Meet Our Faculty


 

 

team member

Bat Sheva Miller


Director of Judaic Studies; Eighth Grade, Jewish History
Bat Sheva Miller recently finished the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI), a 15-month professional development program committed to training leaders for Jewish day schools across North America. Bat Sheva was born in Beer Sheva, Israel and grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 1989, Bat Sheva returned to Israel to work as a journalist for several Brazilian newspapers. Bat Sheva met her husband David in Jerusalem and it was in Jerusalem that their first son, Netzach, was born. Netzach has made aliyah and today serves in the Israeli Defense Forces. While thinking about educational options for her son, Bat Sheva’s search became a dream that prompted her to pursue a career in education in the United States. Bat Sheva’s second son, Tzvi, attends Brandeis University; her third and fourth children, Hodayah and Meir, attend the Jewish Community High School. Bat Sheva’s commitment to education in general, and to Jewish education in particular prompted her to spend a sabbatical year in Israel with her family, where she joined eleven Jewish educators from around the world in the Senior Educators’ Program, held at the Melton School of Jewish Education at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Bat Sheva has a BA in Journalism, has completed her coursework in Bilingual (Spanish) Education and holds an MA in Special Education.
team member

Tania Schweig


Director of General Studies
Tania Schweig first joined OHDS in 2000 as a Special Education teacher, helping to develop and grow the school’s Resource Program. During her 11 years as OHDS’ Resource Specialist, Tania worked closely with students, teachers and parents to support student learning in everything from early literacy to pre-algebra. In 2011 Tania was asked to take on a new leadership role as the Director of General Studies for K-5. Tania is thrilled to continue working closely with teachers to support and develop the OHDS General Studies curriculum. Prior to coming to OHDS, Tania taught in the local public schools as a Special Day Class teacher. Tania holds a BA in Sociology from UC Berkeley, and a teaching credential and M.Ed. from the University of San Francisco. Tania attended a post graduate year of study at PARDES Institute in Jerusalem in 1996 and continues her Jewish learning at home where she and her husband host a weekly study session on the writings of Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. Tania also continues to learn and grow through the experience of being a parent of OHDS students. It has been a delight for her to witness her fellow teachers inspiring and nurturing her own children!
team member

Lisa Blumenband


Second Grade General Studies
Lisa Blumenband is OHDS’ second grade general studies teacher. Lisa is a native of Houston, Texas, and graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in English. She then spent time in New York City and earned her Masters degree from The Jewish Theological Seminary in Jewish Education with a concentration in Day School education. She has also lived in Los Angeles, Miami, Sydney, and Jerusalem, and is thrilled to be in the Bay Area. Lisa enjoys reading, playing soccer, Israeli dancing, and traveling.
team member

Bebi Bacchus


Fifth grade general studies; middle school Algebra
Bebi has a B.A. in Liberal Studies with a Childhood Studies focus, and is currently working on her masters in education. She is also a certified nursing assistant. Bebi taught for four years at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, in kindergarten and also teaching math in fourth, seventh and eighth grade. Last year, she taught at the Oakland School for the Arts, teaching middle school math and life science. In her free time, Bebi likes to take her dog to Point Isabel, watch movies, and take part in any activity that gives you an adrenaline rush!

What I love about teaching: “I love watching that moment where ‘everything clicks’ or the ‘a-ha’ moments of understanding. I love listening to what struggles students may experience with learning, but watching them persevere through those struggles.”

Educational philosophy: “It must be remembered that the purpose of education is not to fill the minds of students with facts. It is to teach them to think [and to think for themselves].” –Robert Hutchins

 

team member

Dr. Tamara Beliak


Chumash Teacher
Dr. Tamara Beliak is a veteran middle school and high school educator, who has recently moved from NYC with her four children (two who are students at OHDS). Her middle school teaching experience was at Heschel, Solomon Schecter Westchester, and Ramaz. Dr. Beliak is a graduate of Brandeis, Drisha and Yeshiva University’s EdD program, where she wrote her thesis Teacher Planning: Biblical Texts, Gender and the Young Adolescent. On the weekends, she enjoys hiking with her family.

 

team member

Molly Daniels


Third Grade General Studies
Molly Daniels has many years’ experience in formal and informal teaching of Creative Writing, English (reading/writing), and Judaic Values, including at the Head-Royce School, Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, and in Seoul, South Korea.  A native of New Jersey, Molly holds a Master’s Degree from Mills College in Oakland, where she moved in 2010 (and couldn’t be happier!).  Most interested in strengthening students’ engagement, voice, and ownership of their learning, Molly invests students’ time in building relationships — with themselves, their peers, and their world.  Outside of school, Molly devotes her time to local theater, science lectures, and exploring the gorgeous Bay Area.
team member

Joanne Davi


Fifth Grade and Middle School Humanities
Joanne has worked in various education environments for the last eight years. She has channeled her love of history and world civilizations and her passion for inquiry-based education into a career as a teacher. She spent the last six years at the Lighthouse Community Charter School, a K-12 school in Oakland, in a variety of teaching roles. Most recently she was a social studies teacher for Grades 7 and 8. She has also worked at Diablo Valley Community College and in the Community Academic Resource Program at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Joanne has a B.A. from SFSU and a subject teaching credential from the Reach Institute for School Leadership. She is in the process of completing her master’s in teaching through the Reach Institute. When she’s not working or in school, Joanne is usually playing a sport, spending time with her husband and son, or walking her dog at Point Isabel.
team member

Mimi Farb


Fifth grade Judaic Studies
Mimi graduated cum laude with her B.A. from Mt. Holyoke College, then attended Yeshiva University and Hebrew University. Mimi helped create and pilot taught the Girls in Trouble curriculum, a series of art based study guides about women midrash. She was a seventh grade teacher at supplementary Jewish school in Massachusetts, a Torah educator at Camp Stone in Ohio, and is a Kevah teaching fellow. Mimi likes to dance freely, hike in the sun and do yoga.

What I love about teaching: “Kids’ curiosity and honest, raw, inquisitive approach to the world.”

Educational philosophy: “It is highly doubtful whether any individual can determine for others how to read the [Bible]. Each and every individual must delve into their own reading, a reading that is compatible with his singular spirit and her unique soul. For their esssence has never before been and will never again be.” Leibowitz

 

team member

Sandy Gilford


Kindergarten General Studies
Sandy Gilford’s first teaching experience at OHDS was in 1999, when she taught all grades for three months as an art specialist. Through that happy introduction to its students, faculty, and mission, Sandy realized the uniqueness of OHDS and admired it. Fortuitously, a full-time teaching position in kindergarten opened just then, and Sandy began a rewarding teaching career here. In kindergarten, she incorporates into the curriculum all the things she most enjoys: working with children and their parents, exploring the amazing English language, singing, experiencing and learning about nature, gardening, experimenting with color and art materials, connecting more deeply with nature through drawing, and thinking about Hashem through learning about His creation. Sandy has a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work, specializing in children and families. She has worked as a rehab counselor, recreational therapist, corporate manager, Hebrew-school teacher and director, and more. Sandy has lived in San Francisco for 25 years; she married and raised her two children there. Sandy also has long-standing and strong connections to the East Bay. She studied, worked, and learned about Judaism here during her years as a student at UC Berkeley, and later worked at Beth Jacob’s Hebrew school for several years. While living in the East Bay, she went to Chabad, Beth Israel, the Northside Minyan, and sometimes Beth Jacob. In San Francisco, she attends Richmond Torah Center of Chabad.
team member

Ofra Goldberg


Bridge Kindergarten Judaic Studies
Ofra Goldberg join us as a shaliach from Israel.  She is married to Eliav (below) and is a mother of three young children, including a first grader at OHDS. She grew up in Kibbutz Sa’ad as Ofra Evron. Her mother is originally from Brazil and her father from Israel. After high school she served in the National Service as a guide at Herzl Museum at Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem. After her service, she received an undergraduate degree in Israel Studies and History at Herzog College at Gush Etzion and taught Israel Studies to high school students at “Mevo’ot Ha’Negev. She recently completed a master’s degree in Israel Studies at Bar Ilan University.
team member

Eliav Goldberg


Lower School and Middle School Judaic Studies
Eliav Goldberg joins us as a shaliach from Israel. He teaches Judaic Studies in the Lower and Middle School. Eliav grew up in Efrat. His mother was originally from New York but made aliyah to Israel. After high school, Eliav attended Yeshivat Hesder Neve Dekalim and later joined the IDF and served in the Armored Corps (Shiryon) and trained new recruits. After the army, Eliav went back to yeshiva and simultaneously completed a degree in history for Herzog College. He went on to teach Grades 7-10 at Yeshiva Tichonit Kfar Maimo. He recently completed a master’s degree in Jewish History from Bar Ilan University.

 

team member

Daryl Grace


Physical Education Specialist; Middle School Algebra
Daryl Grace started at OHDS as the Physical Education teacher in 2005. Daryl was born and raised in the Bay Area and attended Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland and San Diego State University. After finishing college, Daryl began managing retail stores in local malls. In 1996, he began working as a counselor for Jewish Community Services’ Camp Tzofim in the summer and Olam Yeladim after-school programs, and became the Camp Director of Tzofim. He also began a career as a DJ for DJ-K Productions, entertaining at private parties. He has consistently been named one of the best DJ’s in the J.Weekly Readers’ Poll for B’Nai Mitzvot and other celebrations. At Piedmont High School, he is the assistant coach for the Girls’ Varsity basketball team. In 2004 and 2005, Daryl’s girls’ team won back-to-back State Championships, and in 2005, they were ranked number four in the country. Shortly after joining the OHDS faculty, Daryl established Middle School Basketball, Ultimate Frisbee and Flag Football teams that compete against other schools. He has also instituted the Presidential Fitness Challenge as part of the curriculum in 3rd– 8th grades. Daryl was recently inducted into the Northern California Jewish Hall of Fame for his positive impact on athletics.
team member

Esther Hilsenrad


Art teacher
Esther has her B.A. in philosophy from Eugene Lang College and a masters of science in teaching from the New School University. Esther has been teaching for 13 years, first in the New York City high schools teaching art, English and history, then art to preschoolers and English to university students in South Korea for four years. For the last two years she’s been teaching art full time in elementary schools in the East Bay. She loves to visit art galleries and museums, make art and explore the Bay Area by bicycle.

What I love about teaching: “I find that when I convey my own enthusiasm for a subject, it is contagious enough that students become engaged in learning. I love seeing the boundless creativity and individuality that emerges when students feel safe to reflect on their own lives.”

Educational philosophy: “It is my belief that a teacher serves best as a facilitator between a student and the material to be learned. I try to engage students in a way that they find their own way to the subject and, in so doing, create their own learning.”

 

team member

David Jackson


Fifth Grade and Middle School Science
David Jackson graduated with his BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he gained a passion for teaching as an intern at the LifeLab science program, educating students in kindergarten through eighth grade about the science of the campus’s organic farm. After a year of backpacking in Oceania, southeast Asia, India, and Europe, David returned to Oakland and and taught as a substitute teacher. He then attended Mills College, where he received his teaching credential and masters degree in math and science education. David brings to OHDS five years of experience teaching middle school and high school science and math, where he built a solid rapport with students and staff with his humor and passion for both the subjects he teaches and for education.
team member

Lior Jacober


First Grade General Studies
Lior Jacober has been involved with OHDS since 1995, when her son, Eli, was in Kindergarten on Ridgeway Blvd. Volunteering in the classroom and in the small Judaic Library, she became well-known by all of the children and their families. In 1999, she began working in the library as a part-time employee, and then went on to work in the front office, occasionally substitute teaching throughout the school. At Ridgeway, Lior also started up the OHDS After School Program. Over the years, she has worked at 3 local synagogues in their Hebrew and Sunday School Programs. Sewing for the Judaic silk artist, Nancy Katz, was Lior’s other loved vocation for a decade. At OHDS, she was a Teaching Assistant for first, second, and fifth Grades and was also the In-House Substitute Teacher. Lior is now the First grade GS teacher. Her B.A. in Philosophy is from Cleveland State University. She also studied at the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies, and earned her K-6 California Teaching Credential from Patten University.

 

team member

Sara Levine


Fourth Grade General Studies; Sixth Grade Math
Sara Levine has been a part of the OHDS community since 2011, teaching 4th grade general studies and, since 2014, also sixth grade math. She received her teaching credential and Masters from Mills college, focusing her thesis on math challenge in the classroom. Prior to working at OHDS, Sara got her Bachelors degree in psychology from UCSC, worked in special education, attended art school, and taught preschool. She is passionate about art, music, dancing, and comedy, all of which she loves to bring into the classroom.

 

team member

Elisheva (Arianne) Neckritz


Kindergarten and Bridge Kindergarten Judaic Studies
Elisheva (Arianne) was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and has had the privilege of growing up in several countries. Elisheva received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Education. She has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Hayward State University. She was privileged to begin her formal Jewish Studies with her father, Rabbi Leo Abrami. She has studied at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and Yaker Center for Tradition and Creativity-both in Jerusalem. Elisheva lived in Israel for four years where she began teaching. Prior to joining the OHDS faculty, she taught at Gan Shalom in Berkley for the past ten years and prior to that she taught for fourteen years at Beth El’s Nursery School. Elisheva has taught for various Hebrew Schools in the area, most recently kindergarten and first grade for Netivot Shalom. She enjoys hiking, traveling, art, music and spending time with her large family, daughter and her friends.
team member

Dorielle Parker


Lower School Judaic Studies
DORIELLE PARKER joins the OHDS staff as a Judaic Studies teacher in the Lower School. She spent the past two years studying in Jerusalem. She earned a master’s degree in Jewish Education through Hebrew College, participated in the Pardes Day School Educators Program, and learned in the Beit Midrash year round. Dorielle was previously an Education Fellow at Mechon Hadar in New York. She graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in International Studies and Judaic Studies. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys playing music with her husband, Josh, walking in nature, and drawing illustrations based on her love of Torah and the Hebrew letters. Dorielle is very excited to join the OHDS community 

 

team member

Efrat Simhi-Aloni


Middle School Hebrew
Beginning in 2002 at Oakland Hebrew Day School, Efrat Simhi-Aloni teaches Modern Hebrew to middle school students. Efrat views her mission as two-fold: one, to impart a strong connection to the rich culture and heritage of Israel through the beautiful structure of the Modern Hebrew language; and two, to convey to the students the fact that the Modern Hebrew language is accessible to all who try – “Lo bashamayim hi … v’lo me’ever layam hi,” it is not in the Heavens, nor beyond the ocean (Deuteronomy 30:12-13). Prior to working at OHDS, Efrat spent ten years teaching in high school and adult educational institutions. She also served as an army youth instructor, preparing students for their mandatory army service. Efrat received her BA in Hebrew Language and Literature as well as her MA in Educational Administrative Policy from Ben Gurion University. Efrat looks forward to continuing to develop creative and meaningful programs in the warm environment of Oakland Hebrew Day School.
team member

Juliet Stamperdahl


Learning Specialist
Juliet has her Ph.D in behavioral neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley, and a postdoc in clinical psychology at the University of California, San Francisco. She has taught undergraduates and conducted instructional planning in psychology, and also worked with the developmentally disabled. She has also conducted parent-child psychotherapy. Juliet likes to hike with her dog, Sasha, embroider, and attempt to make healthy creations like root beer kombucha.

What I love about teaching: “I love their creativity, and the unique and fresh ways they look at the world.”

Educational Philosophy: “Children learn best when they feel supported, know their strengths, and have techniques and strategies to help them where they struggle.”

 

team member

Ziva Trau


First Grade and Second Grade Judaic Studies
Ziva Trau joined Oakland Hebrew Day School in 1999 as the first grade Hebrew and Judaic Studies teacher. She was born in Northern Israel and moved to Marin County in 1990. Ziva received her BA in History with a Teaching Credential at Seminar HaKibbutzim in Tel Aviv. Her initial work experience in the US was at a small Jewish day school in Santa Rosa, sixteen years ago. There, she taught Hebrew and Judaic Studies for grades 1-4. It was in that school that she received her training in Tal Am for 1st grade. With her experience, Ziva opened her own afternoon Hebrew school in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol in 1997. She created her own curriculum and taught the students for two years. She has worked at various synagogues, such as Shomrei Torah in Santa Rosa, and this is going to be her fifth year teaching at Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon. Ziva also just completed her second summer teaching Ulpan at USF. At OHDS, she has taught students in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade. She currently teaches Hebrew and Judaic studies for 1st grade and Hebrew for 2nd grade, and is a mentor teacher for our lower school Judaic Studies team. Ziva enjoys hiking, gardening, and water sports.
team member

Evangeline Wolfe


Bridge Kindergarten General Studies; School Librarian
Evangeline has worked with children of all ages as a classroom teacher, music teacher, and after-school director. Originally from Ithaca, NY, Evangeline holds a B.A. from Cornell University, where she studied music, anthropology, and education. After a semester in Mexico learning from grassroots community organizers and educators, Evangeline went on to complete her teacher training at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. Evangeline has taught music at both public and Waldorf schools in the Bay Area and in New York. She is an accomplished pianist, early music soprano, conductor, and organist.  She enjoys playing music, and spending time with her two-year-old son, Nadav.

What People Say

  • The essence of the education OHDS provides is brilliantly reflected in the character and values of its students and graduates. I can't imagine a better foundation from which to grow and succeed.

    Rochelle Shapell, Parent of two OHDS graduates and OHDS Founding Board Member

  • The OHDS dream unfolds daily through the lives of the school's students and teachers. Every moment at the school is an opportunity to connect, learn, and grow.

    Rabbi Yonatan Cohen, OHDS parent and Spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel

  • OHDS has become more than a school, it’s our community and neighborhood. The focus on educating the whole child carries over to an investment in the health and welfare of each child, family and staff member.

    Catherine Shachat, OHDS alumni parent and former OHDS Board of Directors President

  • I love the fact that my children begin each day with prayer, engage in deep Torah study, speak Hebrew like an Israeli, and receive an excellent secular education. We appreciate how OHDS embraces every child.

    Elissa Kittner, OHDS parent and President of the Board

  • More than just a school, OHDS is a family, where each student is seen as our crown jewel - each cultivating a personal, passionate and serious Jewish identity and a commitment to join the Jewish journey as life long learners.

    Rabbi Yonatan Cohen, OHDS parent and Spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel

  • Our children are learning their Judaism from the ground up. There is no ambivalence.

    Judy Chun, OHDS Parent

  • OHDS has already given my children a strong sense of themselves as Jews living Jewish lives. This is no small thing in the modern world.

    Jodi Tharan, former OHDS Parent

  • OHDS students are constantly exposed to the new ways of approaching a variety of subject matters. They are encouraged to think critically and really explore and understand the material that they are learning and the world around them.

    Leslie Edelman, Past President and current Board Member, OHDS parent

  • It's not just about love of Israel and learning Hebrew. Our Kindergartner now sings "G-d bless America" with the same enthusiasm as she does songs about "Apples and Honey" and is recognizing letters and words in both languages.

    Dan Cohen, Former President of the Board of Directors and parent of two OHDS students

  • OHDS is more than a school and more than a community to me. It is really a family. The teachers are so loving and caring. They want each child to succeed with a deep thought of benefiting the whole Jewish community.

    Adi Yaron Schaker, former OHDS Parent

Connect with OHDS