Shterny Schochet


For the past ten years, Shterny has been directing and teaching in educational institutions in Midtown Manhattan; Westport, CT;  and most recently Hoboken, NJ. Shterny has been trained in the Reggio Emilia teaching methodology and feels it allows for honest growth in the  classroom. Shterny says, “The Reggio Emilia approach has taught me to provide my students the freedom to appreciate the infinite gifts of their hands, their eyes and their ears, the resources of forms, materials, sounds, and colors. For any idea or knowledge to be absorbed and have a lasting effect, we like to connect it with actual experience in some tangible expression in a child’s life.”  

Shterny is currently a member of the Chabad Early  Childhood Education Network and collaborates with  leading educators in the field. Shterny has a keen understanding of the abilities of each individual child in her classroom and encourages developmentally  appropriate materials for each one. In her warm and inviting classroom she creates an environment where her students thrive socially, emotionally, and  academically. Educating the next generation isn’t a career for Shterny; it’s a way of life. 

Shterny Schochet recently moved to Palm Beach with her husband, Rabbi Mendy Schochet, the Dean at the Gary & Terri Schottenstein Palm Beach Torah Institute.

Hindel Levitin

Founder and Lead Teacher

With her loving, upbeat character and down-to-earth approach, Hindel has brought the joy of  a Torah life to schools and camps all over the  country. Hindel developed an original music and  movement program that was replicated across  the state, Jewish Music for Kids and Moms.  Her years of experience in education teaching  early childhood and music and drama classes in  schools in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Palm Beach, Florida, makes her a qualified  and sought-after teacher. She also directs the Gary & Mona Davis Daled Arts, a Jewish cultural arts experience for children, their families and friends. 

Rebbetzin Hindel Levitin, program director of The Chabad House, a synagogue on the Island, says, “The basis of true Jewish education is particularly during the formative years of a child’s life, because teaching them the values and holiness of the Torah at that precious time will instill faith, conviction and the knowledge of G-d’s unity. Each child is a gift from G-d, and our job as educators is to cultivate their mission and purpose in this world. The opening of Alef Preschool is a dream come true in creating just this model.” In addition to teaching classes, and building relationships with children and parents, Hindel will assist with curriculum development especially as it pertains to the arts including music, drama, literature and culinary arts.

In her free time, Hindel mentors high school teens, writes musicals, facilitates book discussions at the Society of the Four Arts, and throws things out because spotlessly clean counters and junk drawers with zero junk sparks much joy. She resides on Palm Beach with her husband Rabbi Zalman Levitin and their nine children.

Malkie Herson

Educational COnsultant

Malkie Herson is the founder and director of Zimmer School, an award-winning early childhood center in Basking Ridge, NJ. 

An educational consultant with twenty-five years of experience, Malkie has helped schools across the US achieve new levels of excellence in educating their students.

Working closely with administration and teachers, she formulates a cohesive educational vision for a client school. She engages a school's educational talent to collaboratively craft a pedagogical identity which guides the center's curriculum, classroom management and learning enclaves. She is particularly keen on integrating the pedagogy of relationships with age-old Jewish wisdom.

A talented group leader, Malkie is working very closely with Alef Preschool, and she is facilitating workshops to develop innovative practices that support both national standards and the school’s vision and culture.

Donna Geffner, Ph.D., CCC-Sp/A

Speech and language Specialist

Dr. Donna Geffner is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist and audiologist. She retired from St. John’s University as a full professor having served as director of undergraduate and graduate programs, and director of Doctoral Audiology and Speech and Hearing Center for over 40 years. She is the author of 5 books, two tests, 350 publications and national webinars in this field. She is the recipient of the Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the highest award bestowed on a professional, where she also served as National President and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Geffner is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Providence College and has received numerous awards for her contribution to the field. She is a noted speaker and has been invited to present to professionals, physicians and parent groups locally, nationally and internationally. She currently maintains a very active and successful private practice.   

On staff at Alef Preschool, Dr. Geffner is instituting a program of early identification of delayed speech, language, hearing skills and hearing loss. Through this screening, the children exhibiting delays in the development of communication skills will be evaluated and remediated at an early age. Early identification and intervention are the key to good neurodevelopment and habilitation. Dr. Geffner brings her decades-long experience to conduct annual speech and audiology screenings and guide the preschool staff, teachers, administrators, and school families to ensure optimal developmental success for each child enrolled in Alef Preschool.