Rabbi Dr. Seth N. Grauer

Rosh Yeshiva and Head of School

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Prior to joining Bnei Akiva High Schools, Rabbi Grauer served as the Assistant Principal at Yeshiva University High School for Girls (“Central”) in New York, where he played an essential role in managing the day-to-day operations for this 300-student girls high school. Before that Rabbi Grauer was a leading educator for 9 years at Ramaz Upper School (“Ramaz”) in Manhattan, NY. In addition, for eight years, Rabbi Grauer worked with teenagers at various summer camps in a leadership capacity. Most recently he served as Camp Rabbi and Director of Education at Camp Lavi and Rosh Kollel and Head of Chinuch at Camp Moshava (Wild Rose). Rabbi Grauer was trained in teacher mentorship and supervision through the Jewish New Teacher Project and has a certificate in Israel education from the Israel Center of Education. Rabbi Grauer also received the prestigious Grinspoon-Steinhardt award for excellence in Jewish education. In addition to his roles in educational institutions, Rabbi Grauer served for five years as the Associate Rabbi at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. Rabbi Grauer studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion (“Gush”) in Israel for two years, served as their Director of Alumni Affairs for nearly five years, is a member of their Board of Directors and is the current Chair of their Rabbinic Committee. Rabbi Grauer was also honoured as the Yeshivat Har Etzion Alumnus of the Year in 2010. Rabbi Grauer received his B.A. in history (honours) from Yeshiva University and was a founding member of their varsity golf team. Rabbi Grauer received smicha from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) of Yeshiva University and received his doctorate in Education from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration at Yeshiva University. He also earned a J.D. from Fordham Law School and served as editor of the Environmental Law Journal. Rabbi Grauer was a Rabbinic Court Intern (summer) at the Beth Din of America and a Legal Intern (summer) at the New York State Supreme Court and the New York State Office of the Attorney General. Rabbi Grauer lives with his wife, Leba and his three children, Yonina (12), Yosef (10) and Gila (8) in Thornhill, ON.

Mr. Mordechai Sabeti

Director of Education

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Prior to joining Bnei Akiva Schools, Mr. Mordy Sabeti served as a Department Head of Mathematics at TanenbaumCHAT. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Science (Pure Mathematics), a Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education) and a Master of Education (focus on mathematics learning, technology integration and teacher education) from York University. In addition, he holds a Graduate Diploma in Mathematics Education, as well as Honours Specialist Qualifications in Mathematics Education. As an advocate for teacher training, Mr. Sabeti mentored teacher candidates from York University and the University of Waterloo, and has led professional development workshops and seminars in the areas of student assessment, technology integration, and pedagogy at the middle school, high school and university level. Mr. Sabeti oversees the general studies programme at both Yeshivat Or Chaim and Ulpanat Orot.

Mr. Hillel Rapp

Director of General Studies and Educational Growth

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Hillel Rapp comes to Bnei Akiva Schools with an extensive background in both Jewish Education and Finance. In education, Mr. Rapp was most recently the Dean of Students at the Ramaz Upper School in New York City where he managed a substantial co-curricular program featuring more than 80 after-school activities including academic clubs, publications, sports teams, drama and the arts. In his six years at Ramaz, he also designed curricula and taught courses in Economics, Business, History and Philosophy. Mr. Rapp was appointed Chair of the faculty committee conducting a comprehensive, two-year, internal review of Student Life and Culture, School Mission and Equity and Justice for accreditation by the New York Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). In finance, Mr. Rapp managed business development and investor relations, specializing in hedge fund and private equity investments, at Dunbar Capital Management in New York City and Exigent Alternative Capital in Israel. Mr. Rapp holds a B.A. in Psychology from Yeshiva University where, in addition to pursuing his degree and full-time Torah study, he worked as a Project Manager for YU’s Center for the Jewish Future. Mr. Rapp, his wife, Racheli Meister (’01), and their young son Jack just moved from Israel to Toronto and are excited to be joining the Bnei Akiva Schools administrative team.

Rabbi Ephraim Kleinberg

Director of Educational Technology and Religious Growth

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Rabbi Ephraim Kleinberg joins us as Director of Religious and Academic Growth this year. A proud Or Chaim graduate and Toronto native, Rabbi Kleinberg returns to BAS after teaching in the Upper School at Ramaz in New York. Prior to that, Rabbi Kleinberg taught at SAR High School and served as Rabbinic leader at the Ohr Torah Congregation of Edison, New Jersey. Rabbi Kleinberg studied at Yeshivat HaKotel in Jerusalem, received his B.A. in Religious Studies from York University, smicha from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and an MS in Jewish Education from The Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration (AGS) where he continues to pursue his doctorate in Education.
In addition to teaching at both schools, Rabbi Kleinberg is a grade rebbe at YOC. He is also further developing our rebbe and mechanechet programs, supporting greater tfillah connection in both schools and assists in the continued development of our Judaic studies curriculum. Rabbi Kleinberg also supports our teachers in integrating educational technology and promoting 21st century learning and skill-building.

Rabbi Noah Sonenberg

Director of Judaic Studies Educational Enrichment and Academic Systems

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Rabbi Sonenberg has been teaching at Bnei Akiva Schools for twelve years and has taught Torah, Halacha, Philosophy and Gemara. He is the head of the Gemara department and has developed a four year curriculum which works on developing the students’ ability to learn independently. Rabbi Sonenberg has a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a focus on genetics. He studied in Yeshivat Bircas Hatorah in Israel after completing his university degree. Rabbi Sonenberg is passionate about learning and teaching Gemara. In addition to teaching at our school, he also teaches adult Gemara classes in the community. Rabbi Sonenberg is married to Mrs. Rifka Sonenberg, who teaches at Ulpanat Orot and together they have three children: Tamar, Boaz and Yishai.

Rabbi Yair Spitz

Menahel, Yeshivat Or Chaim

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Rabbi Yair Spitz joined the administration of Bnei Akiva Schools in July 2012. A third generation Bnei Akiva’nik, Rabbi Spitz was born in the U.S. but grew up in Efrat, Israel, after making Aliya at a young age. Rabbi Spitz studied for eight years at Mercaz HaRav affiliated Yeshivot – five years in Dimona and three years at Kollel Meretz, Mevaseret Tzion and obtained his Smicha from Rabbi Riskin through the Rabbanut Hareishit. He holds an M.A. in Jewish History and a B.A. in Jewish Education. Rabbi Spitz served in the IDF artillery corp, including a tour in Lebanon. He holds the rank of First Lieutenant and, until recently, served as a battalion chaplain in the reserves. Before joining Bnei Akiva Schools, Rabbi Spitz served as the Executive Director of The Shoshana Educational Campus under the tutelage of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. Rabbi Spitz has over 15 years of extensive experience working with and giving Shiurim to North American teenagers in Israel and North America. At Or Chaim, Rabbi Spitz focuses on our Judaic Studies curriculum, Tefillah, mentoring our new Judaic studies teachers, and providing religious and Israel guidance for our students.

Mrs. Nicky Kagan

Assistant Principal, Yeshivat Or Chaim

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Originally from South Africa, Mrs. Nicky Kagan has lived in Toronto for over 25 years. She has taught at Yeshivat Or Chaim since 1999, and has held an administrative role for the past 10 years. Mrs. Kagan runs YOC’s day-to-day operations, overseeing attendance and other student regulations, as well as other administrative matters. She continues to provide career and post-secondary education guidance for our Grade 12 students. Mrs. Kagan teaches English, as well as being the Department Head of English and Social Studies. In 2006, she received a Teacher of Excellence Award. She has principal certification and guidance qualifications. In previous years, she has also taught History, coordinated the Model UN team and, oversaw the yearbook committee.

Mr. Gerald Lazar

Director of Student Life, Yeshivat Or Chaim

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Mr. Gerald Lazar has worked at Bnei Akiva Schools since 2007. For the past five years, he has also overseen Student Life at Or Chaim. This year, his role involves coordinating student activities, guidance responsibilities, managing the schools’ online communications and assisting with admissions. In previous years, Mr. Lazar supervised the yearbook committee and the Model UN team. Mr. Lazar has an Honours B.A. in History and Religious Studies, a B.Ed., and an M.A. in History. Recently, Mr. Lazar received a certificate from Yeshiva University’s Lead course and has been working toward Guidance specialist certification through Queen’s University. An active volunteer at Shaarei Shomayim, he has been involved in several committees. Known for his multi-tasking, Mr. Lazar’s office is often full of students working on multiple projects.

Mrs. Yael Gelernter

Assistant Principal, Ulpanat Orot

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Mrs. Yael Gelernter previously taught Chumash, Navi and Jewish Philosophy at Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls (SKA), in New York. She also coordinated their admissions office and played a significant role in many student activities and student programs. Mrs. Gelernter has also been a Camp Director and teacher in numerous other formal and informal institutions. Mrs. Gelernter has a Bachelors degree with honors from Stern College at Yeshiva University and a Masters of Science degree with honors from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration at Yeshiva University. Most recently, Mrs. Gelernter successfully completed an advanced program in educational leadership from the Lookstein Center for Jewish Education. At Ulpana, in addition to teaching, Mrs. Gelernter oversees student activities and admissions, as well as focusing on the positive spiritual and religious development of our girls.

Mrs. Sara Munk

Assistant Principal, Ulpanat Orot

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Mrs. Sara Munk has distinguished herself as a leading educator in Judaic Studies curriculum, new teacher mentorship and pedagogy. She holds an M.A. in Secondary Jewish Education and Administration from Azrieli Graduate School and a B.A. in Jewish Studies from Stern College. Mrs. Munk taught at the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School for nine years, teaching Tanach and Jewish History. She also created curriculum, acted as Israel Guidance Counselor, ninth grade advisor, and coached the basketball team. She has also worked in camp settings, as a division head and chinuch specialist. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Munk oversees the Judaic studies curriculum at Ulpana, and provides guidance to our girls in advance of seminary applications.

Mrs. Shari Weinberg

Assistant Principal, Ulpanat Orot

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Mrs. Shari Weinberg has been a vital part of Ulpanat Orot over the past 30 years. She has held an administrative role for the last 13 years while continuing to teach Physical Education and Careers. At Ulpana, Mrs. Weinberg oversees the running of the day-to-day operations, providing guidance to our girls on a daily basis and especially in advance of their post-secondary academic decisions. She is also head of the Art, French and Phys Ed Departments. Mrs. Weinberg has also been instrumental in the introduction and success of the Youth Philanthropic Initiative (YPI) program, as well as alumni and career days. Mrs. Weinberg has principal certification and is a Specialist in Guidance Education. Her door is always open, as students and staff alike seek her guidance and level-headed decision making skills.

Mrs. Temima Cohen

Director of Guidance

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Mrs. Temima Cohen is excited to return to Bnei Akiva Schools for her second year. Previously, she has worked as a Social Work consultant and private Social Worker in the Toronto community. In addition, she has worked as a teacher and a cognitive support worker in Tiferes Bais Yaakov. Mrs. Cohen received an honours Bachelors of Social Work from Ryerson University and a Masters of Social Work from The University of Toronto with a focus on child and family. She is a registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers. She provides valuable educational, emotional, and social guidance and support to both Ulpanat Orot and Yeshivat Or Chaim students. She is always available to listen to, counsel, advise, and advocate on behalf of all the students, parents, and staff of the Bnei Akiva Schools.

Mrs. Miriam Klein

Director of Educational Support

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Mrs. Miriam Klein has worked as a teacher and student support staff for over 10 years. She has worked in Netivot HaTorah Day School in various grades both in General and Judaic studies. Most recently, Miriam supported students in the Middle School Department, teaching the Learning Strategies course and helping in the transition to high school. Miriam received her degree in Education and Special Education from The University of Toronto and is an active member of The Ontario College of Teachers. She believes strongly in student support and ensuring the students can meet with success academically, socially and emotionally. Miriam is looking forward to working with the students, parents and teachers at Bnei Akiva Schools to ensure an inclusive environment for all types of learners.