Meet the Admin Team

Bathea James

Interim Head of School

“What I love about education is the excitement of children as a skilled teacher awakens in them a lifelong love of learning. The opportunity to teach children not only how to count, but rather to teach them what counts in life.”

Bathea has numerous degrees in political studies, social work, educational leadership and business. Bathea has lectured at the University of Witwatersrand, was a clinical therapist and administrator at King David School in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since emigrating to America in 1992, Bathea was head of school at two Blue Ribbon schools, Tucson Hebrew Academy in Arizona and Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito. Most recently, she has worked as a coach for the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education’s Atidenu program in Boston. Bathea spends her free time with her grandchildren, reading and taking the occasional Zumba class.

Tania Schweig

General Studies Director
Incoming Head of School (2017-2018)

“I love a child’s honesty. I love their genuine response to new insights. I never grow tired of watching the transition from struggle to mastery. Witnessing this process opens my heart and brings tears to my eyes, even after all of these years.”

HaMorah Tania has her B.A. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a masters of education and teaching credential from the University of San Francisco. She also attended a post-graduate year of study at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem. She has served as OHDS’ general studies director for six years, its resource specialist for 11 years before that, and is the current incoming head of school. Tania loves to camp with her family, hike in beautiful places and to dance.

Bat Sheva Miller

Judaic Studies Director

“Education is a transformative process. It provides the individual and the community the opportunity to explore, create, take risks, err and repair. It has the potential to heal communities small and large, and slowly help shrink away ignorance and fear.”

HaMorah Bat Sheva has worked at OHDS for 20 years, teaching every grade from 1st through 8th. Before that, she worked as a teacher-mentor at Hickman Charter School, supporting home school families, and at Skyline High School in Oakland, as a special-needs classroom teacher. Before coming to the United States, she ran a small drama group and worked as a preschool teacher in Israel. In Brazil, she worked as a journalist for four years before making aliyah. HaMorah Bat Sheva holds a B.A. in journalism from a university in Brazil, and an M.A. in special education from San Francisco State University. She is currently in the M.A. program in Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. HaMorah Bath Sheva enjoys music, cinema and photography. Her favorite day of the week is Shabbat.

Philippa Lichterman

Admissions Director

“I love that our school can provide the deep and rich Jewish educational experiences our kids need to make the choices we dream for them – the choice to become Jewish leaders and change the world.”

Philippa began her career at OHDS as a teaching assistant. Before that, she worked at Brandeis Hillel Day School in San Francisco, and as a social worker at Jewish Family & Children’s Services in San Francisco and at Shalom Park Nursing Home in Denver Colorado. Philippa holds her masters in education and bachelors of social work, and a day school leadership in teaching fellowship. A few of Philippa’s favorite things are ballet, hiking and African safaris.

Andy Wasserman

Chief Financial Officer

“I love walking through the halls and hearing the children saying birkat hamazon, the Amidah, and the many prayers they learn. It brings a huge smile to my face.”

Andy comes to OHDS with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and an M.B.A., both from MIT, and more than 30 years as the CFO for both profit and nonprofit organizations, including four years at the Jewish Community Foundation-Federation of the East Bay. Andy gardens, cooks (often with the harvest from his garden) and plays in bridge tournaments.

Betsy Ringrose

Director of Development

“Watching kids grow, and seeing them bloom over the years as they learn and develop is both exciting and extraordinary. Being a part of that growth, and helping secure the resources to make it happen, is truly special.”

Betsy brings 20 years of development experience in education settings — at U.C. Berkeley, Head Royce and the Carondelet High School in Concord — to OHDS, running campaigns that built vigorous annual funds, lasting endowment campaigns, and large capital campaigns to create essential new spaces for teaching and learning. Betsy has her undergraduate and master’s degree in anthropology, and professional graduate certificate in museum studies from John F. Kennedy University. Betsy’s favorite pastimes include knitting, botany and landscape architecture, visiting museums, hiking, biking and spending time with her husband, Ed, her dog and two parrots.

Tamara Leider

Front Office Manager

“I believe that all children are trying to tell us something, either through what they say or through their behavior, and that it’s up to us to slow down enough to listen, so that we can truly hear and see them.”

Tamara has her M.S. from the Columbia School of Journalism and an English degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was a newspaper reporter before choosing to stay home with her three sons when they were young (now all in the middle school at OHDS). She joined the front office team in 2014. Originally from the midwest, Tamara enjoys hiking with her husband, reading and cooking Indian food.

Ruth Wiseman

Business Office Associate

“It is energizing to be in an educational setting and witness the children’s enthusiasm for discovering and engaging with new ideas, other people, and different cultures.”

Ruth has her B.A. in economics and Russian from the University of California, Davis, and has worked for nonprofits, such as Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and in for-profit ventures, including Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and PNC Bank. Ruth writes children’s stories, hikes, dances, reads, rescues animals and spends time with her family in her free time.

Jill Blakemore

Office Associate

“I am a firm believer in project-based learning. For concepts to be truly understood, not just memorized, they must be put into practice. That is when true understanding occurs and can be evaluated.”

Ms. Blakemore taught for 36 years, working with students from first grade through high school, before starting a second career in the front office at OHDS. She holds her bachelor of arts in history and religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In her free time, Ms. Blakemore plays with her two cats and two dogs, gardens and reads mysteries (preferably while sitting in the sun).

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

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