Gussie Singer joined the faculty at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School in 2012 as the Director of Intervention Services. Previously, she was the Principal of the Edgewood Community School in San Francisco, CA, a school for students with learning disabilities. Before Gussie was an administrator, she enjoyed being a classroom teacher and a reading specialist, at different grade levels, second grade through high school, at the Edgewood Community School, where she worked for 12 years.
Although Gussie is originally from New York, her family relocated from San Francisco to Northeast Ohio, in 2012, because her husband, David joined the faculty at Kent State University. He is a professor of Geology, where he teaches and does research studying contaminants in the environment. David has enjoyed participating as a judge in the Mandel JDS Middle School Science Fair for several years. Gussie has two children who are proud Mandel JDS students.
Gussie graduated from San Francisco State University with a Masters Degree in Special Education and from Bates College with a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and Education. In her free time, Gussie enjoys baking, playing scrabble, making artwork, and playing in the yard with her kids. Gussie also has a very vibrant lay leadership life at her family’s synagogue, Congregation Shaarey Tikvah.
BatSheva Atkin joined at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School in 2013 as a member of the Learning Enhancement Team. She has a M.S.Ed. from NOVA Southeastern University, and holds an Ohio License as Intervention Specialist, Mild to Moderate, K -21. BatSheva is trained in the Lindamood-Bell Visualizing Verbalizing techniques, in addition to Orton Gillingham Reading and Language methods. Prior to joining Mandel JDS, she taught kindergarten for 11 years at a private day school. Previously, BatSheva was a software programmer for 22 years, and is adept in the use of assistive technology in an educational setting. BatSheva is also involved in Therapeutic Horsemanship and its benefits for students.
Paul earned a B.S. in Secondary Education from Auburn University in Auburn, AL, a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy degree from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN, and a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Lipscomb University in Nashville. (Students and colleagues alike are helping him build on his one semester of Hebrew in grad school.) He has 10 years of experience in public education, much of it as an elementary age Title I teacher, and 4+ years of experience working for a mental health agency as an in-home and school-based therapist. Paul has several years of experience teaching Group Behavior and Intro to Psychology courses at the undergraduate level.
Being a native of the Florida Gulf Coast, Paul misses the beaches immensely. He and his wife, Glenda, were married in 2004. She works in advancement for Lawrence School. Even though she grew up in Mayfield, she loves Florida beaches as well. Their two boys Caeden (teen) and Liam (preteen) were born in Tennessee and are enjoying growing up in Ohio. They moved to Macedonia in 2014 to be closer to Glenda’s family. The Bollings enjoy the outdoors and can’t wait for their next road trip, be it long or short. Paul finds great joy in being creative, whether through building something in the garage, visual art, writing, or music. He has played percussion instruments since the 6th grade and is pretty good! Paul is just ok at photography and cooking. During warmer weather, he finds a great escape in training for and running 5Ks.
He is hoping to not only counsel and teach at Mandel, but also to learn. When asked about his new position as Guidance Counselor at Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School, Paul has often responded, “This is actually kind of a dream job for me.”
Etti Berkman has taught at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School for over 20 years and since 2012 has been the Maayan program lead teacher for 1st through 8th grades. Etti has her Bachelor’s in Hebrew Language and Education from Bar Ilan University and a Master’s in Bible Studies from Siegal College in Cleveland, Ohio. Etti also earned a Family Educator certificate from Siegal College and a certificate in Biblical Philosophical Inquiry from the JECC in Cleveland, Ohio. When she’s not teaching, Etti enjoys cooking, designing jewelry, knitting, crocheting, and reading.
Dalit Burgess has 20 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist. She earned her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Emerson College in Boston and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and World Religions from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Throughout her career, she has worked extensively in both public and charter schools as well as in early intervention. She is a certified Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner providing structured multisensory reading and writing intervention on a robust foundation of language development. Dalit presented nationally at the American Speech and Hearing Association 2019 Convention. She aspires to help every student fulfill their potential through fostering and nurturing a sense of empowerment and uncovering their unique gifts. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature with her family.
Kim Farkas has taught at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School for over 20 years as a Judaics Teacher from Early Childhood through fourth grade. Kim attended the University of Arizona and graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor’s in Judaic Studies. She graduated from John Carroll University with a Master’s in Education in 1998. Kim spent a year studying at Niveh Yerushalayim. She is a past recipient of the Libby Braverman Award which recognizes significant contributions to Jewish education in Cleveland. Over the past 3 years, Kim has created a mini-Mussar (character development) program for children ages ten through high school. She started the program with six students and now have grown to four classes with more than 100 children.
Sarah Gall has taught at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School since 2020. She has previous experience teaching 2nd grade in Michigan and 4 years of Special Education here in Ohio. Sarah has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Eastern Michigan University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family. Sarah also enjoys dancing, fishing and spending time outdoors.
Seth Guren has been a teacher at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School since 2016. Seth teaches technology/engineering, entrepreneurship, health, and creative minds. This year he has expanded his role and is the school’s Stem Coordinator. Seth graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in History in 2003 and received his M.Ed. from John Carroll University in 2005. Seth’s teaching career began in the Beachwood school system as a substitute and a Special Education Assistant. During this time, Seth received his license in technology from Notre Dame College. After that, he went to Lorain City Schools and taught history. He then taught Social Studies for Ohio Virtual Academy and technology at Parma Community High School. Seth left Parma to help run a property management software company and go back to school to pursue his special education license. Seth has also coached numerous sports for Beachwood schools and taken various courses to continue his education. If Seth is not at school or coaching, he is playing or watching sports (with Caleb). Go Bucks, Go Browns, Go Cavs, and Go Tribe.
David Ianiro has been teaching Physical Education at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School since 2017. He graduated from Bluffton University in 2014 while majoring in Early Childhood Education and Child Development. During his tenure at Bluffton University, David was also a member of the baseball team for four years where he broke two school records as a pitcher. David has been a Sports Director at Beechmont Country Club’s Day Camp for the last eight years. In his free time, David enjoys watching sports, weight training, and watching movies.
Alice Kessler has been teaching art at Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School since 2014. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 with a Master’s degree in Art Education. She passed the four year Ohio licensure assessment in 2017, advancing to the five-year license in 2018. Before deciding to pursue art education, she was employed for five years as a Web Designer and continues to work as a Freelance Graphic Designer in her spare time. In 2007, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from the Cleveland Institute of Art. As an art educator, she enjoys fostering creativity and critical thinking skills, as well as inspiring young minds about the power of visual art in its many forms.
Toby joined Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School in 2019. She has a Bachelor's degree in Speech-Language Pathology and a Master's in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Tel Aviv University. She holds an Ohio teaching license in the field of TESOL. She recently returned to the U.S. from a six-years of living in Israel, where she taught ESL at two middle/high schools in Jaffa and one non-profit organization for asylum-seeking adults. When she's not at Mandel JDS, Toby loves doing yoga, gardening, and playing with her nieces and nephews. She has three cats which she brought with her on the plane home from Israel.
Israeli Dance Teacher
Stuart Meyer is always excited to bring Israeli dance to the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School and has been teaching since 2013. Stuart also directs the all new Mandel JDS Israeli Dance Festival each year at Yom Ha'atzmaut. Stuart has been teaching and leading Israeli dance throughout the Northeast Ohio area for over 25 years, including weekly classes at the Mandel Jewish Community Center of Cleveland. Stuart has danced professionally with the Shalhevet International Folk Ensemble (’81-’93), Csárdás Dance Company (’94-’04), and Dance Israeli! ('06-'18). Appearances include Cleveland Opera, Playhouse Square, Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland Convention Center, Beck Center for the Arts, WJW Morning Exchange, Fox Morning Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Budapest Hungary, and the Karmiel Festival (Karmiel, Israel). In 2006 he founded Dance Israeli! and serves as its’ Artistic Director. When not dancing, Stuart is an engineer and holds degrees in Engineering & Applied Science (B.S) from Caltech and in Biomedical Engineering (M.S.) from C.W.R.U.
Gina has been working as a pediatric nurse for the last 10 years, since graduating as a Registered Nurse. She has a passion for helping children and her background includes Pediatric Homecare, Pediatric Dialysis, the Pediatric ER, and working as the advice nurse for most of the pediatric offices in Cleveland. She also recently earned her certificate as a Certified Pediatric Nurse. Gina is excited to join the Joseph & Florence Mandel JDS as the school nurse. Her three children also attend the school: Emma is in second grade, Lexi is in Gan Alonim, and Ethan is in Gan Garin. She looks forward to making our school her new home and helping take care of our students.
Allison Ritley has taught Music at Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School since 2012 and has also taught Entrepreneurship in the Middle School since 2017. Allison holds degrees in Piano Performance from Miami University and The University of Toledo and earned a Master's degree in Music Education from The University of Akron. She has been a private lesson teacher since 1995 and has been active with community theaters and community orchestras throughout the Cleveland area.
Beth Robbins has been an Intervention Specialist at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School since 2014. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Boston University and a Master’s degree in Early Intervention from Wheelock College. Previously, Beth was an Intervention Specialist at Hanna Perkins, a Segula Aide at The Agnon School, and a preschool teacher at Park Preschool. Beth learned ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy when working privately with a family and has one more course to take for an Autism certificate from Cleveland State University.
David Steinweg has served as a consulting psychologist at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School for 20 years. His work at Mandel JDS is made possible through the Jewish Day School Counselor program of Bellefaire/JCB. David is also the consulting psychologist for several other independent schools in the area and has a private practice. Previously, he was Clinical Director at the Children’s Aid Society and Director of Training at Applewood Centers. He graduated from State University of New York at Buffalo in 1992 with a Ph.D. in counseling psychology. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar, hiking, photography, and time with family.
Barbara Taub earned her Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto. Prior to that, she studied psychology at Bar Ilan University. Barb has 20 years of experience working in the field of pediatric occupational therapy. She has worked in schools and private clinics in Toronto, New York, and Cleveland. Having pioneered the role of occupational therapist at Mandel JDS three years ago, she enjoys working with students, teachers, and parents to optimize student learning and engagement. In her free time, Barb loves to spend time with her family.
Sarah Tomasulo has recently joined the fourth grade team at Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School. She has previous experience teaching Pre-Kindergarten at the Jewish Community Center and taught Kindergarten at Harvard Avenue Performance Academy. Sarah has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education (Pre-K-3rd grade) and a Bachelor’s degree in Mild to Moderate Intervention Specialist (K-12) from Notre Dame College. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family. Sarah loves going on hikes and taking her dogs to the beach. Sarah has a German Shepard Husky named Echo and a Siberian Husky named Princess Leia.