Day School Leadership Training Institute Cohort 13 Mentors

Rafi Cashman Headshot
Rabbi Dr. Rafi
Head of School

Rabbi Dr. Rafi Cashman is the Head of School at Netivot HaTorah Day School in Toronto. He is a mentor and Cohort 10 alumnus of the Day School Leadership Training Institute. He holds a BA in History and Political Science from the University of Toronto, a Masters of Education from Yeshiva University and a PhD in Education from OISE at the University of Toronto, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar. Rabbi Cashman received Semicha locally.

Jane Taubenfeld Cohen
Taubenfeld Cohen
DSLTI and YOU Lead Mentor

Jane is the senior mentor for DSLTI and a mentor in the You Lead Program. Jane is a leadership coach who works primarily with leaders in Jewish day schools to leverage their unique talents and skills. Whether working with heads of school, board chairs, principals, or teachers, Jane believes that each successful leader has his or her own authentic style that is often tied to the culture and beauty of the school. Leadership to Jane involves commitment to reflective practice, focus on values, care and nurturing of a strong team, and clear sense of vision. Previously, Jane was the executive director at YU School Partnership, and before that, she served as head of school at the South Area Solomon Schechter outside Boston for 22 years.

Avery Joel
Rabbi Dr. Avery

Rabbi Dr. Joel has been at the Fuchs Mizrachi School since 2008 as a teacher, the Principal of the Stark High School, and is now in his sixth year as the Head of School. Prior to moving to Cleveland, Avery served as a teacher and grade coordinator in the Ramaz Upper School, and was heavily involved in camps and other experiential education settings.  Avery received his BA in Economics, MA in Jewish Education, Ed.D. in Educational Administration, and rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University. Avery also received an MPA from New York University. Avery and his wife Aliza (also a Jewish educator) have five wonderful children (Eitan, Uriel, Kelila, Avishai, and Atira).

Cheryl Maayan
Director, Day School Leadership Training Institute
St. Louis, MO

Cheryl is the director of the Day School Leadership Training institute, where she is both an alumna and served as a mentor for cohorts 9-12. She spent 21 years building and strengthening Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School in St. Louis, Missouri, where she taught for 7 years and served as head of school for 14 years. Cheryl is a recipient of the Fred A. Goldstein Professional Leadership Award, the JPRO Visionary Award, Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and the Stuart I. Raskas Outstanding Day School Teacher Award. She studied for her B.A. in Jewish and Near Eastern Studies and Education at Washington University in St. Louis. She holds a Masters in Jewish Education and received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She and her husband Jon are the parents of two spectacular day school graduates, Ari and Gabe, and welcomed daughter-in law Emily to the family in 2022.

Dr. Jon Mitzmacher
Dr. Jon
Head of School

Dr. Mitzmacher is the Head of the Ottawa Jewish Community School. Jon has recently begun his rabbinical school journey at the Academy for Jewish Religion and is thrilled to have joined the faculty of the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI) as a mentor for Cohort 12. He was most recently the VP of Innovation for Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools. He is the former Executive Director of the Schechter Day School Network. He is also the former head of the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, a K-8 Solomon Schechter, located in Jacksonville, FL, and part of the Jacksonville Jewish Center. He was the founding head of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Las Vegas. Jon has worked in all aspects of Jewish Education from camping to congregations and everything in between.

Nicole Nash
Head of School

Nicole Nash is Head of School at Hannah Senesh Community Day School in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. During her 28-year tenure, she has expanded Senesh’s enrollment, enhanced the academic programming, procured state-of-the-art resources. She has developed initiatives and built partnerships with the broader Brooklyn Jewish community to launch programming that engages families with young children, and to start a speaker series featuring preeminent Jewish leaders discussing how Jewish values have influenced their lives. Nicole has spearheaded Senesh’s diversity, inclusion, and belonging work; including the launch of a multicultural mini camp that centers Jews of color and modeling this work for the day school field. Nicole earned a B.A. from the University of Rochester, a Master of Science in Education from Bank Street College of Education, and studied at the Principals’ Center of Harvard Graduate School of Education. Nicole is a 2023 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award.

Jordan Soffer
Rabbi Jordan
Head of School

Rabbi Soffer is Head of School at Striar Hebrew Academy in Sharon, MA. Before SHAS, he was Rabbi-in-Residence at Carmel Academy in Greenwich, CT. In 2020 Rabbi Soffer was awarded the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize, which recognizes emerging leaders in the field of Jewish education. Rabbi Soffer is a doctoral student at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. He is currently Rabbinic Mentor for the Day School Leadership Training Institute. He lives in Sharon with his wife, Dr. Marti Soffer, and and their children, Maayan, Reiut, Shoshana, and Roey.

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