Staff

Administration | Faculty 

Administration

Nili Auerbach, Director of Admissions

Nili Auerbach has worked in Jewish education and Jewish non-profits for more than 15 years. Before joining our team, she worked in educational programming, PR, and resource development, and worked as a Jewish studies teacher in both face-to-face and online classrooms. Nili holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew University and a Certificate in Advanced Jewish Studies from Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. At Lookstein Virtual, Nili oversees the admissions process, growing our enrollment, while ensuring that the unique needs of each and every participating school and family are being met year after year.

Hyim Brandes, Director of Technology and Teacher

Hyim Brandes has worked at the intersection of Jewish education and technology for close to two decades. He was the Founder and Executive Director of the Online Jewish Academy, which partnered with California Jewish day schools to implement personalized and blended learning in their classrooms, and was on the founding faculty of deToledo High School as a Jewish studies teacher and Director of Educational Technology. He also spent ten years on the staff of Camp Alonim in various leadership positions including Assitant Director. Hyim studied History at U.C. Berkeley, spent three years studying at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, and was a Joshua Venture Group Fellow. At Lookstein Virtual, Hyim ensures a student-friendly user experience and imagines and implements our ed tech vision.

Deborah Finkelstein, Assistant to Director

Deborah Finkelstein joins our team after holding positions in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds coordinating projects and managing daily operations. Deborah holds a degree in Tourism Management from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. At Lookstein Virtual, she helps with the organization and administration of internal projects.

Chana German, Director

Chana German has been working with Jewish day schools and educators for more than fifteen years, leading educational technology projects, including curriculum development and online professional development. Her graduate work is in educational technology and instructional design from Boston University and the University of Massachusetts, and she was a Joshua Venture Group Fellow. Chana founded Lookstein Virtual in 2014, after years of experimenting with online education in Jewish schools. Her vision of bringing affordable and excellent Jewish learning to all students continues to propel our organization forward.

Yona Kurtz, Curriculum Development Coordinator

Yona Kurtz has worked in formal and informal Jewish education for close to 10 years and held teaching positions in Netivot HaTorah Day School and Tanenbaum CHAT High School in Toronto before making Aliya. Yona holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Jewish Studies from York University and is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Technology in Education and Learning Systems. At Lookstein Virtual, Yona creates fun and meaningful Jewish studies courses for middle school and high school students.

Ilana Lipman, Director of Education

Ilana Lipman has been working in Jewish education for over 15 years, teaching students ranging from pre-school age to adulthood in both formal and informal settings. Before moving to Israel, she served as Assistant Director at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School Middle School. After her aliyah, she worked as a teaching coach and administrator at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Ilana holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew University and a Certificate in Advanced Jewish Studies from Pardes. Ilana oversees curriculum development and instruction at Lookstein Virtual, ensuring that each of our students is engaged in meaningful and relevant learning.

Dee Mack, Director of Operations

Dee Mack joined our team after serving as a teacher, social worker, and key administrator in numerous Jewish non-profits and Jewish educational institutions for more than 10 years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Simmons College in Boston and spent a post-master’s year studying at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. At Lookstein Virtual, Dee puts her operational genius to good use, perfecting our systems and processes and ensuring our overall organizational efficacy.

Chevi Rubin, Director of Communications

Chevi Rubin has worked in Jewish education for over a decade. She has worked as a Jewish studies teacher, a Jewish day school administrator, and a business development professional in the private and public sectors. Chevi holds a Degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, and is responsible for sharing all of the amazing things going on at Lookstein Virtual. Want to learn more? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Tzippy Smilovitz, Office Manager

Tzippy Smilovitz joins our team after holding varied positions in a number of marketing and advertising firms where her responsibilities included market research, bookkeeping, administrative support, and account management. Tzippy holds a degree in Marketing from Yeshiva University. At Lookstein Virtual, Tzippy offers administrative support and interfaces with all of our teams to help ensure our overall organizational efficacy.

Jeremy Spierer, Director of Faculty Development and Teacher

Jeremy Spierer has worked in formal and informal Jewish education for close to two decades. A veteran high school and post-high school teacher of Jewish studies in day schools and summer camps, including at SAR High School and Yeshivah of Flatbush High School, Jeremy has also taught online and has extensive experience as a teacher mentor. He holds a Master’s Degree in Bible and Semicha from Yeshiva University, is a graduate of the Jewish New Teacher Project, and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Jewish Education. At Lookstein Virtual, Jeremy is responsible for the mentorship and professional development of our instructional staff, ensuring that our teachers are employing best practices in online education, and creating an engaging and personal classroom experience for all of our students.


Faculty

Elizabeth Corlin, Teacher

Elizabeth Corlin has worked in the field of Jewish education for over 15 years, working with students ranging from early-elementary age to adulthood in both formal and informal settings, and she taught Jewish studies at the Adelson Educational Campus in Las Vegas. She holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew University.


What do our students love about Elizabeth?Her passion for meeting every student’s needs and relating to students on their level.

Adam Drucker, Teacher

Adam Drucker has worked in formal and informal Jewish education as well as curriculum development in both Israel and the UK for close to a decade. He teaches in both face-to-face and online classrooms and creates curricular materials for both online and brick and mortar schools. Adam holds a BA in Applied Professional Studies from Greenwich University.


What do our students love about Adam?His ability to create a fun and engaging learning environment where all students are encouraged to participate.

Ilana Goldstein Saks, Teacher

Ilana Goldstein Saks has been teaching Tanach for more than two decades and has worked as an online teacher since 2003. She has taught at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Midreshet Lindenbaum, Midreshet Harova in Jerusalem, and the Women’s Beit Midrash in Efrat. Ilana holds a Master’s Degree in Tanach from Bar-Ilan University and studied a number of years as a Bruriah Scholar at Midreshet Lindenbaum.


What do our students love about Ilana? Her amazing knowledge of Tanach and her ability to push students towards higher levels of textual analysis.

Deena Kahane, Teacher

Deena Kahane has been teaching Tanach and Jewish History for the past twenty-five years. She taught middle school students in Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey and the Moriah School of Englewood and currently teaches adults in MaTaN Beit Shemesh. Deena holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Azrieli graduate school, a Master’s Degree in Tanach from Bar-Ilan University, and is a graduate of the MaTaN Advanced Tanach Program.


What do our students love about Deena? Her true passion for Tanach and Jewish History.

Rivky Krestt, Teacher

Rivky Krestt has been working in Jewish education and educational technology for over 15 years and held department chair positions in Jewish studies at both Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy and Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Maryland. She has worked as a Jewish studies teacher and department chair, teacher mentor, curriculum writer, and educational technologist, and currently serves as the Director of Education in a Jewish overnight camp. Rivky holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Theory and Development from The University of Maryland, and studied a number of years as a Bruriah Scholar at Midreshet Lindenbaum.


What do our students love about Rivky? Her imaginative and fun teaching style and her ability to create engaging learning experiences for her students.

Daniel Rose, Teacher

Daniel Rose has worked in formal and informal Jewish education in the UK, US, and Israel for more than two decades. Daniel has held numerous teaching and administrative posts in Jewish day schools and educational organizations, has extensive experience in curriculum development and educational consulting, and has managed varied educational projects- most recently the production of the Koren Magerman Educational Siddur Series. Daniel holds a Master’s Degree in Religious Education from London University and a PhD in Education from Hebrew University.


What do our students love about Daniel? His ability to inject warmth and humor regardless of the subject matter.

Rhea Schwartzberg, Teacher

Rhea Schwartzberg has over 30 years of experience in the field of Jewish education and served as the Chairperson of the History Department at Scheck Hillel in Florida for almost 10 years. She has taught in both formal and informal environments, in the classroom and online, and in both high school and post-high school settings. Rhea holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision K-12 from Florida International University and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida.


What do our students love about Rhea? Her in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and her ability to make it easily accessible for her students.

Susan Yammer, Teacher

Susan Yammer has been working in Jewish education for almost forty years. She has worked as an elementary and middle school teacher, teacher mentor, and program administrator, and has been teaching Jewish Studies online since 2009. In the United States, she taught at Yavneh Academy in Paramus, NJ where she was awarded the prestigious Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education for her work. Susan holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education.


What do our students love about Susan? Her warmth and passion empower her to foster real connections with her online students, motivating them to succeed.

Shaindy Zudick, Teacher

Shaindy Zudick has been working as a Jewish educator for more than three decades. She has taught Tanach and Jewish history at several schools including Hillel Yeshiva High School, Kushner Yeshiva High School, and Solomon Schechter High School, all in New Jersey. Before moving to Israel, Shaindy was the Associate Principal of Judaic Studies in The Frisch School. She holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish History from the Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University and a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology from Hunter College.


What do our students love about Shaindy? Her ability to connect with her students, encouraging and supporting them to meet new educational goals every semester.


Consultants

Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy works with a range of pedagogic and academic consultants on course development including: David Bernstein (Jewish History), Hagit Cohen (Jewish History), Samuel Kapustin (Jewish History), Karen Miller-Jackson (Talmud), Francis Nataf (Talmud), Judy Snowbell-Diamond (Tanach), Yael Zeigler (Tanach).

Lookstein Virtual also works closely with The Lookstein Center staff educators including Moshe Abelesz, Shalom Berger, Alissa Burstein, Yonah Fuld, Zvi Grumet, Eli Kohn, and Stuart Zweiter.

About us
Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy is an online school of Jewish studies for students in grades 6-12.
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