About Us

Atara Girls High School offers a rigorous academic and spiritual experience where girls thrive in a collaborative, interactive and intellectually challenging environment. Atara is committed to superior academic achievement and spiritual growth within the context of ensuring the complete overall development of each student. The curriculum has been developed with an emphasis on advancements in pedagogy and technology as part of essential components in education. Atara is distinguished by our dedication to cultivating a passion for learning, independent thinking, personal integrity and a steadfast commitment to serve the greater Jewish community.2013-10-08 09.02.46

Through out course curriculum, activities, values, and messages, the school is a crucial instrument of guidance for our daughters, and can set a strong foundation for a lifetime of growth and achievement. With Hashem’s help, we hope to build generations of young women who will each, in her own right, be an atara, a dazzling crown at the head of her people.

Co-chairs: Shimon Bachrach & Yitzchok Rosedale
Faigie Rosedale
Chasi Rosenbaum 
Dr. Dena Morton 
Zalmy Reisman 

OUR PRINCIPAL

IMG_0219Penina Teitelbaum was born in Dallas and raised on Long Island, and has developed a passion for teaching over the course of many years of experience. She holds a Master’s degree and was trained as a therapist at the Family Clinic of Neve Yerushalayim, and enjoys weaving her two passions together as she guides her students on their paths to adulthood and success. Before her move, she worked as Assistant Principal at Shearim Torah High School for Girls.

Her talents and motivation stem from her roots, as she comes from a family of gifted educators and esteemed Torah scholars. Her mother, Mrs. Debbie Greenblatt, is a famous lecturer and educator, while her father, Rabbi Dovid Greenblatt, is a prominent community builder and a tireless activist on behalf of those in need. Her grandfather, Rabbi Nota Greenblatt, is a world renowned Torah scholar and Halachic expert. Penina is married to a grandson of Rabbi Berel Wein, an eminent Jewish historian, author, and great Torah scholar.

Along with a great sense of energy, Penina is infused with a zest for life and a magnetic personality. She has a unique ability to inspire and motivate girls to be the very best they can be, while enjoying the actual process of growth. Her connection to Jewish spirituality and the Torah is as contagious as it is deep.IMG_0589

As the Principal of Judaic and General studies, Penina is laser-focused on the quality of education at the school, and works extensively with her faculty and administration to ensure academic excellence. Atara Girls High School is blessed to have such a talented educator and mentor for our high school girls.

 Penina is married to Rabbi Binyamin Teitelbaum, a noted Torah scholar and member of the Cincinnati Community Kollel, who serves as Program Director while also leading the Cincinnati’s successful Partners in Torah program. They have four adorable children and enjoy being a part of the beautiful Cincinnati Jewish community.

Dr. Marley Belair
Chemistry

Marley Belair has taught Chemistry for over 20 years.  She has experience in both public and private schools.  She is an online educator and curriculum developer.  Dr. Belair is also a doctoral coach for online students pursuing higher education.  Her areas of expertise include Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.  She has experience with AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, and AP Environmental Science.

Mrs. Miriam Berman
Be'ur Tefillah
Mrs. Chana Rivka Black
Extracurriculars, Yedios, Financial Literacy, and Algebra II

Mrs. Chana Rivka Black joined Atara 2 years ago as the Extracurricular Director, bringing passion and creativity to activities that enhance the classroom learning. She also teaches Yedios, Algebra II and Financial Literacy. Love of numbers and instilling confidence in each student that she can be successful in a challenging and anxiety-provoking subject is one of her strengths. Previously, Chana Rivka tutored all Judaic and Secular subjects in Bais Yaakov of Baltimore. 

Mr. Jon Flannery
Graphic Design
Mr. Flannery is a practicing designer and printmaker in Cincinnati, running the studio Cryptogram since 2011. He works with his collaborators  in a multitude of ways with a wide variety of clients, but often they focus on graphic design through the vehicle of print.
He was born and raised in Cincinnati, graduated from Turpin High School, and received a BFA in Printmaking from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Since the Art Academy, he has worked in two agency settings (Powerhouse 2007-2010; BLDG 2015-2017). Mr. Flannery has  occasionally taught and collaborated with other artists in teaching design and printmaking workshops both in-studio and on location. In 2018, he and his collaborator, Joe Walsh (Take A Moment Studio) were the Artists In Residence at the Contemporary Arts Center. Mr. Flannery teaches Graphic Design at Atara, and he says he loves the different perspectives on design the students bring - which often helps him think in new ways in his practice.

 

Rabbi Ezra Goldschmiedt
Advanced Parsha

A native of West Hempstead, New York, Rabbi Ezra Goldschmiedt teaches an advanced class on the weekly Torah portion. Rabbi Goldschmiedt graduated with highest honors from Yeshiva University in 2008, where he went on to receive his rabbinic ordination and a masters in Jewish education. Over the course of his studies, Rabbi Goldschmiedt served as a research assistant in Yeshiva University’s psychology department and Azrieli Graduate School, while also taking on teaching and rabbinical roles for the DRS High School for Boys, Mount Kisco Hebrew Congregation and Aish Connections.

Prior to coming to Cincinnati, Rabbi Goldschmiedt served as the rabbinic assistant of Congregation Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto (BAYT), and as a fellow of Toronto’s Yeshiva University/Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov. He currently serves as the rabbi of Congregation Sha’arei Torah.

Rabbi Moshe Heigh
Chumash, Halacha, Megillah

Having learned in Monsey, New York at Rabbi Berel Wein’s Yeshiva, from ninth grade through smicha program, Rabbi Heigh has been involved in chinuch for many years.

He has taught mainly Chumash, Megillos, and Halacha at the high school level, but his passion extends to numerous other subject areas. He enjoys bringing hands-on experiences into the classroom.

“My greatest nachas is seeing graduates who have become the finest bnos Yisroel. This satisfaction, plus the daily thrill of unearthing the Torah’s profundities, make it all worthwhile,” states Rabbi Heigh.

Mrs. Quinlan Hlavaty
Nutrition, PE and Health, Biology, and Physical Science

Mrs. Quinlan Hlavaty teaches Nutrition, PE and Health, Biology, and Physical Science. She has a background in education and holds a Master of Science Degree in Health Education and Promotion. It is her goal to provide for the students of Atara an academic understanding of the physiological impacts of nutrition and exercise, and more importantly, to instill a foundation of confidence, acceptance, and self-care.

Mr. Paul Klusmeir
Introduction to Coding
Ms. Levana Kovo
Ivrit

Born and educated in Haifa, Israel, with a degree from the Rubin Music Academy, Levana Kovo brings over 40 years of teaching and private tutoring experience to the public.

Levana  moved to the US in 1982 and has been teaching Hebrew Language and Judaism, from beginner to advanced, in various school settings. In addition to the classroom, she does private tutoring in Modern Conversational Hebrew as well as classes in Judaism. Levana has been working with Jewish Federation programs for high-schoolers for over 17 years.

Levana moved to Cincinnati in August of 2015, to start teaching the prestigious and state of the art Hebrew program called: “Bishvil HaIvrit”, at Atara.

Mrs. Chav Kugel
Life Skills
Mrs. Rivka Laghaie
Ivrit I, Chumash I, Toras Habayis, Yedios, and Parsha
Rabbi Meir Minster
12th Grade Megillah

Rabbi Meir Minster, ordained by the late Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg, of the Ner Israel Rabbinical College, has led the Cincinnati Community Kollel, as its Director of Torah Studies (Rosh Kollel) since 1995. In that capacity he oversees the academic excellence of the Kollel’s staff scholars. Rabbi Minster also delivers a Daf Yomi (page a day of Talmud) class, a weekly advanced Parsha class, women’s classes and other classes for the broader community. This year, he is teaching Megilos to the 12th grade Navi class.

Rabbi Minster serves on the Vaad Hachinuch of CHDS and Atara High School.

Mrs. Shifra Motzen
Foundations

Shifra Motzen brings more than 20 years of classroom experience to her new job at Atara. She has taught almost every age and numerous subjects and is frequently asked to speak in the community on a variety of topics. Her passion for Yiddishkeit, use of multiple modalities of instruction, and love for her students make her perfectly suited to present and transmit the Foundations curriculum. Mrs. Motzen holds a master's degree in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University (where she graduated alongside her husband). She is very excited to join the fantastic team of educators at Atara.

Mr. Greg Neihaus
AP Psychology
Mrs. Yehudis Polsky
Director of Special Projects

Mrs. Yehudis Polsky works as the Director of Special Projects, along with serving the students in the capacity of College Guidance Counselor.

Rabbi Yitzchok Preis
Jewish History and Kuzari

Rabbi Yitzchok Preis is Director of Outreach of the Cincinnati Community Kollel as well as Director of its affiliate, Sarah’s Place. He has taught in a broad array of venues including the Anne Blitstein Teacher’s Institute (Chicago), Melton Adult Mini-School, and University of Cincinnati. His capacity to clarify complex material combined with his care and concern for students of all backgrounds makes him a popular instructor whether to advanced Talmud students or absolute beginners. Rabbi Preis is teaching Jewish History and Kuzari this year at Atara.

Ms. Carly Psenicka
ID Literature and AP Composition
Mrs. Deborah Rubinoff
Administrator
Mrs. Tova Scherer
9th Grade Melachim Beis

Tova Scherer has taught for the past 25 years in a variety of educational settings.  Most recently she has taught Prophets at Cincinnati Hebrew Day School for close to a decade and in 2015  has joined the Atara Girls High School staff. In addition to having extensive classroom experience, Tova is currently in her 12th year  co-directing Camp Ashreinu a local day camp. She has worked as a certified occupational therapist in both a school & clinical settings, has been an educator consultant, extra-curricular program director, and mentored middle and high school students.  Tova's experience and passion for excellent education for each child, will be continue to be a tremendous asset to Atara.

Mrs. Becca Siegel
Secular Studies Director; Survey and British Literature, Algebra 1, Fundamentals

Becca Siegel has been with Atara since 2015. She is the Director of General Studies and also teaches a variety of English and math classes. Before coming to Cincinnati and joining Atara's team, Becca taught in Chicago high schools for 5 years, specializing in helping students who were at risk of not graduating. She went to Loyola University Chicago for undergrad (BA in English and BS in Secondary Education) and earned her Masters degree in Educational Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics and Assessment from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She loves being a part of Atara and getting to support our wonderful students in so many ways!

Mrs. Tzippy Simpson
Chmuash, Geometry, Pre-Calculus

Teaching has been Mrs. Simpson's passion for as long as she can remember, and she has many years experience in both Judaic and Secular studies. When she helps her students acquire the skills they need to succeed, it truly excites her. Working at Atara is a rewarding experience which she is grateful for. 

Mrs. Kayla Soroka
Penimi Technology Course

Mrs. Kayla Soroka teaches the Penimi Technology course to the current Atara seniors. The course invites personal reflection and frank, yet respectful, dialogue about healthy attitudes toward, and responsible use of, Internet technology against the backdrop of today’s technologically-dependent society. While the course relies heavily on global statistics and research, its utilization of Torah values as a lens for interpreting and understanding those phenomena places it firmly in the Judaic Studies category. Mrs. Soroka has been teaching Jewish philosophy, both in traditional classroom and group discussion settings, for the last 9 years. In addition to Atara, she has previously taught in Bais Yaakov High School (Brooklyn, NY), and in two of her alma maters, Bnos Chava Seminary (Jerusalem, Israel) and Bais Yaakov Drav Meir (Brooklyn, NY). She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Touro College and a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. 

Mrs. Shoshi Tropp
11th Grade Trei Asar
Mrs. Penina Teitelbaum
Principal; Zohar, Ikarim

Mrs. Penina Teitelbaum holds a Master’s degree and was trained as a therapist at the Family Clinic of Neve Yerushalayim, and enjoys weaving her two passions together as she guides her students on their paths to adulthood and success. She previously worked as Assistant Principal at Shearim Torah High School for Girls.

Along with a great sense of energy, Penina is infused with a zest for life and a magnetic personality. She has a unique ability to inspire and motivate girls to be the very best they can be, while enjoying the actual process of growth. Her connection to Jewish spirituality and the Torah is as contagious as it is deep.

As the Principal of Judaic and General studies, Penina is laser-focused on the quality of education at the school, and works extensively with her faculty and administration to ensure academic excellence. Atara Girls High School is blessed to have such a talented educator and mentor for our high school girls.

 

Mrs. Ayala Weinrib
Advanced Be'ur Tefillah

Mrs. Ayala Weinrib joined the Cincinnati community in 2012 along with her husband, Rabbi Avrohom Weinrib, Rov of Congregation Zichron Eliezer, and their children. Originally from Monsey, NY Ayala has completed her schooling there as well as her teacher training from B’nos Chava Teachers Seminary in Yerushalayim and a Masters of Education from Long Island University. During the past 2 decades, she has taught both regular and special education, and has shared administrative responsibilities in New York, New Jersey, Eretz Yisroel and Chicago. She is thrilled to be a part of the beautiful Cincinnati community particularly sharing her passion, love and warmth through teaching Advanced Be’ur Tefillah and interacting with the wonderful girls of Atara High School.

Rabbi Avrohom Weinrib
10th Grade Halacha, Machshava
Ms. Mary Westwood
Studio Art
Mrs. Katie Wright
World History, US History, AP US History, Economics and Government
Mrs. Wright earned her Bachelor's in Integrated Social Studies Education and a Master's in History at Miami University Oxford. While earning her Master's degree,she taught several courses at Miami including American and World History under the guidance of professors who were nationally recognized as the best in their field, not only in their scholarship, but also in their teaching. 
 
After graduate school, she worked as a Specialist in the American History Department at Cowan's Auctions Inc., one of the Midwest's most premier auction houses, which is owned by Antiques Roadshow Appraiser Wes Cowan. She worked briefly as a Content Marketing writer at Community First Solutions before coming to Atara. 
 
She teaches World History, American History, AP US History, Government, and Economics. 
 

OUR ADMINISTRATION

IMG_9372Deborah Rubinoff – Administrative Office Manager: 

Deborah Rubinoff was born and raised in Indianapolis, where she graduated from Hasten Hebrew Academy and North Central High School.  She held several posts in the National Conference of Synagogue Youth, including that of Regional President for the Central East Region and that of National Secretary.

After spending a year studying in Israel at B’nos Chayil, Deborah continued her education at Queens College and Indiana University.  She has many years of experience in management and as a swim coach.

As a “second generation survivor,” she is proud to serve on the Cincinnati Holocaust Memorial Committee.  Deborah and her husband Ari have three wonderful children, Yitzchak, Gabrielle, and Julian.  In her spare time she is also an accomplished knitter and artist.

Mrs. Rubinoff brings to Atara her management skills, leadership ability, and organizational expertise. She handles the school’s administrative needs with efficiency and professionalism.

 


TravisRabbi Ben Travis – Executive Director/Financial Officer: 
Rabbi Travis has been the Executive Director and Financial Officer of Cincinnati Hebrew Day School since July of 2007.  During his tenure, in addition to overseeing the school’s financial operations, he has automated, digitized and streamlined the school’s financial management system.  As Director of Development of the school since August of 2003, he has expanded the school’s traditional fundraisers (raffle, advertising calendar), as well as introduced new programs and events (dinners, etc.), which, in concert with individual solicitations, increased fundraising revenue 76% between 2003 and 2010.  After attending Columbia University and receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Talmudic Law, Rabbi Travis attended Johns Hopkins University and received his Masters of Science in Business Management from that institution in the Spring of 1994. Born in New York, Rabbi Travis came to Cincinnati fifteen years ago as a staff scholar with the Cincinnati Community Kollel.  He is married to Elisa (nee Goldberger) and has eight children.