Our Staff

Leadership Team

Head of school

Emily is the point person for academics and the leader who ensures instruction is joyful and rigorous. She oversees how curriculum is being implemented, what is happening in classroom, and supports the staff’s professional development. Emily works closely to support and coach the academic deans, the SPED Coordinator, the social workers, and the third-grade team. 

Emily is the middle child of seven kids and grew up on the Gulf Coast. She’s a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining the team at Harlem Hebrew, Emily worked at a district school in the Bronx, a charter school in Brooklyn, and she spent two summers teaching English in Israel. She’s passionate about historical education, creating diverse spaces, and helping teachers be their best selves for kids and families. She’s also currently in Beginner Bet in Hebrew Classes, and she’s committing to learning and growing alongside the kids. 

Contact Emily: ecarson@harlemhebrewcharter.org

 Deans of Culture 

Taharah is an essential part of the leadership team and is responsible for working closely with students, teachers, and families to help shape and sustain a positive school culture that promotes academic and character growth.

Taharah has an extensive and diverse background in the social service field. Prior to taking on her role in our school, Taharah worked several years as Lead Behavior Specialist in a residential school for children and young adults with various disabilities. Additionally, Taharah has provided school-based and in-home counseling to support students having difficulties that interfere with learning. Utilizing a family-centered approach to designing and implementing the student’s program, Taharah worked with students individually as well as within small groups to promote social and emotional development.  Taharah is a graduate of The College of New Rochelle with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, but more importantly, Taharah is committed to the flexibility and time students need in order to build a strong relationship based on empathy and trust. 

Taharah looks forward with great enthusiasm to another year of partnership with the Harlem Hebrew family!

Contact Taharah: tsmalls@harlemhebrewcharter.org

The Dean of Culture is a key member of the school’s leadership team who actively supports students, families, and staff members on how to build and maintain a positive school culture in support of rigorous academic and artistic inquiry. Jose supports student discipline systems and works to nurture families as partners in their child’s education. Jose helps craft and manage systems to reinforce explicit and high behavioral expectations for students, families, and staff by ensuring fidelity to the Harlem Hebrew Handbook, Family Handbook, and Staff Handbook through clear and frequent communication. This will be his third year at Harlem Hebrew and it is his esteem honor to support all the students, educators, and families at the school.

Jose is a United States Navy Veteran. He started at Harlem Hebrew as a paraprofessional, and then supported one of our Kindergarten classrooms as a Teachers Assistant. His passion for working with children continues to take shape as he spends his weekends working with children with developmental disabilities at a Camp for Children with special needs. He looks forward to building a future together here at Harlem Hebrew.

Contact Jose: Jsilva@HarlemHebrewCharter.org

Academic Dean of Hebrew

Alona works with the Hebrew and the specials teams (music, art, dance and PE) to support the areas of language instruction and the arts at school. She works alongside these wonderful professionals to ensure that our students’ days are filled with joy and play-based learning. In Hebrew, we are focused on creating the best conditions to support students’ acquisition of Hebrew. In Specials, we are creating spaces where students can experience themselves as artists, musicians, athletes and dancers and where they learn about different cultures, perspectives and artists around the world.

Alona is the middle child of five and grew up in Jerusalem, where she spent most of her time playing outside barefoot. She graduated from Hunter College with a Master’s Degree in education. Alona is a member of the founding leadership team at Harlem Hebrew – a privilege she is forever thankful for. Alona is passionate about the Hebrew language, about play-based learning, and about growing alongside the amazing people she is fortunate to call colleagues. 

Contact Alona: amor@harlemhebrewcharter.org

SPED Coordinator

Rikki is the point person for special education and intervention. She collaborates with teachers, staff and families to ensure the needs of our students are being met. She is deeply committed to working as a team to ensure a successful year!

Rikki is an only child who has always been passionate about education.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island. She then went on to receive two Master Degrees from Hofstra University in general education and in special education.  Before becoming the SPED coordinator at Harlem Hebrew, she was a second-grade teacher in our school. Prior to joining Harlem Hebrew, she has had experience in different general education and special education classroom settings. She is excited to continue her career in a new role!

Contact Rikki: rcohen@harlemhebrewcharter.org

Director of Operations

Ursula is the Director of Operations. She oversees the function of the school building and systems to support our teachers, students and families. Ursula oversees the Operations department that communicates with the Hebrew Public network and with our families. She is passionate about clear systems that make Harlem Hebrew the best place for all those in our community of learners.

Contact Ursula:uvericain@harlemhebrewcharter.org