Middle School Bios

Kim Favor
Middle School Director
Kim earned a Master’s in Teaching from National Louis University in Chicago, a Master’s of Arts in Theater from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Concordia University in Montreal. A native Canadian, Kim is fluent in French – and proficient in Hebrew.
Prior to working at Mandel JDS, Kim taught drama at Chicagoland Jewish High School and at Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company. While in Chicago, she taught sixth grade Language Arts and Literature and fourth-eighth grade Gifted Language Arts and Literature at Oliver McCracken Middle School in Skokie, just outside of Chicago.
After three years of teaching at Mandel JDS, Kim was chosen to be the school’s first Language Arts Department Chair, and the following year was promoted to the Director of Mandel JDS’s Middle School. With a theater and film background and experience in gifted instruction, she brings a wealth of skills and different perspectives to her classroom and to her work with her colleagues. While she works in a “general studies” department, Kim is thoroughly engaged in and committed to the Jewish foundation of the school; in this way, she embodies the integrated curricular philosophy of the school.
Jessica Horwitz
Science Teacher & Advisory Coordinator

Jessica Horwitz has been teaching at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School since 2015. Jessica teaches science in grades four through six, and develops social-emotional lessons for middle school students. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Middle Childhood Education (science and language arts) as well as her Generalist Endorsement for grades four through six. Jessica enjoys bringing creativity to the classroom, and incorporating the Middot of the Month into her daily lessons.

Dawn Hayes
Middle School Spanish Teacher

Dawn Hayes is thrilled to bring Spanish to the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School. She has sixteen years of teaching experience and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from St. Louis University. She has lived and studied in the beautiful city of Madrid. She has also served as a translator for volunteer doctors in El Salvador. When she's not creating materials for student learning, you can find her in the garden. Please stop by and say “hola” to Dawn.

Ray Hendricks
Math Teacher

Ray Hendricks is in his 9th year at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School as a Math teacher. Previously, he was a Middle School Math teacher in the Shaker Heights School District for 40 years. Ray graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics in 1969. He received  his Master’s Degree from Cleveland State University in Secondary Education in 1972. Ray is also certified to teach economics, computer and the Gifted and Talented. In his free time, Ray enjoys organic gardening and rooting for local professional sports teams.

Adam Joseph
Middle School Math Department Head 
Adam Joseph has been teaching 5th-8th grade math for the past five years at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School. He graduated from The Ohio State University in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Education and Human Ecology and from John Carroll University in May 2015 with a Master’s degree in Middle Childhood Education (Math and Social Studies). Adam looks forward to fostering collaboration and creativity in the classroom while solving real-world problems.
Adam Levine
Educational Administrative Coordinator & Language Arts Teacher

Adam Levine has worked at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School for seven years. Adam currently teaches both 7th and 8th grade Language Arts, and also serves as an advisor to 8th grade students. Adam recently graduated with Principal’s Licensure and a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Ursuline College, and prior to that, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Language Arts and Education from Ohio University.  In addition to teaching, Adam works on the Leadership Team as an Educational Administrator with a focus on collecting and analyzing data relevant to school programming.

Shelly Lewis
Social Studies / Math Teacher & Lower School Department Head

Shelly Lewis has been teaching several different middle school classes and is beginning her fourth year at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School.  She is currently teaching 8th grade Social Studies and 6th grade Math. Previously, she was a fifth grade teacher at Hilltop Elementary School in Beachwood. She retired after teaching for thirty-five years. She taught for thirty years in Beachwood, originally teaching seventh and eighth grade math and science. For twenty-seven years, she taught fifth grade including the accelerated math class. Shelly has also coordinated the Destination Imagination program for Beachwood City Schools for the past nineteen years. She graduated from Miami University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and is certified to teach grades 1st-8th. She completed a Master’s degree in Administration from John Carroll University and has her Gifted Endorsement from Cleveland State University.

Terri Kraus
Math Teacher

Terri Kraus is beginning her second year at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School. Having taught Math previously at both Beachwood Middle School and Beachwood High School, she has years of experience teaching Algebra and Geometry. She particularly enjoys working with middle school students who are taking these traditionally high school level classes. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University with a degree in Math Education, grades 7-12, Terri retired from full-time teaching several years ago. She likes to spend time with her grandchildren, who live in Los Angeles and St Louis, and, of course, their parents.

Meredith Murray
Middle School Science Department Head
Meredith Murray has been teaching at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day school since 2017. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Science Education from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from John Carroll University. Meredith teaches seventh and eighth grade science and is excited to continue exploring the natural world with her students.   
Elana Perlin
Middle School Judaics Teacher

Elana Perlin began teaching at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School four years ago. She studied psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and received a Master’s in Jewish Education from Hebrew College while learning at the Pardes Learning Institute, a pluralistic Yeshiva, in Jerusalem, Israel. Studying in Israel was a transformative experience and Elana enjoys sharing those experiences with her students.

Ronit Roth
Middle School Judaics Teacher

Ronit Roth graduated from the College of Jewish Studies at Siegal College in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education and Judaism. This is her 24th year teaching Hebrew and Tanach at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School. Ronit is in charge of the Shlichim Program that brings visiting teachers from Israel to Mandel JDS for two year teaching engagements. She helps them adjust to living in Northeast Ohio and guides them in their new roles in a zionist Jewish day school.

Ronit believes it is important that students feel proud of being Jewish. She strives to strengthen their Jewish identity and encourages their love and support for the land of Israel and the Hebrew language. Ronit believes that to be a successful teacher, one must instill the confidence in the student to ask questions. Ronit’s goal for our children stems from the idea that the more they know and learn, the stronger they will be in their lives.

Ben Stallsmith
Social Studies Department Head

Ben Stallsmith is beginning his 5th year at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School as a middle school social studies teacher, and currently teaches 6th & 7th graders. This year, he is taking on a new role as the Social Studies Department Head. Ben graduated from The Ohio State University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and completed his Masters in Education from OSU in 2014. Additionally, Ben has been a longtime camper, counselor and supervisor at Camp Wise.

Stacey Weber
Guidance Counselor

Stacey Weber has been a faculty member at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School for the past five years as the Middle School Guidance Counselor.  She is a Certified School Psychologist and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Miami University in 1995 and a Masters Degree in School Psychology from The Ohio State University in 1997. Since then, Stacey has worked in multiple school districts in the Cleveland area including Cleveland Heights, Chagrin Falls, and Warrensville Heights. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Lindsay Weitman
Middle School Language Arts Teacher

This is Lindsay Weitman’s second year as a middle school English teacher at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School. Lindsay has over ten years of teaching experience. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University and completed her Master’s Degree in Middle School (English and History) Education from Ursuline College. She spent the first ten years of her teaching career in Dallas, Texas. Lindsay is proud to be a faculty member at Mandel JDS.