Rabbi Ronnie Malavsky, Assistant Dean & Principal of General Studies
Rabbi Malavsky has been in the field of education for more than thirty years. After a decade of serving as Menahel and Principal at the Rabbi Teitz Mesivta Academy, in Elizabeth, NJ, Rabbi Malavsky was recruited by the Deal, NJ community to found and lead the Ma’or Yeshiva High School, which he ran for the past ten years. In addition to his administrative skills, he is a highly qualified educator with many years of classroom experience, as a teacher of AP American History, AP Biology, and AP Psychology. Rabbi Malavsky’s extensive experience in both teaching and supervising secular studies provides him with the deep understanding needed to continue to develop the Heichal curriculum, as well as the methodology with which it should be taught and the benchmarks against which it should be measured. Rabbi Malavsky has a well-earned reputation for orchestrating excellent education programs, building a staff of capable and energetic teachers, and developing long-standing relationships with his talmidim. Rabbi Malavsky holds a master’s in administration and education from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli School of Jewish Education, and is completing his doctorate in education at Azrieli as well.
Mrs. Heather Benjamin, American History, AP American History
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.
Dr. Joel Berman, Physics Honors and AP Physics
Dr. Berman is the chairman of the science and engineering department at Torah Academy of Bergen County, where he teaches chemistry, physics, and engineering. Dr. Berman will often introduce topics in his classes with a source in Chumash or Gemara, or, especially in his physics classes, with stories of his experiences in the Israel Defense Forces. Dr. Berman earned his doctorate in chemical physics at Rutgers University, where he was awarded the Rutgers Chemistry Department Outstanding Teacher Award and the Bevier Research Award. He has contributed to many articles in several front line journals.
Dr. Judith A. Cohen, Biology and Biology Honors
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.
Mr. Jeff Feinstein, English, English Honors and AP English
Mr. Feinstein teaches English 9, 10, 11 and AP Language and Literature. Mr.Feinstein has taught English in the public and private sector for over 20 years, most recently at the York Prepatory School in New York, NY.
Mrs. Jennifer Friedman, Algebra, Geometry, Geometry Honors
An experienced Math teacher who brings professionalism and patience to every class she teaches, Mrs. Friedman has taught at Manhattan Day School, the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, and currently teaches at the Moriah School. She is known for her ability to take difficult mathematical concepts and break them down into manageable steps. In this way, she reaches each student individually, while still moving the class at a steady pace to cover the maximum amount of material. Mrs. Friedman graduated from Stern College, Summa Cum Laude, with a bachelor’s in Judaic studies, and received her master’s in Jewish education and administration from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.
Mr. Michael Germann, Algebra I , Algebra 2 and Trigonometry Honors, Pre-calculus
Mr. German teaches Geometry and Pre-calculus at Heichal. Mr. German has taught Math at public high schools and middle schools for over 35 years. He also served as principal of the Secaucus Continuing Education program for 10 years. He received his B.A. in Math Education from William Patterson College and an M.A. in Administration and Supervision from the Jersey City College. Mr. German is currently a part-time instructor of Algebra and Honors Geometry at Bruriah High School in Elizabeth, where the students consider him among the most popular teachers in the school.
Rabbi Daniel Mayer, English, AP English, American History and Extra-Curricular Coordinator
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 Dr. Alex Mondrow, School Psychologist
Rabbi Dr. Alex Mondrow is Middle School psychologist and Rebbe at Yeshivat Noam and is in private practice in Teaneck. Rabbi Mondrow received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and his doctorate from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University, where he researched substance abuse in adolescents. Rabbi Mondrow formerly served as the Rabbi of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Synagogue. He lectures and writes on various topics often integrating psychology and Torah.
Mr. Chris Nilsen, Chemistry and Forensics
Mr. Nilsen teaches Honors Chemistry, Chemistry and AP Chemistry at Heichal. He also teaches these courses at a Passack Valley Public High School in Hillsdale, NJ. Before becoming a teacher he was an R&D chemical engineer at Johnson and Johnson, where he developed processes to make pharmaceuticals for clinical trials leading to several patents. After a decade in the industry, Mr. Nilsen made the career transition to his true passion six years ago and has loved teaching chemistry ever since. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry from Columbia University. Mr. Nilsen is a member of the Education Division of the Americam Chemical Society, the National Committee on High School Science Teaching and a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Chemical Education.
Mr. David Roher, World History, World History Honors and American History
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.