Alumni Newsletter » Alumni Newsletter 2014

Alumni Newsletter 2014



As you read this letter, the Solomon Schechter School of Queens will be approaching its 60th anniversary in 2016! Schechter’s relationship with alumni is extremely important: you give us a lot to be proud of, and we strive to return the favor. Schechter continues to raise its national prestige with impressive new programs.

As I look ahead to 2015, I am energized by the work and innovations of our Head of School, Dr. Shira Leibowitz who is moving our school to even greater heights. There is much in store for the 2015 academic year and I invite you to read Dr. Leibowitz’s blog: Our Progress.

It was a pleasure meeting many of you in June at our first Networking Event, which was held at The Manhattan House. The school is kicking it up a notch with another networking event April 26 as we host: The Future is Now: Thriving in the Rapidly Changing World of Work.

Alumni are an important part of our extended Schechter family and we welcome your continued involvement with the school.

Our SSSQ alumni are an important part of our extended Schechter family. We welcome your continued involvement with the school and here are ways you can stay connected:

- attend reunions or alumni events
- share news for the monthly email
- submit your Class Note for the Alumni Newsletter
- share career highlights on our website's section "Spotlight on Alumni"
- make a donation to our annual campaign

Alumni engagement is a continuing cause for celebration. Your faith in and connection to your alma mater ensures that Schechter will continue to succeed in fulfilling its historic mission of value and excellence. Keep in touch with us!

Warm wishes for a Happy Chanukah!

Naomi R. Horowitz
Alumni Coordinator
Office of Alumni Relations





There is a first step to take on every career path. The approach you take to your job and the knowledge that you acquire can help determine how successful you may become. Tevi Troy and Debbie Gavin Shemony reflect on what they learned from their first jobs and how the experience contributed to their successful careers. Meet two of your fellow alumni as they talk about their path and serve as a source of inspiration. Whatever goals you are wishing to achieve, it is important to do the best you can and never give up - challenges make us stronger. Nothing exemplifies what a Schechter Queens education can accomplish better then the following narratives:


Tevi Troy '81

My first job out of college was as a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. It took me four months to find that job, so the search process itself taught me something about resilience and persistence. Once I got the job, I quickly learned the values of promptness, hard work, and learning as much as possible about one's field of work.

In addition to the important lessons about the value of work, the job also set me on a path for my whole career. In looking around at the think tank senior fellows -- including well-known scholars such as Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick and Judge Robert Bork -- I tried to think about what they had done in their lives to reach those positions. I asked myself, "If I wanted to work as a think tank fellow some day, what would I need to do?" I found that all of them had 3 characteristics in common: an advanced degree, experience in government, and some kind of well-received publication, be it a book or an article. I set about to do all of those things in my own career, and they served me very well.

“I learned a tremendous amount in my 9 years at Solomon Schechter School of Queens. While there, I was fortunate to learn a great deal about subjects that continued to be very important to me throughout my life. Specifically, Mrs. West helped impart a love of Yiddishkeit, Mrs. Ertrachter a love of literature, and Mr. Korn a love of history. All of these topics were helpful to me in both my life and my career in politics – including serving as White House Liaison to the Jewish Community – and scholarship – including writing a best-selling book on presidents and popular culture."

Tevi Troy, SSSQ ’81 and author of “What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House”

Debbie Gavin Shemony '82

"The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or songs.”

I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It speaks volumes about that special place that a "first job" holds in our life. As a liberal arts graduate from SUNY Binghamton, I really wanted my first job to be at a non-profit organization focused on Israel as its mission. I yearned to put my writing and communications skills to use for a cause that I cared passionately about. So I moved to Washington, DC, started looking, networking, and interviewing - and eventually landed THAT job.

As an associate for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (and one of only six staff members) I worked on projects as varied as growing the membership, writing content for our newsletter, planning a major annual event and eventually, even leading a trip to Israel for U.S. cadets and midshipmen! In retrospect, I couldn't have asked for a better first job. I was given an opportunity to develop my skills in so many areas, but most importantly, I left there with an appreciation of how critical it is to give new college grads meaningful opportunities to learn new things, stretch beyond their comfort zones - and truly grow as employees and individuals. So thank you, JINSA!


Jasmine and Lauren '05

At my graduation from Solomon Schechter School of Queens in 2005, I distinctly remember singing, on stage with the rest of my classmates, songs with themes of change; change of schools, change of focus, and of course, change of friends. Though we all promised to stay in touch and that we’d be best friends forever, realistically…did you keep all the promises you made in 8th grade? Though I can’t tell you I stayed close with everyone, I did stay just as close to one friend in particular, Lauren Haarazi. Since kindergarten, she and I, two only children, have been as close as sisters. From staying up late talking on the phone, being the first passenger in her car when she got her license, visiting each other in college, to celebrating the biggest simchas of each other’s lives – I met her future husband on their first date, and then was a bridesmaid at their wedding! Having a friend who has seen and accepted me and vice versa, as an awkward adolescent, a moody teen, and finally as a confident twenty-something - through all of life’s phases - has been one of the most significant helps to making it through many challenges thus far.

I’m very thankful for the friendships I made at SSSQ. I feel so lucky to have spent nine of the most formative years of my life there and I look forward to the rest of my life where I get to enjoy friends like Lauren, lifetime friendships, which began at SSSQ.

- Jasmine Patihi '05

Jenn '92 and Rochelle '92 and Becky '92

9th grade

For years, my parents told me the story about how I came home from kindergarten talking about my new friend, Rebecca. “She’s Gungarian!” I exclaimed (that’s “Hungarian” as my 5-year old self interpreted it). Two years later, Rochelle was in our class and the three of us quickly became close.

It’s hard for me to think of any SSSQ memories that don’t include Beck and Rochelle. Through recess, elementary school drama, boys - we were always there for each other. When Beck and I went to a different high school than Rochelle, we spent the summers together. And when Beck and Rochelle studied in Israel after high school and I started college in the States, I went to visit them as soon as winter break came around.

As we got older and went through other transitions including jobs, relationships, and other major life milestones, both happy and sad – Beck and Rochelle were there for me. And even though we don’t get to see or talk to each other every day as we did when we were growing up, we are still growing up together – sharing memories and making new ones. Rebecca’s family still calls me, “Jennie-ka,” a name that they gave me when I was 5. And the first time, I was called “Aunt Jennie” was by Rochelle’s first born. Our parents remain friends, our families are family. I can only hope that my daughter is lucky enough to make similarly strong friendships when she starts school.

Rochelle and Becky in college
- Jenn Gross '92


It was a fun evening! SSSQ Alumni presented ideas for career growth and networked with each other. It was nice meeting new faces and greeting familiar ones at our first Network Night.

Thank you to our speakers and Alumni Council Members for their participation and support and special thank you to Yaara Bank Plotkin ’96 for helping us with logistics and the event space.

Mona Kremin '67 Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Douglas Elliman
Myron D. Rumeld, Esq. '72 Partner, Proskauer
Mark I. Lev, Esq. '73 Chairman & CEO, Wellfleet Partners, Inc.
Jonathan D. Lupkin, Esq. '81 Founding Member, Rakower Lupkin PLLC
Ari Kirschbaum ’87 Financial Representative & Planner, NewYork Life Insurance Company
Eric Barna, MD '92 MD MPH & Assistant Professor, Mt. Sinai Medical Center
Hila Ratzabi '95 Freelance Editor, Writer, Tutor, Founder of Red Sofa Salon & Poetry Workshop
Jackie Topol '98 Registered Dietitian & Culinary Nutritionist

Alumni Council:
Richard C. Hochman '73, Attorney at Law
Roni Grill Nadell '92, FCB Health, VP, Account Group Supervisor
Elana Jacob '00, Attorney, Paul Weiss
Lara Pollack '05, HR Coordinator, ZenithOptimedia

"I enjoyed the evening and reflecting on my memories while attending SSS of Queens. But most enjoyed catching up with classmate Richard Hochman. With his amazing memory, we went through almost the entire class of 1973 and I found what most were up to. He's been much better than I in that regard. Look forward to the next event."

- Mark Lev '73
Ian Levine '03, Lee Hamburger ' 03, Matan Stein '03, Marc Pollack '02, Lara Pollack '05

For additional photos of the event, click here.


The White House: Readers and Leaders of the West Wing

Gil Troy '74 and Tevi Troy '81 presented their views on: The White House: Readers and Leaders of the West Wing, at the New-York Historical Society, Wednesday, March 19.


"This morning, I returned to Schechter Queens I believe for the first time since I graduated in 1986 to watch as my nephew, Max '15 put on his tefillin on the occasion of becoming a Bar Mitzvah. Together with my brother Ron '84, his wife, Michelle, my nieces Zoe, a current SSSQ 5th grader and Alexa we celebrated this milestone in Max's life."

- David Amram '86, father of three daughters all attending SSLI, in grades 4, 3 and 1.


Mazal Tov!

Congratulations to Inessa Abramov '06 and David Itskhakov (above) on their marriage June 10.

Congratulations to Lauren Harazzi '05 and Nathan Zalta (above) on their marriage September 14.

Congratulations to Russell Weg '01 and Carly Freiman (above) on their marriage.

Congratulations to Peter Wolkofsky '01 and Emily Passer (above) on their marriage September 7.

Congratulations to Mala Hertz '00 and Federico Kamelhar (above) who were married October 22 in Tel Aviv.

Congratulations to Yael Notkin '00 and Robert Kadar (above) on their marriage August 17.

Congratulations to Malka Lesnik '00 on her marriage to Mickey Belgrod (above) this past October.

Congratulations to Jason Klager '97 and Norma Rojas (above) on their marriage June 15.

Congratulations to Maytal Aharon-Nov '96 on her marriage to Offer (above) April 2. Maytal attended SSSQ through 5th grade and she and Offer live in Israel.


Jordan Bass '03 and Ilana Ramer on their recent engagement.
Elizabeth Kohansedgh '02 and Joshua Luger on their marriage.
Mazi Yasoboof '01 and Dr. Daniel Hanono on their marriage July 6.
Elana Jacob '00 and Joshua Rehr on their marriage December 7.
Ariela Jacob '97 and Andrew Zizmor on their marriage in November.
Eric Benaim '93 and Stephanie on their marriage October 12.
Jacquie Stein '69 and Robert P. Marks on their marriage February 23.


Alumni Profiles

Jasmine Patihi '05

Jasmine attended Benjamin Cardozo HS and participated in their specialized dance program. After high school, Jasmine took a gap year and studied in Israel on the Bar Ilan Israel program where about 60 students from across the United States studied yeshiva/seminary style Torah classes for half the day and regular college classes for half the day. After Bar Ilan, Jasmine attended Binghamton University for three years graduating in 2013 with a degree as a double major in Judaic Studies and Philosophy, Politics, and Law (PPL). Upon graduating from Binghamton Jasmine began working for StandWithUs, an Israel education organization, where she is still employed today. At StandWithUs she works as the Tri State Area High School Program Coordinator. In this position Jasmine teaches thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish high school students every year about Israel, ranging from topics like Israel’s diversity to advocacy speaking skills. Her goal is to ensure the next generation of student leaders are empowered to support Israel.

Seth Reisner '00

Since graduating from Queens College with a Master's of Secondary Education for Mathematics in May 2013, Seth Reisner '00 moved to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where he has been teaching middle school and high school mathematics at an international school. During his time there, he has done a lot of traveling in the region, including trips to Thailand, the island of Bohol in the Philippines where he volunteered with the earthquake disaster relief effort, Cambodia, Malaysia, as well as many places within Vietnam. His upcoming trips will include India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. After completing his current two year contract in June 2015, Seth will be looking to move on to another international school in a new country.

Nadav Aharon

Nadav attended SSSQ for K and 1st grade and returned back to Israel where he finished 9th grade. His family left Israel and moved to Berlin, Germany where he finished high school and then returned to Israel and entered the army. He started working in the high-tech area and is currently the owner and co-founder of Trion Logics a successful worldwide information security company in Israel that deals with integrating Infosec products and much more Nadav is married and lives in Israel. He hopes that the school would one day make a reunion for alumni living in Israel.

Maytal Aharon-Marcu (Nov) '96

After serving in the IDF Maytal moved to Berlin in 2002, Germany and lived there for three years. She worked at the Israeli Embassy and had the time of her life. In 2005, Maytal returned to Israel and started her Academic years: BA '08 in Communications & Management and an MBA '11 from The College of Management Academic Studies. She has been working in the Online Marketing Industry for the past seven years and at the moment she is Head of the SEO and department and Social at Linkin Marketing, an Online Marketing Agency. Maytal got married April 2 to Offer who is a programmer at HP. They have an adorable Pug named Boo who is one years old and the best puppy a person can ask for!

Tamir Dardashtian

Tamir attended SSSQ through 4th grade and then moved with his family to Great Neck in 1984. He completed his Bachelor's Degree in Science - Business Administration with a focus in Accounting & Finance '96 at Boston University School of Management and completed his JD at Brooklyn Law School '99. Tamir is a Tax Principal and licensed attorney at Anchin, Block & Anchin's tax department and brings a distinctive outlook and expertise to his clients. He is a member of the Firm's Private Client Group and its Trust & Estates Services Group. Tamir has been involved with setting up creative estate plans and effective wealth transfer strategies for many of Anchin's long-standing clients. He has handled all aspects of taxation and planning for high net worth families and large trusts and estates. Tamir also specializes in the preparation of complicated estate and gift tax returns, fiduciary income tax returns, and judicial accounts and has rendered expert testimony in Surrogate Court.

Tamir is a frequent speaker on trust and estate topics and has been a keynote speaker for the foundation for Accounting Education (FAE) Estate Administration Conference and has authored numerous articles on a variety of subjects, additionally he has published work in the Law Firm Partnership & Benefits Report and Accounting and financial Planning for Law Firms and has been featured in several webinars and quoted in the New York Times.

He is a member of the Estate Planning Council of NYC and serves on the Estate Planning Committee of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). Tamir is fluent in Hebrew & conversant in Farsi.

Tamir was recently promoted to Principal at Anchin.

Leslie Lobel '70

Leslie immigrated from New York to Israel in 2002 with an MD degree and doctorate in virology from Columbia University. Dr. Lobel is a Professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and a world-recognized virologist who has been researching a cure for hemorrhagic fever viruses, including Ebola, for a decade. He has been studying Ebola at Ben Gurion University of the Nevev's Center for Emerging Disease, Tropical Diseases and AIDS in southern Israel. In an August 8th interview with the Jerusalem Post, Dr. Lobel stated "I have been doing this for 10 years, and an incredible team from the US Military has joined along with wonderful collaborators in Uganda, everything is very well organized there. "I protect myself with anti-malaria pills and antibiotics and meet with survivors who were infected at least three months before but survived and are healthy. I study their immune systems to find out why they survived and others didn't. The answer could be genetic or epigenetic [environmental effects on the genes]", Lobel explained to the Jerusalem Post.

Dr. Lobel visits Africa five times a year to meet with Ebola survivors and believes he is close to developing a cure.

On a personal note, Dr. Lobel recently expressed his sentiment about our school ... "Solomon Schechter was a very special part of my life and I hope it continues to foster inspiration and wonder in its students".

Harvey Greene '66

Harvey is currently the Vice President of Historical Affairs for the Miami Dolphins after serving as the team’s VP of Media Relations the past 25 years. He joined the Dolphins after spending almost four years as the Public Relations Director for the New York Yankees under George Steinbrenner. Before that he was the PR Director for the Cleveland Cavaliers and also for the Madison Square Garden Network, the country’s largest regional sports television network. He has helped oversee press operations at all but one of the last 25 Super Bowls, the World Series, the NBA Finals and other major international sports, including three Olympic Games. 

On a civic level, Harvey was a press officer at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston and the 2013 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. He also was a press advance lead for President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton during portions of her 2007-08 presidential campaign. Since then he has continued to serve periodically in an advance capacity for President Clinton and on White House trips for Vice President Joe Biden, including his bilateral meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and his trip to Brazil this year to support the United States soccer World Cup team.

Harvey lives in Parkland, Florida, with his wife, Cathy.

Alan G. Stern '67

Alan graduated from Queens College and the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry. Alan has been practicing dentistry since 1981, and opened his solo practice of dentistry in Ocean Township in 1987. His professional interests are adult restorative dentistry and sleep breathing disorders. Active in synagogue leadership most of his life, Alan oversaw the merger of two conservative synagogues and served as the first President of Congregation Torat El in Ocean . He has also served as Chairman of Monmouth County’s Solid Waste Advisory Council for 10 of the 21 years of his service and is active in local politics. Alan and Fran Stern live in Monmouth County. They have two children, Neil (28) and Tracey, (23). Alan is an avid Yankee fan and enjoys reading, broadcasting, sports, theater, exercise, running, and travel.

David Wiener '67

David attended Ramaz High School, Columbia for his BA and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He did his internal medicine training at Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx and his cardiology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, which is how he and his family settled in Philadelphia. His greatest accomplishment is his wonderful family - his wife Lynn Klein (a dermatologist); their daughter Naomi (cancer epidemiologist), son-in-law Aaron (emergency medicine resident) and granddaughter Hannah Kornhauser, and their son Josh (post-baccalaureate premedical student). David and his family live in suburban Philadelphia. Professionally, David is a cardiologist and a professor at Thomas Jefferson University.

Zehava Gonen Greenberg '66

After arriving with my family from Israel in 1961, Zehava attended Solomon Schechter School of Queens until 1966. Her father was a shaliach from the Israel Ministry of Defense. They returned in 1967 and she has been living in Israel since then. Now married, with two wonderful sons and for the last 37 years she has been working as an art director in a large advertising firm. Zehava was delighted and fortunate to be able to attend the SSSQ reunion on October 6, 2013 and was very much looking forward to seeing her classmates and other Schechter friends. "I will always cherish those five years at SSSQ filled with so much warmth and love".

Marcia Pally '64

After a career as a dancer and choreographer, Marcia Pally got her doctorate at NYU and now teaches there in the Multilingual Multicultural Studies graduate program. She serves as a guest professor at Fordham University and at Humboldt University in Berlin. Her research interests include culture, religion, and politics as well as culture and language. Her most recent book is The New Evangelicals: Expanding the Vision of the Common Good. Her new book will explore theologies of relationality. She is very grateful to be surrounded by wonderful family and friends.

Stewart Brenner '64

Stewart Brenner, has an interesting career path to share. Click here to read about his early beginnings in Sunnyside, Queens and travel with Stew through highlights in his life.


Helena Gila Woolfson Yedidya

Helena Gila Wollfson Yedidya was born in Jerusalem in 1953. She moved to New York with her parents and two sisters (2 and 8) in 1959 and attended SSSQ for two years, 2nd grade in 1960 and 3rd grade in 1961. Her father was sent to New York through the Jewish Agency to be a Shliach in the Manhattan branch and they lived in Queen. Helena received her BA in English Literature and World History from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and later earned her MA in Educational Counselling from Haifa University and specialized in Therapy Studies. She is a Couple and Family Therapist, married to Gidi and living in England. Together they have three grown children, (40), (36) and (37) and eight grandchildren; 4 girls and 4 boys. Helena remembers the three years she grew up in New York as enriching and the time in SSSQ as contributing to her knowledge and understanding of the Bible for herself and her children.


News From Our Alumni

Jordan Brandwein '10 graduated from Townsend Harris High School '14 and made Aliyah. Jordan is officially designated by the IDF as a Lone (chayal boded), a soldier with his or her immediate family not living in Israel. Lone Soldiers serve in the same capacity as others in the military but are also provided with stipends and additional lodging and academic opportunities. Jordan will be serving for three years. On his blog, Life on Lahav, he chronicles his experiences during his transition to life as a soldier. It can be found here

Michelle Aminov '09 attended Solon High School and now attends The Ohio State University, majoring in Actuarial Science '17.

Inessa Abramov '06 graduated from Touro College with a Bachelors of Science in Education '13.

Aliza Altman '06 graduated from the University of Michigan with a BBA (concentrated in Marketing) and is an Associate Consultant at Rosetta, a customer engagement agency located in New York City.

Melissa Glassman '06 graduated from the University of Michigan with a dual bachelor's degree in English and Judaic Studies '14 and is currently in her first year at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Ilan Har-El '06 graduated from New York University, Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Philosophy 14.

Shira Spiel '06 graduated from Hunter College and received her BA in Psychology '14 and now attends Adelphi University's Clinical Psychology PhD program.

Zachary Weg '05 graduated from Ithaca College majoring in writing.

Zachary Gale '05 graduated with honors from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2013.
Zach is now working with Teach for America in New Orleans. He is teaching physics and algebra.

Danna Pinto '05 graduated from Brandeis University where she doubled majored in Psychology and Public Health '13. Danna then moved to Israel where she is spending her time teaching English and rediscovering the homeland.

Nicole Golbari '05 graduated from Harvard University where she majored in Neuroscience '13. Nicole then traveled to Argentina to do research in her field and explore another exciting culture. This September she is studying at Stony Brook School of Medicine, where she will come one step closer to fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a doctor.

Julia Fusfeld '05 graduated from Townsend Harris High School and Dartmouth College with a BA in Government, Arabic Studies '13. She is a program assistant at Democracy International and lives in Washington, DC.

David Beizer '04 received his BA in International Relations '13 from the University of Pennsylvania. He is an Analyst at Alvarez & Marsal a global professional service firm located in Manhattan.

David Wolkofsky '04 graduated from Solomon Schechter Long Island High School and the University of Albany with a BA in History '12. He is a Digital Ad Ops Specialist and works as a Traffciker at UBM Tech located in Manhasset.

Matan Stein '03 graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Business Management '11. He is an Analyst at JP Morgan Private Bank and enjoys being with friends, family and playing basketball.

Maya Rinat '03 graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Psychology and Near Eastern Studies '11. Maya currently lives in Manhattan.

Scott Topal '02 graduated Northwestern University with a BS in Learning and Organizational Change '10. He is a management consultant at Accenture and lives in Chicago.

Meredith Goldstone '01 started a business - Cards by Meredith. Her website is here.

Amy Panzok '01 graduated from the University of Buffalo with a DDS '09 and is an Orthodontics residency at the University of Detroit Mercy '15.

Mala Hertz '00 received her Masters of Public Administration from NYU Wagner in May and is working at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) as a Digital Communications Coordinator.

Malka Lesnik '00 graduated from Queens College and received her degree in Sociology '08 and her masters in Social Work '11 from Adelphi University. She is currently working at a clinic in Queens through Catholic charities.

Yael Notkin '00 received her Masters of Public Administration from CUNY Baruch in May and is currently working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a health care advisor in the chemo unit of the Breast & Imaging Center.

Shira Segev '00 graduated from Binghamton University '08 and continued her education at Hunter College where she received her Master of Social Work '11.

Rachel Trager Sales '00 launched Pink Pangea here the community for women travelers.

Naomi Birbach '00 graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Chemistry '08 and received her JD '13 from Georgetown University Law Center. Naomi is an associate at Goodwin Procter LLP and lives in New York

Dina Zipkin '00 received her Bachelors of Science in Human Development '08 from Binghamton University. She continued her education at the CUNY School of Public Health and received her Masters in Public Health - MPH majoring in Community Health Education '12 and earned her certification. She currently works for Weill Cornell Medical College in their Care Management program.

Monica (Goldenberg) Herman '99 is the Assistant Director of Communications at Hillel International. She began her Hillel career in 2012, and has worked in marketing and communications for more than eight years. Monica lives in Rockville, Maryland with her husband Scott and son Coby, who is turning one years old this month.

Martine Katz '99 lives in Tel Aviv. She is the Director of Marketing Communications at Smore.

Lee Landor '99 attended New Paltz and graduated with a degree in Journalism '06. She is a Senior Copywriter at McGraw-Hill Education and lives in Brooklyn. She is also a freelancer writer for Long Island Pulse Magazine, an animal rights activist and a world traveler who blogs about her

Natalie Borten '98 graduated FIT with a BS in Interior Design/Home Products Development '06. She is a Senior Design Consultant at Gracious Home in Manhattan.

Jonah Rubin '98 graduated from The University of Chicago with a BA in Latin American Studies '06 and he is a Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology. Jonah lives in Chicago.

Jonathan Stein '97 came to Israel to study after high school and stayed and made aliyah. He now lives in Efrat with his wife and three year old daughter. Jonathan works in web development in Jerusalem.

Wendy Kleidman '92 graduated Northeastern University with a degree in Marketing '2000. She resides and works in Miami at the Herman Real Estate Group with relocation customers from all over the world. Wendy is raising her twin boys Armand and Aidan.

Stephanie Weisbaum
Lazarus '92 attended HANC and the University of Albany. She received her Masters from New York University and continued studying at Queens College for administration and supervision. Stephanie and her husband have two children, Alyssa, (5) and Joshua, (2). She is an Assistant Principal at P.S. 139 in Rego Park and lives in Forest Hills with her family.

Eric Barna '92 is currently an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Eric is trained as an internist and spends the majority of his time caring for critically ill patients admitted to the hospital while teaching residents, and medical students. Concurrently, he is the Director of the fourth year curriculum in Internal Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Jesse Schiller '91 graduated from Clarkstown North High School. He attended Penn State University and earned his BA in Media Studies. Since graduation, he has lived in Los Angeles where he is a producer working predominantly in TV. His credits include, Scrubs, Cougar Town, Surviving Jack and Ground Floor as well as several new media projects, music videos and commercials. Jesse married his wife Jolie in May and they live in Ojai, CA.

Nicole (Abraham) Garber '91 graduated New York University with a degree in Individualized Study majoring in Liberal Arts '99. She is an elementary school teacher in New York. Nicole is married with three children and lives on Long Island.

Josh Blumenfeld '91 graduated from JTSA/Columbia University Joint Program '99 (Albert A. List College) with a BA/BA in Modern Jewish Studies/English Literature. He is an attorney working for The Legal Aid Society in Manhattan. Josh lives with his wife, Michelle and family in Port Washington.

Inbar Shalev Robbins '88 has been happily married for 15 years to Rich Robbins and has three sons; Jake (11), Tyler (9) and Chase (22 months). She lives is New Jersey and is very active in the school system as well as being a board member of her Temple, Perrineville Jewish Center, where she oversees the Hebrew school and plans programming for its students.

Daphna (Steinitz) Sadovnik '82 lives in Israel and is married to Ran. They have three children; Asaf (14), Omri (11) and Maya (6). Daphna is working part time for a software company and enjoying the good weather in Israel.

Robert Skolnick '82 attended Binghamton State University '86 and received his Finance MBA from San Diego State University '89. He is a Mortgage Banking Manager and lives in San Diego with wife and two sons.

Mark Weinstock '80 graduated from Stuyvesant High School '84 and The University of Rochester with a BS in Optical Engineering '88. He lives in Virginia.

Denny Levy '80 graduated from New York University with a BA and AA in Eco/Political and Lit/History '87. He is the CEO and Curator of The Museum of Interesting Things and lives in Manhattan.

Jill Ackerman '79 attended SSSQ through elementary school. She graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and then received her BA in Communications '85 from Boston University. Jill is a marketing professional and Head of Marketing at GTA.

Bruce Baer '77 received a BS in Chemical Engineering '85 from Cornell University and then his Ph.D in Chemistry '89 from UCLA. Bruce is a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Ariel Boverman '76 received her BA in Political Science/Psychology '84 from Queens College. Ariel's career is in Corporate Human Resources and she is a Vice President, Senior Human Resource Business Partner at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.

Ira Pastor '75 received his BS in Computer Science '83 from SUNY Albany and his MBA in Finance '93 from New York University's Leonard Stern School of Business. Ira works in IT as Director of Product Development. He is married and has two daughters. Ira and his family live on Long Island.

Randy Abrams '73 received his BS in Business Economics '82 from the University of Arizona. Randy is Service Coordinator at AMX Cooling & Heating in Pleasantville and lives in Mahopac. His daughter Laura was married October 12 at Lighthouse Point in New Haven, Connecticut and honeymooned in Greece.

Richard Hochman '73 graduated from Baruch College and received his BBA in Public Accounting '82 and a minor in Business Administration with a 3rd discrete area of concentration in the Computer Sciences. He graduated from Emory University School of Law '85. Richard practices law at his office in Syosset, Long Island.

Daniel Turetsky '73 is a Psychologist living in Northern Virginia with his wife and two sons and has loved his visits with classmates Ken Fisher and Mirit Schneider Berman this year.

Laurel Henschel '69 graduated from Smith College with a AB in Government '78 and received an MBA from Fordham University. She is Chief Administrative Officer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP located in Manhattan.

June Turetsky Turk '68 graduated from Hofstra School of Law and received her JD '81. She is a Principal Court Attorney with the Supreme Court of New York County.

Orrin Tilevitz '67 has been practicing law for almost 35 years and is married to his wife, Sarah, for almost 30. The have Baruch Hashem, two children and a grandchild, one living in Israel with her husband and the other starting a Ph.D program with hopes of making aliya when she finishes.

Bruce Stark '66 is a practicing ophthalmologist at Chester County Eye Care Associates in West Chester, PA. He has two sons; (19) and (23), both of whom attended Solomon Schechter Day School in Wynnewood, PA. Bruce has a radio show on WCHE 1520 AM called "Eye on Health" broadcast twice a month.

Lis Weiler '66 is married to her husband, Jeff for seven years. She has two wonderful sons, Adam and Steven Weiler. They both attended Schechter until they moved 17 years ago to Santa Clarita, California. She has two great step-kids and a grand baby. Lis has been working at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for six years. She helps veteran's get their disability benefits. Lis and her husband have an antique and collectibles business, really fun! In her spare time she loves to read, play word games, play cards and do crafts.

Dina Shiftan Mor-Yosef '65 lives in Jerusalem and has four children and five grandchildren.

Lavey Jay Derby '64 is currently the Director of Jewish Life at Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City, CA. Lavey attended the Joint Program with Columbia and the Jewish Theological Seminary and received his degree in Philosophy and Talmud. He was ordained at JTS '76. He resides in El Granada, CA.


Mazal Tov to Rachel (Stein) '00 and her husband, Jacob Benzaquen who welcomed their son, Isaac Julian (Yitzchak Eli) (above) on October 19.

Mazal Tov to Monica '99 and her husband, Scott Herman on the birth of their son, Coby (above) December 17, 2013.

Mazal Tov to Leora Skolnik '98 and her husband, Rabbi Lieutenant Yoni Warren on the birth of their daughter, Calanit Batya (above), born August 1, in Okinawa, Japan.

Mazal Tov to Melissa Tessenholtz '98, her husband, Tom and big brother John, on the birth of twin daughters, Paige and Michelle (above).

Mazel Tov to Adeena and Seth Wolkofsky '98 on the birth of their daughter, Noa Shayne.

Mazal Tov to Sean Liebowitz '97 and his wife, Meredith on the birth of their daughter, Emerson Harper.

Mazal Tov to Tara O'Brien '96 and her husband, Seth Rose on the birth of their daughter, Riley May (above).

Mazal Tov to Yonit Golub Serkin '96 and her husband, Yosef on the birth of Tal Gabriel (above), born February 11 in Tel Aviv.

Mazal Tov to Yaara Bank Plotkin '96 and her husband, Gabe on the birth of their daughter and Eytan's little sister, Carmel Clara (above), born April 13.

Mazal Tov to Dawn '92 and Austin Gans '92, on the birth of Derek Aidan (above), born August 25. Big sister Josie is so happy!

Mazal Tov to Benjamin Schiller '91 and his wife, Caryn welcomed their first child, Jacob Eli Schiller (above), born on July 27.

Mazal Tov to Shuki Khalili '88 and his wife, Olivia on the birth of their son, Shepard (above), born May 13. Shuki and his family live in San Francisco, where he heads a company that trains tech entrepreneurs.

Mazal Tov to Joseph Estrach '80 and his wife, Lisa on the birth of Ezra Jon (above), who was born November 13, 2013.


- Supports and advances the school’s alumni efforts and keeps alumni connected and engaged.

- Preserves and promotes a lasting relationship between current students, staff, families, alumni, alumni families, and the community

- Facilitates social programs, networking opportunities, and any other occasions that relate to connecting alumni and Schechter.

- Participates in fundraising to meet the school’s goals.

Thank you to the Alumni Council for input and ideas.

Thank you to our alumni and alumni parents for support and contributions to the Annual Campaign.

2014/2015 SSSQ Alumni Council members:

Richard Hochman '73
Ariel Boverman '76
Roni Grill Nadell '92
Rachel Klager '93
Yaara Bank Plotkin '96
Elana Jacob '00
Peter Wolfofsky '01
Scott Topal '02
David Beizer '04
Lara Pollack '05
Melissa Glassman '06
Mirielle Maor '06

Advisory Members:
Andy Bass '70
Barry Katzman '80
Rosalie Costa Soriano '87
Ziv Alcalay '86

Joining the alumni council is a way of reconnecting with your friends and making new contacts.

If you would like more information on how to get involved, please contact:

Naomi R. Horowitz
Alumni Coordinator
718 591-9800 ext. 323


Class of 2010

The Class of 2010 returned to SSSQ to celebrate their high school graduations and wish each other good luck in college.
Class of 2010 with Judith Aharoni, middle school Hebrew teacher.
Danit Maor, Kseniya Davydova, Fran Horowitz and Sara Glickman with their kindergarten teacher, Arlene Isserles.


Highlights of the current renaissance occurring at our school include:

• Thoughtful, integration of educational technology to enhance and even redefine learning with new chromebook laptops and Ipads available for all classrooms as well as the beginning of a roll out providing one chromebook laptop to every child in the school along with significant professional learning for our faculty on ways of effectively using the technology.

• A new, intensive student support program enabling us to meet the needs of students with a wide range of strengths and challenges far more effectively including a substantial grant to provide coaching for our faculty to improve quality of learning for students with many different needs.

• Revitalization of Jewish and student life, pearheaded by a new Rabbi-in-Residence; a position made possible by the Schechter Residency in Educational Leadership Fellowship, a grant from the Schechter Day School Network.

• An innovative kindergarten through eighth grade financial literacy curriculum and career related electives program for our seventh and eighth grades, preparing students in meaningful, relevant ways for the rapidly changing world of work they will inherit.

As we continue to strengthen our school, we will be reaching out to alumni for guidance and insight. We look forward to creating together ways in which you can be part of the exciting renaissance at Solomon Schechter School of Queens.

Please support your alma mater to secure to secure a bright Jewish future for our students.

For more information about ways to give, please contact Naomi R. Horowitz, at 718-591-9800 ext. 323 or email Naomi R. Horowitz.


As Alumni, your input is invaluable, and we want to keep in touch with you! If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to provide us with your updated contact information.

Would you like to be featured in an upcoming Alumni Newsletter, on our website/portal, in other SSSQ marketing materials? Share an essay or blog, submit photos, or tell us what you've been doing since your graduation.

All submissions should be sent to and include:

- Your name (please also include your maiden name, if applicable)

- Email address and phone number

- Address

- Year you graduated

* By submitting content, you are granting SSSQ the right to use said content in all Alumni-related materials.


What's Happening In Your Life?

Marriage? Promotion? New job? Relocating? Honors and awards? New degree? New addition to your family?

Send an email to and share your news with fellow alumni.


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We welcome your feedback about this newsletter. Please share your comments and suggestions with us by sending an email to Naomi R. Horowitz at
We regret any inadvertent errors or omissions