Meet Our Instructors
Ahuva Tal Hollander
Founder & Director
Ahuva Tal Hollander, Ha-Ulpan's founder and director, was born in Israel and educated in Israel and the United States. She has served as director of the ulpan at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan and has taught at the ulpan of the Jewish Agency for Israel in New York City and in Israel. She has also authored several texts for students of Hebrew and is the recipient of awards for excellence, Master Teacher, and her dedicated service as a Jewish educator.
Eran Barzilai grew up in Israel and received his BA in psychology from Bar-Ilan University, where he also completed a teaching certificate and teaching internship in special education. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology at the New School for Social Research. Eran is also a certified personal trainer and has been helping clients of all ages meet their fitness goals for the past eight years. In his free time, he likes to cook, run, and play soccer.
Michal Doutsh grew up in Israel and started her teaching career in the IDF. After her service, she continued to work with the IDF as a pedagogical director while teaching at a pre-academic school for adults and the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium. She has experience working with students with learning disabilities and has taught both children and adults. Michal received a BA in psychology from Tel Aviv University, as well as an MA in education and a teaching certificate with a specialization in Hebrew from Levinsky College.
Miri Kamar has been teaching in ulpans throughout Israel since 1986. She has taught Hebrew in Jerusalem and Haifa, and at Tel Aviv University, the Ministry of Education, and Masa Israel. She has also taught at ulpan programs in New York. She was one of the authors of Diburim Diburim, a conversational Hebrew textbook and teaching guide for advanced students. In addition to her teaching credentials, Miri holds a BA in education and geography from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Omer grew up in Herzliya, served in the IDF as a musician, and graduated with a BFA from The New School for Jazz Music as valedictorian. An acclaimed saxophonist, he has performed in numerous jazz festivals, competitions, and venues all over the world. Omer has been teaching music for seven years and was trained as a Hebrew teacher. He is currently a doctoral student for clinical psychology at The New School for Social Research. On the weekends, he likes making hummus, biking around the city, and watching foreign movies.
Yael Marx has been an educator for more than 30 years in both Israel and the United States. She holds a degree in literature and cinema from Tel Aviv University and a master's degree in literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For several years, Yael has hosted a series of literary salons exploring original literature from Israel as well as world fiction translated into Hebrew.
A native Israeli, Ilana Sheinman has been teaching Hebrew to students of all ages for over 25 years. She graduated cum laude from John Jay College in NYC with BS and MA degrees and holds teaching certificates from Hans Beit Teachers College in Jerusalem and the WZO's Ministry of Education and Culture. Ilana has been a Hebrew teacher at the JCC in New York and a lecturer at the University of Budapest, and has taught at the Jewish Agency, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and various synagogues. She also taught in a kibbutz in Israel, where she supervised and taught special needs youth.
Idit Shem Tov
Idit Shem Tov, an Israeli native, has spent her entire career in Jewish and Israeli education. She started as a Hebrew teacher in Hong Kong and then taught history at Rothberg High School in Ramat Hasharon, Israel. At Rothberg, she held a number of education and management positions and served as vice principal for 14 years. Idit received a BA in Jewish history and a teaching certificate from Tel Aviv University, as well as an MA in Management of Educational Systems from the Kibbutzim College.
Originally from Haifa, Noam is a graduate of Tufts University, where he began teaching Hebrew. He is very excited to be teaching at Ha-Ulpan.
Yonatan Gutfeld was born in Jerusalem and served in the IDF as a pianist and singer for the Israeli Air Force Band. He studied music composition at the Jerusalem Music Academy and Rimon School of Jazz and Rock, as well as Hebrew literature at Tel Aviv University. He now teaches Hebrew and music at the School for Creative Judaism. Yonatan released his first album of Hebrew songs in 2011.
Hagit has been leading tours in Hebrew at museums around New York for our students since 2006. She holds a master's degree in Jewish Art and Visual Culture from JTS, as well as a bachelor's from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and a teaching certificate from Midrashah Le'Amanut, an Israeli college for art education. She has taught art and Hebrew for many years, currently at Fordham University and JTS's Ivry Prozdor program.