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Science Department - Faculty List

Mrs. Gila Stein

Gila Stein

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  • Email: steing@maayanot.org
  • Mrs. Gila Stein, Science Chair, views her classroom as a community of learners and strives to provide every student with a broad and deep knowledge of fundamental scientific principles through active, hands-on learning. In addition to chairing the Science Department, Mrs. Stein teaches Chemistry and Physics, and she provides additional science help to students during their free periods by conducting workshops for individuals or small groups. Mrs. Stein came to Ma’ayanot from Ramaz Upper School, where she taught science for four years. Prior to her tenure at Ramaz, she taught science for two years in Shevach High School. Mrs. Stein earned her B.A. in Biochemistry from Queens College, and her M.A. in High School Science Education from Columbia Teachers College.

Ms. Rivki Berman

Rivki Berman

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  • Email: Bermanr@maayanot.org
  • Ms. Rivki Berman, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, recently joined Ma’ayanot’s faculty to teach our Nutrition elective.  Ms. Berman earned both a B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science and an M.S. in Nutrition from the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College.  After receiving her degrees, Ms. Berman completed a Dietetic Internship, also at Hunter’s School of Public Health, after which she served as a nutrition teacher for Lifeline Challenge to Healthy Living Program for students in four New Jersey public schools. She currently serves as a nutrition consultant for Medical Nutrition Therapy Associates, LLC.

Mrs. Gillian Cofnas

Gillian Cofnas

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  • Email: Cofnasg@maayanot.org
  • Mrs. Gillian Cofnas teaches all levels of physics and our STEM research elective.  Ms. Cofnas earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Science from the University of Toronto; for her undergraduate thesis she investigated a polymer-based drug delivery system for spinal cord injury, and for her graduate thesis she evaluated interfaces for medical devices to improve usability and enhance patient safety.  Early in her career Ms. Cofnas gained extensive research experience through her work in biomedical research facilities, but has recently shifted to a career in education by teaching chemistry at RYNJ’s middle school and individually tutoring students, primarily in math and science.

Ms. Aliza Friedman

Aliza Friedman

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  • Email: Friedmana@maayanot.org
  • Ms. Aliza Friedman, a Ma’ayanot alumna, teaches science and serves as an eleventh grade Mehanekhet. She recently graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Stern College, and while at Stern she gained valuable experience as a research assistant for a cancer research project. Throughout college Ms. Friedman also served as an Instructor for Project Start, a Yeshiva College chemistry club whose mission is to utilize multi-media programming and creative hands-on experimentation to educate public school children in science.

     

Dr. Laurence Geyer

Laurence Geyer

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  • Email: Geyerl@maayanot.org
  • Dr. Laurence Geyer teaches Chemistry and serves as a Science Lab Assistant.  Dr. Geyer completed her undergraduate studies in Chemistry at Ecole Nationale de Chimie de Lille in France, holds an M.S. in Chemistry from Toledo University in Ohio, and earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the City University of New York.  Prior to coming to Ma'ayanot, Dr. Geyer spent many years as an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry and Organic Chemistry at numerous universities, including Toledo University, Tufts University, Hunter College, and John Jay College, and more recently she taught physics, chemistry and French at Manhattan Talmudic Academy. In addition to teaching experience, Dr. Geyer has impressive research experience which has resulted in numerous research publications and presentations, and she is the recipient of the Gertrude Elion Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship.

Mrs. Esther Slomnicki

Esther Slomnicki

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  • Email: slomnickie@maayanot.org
  • Mrs. Esther Slomnicki teaches Biology and A.P. Biology. Prior to coming to Ma'ayanot, Mrs. Slomnicki worked at Lawrence Woodmere Academy, where she taught Biology and A.P. Biology and developed her own syllabus for teaching Genetics and Anatomy. She has also worked as a research technician at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she investigated genes possibly related to prostate cancer. Mrs. Slomnicki holds a B.A. in Biology from Queens College.

Mrs. Elise Vitow

Elise Vitow

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  • Phone: 201-833-4307 ext. 200
  • Email: vitowe@maayanot.org
  • Mrs. Elise Vitow is the Director of Ma'ayanot's Learning Center, teaches Biology, and serves as a ninth grade mehanekhet. Prior to joining the Ma’ayanot faculty, Mrs. Vitow served on the faculties of both HAFTR and HALB, where she taught various science and math courses for thirteen years. At HAFTR, she also served as the Chairperson of the Science Department of the Middle School, as well as a learning specialist, staff mentor, and in-service instructor of new faculty. Before returning to teaching full time, Mrs. Vitow was the Educational Administrator of the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center in Staten Island for eight years. Mrs. Vitow received both her B.A. in Languages and Literature and her M.S. in Special Education from CUNY, and she completed sixty credits towards an R.N. degree. She is a member of the team of founding educators of the National Association of Yeshiva Day Schools Serving Exceptional Children (NADSEC), as well as a member of the N.J. Association of Jewish Day Schools.