Our Professional Staff
The professional staff of the Department of Education of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism will work with you and your school to align your program with your mission and strengthen your school in the ways that you need.
Dr. Elaine R. S. Cohen
is the Director of the Schechter Day School Network. She is the primary resource person and consultant to the Schechter Day School Network’s Board of Directors and its network of affiliated schools. A former Head of School of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union in New Jersey, she initiates and coordinates a number of inter-school initiatives, serves as the placement referral counselor for schools seeking a new professional leader, plans national and regional conferences and seminars, and guides schools through their various transitions as the need arises. Dr. Cohen works closely with the board to implement its strategic plan. She is a member of the planning committee of the Jewish Day School Conference, a transdenominational event that brings together a wide spectrum of day school leaders.
Dr. Jon Mitzmacher
the Schechter Network has appointed Dr. Jon Mitzmacher as its new executive director. Mitzmacher is a nationally recognized expert in the field of 21st-century learning, and his school, the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, a Schechter Network school, has done pioneering work in the field.
as our full-time Education Program Director & Network Weaver, Ilisa served with distinction as Head of the El Paso Jewish Academy for the last five years, is a current Ed.D. student at JTS, and comes out of the Day School Leadership Training Institute’s (DSLTI) fourth cohort.
is the early childhood specialist of the Department who works from Chicago. With expertise in the Jewish education of pre-school children, she consults with schools, parents, rabbis and teachers about curriculum, programs and developmental issues. She meets with and coaches early childhood educators seeking to deepen the Jewish content of their school’s program as well as the knowledge base of their teachers.
is a former educ ational director of a large congregational school in Philadelphia, Wendy works intensively with all the synagogue schools in North America that are affiliated with the United Synagogue. She guides them through placement when they are seeking a new educational director and counsels prospective candidates in search of a new position. She prepared and distributes a weekly posting of professional leadership vacancies each week during the placement season, from November through June. Wendy is also in charge of the Framework for Excellence project, raising the bar of expectations for student learning and helping congregational schools meet the new standards.
came to United Synagogue in 2008 after a career as a congregational school director. She oversees and facilitates the New Directors Institute for education directors of congregational schools, which brings together new leaders and prepares them for the challenges of their position. She also is responsible for the Ednotes list serve, providing information on administration, holiday programming, the latest educational research and news from the Conservative Movement. Sue serves as a consultant to synagogue schools across North America and has had a significant impact on the professional growth and development for hundreds of teachers and principals. Based in Cleveland, Sue is available to communities throughout the USA and Canada Through on-site visits and technology, she trains Jewish educators in the transmission of knowledge, strategies for effective teaching and administration, understanding about student learning, and curriculum support.
grew up in the Conservative movement and was active as a teenager and young adult in both USY and Camp Ramah. She graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, and earned an MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She was a teacher and administrator at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford for over twenty years and is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Jewish Educational Leadership at Northeastern University and Hebrew College. Galya looks forward to working with MaToK teachers in both curriculum and professional development.
Dr. Saul Wachs
has been working as a mentor teacher in the area of Tefillah and spirituality for more than twenty-five years. A professor at Gratz Cllege in Philadelphia and a hazzan by training, Dr. Wachs has had an impact on many hundreds of teachers and scores of Solomon Schecher Day Schools through his consulting visits across North America. A special arrangement with the SDS Network enables a number of affiliated schools to bring Dr. Wachs to their community each year where he works with the faculty on professional development in the areas in which he specializes and shares his expertise in model classes with children and in meetings with boards of trustees.
Board of Directors – 2012-2013 / 5774
Dr. Steven C. Lorch, (Head of School. Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan)
Jane Taubenfield Cohen (Director of Capacity Building, Yeshiva University’s University-School Partnership)
Rabbi Sheldon Dorph (Jewish Education Consultant, Tiburon, CA)
Dr. Judith Lax (former board chair, Summit, NJ)
Daniel Leibowitz, (Board Chair, SSS Manhattan, NYC)
Rabbi Mitchel Malkus (HOS, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville, MD)
Avi Baran Munro (HOS, Community Day, Pittsburgh, PA)
Dr. Michael Novey (former board chair, Krieger Schechter, Baltimore, MD)
Larry Pachter (former board chair, SSDS Chicago, Chicago, IL)
David Perla (Community Leader, Bergen County, NJ)
Rabbi Jim Rogozen (immediate past president, SDSN, Chief Learning Officer, USCJ)
Rabbi Jim Rosen (Community leader, West Hartford, CT)
Rabbi Laurence Scheindlin (past president Schechter Network, retired HOS, Sinai Akiba Academy, Lost Angeles, CA)
Eli Ungar (board chair, SSDS of Bergen County, NJ)
Bracha Werber (former board chair, SSS Queens, Long Island, NY)
Dara Yanowitz (Former board chair,Gross Schechter Day School, Cleveland, OH)