Teacher Bios

Meet Our Teachers



Shorashim, Julie Rabinowitz

Julie Rabinowitz has been a member of Shaarei Tikvah’s religious school staff since 2011 and has been teaching Shorashim since 2015.  After a successful career in resource development, she was lucky enough to be able to take a leave and be home with her three children for almost a decade. In 2006, Julie  joined the staff at Congregation Kol Ami’s ECP where she is currently a co-teacher in their Pre-K program, A Step Ahead.  She also teaches and coordinates Kol Ami’s innovative and exciting Torah Alive! program. Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts in U.S. History and Judaic Studies from SUNY Albany and completed Master’s work at the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at Hebrew University. She lives in White Plains with her family. When Julie is not teaching, she loves to cook, bake and read, especially cookbooks!





Bet, Susan Levy

This is Susan’s second year teaching second grade at Shaarei Tikvah. Susan lived in Israel for two years where she participated in the Volunteer for Israel program and also taught at an English ulpan for Israelis. Susan has worked at the JCC of Harrison’s religious school for 20 years and at Schechter Westchester since 1993. What Susan loves most about teaching is at Shaarei Tikvah is watching the children gain confidence in themselves as they begin to learn reading Hebrew. She is happy to be part of the Shaarei Tikvah community!







Gimmel, Sonia Levin

Sonia Levin has been working at Shaarei Tikvah for the last 6 years. During the day she works in Carmel Academy in Greenwich, CT as a Hebrew language and Reading specialist. In addition to teaching, she also facilitates professional educational training. She received an MA in Education from Tel Aviv University and a second MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her research was focused on teaching Hebrew decoding skills to children with dyslexia and other learning /reading disabilities. Sonia was born in Russia and emigrated to Israel with her parents after high school. She currently lives in Yonkers, NY with her 12 years old daughter.






Dalet, Livia Bronstein

A native Israeli, from Zichron Ya’akov, Livia Bronstein has 18 years of teaching experience in Israel. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Hakibutzim College in Tel Aviv.  In 2003, she moved with her family to the United States to join the Carmel Academy community in Greenwich, CT as a Hebrew and Judaic Studies teacher. Teaching in Jewish schools in the U.S. has helped her fulfill her dream of integrating a passion for teaching the Israeli culture and the Hebrew language abroad.



Hay, Havi Pesso

Havi Pesso is a native Israeli but has lived in America for the past 18 years. She has 4 married children who all live in Israel with their families. Havi enjoys traveling and loves to see new places and meet new people.  Havi has worked at Shaarei Tikvah for over 10 years and is an innovative Hebrew and Judaic Studies educator for all levels. She believes that Jewish education is a partnership among students, parents and teachers and strives to foster a love for Judaism, the Hebrew language, and the Jewish people and Israel in all of her students.







Vav, Heather Klaiber

Heather has been teaching in religious and Hebrew school for six years. This is her first year at Shaarai Tikvah and she is thrilled to be teaching in such a warm environment! Heather enjoys conducting classes that encourage discussions and provide hands-on experiences. Outside of teaching, she enjoys the outdoors and hiking with family.








Music, Laura Copel

Laura Copel started teaching at Shaarei Tikvah when the new building opened in 2008. After teaching the Shorashim class for many years, this is her second year as song leader. Laura teaches at two other synagogues and also works at the Union for Reform Judaism. A composer of Jewish music, she plays flute, piano and guitar.