Now Accepting Applications for the 2023-2024 school year.
Apply now or RSVP to our Open House on Sunday, October 30th.

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Faculty & Staff

B.S., M.S.

Director of Jewish Life

Frances Alexander B.A., M.A.

B.A., M.A.

Humanities Chair

B.S.

Director of Operations

B.A., M.B.A.

Director of Communications

B.S., M.B.A., M.S., Ph.D.

STEM Chair

B.S., M.B.A.

Assistant to the  CFO/COO

B.A., M.A.

Campus Rabbi

Vanessa Shamosh B.S.

B.S.

Director of Admissions & Enrolment Management

B.S.

Bookkeeper

Are you a talented educator interested in joining the JLA team?

Do you know someone who might be?
Reach out and introduce yourself.

Faculty Spotlight

Yosef Albo
B.A., M.A., Rabbinic Ordination

Director of Jewish Life

yalbo@jlamiami.org

Rabbi Yosef Albo was born in Israel, and after living in the Dominican Republic for five years, his family made their way to Brooklyn, NY, where he began his eclectic formal Jewish education as a student of various Yeshivot, including Ateret Torah, Chaim Berlin, Ohr Sameach (Jerusalem), Ner Israel Baltimore and Yeshiva University. 

Concurrent with his Smicha studies at Yeshiva University, Rabbi Albo pursued a Masters Degree in Jewish Philosophy, thus continuing in the footsteps of his forefather Rabbi Yosef Albo, the famous medieval Jewish philosopher and author of Sefer Ha’ikarim. He also holds a BA in English Literature from Yeshiva University.. 

Rabbi Albo joins JLA as the Director of Jewish Life in which capacity he will be responsible for overseeing Jewish programming, special events, and our August in Israel Program.  He will also be overseeing our daily Sephardic minyan. Rabbi Albo comes to JLA with  eighteen years of experience in education, most recently as a highly regarded Judaics Teacher and the Director of Sephardi Programming at the Ramaz Upper School in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where he built curriculum for honors level classes in Talmud, Tanach, Halacha, and Jewish Philosophy. Devoted to Jewish communal life, he held Rabbinic positions at the Hampton Synagogue, Manhattan Jewish Experience, and Riverdale Jewish Center. 

Rabbi Albo is also an accomplished artist, illustrator, painter, photographer, composer, and musician. The Albo Band, which he founded and leads, will soon be releasing its third album entitled “Poor Man’s Prayer.” The conversation between Torah and Art is an integral component of everything he does and we look forward to Rabbi Albo inspiring our students and infusing our campus life with his unique set of remarkable talents and skills. 

Frances Alexander
B.A., M.A.

Humanities Chair

falexander@jlamiami.org

Ms. Frances Alexander will also be joining JLA from Ransom Everglades School where she taught 7th-10th grade English for six years and also served as the faculty advisor to TedX Ransom Everglades School. Prior to Ransom, she taught 10th grade English as well as two elective courses that she designed at Friends School of Baltimore. Ms. Alexander began her teaching career as a Teach for America corps member in

Washington, DC public and charter schools. She has also taught English at Lyc e Boissy D’Anglas in France. 

An accomplished musician and dancer with fluency in three languages, Frances holds a BA from Northwestern University in Middle Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Anthropology, and an MA in English Language and Literature from Vermont’s prestigious Middlebury College. Widely seen as a rising star in South Florida’s Independent School landscape, Ms. Alexander is currently enrolled in the School

Management and Leadership Program at Harvard University.

Jenna Gasner
B.S.

Director of Operations

jgasner@jlamiami.org

BS, Central Connecticut State University

 

Previously at AIPAC

Yamit Linde
B.A., M.B.A.

Director of Communications

ylinde@jlamiami.org

A native of Brazil, Yamit Linde spent her formative teenage years in Israel and arrived in Miami as a junior in high school. During her time in Israel, Yamit learned firsthand how vital and enriching Jewish education can be. Having lived in different countries and cities throughout her life, she appreciates and cherishes South Florida’s unique diversity.

Yamit holds a BA in International Relations and an MBA with a concentration in marketing from Florida International University, and is fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Hebrew.

Over the course of her 14 year career as a marketing and communications executive, Yamit has held leadership positions in industry leading brands like Grey Goose, Dove, and Panerai. Prior to joining JLA, Yamit owned her own consulting agency, where she was responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies for clients in the fashion, luxury, food, and hospitality industries.

During her free time, Yamit enjoys traveling and going to the beach with her husband Steven, and two young children, Levi and Lennon. 

Claudia Ochatt
B.S., M.B.A., M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Ochatt joins us from Ransom Everglades School where she has taught AP Biology, Honors and Forensic Chemistry, and Anatomy and Physiology.

Claudia holds a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, an MBA from the University of Miami, and a Masters of Education in Leadership from the University of West Florida. She conducted her postdoctoral work on cell and molecular biology at The Rockefeller University, and post-graduate research at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, and at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratories.

Dr. Ochatt served as the MD/PhD Program Coordinator at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine before leaving to become the STEM Chair at MAST Academy. In 2011, Claudia was the recipient of Beckman Coulter’s Science Educator of the Year Award and in 2021 she was named Florida’s Biology Teacher of the Year by the National Association of Biology Teachers.

Jannine Richards Murphy
B.S., M.B.A.

Assistant to the CFO/COO

jrichards@jlamiami.org

BS, University of the West Indies

MBA, Nova Southeastern University


Previously at Katz Hillel Day School

Yechiel Shaffer
B.S., M.A., Rabbinic Ordination

Campus Rabbi

yshaffer@jlamiami.org

As an educator, community leader, and rabbi, Rabbi Yechiel Shaffer has spent over 15 years building communities, creating schools, and advocating for the vulnerable, in a diverse array of community, education and lay positions. A native of London, England, Rabbi Shaffer joins JLA as our Campus Rabbi, building the JLA community and caring for the spiritual wellbeing of each student, while also leading our Service Entrepreneurship Program. 

Rabbi Shaffer received a BS in Sociology, an MA in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University, and Rabbinic Ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. Upon completion of his Rabbinic studies, Rabbi Shaffer was one of three graduates  recognized as a creative and driven leader and was awarded a two year fellowship featuring extensive training and mentorship in entrepreneurship and community leadership. 

Since then, Rabbi Shaffer has been a Rabbinic leader of three synagogues, most recently in Baltimore, Maryland, and has served the Jewish community in a variety of capacities: fundraising for Jewish education and infrastructure, being an active board member of a Maryland anti-abuse agency, and by being a passionate voice for integrity and humility in the Jewish community. Rabbi Shaffer has a reputation as a warm, caring pastoral leader, who is driven by excellence and empathy for his students and congregants. 

When not serving as a community Rabbi, Rabbi Shaffer can be found teaching in local schools, working to support Bar and Bat Mitzvah students in their preparations, recording podcasts that lower the barrier of entry to engage with meaningful Torah content, and creating dynamic multimedia courses that bring ancient wisdom to life. 

Rabbi Shaffer is a dedicated father and husband, and whenever he can, enjoys fishing and trying new methods of cooking. He is thrilled to be part of the JLA community and is looking forward to serving as the Campus Rabbi.

Vanessa Shamosh B.S.

Vanessa Shamosh
B.S

Director of Admissions & Enrollment Management

vshamosh@jlamiami.org

A native of Mexico City, Mexico, Vanessa is passionate about the future of Jewish education and believes that in today’s classrooms sit tomorrow’s innovators and decision makers.

Vanessa brings over 15 years of experience in Jewish Day Schools in South Florida and beyond. During her five year tenure as Director of Admissions at Brauser Maimonides Academy, she led the implementation of innovative recruitment strategies leading to historically high enrollment figures. In her most recent position at Lehrman Community Day School, she designed and implemented a continuous enrollment system that has been used as a model for other Jewish Day Schools in the United States and Canada.

Vanessa believes that choosing a school is one of the most important decisions parents make and applies a professional and approachable philosophy, understanding the magnitude of this decision and the impact it has on each student individually. 

Vanessa holds a B.S. in Political Science from ITAM (Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology) in Mexico City, and has also lived in Israel where she attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Mechina. A fluent English, Spanish, and Hebrew speaker, Vanessa is an alumna of Prizmah’s Atidenu Program and of the JTS’ Day School Leadership Training Institute, and she is often invited to speak at Independent Schools and Jewish Day School Conferences across the country.

Karin Wongsam
B.A.

BA, Nova Southeastern University 


Previously at Katz Hillel Day School 

Join us at our Open House!

Sunday, October 30th

FIU Biscayne Bay Campus

9:30 a.m. – Session is Full

1:30 p.m. – RSVP now