Meet our new faculty and staff for 2023-2024!

Paola Baharav
Gan Judaic Studies, Lower School

Paola Baharav received her Bachelor’s degree  in Multidisciplinary Hebrew and Special Education from Oranim מכללה לחינוך. As a mindfulness teacher through Mindful Schools, Paola wrote the curriculum for mindfulness in schools for Apple Montessori and trained the teachers to implement it in their classrooms. She taught and trained her school staff on positive discipline and plans to have her first book published in December 2023.  Paola enjoys spending time with her two shih-tzu dogs — one from Haifa and one from New Jersey.
Rabbi Lindsay Goldman
Rabbi in Residence, Upper School

Rabbi Lindsay Goldman was ordained from the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary in May 2023 with a Master’s degree in Jewish Gender and Women’s Studies. She earned her Bachelor's degree in General and Special Education from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. Prior to studying at JTS, Lindsay spent two years teaching middle school Rabbinic studies at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland. She served as the Rabbinic Intern and Spiritual Life Advisor at The Bronfman Center at NYU for three years where she taught the Jewish Learning Fellowship to over 100 college students and pastored to students and staff alike. Lindsay loves seeing Broadway shows, traveling the world and reading new books with her feminist book club.
Harman Grossman
Social Studies Faculty, Upper School

Harman Grossman received his Bachelor’s degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University. He also received his JD from Harvard Law School and Master's degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary.  Harman has taught a variety of subjects in the Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning and is excited to be teaching at GOA after a 39-year legal career. Harman lives in Teaneck, NJ with his wife, Adina, and has two grown children and one granddaughter. He enjoys road cycling and juggling.
Bryan Kessler
Social Studies Faculty, Upper School

Bryan Kessler holds a Bachelor's degree from Rutgers, a Master’s degree from the University of Virginia, teaching credential from UNLV, and is currently working on his Ed.S. in leadership at Seton Hall.  He has been professionally involved in education for over 20 years — from museums, to classrooms, to curriculum consulting and even camp.  Bryan has worked and taught all ages — from Pre-K to college students to adults. He is the proud parent of two rambunctious boys, Maxwell and Jude.  
Jenna Levine
Language Arts/Social Studies Faculty, Upper School

Jenna Levine is thrilled to be joining the GOA team as a 6th grade teacher. She holds both a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Fairleigh Dickinson University. This will be Jenna’s 5th year teaching. She has been involved in theatre for over 20 years and this past summer was in a local production of Newsies
Jackie Levinson
Learning Specialist, Upper School

Jackie Levinson received her Master’s degree from New York University and has various Reading/Language Arts certifications. She looks forward to providing support and guidance to 6th grade students to help them thrive at GOA. In her free time, Jackie loves to bake. 
Daniel Lipper
Mathematics Faculty, Upper School

Daniel Lipper received a Master's degree in Tropical Meteorology from the University at Albany. He joins GOA with 16 years of teaching experience as a Middle and Upper School math teacher at Saddle River Day School and two years as a math/physics teacher at Solomon Schechter. A fun fact about Daniel is that he has taken three cross-country bicycle trips of varying completenesses, and he served Barney Martin (actor who portrayed Morty Seinfeld on Seinfeld) during a brief stint as a waiter.  
Justin Mault
Physical Education Faculty, Lower School

Justin received his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a double minor in Sociology and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He grew up and lives in West Orange and has been teaching and coaching for more than 10 years. One memorable highlight in Justin’s career was when he was invited to Clemson University to coach at a Cerebral Palsy soccer camp. He enjoys surfing and attending Red Bull soccer games. 
Philana Otruba-Fhal
Science Faculty, Upper School

Philana Otruba-Fhal received a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation and Biology from the University of Delaware and a Master’s degree in teaching from Fordham University. Philana joins GOA with 19 years of teaching experience in outdoor education, public and private schools and plans to bring her hands-on and interactive approach to the classroom to focus on real-world applications of science. Fun facts about Philana are that she used to be a zoo keeper at the Central Park Zoo and once worked as an intern working with big cats helping to raise baby tigers in Texas.
AnnMarie Page
Receptionist, Upper School

AnnMarie Page joins GOA with more than 18 years of experience working as an administrative assistant and receptionist. She also worked as a mortgage coordinator/processor for the Wall Street Financial Corporation. 
Kathryn Sajdak
Spanish Faculty, Upper School

Kathryn Sajdak has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature from Vassar College and M.S.W. in Community Organization/Social Planning from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. She joins GOA with more than 20 years of experience teaching Spanish and French language and literature. Kathryn is a member of the board of directors of A.H.O.R.A. and the Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights. She has also been recognized with the Women in Leadership Award from the YWCA in New Haven, CT and a Certificate of Recognition for Efforts on Behalf of Students with Disabilities. 
Ilana Schimmel ’15
Theater Arts Faculty, Upper School

Ilana Schimmel is a NJ/NYC-based actor, technical director and teaching artist. She graduated from Montclair State University summa cum laude with a B.A in Theater Studies, double minoring in Musical Theater and Dance. Recently, she has been a resident actor, co-producer and production designer at The Black Box, a non-profit theater in Englewood, NJ which has been an incubator for new and underproduced works by world-renowned playwrights. When not in the theater, you can find Ilana on the soccer field. She has been playing soccer since age four and placed as one of GOA's top scorers back in 2015. 
Krista Sergi
Guidance Counselor, Upper School

Krista Sergi earned her Bachelor’s degree in English at Northeastern University and her Master's of Education in School Counseling from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Krista has spent the last 15 years in her two favorite jobs: counseling during the school year and running a camp during the summer. After teaching in schools in Massachusetts and New York, Krista is very excited to finally be counseling in her home state. She is an avid hiker and swimmer and is happy to teach anyone how to juggle!

Mark Shulman
Hebrew Faculty, Upper School

Mark Shulman has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Sapir College in Israel, a Master’s degree in Philosophy from Ben-Gurion University, and a Master’s degree in TESOL from Hunter College in New York. Mark is a former IDF combatant who fought in many battles to defend the State of Israel. In his free time, he enjoys baking. 
Lisa Spielman
Learning Specialist, Upper School

Lisa Spielman received her Bachelor’s degree in Inclusive Elementary and Special Education from Syracuse University and a Master’s Degree in Reading from Montclair State University. At GOA, she will be working with the 7th and 8th grades. Lisa’s main objective is to contribute her skills and experience to guide an active group of learners. 
Sally St. John
Science Faculty, Upper School

Sally St. John earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with honors from the University of Chicago, her MBA from the Stern School of Business and a Master’s of Physics Teaching from NJCTL. She joins GOA with more than 20 years of experience in education, teaching high school and college students. A fun fact about Sally is that she taught skiing in Pennsylvania, taught her husband to ski and then he became a ski instructor himself! She also ran a science summer camp in Montclair for grades K-2. 
Christine Sunberg
Learning Specialist, Upper School

Christine Sunberg earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Monmouth University and M.Ed in Special Education from New Jersey City University. Christine started and managed an executive function private practice and says honing in on different methods to teach students that may learn differently has positively changed her career in education. 
Shana West
Ganon Judaic Studies, Lower School

Shana West has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas and a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College. She has taught at private preschools in Brooklyn and New Jersey and created and taught healthy cooking classes for toddlers out of her home. Fun facts about Shana is that she has been skydiving and bungee jumping!