Known for her creativity, vision and professionalism, Mrs. Zerykier brings two decades of experience in the field of Jewish education to YSZ HS. She was the founding principal of Shulamith High School for Girls, the founder of Think Consulting Co and a teacher at Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School. Mrs Zerykier is passionate about creating a warm student culture that truly educates students from head to heart. Always thinking outside the box, she is dedicated to creating an environment inspired by Torah, infused with kedushah, energized by intellectual curiosity, and imbued with a growth mindset.
Mrs. Zerykier’s commitment to 21st -century innovative learning and broad thinking about curriculum planning and design, inspires students and teachers alike to improve and redefine the educational experience and most importantly, themselves.
Like her students, Mrs. Zerykier is always learning. She holds a teaching certificate from Bnos Chava Seminary in Jerusalem, a bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University, a master’s degree from Brooklyn College, a certificate from the Principal’s Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School for Education and is finishing her doctorate at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Education in Educational Leadership. Mrs. Zerykier has refined her leadership skills through participation in the Educators Fellowship Program with Hebrew University, the ELAL Leadership Fellowship with Bar Ilan University and the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI) with the Davidson School.
Rabbi and Mrs Zerykier live with their four sons, Moshe, Binyamin, Coby, and Yosef in North Woodmere and daven at Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz’s shul, Beis HaKnesses of North Woodmere (BKNW).
After attending Bais Yaakov Seminar in Yerushalayim, Mrs. Brody earned her teaching certificate so she could spread the joy of knowledge to others. She received a B.A. from Excelsior College with a focus in Judaic Studies. She continued on her scholarly path to earn a Master’s Degree in Education from New York Institute of Technology. Since then, Mrs. Brody has been a special education teacher for the past three years and looks forward to bringing her skillset to the student body at YSZ. She is a firm believer in continued education and has taken part in many specialized courses since completing her degrees! Mrs. Brody describes herself as “… someone who is always looking for more professional development opportunities” in order to “learn more.” She respects that students differ greatly in their learning abilities, styles and strengths. It is her mission to make sure that every student feels successful and that they are able to note the ways in which they succeed. In her opinion, all students are bestowed with talent and capacity. This core belief guides Mrs. Brody’s approach to teaching. When she is in the classroom, she is on the lookout for ways to further encourage and support the individual needs of her students. Mrs. Brody will be teaching halacha to all grades. One of her favorite pastimes is creating floral arrangements, both for her home and for others to enjoy.
Our new Hebrew and Arts teacher, Mrs. Dan-Didio, is a creative force! Mrs. Dan-Didio, who is originally from Israel, moved to New York with her family as a young teen. She speaks both Hebrew and English at home, and she visits Israel as much as she can with her family. After schooling in Far-Rockaway, Mrs. Dan-Didio attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan where she majored in Jewelry Design as well as Animation, Interactive Media and Game Design. She holds minors in Art History and Spanish. Though passionate about designing jewelry, her avocation is centered on Film Animation. Her imaginative mind is always at work. Indeed, Mrs. Dan-Didio is a Summa Cum Laude graduate and recipient of the Dubinsky-Appleton Scholarship Award. She is also a winner of the Scott Kay Contest—an award which validates the caliber of her artistic strength, intelligence and talent. Mrs. Dan-Didio is proficient in: Microsoft Suite; Google Suite; Adobe Photoshop; Adobe After-Effects; Adobe Premiere-Pro; Autodesk Maya, and Pixologic Zbrush. She loves to teach life-drawing, portraiture, and Graphic Design. Mrs. Dan-Didio loved being a student at Torah Academy for Girls High School and continues her love of learning by engaging in as much continuing education as possible. In fact, if Mrs. Dan-Didio has her way, she will remain a teacher and a student for the rest of her life. Her joie de vivre and expertise will surely bring artistic sophistication to YSZ’s learners!
Ms. Nili Greenberg will be returning to the YSZ HS teaching staff this year as a Chemistry, STEM, and English teacher. Ms. Greenberg, author of a number of noted medical papers, has a background in teaching and mentoring young people and firmly believes in learning science through a Torah lens. Always committing herself wholly to any project she takes on, she is eager to share her vast knowledge and expertise with students, inviting them to explore the world around them, and encouraging them to carry out their own research to discover new ideas. Ms. Greenberg brings with her a wealth of experience. Not content with completing her B.A. in biochemistry at Stern College, she went on to expand her horizons at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she completed her master’s in biomedical sciences. Never one to back down from a challenge, Ms. Greenberg is uniquely qualified to direct our robotics club, providing some fascinating glimpses into the world of robots, and helping her students build their creativity and problem-solving skills, as well as develop real competence in engineering
Mrs. Shoshana Kent, our Jewish History, Pirkei Avot, and Tehillim teacher, arrives at YSZ HS with a wealth of experience teaching at all levels. Growing up in Michigan, she studied at Chemdas Bais Yaakov Seminary and obtained her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, on the way discovering that she had an ability to connect with young people. This is how she became a teacher of Limudei Kodesh, science, and math in a number of settings, including special needs.
Mrs. Kent brings to her lessons a determination to help her students succeed, and she forms lasting connections with them through their classroom learning. She looks beyond externals, and taps into the neshamah of every student, helping to bring out the potential of each one.
Always eager to learn, Mrs. Kent is a trained lifeguard and enjoys ice skating and hiking. And if you ask nicely, 20 she might just tell you about the time she built a twelve-foot airplane.
Mrs. Friedman, an enthusiastic Mathematician, joins the faculty of YSZ with almost a decade of experience teaching high school under her belt. Born and raised in Queens, Mrs. Friedman attended Michlalah for Seminary and then went on to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Queens College. She furthered her education by completing a Master’s Degree in Secondary Math Education from Touro College. Mrs. Friedman is well-versed in Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. She uses engaging lessons to help students fully engage in the field of Mathematics. Her work at Shevach High School, YU High School for Girls, and her experience working with P3 students has equipped Mrs. Friedman with the ability to help YSZ’s girls unlock their full potential. Mrs. Friedman states that: “Teaching runs in my blood, as my mother is also a math teacher!” As a mother of five children, including high school-aged kids, Mrs. Friedman understands how to connect with YSZ students while allowing them to work in a conducive and stress-free learning environment that fosters personal growth and success. The powers for intellectual understanding that exist within the realm of Mathematics are exciting and Mrs. Friedman intends to harness her passion for the field to enhance the thinkers who comprise YSZ. Outside the classroom, Mrs. Friedman enjoys reading books and improving her culinary skills through baking.
YSZ is pleased to welcome Ms. Quintana to its community of learners. Ms. Quintana, who holds an M.S. from Quinnipiac University, will be teaching Geometry and 9th grade Biology/Living Environment. An honors scholar in the disciplines of biomedical science, immunology and microbiology position Ms. Quintana to be a terrific teacher for any student who is interested in medicine, biological sciences and mathematics. In addition to her scholarly pursuits in biomedical science, Ms. Quintana is passionate about sociology, the well-being of animals, and spending time beside the ocean — she has penchants for sharks and aquatic science. Her expertise in all things science led her to conduct research on Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurological diseases that affect the human brain, and thus she is deft at teaching how to vet hypotheses and use controls to solve scientific questions. Always a giver, Ms. Quintana is in the process of starting a non-profit organization that assists the geriatic population in her community. Talk about manifesting YSZ’s values and putting them to purpose! For those of you who love the benefits of exercise, please take note: Ms. Quintana has been a dancer for seventeen years. She has mastery in ballet, tap, jazz and pointe. Ms. Quintana finds joy in movement and appreciates its benefits to well-being and its positive impact on health. Ms. Quintana empowers students to be their best and is nimble in building self-confidence in learners in and outside the classroom. Ms. Quintana is a mentor who brings insight and skill to our amazing school.
Mrs. Kitzia Pahlaef, assistant principal of the YSZ girls’ elementary school, is joining us as ninth-grade Parsha teacher. Born and raised in Queens, she set her heart on teaching when she was just a first grader, and embarked on a journey to follow her dreams by learning in Maalot Seminary, obtaining her bachelor’s degree in psychology, and earning her master’s and certification in general and special education. Joining YSZ HS has been one of her best decisions, as she connects and grows with her talmidot over the years.
Mrs. Pahlaef helps her students uncover, analyze, and connect to the deep messages of the Nevi’im, and together they explore how their lessons are relevant to our own times.
Students in Mrs. Pahlaef’s classroom learn to grow emotionally, socially, and intellectually, as their teacher encourages them to see their own uniqueness, work on self-improvement, and develop skills that will serve them well beyond the four walls of the classroom.
Mrs. Pahlaef loves singing and telling stories, a fact that no doubt benefits her students immeasurably.
Mrs. Shepard is deeply enthusiastic about the pursuit of knowledge! She brings a wealth of knowledge to YSZ through her mastery of Jewish history, and in her ability to foster connections between students and the time periods they study. Mrs. Shepard encourages YSZ girls to ask questions and to feel at ease while noting “ah-ha” moments that pop up through classroom participation and dialogue. Most recently, Mrs. Shepard taught at Bais Yaakov of Boston for two years after working at Torah Academy for Girls where she also engaged young women in the study of Ancient, Medieval and Modern Jewish History. A lifelong learner, Mrs. Shepard grew up in multiple Jewish communities and took her love of heritage with her to college where she explored History, ultimately earning an M.A. in the field. The result of her deep contemplation and hard work is expertise in: Limudei Kodesh, Megillat Esther, Sefer Yirmiyahu, Trei Asar, Sefer Devarim, and Jewish and World History. She loves teaching each of these subjects and feels proud when her students flourish. In addition to the pleasure she derives from the acquisition of knowledge, Mrs. Shepard uses her unique talents as a seamstress and knitter to keep busy. She believes that the tactile nature of creating things from start to finish, assists her in achieving “balance.” During her free time, Mrs. Shepard cannot resist constant enrichment of her mind. A true learner, she will teach History at YSZ and very much looks forward to a year defined by joyous learning.
Mrs. Sklar will be joining YSZ as the new Student Activities and Events Coordinator. She is full of creativity and fun and always wants to make things beautiful. Mrs. Sklar loves connecting with people of all ages, inspiring them and learning with them. She believes that every person is a Tzelem Elokim and has so much to offer, and can’t wait to meet the girls of YSZ! After completing a year of intensive study in Israel at Mesores Rochel Seminary for Teachers and earning a teachers certificate, Mrs. Sklar went on to teach 9th Grade Navi in Bais Yaakov High School of Chicago. She has been a counselor and head counselor to girls from elementary through high school, and has given many workshops to high school girls. She will be teaching a Tefillah Elective at YSZ this year, as well as running the Dance and Drama Clubs. Mrs. Sklar loves all things music – she loves to sing and dance, as well as acting, drawing and painting. When she has a spare minute, she is usually found reading anything she can get her hands on, or talking to a friend.
Mrs. Wasser is excited to be joining the faculty at YSZ HS this upcoming year. She will be teaching Algebra 1, Math Lab, and a Tehillim elective. Mrs Wasser loves teaching and is dedicated to her students’ success. Mrs. Wasser’s expertise and skill allows her to take difficult concepts and break them down into smaller, manageable steps. Mrs. Wasser’s parents are both educators and her passion has always been to be a teacher and educate the next generation of students.
Mrs. Wasser believes that every student has tremendous abilities and potential. Effort leads to success. By trying one’s best and davening, Mrs. Wasser believes her students will see results. Mrs. Wasser believes that everything we learn in school can help us reach our potential as Ovdei Hashem. Mrs. Wasser wants her students to understand that even math can help stretch our minds and can help us think more logically and deeply.
Mrs. Wasser attended Bnos Sarah Seminary in Israel, went to Lander College of Arts and Sciences in Flatbush and received her degree in mathematics. She is currently working towards her masters and teacher certification in math education for 7-12th grade from the Touro Graduate School of Education. When she’s not teaching, Mrs. Wasser likes to take walks, bake, sing, learn, and play frisbee and play with her baby.
Mrs. Turk is a highly skilled teacher who enjoys developing young minds to question, analyze and think deeply about important Hashkafic ideas. Her passion for teaching emerged from her own love of learning, and the experience of how learning Torah and Mussar strengthened her Emunah and connection with Hashem. Her ultimate goal is to help her students develop their own unique appreciation for Torah through a learning process that emphasizes critical thinking and active participation. Mrs. Turk believes that Torah learning is a journey, and with the proper skills development, students can engage joyfully in a true exploration for Emet.
Mrs.Turk is also passionate about music, composition, and the performing arts. She has directed multiple high school plays and she strongly believes that music is an expression of the soul. She feels privileged to give workshops on the Hashkafa of music in schools throughout the country, and she runs a professional high school choir called “Regesh” with girls from BY schools throughout the tri-state area.
Mrs. Turk’s formal education continued past high school as she engaged in text-rigorous seminary, Machon Raaya, and traversed independent learning for pleasure. Mrs. Turk received a B.A. from Touro College in Psychology and then completed 35 graduate credits in School Psychology at Brooklyn College where she received extensive training in assessment and diagnostics. Mrs. Turk also holds a master’s degree in Jewish Education & Jewish Special Education from Touro College. She will be the 11th Grade Mechanechet, as well as teaching 11th Grade Chumash; 11th Grade AP Psychology; 10th Grade Machshava; Choir Club; and will lead YSZ’s Learning Center. We proudly welcome her aboard!
In describing herself, Ms. Weiss reveals that she is passionate about learning and points to the intellectual growth she derives as a devotée of studying the arts and sciences. Ms. Weiss’s decision to become an educator was fostered by the inspiration she gained under the tutelage of a remarkable teacher who made an imprint in her mind in 8th grade. Ms. Weiss took her newly-minted passion to explore more topics at Torah Academy of Boca Raton, Florida and onto Hadar High School for Girls. She is currently a member of the Stern Honors Program where she pursues intellectual enrichment and her love of knowledge in order to emulate the best practices as someone who guides others. She has experience teaching: Aleph Bet, Kibbud Av Vaim, and Pirkei Avot. She has als worked as a Camp Counselor who focused on the dramatic arts and kinesthetic movement for stage and theatrical endeavors. Ms. Weiss received her teaching certificate from Bais Yaakov Machon Raaya and was Valedictorian at Bais Yaakov Machon Raaya Seminary in Israel. She was awarded the distinction of being an AP Scholar — to receive the award of AP Scholar, a student must have completed and taken the AP test in at least five fields whilst earning a score of four or five on each AP Examination. Ms. Weiss is a giver and loves to support others. She is devoted to helping people who have special needs, playing piano music to nursing home residents and being a team player. This is seen in her leadership as Captain of an Intramural Basketball Team where she enjoyed the success that comes from working as a member of a team. Ms. Weiss can’t wait to inspire girls who attend YSZ by utilizing the values and commitment to excellence she adheres to! Ms. Weiss sees beauty in helping others grow spiritually and educationally and is therefore a wonderful addition to our teaching team. Ms. Weiss will be teaching Yeshayahu and Yirmiyahu to tenth graders.
Exuding positivity and enthusiasm, Mrs. Yachnes looks forward to joining the faculty at YSZ HS. A previous member of the Yeshiva Day School of Las Vegas teaching faculty, Mrs. Yachnes gained experience in a large range of classrooms as she taught the 5th – 8th grade girls. Mrs. Yachnes is excited to meet the students at YSZ HS, and looks forward to teaching Parshat Hashavuah to the 10th grade.
After a year of intensive study in Israel, Miss Yachnes earned a teaching certificate from the Bnos Sara Teachers Institute. Upon her return to the US, she earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from New York’s Excelsior College. She feels she can better understand her students and help them believe in themselves by enabling them to push past their limitations.
Some of Mrs. Yachnes’ hobbies outside of teaching are acting, singing, playing guitar, and hiking. Previously she scripted, directed, and produced a Middle School Musical titled “Take Me Home” that made waves in the community for weeks after. With a passion for creativity, Mrs. Yachnes was the Summer Director of Project Seed Girls. A dedicated staff member in camps Nageela Orlando and Agudah Midwest, Mrs. Yachnes loves watching her girls blossom into confident young adults. Mrs. Yachnes is currently pursuing her Masters of Education in Digital Learning Design and Leadership from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Mrs. Yachnes is thrilled to meet everyone!