Alumni News | Gratz College

Alumni News

Gratz College High School (JCHS)

Yael Margalit Moses (Gratz College High School 1963) Yael Margalit Moses, Emeritus Assistant Professor of Hebrew, is an eighth generation native of Israel who earned her M.A. at the Baltimore Hebrew University in Judaic Studies, with a concentration in Hebrew Literature and her M.S. from Towson University in Instructional technology. Professor Moses taught Hebrew Language and Literature at The George Washington University from 1977 until 2007 and served as the Hebrew Program Coordinator until 1999. During her tenure as coordinator the program grew to include four years of Hebrew course offerings. She created and taught the Israeli Media course targeting special needs of students in the Elliott School of International Affairs, both under graduate and graduate. Her research and development area has been mainly in the realm of Instructional Technology. She has developed a multimedia-interactive software package to be used by students to master the writing of the Hebrew cursive alphabet. Her ongoing contributions to the Language Laboratory have included original instructional and enrichment materials focusing on the development of listening comprehension and writing skills.

1966, 1970, 1977
Ray Leven (High School ‘66, BHL ‘70, MHL ‘77) mentor of the NEXT program at Gratz and retired. Grandfather of 4 beautiful children, 2 here in Phila and 22 in the Boston area. My wife and I are planning our ninth trip to Israel.

Arnold Eisen (High School '69) BA, University of Pennsylvania; BPhil, Oxford University; PhD, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Chancellor and President of the Faculties; Professor of Jewish Thought at The Jewish Theological Seminary, 2007 to the present. Biography

Joseph Gabai (High School ‘70) BA in Economics, 1973, from Pennsylvania State University. JD, 1976, from University of Pennsylvania Law School. Attorney. At this point, mostly retired. Currently a Senior Counsel at Morrison & Foerster LLP in Los Angeles, CA. I am a financial services regulatory attorney practicing in Los Angeles. I retired from the partnership at Morrison & Foerster in 2011 and am currently a part-time Senior Counsel with the firm. I spend a lot of my time reading, baking sourdough bread, brewing beer, exercising, traveling and meditating. I have been married since 1979 to Michele Gabai (nee Aron). She is a substitute teacher with the Beverly Hills Unified School District. We had a set of boy-girl twins in 1981. Daniel (Danny), a movie producer at Vice Media, lives in Los Angeles. He is married and has a son. Amanda, a tax attorney at Deutsche Bank, is married and lives in New York City.

Pamela (Korff) Reynolds (High School ‘70) Teacher

Hillel (Elliot) Kolodner (High School '73) 
PhD in Computer Science from MIT. Senior Researcher at IBM Research in Haifa.

Richard Stutman (High School ‘78)
B.A. and J.D. at Temple University. Lawyer at Liss and Marion, P.C. Married in 1987 to Jody Pikus. Daughters Alexa and Amanda.

Steve Labkoff (High School '81) In 2019, Steve became the Chief Data Officer of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. He's using big data to help find therapies for multiple myeloma.

Carrie Matez (High School '81) Coordinator of the Bucks County Kehillah in PA.

Joanne (Feig) Beaver  (High School '82)
Worked for the School District of Philadelphia for 31 years.Principal for 15 years (CAPA since 2014) Also served as Principal at Barton Elementary School and Finletter Academics Plus School. Lindback Award Winner - 2017 Fellow in the Academy of Philadelphia School Leaders - 2019 (Neubauer Foundations)

Yael (JoAnn) Sandler (High School ‘84)
BA Barnard College, BA JTS, MaEd Rosemont College. My lasting contribution to the future of the Jewish people: a Brandeis University graduate son, working in Tel Aviv, a college junior daughter, a gap year program participant daughter and a Barrack Hebrew Academy sophomore daughter. For soul enhancement and profit: CEO of own pet care company: Petcare Extraordinaire. As well as, educating students and learning from them as often as possible! 2015 Engaged to Jeff Weinstein

Eric Shackmasters
now Eric Masters (High School ‘85) B.A. - Drexel University MBA - Wharton School, Upenn. Wife: Anne Terrell Masters. Daughter: Sarah Lacy Masters. Son: Matthew Masters. Attend Temple Beth Or in Raleigh

David Light (JCHS ‘91)
Click here to read about David’s newest venture: Disney Channel movie “Zombies,” co-written by Cheltenham native David Light.

Sally Eisenberg (High School ‘12)
Used teaching certificate for employment at JCC during college.

Lily Coltoff (JCHS ‘16)
Click here to read Lily’s article Merging My Judaism and Disability Advocacy.

Leah Simpson MAHGS '16
Leah Simpson is the Deputy Director of CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center and joined the staff in September of 2017. Her undergraduate degree is in education with an emphasis in gifted students. In 2012 Leah was chosen to travel to authentic cites and museums in Europe and Israel with the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers Program; afterwards she completed her master’s degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from Gratz College. The Deputy Director is charged with the strategic management of programming as well as the day-to-day management of facilities, human resources, information technology, and special events functions.




Gratz College

Saul Wachs, Ph.D., '51 Professor Emeritus of Gratz College.
Dr. Wachs served as professor of Jewish Education at Gratz College for 42 years. Click here to read an article published in the PJVoice close to his retirement in 2017.

Barbara (Shanis) Block, ‘57
Department Head of Foreign Languages, School District of Philadelphia (teacher of Spanish and Hebrew)

My daughter Shira just published her first novel. My daughter Deborah is producing Artistic director of Theatre Exile. My son David has won several awards for his latest documentary. My daughter Rachel will be visiting from Israel next week with her daughter Sharon. Her son Tal Benjamin is teaching at Gratz College High School.

Lois (Kushner) Cohen (‘57) B.A. University of Pennsylvania, M.S. and PhD and Honorary Doctorate, Purdue University. Sociologist, Consultant and Paul G. Rogers Ambassador for Global Health Research, National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. Retired, 2006 from Federal service and have served as a consultant since then to the NIH, the World Health Organization, various universities and professional associations.

Bill [Z’Ev] Friedman (BHL’58)
Professor of Philosphy and Management Information Systems.
Retired in Arizona.

Shalom Bronstein BHL '64

Congregational Rabbi 1970 to 1986; Aliyah 1986; In Israel - researcher specializing in Holocaust, Eastern European history; has published articles on Philadelphia Jewish History.
Temple University - 1964 B.Sc. Secondary Education; Jewish Theological Seminary 1964-1970; M.H.L. JTS & Rabbinic Ordination
Married to Frances Goldberg (an Akiba graduate - 1961) for 51 years; Five children (4 daughters & 1 son) - all married, all in Israel, all served in IDF; 13 grandchildren

Rona Michelson (BHL ‘67)
DSW University of Pennsylvania. Your guide, Israel. Mother of 5, grandmother of 30. Married 51 years.

Sally Olson (‘67) Special education educator - consultant ACAJE. retired in Philadelphia. Son, Joseph JCHH 1980 - Daughter, Sharon JCHS 1981

1997, 2010
Amiel Monson (MAJED, MAJS, CJCS. ‘97, MAJCS’10)
Rabbinical School - AJRCA. Director of Youth Engagement at Valley Beth Shalom

Charles Lentz (MAED '98)
Served the Abington Pennsylvania School District for the past 25 years as an elementary school teacher, secondary assistant principal, elementary principal, and assistant director of curriculum. Lentz has been tapped to take over the position of Superintendent of New Hope-Solebury School District, also in Pennsylvania, pending a vote by the school board on October 11, 2018. Lentz will start his new position on December 12, 2018. 

2002, 2005
Cantor Francyne Davis Jacobs (MaJMus ‘02, MaJEd ‘05)
Independent Cantor/Clergy/Teacher/Tutor - I have worked in several different synagogues (Reform and Conservative) in the Houston area and have led High Holidays in Galveston. I also tutor independent B’nai Mitzvah students. Finally, I also teach Music Together classes 2-3 days/week. Married Kevin Jacobs in November 2005. Three children: daughter - 9, son - 7, son - 5.

2007, 2014
Sandra O. Lilienthal (MAJS ‘07, Ed.D. ‘14)
Independent Adult Jewish Educator. Currently serves on the Gratz College Board of Governors.

Cantor Meara Lebovitz (MAJCS '09) 
Cantor of Temple Beth Sholom of New City, New York.

Rachael Gray-Raff (MAJED 2010)
Director of 5-6 & 7-8 Shearim
Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago

Marisa (Butensky) Bergman (MAJEd ‘11)
Education Director at Adath Shalom Morris Plains NJ.

Rabbi Mark Getman (MAJS ‘11) Rabbi of Temple Emanu-EL of Canarsie, Brooklyn (PT), Full Time Contracted Federal Background investigator.

Lisa Litman (MAJEd,  '11) Director of jkidphilly, a program of Jewish Learning Venture

Amanda K. Weiss (Graduate Certificate in Jewish Non-Profit Management '11) Assistant Director of the Cornell University Hillel.

Rabbi Daniel Betzel (MAJS) 
Graduated form JSLI Rabbinical school after his studies at Gratz. Although he is still working part-time using his legal skills, he is also actively engaged in working with the interfaith community by teaching classes, officiating at interfaith weddings, etc. His  His son is attending the Fire Academy in Columbus and is working toward a career as a fireman. His daughter is a reading specialist in NYC.

Dr. Arthur Wolak (MAJS ‘13; Graduate Certificate in Jewish-Christian Studies)
President, CMI Chat Media Inc. Since graduation Arthur and his wife Anna welcomed the birth of their daughter, Julia, in February 2016. Julia has two older brothers, Jacob and Joshua. Arthur mourned the loss of his mother, Elizabeth Wolak z”l, in April 2017. She was a Polish Holocaust survivor and a survivor of Stalin’s forced labor camps in Siberia for which she was given the Siberian Cross by the President of Poland in 2012.
Arthur recently had two academic books published. In 2014, Palgrave Macmillan (London & New York) published “The Development of Managerial Culture.” In 2016, Anthem Press (London & New York) published his book, “Religion and Contemporary Management.” Arthur was appointed to the Board of Governors of Gratz College in 2017.

Elana-Beth Rosen (‘13) now Chava Bat Sheva Rosen,  Jerusalem.

Ishak Ibrahimzadeh (MAJS ‘14)

Marian Kleinman (MAJS ’14) is keeping teens engaged in NJ. Click here.

Nikki Marczak (MA Holocaust and Genocide Studies ’15)
published a chapter on the enslavement of Armenian and Yazidi women. Click here.

Professor Emeritus Dr. Saul Wachs, (BHL’51), and Dr. Michael Schatz (Ed.D. ‘15, MAJEd, ‘13, Gratz College High School, ‘85)
announce their second joint publication: Studies In Jewish Education In Honor Of Dr. Lifsa B. Schacther (Trofford Press, 2017).


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