Faye Friedman headshot

Faye Friedman

Interim Executive Director

Faye Friedman has been practicing as a certified, licensed speech and language pathologist since 1991. She specializes in working with children in grades K-12, and has developed expertise in the area of language and literacy. She is a certified provider for several reading programs such as Fast ForWord, Phonographix, Lindamood Bell (V&V and LiPs) and Read Naturally. Faye has worked with a range of students with disabilities, including those with autism and motor coordination disorder. She was the Educational Director for the Weinberg Academy for four years and currently holds the position of Program Director for SHEMESH.

Susan Garfinkel headshot

Susan Garfinkel

Reading Specialist

Susan Garfinkel graduated from Loyola University with her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. After teaching in Harford County Public schools for 5 years she transitioned to working with students with learning differences. She is Orton-Gillingham certified and has been tutoring children for over 20 years. She is passionate about helping students achieve their goals.  In addition, Ms. Garfinkel supervises student teachers through Stevenson University where she can share her knowledge and train students for their future teaching career.  Ms. Garfinkel enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 college-aged children and dog.

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Leah Golfeyz

Special Education and Support Consultant

Leah Golfeyz is a creative, dynamic, and innovative special educator who joins SHEMESH after working previously at Ohr Chadash Academy as the Director of Special Education Services for grades K-8 and more recently as the Early Childhood Center Director. She also has been a professor of Instructional Design at Maalot-Gratz College and has taught in Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School. Leah’s expertise includes coaching teachers on classroom management, differentiated instruction, and child-centered approaches to early childhood curriculum. Leah is an active member of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of the Young Child) and received training as a Hidden Sparks Coach, as well as in the Jewish New Teachers Project Administrator Training, Mariposa, and other empirically-based reading strategies such as Orton Gillingham, Phono Graphix, and Visualize and Verbalize. Leah holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Grand Canyon University.

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Eileen Diener Himmelrich

Reading Specialist

Eileen Diener Himmelrich is a reading specialist and an Orton-Gillingham tutor who has been teaching children with learning differences for 25 years. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Connecticut College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and an elementary education teacher’s certificate. In addition, she received her Master’s Degree in Learning Disabilities and Communicative Disorders from Johns Hopkins University. Eileen taught at The Jemicy School for 10 years. For the past 15 years, she has been a private tutor working with elementary school children who struggle with reading, spelling and writing. She currently is the Reading Specialist for SHEMESH, working with children who experience difficulty with beginning reading skills.

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Deborah Logue

Reading Specialist

Deborah Logue received a double Master’s degree in Early Childhood and Deaf Education from Temple University.  She has taught deaf and special needs children in settings ranging from a child’s home to early intervention programs and a family therapy-based therapeutic nursery.  While teaching at the therapeutic nursery, Deborah took classes in Family Therapy and learned how vital family involvement is to a child’s success.  This knowledge, combined with a desire to enhance her teaching skills, led Deborah to return to school and earn a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. With this degree, Deborah continued to work with special needs infants and elementary-aged children in both home and school-based settings.  Deborah took a hiatus from teaching and OT to homeschool her four children and has now returned to school for a Master’s degree in reading.  She is an integral part of the SHEMESH Team, working as a Reading Specialist and bringing to her job a full range of knowledge and experience.

Chumi Millman Headshot

Chumi Millman

Special Education and Support Consultant

Chumi Millman joined the SHEMESH team after completing administrative certification while working for Baltimore County Public Schools.  A licensed and experienced speech-language pathologist, she has also performed roles related to instructional leadership, special education consultation and support, teacher coaching, IEP chairperson, schoolwide progress monitoring and intervention, and instructional efficacy.  Chumi is proficient in many reading and academic intervention programs.  She graduated with a Master’s of Science in Communication Disorders from Western Kentucky University in 2010 after working in charter school administration for 5 years.

Eileen Norris Headshot

Eileen Norris

Reading Specialist

Eileen Norris graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a Master’s of Arts in Reading in 1995. She taught in Baltimore County Public Schools for 10 years as a Reading Specialist. After taking time off to be at home with her three children, she returned part-time to Baltimore County as a Title One Tutor and was placed in Bais Yaakov Elementary. She worked as a tutor for five years and then was invited to join the staff at BY. Eileen splits her time at the school as the Reading Specialist for Grades 1-2 and the Shemesh support teacher for Kindergarten students. 

Sarah O and family

Sara Ottensoser

Speech and Language Pathologist and Executive Function Coach

Sarah Ottensoser graduated with a Master’s of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Towson University in 2001.  She has been practicing as a certified, licensed speech and language pathologist in the school setting since that time.  In addition to working with students with speech and language impairment in the one-on-one and small group settings, Sarah has developed innovative programs that she implements in the local Jewish day schools.  These programs include writing workshops for students, social skills training and friendship-building workshops, phonological awareness programming and executive function coaching.

Michal Tessler

Michal Tessler

Behavior and Special Education Consultant

Michal Tessler graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a MA in Early Childhood Special Education. She ran a private playgroup in her home for a few years before moving on to teach the SHEMESH inclusion class at Bais Yaakov Elementary School for three years. Michal furthered her education, obtaining a post graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis and is currently a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. Michal provides consultation to administrators and teachers in multiple day schools in our community. She also supports parents of children who struggle to thrive in the school system. 

Dr. Aviva Weisbord, A’H

Founding Executive Director

One of the original founders of SHEMESH, Dr. Aviva Weisbord was a licensed psychologist in private practice for over 20 years.  She specialized in family and marriage therapy and was focused on helping the entire family deal more effectively with life’s issues.  Before joining SHEMESH as Executive Director, Dr. Weisbord served as Executive Director of the Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister League and Jewish Addictions Services.  She was a prolific contributor to a variety of periodicals and delivered lectures on the Jewish family and community and the issues it faces. Dr. Weisbord passed away after a long battle with COVID on December 25, 2020, Tevet 11, 5781.   Her personal commitment and major contributions to SHEMESH motivates us to carry on in fulfilling SHEMESH’s founding mission.  Her passing represents a significant loss to the organization and its staff, as well as to the wider Baltimore community and beyond.  May her memory be for a blessing.