Our faculty is comprised of an exceptionally devoted group of professionals who are well-qualified and experienced. Each staff member is a model of the excitement of lifelong learning, and each year teachers dedicate many hours to continuing education in order to stay abreast of research-based best practice to bring to their teaching repertoire. 

 

The commitment of MJDS teachers to each child and family does not stop at the classroom door; teachers maintain ongoing communication with parents and welcome family participation.

 

Administration

Brooke LeClair, Office Administrator

Brooke LeClair has served for several years as the office administrator at The Gan-Portland Jewish Preschool and is excited to also be part of the Maimonides staff. She completed her  Bachelor's degree at Eastern Oregon University in 2013 with a K-8 teaching diploma. She has worked in education for 20 years, most recently as an educational assistant and reading instructor in elementary and middle school classrooms. Brooke is a native Oregonian and loves to explore and enjoy the Pacific Northwest’s beautiful geography. She is passionate about recycling and sustainability and enjoys gardening, sewing, and crafting. Brooke is pleased to support children and parents in their education journey at The Gan and Maimonides.

Kim Rivers, Office Administrator

Kim Rivers greatly enjoys supporting Maimonides staff and families, bringing with her a diverse career background in office administration, program management, fundraising, and communications. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from The University of California at Santa Barbara. Her recent volunteer work includes serving on the board of two local schools, fundraising for health and education non-profits, and spearheading the development of a Pacific Northwest community leadership program for an established technology company.  However, she has found her most rewarding work to be the many hours she has volunteered in classrooms, supporting school administrators, teachers, and students. Because of this, she is excited to be part of the Maimonides administrative staff.

Morah Devora Wilhelm, Judaic Studies

Morah Devora Wilhelm has been the face of Maimonides Jewish Day School since its beginning. She received her Early Childhood Education certification from Beth Rivkah Teachers College New York. She began her teaching career at the Hebrew Academy Lubavitch in California, where she taught elementary and middle school students. She has taught all over the world, including in New York, L.A., and Melbourne, Australia. With the founding of Maimonides, Devora has taken on many roles, including serving as school administrator, camp director, preschool and day school teacher, and, most recently, director of development and finance. “My passion for Judaic education and love of learning is evident in my daily interactions with my students, our school’s board of directors, and teaching staff,” Morah Devora says.

Rabbi Shneur Wilhelm, Principal

A graduate of the Rabbinical College of America and Menachem Education Foundation, Rabbi Wilhelm taught at the Rabbinical College of Australia and New Zealand, Mesivta Menachem of Staten Island, and the Jewish Online School. "Educating is connecting, as is working with each student at his or her level and using their talents and abilities to maximize student growth," Rabbi Wilhelm says.

 

Staff

Joanie Krug, Behavioral Coach

Joanie has had a rich and diverse background as a special educator. For more than 30 years, she has leaned on her experience and expertise from many challenging circumstances to ensure positive learning opportunities for students and staff alike. She’s served as director of student support for Le Monde Immersion School, a Portland Public School charter program, and as special education facilitator in the Beaverton School District. These roles required key problem-solving skills for work with teachers, parents, and administrators to develop and provide a continuum of special education services to her student charges. She says her mantra is, “All children want to succeed, behavior is communication, and it is essential that we support the development of a child’s positive identity as a learner and a student.”

Kimberly McCann, General Studies

Kimberly McCann earned her Master’s of Art in Teaching in 2007. She has worked as a substitute, tutor, middle school teacher, and part-time college instructor. While she says her strengths are in math, science, and computers, she enjoys all academic subjects. Her goals as a teacher are to make sure each student is challenged and always desirous of  learning more. Through hands-on activities and projects, she says, learning comes alive.

Morah Simi Mishulovin, Judaic Studies

Morah Simi has been an educator for 19 years, educating children in Sydney, Australia, Michigan, and locales in between. She received her teaching credential from Beth Chana in Tzfat, Israel. She teaches with her signature love and energy. Continuing education and staying au courant are  personal passions. “I feel very blessed to be a part of children's education, particularly helping each child gain the tools to succeed in fulfilling his or her potential,” she says.

Rabbi Menachem Orentstein, Judaic Studies

A graduate of the South African Institute for Rabbinical Training, Rabbi Orenstein has been involved in education in New York for the past 5 years including extra curricular activities. He is also the Program Director for the Gan Israel Day Camp here in Portland. “I’m looking forward to joining the Maimonides students and staff in providing personal and quality Judaic Studies,” Rabbi Orenstein says. 

Tammy Schwartz, General Studies Curriculum Coordinator and Teacher

Tammy Schwartz has been a classroom teacher for more than 15 years and has worked directly with children in capacities outside the classroom, such as in scouting and Shakespearean drama, for more than 25 years. She holds a B.A. in communications and minors in sociology and German literature. Tammy has taught in public and private schools, as well as in home-school education, and thus brings a very  well-rounded and unique perspective to Maimonides. Tammy says, “I strongly believe that all children can learn, and I teach with the goal that learning should be an enjoyable, lifelong activity.” 

Lucie Sorel, Teaching Assistant

Lucie Sorel is a native of New York and recently moved to the Portland area to be closer to her sister and family.  She has been a teacher of the arts and academic support for children aged 1-10 years old. Lucie enjoys spending her time reading, writing poetry, dancing, singing and drawing.  She also loves traveling and experiencing new cultures. She has a Bachelor's degree in communications from Hofstra University in Long Island, NY. She is thrilled to be an assistant teacher at Maimonides this year.

Mirit Vered, Hebrew Language

Born in Israel, Mirit Vered has a background in education. As the school's Ivrit teacher, Mirit infuses Hebrew into everything she does with and for the students: grammar lessons, conversations, songs, and activities. “I especially enjoy using a variety of techniques to keep the children actively involved in their Judaic learning, and I really  love sharing stories with them in my native language,” Mirit says.

Chaya Wilhelm, Judaic Studies

Teaching Judaic Studies is a passion of Morah Chaya's. Prior to coming to Maimonides, she taught at the Chabad Academy in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and at Mazel Day School in Brighton Beach, N.Y. “I like to bring Judaism alive through hands-on activities in my classroom,” she says.

Nicole Ybarra, General Studies

Teaching Judaic Studies is a passion of Morah Chaya's. Prior to coming to Maimonides, she taught at the Chabad Academy in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and at Mazel Day School in Brighton Beach, N.Y. “I like to bring Judaism alive through hands-on activities in my classroom,” she says.

 

Volunteers

Bruce Banansky, Classroom Support

Bruce Banasky is a semi-retired small-business owner. A father and native of Portland, he’s lived in the  "neighborhood," as he calls it, for the past 40 years. A life-long member of the MJCC, he says, “I love Judaism and I love our Maimonides Jewish Day School.”

Elyse Berkovitch, Classroom Support

Elyse Berkovitch works as a physical therapist with adults but enjoys the opportunity she has at Maimonides to be with young children in a positive and engaging environment.  "My daughters went to Maimonides for preschool and it continues to have a lasting impact on all our lives. I so enjoy working with the children, watching them learn and grow and treat each other with kindness. They are taught a love of Judaism and each other at Maimonides  the atmosphere is contagious. I so appreciate being around it," she says. 

Joyce Boro, Classroom Support

For 27 years Joyce taught  public school children in kindergarten through third grade. She also has instructed English as a second language, and she loves gardening.

Basha Rothstein Brewer, Classroom Support

Basha Rothstein Brewer was an educational assistant in the public schools for 14 years, working in libraries and in  the classrooms, primarily with elementary and middle school students, including those in special education. Basha retired in 2008 from the public schools. A mother and grandmother many times over, Basha says ever since childhood, education always was her focus and source of enjoyment. “Education is most appealing, meaningful, and has the greatest impact when it is personal,” she says.

Dr. Joseph Mallov, Reading Interventionist

Dr. Joseph Mallov graduated from Oberlin College in 1968 with a bachelor’s in biology, and he earned his M.D. in 1972 from the University of Chicago School of Medicine. He practiced endocrinology and internal medicine until he retired just last December at 71. While he started volunteering at Maimonides in 2017, he became a daily volunteer at the beginning of this year. “I  have been lucky enough to have six grandchildren to date, and my wife and I enjoy hiking and the outdoors,” Dr. Mallov says.

Joan Stiber, Classroom Support

Joan Stiber is a retired kindergarten teacher who moved to Portland about four years ago. She holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in elementary education with an emphasis on gifted education. “I love the school environment and enjoy helping young children learn, which I also cherish doing with my seven grandchildren,” she says.