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Our Team

Faculty & Staff

Carolyn Benick Brown

Staff

(615) 432-2554

cbenickbrown@akivanashville.net

Position
Business Manager

 

Vardit Binstein

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

vardit@akivanashville.net

Teacher
Elementary Hebrew and Judaic Studies & Technology Lead

Education

  • B. Sc. Industrial and Management Engineering, Ben Gurion University
  • Master’s of Business Administration, Ben Gurion University

What I Love About Akiva
Akiva is like a family for me, I enjoy seeing the children grow and make huge progress in language.

Annette Calloway

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

acalloway@akivanashville.net

Teacher
4th Grade ELA & Art

Education

  • BA English/Speech Communication, Lipscomb University
  • M.Ed. Education, Vanderbilt University

Certifications
ELL

What I Love About Akiva
Akiva is a warm and electric community.  Whether painting or writing, I love feeling the joy in the room when students are creating.  Akiva provides an environment where children can pursue their unique interests and feel safe to share their perspectives about the world.  Having a growth mindset is a core value for both staff and students.  I am always learning and growing at Akiva!

Emma Cribb

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

cribb@akivanashville.net

Coach / Athletic Director
Physical Education, Cross Country and Track Coach

Education

  • BS Biology, Columbia University
  • Master’s of Business Administration, Fairleigh Dickinson University

 

Certifications

  • Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (N.S.C.A.)
  • Personal Trainer (A.C.E.)
  • USA Cycling Coach

What I Love About Akiva
Teaching kids to embrace an active lifestyle. Giving all kids a chance to be athletic. I love playing & sports!

Yifat Crouvi

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

ycrouvi@akivanashville.net

Hebrew Teacher
Hebrew and Judaic Studies

Education

  • BA Education & Special Education, Tel Aviv University
  • MA Derby University

 

Certifications

What I Love About Akiva

Annie Douthit

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

adouthit@akivanashville.net

Teacher
2nd Grade General Studies & Math Lead Teacher

Education

  • BA Economics, Bates College
  • M.Ed Elementary Education, Vanderbilt University

 

Certifications

  • Reading Specialist Endorsement

What I Love About Akiva
I love when a child’s face lights up when he/she figures out a new strategy, solves a challenging problem, or improves on a project.

Emma Duncliffe

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

eduncliffe@akivanashville.net

Teacher
Campus Children and Operations Coordinator

Education

  • BA Communications, Ohio State University
  • M.Ed Higher Education Administration, Vanderbilt University

 

Certifications

What I Love About Akiva

Susan Eskew

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

seskew@akivanashville.net

Teacher
4th Grade General Studies & STEAM Lead Teacher

Education

  • BS Elementary Education 1-8, Middle Tennessee State University
  • BS Special Education K-12, Middle Tennessee State University

Certifications
Highly Qualified Status Grades 3-8

What I Love About Akiva
Akiva is an environment that purposefully creates moments of wonder and what if, why not now, and how can we achieve more. We value and provide opportunities for communicating effectively, innovative thinking and to demonstrate confidence in one’s abilities and the abilities of their team. We prepare our students for the community and world they will lead.

Julie Fortune

Staff

(615) 432-2552

jfortune@akivanashville.net

Position
Director of Admission and Outreach

Education

  • BLS Religion in Society, University of Memphis
  • MALS Philosophy of Religion, University of Memphis
  • MA Religious Studies, Florida State University

Certifications

  • Highly Qualified Status in All Middle School Subjects, Special Education K-12

  • Reading Specialist Endorsement

What I Love About Akiva
I love being apart of a community and a school that ensures that every child is loved, supported, and challenged in new ways every day. Unlike any other program I have worked in, Akiva does everything possible to ensure that ‘the whole child’ is being nourished.

Nili Friedman

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

nfriedman@akivanashville.net

Teacher
3rd Grade General Studies

Education

  • BA English,  Brandeis University with Minors in Elementary Education, Jewish Studies, and Humanities Interdisciplinary Program
  • M.Ed. Elementary Education, Vanderbilt University

Certifications

  • Highly Qualified Status Grades K-6

What I Love About Akiva
Akiva provides students with a nurturing environment in which they feel comfortable being themselves while taking on new challenges. Students explore what it means to be a Jew, an American, and a global citizen while learning how to express themselves as individuals. I feel so blessed to be a part of this amazing community.

Jennifer Hosey

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

jhosey@akivanashville.net

Teacher
Kindergarten General Studies Teacher

Education

  • BS Elementary Education K-6, Middle Tennessee State University

What I Love About Akiva
I feel blessed to be at Akiva because of the teamwork amongst the faculty members and the ability to tailor our curriculum to meet each child’s needs.

Kelly Love

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

klove@akivanashville.net

Teacher
 Middle School General Studies, Writing Lead, & Teacher Mentor

 

Education

  • BA, Reading, Dual Minors: Education & Women’s Studies, University of Texas at El Paso
  • MA Curriculum and Instruction, University of Phoenix

Certifications

  • Reading Specialization 6-12

What I Love About Akiva

Akiva is a place that encourages students and teachers to follow their passions. The small class sizes make it easy for teachers to give students the help and attention they deserve.

Rena Malkofsky-Berger

Faculty & Staff

(615) 356-1880

rena@akivanashville.net

Teacher
5th and 6th Grade Math and Science Teacher, Curriculum Specialist

Education

  • BS Psychology and Biological Studies, University of California at Davis
  • MA Education & Developmental Psychology, University of California at Berkeley

What I Love About Akiva
At Akiva, everyone is  supported to become their best self—students and teachers alike.

Rabba Daniella Pressner

Faculty / Staff

(615) 356-1880

dpressner@akivanashville.net

Position
Head of School

Education

  • BA Religion and Dance, Barnard College, Columbia University

  • MA Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University

 

Certifications

  • Continued Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Current Member of Yeshivat Maharat Kollel Track

What I Love About Akiva
Akiva is this unusual community that puts every child at the center. It is a place where children are nurtured and loved and a place where they are challenged to be curious, to wonder, to take risks and to have moral courage. I am inspired every day by the children, the parents and the faculty. It is a community and a family and a space for every child’s spark to be ignited.

Beth Siller

Staff

(615) 356-1880

bsiller@akivanashville.net

Position
School Counselor

Education

  • BA Theatre, Southern Connecticut State University
  • MA Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

 

Certifications

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Drama Therapy
  • Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Responsive Classroom

What I Love About Akiva
I truly love Akiva for a plethora of reasons. Ever since I arrived in Nashville from Los Angeles in January, I have incredibly welcomed, appreciated, supported, and valued. The faculty, parents, and students have been absolutely amazing and loving! In all of my 14 years of working at different schools, I’ve never experienced such a strong sense of family as I do at Akiva. As a Jew myself, I feel like I’m home. I feel so fortunate, honored, and blessed to be able to incorporate Jewish Studies into my Social-Emotional lessons. Akiva has allowed me the freedom to bring the arts into my techniques and practices with students. My professional experience at Akiva is unlike anything I’ve I’ve ever encountered and for that, I am forever grateful. L’chaim!

Jessica Yousem

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

jyousem@akivanashville.net

Teacher
1st Grade General Studies Teacher

Education

  • BA, Sociology, Wheaton College
  • MA, Education, Pepperdine University 

 

Certifications
California State Teaching Credential 

What I Love About Akiva
I am so excited to join the Avika School Team! I am looking forward to an incredible year ahead and cannot wait to learn and grow with my class.

Michal Zidkyahu

Faculty

(615) 356-1880

mzidkyahu@akivanashville.net

Teacher
Middle School Hebrew and Judaic Studies

Education

  • BA Psychology, Criminology, Sociology, Bar Ilan University, Israel

  • MA Expressive Arts Therapy, Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Certifications

  • Certified Psychodramatist
  • Creative Arts Therapist

What I Love About Akiva

Akiva is a microcosmos of the Jewish community of Nashville. It is small, diverse, warm and inclusive. I appreciate that it lets me take part in and support the process of building an academically, and emotionally strong future Jewish community.

Contact Us


P: 615-356-1880
F: 615-356-1850

info@akivanashville.net

809 Percy Warner Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37205

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