Who We Are

Board of Directors

Arnee Winshall, President

arnee_head_squareMs. Winshall, HATC Board President, studied developmental psycholinguistics at the University of Chicago, is the Founding Chair of Hebrew at the Center and the Chair of the Board of Directors of RAVSAK. Arnee also serves on the Executive Committee of JESNA as the lay chair of the Lippman Kanfer Institute, on the Foundation for Jewish Camp board, and is Founding Chair of JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School. Her article, “State of the Field: Hebrew Teaching and Learning” was published in the spring 2011 issue of Contact, The Journal of the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life. She is the recent recipient of Hebrew College’s Sidney Hillson/Rose Bronstein Award for distinguished achievement in Jewish educational leadership.

Joanne Blauer, Clerk

Ms. Blauer formerly was the Associate Dean and Secretary and Executive Vice Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences. She currently serves on the board of Scripps College and has previously served on the board of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and is a member of the Washington State Bar Association.



Marc Kramer, Treasurer

Marc Kramer is an independent educational consultant, a group facilitator for the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services of New York and the author of several major studies on Jewish day school education. Marc, who was the Executive Director of RAVSAK until its incorporation into Prizmah, is the recipient of the 2006 Covenant Award. He received his bachelor’s degree in Near East and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. After studying and learning in Israel, an extraordinary stint at the El Paso Hebrew Day School, and with the support of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, he continued in his studies, earning a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University, a master’s degree in Jewish Studies at JTS, and both a master’s and doctoral degrees in education from Columbia University Teachers College. Marc is a member of the Leading in Hebrew Review Committee. Marc lives in Riverdale, New York.

Lee Perlman, Director

Lee Perlman is the Director, Development and Strategic Partnerships at ICEI (The Israel Center for Educational Innovation). Manhattan born and bred, Lee Perlman has lived in Israel since 1982. Lee is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in philanthropy and non-profit management, a passion for and a deep belief in education and a life-long passion for Hebrew. In addition to his work at ICEI, he is currently board chair, The Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, and as an Associate of Brandeis University’s International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, he is co-leading IMPACT, an initiative to build the “Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation” field. He has held senior positions at The America-Israel Cultural Foundation, The Jewish Federations of North America, the Abraham Fund Initiatives, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and the Israeli educational non-profit, Melitz. He has taught at Tel Aviv University and in Brandeis University international summer programs. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. from Tel Aviv University and his B.A. from U.C.L.A. Lee lives in Tel Aviv.

Mark Sokoll, Director

mark-sokoll_head_squareMark Sokoll, President and CEO of the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston since July 2000, is a lifelong advocate, activist and educator working on behalf of the Jewish Community in Israel and Greater Boston. Since 1988 Mark has had several posts at the JCC. He was Director of Jewish Resources from 1988 – 1990, Executive Director of the Leventhal-Sidman JCC in Newton from 1992-2000 and of The Striar JCC in Stoughton from 1996-2000.In Israel, Mark worked as a Senior Educator at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel and as a tour guide primarily with the Jewish Agency’s Institute for Leadership Development. During his service in the Israel Defense Forces he served as an educator at the IDF Institute for Officer Training and Education. A graduate of Boston University, Mark earned his Masters Degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. Mark also received Rabbinic Ordination from Bet Din-Bet Achim in New York City and served as part-time Rabbi at Temple Bnai Israel in Revere, Massachusetts from 1987 to 2010. Mark was the Co-Chair for many years of the Board of Directors of the Lenny Zakim Fund, a not-for-profit Foundation that funds grassroots organization in Greater Boston involved in building a better society for all. The Junior Chamber of Commerce named him one of Greater Boston’s “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders”. Mark is also the recipient of the Myrtle Wreath Achievement Award from Hadassah, the Lester Gilson Community Service Award from the Solomon Schechter Day School and The Bernard Riesman Award for Professional Excellence. For many years Mark coordinated and led Boston’s Annual Black Jewish Seder. Mark lives in Newton with his wife Marjorie, founding director of Jewish Healing Connections at JF&CS; daughter Talya graduate of NYU Steinhart School of Education BA and MA; son David graduate of Oberlin College.

Todd Sukol, Director

Todd Sukol has worked in and around the nonprofit and philanthropic sector most of his career. At the Mayberg Foundation he oversees the foundation’s strategic philanthropy, grant-making and development of the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC). Previously, Todd was president of Do More Mission, a firm that increases nonprofit impact through philanthropic advisory services to high net worth individuals and foundations and management services to small and mid-sized charitable organizations. Sukol received his formal training in Journalism and Public Relations from the Pennsylvania State University. He studied at the University of Manchester in England and completed a two-year Yeshiva program at Machon Shlomo: Alexander and Eva Heiden Torah Institute in Jerusalem, Israel. Sukol is currently enrolled in the Executive Master’s program at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Todd lives in Silver Springs, Maryland.

Walter A. Winshall, Director

Walter A. Winshall is a Principal in Collaborative Seed and Growth Partners, LLC, an investment firm specializing in the commercialization of early-stage technology. He is also a director at a number of early-stage companies. In addition to HATC, he is a board member of the National Yiddish Book Center and MIT Hillel. He was a founding board member of JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School and the Institute for the Advancement of Hebrew. He graduated from MIT in electrical engineering and from the Harvard Law School.

Professional Team

Rabbi Andrew Ergas, Chief Executive Officer

Bringing over twenty-five years of involvement in Jewish education and leadership, Rabbi Andrew Ergas has served as the Executive Director of the Shames JCC on the Hudson and in similar role at the Jewish Community Project Downtown (JCP). Andrew also served for seven years as Head of School at Beit Rabban Day School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In the past, he served as Executive Director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), as a Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Youth Division, as a resident and day camp director for both Young Judaea and for JCC’s, and as an organizational management consultant.
Andrew was ordained in Jerusalem by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, and holds master’s degrees in nonprofit management and in Hebrew literature. A graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education certificate program, Andrew is also a doctoral candidate in education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, with a research focus on Hebrew, identity and pedagogy.
A frequent lecturer and writer on Israel and Diaspora relations, Jewish history and effective change management within organizational life, Rabbi Ergas is recognized as a leading speaker and educator in the Jewish community and beyond. He is active in his home congregation and serves in a volunteer capacity as the Board Chair for the Council on Hebrew Language and Culture in North America. Andrew enjoys playing guitar, great movies, and spending time outdoors. Andrew lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. with his wife Jennifer and has three young adult sons, Erez, Natan and Ari.

Tal Gale, Chief Program Officer

Tal has diverse experience in Jewish education across North America and in Israel. She has worked in both formal and informal educational settings across a broad range of audiences with a focus on educational leadership and Hebrew language acquisition. Tal has a BA and MA in Hebrew Literature and Hebrew Language Instruction from Brandeis University where she studied with Dr. Vardit Ringvald.  She has also pursued post-graduate studies at Tel Aviv University in Hebrew Literature and at UCLA in Educational Leadership.

From 2010-2014 she served as North American Program and Education Director of the Diller Teen Fellows Program where she managed local teen leadership programs in collaboration with 10 North American Jewish Federations (SF, Baltimore, Boston, LA, NJ, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Miami and Chicago) and promoted partnerships between local programs and their respective Israeli partner communities.  In this role, Tal created a national program manual including policies, procedures and curriculum, designed and facilitated annual professional development programs for national and international staff and community leaders, and designed tools for national and international program evaluation for 20 participating communities to increase program impact and contribute to the field of Jewish Peoplehood.

Most recently Tal has served as a consultant to Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School in Palo Alto were she provided professional development and mentoring for Hebrew language teachers and increased integration of Hebrew school-wide to strengthen Jewish identity development.

Tal’s work includes publications on the topic of Jewish Peoplehood and contributions to the Peoplehood Education Toolkit, a Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education and a UJA Federation initiative.  In addition to her work, Tal serves on the Board of Directors of the Council of Hebrew Language and Culture in North America.

Mira Angrist, Director of Professional Learning

Mira Angrist, a member of HATC’s Leadership Team, is a senior lecturer and the head of the Hebrew Program at Boston University (BU). Mira’s professional interests includes curriculum development, integrating technology into Hebrew pedagogy, high leverage practices in second language acquisition, and mentoring teachers. Mira teaches all proficiency levels at BU and has created new courses such as Israeli Popular Music, Voices in Israeli Society, and Food Cultures in Israel. From 2014 to 2016, Mira served as coordinator of BU’s “Brown Bag Lunch” professional development talks, involving four language departments. For the 2016-18 academic year, she assumed the role of coordinator of part-time lecturer in the BU World Languages and Literature Department and from 2019 the coordinator of all full time and part time lecturers within her department.
In her role as HATC Senior Advisor, Mira has worked with multiple schools across North America, including as a mentor for the Legacy Heritage Teacher Leadership Fellowship program at Brandeis University and created a popular online digital literacy course for Hebrew educators.

From 2010 to 2016, Mira served as the Hebrew Director of Prozdor, the supplementary middle and high school program at Hebrew College in Newton, MA. During that time, she revised the entire Hebrew curriculum to achieve a communicative, proficiency-based approach.

Mira Angrist holds a Master’s degree from Rutgers University and a BA from Hebrew University. She also earned a post graduate certificate as a Senior Educator from the Melton Center at Hebrew University, specializing in teaching Hebrew as a foreign language and modalities in professional development. Mira is a certified OPI tester and a member of the pedagogical committee at NAPH (National Association of Professors of Hebrew). In June 2019 Mira hosted the NAPH conference at Boston University.

Liat Kadosh, Director of Embedded Expertise

Liat has over 25 years of experience teaching Hebrew to students and adults in Israel and the United States. She has been involved with HATC since its founding in 2007 and is a member of HATC’s Leadership Team. Liat directs the LIH-Leading in Hebrew project and has worked with multiple schools throughout North America and served as the coordinator of the Atlanta Regional Hebrew Initiative from 2010 to 2014. Living in Atlanta, Georgia, Liat served as the Director of Hebrew at Atlanta’s Jewish Academy (2YO-12th grade). Previously, Liat was the Hebrew Language Director at The Epstein Middle School, Hebrew Language Coordinator at the Yeshiva High School of Atlanta, a Hebrew language instructor at Emory University in Atlanta and a member in the SATII Hebrew subject test committee of the College Board.

Prior to moving to Atlanta, Liat taught Hebrew, wrote curriculum, and coordinated Hebrew language instruction support for students that learn differently( LD) at Gann Academy, in Waltham, MA. In Israel, Liat served as the Director of the Ulpan at the Givat Washington High School campus and as co-director of the high- School.
She holds a BA, Teaching License, and Educational Leadership Diploma from Bar Ilan University and an MA in Jewish Education from Siegal College of Judaic Studies, Ohio. Liat is an ACTFL-certified OPI tester, and the founder of HHH: Hador H’bah Hebrew ; booklets to enhance Hebrew reading for students that learn Hebrew as a second language.

Paula Levine, Project Coordinator

Paula has held key leadership roles with Temple Israel of Natick , United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Bureau of Jewish Education. At Temple Israel she has held the position of President, Executive Vice-President, and chair of several committees. Paula has been Education Vice-President of the New England Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and for a number of years sat on the National Board of Directors. She was President of the Boston Bureau of Jewish Education and a member of the Board of Directors of Combined Jewish Philanthropies and maintained a seat on the Family Education Task Force. She brings the same organizational skills to Hebrew At The Center as she did to her synagogue, the Conservative movement and Jewish education for more than thirty-five years. Paula is the mother of one day-school graduate daughter and Savta to two grandchildren, both of whom attend day school in Washington, D.C

Leah Pickholz, Executive Administrator & Business Office Manager

Leah joined Hebrew at the Center in 2018. She assists the CEO, and supports her with board-related matters. She also attends to bookkeeping, HR matters, and support for HATC development program. Prior to joining HATC, Leah worked as a substitute teacher at the Hopkinton school system, fulfilling her passion to teach and nurture children. For over 20 years Leah worked with her husband as the office administrator and marketing director at their music production studio. Leah helped organize numerous benefit events and recitals and attended to the administrative and financial duties of the studio’s office. Leah grew up in Tel Aviv Israel. She served in the IDF as a communication specialist. Leah attended Tel-Aviv University where she earned a B.A, majoring in Political Science. While attending school, she taught music and was a Hebrew tutor and continued to do so when she first moved to the United States.

Besides Hebrew and Israeli culture, Leah is passionate about Jazz and Classical music and loves to read. Her “guilty pleasure” is spy mystery novels i.e. books by Daniel Silva, Barry Eisler, and others.

Vered Goldstein, Coach

Vered Goldstein received her Bachelor’s degree in education with honors from the Tel Aviv University and her Master’s degree in Special Educational Needs from Middlesex University in London. Having been chosen to participate in HATC’s TELEM program Vered received her Hebrew Teaching Advisor Certification in June 2018. demonstrated expertise, leadership and professionalism within their organizations and in the field. This an 18-month certification program, which focuses on preparing a cohort of lead educators from across North America to support institutions and initiatives that are committed to enhancing Hebrew language acquisition by using the proficiency-based approach.

In recent years Vered further advanced her education and experience completing courses such as CJE-JNTP Administrators Cohort (a 2 years course), Creating Cultures of Thinking (Harvard radiate School of Education and Project Zero), Modified Oral Proficiency Course and the Proficiency Approach. Vered also completed the “Tal-Am” training in Paris as well as took courses in Learning Management for Teachers working with pupils with emotional and behavioral difficulties. Her job experience includes working in Human resources at the Bezeq Company (1992-1996) in Israel, as well as teaching at the Wolfson Hillel Primary Day School in Southgate London (1997-2000). Since 2002, Ms. Goldstein has been working as a Hebrew and Judaic teacher at the Jewish Primary Day School, known today as the Milton-Gottesman Jewish day school of the Nation’s Capital. In addition to teaching, since 2013, Vered assumed the position of Hebrew and Judaic Instructional Leader for Early Childhood (Pre-K, K and 1st grade) at the school.

Among the awards Vered received over the years are “Excellence of the Dean” from the Tel Aviv University, “Excellent Employee” while working in Israel, and “Distinguish Soldier of the Base” while serving in the Israeli Defense Force. A native of Israel she became an American citizen in 2008 and is fluent in Hebrew as well as English.

Esti Kassiff, Advisor

As an HATC Advisor, Esti works with a number of schools across North America developing and leading workshops and webinars on Hebrew pedagogy and coaching their Hebrew educational teams. Previously, Esti taught at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston (SSDS) for over 20 years and, during the last five years, was the Hebrew Literacy Coach at SSDS upper school in Newton MA. Esti administered and oversaw the OPI (Oral Proficiency Interviews) and WPA (Writing Proficiency Assessment) process at SSDS, in which Hebrew students are assessed to determine their level of proficiency in Hebrew. Esti also taught adult Hebrew classes at Boston’s Hebrew College for seven years and Hebrew language courses at Brandeis University for two years. And in 2012-2015 was an instructor for students in the DELET program in Brandeis University working towards their Master’s degree.

Esti has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Haifa University in Israel with a High-School Teaching Certification in Hebrew Language and Hebrew Literature.

Hamutal Keinan, Coach

Hamutal Keinan was a member of the first HATC TELEM cohort and works as an HATC coach. She recently joined the staff of Luria Academy of Brooklyn. Previously, she served as a Hebrew and Bible teacher at the Epstein School in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to teaching at Epstein, Hamutal worked as a Language Coordinator at the Balfour Elementary School in Tel Aviv, Israel. In this role, she created curricula and new teaching materials, led professional development, and provided guidance to teachers. Hamutal is a certified Educational Evaluator Specialist and holds a Master’s in Special Education. She believes strongly in using assessment tools to evaluate students’ progress and their growth in acquiring a second language. She works hard to incorporate creative work into the process of learning Hebrew as a second language by incorporating music, poetry, digital learning into her classroom.

Ariela Nehemne, Coach

Ariela Nehemne was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel and has been teaching for 24 years.  She received her degree in psychology from the Open University in Jerusalem and studied at Ramat Gan College Hacker Software School, where she became a Microsoft Solution Certified Developer (MCSD).  In addition, in June of 2018, she completed HATC’s 18-month TELEM program and became an HATC coach working with schools throughout North America.

In Israel, Ariela was a teacher for children with special needs and hearing impairments and a technology teacher for elementary and middle school. Ariela moved to Los Angeles in 2003 and studied early childhood education at the UCLA extension school.

Since 2003, Ariela has taught Hebrew and Judaic Studies at Pressman Academy and subsequently at Valley Beth Shalom Harold M. Schulweis Day School where she also served as the school’s Hebrew at the Center coordinator and teacher mentor. Currently, she is a Hebrew and Judaic studies teacher at Ilan Ramon Day School in Agoura Hills, California where she also mentors teachers and writes curriculum for grades pre-K through 2.

Ariela received the Sabati Patt Teacher of the Year Award in June, 2010 and the Milken Jewish Educator Award in October, 2014.

Ariela speaks Hebrew, English, Sign Language (for the hearing impaired) and Romanian.

Frieda Robins, Advisor – Early Childhood

Frieda was the Lead Educator of Ma’alah, Early Childhood Hebrew Immersion Network at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, also funded by The Covenant Foundation. At JTS she had also directed a program of Judaic Enrichment for Early Childhood Educators. These pilot programs were later replicated in various educational settings throughout the country. Frieda has also served as Director of Early Childhood Programs at Camp Ramah of New England. Before joining JTS, Frieda taught at the New City Jewish Center for 16 years in the religious school, preschool and Hebrew for adults, and at Rockland Community College. She holds a Masters in Jewish Education from JTS and was a doctoral candidate in Jewish Education there. Her research interests include early childhood Jewish education and Hebrew language education and evaluation. Frieda concentrates on professional development for early childhood educators both in Hebrew proficiency education and assessment and in Judaic studies. She has published studies on the Hebrew language immersion program at Camp Ramah, Judaic enrichment as change agent and scholarly research in Hebrew Immersion. Frieda is an ELLOPA (Early Language Listening and Oral Proficiency Assessment) trainer and tester with CAL (Center for Applied Linguistics), specializing in Early Childhood Hebrew language assessment.

Orit Shakarghi, Coach

Having completed the 18-month TELEM program in June of 2018, Orit became an HATC coach working with schools throughout North America.
In addition, since 2012, Orit has been teaching Hebrew at Associated Hebrew Schools (AHS) where she also served as the Head Teacher of the Hebrew Department, at Danilack Middle School Hurwitz Education Center, mentoring and coaching Hebrew teachers, as well as special education teachers for all Middle School grades. She also serves as a resource teacher for all Judaic studies students. Orit graduated with Honors from Ben Gurion University with a BA in Education and Literacy and received an Honours Master of Special Education from Academic Studies Center, Or Yehuda, Israel, a Teaching Diploma in Special Education for K-9 in Beer Sheva, Israel, and completed the AHS coaching and mentorship training program.


Sharona Givol, Co-Founder

Sharona, in her capacity as the Director of the Hebrew Language Program at JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School, served as the JCDS Project Manager for the Covenant Foundation Grant which helped to underwrite the pilot phase that led to the launch of HATC. After joining JCDS Boston in 2002, she began working with Dr. Ringvald to develop and refine the Hebrew language acquisition tools, teacher workshops, and mentoring programs that are now being shared with Hebrew language and Jewish educators around the world. While teaching grades 5-9 in Israel, Sharona was responsible for helping foster children adapt to their new families and communities. She managed a center for children with learning disabilities, working with dyslexic Middle School students. Later she co-founded the Community Day School of the Northern Golan Heights. From 1986 to 1997 Sharona worked for the “Logal” educational software company in Israel, as Director of Reading Comprehension and Language Arts.

Vardit Ringvald, Co-Founder

Vardit Ringvald, Ph.D., is a CV Starr Research Professor of Languages and Linguistics. She is the founding Director of the Brandeis-Middlebury School of Hebrew, established in 2007. Prof. Ringvald recently concluded nearly three decades at Brandeis University, most recently as the Director of the Hebrew Language Department. Along with her colleagues, she published Brandeis Modern Hebrew, Vol. 1, which has become North America’s most popular college Hebrew language textbook. Vol. 2 was published in June, 2013. She is an expert in the application of the proficiency approach to foreign language instruction and the development of competency-based curriculum for teaching Modern Hebrew in all educational settings at all levels, implementing authentic materials and methods for integrating Hebrew culture into the classroom. She is a founding member of the Hebrew Language Council (HLC) of North America and in 2013, she was appointed to the Committee for Teacher Certification Examinations of NYSED (The New York State Education Department). She led the Hebrew language initiative of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and served as the chairperson of the SAT II for Hebrew. She is a founding board member of JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School.Pre