Rabbi Yonatan Admoni
Chairman of Hebrew Language Department
Rabbi Yonatan Admoni is the grandson of Rabbi Yaakov Mizrahi, a former member of the Israeli Government. He graduated from Mirrer Yeshiva, and continued to Mirrer Kollel, where he studied for 16 years. The Rabbi received Semicha in 2003. He has been a member of the New York Board of Rabbis since 2008.
After leading as the Head Rabbi at the Staten Island congregation of Ohr Torah for four years, the Rabbi continued his career at Bet Shaul U’Miriam Congregation in Brooklyn, as Assistant Rabbi, and is now the Rabbi of his own synagogue, Otzer Hatorah. He administers daily morning classes in Gemara, evening classes on a wide array of topics, and delivers lectures on Shabbat and holidays. Rabbi Admoni joined YDE at its inception and is a vital part of its fabric. In addition to teaching a full schedule of Humash and Hebrew, Rabbi Admoni is the Chairman of the Hebrew Language Department at YDE, and oversees and conducts the preparation for the “Honors Program Yerushalmi Exam,” which is administered by Bar Ilan University.
Rabbi Raymond Azrak
Rabbi Raymond Azrak grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from Shaare Torah High School. He studied in Mikdash Melech Jerusalem for three years. After marriage, he spent a few years in Israel in various Kollelim studying under many great Rabbis, including Rabbi Shemuel Pinhasi.
Upon returning home to Brooklyn, Rabbi Azrak joined Rabbi Max Maslaton’s Kollel in Keter Sion. He learned there for ten years, earning his Semicha. He has been teaching morning, night and Shabbat classes to young adults in Ahi Ezer Torah Center for many years. Rabbi Azrak teaches tenth grade Gemara at YDE.
Rabbi Avi Bensoussan
Director of Student Achievement
Rabbi Avi Bensoussan earned his Semicha from Yeshivat Torat Simha in Jerusalem. He also completed the Ner L’Elef Rabanut Program where he received training in substance abuse counseling and behavioral counseling. In addition, he completed the Ner L’Elef Hinuch Program, an advanced training program for Menahalim. Upon his return to New York, Rabbi Bensoussan received his master’s in educational leadership and began his career in Hinuch at Magen David Yeshiva High School. Aside from teaching, Rabbi Avi co-founded the Sunday Morning Torat Haim program, while serving as the Mashgiah Ruhani and functioning as Ninth Grade Dean. Furthering his education in Hinuch, Rabbi Bensoussan received certification from the Ohel Guidance Course, a program specializing in substance abuse counseling, conflict resolution and facilitating special education. Rabbi Bensoussan is our Director of Student Achievement, academic programs, student development, extracurricular activities and coordinator of special education services.
Rabbi Naftali Braunstein
Director Judaic Honors Program
Rabbi Naftali Braunstein grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and attended local Yeshivot. He is the son of the famed Mrs. Zahava Braunstein A”H, who was instrumental in teaching and guiding the women and girls of the Syrian community in Brooklyn for many years. He spent many years in Israel, before and after marriage, where he trained as a Rabbi, and taught and mentored in various different Yeshivot. Rabbi Braunstein moved back to America, and served as Rosh Yeshiva/Dean of Students in the Yeshiva in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Rabbi Braunstein joined YDE at its inception, and currently heads the YDE Bet Midrash track and is Director of the Judaic honors program. He teaches classes to all grades in Honors Judaic Studies, serves as Mashgiah Ruhani to the Yeshiva, and is the Judaic faculty advisor.
Rabbi Avi Churba
Rabbi Avi Churba was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended Yeshivat Chaim Berlin. He spent his formative Kollel years teaching and learning with businessmen who wanted to enhance their Torah Studies. Rabbi Churba is currently the assistant Rabbi at Shaare Rahamim, and deals with all the issues that the position comes along with. He is also very involved in the Congregation Shaare Rahamim Publication series, including authoring many Halachic pamphlets on the holidays of the year, and writing, editing, and designing a Sephardic English linear translation Siddur. Rabbi Churba brings his considerable talents and excitement to YDE, where he teaches twelfth grade Gemara.
Rabbi Isaac Chwekeh
Rabbi Isaac Chwekeh was born in Aleppo, Syria, and resided there until the age of nine. He then immigrated to the United States, and continued his education at Yeshivat Ateret Torah. After studying in Israel during his first year of marriage, the Rabbi returned to settle back into the heart of Flatbush, assuming a rabbinical position at Congregation Shaare Zion. Rabbi Chwekeh currently runs a Shabbat minyan and delivers daily morning and night classes in the Torah Center of Shaare Zion. Rabbi Chwekeh joined YDE at its inception, and is currently teaching ninth grade Gemara.
Rabbi Norman Cohen
Senior Grade Advisor
Raised in Deal, New Jersey, Rabbi Norman Cohen joined YDE with many years of education and experience in the fields of Hinuch and management. Rabbi Cohen attended community schools in Brooklyn, New York and went on to study in BMG Yeshiva in Lakewood, New Jersey. Rabbi Cohen served as Youth Director of Deal Shul for seven years. He also served as a Hazzan in Deal Shul, as well as assistant Rabbi and Hazzan in Congregation Magen Abraham. Rabbi Cohen has been the owner and head counselor of Camp Dan in New Jersey, for over fifteen successful years. His teaching experience includes four years as a Rabbi in Yeshivat Ohel Torah. Rabbi Cohen is our Senior Grade Advisor and Israel coordinator, and assists with other administrative functions.
Rabbi Nathan Escava
Rabbi Nathan Escava is an experienced Rabbi who brings many years of dedicated service to YDE. Rabbi Escava began his education in Magen David Yeshiva in Brooklyn, and continued to Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, Maryland. He then went on to study in Mirrer Yeshiva of Israel. After returning to Brooklyn and studying in the Kollel of Yad Yosef Torah Center, he received Semicha under Hacham Asher Hachuel. Rabbi Escava is currently a Rabbi in Bet Yaakob Congregation. He teaches adult and young adult classes in Gemara, Halacha, Parasha, and Navi. He is also an accomplished Mohel, who has been serving our community and beyond for over ten years. Rabbi Escava currently teaches Navi at YDE High School.
Rabbi David Esses
Rabbi David Esses grew up in Brooklyn in the heart of the community. He attended Yeshiva of Flatbush Elementary School and graduated Magen David High School. He continued his education in Ner Israel Rabbinical College for the next four years, graduating with a bachelor’s degree. He has been teaching in Shaare Zion Torah Center since 2003, and is a vital part of the adult Torah center. He has received Semicha from both Rabbi Mordechai Maslaton and Rabbi Shemuel Pinhasi Shlita. Rabbi Esses is involved in translating and editing various sefarim, and has authored a sefer in Halacha as well. He is currently on staff as a beloved Gemara and Halacha Rabbi.
Rabbi Ralph Gindi
Rabbi Ralph Gindi, a Magen David graduate, is teaching advanced Gemara to the eleventh grade honors students. Rabbi Gindi is known for his excitement and enthusiasm in the classroom, and for his expertise in giving over the very difficult material in an understandable manner. Much more than just a classroom Rabbi, he patiently guides the boys in the Bet Midrash, coaching them in the intricacies of Habruta learning and preparation. Rabbi Gindi also serves as the Shabbat Rabbi of the YDE building minyan, which has seen incredible growth and success. His speeches on Shabbat are eagerly awaited, and he is a Rabbi that is building a personal connection with all those who attend the Shul.
Rabbi Leon Hazan
Rabbi Leon Hazan was raised in West Long Branch, New Jersey, where he attended Hillel Yeshiva through eighth grade. He then enrolled in Yeshivat Shaare Torah High School, graduating as valedictorian in both Judaic and General Studies. After high school, he studied in Mikdash Melech Yeshiva of Jerusalem and in Pace University. After marriage, he continued his Torah studies in Kollel- first at Yeshivat Ateret Torah and then at the Yad Yosef Torah Center, where he received his Semicha. For the over five years, Rabbi Hazan has been a leader of Yad Yosef Torah Center’s College Program, where college students continue their Torah Studies on an advanced level while attending local colleges. He joined YDE in its second year, and is now teaching various Judaic classes throughout the day. Rabbi Hazan lives in Brooklyn with his wife and children, where he is involved in the community as a Rabbi and teacher.
Rabbi Eli Kuessous
Rabbi Eli Kuessous, son of the late community leader, Rabbi Moshe Kuessous A”H, was raised in Deal, New Jersey, and attended Yeshiva in Riverdale, New York. After finishing his studies in Israel, Rabbi Kuessous was part of Rabbi Bitton’s Syrian Kollel in Lakewood, New Jersey for close to nine years. From there he went on to teach at a Sephardic post high school Torah program in Monsey, New York and in Rabbi Diamond’s Kollel in Deal, NJ. Following in his father’s footsteps, Rabbi Eli Kuessous devotes his life instilling Torah into our community. He is a sought after speaker and educator, who is known for his ability to connect with his audience on every level. Rabbi Kuessous is currently teaching Gemara, Humash and Navi at YDE.
Rabbi Avi Ovadia
For the over 13 years, Rabbi Ovadia has been teaching Torah to both adults and teens. Born in Yerushalayim, he moved to Brooklyn at a young age. After graduating from high school, he went on to learn in night Kollelim for six years. He was able to gain a well-rounded knowledge of Torah with a strong background in Gemara and Halacha through his years studying. Rabbi Ovadia brings a dynamic and engaging teaching style to the boys of YDE. With his extensive teaching experience, he is able to develop each student’s potential both in Torah and character development. Rabbi Ovadia is currently a part of Madison Torah Center where he continues to teach.
Rabbi Judah Safdieh
Rabbi Judah Safdieh was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Yeshivat Ateret Torah elementary school, graduating as valedictorian in both Judaic and secular studies. He attended the Yeshiva High School in Philadelphia, where he headed youth groups for the local boys of the community. In his post high school years he was involved in different S.E.E.D programs in Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Pennsylvania. Rabbi Safdieh moved to New Jersey after marriage and spent his years in Kollel mastering sections of Shulhan Aruch. Rabbi Safdieh runs an advanced learning program in the Shaare Zion Torah Center. Rabbi Safdieh joined YDE at its inception, and is currently teaching twelfth grade Gemara, as well as other Judaic studies classes.
Rabbi Avi Salem
Dean of Students
Rabbi Avi Salem was born and raised in Israel, where he attended the finest Yeshivot. He spent many years educating and mentoring our Syrian community boys in Israel. He is also a co-founder of the popular camp, Mahane Yisrael. Rabbi Salem moved to New York to help continue the growth of YDE. He is also involved in a popular Shabbat Minyan for boys in Shaare Zion. Rabbi Salem is our Dean of Students and is instrumental in maintaining proper decorum in YDE. He maintains a close connection with all of the students, and is instrumental in helping them grow into mature, responsible young adults.
Rabbi Jacob Schweky
Rabbi Jacob Schweky was born and raised in the heart of the Brooklyn Syrian community. He attended Philadelphia Yeshiva as well as the Mir Yeshiva in Israel. He also studied in Bet Medrash Govoha of Lakewood, New Jersey. Currently, he lives in Lakewood, where he spent the last six years studying in Ohel Rachel, a Sephardic Kollel in Lakewood. Over the past five years, Rabbi Schweky has been doing private instruction for high school students in Hebrew studies. He currently teaches Gemara, Humash and Navi in the tenth and eleventh grade classes.
Rabbi Sonny Shalom
Rabbi Sonny Shalom grew up in Brooklyn. After graduating Ateret Torah he went to Israel to study at the Mirrer Yeshivah in Jerusalem. Upon getting married, Rabbi Shalom continued his studies in the Mirrer Kollel and in the prestigious Chevron Yeshivah. After remaining in Israel for the first year of his marriage, Rabbi Shalom returned to Brooklyn and continued his rabbinical studies in Kollel for five years. Rabbi Shalom has been teaching both adults and young adults in Shaare Zion and other community shuls. He also travels to Manhattan to learn with businessmen in their offices. Rabbi Shalom currently teaches tenth grade Gemara at YDE.
Rabbi Raymond Shamah
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Rabbi Raymond Shamah attended Magen David Elementary and High School. He then studied in Mikdash Melech of Jerusalem for three years. After getting married, Rabbi Shamah moved back to Israel with his wife to further his Torah studies for an additional year. Rabbi Shamah has been living in Lakewood, New Jersey for over ten years and has impacted the community tremendously by teaching young adults. Rabbi Shamah co-founded a Syrian synagogue in Lakewood called Sharon Court Shul, and has been actively involved in its growth ever since. Rabbi Shamah joined YDE at its inception, and teaches ninth grade Gemara, as well as Halacha, Humash, Navi and Biur Tefilla classes. Additionally, Rabbi Shamah is very involved in the extra-curricular enhanced learning programs at YDE.
Rabbi Eli Shemesh
Rabbi Eli Shemesh is known for his warmth and ability to connect with boys of all types. Raised in Israel, Rabbi Shemesh was fortunate to attend prominent Yeshivot, where he formed relationships with many Gedolim, including Rav Chaim Kanievsky. With the understanding of Hinuch and proper teaching methods he acquired, Rabbi Shemesh now teaches eleventh grade Gemara. Utilizing his talents, he has initiated many successful teen programs. One popular program that YDE students have benefited from is the Esh Summer Learning Program. Additionally, Rabbi Eli teaches and helps run the Shaare Zion nightly program. Needless to say, the boys of YDE are gaining tremendously from Rabbi Shemesh’s expertise in Hinuch and remarkable abilities.
Rabbi Marc Sultan
Rabbi Marc Sultan is a graduate of Magen David Yeshiva Elementary School, and Shaare Torah High School. He is a grandson of Murad Faham A”H, who risked his life to smuggle the famed Keter Aram Soba from Syria. Towards the end of his senior year he transferred to Yeshivat Beth Moshe of Scranton, Pennsylvania to further his education in Judaic studies. After spending three years there, he moved on to Lakewood, New Jersey where he headed study groups for Syrian boys returning from Israel. Rabbi Sultan returned to Brooklyn to join a community Yeshiva in Congregation Bnei Binyamin, where he worked with boys of high school age and older. After three years he joined another community school, Yeshivat Ohel Torah, where he served as assistant principal and taught tenth grade. Rabbi Sultan joined YDE in its second year, and is currently teaching ninth grade Gemara, as well as other Judaic subjects throughout the day. He is also very involved in the night learning program at Shaare Zion Torah Center.
Rabbi Yonatan Turner
Twelfth Grade Dean
After graduating as valedictorian from his hometown high school yeshiva in New Haven, Connecticut, Rabbi Turner went to Israel to learn in Yeshiva. After he returned to America, he attended college and Yeshiva Torah Vadaat, where he enjoyed a close relationship with and received Semicha from Rabbi Avraham Pam Zt”l. Rabbi Turner is the director of Project Care and Concern, a community mentoring program. He has been teaching in various Yeshivot and schools, and is a highly sought after private tutor. He has many years of experience in the teaching and mentoring field. In his short time at YDE, he has already made a name for himself as a dedicated and approachable educator.
Mrs. Tammy Alter
Science Department Head
After graduating magna cum laude from Brooklyn College, Mrs. Tammy Alter has spent the past 20+ years doing what she was born to do – instilling a love of science into her students. With her energy and enthusiasm, Mrs. Alter has successfully taught Regents Earth Science and Regents Living Environment, as well AP Environmental Science at the Davis Renov High School for Boys, Torah Academy for Girls, Rinas Bais Yaakov, and Bnos Bais Yaakov. She has spent the past 18 years at the Stella K. Abraham High School for girls where she earned a reputation for her passion toward her subject matter, her commitment and warmth, and the excellent rapport she has developed with her students. Mrs. Alter looks forward to bringing science to life at YDE and to helping her students gain a deep appreciation for the wonders of Hashem’s world.
Mrs. Estie Bryk
Mrs. Estie Bryk was a systems analyst at Chase Manhattan Bank, designing, programming, and maintaining networks on DEC systems. For eighteen years, she was the computer teacher and technology coordinator at Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Hewlett, New York. Mrs. Bryk created and developed the high school’s computer education program which included Windows hardware, software, and many application programs. She was also in charge of training and assisting faculty members with the use of technology to enhance the classroom experience, and was technical adviser to all student publications. Mrs. Bryk looks forward to incorporating various blended learning models into the YDE curriculum.
Mr. Gregory Caviness
Mr. Caviness has worked in many capacities as a licensed professional including residential and commercial real estate sales, property management, real estate investment, credit repair, and building maintenance and supervision. Since 2004, Mr. Caviness has taught Real Estate Salesperson and broker licensee candidates. Gregory’s approach to teaching is interactive. With each lesson, he shares his experiences in real estate, and provides real-world examples of how each subject relates to practical experience. Gregory has authored two real estate textbooks: “Selling Real Estate in Foreclosure-Driven Markets” and “The Essential Home-Buyer Manual”. Gregory has also received appointment as Associate Professor at Adelphi University and the College of Mount St. Vincent — specializing in teaching real estate and mortgage origination courses.
Mr. Shai Dayan
Shai Dayan was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Israel at the age of 4. As a child, he participated in every sport and fitness program in school, including playing for Maccabi Tel-Aviv’s youth soccer team. At 18 years of age, he joined the IDF to serve in the Golani brigade, one of the most elite combat forces in the world. After his stint in the army, Shai started training in one of the most unique martial arts called Shima Jiu Jitsu. He trained for 9 years under Grandmaster Sensei Steve Isaak. He steadily progressed as a top student, and ultimately reached the level of second degree black belt. It was then that he was ready to pass on his knowledge. Shai believes that Physical Education classes should not just be about playing sports, but also about teaching the younger generation how to behave with proper respect and Derech Eres outside of normal class hours and school time. Using IDF discipline experience and techniques, and undivided personal attention based on each student’s personality, Shai hopes to make a difference in the way they behave and think when they face the real world.
Mr. Chris Del Ré
Social Studies Department
Mr. Del Ré has taught social studies since 2002. He has developed curriculum in Advanced Placement, Global History, and Criminal and Constitutional Law. He attended public school in Brooklyn, New York, graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Master’s Degree in Social Studies Education from Brooklyn College. He also studied Educational Leadership at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. In June 2008, Mr. Del Ré was awarded with Education Update’s Teacher of the Year Award. Teaching has been his passion for as long as he can remember. It is his goal to bridge connections between the humanities subjects so that students see how their world is interconnected and a product of its past and present. Mr. Del Ré believes in having students become involved in their own learning by experiencing the subject as much as they possibly can. He is excited to be teaching at YDE Boys High School.
Mr. Cary Dotz
Mathematics Department Head
Mr. Cary Dotz earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from Stony Brook University, a Master’s Degree in Statistics from the University of Rochester, and an MBA in Accounting from the New York University Graduate School for Business Administration. As a teacher in the New York City public school system for 32 years, he taught all levels of high school Mathematics as well as AP Statistics. Mr. Dotz taught part-time at Touro College, the Yeshiva of Flatbush and North Shore Hebrew Academy. Additionally, he coached high school soccer for 27 years. Mr. Dotz has coached teams in the Nassau County Mathematics League for many years; under his guidance, they have placed in the top tier of all public and private high schools. Mr. Dotz was also one of a select group of teachers over the years who received an award from the Chancellor of City of New York Public Schools for Excellence in Teaching and Community Service. He is a qualified mentor for new teachers to help perfect their teaching skills.
Ms. Donna Hunt
English Co-Department Head
Donna Hunt has taught English and music to students from Kindergarten through University. She previously worked for the College Board and graded for the AP and SAT exams, and has developed curriculum and design for classes from middle school through college. Ms. Hunt has presented on differentiated instruction and investigative learning at both national and international conferences. Born and raised in Cleveland, she graduated from Hiram College and later earned and MFA from Queens College. Ms. Hunt is passionate and dedicated to her writing, and is published in fiction and poetry.
Mr. Joseph Mansour
Mr. Joseph Mansour graduated from the City College of New York with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. He also has an MBA Degree in Management from Baruch College. Mr. Mansour originally worked in the field of engineering, and later in warehouse management and inventory control. For over 30 years he has been teaching members of our community Limudei Kodesh, both in private classes as well as formal classes in our community synagogues. He is frequently called on to speak in Bnei Shaare Zion. His experience teaching others in small groups has helped him develop a sense of what factors hinder a person from understanding the subject matter. His trademark is the frequent use of visual aids such as props, diagrams and charts in order to enable his students to grasp the concepts being studied. Mr. Mansour is currently teaching Geometry, and using his expertise to assist YDE in numerous administrative capacities.
Mr. Mitchell J. Martinez
Mitchell Martinez is a New York-based figurative artist with 20 years of experience as a painter, toy maker and sculptor, having worked with artists and organizations such as Jeff Konns, Barry X Ball, Liu Bolin, LIAFA, The New York Academy of Arts, Walt Disney, Universal Studios, Dark House Comics, and SLG Publishing. After receiving a BFA in Entertainment Art with a focus in animation, he worked as a prototype toy sculptor for Gentle Giant Studios, creating prototype maquettes, action figures, collectable figurines, and movie props. His paintings, sculptures and toys are part of a private and public collections across America. In 2012, Mr. Martinez completed graduate studies at the New York Academy of Fine Art, receiving his MFA in painting with a concentration in anatomy. Since then, he has been working and teaching in NYC and the greater New York Area. In addition to teaching here at YDE, Mitchell holds teaching positions at the Long Island Academy of Fine Arts, the New York Film Academy and has taught at the New York Academy of Fine Arts.
Mrs. Brenda Mirsky
English Co-Deptartment Head
Brenda Mirsky received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Brooklyn College. As a graduate student, she studied poetry with Susan Fromberg Schaeffer and the late Alan Ginsberg. Before joining the faculty of YDE, Mrs. Mirsky was an Adjunct Instructor of English at Brooklyn College. She was also a teacher of Regents English, AP Language and Composition, and AP Literature and Composition at Stella K. Abraham High School. At SKA, she was also Faculty Advisor of the SKA newspaper. With her guidance, the newspaper received a Gold Medalist Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and First Place Award from the American Scholastic Press Association. Mrs. Mirsky has also served as a judge for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s publication competitions. Mrs. Mirsky received the Teacher of Excellence Award from NYS Teachers of English. She is a trained mentor through the Jewish New Teacher Project, and has successfully mentored a number of teachers. Mrs. Mirsky is the author of Spare Parts, a collection of original poems for which she received first prize in the Wordclay Book of Poetry Competition.
Mrs. Suri Muller
Mrs. Suri Muller, our Spanish instructor, was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She attended Ulpana Kfar Pinas in Israel, as well as B.Y.A. Seminary in Brooklyn, NY. She is fluent in English, Hebrew, Spanish, and Hungarian. Mrs. Muller has an extensive background teaching in many Yeshivot. She taught and served as an administrator in Rabbi Pinto’s elementary school and was a beloved Spanish instructor at Soille Bais Yaakov. At Soille Bais Yaakov, she was very involved with the spiritual growth of the girls and served as a mentor. Mrs. Muller currently teaches ninth and tenth grade Spanish at Yeshivat Shaare Torah Girls High School and at YDE Boys High School.
Mr. David Mullery
Mr. David Mullery received his undergraduate education from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, receiving a Master of Arts with joint honors in English Literature and Film Studios. He completed his postgraduate studies at Brooklyn College, where he received a Master’s in English Education. Mr. Mullery teaches creative writing and visual arts at a program in Park Slope for younger students interested in the Arts. He is currently teaching grades 9, 10, and 11 at YDE, and hopes to imbue his students with the critical reading, writing and thinking skills necessary for them to succeed in college, their careers, and beyond.
Mr. Joseph Naftaly
Business and Finance
Mr. Joseph Naftaly teaches Jewish History and Personal Finance and Entrepreneurship to grades nine through twelve. He obtained advanced degrees in history, economics and education from Columbia University. He also has an extensive Yeshiva education which affords him the ability bring a unique perspective to a multitude of secular subjects. He has extensive experience teaching U.S. History, Global History, Jewish History, Economics, Accounting, Finance, Strategic Management, and Political Science. He is best known for exhibiting creativity in his teaching and creating a positive memorable learning experience.
Mr. Indrit Nuri
Mr. Nuri earned his Master’s Degree from Adelphi University in Long Island, New York and graduated from Hunter College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics and has been a science and math teacher ever since. In the past years he has taught Regents courses in Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Mr. Nuri founded and worked in the Bio-Medical Sciences Department at East Academy of Science and Technology in Brooklyn, where he received a Teacher of the Year award. He is certified from Project Lead the Way (a leading national STEM Ed. Provider) at Stevenson University in Maryland to teach several advanced college level bio-medical courses that are recognized nationwide by the college board. His compassion and love of teaching is rooted deeply in his belief that all students can be motivated to learn, accomplish to their full potential, be college and future ready, and ultimately become highly successful citizens.
Dr. Salvatore Parrino
Science Department, STEM
Dr. Parrino earned his Bachelors of Science in Biology and Doctorate of Philosophy in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the State of University of New York at Stony Brook. During this time here, he taught an upper-level undergraduate Molecular Biology Lab techniques, and mentored two undergraduate students in independent Biology research. He is currently teaching AP Biology, Regents Earth Science, Introduction to Science Engineering (STEM), and is mentoring 4 students in original Biology research for the regional Intel Competition, NYCSEF. This is Dr. Parrino’s first time in a Yeshiva setting, and he enjoys the culture of the school and looks forward to coming to teach every day.
Mr. Jason Schecter
Social Studies Department
Mr. Jason Schecter holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Stony Brook University. He also holds a Master’s degree in Liberal Studies, which focused on Social Sciences, from Stony Brook University. Mr. Schecter is now in the process of obtaining his Administration License through an Educational Leadership Program from Stony Brook University. Mr. Schecter has his Professional Certification in Secondary Education Social Studies and has also begun the process of obtaining his Students with Disabilities Certification. Mr. Schecter is currently teaching Global History to ninth and tenth graders at YDE. Mr. Schecter hopes to instill an appreciation for history through building his student’s research skills and using technology in the classroom.
Mr. Ely Shilian
Mr. Shilian graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Brooklyn College, with a dual minor in Biochemistry and Psychology. He has taught Chemistry, Living Environment, Common Core Algebra, Trigonometry and Geometry for the past seven years in local Yeshiva high schools and has achieved over a 90% pass rate for all of the corresponding regents. Additionally, he received certification from Stevenson University to teach the Human Body Systems course of the PLTW (Project Lead the Way) STEM program, which he is currently teaching at EAST Academy. Mr. Shilian is looking forward to educating and inspiring his YDE students by helping them navigate the complex realm of chemistry.
Mr. Alan I. Shweky
English Language Arts Dept.
Mr. Shweky has been teaching English language arts for an extraordinary forty-five years. He began teaching English at Sheepshead Bay High School at the age of 20, and stayed there for thirty-eight years. During those years, Mr. Shweky eventually became the assistant principal of the English Department and maintained that position until his retirement from the Department of Education in 2005. Immediately after leaving the DOE, Mr. Shweky began to teach and mentor the next generation of English teachers at Brooklyn College. He is currently Professor of English in their graduate program and a lead and popular instructor for the NYC Teaching Fellows. Throughout the years, however, Mr. Shweky has taught and coordinated English instruction in several Yeshivot and Jewish day schools, including the original Sephardic Institute High School and Sinai Academy. He has also had a very satisfying and long association with Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, where he has maintained his position – uninterrupted – for over thirty years. Mr. Shweky joined the staff of YDE in the spring of 2012, and considers it an honor to be teaching at a school whose mission and philosophy is guided by Rabbi Yedid.
Dr. Abraham Solomon
Math and Science Department
Dr. Abraham Solomon received his PhD from the University of Chicago in atmospheric science. He has previously worked as a scientific researcher at the Center for the Ocean-Land-Atmosphere in Washington, D.C., the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and Columbia University. Throughout his research career, he never forgot his love for teaching and desire to contribute to his community. After teaching for years at Ohio State College, Florida International University, and Columbia University, he chose to apply his passion for teaching to high school. He is pleased to be working at YDE as a math and science teacher.
Mr. Robert Zawatsky
Social Studies Dept. Head
Robert M. Zawatsky, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, received his undergraduate education at Hunter College. He earned his Master’s Degree in secondary education at Long Island University. Mr. Zawatsky taught Global Studies and American History in New York public schools for nearly forty years. After twenty years of service, he retired from John Dewey High School in June 2011. Since 1998, Mr. Zawatsky has been an adjunct lecturer at Kingsborough Community College. Mr. Zawatsky also taught history at Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Brooklyn. Mr. Zawatsky was a UFT mentor teacher while at New Utrecht High School and has conducted Global Regents Review courses at the College of Staten Island (CSI) and in Monsey, New York for over twenty years.