In January 2022, Janine was appointed as the Executive Director of Pikuach,
Janine is an experienced professional with a strong background in schools and education. She has been actively involved in the field for over 30 years, starting her career as a secondary school Design and Technology teacher after obtaining her B.Ed. (Hons) in Secondary Education from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Throughout her career, Janine has held various leadership roles with a focus on raising standards of teaching and learning.
Since 2001, she has worked with various FE establishments and Universities on their undergraduate and postgraduate teacher training schemes. She mentors students, provides observations and feedback, writes personalised training plans, and supports them in reaching their goals to qualify as teachers. She delivers lectures to trainee teachers on the skills, knowledge, and understanding required to meet the necessary standards for Qualifying Teacher Status (QTS) or Qualifying Teacher and Learning and Skills status (QTLS)
Janine has been working as an Educational Consultant since 2002. Her responsibilities have included developing whole school development plans and collaborating with headteachers to create school improvement plans. Her expertise lies in supporting individuals and educational establishments in identifying their strengths and weaknesses and creating realistic targets for effective improvement.
Janine has been involved with Pikuach as an inspector since 2014 and has served as the Lead Inspector since 2018. As a member of Pikuach's Jewish Spiritual Development team (JSD), Janine contributed to developing ‘Jewish Personal and Spiritual Development,’ as a new criteria for the Pikuach inspection process. The JSD team also created the 2020 Pikuach framework, which uses the three key judgment areas of, Quality of Jewish Education, Jewish Personal and Spiritual Development, and Leadership and Management.
As the Executive Director of Pikuach, where her role includes implementing its new inspection framework for Jewish schools. She provides training and support for inspectors, organises inspections, and ensures that all Jewish School Pikuach s48 inspections are conducted to the highest standard in an objective and professional manner by inspection teams. Janine supports Jewish schools and their staff in understanding the process and requirements of an s48 Pikuach inspection. Additionally, Janine has been a member of the Pikuach Advisory Group since 2016. She has also served as a governor for over 30 years, working across various educational establishments.
Dr Leon Bernstein
Dr Leon Bernstein has been teaching for over 40 years in a variety of schools. His experience spans both State Comprehensives and Private schools, religious and secular, mixed and single-sexed. In January 2007 he spent two years in Sydney, Australia, as Principal of a Jewish High School, and in January 2009 began Headship in Broughton Jewish Primary School in Manchester, UK. He was awarded his NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Head teachers) in 2010 and, as well as his duties at school, is a Lead Inspector for Pikuach (the Jewish School’s Inspection Agency) and runs parenting talks and courses.
In January 2013 Dr Bernstein left Headship to become an independent Educational Consultant. He runs teacher training programmes, consults with schools, including Senior Leadership and Management Teams and has been trained as a Lead OFSTED Inspector. He has run consultancies and workshops in the UK, Switzerland and most recently in Australia.
He has been Head of Modern Languages, Head of Upper School and has represented staff on several Staff Advisory/Executive Committees. Having completed his M.A. in Modern Languages and Literature in Education, he embarked upon a PhD, investigating the development and application of a pedagogic French grammar, and its role in the reduction of learner errors.
Dr Bernstein holds a doctorate in language teaching pedagogy, and his research has ramifications for a multitude of educational initiatives. In October 2002, he was awarded an Ashdown Fellowship, after an intensive year of training and research into educational leadership for the future. He has been Assistant Director of the Graduate Teacher Training Programme at the MST College, Hendon, London and in March 2006 was appointed National Advisor on Modern Foreign Languages for FOCUS schools in the UK.
Rebbetzen Esther Cohen
Rebbetzen Esther Cohen was born and raised in Brazil. She has been working as a therapeutic counsellor for 20 years and has been involved in education for over 40 years. Esther started her career in the USA, where she trained and worked. After moving to England, Esther furthered her studies, completing a Graduate Teaching Programme, the Ashdown fellowship, a B.Phil. in Counselling and an Advanced Diploma in Life Coaching. Most recently she obtained a Masters in Jewish Education where she researched the teaching of mental health skills and self-regulation to primary school children through Jewish Education.
Esther spent several years working in alternative settings such as cheder and Education Otherwise, before taking on the role of Head of Religious Education in her current school and becoming a Pikuach inspector. She has been involved in developing Pikuach’s criteria for Jewish Personal and Spiritual Development and is passionate about stimulating wellbeing and meaningful spiritual development. Esther has lectured in the UK and abroad on topics related to education and is often called upon for advice.
In addition, Esther is the founder and director of Kadimah Counselling, offering private counselling and life-coaching. Esther continues to work as a Chabad shlucha for almost 4 decades alongside her husband, providing support for Jewish campus students.
Mrs Esther Colman
Esther Colman has been a qualified Pikuach inspector since 2006. She has carried out inspections in London and the provinces, in both primary and secondary schools. She has taught Limmudei Kodesh in a wide range of schools, from Foundation Stage to Year 6, and a short stint in a secondary school. She was Head of Jewish Studies and deputy headteacher for 14 years in a mainstream primary school. Esther has worked as a teacher trainer on the SCITT programme as well as supporting teachers to gain QTS through lectures and tutorials at LSJS.
Over the past forty years, Esther has been actively involved in developing and monitoring various curricula for the Jewish primary school and is the Primary Jewish Studies Advisor for PaJeS. Esther leads the Forum for Heads of Jewish Studies at LSJS and is the co-chair of the annual Primary Schools Jewish Studies Conference. She was an Educational Consultant for Educating for Impact, working with European cities such as Budapest and Dusseldorf to effect change and create centres of excellence.
Since April 2022, she has been the project lead for the PaJeS Chidush Project, a joint three-year initiative with UnitEd to strengthen Jewish schools in the UK, Ireland, and Gibraltar through the innovative enhancement of Jewish Studies, Israel Studies/Ivrit and School Community. Esther has QTS as well as being a Lookstein fellow, having completed the Bar Ilan Lookstein Leadership Programme. She holds an MA in Jewish Education from the London School of Jewish Studies.
Mr Richard Felsenstein
Having completed a Law Degree and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Richard spent seven years teaching, organising and managing courses in Further Education Colleges, before joining Immanuel College as a Senior Teacher (Head of Pastoral and Head of History) in 1990.
In 1995 Richard was appointed as Second Deputy Head of Immanuel College, and in 2000 was promoted to First Deputy, a position which he held until he left the College in December 2010, in order to take up the role of Head Teacher of Kerem School.
In September 2012 Richard was asked to return to Immanuel, initially for a year as Deputy Head and Head of History to cover two maternity leaves and was then offered a permanent position as an Assistant Head (Community and Communications) with specific responsibility for Year 7, Key Stages 2 – 3 Transition, and Alumni.
In 2002, Richard completed the UJIA Ashdown Fellowship in Educational Leadership, and in 2005 he was awarded the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).
Richard left Immanuel College in the summer of 2022, and is now an Educational Consultant, in addition to his work as a Pikuach Inspector. Richard has been a Pikuach inspector since 2010.
Mr Daniel Gastwirth
Daniel has been teaching both Kodesh and National Curriculum for over 20 years in a variety of schools. He has been involved with Pikuach for about 10 years, supporting inspectors with assessment and use of technology in Kodesh, and eventually becoming an inspector himself.
Daniel was Head of Jewish Studies at Moriah Jewish Day School and has completed two stints as Acting Headteacher. He is currently the Deputy Head at Hasmonean Primary School and leads on the secular curriculum.
Daniel is passionate about Jewish education and its impact on standards and continuity in the Jewish community.
Rabbi Yaakov Heimann
Yaakov Heimann is currently a Deputy Headteacher of a large primary school, a post he has held for the past 12 years. His main responsibilities are Teaching & Learning and Curriculum Development in the Kodesh department. Alongside that, he is a Deputy DSL and takes an active role in Safeguarding and whole school organisation. He has taught for over 25 years both in the UK and in Eretz Yisrael.
He holds a PGCE and has QTS. Yaakov has a keen interest in children’s learning and has a diploma in Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment. He puts his diploma in Psychoanalytic Studies (Tavistock, London) into good use throughout the school, particularly with pupil’s observations.
Yaakov has been a qualified Pikuach Inspector since 2006 and trained as a Lead inspector in 2014. During this time he has carried out a number of inspections around the UK in a variety of primary schools.
He is a SEND and Safeguarding Governor of another school and acts as an advisor to a few schools.
Mrs Sandra Teacher
Sandra has vast experience and expertise as an Inspector and Schools’ Adviser.
She leads inspections on behalf of Ofsted, Pikuach and ISI ( the Independent School Inspectorate). She works with all ages and stages with particular expertise in Special Education and faith communities.
Sandra is an adviser at the Department of Education and works as a School Improvement Partner within local authorities and Teacher/Training Institutions both for initial Teacher Training and ongoing Professional Development.
She is the Education Consultant for both the Board of Deputies and Pikuach.
Her passion is Religious Education, and she is a Trustee of the Religious Education Council with continuing research into using an Integrated Approach between Kodesh and Chol and the consideration of ‘The Torah as the National Curriculum.’
Sandra is determined to bring Jewish Studies Education into the 21st Century by using the most up to date technology and is also Trustee of Jewish Interactive.
Mrs Ruth Wilkinson
Ruth Wilkinson has been teaching in Jewish education for over thirty years and was one of the first teacher to achieve the government’s ‘London Expert Teacher Award.’
She is a qualified teacher with a Masters’ degree in Jewish Education from King’s University, and a Bradfield Graduate. For many years, Ruth was involved with teacher training through the SCITT programme and as a mentor for teachers on the Assessment Only Route, QTLS and the Schools Direct programme. Qualified as an AST (Advanced Skills Teacher) in both Jewish Studies and Literacy, Ruth has worked with under-achieving schools, supporting management and teachers. She has trained as a Pikuach lead inspector and was also appointed as a Religious Education Quality Mark assessor. For many years she was a member of the Primary JS Conference planning committee and served as a School Governor.
Having served on the Senior Management Team for several years as the deputy headteacher and Head of Jewish Studies at Mathilda Marks-Kennedy School, an outstanding school in both Ofsted and Pikuach inspections, she now works as an education consultant, and as the Education Programmes Advisor for a charity. Ruth continues to be involved in Jewish Education through mentoring JS teachers and leaders.
Mrs Mandy Berkman
Mandy has worked in Jewish schools in the London for the last 25 years and has extensive knowledge and experience from a wide range of roles including Acting Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and teacher in the EYFS, Primary and Secondary sectors as well as being a school Governor. Within these roles Mandy has worked closely with staff, SENCOs and Senior leaders focussing on school improvement and supporting staff in reaching their potential. With expertise in Teaching and Learning and Behaviour Management, Mandy has coached many school leaders and teachers in developing their roles. Mandy continues to work in a range of Jewish schools and has a deep understanding of the sensitivities in what makes each school unique.
Rabbi Andrew Davis
Rabbi Andrew Davis has been teaching Kodesh full time in secondary schools since September 2005. He is currently Deputy Headteacher at Yavneh College and the Executive Director of Jewish Life at the Yavneh Schools. Rabbi Davis has been heavily involved in curriculum development of Kodesh curriculums for both primary and secondary schools. He has a BA and MA in Jewish Studies and Jewish Education and is currently completing his PhD at the UCL Institute of Education. He received his Semicha from Yeshivat Pirchei Shoshanim and Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg in 2008. He is a governor for Gesher Schools in Pinner where he sits on the curriculum committee and also has a special interest and focus on their Jewish Studies programme.
Rabbi Jacob (Cobi) Ebrahimoff
Rabbi Jacob (Cobi) Ebrahimoff formerly served as Head Teacher and Head of Kodesh in British and Israeli primary schools. He currently leads the King Solomon Trust in Israel and serves as Rabbi of Tribe UK for United Synagogue.
Rabbi Ebrahimoff received rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, holds an Educational Leadership Master’s degree from Leeds and an NPQEL from UCL. He was awarded National Leader of Education by the DfE for supporting schools in challenging circumstances.
Rabbi Nicky Goldmeier
Rabbi Nicky Goldmeier has been involved in Anglo-Jewish education for the past 30 years, working in Jewish schools as a class teacher, Head of Jewish Studies, Assistant head, consultant Rabbi and Safeguarding lead. Rabbi Goldmeier teaches at a number of Jewish schools, at the London School of Jewish Studies on the BA (Jewish Studies) programme and advises schools in the areas of PSHCE, Jewish Studies and Safeguarding. He has been a Pikuach inspector since 2014 and values the opportunities this gives in ensuring the effective teaching and learning of Jewish Studies across the United Kingdom.
Rabbi Howard Hirsch
Rabbi Howard Hirsch graduated from Manchester University with a Law Degree before successfully completing the Law Society Finals at Lancaster Gate College of Law. He then studied in Yeshiva and Kollel in Israel for 5 years, completing the Ohr Lagolah programme and gaining Smicha (Rabbinic Ordination) before returning to the UK.
Rabbi Hirsch then spent nearly 20 years at JFS Secondary School as a Jewish Studies teacher gaining QTS and taking on a range of roles and responsibilities culminating in Subject Leader of Jewish Education and Assistant Headteacher. He then spent the next 4 years in the primary sector including one year as Vice Principal at Naima JPS and three years as Assistant Headteacher at Rosh Pinah Primary School. Both positions included Head of Kodesh roles.
In April 2020 Rabbi Hirsch moved on to take the role of Deputy Headteacher of Chol (secular studies) at Pardes House Grammar School and was appointed the Headteacher of Chol in November 2022. He became a Pikuach inspector whilst at JFS and has inspected in both the secondary and primary sector.
Mr Justin Kett
Justin is currently the Head of Kodesh and Deputy Headteacher at Sacks Morasha Jewish Primary School, with previous experience as a general studies teacher and Head of Kodesh at Rosh Pinah Primary School.
Justin was inspired by several summers at Camp Morasha, Pennsylvania, to leave his BSc (Hons) in Business Studies with Law behind to embark on a career in the education of young minds – a decision that he is yet to feel any regret for! At Sacks Morasha, Justin is responsible for ensuring that children understand and learn our Jewish culture and values, and that they not only develop a love for Judaism but embrace the customs and traditions that make Judaism so unique and special. With a background in championing the appropriate use of tech in the classroom at his own school, Justin has relished contributing to the development of Jewish Interactive in the UK over the past several years. He has recently been working with a team in Sacks Morasha to create a SMART Tech policy in response to national concerns of the impact of tech on children’s minds and well-being.
Mr Daniel Marcus
Daniel Marcus is a School Leader, Teacher of Jewish Studies, Educational Consultant and Pikuach Inspector and holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business, a Diploma in Law, an MA in Jewish Education, NPQH and he is a graduate of the Ashdown Fellowship for Senior Jewish Educators.
Daniel has enjoyed a successful career in education for the past 22 years, following his career as a commercial lawyer.
Daniel currently works at Hasmonean High School as Director of Personal Development, a teacher of Jewish Studies and strategically supporting Kodesh leadership.
Daniel has held a number of senior positions within Jewish education including Deputy Head Teacher at Yavneh College (2005-2016) and Deputy Head Teacher at JFS (2017-2021). At both of these schools, Daniel wrote and implemented wide ranging Jewish Studies programmes catering for all levels of study, from basic Hebrew reading to advanced Talmudic studies. Daniel strongly believes that all Jewish programming needs to be built around three strands, skills, knowledge and passion – that all three strands are vital to ensure that education is both inspiring and impactful. Daniel has managed informal Jewish education as a vital part of his work and is experienced at blending formal and informal and creating a cohesive single approach.
Daniel has a successful track record or developing teachers and leaders and believes that it is incumbent upon us to develop the next generation of dynamic leaders and educators. Daniel also held the role of Deputy Head Teacher - Teaching and Learning while at Yavneh College and was responsible for leading on Personal Development at JFS. Daniel has had the privilege to work, as a Pikuach Inspector and enjoys the opportunity to learn from the many schools he has been able to inspect.
Rabbi Yehuda Pearlman
Rabbi Yehuda Pearlman has been the Principal of Broughton Jewish Primary School since 2013. He has an MSc in Education Leadership and Management, a PG Cert in Jewish Education and a Post Graduate Foundation in Systemic Practice. He is currently studying for a PhD in Jewish Spiritual Education. Rabbi Pearlman is a Pikuach Inspector and was a key member of the Pikuach working party that developed the criteria for Jewish Spiritual Development in Schools and rewrote the Pikuach Inspection framework to reflect those expectations.
Mr Laurie Rosenberg
Laurie is a Jewish Educator and teacher with a wide and varied professional background both within and beyond the Jewish community in the UK and internationally.
Laurie trained as a teacher and worked in both primary and inner-city comprehensive schools in the West Midlands and Sussex. He was also head of pastoral care and deputy head of humanities in a large comprehensive school in Crawley, prior to becoming deputy head of an exclusion unit (PRU) for adolescents in Brighton and Hove where he pioneered an in-school preventative programme.
In 1990 he joined the Board of Deputies of British Jews as Executive Director of Education and represented the Jewish community with various Governmental and non-Governmental think-tanks, leading the team that delivered the Model Syllabuses in RE for SCAA (latterly QCA). Whilst at the Board, Laurie brought together a team of educators from across the community to set up Pikuach and is proud of the way in which it has developed.
Laurie became a well-known figure in RE and was an Executive member of the RE Council and also wrote a textbook for non-Jewish KS2 children on “The Synagogue”. Moving to New Zealand in 1999, Laurie worked with the Jewish community in Auckland, writing, developing and teaching a new Jewish Education curriculum at Kadimah College where his wife Lenna was principal.
On returning to the UK in 2002, Laurie was appointed Headteacher of Simon Marks Jewish Primary school, leading it from an OFSTED category of “serious weaknesses” to “good and effective”, whilst at the same time building the school as a core of community and driving up numbers. Laurie was a founder staff member at JCoSS and taught and led both formal and informal Jewish education, as well as developing a unique Jewish approach to PSHCE – Kvutzah – that is now well established at the school.
In 2021 Laurie was appointed Yad Vashem UK’s project manager, leading on their Bar and Bat Mitzvah Twinning programme, and continues to be involved in a number of other initiatives within and beyond the community, including membership of the small team that produced guidance on inspecting spirituality within the 2021 Pikuach Framework, and a freelance educator for Hope not Hate. Laurie continues to broadcast Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2, and has written various articles for the JC and the TES.
Dr Alan Shaw
Dr Alan Shaw has been involved in both formal and informal Jewish education throughout his career including 33 years as a headteacher in 3 Jewish day schools. He holds BA and MA degrees in Jewish Studies and a Doctorate in Education for his thesis on Leadership of Voluntary Aided Schools in England. In his home community of Edgware, he regularly officiates, leyens and gives sermons and divrei Torah. In addition to Pikuach work, he lectures at LSJS and is involved in the Schools Direct Teacher Training programme.
Rabbi Jonny Spector
Rabbi Jonny Spector is the Executive Headteacher at the Agora Learning Partnership, a multi-Academy trust across Hertfordshire. He was previously the Headteacher at Beit Shvidler Primary School. Jonny has worked in Jewish schools for the past 20 years including Rosh Pinah, Kerem and Hasmonean in a multitude of roles including Head of Jewish Studies. He holds the NPQEL, NPQH, a Masters in Jewish Education, Smicha, PGCE and Law Degree. He has been a Pikuach inspector since 2014.
Liza Taitz is an Educational Consultant who is passionate about using creative learning strategies to create fun and stimulating learning opportunities for pupils. Liza was an Assistant Headteacher and Head of Limudei Kodesh for many years and has a Masters degree in Education.
Liza is a graduate of the Susi Bradfield Programme and the Ashdown Educational Leadership Fellowship. In addition, Liza is a Pikuach Inspector and a mentor for trainee teachers.