Administration

 

Rabbi Yaakov Green
Head of School

 

Before coming to Akiba, Rabbi Green served as the Head of School at the HF Epstein Hebrew Academy of St. Louis, MO. He was instrumental in improving the academics, re-accrediting the school, balancing the budget, hiring and supervising principals, teachers, and staff, fundraising, and building relationships within the larger community. Rabbi Green holds a master's degree in education with a concentration in technology in the classroom. He spent several years creating and developing educational programs, classes and multimedia curricula to inspire and educate in both the formal classroom setting as well as the informal world of youth programming. His innovative educational programs have been implemented at large teen conventions and in public school classrooms across North America. Prior to Epstein, Rabbi Green worked for five years at the Donna Klein Jewish Academy, a  K-12 community school, as the Principal of Judaic Studies of the High School.

 

Jordana Bernstein 
Director of Early Childhood Education

 

During the 10 years before Jordana Bernstein became the Early Childhood Director in 2006, she worked as director of the school's summer camp programs, created the "Mommy and Me" program and served as assistant director of Early Childhood and Recruitment/Retention. Since becoming the Early Childhood Director, Jordana has grown the Akiba Early Childhood Program to include Parent & Me classes, parenting seminars and a robust summer camp. Additionally, the Jewish Theological Seminary chose Akiba’s Early Childhood Program as one of five schools in the U.S., and the only school in Texas, to be part of the Jewish Early Childhood Education Research Collaborative. Jordana is a former Akiba student and holds a master's degree in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Texas. 

 

Rabbi Chanania Engelsman
Judaic Studies Principal K-8

 

Since coming to Akiba in 2018, Rabbi Chanania Engelsman helped implement the first 8th grade class trip to Israel, 21st century classroom seating and a new reading program. He came to Akiba from SAR Academy, where he taught Middle School Judaic Studies, including Tanach and Gemara, as well as developed a chesed (kindness) elective to encourage students to give back to the community. Before SAR, he taught in London for 5 years at Sacks Morasha JPS where he was Judaic Studies Coordinator for grades 2 through 5. At the same time, Rabbi Engelsman created and managed a Sunday School for advanced text study (Chumash, Mishna and Gemara) for middle school students. He learned for 5 years in Israel at Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshivat Hakotel where he received his rabbinical certification. He holds a master's degree in Jewish Education from Middlesex University in London.

 

Danielle Gershon
General Studies Principal K-8

 

Since she began at Akiba in 2018, Danielle Gershon has helped initiate computer-adaptive standardized tests, a new reading program and new technology for teachers and students. Prior to Akiba, Danielle spent 10 years at Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago where she distinguished herself as a faculty leader and champion for math. As JSTEAM Coordinator (Jewish, science, technology, engineering, art and math), she created, implemented and managed the program for the school. As 8th Grade Level Coordinator, she worked closely with the principal and guided the 8th grade teaching team. Danielle also served as a new teacher mentor. As a middle school math teacher, she implemented a new curriculum and taught accelerated geometry and algebra. Additionally, she ran the school's first ever accreditation process. Danielle also taught an annual course at Touro University's Blitstein Institute of Hebrew Theological College, teaching principles of math education to teachers. Danielle holds both a master's degree in secondary education of mathematics from Northwestern University and a master's degree in Jewish Professional Studies from the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Additionally, she has her certification in school administration from Concordia University in Chicago. 

 

Amanda Stubbs

Director of Ma'alot Learning Platform

Director of Exceptional Student Services

 

Amanda Stubbs serves as director of the Ma'alot Learning Platform, an initiative that will provide students with diverse learning needs the opportunity to realize their full potential. Amanda brings with her more than 10 years of experience working with children from diverse learning backgrounds in the Denison Independent School District. Her responsibilities there included developing curriculum, mentoring new teachers, serving as a lead teacher, developing and sustaining after-school programs, and staff training and development. She also provides guidance to local and state organizations on a variety of topics related to educating children. Amanda is a certified special education teacher, holds a master's degree in education and community renewal, and is currently pursuing a PhD in educational leadership with an emphasis in special education.

Andi Bonner
Director of Admissions

 

Andi Bonner has spent the last 6 years spearheading admissions, recruitment and retention at Akiba. She is a Schultz Family Israel Educational Leadership Fellow, a program of the Center for Jewish Education of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas that is made possible by the Schultz Family Foundation. Prior to Akiba, Andi held management roles in an employment consultant firm and at a school of advertising and design. Before moving with her family to the United States from South Africa, she received a bachelor’s degree in organizational behavior and Hebrew, and a master’s degree in Personnel Management from the University of the Witwatersrand.