Valley Torah’s staff of dedicated educators has been enhanced this year with some new faces.
The new Girls Division Secular Principal, Esther Pearl (Marks) Kreiman is a Los Angeles native who is passionate about Jewish education. Mrs. Kreiman is coming to Valley Torah from YULA Girls Division where she was the Director of Student Learning since August 2018. In her role as Director of Student Learning, Mrs. Kreiman designed and implemented programs for diverse learners, including customized curricula, specific modifications, and accommodations across General and Judaic Studies. In addition, she served as the academic advisor and student support advocate on the YULA, Girls Division Guidance Team.
Prior to joining YULA Girls Division, Mrs. Kreiman was the General Studies Principal of Ohel Chana High School from 2013 to 2018, where she designed curricula and differentiated educational programming for diverse learners across multiple educational platforms, including innovative options for diverse learners in mathematics and technology and an AP Cohort Program for Gifted Learners. Mrs. Kreiman graduated from Touro College with a B.A. in Psychology in 2012 and continued on to Teachers College of Columbia University where she earned a combined Master’s Degree in Psychology and Education with a specialization in Gifted Education and Curriculum Design in 2013.
Rena Aleman – Girls Division Math Instructor
Rena Aleman grew up in North Hollywood and has nearly 10 years of experience as an educator. Rena completed a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from CSUN, followed by a Teaching Credential in Foundational Math. Rena is passionate about helping each student recognize and hone her math abilities and developing the skills and resilience to work through even the most challenging problems — both in the classroom and out.
Andrew Budiman, Science Teacher (Both Divisions)
Andrew Budiman is a math and science enthusiast whose specialty is in the realm of robotics and science. He is currently working on his Doctorate degree in Computer Science in hopes to implement his learnings to the classroom. Whether it is from programming, assembling electronics, or conducting high energy physics in the lab he does it with great interest and fervor.
Andrew stands by the thought and excitement about teaching because he is eager to meet the burgeoning, curious minds of students who are quite unaware of their untapped potential in science and mathematics.
Andrew’s fondest memories come from when he, himself, was a high school student. “I loved having wide ranging conversations with my best friend.”
Daniela Garcia, Girls Division History & English Instructor
Ms. Garcia received her B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University. She furthered her studies at a small, private law school where she earned a J.D.,. Daniela is passionate about teaching history and giving students the tools they need to succeed in life. Daniela’s interests include volunteering in her community and traveling.
Haviva Greenbaum, Girls Division Director of College Guidance
After studying abroad at Midreshet Moriah in Israel, Haviva received her Bachelor’s Degree from Lander College for Women, Touro College. She then obtained her Master’s degree from University of Michigan School of Social Work with a certificate in Jewish Communal Leadership. Haviva is a clinical social worker with years of experience helping individuals of all ages reach their goals. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Haviva is passionate about supporting the students of Valley Torah throughout their high school career and helping them reach their full potential.
Adina Kessler, Girls Division History Instructor
Adina Kessler will be teaching 9th and 10th grade World History. After her year at Tomer Devorah Seminary: Institute of Advanced Studies for Women, Adina taught at Yavneh Hebrew Academy while obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Adina is a new high school teacher with a fresh outlook on education and is passionate about bringing History alive. Adina is a first year teacher and will be receiving mentorship from Mrs. Kreiman and from the BJE’s Michelle Porjes
Rabbi Eliyahu Koshki, Boys Division Rebbi
Rabbi Koshki is an alumnus of the Valley Torah class of 2010. He learned in Israel for six year at Mikdash Melech, Noam HaTorah and Kollel Yerushalyim. He received semicha from Rabi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. While in Israel, he learned mila and shechita. Rabbi Koshki continued learning in Bais Madras Govoha in Lakewood. He recently returned to Los Angeles with his wife and three children.
Rabbi Elchonon Shoff, Rebbi (Both Divisions)
Rabbi Shoff is originally from Los Angeles.
He received semicha from Rabbi Noah Weinberg and Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. He was a shoel umayshiv in Mir under Rabbi Nissin Kaplan and a rebbi in Zeev Hatorah in Jerusalem. Rabbi Shoff taught in YULA For six years. He is the rabbi of Beis Knesses of Los Angeles, and is the author of 9 books and seforim.
Mrs. Debbie Raskin, Director of Student Services, Boys Division
Mrs. Raskin is a member of the Valley Torah Class of ’83. She held a number of positions in her 36 years in Jewish education including being the Principal of Or HaChayim. In 2013, she won the Milken Educator of the Year Award. She holds a Masters Degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction. She is intimately familiar with our school as she is the parent of six alumni (two of which worked in the school as well).