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
Mrs. Rochie Berkowitz has been a girls high school teacher and mechaneches in Cleveland for over 15 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 JECC 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 also teaches the Chumash courses at Chaviva.
Mrs. Elissa Chanales, Assistant Principal
Mrs. Elissa Chanales has been in the field of girls’ education for over 18 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 also teaches the Navi courses at Chaviva.
Mrs. Jessica Bonert, Director of Operations
Mrs. Jessica Bonert has been in the field of adult and youth education for 18 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. In recent years, she has gained management experience in non-profit organization, using her creativity and organizational skills to enhance efficiency of office systems, general procedures, and big event planning. As Director of Operations at Chaviva High School, Mrs. Bonert is excited to facilitate the process of bringing the dream of Chaviva into reality.
Mrs. Ahuva Grodko, Licensed Social Worker
Mrs. Ahuva Grodko is a qualified social worker with extensive experience providing high quality care in therapy. She is passionate about empowering young women to boldly look their problems in the eye and courageously engage life’s challenges. Mrs. Grodko uses an eclectic approach in therapy, guiding clients to discover which tools most effectively enable them to successfully transform obstacles into stepping stones. As an honors graduate of Fordham University, with a specialization in children and families, she is well versed in a wide range of treatments available to support the challenges of today’s teens. Mrs. Grodko looks forward to the opportunity to help Chaviva students find the path to their best selves.
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. 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.
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.
Mrs. Ruchi Koval
Ruchi Koval graduated from the BJJ Teacher's Institute and has been involved in Jewish education since 1998. She and her husband founded JFX, an innovative kiruv community in Cleveland in 2005, and she teaches mussar classes to over a hundred adults and teens, also mentoring educators around the world. She teaches a weekly parsha class every Shabbos morning and also has a mussar podcast. Ruchi is a Trip Leader for Momentum, educating and inspiring hundreds of women on their journeys through Israel. She has written the book Conversations with God: Prayers for Jewish Women, with her second book on the way.
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 excited about developing and teaching a stimulating, interactive, and student-centered halacha curriculum that will be 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 over 13 years with a passion to motivate students to reach their highest potential. Her teachers were role models and provided guidance as a result; she is driven to reciprocate their ways onto the next generation.
As an educator and professional organizer, she 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. Fayga Nathan
Mishlei, Megilas Rus
Mrs. Fayga Nathan has been teaching middle and high school girls Judaic Studies for twelve 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. Chaya Samowitz
Mrs Chaya Samowitz holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Masters in Special Education. She has taught students of all ages and backgrounds many different subjects including Chumash, Navi, Prayer, Jewish Thought, Biology, English and more. She has headed many programs in schools, camps and outreach organizations to help inspire and empower young women to believe in themselves and connect to Hashem. She is currently the Pioneer Program Director in Camp Sternberg and is involved in Special Education. She is passionate about teaching Torah that helps her students live lives of meaning, happiness and purpose.
Mrs. Ahuva Belsky
Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry
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. Rachel Burris
Algebra I, Algebra II
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. Dylan Crowell
World Literature, Literature & Society
Mrs. Dylan Crowell received her BA from Kent State University in Applied Communication and is currently working on an MA in English Education from the University of Pittsburgh. Before entering the teaching field, Mrs. Crowell worked for several non-profits as her life mission has always been to give back. This is her second year of teaching in the private school setting. She comes to Chaviva High School with experience teaching a variety of literature and communication courses, some of her favorite being European Literature, Speech, and a music and poetry class that she created. She looks forward to growing her student's love of reading and writing while creating an encouraging and collaborative environment in her
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.
Ms. Magdalena Lucas is in her second year of teaching History at Chaviva High School. She grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, but 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 US History, Modern World History and American Government 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.
Ms. Magdalena Lucas
World History, Modern American History, Government, Speech & Debate
Ms. Riva Weinstock
Ms. Riva Weinstock holds a BA in Psychology from Ursuline College and is currently pursuing her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at John Carroll University. She has been working with students in various capacities for several years. Ms. Weinstock 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.
Resident Educator Mentor
Mrs. Coreen Schaefer
Mrs. Coreen Schaefer holds Master's degrees in Education from both the University of Virginia (Secondary English and Elementary Education) and John Carroll University (Educational Administration). Currently in her eleventh year in education, she has taught all grades 7-12 and loves to witness what learning looks like at every age. Mrs. Schaefer also served as Dean of Students at Beaumont, an all-girls school in Cleveland Heights, for four years. She currently teaches 9th and 11th grade English at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio. She is thrilled to serve as a Resident Educator Mentor at Chaviva High School and believes passionately in the value of women's leadership.
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