Our Staff

Leadership Team

Head of school

Meghan Barrios

Meghan is the current Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Math at Hebrew Public. When Meghan started with Hebrew Public in 2016 she joined Harlem Hebrew as a member of the school leadership team. Meghan has over fifteen years of teaching, coaching and leadership experience. She successfully completed both the NJ EXCEL and New Leaders Aspiring Principal school leadership programs. Meghan earned a masters degree in education from Seton Hall University and a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from King’s College. She is looking forward to working with the staff, students, and family members to continue the meaningful work of designing a truly wonderful school at Harlem Hebrew. 

Contact Meghan: meghan@hebrewpublic.org

Assistant Head of School

Melanie Hinds

Melanie is very excited to serve as the Assistant Head of School at Harlem Hebrew. Melanie brings over twelve years of experience as a teacher, Dean of Students, and administrator. Melanie received her Master’s in Educational Leadership and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at The College of New Jersey. Melanie resides in New Jersey with her family, including her fourteen year old daughter and twenty one month old son. She is looking forward to meeting and getting to know the Harlem Hebrew team members and students this school year!

Contact Melanie: mhinds@harlemhebrewcharter.org

Assistant Head of School

Shlomit Levy

Shlomit Levy, LCSW, SBL, Assistant Head of School, has been a strong leader of Harlem Hebrew Language Academy team since its inception in 2013. Ms. Levy joined Harlem Hebrew as the Social Worker and continues to be committed to improving the experience of children and families at HHLA by working collaboratively with teachers, parents/guardians, staff, and organizations to support students’ academic and social development. Ms. Levy has 11 years of experience coaching and working with children and families in the educational system. Ms. Levy earned her BA in Family Psychology (Summa Cum Laude) from the Cuny Baccalaureate Program and is a member of the Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology. Ms. Levy graduated from Lehman College with a masters degree in social work and received her School Building Leader at The College of St. Rose. Ms. Levy is a board certified Clinical Social Worker as well as a board certified School Building Leader in New York State. Ms. Levy believes in the importance of leading by example.

Contact Shlomit: slevy@harlemhebrewcharter.org

Director of Mathematics

Rachael Besser

Rachael is excited to be taking on this new role as she begins her fourth year at Harlem Hebrew. Rachael was a founding 2nd grade teacher in 2014 and then spent a year in Israel with her family. She returned to Harlem Hebrew in 2016 as a founding 4th grade teacher and continued in that grade this past year as well. Prior to joining the Harlem Hebrew team, Rachael spent four years teaching at a private school in Boston. Rachael received a Masters in Literacy from Wheelock College and an undergraduate degree from Boston University in Elementary Education. She lives in Washington Heights with her husband and their 8 month old daughter.

Contact Rachel: rbesser@harlemhebrewcharter.org

Director of Literacy

Stephanie Fox

Stephanie began her teaching career through Teach for America as a Writing teacher in Memphis, TN. Eager to return to her hometown of NYC, she took on the role of teacher, curriculum writer, and coach at a charter school in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Upon leaving the classroom, Stephanie had the opportunity to work for both the New York State Education Department and New York City Department of Education, focusing on diversity initiatives and fair ELA assessments. Stephanie received a Masters in Education and Applied Statistics from New York University, a Masters in Literacy Education from Christian Brothers University, and an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. She is eager to bring her work from both inside and outside of the classroom to the Harlem Hebrew community.

Contact Stephanie: sfox@harlemhebrewcharter.org

Director of Operations

Ursula Vericain

Prior to joining HHLA, Ursula supported both established organizations, entrepreneurial ventures and non-profits managing them through their stages of creation, growth, finance and human resources. Ursula is most proud of her ability to successfully bring on board a range of experiences to HHLA in finance, human resources and operations. In her role at HHLA, Ursula will continue to manage the day to day HR needs of the staff and to also meet the operational aspects of the school. Ursula holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and plans on continuing her studies in obtaining her Master’s degree.

Contact Ursula: uvericain@harlemhebrewcharter.org

Director of Hebrew Curriculum and Instruction

Alona Mor

Alona Mor has years of experience in education. She received her masters in Education from Hunter College, where she did research on students who are Hebrew Heritage Language Learners. She is proud to be part of the founding team of Harlem Hebrew, where, as the director of Hebrew instruction and curriculum, she leads a team of excellent educators teaching Hebrew in one of the most diverse and exciting schools in NYC. Alona is also a parent at the school: her son is an in-coming kindergarten student this school year.

Contact Alona: amor@harlemhebrewcharter.org

Dean of Culture

Taharah Smalls

With over 10 years in the social service field, Taharah is adept at understanding and responding to the unique needs of a diverse student population.  Taharah joined the Harlem Hebrew community in 2017, as the Behavior Specialist, and her passion to support academic achievement, as well as social development, continues to take shape everyday in her new role as Dean of Culture.  Prior to joining Harlem Hebrew, Taharah worked as a Lead Behavior Specialist at a residential-school for children with various developmental disabilities. Additionally, Taharah provided in-home therapy services to children and families.  Taharah earned a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from The College of New Rochelle, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. John’s University.

Contact Taharah: tsmalls@harlemhebrewcharter.org

Special Education Coordinator


Haifa K-11

Jared Waters - General Education

Sufa Friedman - Hebrew

Netanya K-12

Sheralyn Camacho - General Education

Elana Weinberg - Hebrew

Tel Aviv K-13

Carly Koress - General Education

Yris Bilia - Hebrew

Kindergarten Teacher Assistants

Tracy Cohen

Asia Beacrucis

First Grade

Yerushalayim 1-101

Dionnedra Davidson - General Education

Jane Lake - Special Education

Wafa Alkrenawi - Hebrew

Ashkelon 1-102

Rebecca Corrigan - General Education

Gat Gabriel - Hebrew

Second Grade

Be’er Sheva 2-201

McKinley Walton - General Education

Rikki Cohen - Special Education

Metulla 2-202

Kara-Renee Logan - General Education

Akko 2-203

Dana Nassau - General Education

Third Grade

Yafo 3-301

Melissa Zhu - General Education

Nicole Angrisani - Special Education

Ashdod 3-302

Arielle Berger - General Education

Alisa Mariano - General Education

Rahat 3-303

Taryn Wrotny - General Education

Fourth Grade

Eilat 4-401

Tiana Guillermo - General Education

Rachel Zekry - Special Education

Tveriyah 4-402

Stephanie Vedral - General Education

Audrey Vogel - Special Education

Nahariya 4-403

Tara McHugh - General Education

Amanda Iturbe - Special Education

Ra’anana 4-404

Amber Danner - General Education

Fifth Grade

Chatzerim 5-501

Dina Duval - General Education

Majorie Levinson - Special Education

Natzrat 5-502

David Jonovksy - General Education

Emily Shelton - Special Education

Binyamina 5-503

Andrew Ringel - General Education

2nd-5th Grade Hebrew Teachers

Merav Ben-Nun

Esttie Yosef

Maya Stein

Adi Zouzout

Rivka Kisling

Sixth Grade

Arad 6-601

Terell Travis - General Education

Vicky Patlias - Special Education

Usafiya 6-602

Michelle Bontemps-Lindsay - General Education

6th Grade Hebrew Teachers

Marissa Kaplan - IB coordinator



Amir Moussavi

Physical Education

Jeff Perrett

Contact Info: Jeff Perrett


Ziona Bar


Kenya Gibson

Special Areas

Social Worker

Aisha Breland-Henry

Coco Faiella


Radhika Sharma

Mattie Kapito


Clara Basyurt

Climate & Culture Associate

Jose Silva

Reading Interventionist

Sofie Feinstein


Office Manager

Janice Smith

Community Relations Coordinator

Sarah Guthartz

Sarah is an LMSW who has extensive experience working with children and families. Sarah has been working in the nonprofit world her entire career, but this is her first school experience. She has been a camp counselor, a camp director, a crisis intervention social worker and an executive director. She has her MSW from Yeshiva University – Wurzweiler School of Social work and her undergraduate degree from Central Connecticut State University. She has two HHLA students, Jonah, a founding Kindergartener who is entering 5th grade this year and Stella, an enthusiastic rising 2nd grader. Sarah lives in Washington Heights with her HHLA students, husband Seth and devilish Chocolate Lab, Cocoa.

Contact Info: sguthartz@harlemhebrewcharter.org

Data / Technology Associate

Jase Cruz

Finance Associate

Charita Whitaker

Operations Associates

Christine Prosper

Nashaun Lemay