Mrs. Benjamin graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University’s Douglass College, where she earned her bachelor’s in history with a minor in sociology, and was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. After earning a master’s in sociology from New York University, Mrs. Benjamin began her career teaching sociology at both NYU and Drew University. Mrs. Benjamin is currently a senior faculty member at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, where she has been teaching eighth grade history for the past sixteen years.
This year, Heichal launced a robust STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) department under the auspices of Dr. Joel Berman, who most recently chaired TABC’s science department. A former IDF officer, Dr. Berman received his PhD from Rutgers University in chemical physics and today is Heichal’s Assistant Principal of STEM, teaching numerous advanced courses in mathematics and physics and overseeing the math and science curricula and faculty for all grades in the yeshiva.
Under Dr. Berman’s guidance, Heichal now offers SAT 2 reviews for all math, biology, chemistry and physics courses as well as a new engineering elective, “An Introduction to Electrical Engineering—Programming Robotics.” He is responsible for a series of exciting upgrades to Heichal’s state-of-the-art STEM laboratory, including the installation of a 3D printer, tesla coil, vacuum chamber, optics bench and spectrophotometer.
Dr. Berman will also supervise Heichal students who will be entering Touro University’s annual Science Olympiad, the National Math League exams and the Jerusalem Science Contest, an international competition coordinated by the Machon Lev School of Technology in Israel.
Judith A. Cohen taught Science in the New York City Department of Education system for twenty-eight years at Brooklyn Technical High School and Bard High School Early College. Ms. Cohen has received two Cornell University
Merrill Presidential Scholarship awards for serving as the New York State Teacher of the Year. She is a recipient of Z.E.S.T. (Zoos for Effective Science Teachers) Fellowship through the National Science Foundation and SCI-MAT Fellowship through the Council, for Basic Education, and W ho’s W ho Among America’s Teachers. Currently, Ms. Cohen operates a private educational consulting business that assists students in all aspects of the college admission process. In addition, she is an adjunct professor in Biology at Bloomfield College and teaches Biology at a charter middle school in Staten Island. Ms. Cohen received her B.A. degree from CUNY/Queens College and her master’s degree in Biology Education from Brooklyn College. She teaches biology and physics at Heichal.
Stephen Comanto is a graduate of Lafayette College in Easton, PA where he studied economics and chemistry and was a four year varsity cross country and track runner. He continued his education at Rutgers University, earning a master’s degree in biology. After completing his studies, Mr. Comanto began his teaching career by teaching Algebra 2 and precalculus before moving into the sciences to teach chemistry, where he has remained for the past six years. Mr. Comanto is an avid New York sports fan and loves using his free time to travel the world.
Mrs. Esther Herzfeld begins her 38th year as a high school English teacher this year. Mrs. Herzfeld earned a B.A. in English and American Literature from N.Y.U., and an M.A. in English and American Literature from New York University as well. She is licensed to teach middle school through high school English. Prior to joining Heichal’s faculty, Mrs. Herzfeld taught English and was chair of the English department at both Yeshiva University H.S. for Girls and Ma’ayanot Yeshiva H.S. for Girls. Mrs. Herzfeld has taught all grades of high school as well as all academic levels, including Advanced Placement. In 1987, she was a recipient of the prestigious New York State Principal’s Master Teacher Award. Mrs. Herzfeld lives with her husband and four children in Teaneck.
Rav Kronenberg learned in Yeshivat Sha’alvim as well as Yeshivas Ohr Hachaim. While in Ohr Hachaim, he attended Touro college, majoring in Judaic Studies. Rav Kronenberg taught Gemara at Yeshivat Noam, and worked for NCSY as a summer camp rebbe and chapter director. He is currently a member of the Fair Lawn Bais Medrash program, where he teaches and learns with members of the community. He lives in Fair Lawn, NJ with his wife and children.
A close talmid of Rav Meir Twersky, shlit”a, Rav Komet is known as one of the finest Talmeidei Chachamim to come out of the YU Beis Medrash. He also studied under the tutelage of Rav Hershel Schachter, shlit”a, and in the Kollel Elyon. Rav Komet received a B.A. in mathematics from Yeshiva College. He later became a Meishiv at the RJJ Yeshiva of Edison. Over the past two decades, Rav Komet developed a stellar reputation as a first-rate talmid chacham and a master mechaneich. After many years as the tenth grade Rebbe and pre-Calculus and Calculus teacher at Moshe Aharon Yeshiva High School, Rav Komet was appointed Menahel of MAYHS for three years. For the last several years he served as Segan Menahel of Shaarei Tzion in Piscataway, NJ. Rav Komet is respected for his sincere and warm personality, coupled with a sharp sense of humor, which enables him to form life-long relationships with his talmidim. Heichal is extremely blessed that Rav Komet decided to return to the classroom and serve as our tenth grade Rebbe and Honors Mathematics teacher. He live with his wife and children in Edison, NJ.
Mr. Mayer comes to Heichal with considerable experience in education, having worked at several leading schools in the metropolitan area over the last fifteen years. Mr. Mayer has taught English at all high school levels, as well as History and Jewish History. Having practiced law for ten years prior to his involvement in education, Mr. Mayer also brings a professional dimension to the classroom, affording his students an ideal opportunity to hone their writing skills for use in the real world. Mr. Mayer will also be supervising the Extra- Curricular and Fitness Hour at Heichal, during which our students use the basketball gym, fitness gym, pool and participate in clubs and electives. His coinciding role at Sinai Schools Judaica Studies classes will add a synergy that will be conducive for both institutions and for our talmidim. Mr. Mayer received his B.A. in history from Yeshiva College, before going on to graduate Cardozo Law School. He also holds a master’s from YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration., and is completing his doctoral work there as well.
Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University’s James Madison Program. He is also a fellow at the Tikvah Fund and serves as a military reservist chaplain. Rabbi Rocklin was a congregational rabbi in Connecticut and taught History at CUNY’s Hunter College and was also a member of the Rabbinical Council of America’s Executive Committee. He has authored articles in several publications, including National Review Online, The Forward, and Mosaic. Rabbi Rocklin received his B.A. from Yeshiva University in History and Political Science, his rabbinical ordination at YU’s RIETS affiliate, and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in US History from the CUNY Graduate Center.
Mr. Roher currently teaches the Humanities in the New York City public high school system. A veteran teacher, he comes to Heichal from the Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, where he taught social studies to the seventh through eleventh grades, from a special education inclusion class to an AP U.S. History class. He received his bachelor’s from SUNY Purchase and his master’s in special education from Long Island University.
Mr. Tauber has a varied background in English that has earned him recognition in the TV, print, and classroom arenas. After helping to launch the Writing Center at SUNY Rockland, Mr. Tauber pursued a career in sports journalism, becoming a sports editor for a local New York newspaper and the beat reporter for both the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers. For a brief period, he was selected to be a United States Ambassador to Israel. Mr. Tauber eventually left the newsroom for the classroom, where he has spent the past six years teaching English language arts in upper middle schools. He has also served as a curriculum director and athletic director.
Rav Aryeh Westreich is a graduate of Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, where he received a Master’s in Talmudic Law. Afterward, Rav Westreich entered the Katz Kollel of Yeshiva University, under the auspices of Rav Hershel Schachter, shlit”a, and later moved to the Israel Henry Beren Kollel Elyon. Rav Westreich was an Assistant Rebbe in YU’s Mazer Yeshiva Program and is also a candidate for an MBA at Loyola University, and an MA in Jewish Philosophy at Bernard Revel Graduate School. Rav Westreich lives with his family in Washington Heights.