Who’s Who

Our Professional Staff

The professional staff of the Department of Education of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism will work with you and your school to align your program with your mission and strengthen your school in the ways that you need.

Jon-MitzmacherDr. Jon Mitzmacher, Executive Director 
The Schechter Network has appointed Dr. Jon Mitzmacher as its new Executive Director. Mitzmacher is a nationally recognized expert in the field of 21st-century learning, and his school, the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, a Schechter Network school, has done pioneering work in the field. You can contact Jon at jmitzmacher@schechternetwork.org.




Ilisa CappellIlisa Cappell, Associate Director

IIlisa served with distinction as the Head of School at the El Paso Jewish Academy for six years, is a current Ed.D. student at JTS, and comes out of the Day School Leadership Training Institute’s (DSLTI) fourth cohort. You can contact Ilisa at icappell@schechternetwork.org




Pearl Mattenson, Senior Advisor, Planning and Programming

Pearl comes to SDSN with 30-years of experience in Education and non-profit leadership. She has been a teacher, family educator, and Principal and has consulted to day schools on governance, teacher development, and school change initiatives. Pearl was instrumental in the development and delivery of two pre-service day school teacher education programs and has worked with a variety of foundations to research and support new and innovative educational initiatives. Pearl is also a certified leadership and systems coach with clients in the day school world as well as non-profits across North America. She is best known for her work in helping teams to work optimally navigating the complicated and messy dynamics that can derail critical efforts. You can contact Pearl at pmattenson@schechternetwork.org.

AG head shot 2 (1) Alisha Goodman, Development & Finance Director

Alisha Goodman is our Development Director. Alisha’s previous work in the Jewish community includes serving as the Executive Director of The Jewish Lens, a Jewish educational non-profit, as well as various positions at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.  Alisha also serves as a Board member for the JPRO Network.  She is passionate about the Jewish community and the field of Jewish day school education.  You can contact Alisha at agoodman@schechternetwork.org.

Collegial consultants

Maxine-HandelmanMaxine Handelman
is the early childhood specialist of the Department who works from Chicago. With expertise in the Jewish education of pre-school children, she consults with schools, parents, rabbis and teachers about curriculum, programs and developmental issues. She meets with and coaches early childhood educators seeking to deepen the Jewish content of their school’s program as well as the knowledge base of their teachers.


Susan-WynerSusan Wyner
came to United Synagogue in 2008 after a career as a congregational school director. She oversees and facilitates the New Directors Institute for education directors of congregational schools, which brings together new leaders and prepares them for the challenges of their position. She also is responsible for the Ednotes list serve, providing information on administration, holiday programming, the latest educational research and news from the Conservative Movement. Sue serves as a consultant to synagogue schools across North America and has had a significant impact on the professional growth and development for hundreds of teachers and principals. Based in Cleveland, Sue is available to communities throughout the USA and Canada Through on-site visits and technology, she trains Jewish educators in the transmission of knowledge, strategies for effective teaching and administration, understanding about student learning, and curriculum support.

Galya Greenberg
grew up in the Conservative movement and was active as a teenager and young adult in both USY and Camp Ramah. She graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, and earned an MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She was a teacher and administrator at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford for over twenty years and is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Jewish Educational Leadership at Northeastern University and Hebrew College. Galya looks forward to working with MaToK teachers in both curriculum and professional development.


Saul-WachsDr. Saul Wachs
has been working as a mentor teacher in the area of Tefillah and spirituality for more than twenty-five years. A professor at Gratz Cllege in Philadelphia and a hazzan by training, Dr. Wachs has had an impact on many hundreds of teachers and scores of Solomon Schecher Day Schools through his consulting visits across North America. A special arrangement with the SDS Network enables a number of affiliated schools to bring Dr. Wachs to their community each year where he works with the faculty on professional development in the areas in which he specializes and shares his expertise in model classes with children and in meetings with boards of trustees.

Board of Trustees – 2015-16/5775

Gary Gross, Board President, Gross Schechter Day School, Cleveland, OH
David Kekst, Board member, Sinai Temple, Beverly Hills, CA
Dan Labovitz, Board President, Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, New York, NY
Dr. Judith Lax, past Board President, Golda Och Academy (formerly Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union), Summit, NJ
Dr. Steven Lorch, past Head of School, Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, New York, NY
Dr. Michael Novey, past Board Chair, Krieger Schechter Day School, Baltimore, MD
Larry Pachter, past Board President, Solomon Schechter Day School of Chicago, Highland Park, IL
Eli Ungar, past Board President, Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County, NJ Englewood, NJ
Bracha Werber, past Board President, Solomon Schechter School of Queens, Great Neck, NY
Dara Yanowitz, Chair, past Board President, Gross Schechter Day School, Cleveland, OH

Advisory Board-2015-16/5775

Jane Cohen, Director of Capacity Building at Yeshiva University Institute for University-School Partnership
Rabbi Sheldon Dorph, Freelance Consultant, Rabbi, Ed.D. in education and Bible Teacher.
Rabbi Elliot Goldberg, Head of School, Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston
Rabbi Dr. Steven Lorch, Head of School, Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan
Rabbi Mitch Malkus, Head of School, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
Avi Baran Munro, Head of School, Community Day School
Rabbi Jim Rogozen, Head of School, Martin J. Gottlieb Jewish Day School
Rabbi Jim Rosen, Rabbi of Beth El Temple, West Hartford, CT
Rabbi Moshe Schwartz, Head of School, Kellman Brown Academy
Dr. Melanie Waynik, Head of School, Ezra Academy