Rabbi N. W. Dessler, זצ"ל Dean of the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, has provided education and inspiration for three generations of Greater Cleveland’s Jewish community. Born in Kelm, Lithuania, Rabbi Dessler is the scion of generations of illustrious Rabbinic scholars. He is the son of the late Rabbi Eliyohu E. Dessler, Author of Michtav M’Eliyahu (5 volumes), one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. In 1943, Rabbi Dessler introduced the then foreign concept of a Jewish day school to Cleveland’s Jewish community. Under his leadership, the Academy has emerged as a leading innovator in the field of Jewish education and continuity. With courageous vision and sagacious guidance, Rabbi Dessler has acted as a pioneer and chief architect in Jewish education, earning a reputation as the educator’s educator. Rabbi Dessler is recognized as a national role model for his enormous contributions to the world of Jewish education. Rabbi Dessler is also the author of “Ilana D’Chaye”. 

The Legacy of Rabbi Dessler Click here

Rabbi Simcha Dessler is Educational Director of the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland and directs its multi-faceted programs. A graduate of Yeshivat Mir Jerusalem and Beth Medrash Govoha, Rabbi Dessler also holds a Master’s Degree in Education. He is an alumnus of Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Principal Center. A prolific writer, he co-authored “Perspectives on the Haggadah” and his articles have appeared in various communal forums. Rabbi Dessler has lectured at Torah Umesorah and PEJE conventions. A member of the National Council of Yeshiva Principals, Rabbi Dessler serves on the special needs committee of the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland; on a task force committee of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland; and on the editorial board of Aspen Publisher’s Guide for Private School Administrators.

Rabbi Yissochor Fishman is Menahel of the Academy's Yeshiva High School. He has a long career in chinuch.   In Toronto, he was principal of Bnos Bais Yaakov and served on the faculty of the Yeshiva Gedolah Zichron Shmayahu as the sho’el u’meyshiv for the Beis Hamedrash talmidim during second seder.  Rabbi Fishman also served as a Rosh Kollel in the Viewmount Shul in Toronto and was a maggid shiur in Camp Agudah, Toronto.  Previously, Rabbi Fishman studied in the Yeshiva Gedolah of Passaic and formed a close relationship with the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Meir Stern. He then learned in the Kollel of Yeshiva Beis Hatalmud in Bensonhurst, and the Kollel Avreichim in Toronto under the tutelage of Rabbi Shlomo Miller and Rabbi Y.M. Hirschman. 

 Mrs. Shoshana Hefter is Principal of the Girls Elementary Division. Mrs. Hefter is a graduate of Beth Jacob Jerusalem Seminary and John Carroll University with a Master’s Degree in Education and is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Mrs. Hefter is involved in a host of community activities including Bikur Cholim and Aish HaTorah’s Partners in Learning. Prior to becoming Principal, Mrs. Hefter was a veteran Limudai Kodesh teacher in our girls’ elementary division, facilitated the girls’ enrichment center, developed several curricula for special programs, and coordinated teacher training for Yavne Seminary, as well as serving as PTA President. As Principal, she has utilized her training in psychology and education to continue the exemplary programming that makes the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland a leader in its field.

Rabbi Yitzchak Kasnett is Principal of General Studies. Rabbi Kasnett received his semichah from Rabbi Sroy Deblitsky, Rosh Kollel Chazon Ish, Bnei Braq, Israel. He has a Master’s Degree in Special Education and post Masters licensing in Educational Administration and Supervision. He is the author of “The World That Was” series, volumes I-III, Lithuania, Poland, Romania/Hungary. Prior to his appointment at the Academy, he held positions as Principal and Director of Education in several special education programs for yeshiva students. He has also lectured extensively for Torah U’mesorah.

Mrs. Lois Mager, Assistant Principal, General Studies, of the Beatrice Stone Yavne High School, has been associated with the Hebrew Academy as a parent, teacher, and administrator for the past twenty-three years. For over fifteen years she has taught Biology, Health and Life Science in Yavne. Her training includes a Bachelor's Degree in Zoology, Master's Degree in Education, and Ohio certification as a school guidance counselor. Getting to know the Yavne students and watching them grow from early adolescence into adulthood is an exciting experience that Ms. Mager finds both challenging and rewarding.

 Mrs. Neche Moerman, Principal of the Beatrice Stone Yavne High School, received her teacher's license from Bais Yaakov Teachers Seminary of New York and from Torah Umesorah. She began her teaching career in Bais Yaakov High School New York and Bais Yaakov. Brighton Beach. She went on to teach in Bais Yaakov of Baltimore, Maryland before coming to Cleveland. In 1968 she began teaching in Yavne High School and in 1995 assumed the position of Principal of Yavne. She is active in numerous communal activities including Matan B’sayser and Mikveh Association. Rabbi and Mrs. Moerman are the proud parents of 5 HAC alumni.

Rabbi Asher Newman, Principal of the Academy’s Yeshiva Ketana division. An alumnus of Telshe Yeshiva and Yeshiva Brisk in Yerushalayim, he holds a Master’s Degree in Education. He is a member of the National Conference of Yeshiva Principals. He is currently involved in developing an innovative curriculum in the area of Jewish Law and Ethics. As Learning Director at Camp Agudah-Midwest , Rabbi Newman continues to inspire students all year long.



Rabbi A. Leib Scheinbaum is a versatile, veteran educator who has worked in all areas of the Academy’s educational spectrum. Currently serving as Director of Special Projects, he oversees various educational endeavors. Founding Director of the Academy’s Camp STEP, he  guided the program to become the premier day camp in the Midwest. As National Director of the Academy’s Living Memorial Project, he has overseen the publication of a national Holocaust curriculum on “The World That Was”. A musmach of Telshe Yeshiva, he is a dynamic writer whose Peninim Al HaTorah inspires thousands world-wide.

Mrs. Carol Schottenstein is the Administrator of the Academy’s Early Childhood division. She received a Bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Cleveland State University. She has twenty-eight years of teaching experience and has taught in day schools, Talmud Torahs, and public schools. More recently she has presented many workshops for the JECC to teachers of the Hebrew Academy as well as other community schools. Mrs. Schottenstein is also a recipient of the JECC’s prestigious Libbie Braverman Award for excellence in teaching.



Tehillah Stelzer, Assistant Principal of General Studies, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Oregon State University. Mrs. Stelzer continued on and received her Master’s Degree in Teaching from Willamette University where she wrote her thesis in Curriculum Design and Implementation. She previously taught in public schools in Oregon and Wisconsin before coming to Cleveland. Mrs. Stelzer served on teams aligning standards to curriculum in public schools.  She helped create the language arts and reading curriculum for her former school. As a former teacher in the girls’ elementary general studies program, Mrs. Stelzer had the opportunity of acquainting herself with the high standards of curriculum the academy is known for and most recently she was trained through Columbia University in the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project learning the art of teaching Writer’s Workshop.  She is looking forward to connecting with students, teachers, and parents to ensure a high level of academics while building lasting relationships.


Gary Ziegler Assistant Principal, General Studies of the Jacob Sapirstein Campus holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and brings a wealth of experience to the Academy. He spent twenty seven years as a business teacher, coach, athletic administrator, and Assistant Principal at Twinsburg High School and three years as an Assistant Principal at Mayfield High. He received a Bachelors of Science in accounting from the University of Akron teacher certification, principal licensure, and superintendent licensure from the Ohio Department of Education.  He is a member of the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators and a member of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. He has attended several national and state conferences for both organizations.

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