Rabbi Dr. Seth N. Grauer
Rosh Yeshiva and Head of School
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Mr. Mordechai Sabeti
Director of Education
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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. Miriam Klein
Director of Educational Support
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