with Hashem, Mrs. Lipton brings many life experiences into her lessons to engage her students in relevant and inspiring Torah wisdom.
Mrs. Fayga Nathan
Mrs. Fayga Nathan has been teaching middle and high school girls Judaic Studies for 13 years. She has taught Halacha, Jewish History, Parsha, and Orchos Tzaddikim. Mrs. Nathan has also conducted summer learning programs for high school girls. Mrs. Nathan was a Judaic studies coordinator at Segula for seven years. She is an alumna of Bnos Chava Seminary in Jerusalem and received an Associate of Arts degree from Lakeland Community College. Mrs. Nathan is passionate about facilitating a positive and profound connection between her students and the Torah.
Mrs. Ahuva Belsky
Physical Science, Biology,
Chemistry, Human Anatomy
Ahuva Miriam Belsky holds a bachelor's degree in Biology from Touro College, and a master’s degree in Science Education from Rutgers University. She has taught Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Engineering and Advanced Placement Biology at various high schools including Be’er Hagolah Institute, Reenas High School, Ilan High School and Fuchs Mizrachi School. She enjoys the intellectual rigor of the classroom as well as the opportunity to work with young women at this important stage in their lives.
Mrs. Jessica Bonert
Mrs. Jessica Bonert has been in the field of adult and youth education for 20 years. Mrs. Bonert studied Education and Art History at UCLA and received her BA through Maalot Los Angeles. She has taught various grades and subjects throughout the years in both L.A. and Cleveland, and coordinated technology usage in the classroom as well. Mrs Bonert served as Chaviva's Director of Operations from 2018-2020.
Mrs. Rachel Burris
Rachel Burris graduated from Wheaton College with a bachelor's in mathematics and secondary education. She taught middle school and high school math in public and private schools in North Carolina before moving to Cleveland. Mrs. Burris is very excited to be teaching at Chaviva and plans to do her best to help all her students love math.
Mrs. Natasha Cohen
Mrs. Natasha Cohen holds a master’s degree in education with concentration in mathematics from John Carroll University. She has been teaching for twenty years. Mrs. Cohen's teaching style is interactive because she believe in engaging students in the learning process. In her lessons Mrs. Cohen stresses understanding and encourages creative problem solving rather than “memorizing and following steps.” She is excited to be a part of the Chaviva family.
Mrs. Bracha Hendeles
Mrs. Bracha Hendeles received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cleveland State University and is a graduate of the CSUteach program, which places an emphasis on student-centered and inquiry-based learning. She has experience as a math teacher in both the public and private school systems. Mrs. Hendeles is passionate about engaging students in math through activities, discussion and real world problems. She is excited to be part of the Chaviva team and to foster a love of math in her students.
Mrs. Ariella Landy
Mrs. Ariella Landy has been a teacher of middle and high school English Language Arts for over nine years. She comes to Chaviva with a wealth of experience teaching a variety of writing and literature courses. Mrs. Landy holds a BA in English Literature and a Masters of Science in Education in Teaching English to Adolescents, and greatly looks forward to a productive, collaborative year.
Mrs. Huvie Schabes
Mrs. Huvie Schabes holds a Teaching Certificate from Machon Devorah seminary in Israel, and a BA in Psychology from The College of Staten Island. She has been a Limudei Kodesh teacher for over 25 years with experience teaching general studies at the elementary and high school level. Huvie spent three summers training with the Buck Institute for Education (now PBLWorks).
Huvie’s biggest motivation for teaching is the tremendous pride she gets from sparking enthusiasm for learning, watching students take ownership of and pride in their work, and ultimately seeing them apply that newfound confidence to all areas of their lives.
Mrs. Riva Eisenberg
Performing Arts , Psychology
Mrs. Riva Eisenberg holds a BA in Psychology from Ursuline College and an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from John Carroll University. She has been working with students in various capacities for several years. Mrs. Eisenberg has experience as both a play director and a teacher and has herself been involved in the performing arts for eleven years. She is passionate about helping young women find their voice and actualize their potential for self expression through the arts.
Rabbi Yitzchak Feigenbaum
Chaviva High School is fortunate to have Rabbi Yitzchak Feigenbaum serve as our Educational Consultant.
Rabbi Yitzchak Feigenbaum has been educating adolescents and young adults for over forty years. Born in Cleveland, he spent many years studying in Eretz Yisroel, and received his smicha from HaGaon HaRav Beinush Finkel zatzal, Rosh Yeshivas Mir, Yerushalayim.
Rabbi Feigenbaum was the first Mashgiach of Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem when it was founded, and in 1978 founded Yeshivat Darche Noam/ Shapell College of Jewish Studies - a yeshiva for university aged young men with little formal Jewish education. During that time he authored "Understanding The Talmud - A Systematic Guide to Talmudic Logic and Methodology". In 1987 he and his family moved to Toronto, where he taught in a variety of High Schools for both boys and girls, lectured for Aish HaTorah and Or Sameach, and served as the Scholar in Residence for Schools and Shules across North America.
In September 2000 he became the founding Principal of Tiferes Bais Yaakov High School for girls. Besides serving as Principal, he personally taught Chumash to 9th Grade, and taught his unique Hashkafa course to 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Over the past two decades he has mentored teachers and principals, counselled young people across the world, and lectured extensively in schools, shuls and camps in North America, England, Eretz Yisroel and the former Soviet Union.
One of his missions is to empower all teachers with tools and Hashkafos
so that their students will not merely have Torah in their life, but will have life in their Torah!
To learn more about Rabbi Feigenbaum and access his shiurim online visit www.rabbiyfeigenbaum.com