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Meet Our Educators

our educators
Lisa Aamodt, Limud Education Director  (516) 676-5080, ext. 105

Lisa Aamodt has been an experienced Jewish professional for over 16 years and joined the CTI family in 2015. As Limud's Education Director, she is a progressive leader and role model for our children. Her research in determining the new curriculum for our students, is testimony to her dedication. In addition to Limud, she is also in charge of a vast array of programs for our youth from the age 1 through grade 12, including; Shalom Playgroup, TOT Shabbat, Mommy & Me, PJ Library, Kiki's Kids Teen/USY program and Limud High.

Through Torah study, Lisa strives to instill in our children positive moral character and the importance of being good citizens of the world. Through Jewish education, she strives to provide the building blocks for children and young adults to build their own Jewish identity. 

Lisa leads youth and family services and programs, and runs Rosh Chodesh "It's a girl thing," which teaches middle school through high school girls about Judaism and self-awareness. Lisa has also led various workshops, including "Making Junior Congregation come Alive at your Synagogue," at the New Caje2 Conference (2012), and "PJ Library Program, Marketing and Outreach" at the PJ Library Conference (2013).

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management of Technology, a Master's Degree in Non Profit Management and is studying at Gratz College for a doctorate in Educational Leadership.  In 2014, she was the recipient of the prestigious Harold Grinspoon Excellence in Jewish Education Award and the New Caje5 Principles Certificate. In 2019 she was awarded the Stars Under 40 Award on Long Island.

Chad Altman, VP, Education

Chad Altman was born in Roslyn and is married to Lauren, his high school sweetheart. They have two boys, Madden and Jamie. Both boys attend North Shore Schools and CTI’s Limud Hebrew School. Chad has worked in the NYC Department of Education since 2003 and is currently a Principal in Manhasset Public Schools. As a child, he attended Temple Sinai in Roslyn and kept active with the Temple while in High School. When not working, Chad enjoys skiing, tennis, traveling and grilling his favorite foods. Most importantly, Chad values his time with friends and family.  

Fredda Klopfer, Education Director, Emeritus

Fredda Klopfer spent 30 years as a special educator and elementary principal in the North Shore Schools. For seven years, Fredda volunteered to lead Limud as the principal and helped to grow the school to its present size. In addition, she has networked with the Jewish Education Project — an organization dedicated to creating innovative religious schools — where she guided the facilitation of a network called New Models for Small Schools. The interaction with this organization helped provide the framework for creating a school that has been cited for its creative approach to Jewish education.  Fredda was honored by METNYS for her work at CTI. In addition to being the “bubbie” of the school.

Rachel Salinas, Limud Special Needs Specialist & Coordinator 

Rachel Salinas and her husband, Paul, moved to Glen Head from Queens in 2015. Their two sons, Andrew and Brandon, both attend and love Limud. Rachel is the coordinator of a special education program in a New York City high school. She has been a special education teacher since 2003. Rachel and her family love being part of the incredible CTI family.

Debbie Ilberg, Limud Special Needs Specialist & Coordinator

Debbie Ilberg and her husband, Peter, and their children, Rachel and Matthew, have been members of the CTI family since 2017. Both Rachel and Matthew attended Limud and go to North Shore Schools. Rachel had her Bat Mitzvah in Jerusalem in July 2019 in a service led by Rabbi Huberman and Matthew's October 2020 service had the distinction of being CTI's first zoom Bar Mitzvah! Debbie has been an elementary school English as a Second Language teacher in the NYC Department of Education since 1995, working with both general education and special education students. As the mother of a son with special needs, Debbie served for many years on the board of North Shore Schools SEPTA. She also volunteered as co-leader of her daughter's Girl Scout Troop for almost 9 years. Debbie is passionate about helping children with special needs and their families to navigate the intricacies of the educational system and find the supports available to them. When not working, Debbie enjoys reading, trying out new recipes, and, most of all, spending time with family and friends. 

Krystal Wheaton, Acting Vice Principal During Limud Classes, Kiki's Kids Youth DIrector, & Limud Assistant

Krystal Wheaton received a B.A. in Psychology from Adelphi University, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the school’s Honors college. She has experience giving trumpet lessons, was a volunteer counselor at a science camp, and for 5 years she worked as a karate instructor for children ages 3-16. She holds her second degree black belt in Shotokan karate, and in her free time loves to play instruments, listen to music, and express herself in different creative outlets, whether it be arts, crafts, or writing. She strives to help children be the best they can be, and is proud to be a part of the CTI family.

Nadine Friedel, Pre-K & K (Sundays)

Nadine Friedel grew up in Great Neck, and feels a very strong connection to Jewish values. Nadine is married and has two young children, Julia and Andrew. After spending many years living in Manhattan and working in the fashion industry, Nadine decided to take a pause in her career to raise her children. Nadine attended Boston University and received her BS in Elementary Education with a concentration in Psychology. Nadine has recently joined our synagogue as the Pre-K & K educator on Sunday mornings. 

Melissa Greico, 1st & 2nd Grade (Sundays), TOT Shabbat, & Kiki's Kids Jr.

Melissa Greico attended Alephi University and double-majored in psychology and sociology. She also studied school psychology and interned in various settings, working on social skills with elementary school students with autism. She has experience as a nanny, has taught nursery school and has worked in an after-school program across all levels. Currently, she is also teaching the Friday-morning CTI Shalom Playgroup for 2-4 year olds, learning Hebrew and doing arts and crafts for CTI's Tot Shabbat program. In addition to having a passion for children, animals, and helping others, Melissa enjoys participating in all aspects of Jewish culture.

Gabriella Mehraban, 3rd & 4th Grade Hebrew (Sundays)

Gabby is a senior attending North Shore High School and has been in the Limud family since she was 2 years old. She enjoys teaching students one-on-one, as well as in a classroom setting. She looks forward to passing down all that she has learned from Limud L’dor V’dor (from generation to generation) as the 3rd and 4th grade teacher.

Amy Elias, 3rd & 4th Grade Judaica (Sundays and Thursdays)

Amy Elias was born into a colorful and vibrant Sephardic family where the rhythm of Jewish life mimicked the love of just being human. This is what Amy brings to CTI and what CTI  brought to her children when they were students here.  What continues to inspire Amy, no matter what she leads, comes from her rich intergenerational cultural background. Whether the exposure to the 'secret' Ladino-Spanish her grandparents spoke, to Greek/Turkish foods, Greek music and dance where a  family member might  jump on a table, sing and dance and draw the rest of us into the moment... just because.  This warmth and liveliness permeates much of what Amy continually offers her students of all ages. 

As a Special Educator, Trauma-trained yoga therapist Amy brings a deep sensitivity to our human condition.  The values of compassion, mindful presence, human connection, non-judgement, loving-kindness, individual alignment and bright-spotting lead her as she honors each student, family member and colleague. She looks forward to igniting the neshuma within each of us.  

Ellen Piernick, 3rd & 4th Grade (Sundays), Hebrew Enrichment (Thursdays)

Ellen Piernick has a BA in Business Management with a minor in Nutrition. She is a Wholistic Nutritionist with a Practice for People & Pets, is an Organic Product Formulator, and has launched her own health product lines. Ellen was an amateur bodybuilder and loves outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, swimming and kayaking. She is a single Mom, and her daughter is in her last year of college at Binghamton, majoring in Business Marketing/MIS. When her daughter is not in school, they live together on the south shore of Long Island with their pet maltipoo, Sugar.

While this is her first year at Limud CTI, Ellen has previously taught at Hebrew schools and loves the spiritual aspects of Judaism, and is excited to share her knowledge of and love for Judaism with her students!

Hannah B. Taustine, 5th Grade (Sundays) & 7th Grade (Thursdays)

Hannah B. Taustine graduated from CUNY-LaGuardia in 2021. She has assisted in Hebrew school classes for over five years, has held positions of increasing responsibility in summer recreation and camp programs, and has been a karate teacher and homework tutor for several years.  She holds a black belt in Kenpo karate and is an avid reader, artist and writer. Hannah has a younger brother and two dynamic rescue poodles. She is very passionate about teaching and Hebrew, and is excited about bringing life and joy to Jewish learning.

Rebecca Goldfarb, 5th Grade (Thursdays)

Rebecca attends LIU Post where she will graduate next May with a BFA in Musical Theatre and is a part of the Honors College. She has experience working with children ages 3-14 since 2019 as the Music and Drama specialist and director of the camp musical at Silver Point Day Camp, a choreographer at Shelter Rock Elementary School for their school musicals, and performed at children’s birthday parties throughout the pandemic. Rebecca is very proud of her Jewish heritage and became a Bat Mitzvah herself. For her Thesis, she will perform in a play she wrote, which is about a Jewish family coming together after going through a difficult time together. In addition to her love of children and teaching, Rebecca has worked in the entertainment industry for the past 12 years as an actor, singer, and songwriter. With her vast experience, Rebecca teaches with a fun and entertaining perspective.

Jessica Herman, 6th & 7th grade (Sundays), Kiki's Kids Teen Leader, Music Enrichment

Jessica Herman is a music education student at LIU Post. Along with singing, she plays guitar, euphonium, trombone, and tuba, and has previously been a music teacher at two different religious schools. She also attended URJ Camp Eisner for many years, and will be returning as a counselor and song leader. Jessica has a love for Jewish music, and is excited to share her knowledge about it with students! 

Steven Kantorowitz, 6th & 7th Grade and Teen Program (Sundays)

Steven Kantorowitz is an attorney, business owner and a founding board member of the Jewish Historical Society of Long Island. He has worked as a law clerk in Jerusalem for the late Honorable Miriam Naor (Z”L) and attended the WUJS Institute (World Union of Jewish Students) in Arad, Israel. He is married to Lori Kantorowitz, the director of Admissions at the Solomon Schechter School of Long Island and is the father to Ari Kantorowitz, who is attending Northeastern University and to daughter Jessica Kantorowitz, who is a singer, actor, writer, and producer. Both children attended the Solomon Schechter School of Long Island. He is excited to share his Judaic and Israel knowledge to engage the students and encourage Jewish advocacy and activism to make the world a better place.

Rabbi Josh Alpert, 6th Grade (Thursdays)

Rabbi Josh Alpert has been completely immersed in both Judaism and music since he was a young child. As a young boy he would come home from school, put a towel over his shoulders and "play" Rabbi. At age five, he received his first guitar and was composing songs by the time he was 10. His dream was to incorporate both the teachings and values of Torah and great eclectic music from his many musical tastes. Rabbi Alpert graduated with a B.F.A. in Music Education and Performance from L.I.U. Post, School of Music. At the same time, he attended Yeshivat Torah Mitzion, in Merrick, NY. Rabbi Alpert received Rabbinical Ordination in 2008 from Yeshiva Zichron Akivah, in Woodmere NY. In 2005, he and his friend, Rabbi Michael Wagner, started the Jewish Rock band, "White Shabbos." At that time, he decided to use his talents to inspire Jewish youth worldwide. Teaching Torah through song, drama and even dance parties, Rabbi Alpert hopes to light the spark inside every Jew that brings them close to their beautiful, ancient heritage and its special values.

Cantor Gustavo Gitlin, Trips & Music

Cantor Gustavo and his family moved to Glen Cove from Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2003. He comes from a family of musicians — his grandfather was a cantor — and his mother always encouraged him to use his voice and smile as a way into people’s hearts. Cantor Gustavo attended cantorial school at Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires. Inspired by the vision of Rabbi Marshal Meyer (Z’L), he is dedicated to bringing people together by building relationships with his charitable soul and warm heart, one person at a time. His rich voice carries profound Jewish melodies and prayers to the deepest corners of people’s spirits. His dedication to the North Shore Sheltering Program and visiting the sick (Bikkur Cholim) has helped CTI develop a robust reputation as a congregation with a strong social action tradition of healing the world (Tikkun Olam).

Dvora Cohen-Keynan, Hebrew Through Movement Specialist

Dvora Cohen-Keynan, who moved to the United States from Israel 20 years ago, has long been active in the field of education, and has always had her hand in Hebrew Language Education, Judaic Studies and Cultural Enrichment. She is fluent in Hebrew, English and French. A graduate of the Zinman College of Physical Education & Sports Sciences of the Wingate Institute in Israel, she is a certified physical education teacher for grades K-12. In Israel, she started by teaching Hebrew to new immigrants in the public school system. As a lieutenant in the IDF (Israel Defense Force), Dvora headed a specialized education unit, teaching combat soldiers “Ahavt Israel” (Love of Israel) by providing exciting hands-on tour experiences all over the country. Dvora is well known to various Jewish institutions on Long Island, always finding interesting ways to engage students in the learning process. Dvora resides in Northport with her husband, Ofer, their two beautiful children, Almog and Orri, and their cute dog, Shanti.

Lirin Shay Goshen, Limud Shaliach

Lirin Shay Goshen, married to Omri and mother to Bnaya.

Lirin was born in Holon to an Iraqi family. She served in the IDF for three years, as an officer in an educational unit; she oversaw the social and economic conditions of 2,500 soldiers.

Immediately after her military service, Lirin served as a Jewish Agency Shlichah to a Jewish summer camp in North America, and the experience inspired her to deepen her knowledge of Judaism, what she later did as a participant in “The Place” program, which connects between Jewish communities in Israel.

Lirin holds a BA in Political Science and Political Communication from the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, from which she received a full scholarship in merit of her leadership skills by the Rothschild foundation. She also holds an MA in Urban Planning from The Technion.

Lirin is an alumni of the Cadet Program for Strategy and Urban Planning at the Ministry of Interior.

Lirin and her husband Omri, together with their son Bnaya and their dog Donna, arrived to a Shlichut in Long Island after three years of living in a military boarding school, where Omri served there as a commander.

Lirin is a political and social activist: she has run for City Council in Holon, managed field work for the Tzeirim (youth) party, and has served as an political advisor and head of bureau to former Member of Knesset Gadeer Kamal Mreeh, the first Druze MK.

Tue, March 21 2023 28 Adar 5783