Rabbi Isaac Entin
Rabbi Isaac Entin comes to Torah Academy with over a decade of experience in administration. Rabbi Entin served as the founding Principal of Torah Day School of Virginia and as Principal of Phoenix Hebrew Academy for nine years.
Originally a High School teacher, Rabbi Entin began teaching Fifth Grade and quickly fell in love with elementary education, developing Chumash, Mishna, Dinim and Teffilah curriculum that promoted active engagement in the learning process.
As an administrator, Rabbi Entin pioneered innovative programs on a variety of topics from, Derech Eretz to Inquiry-Based Science, producing students who are both well-rounded and high academic achievers. He has also lobbied for special needs services on both the local and state level as part of his commitment to see every Jewish child succeed in a Day School.
Rabbi Entin holds a Master Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Barry University and Smicha from HaRav Yochanan Zweig. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s Principals Institute as well as Bar Ilan University’s Principal’s Program.
Rabbi Entin is an active lecturer to parent groups as well as fellow educators. He has presented for Torah Umesorah’s National Convention, the Consortium of Jewish Day Schools and the Center for Advancement in Jewish Education (CAJE).
Rabbi Mordechai Schwersenski
Assistant Principal of Judaic Studies
Rabbi Schwersenski has played an integral role in Torah Academy’s growth in recent years. He has demonstrated his talents as a charismatic and energetic classroom Rebbe, who first and foremost values relationship building and believes in the ability of children to demonstrate mastery of their learning, regardless of the level of their skills. As an Apple vanguard teacher he seamlessly uses technology to help further this goal.
Rabbi Schwersenski quickly demonstrated his leadership talents by re-branding old programming and developing new ones. He has reinvigorated our Sunday school program, co-ordinates our BRAVE anti-bullying program, and developed a successful Middle School Mishmar program. As our assistant principal of Judaic studies, he is responsible for all school wide programming, student activities, Judaics studies curriculum development, and the mentoring and supervision of our Judaic studies faculty.
Rabbi Mordechai Schwersenski joined our staff in 2010. He moved from Baltimore, Maryland where he spent 9 years learning in Ner Israel Rabbinical College. During that time he received Smicha, earned a Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University, and worked as a kiruv Rabbi and substitute teacher. Rabbi Schwersenski, his wife Deena, and three children, Binyomin, Malka, and Tehila love being part of the TA community!
Mrs. Rebecca Sasson
Assistant Principal for General Studies
Rebecca Sasson joined Torah Academy in 2009 as a Middle School Language Arts teacher. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Sasson evaluated and overhauled the school’s Language Arts curriculum and coordinated the school’s Professional Development program. In her role as Professional Development Coordinator, Mrs. Sasson helped transform TA into a “learning organization” by instituting Professional Learning Communities, Teacher Mentoring and Peer Coaching. She assumed her current role as Assistant Principal for General Studies in 2012.
Prior to her work at Torah Academy, Mrs. Sasson was a Jewish Education Specialist at the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University, where she taught Foundations of Education to graduate students preparing to become teachers in Jewish Day Schools. She is a co-author of The DeLet Alumni Survey: A Comprehensive Report on the Journey of Beginning Jewish Day School Teachers and a contributing researcher to The North American Study of Educators in Jewish Day and Congregational Schools (2007). Mrs. Sasson holds a Masters of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, for which she received a Wexner Graduate Fellowship. She is currently working on a doctorate in education at Teachers College. Rebecca did her undergraduate work at Yale University in psychology and received her teacher certification at Southern Connecticut State University. She also spent a year interning and training at Feuerstein’s International Center for the Enhancement of Learning Potential (ICELP) in Jerusalem. Mrs. Sasson has taught in public and Jewish elementary and middle schools, and in a pre-school setting for developmentally delayed children.
Mrs. Rivka Dear
Director of Early Childhood Program
Mrs. Rivka Dear knows TA well as a former ECP teacher at Torah Academy (as Rivka Levy) and has gained further teaching and administrative experience as the head of the 4Y team at Queens Gymnasia, supervising 6 classrooms and 100 students. Her experience, combined with her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education, make her a great fit for our school. Her philosophy and expertise in Early Childhood Education fit perfectly with our philosophy of Learning Through Play. Mrs. Dear demonstrates an expert handle on current theory, pedagogy and developmental awareness.
Ms. Nicole Afriat
Coordinator of Student Needs
Ms. Afriat knows Torah Academy well, having served as both a classroom teacher and as our Reading Specialist for the past 8 years. Ms. Afriat has 10 years of experience in Education. She began her career as a 4Y preschool teacher in Devon, PA before going on an adventure abroad to teach 2nd grade at an international school in Honduras. She has been at Torah Academy since returning home, where she taught 3rd grade for four years, and during the past four years she has been working as the reading specialist, teaching children in grades 1-3 and assisting colleagues with reading questions and assessments across grade levels. She received her BS from Boston University School of Education and a Master’s degree with reading specialist certification from Cabrini College.
As our Reading Specialist, Ms. Afriat demonstrates an expert handle on current theory, as well as an excellent rapport with students and parents alike. She has been an invaluable asset in team meetings and special needs meetings. Her commitment to each individual child’s success has earned her the respect of her colleagues, her students and their families. It is most important to note that throughout our search, it was Ms. Afriat who won the confidence of myself, our administrative team and lay leadership alike.