Day School Teachers

Yaffa.jpg Morah Yaffa BarYam
Hebrew Language Teacher
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Morah Yaffa has been teaching Hebrew and early childhood for over 30 years. She has been a teacher at Torah Day School since 1992, and taught Hebrew at Beth Israel's Religious School for 10 years, which she greatly enjoyed.
Yaffa completed her teaching certification from the Shine School of Education, a division of Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, for early childhood education and Hebrew as a Second Language.
Yaffa and her husband Kobi, enjoy traveling, especially to Israel to visit family, and spending time with their daughters and grandchildren in Houston.
She greatly values her friendships, and makes time to meet with friends regularly. 

elisa.jpg Mrs. Elisa Goldstein
1st Grade Judaic Teacher
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Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Elisa Goldstein received her Teaching Certification from Bnos Yisrael Seminary in Yerushalayim, Israel and graduated with a BA degree in Psychology.

Elisa has been a teacher in Torah Day School since she moved to Houston in 1998. She has taught various Judaic subjects to middle school and has been the Kita Aleph teacher for over 12 years.

She, together with her husband and family, are Chabad Shluchim to Houston and run the Chabad CHAI Learning Center of West Houston which serves the West Houston Jewish Community with Services, Adult Education, Hebrew School and Holiday Programs. Her involvement in the community includes the founding of Friendship Circle, directing the annual Friendship Walk and directing Camp Gan Israel for the past 11 summers.

Elisa is married to Rabbi Dovid Goldstein and has 5 children Sima, Avrami, Chaya (all TDS Alumni), Zalmi, and Rozie, who are students at TDS.

Mrs. Menuchi Cagen
2nd Grade Judaic Teacher
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Mrs. Connie Dotan

2nd Grade Secular Teacher

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Ms. Esther Lax

3rd Grade Judaic Teacher

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amy.jpg Mrs. Amy Shannon
3rd Grade Secular Teacher
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Mrs. Chani Wilschanski

4th Grade Judaic Teacher

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Mrs. Sharon Ruben
4th Grade Secular Teacher
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Sharon Ruben was born in Israel and moved to Houston when she was 5 years old. She attended Torah Day School from K-8th grade and went on to graduate from Bellaire High School. She recieved a Bachelor Degree in Education and a Masters Degree in Gifted and Talented Education from The University of Houston. She taught second grade at Torah Day School for five years before she had 4 children, ages 7-11. In 2012 she started back at TDS teaching the Fourth Grade.


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Mrs. April Hiller
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April Hiller graduated with honors from the University of Texas with a BS degree in Elementary Education. A veteran teacher, she holds certifications in Early Childhood, Grades K-8, and Gifted and Talented Education. After working in Arlington, MA, Spring Branch ISD, Torah Day School and St. John's School during the first part of her professional career, Mrs. Hiller taught at Kolter Elementary in HISD for over twenty years.  There, she taught 3rd and 4th grade and served on the leadership team as Grade Level Chair, Language Arts Lead Teacher and Gifted and Talented Coordinator. As the GT Coordinator, she identified and tested students for the HISD’s Vanguard program and developed and conducted district wide in-service training for all HISD teachers in both Language Arts and Gifted and Talented Education. For her efforts, Mrs. Hiller received the Teacher of the Year Award. 

Married to Al Hiller, Mrs. Hiller has four grown children, Aaron (Elinor) of Washington, DC, David (Lauren) of San Diego, CA, Zachary (Donna) of Houston, TX, and Rachel of Philadelphia, PA, and four wonderful grandchildren.

Rivka Fishman Mrs. Rivka Fishman
Middle School Judaic Teacher
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Rivka Fishman grew up in Pittsburgh and is a graduate of Touro College. Rivka began teaching at Torah Day School in 1998. In 1999 she initiated the TDS Girls' Organization (G.O.) which is an after school theater program that puts on performances that are written, directed, and choreographed by the middle school girls.

In 2000, Rivka began teaching at Chabad of Sugar Land's Sunday School. Soon after, Rabbi Feigenson asked Rivka and her husband, Danny, to run a teen program for graduates of the Hebrew school. Danny and Rivka formed the Chabad Teen Club. They keep in close contact with graduates from their program who have gone on to play active roles in Jewish life on their college campuses. Rivka has taught at the Merfish Teen Center, Yom Limmud, and the BJE Night of Learning. She also learns privately with several women from across the community.

Rivka is on the national editorial board for the Jewish Learning Institute's teen program. Rivka is a recipient of the Irving L. Samuels Outstanding Teacher award for Judaic Studies and of the Grinspoon - Steinhardt Award for excellence in Jewish Education.

Rivka's husband is a TDS graduate. Three of her children are graduates of TDS as well and the other 3 are current students.

judy.JPG Dr. Judy Bell
Middle School Math Teacher
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Dr. Judith Bell graduated from the University of Texas with a B.S. in Education, Sam Houston State University with a Masters of Library Science, and the University of Houston with a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (concentration in Measurement and Statistics). She worked in HISD as both a middle school math teacher and an elementary school librarian. Dr. Bell has also taught courses at both Houston Community College and the University of Houston Clear Lake. She is married to David and has twin daughters, Elena and Amelia. She is also the proud owner of an overgrown miniature schnauzer, Rudy.

sherilyn.jpg Mrs. Sherilyn Jones
Middle School Secular Teacher
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Mrs. Jones was born in North Louisiana, and moved to Texas when she was four. She grew up in Lake Jackson, near the Gulf of Mexico, until 8th grade when she moved to Houston. She graduated from University of Houston with a Bachelors in English and is certified to teach both English and History. She has taught Middle school and High School English and History in both Atlanta Georgia and Houston, TX. She stumbled into TDS looking for a part time teaching position in 1992, and that turned out to be where she has spent most of her adult life. Mrs. Jones says "I will begin my 21st year at TDS this fall, and I can truthfully say I have loved every single one." She has three sons and two granchildren that all live in Texas.

071.JPGRabbi Zally Lazarus
Middle School Judaic Teacher