Brocha Margolese – Educational Director

bbBrocha first learned about the Montessori educational model while studying and training for Special Education.  As part of her training, she shadowed a child who attended a Montessori after-school program.  “After school, children are often really tired and done with learning, but these children were amazing.  They’d come in after an entire day, but be energized and enthusiastic about their after-school learning.  If the children could be so successful in just 2 hours, imagine what they could do with a whole school day!”  Brocha attributed their enthusiasm and success to the teaching methods the program used, so she decided to pursue her Montessori Certification and complete a Montessori internship.

As part of her internship in 2003, Brocha was required to observe different Montessori classrooms.  Her instructor directed her to conduct an observation at Yeshivas Shaarei Simcha in Clifton, NJ, the first religious Montessori school.  “I was blown away by the mix of Torah and real-deal Montessori.”  After she completed the observation, the school’s Director made her a job offer on the spot.

Working in Yeshiva Shaarei Simcha, Brocha had the opportunity to begin the design process of the primary division’s integrated curriculum. Rabbi Jonathan Rietti, Advisory Board member for Darchei Noam Montessori, designed the elementary school curriculum there and this partnership led to fruitful future collaborations.

Brocha also started a number of Montessori programs; one in Lakewood, one at Talmudical Academy in Baltimore and finally in 2009, Darchei Noam Montessori, originally housed in Brocha’s basement.

In addition to her work with Darchei Noam Montessori, Brocha consults with schools throughout the US and Canada as well as with teachers in Beijing, Switzerland and France to move their Montessori schools to higher levels of functionality and academic growth.

Brocha was also part of the hosting team at the Jewish Montessori Annual Conference in Clifton, NJ and a presenter/lecturer at the conference.

In her “spare time,” Brocha enjoys relaxing and spending quality-time with her husband, Binny and her 6 children.

Miriam Schor – Primary Head Teacher

Miriam ImageAfter homeschooling her own children for several years, Miriam appreciates the benefits of individual attention in the learning process. She said, “With one-on- one lessons, I can form a real connection with each child and get to know who they are with their strengths and weaknesses. It’s so special.” Watching the children in her class evolve was a special treat. One area of note was the children’s development of conflict resolution skills. She said, “We use a peace shell to help children work out their conflicts. At the beginning of the year, I facilitate the conversations with the peace shell, but by the end of the year, they do everything on their own. I give lessons while the students work out their problems. Everyone feels heard so
they’re at peace and can be calm in the classroom.” Miriam’s son, Shemayim, and her daughter, Tzofia are part of the Darchei Noam kitah. Miriam has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland.

Shaindy Newman – Primary Head Teacher

shaindy_webThis will be Morah Shaindy’s second year teaching at Darchei Noam, and her fourth year as a Darchei Noam parent. Her first year of teaching at Darchei Noam reinforced her belief that “every child has unique learning needs, not only the children we tend to think of that would stand out in a typical school environment.” Morah Shaindy believes that the goal of the classroom is to guide the children’s natural curiosity about life and their environment. “My job is to present the path to answers which will satisfy their innate desire to learn, and make the materials that will help guide them appealing and approachable.” Morah Shaindy’s most gratifying moments as a teacher last year were when her students were able to take the lessons they had gained and apply them independently. “There is no better feeling than watching a child’s face light up as he proclaims that the cans in his house are cylinders and his friends enthusiastically agree and add their own examples.”. Before teaching in the classroom, Morah Shaindy ran a playgroup from her home for five years. Her daughter Tikva (Lower Elementary) and son Eli Simcha (Primary) are both returning students at Darchei Noam.

Rabbi Eli Solomon – Lower Elementary Boys Rebbe

Rabbi Solomon ImageThe youngest boys in our Lower Elementary class still talk about the fascinating model lesson Rabbi Solomon gave during his interview process and we’re so pleased to have him join Darchei Noam this year. After spending the past two years in a conventional classroom, Rabbi Solomon is excited to teach at Darchei Noam. He said, “The foundations of Montessori are well-suited to giving each child what they need. The educational methodology allows for real, individualized teaching and guiding of each student. I don’t have to find time to work with a student individually; it’s just the way we do things here.” Rabbi Solomon loves the complexity of Lower Elementary students: “I like the challenge of engaging with another human to uncover their barriers and help them break through. Because my classroom has a mixed age group, I often get to stay with the boys for several years, so I’m really with them on the road.”

Laliev Silverman – Lower Elementary Girls Morah

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Morah Silverman has taught in a spectrum of settings within Baltimore Jewish schools– from learning center one-on- ones to mainstream classrooms to small-size enrichment groups.  She has treated each new experience as an opportunity to research, implement, and refine best practice techniques.  Morah Silverman’s methods have greatly improved students’ development of cognitive skills and content mastery, as well as rekindling their passion for learning.  When she sent her children to Darchei Noam, she realized that the teaching methodologies she was developing were similar in many ways to Montessori.  Morah Silverman’s joining the team of Darchei Noam educators is the fulfillment of a 20-year- old dream– to teach inclusive classes of diverse learners, using individualized instruction and other best practice techniques that empower children to develop robust cognitive skills and construct deep, lasting understanding. In addition, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach an integrated kodesh/chol curriculum,
where all learning stems from and enhances Torah learning, and to use experiential materials and lessons that promote a beyond-academic, deeply felt connection to Torah.  Morah Silverman’s son Nechemia is a Darchei Noam student and her son Yosef Shalom is a graduate of the Primary Division. She holds a Bachelors Degree in  mathematics from the University of Maryland.

Hadassah (Pearlman) Belek

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