We are fortunate to have some of the most wonderful educators in the Capital District working with us.
Our teachers allow students to question freely, think critically, and learn to accept differences.
Personal choice shapes the students experience at Mifgash. Each semester, they choose two courses to study.
All of our classes are discussion-based, interactive, and thought-provoking.
Arnie Adler has served as an instructor at our Mifgash Jewish Community High School program since its earliest days back in 2008, enjoying the ever-changing and lively class discussions and the joy of meeting with our motivated and enthusiastic Jewish high school students on a weekly basis. The son of Hungarian Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, born in Israel and raised in the Bronx (before departing for the friendlier environment of the Capital Region), Arnie has discovered his passion for Jewish education at Mifgash. Arnie cherishes the opportunity to meet with our teenagers, sharing his love of the Jewish people, and our history, and reviewing the current events and societal issues that continue to have a profound impact on our Jewish teenagers and the Jewish community as a whole. Arnie is looking forward to a great year of learning together at Mifgash!
Stephanie is the Director of Clinical Services at Living Resources and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and CASAC Master (Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor). Stephanie holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from SUNY Albany and also a master’s degree from Gratz College in Jewish Education, and Jewish Studies, and a graduate certificate in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. In addition to clinical work, Stephanie enjoys the time spent with her family, cooking, traveling, and planning new projects. She has a deep connection to Judaism, Jewish identity, and a love of learning that she hopes to share with her students.
Dara has over 10 years of experience working with at vast array of clients from all ages and backgrounds. Her clinical practice is grounded in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), highlighting the impact someone’s thoughts have on their overall mood, while incorporating many other treatment modalities. Dara received her MSW from the School of Social Welfare at SUNY Albany and her MBA from SUNY Oswego. Dara Miller provides services as the Director of Clinical Services at Jewish Family Services of Northeastern NY.
Dara enjoys spending time with her family, including her four-legged children. When not working, you will find Dara riding her horse or hiking.
Sarah Toledano has been working in the nonprofit world since she graduated from college and is currently working for Siena College in The Center for Academic Community Engagement and as an adjunct in the Social Work Department. Sarah grew up in the Capital Region, she has been dedicated to Jewish Education throughout her life. She is a proud HACD graduate, she’s worked at Jewish nonprofits including MMCC in the Bronx and UJA Federation of New York, and she has worked in countless Hebrew schools. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Hunter College and a BA in Sociology from Fordham University. Sarah is dedicated to student leadership, interdisciplinary work, and educating the next generation of proud Jews.
Amy Rosenstrauch grew up in Troy, New York, and attended Skidmore College, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Studio Art. Her favorite medium is clay. She enjoys sharing her love of clay with students and watching them have a great time as their ideas take form whether they are creating a kiddush cup or modeling a sculpture. Amy began teaching art at the Hebrew Academy in 1996. As well as teaching at HACD, Amy teaches Sunday school art lessons at B;Yachad, Beth Emeth, and brings many creative activities to the residents at the Massry Assisted Living Residence.
Holding a BA and two masters degrees from SUNYA while teaching at Albany High School, Mr. Zucker has represented Apple Computer, Johnson Controls and Siemens Energy and continues as a consultant in matters of energy, corporate organizations and education. He has taught at RPI in their post MBA classes. He has been a volunteer in the ( IDF) Isrsel Defense Forces during the War in Lebanon snd the crises in Gaza. He has written five plays and performed in several others.
Daniel Bernstein, Esq. served as president of the Cardozo Society at Albany Law School, and
was a Board Member of the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center, Jewish Federation of
Northeastern New York, and Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York. In 2017, the
Jewish Federation of New York presented Daniel with the Samuel E. Aronowitz Young
Leadership Award. Daniel currently teaches high school social studies.
MIA & ALON (SHINSHINIM)
ShinShinim are a select group of promising Israeli high school graduates who choose to defer enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces to spend a year in Jewish communities around the world—a year known as Shnat Sherut (Service Year) or ShinShin for short.
We are welcoming our new 2023-2024 ShinShinim, Mia and Alon.
Mia and Alon come to us from cities outside of Tel Aviv—Mia is from Hod HaSharon and Alon is from Kfar Saba. Mia, a dancer, volunteer, "Swiftie," and middle sister, is looking forward to spending the next year in the Capital District making memories and lifelong connections.
Alon, a dog-loving adventure-seeker, is beyond excited about his journey and experience with our Jewish community. He's especially excited about seeing snowflakes fall for the first time (fingers crossed).
Rivi Bahir comes to us from Kfar-Saba, Israel. She relocated to Guilderland with her husband and their three children. Rivi graduated in Art and Graphic Design & Visual Communications and worked for ten years as an assistant artistic director in the graphic arts department of Israel's Yellow Pages. In addition to managing organizational projects and working in the design and management department, Rivi has led individuals and groups in sales and marketing. Today Rivi is the Hebrew teacher, Art &Graphic Design teacher at Maimonides Hebrew Day School, Administrative Assistant at B'Yachad, and Mifgash, Creative Art & Media Director at Mifgash, and Hebrew and cooking teacher at Mifgash. For the Mifgash 10th anniversary, Rivi published a cookbook that gathers the recipes she brought from Israel and taught our Mifgash students.
Rivi is a very caring, patient, and patriotic Israeli who wants to share her love of Israel and knowledge of Hebrew with Mifgash teens.
Ruth grew up in Albany, attended the Hebrew Academy, and moved to Israel at the age of 17 to study at Tel Aviv University. She took courses in Judaic Studies while majoring in Social Work. She went on to teach English to high school students in Givatayim, Israel. She was nominated by the Israeli Ministry of Education to teach special education high school students to prepare for and take the English Matriculation Exam. This was the first program of its kind in Israel and she was honored to be chosen.
Ruth married and raised her children in Israel for twenty years. In 2002, her family relocated to Albany. A dedicated Jewish educator, Ruth has contributed her skills to a number of Jewish schools and organizations in the Capital District. In 2002, Ruth began her tenure as an elementary teacher at the Hebrew Academy, where her responsibilities included coordinating the eighth-grade Israel trip. She also worked as the Cultural and Holiday Educational Coordinator at Congregation Beth Emeth's Religious School.
She holds the role of principal of B'yachad, the collaborative religious school of Congregation Ohav Shalom, and B'nai Sholom.
Mrs. Malka is the founding Director of Mifgash Jewish Community High School Program since its inception in 2006. She loves working with the teens, providing them with educational and social opportunities, and supporting their Jewish identities. She feels honored to work with the most talented, dynamic, and knowledgeable faculty. Ruth is noted for her creativity and ability to connect with students and colleagues, as well as her extensive knowledge and experience teaching Judaic and Hebrew studies. She is very proud of her children, her two sons who live in Israel, and two daughters who live locally.