A preschool-8th grade Jewish day school in northshore Chicago

Faculty and Staff


Rabbi Shimon Zehnwirth
Founder & Head of School

Rabbi Shimon Zehnwirth is the founder and head of Torah Academy. A published author, lifelong learner, and dedicated educator, he has taught and guided students young and old for over 25 years. Read more here.

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Morah Elisa Zehnwirth

Morah Elisa Zehnwirth earned her Bachelors in Judaic Studies and Masters in Education from Yeshiva University.  She has taught students from early childhood to college level for over 30+ years.  Read more here

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Mrs. Carrie Kaz
Administrative Team Consultant

Mrs. Carrie Kaz holds a Masters Degree in Education from DePaul University, with a major in Early Childhood and a concentration in  Pre-K Curriculum Development. Her professional skills and positive and supportive personality have endeared her to our staff and students.  Read more here

Mrs. Miriam Schiller
Educational Consultant

Mrs. Miriam Schiller brings her decades of experience in school leadership to TA as an invaluable advisor in all matters of education. 

Ms. Tammie Roth
Reggio Consultant
Tammie's expertise includes Family Social Science, Early Childhood Education, and Child Psychology.

Faculty & Staff

Ms. Miriam S. Bernstein
ELA & Humanities

Ms. Bernsteins holds a BA from Bar-Ilan University with a double major in History and Philosophy. She has five years of experience teaching in Jewish day schools. Her classes integrate technology and history to make lessons interactive and engaging. 

Morah Aviva Chertok

Our students are lucky to enjoy music classes with Morah Aviva, a master musician and international performer with degrees in violin performance from the University of Michigan and from the Royal College of Music in London! Read more here

Coach Seth Cohen
Physical Education

Coach Seth Cohen grew up in Buffalo Grove, served as in the US Marine Corps, and is currently teaching PE at Torah Academy while studying computational and applied mathematics at the University of Chicago. Read more here.

Mrs. Ann Collins
ELA & Math

Mrs. Collins joins Torah Academy with over 30 years of teaching experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Loyola University, and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Carolina. Read more here.

Rabbi Menashe Elkin
Science & Public Speaking

Rabbi Menashe Elkin joins Torah Academy with a rich background in business and education and degrees from DePaul University and Long Island University. Read more here.

Dr. Joseph Gleyzer

Dr. Joseph Glazer earned his mathematics degrees from Moscow State University. After teaching math to university students for twenty years, he retired to join the TA faculty. Read more here

Morah Shiri Goldstein
ELC & Ivrit

Morah Shiri leads our ELC with love and warmth, giving students an invaluable Hebrew-immersion experience. Her Ivrit classes with our upper grades equip students with skills for both modern Israeli Hebrew and Torah study. Read more here

Morah Teri Goldberg

Morah Teri's art classes are focused on process and imagination. Students are excited to make their masterpeices and enjoy the creative energy and inspiration. Mrs. Goldberg is a mother of four and a proud TA parent.

Mrs. Leahla Hoenig
Marketing & Communications

Formerly a TA teacher before moving far away, Mrs. Hoenig is still very much a part of the family. She's the creative mind behind most of the email newsletters and flyers that Torah Academy sends out and the website you're currently browsing.

Mrs. Naomi Homnick
Judaic Studies

Mrs. Homnick joined Torah Academy in 2019 with many years of experience in Jewish education, having taught Judaic studies for over 25 years and worked in administration for 10. Read more here

Rabbi Yitzchok Kolsky
Judaic Studies

Rabbi Kolsky, a graduate of the Rabbinical Seminary of America and an educator par excellence, masterfully relates millenia-old Talmudic concepts to today's middle schoolers. Read more here.

Mrs. Nadin Mashinsky

Mrs. Mashinsky is a certified public accountant and a mother of two.

Morah Hindy Mermelstein
Judaic Studies

Morah Hindy taught at TA, moved to Israel, got married, and then moved back with her husband to join our staff again! Her pleasant demeanor, calming presence, and handy language skills endear her to us all. 

Mrs. Stacey Panner
Office Administrator

Stacey's friendly voice is likely the first you'll hear when you contact the Torah Academy office. As our office administrator, Stacey joins us with a background in health care finance and office administration.  Read more here

Morah Esti Vitkovsky

Morah Esti joined Torah Academy's faculty in 2019 straight off the plane from Eretz Yisrael!  Read more here.

Mr. Steve Wachtler
Resource & Tutoring

A computer programmer and avid guitar player, Mr. Wachtler contributes his expertise to TA with one-on-one and small group tutoring and by leading STEM clubs.

Miss Nechama Bracha Zehnwirth
Judaic Studies

Miss Zehnwirth is currently pursuing her Masters of Education in Digital Learning Design & Leadership from UIUC. Her enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication to her students are evident in her impactful lessons. Read more