Leadership

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Rabbi Shmuel Miller

Head of School   |   smiller@eha.org

Rabbi Miller has over three decades of experience in Jewish communal work, always with the aim of empowering Jews from all walks of life to embrace the timeless truths of Torah and engender a love of learning and living. As a Regional Director for NCSY, he revitalized the region through clarifying its purpose, resulting in an increase in appeal, participation, community embrace and partnership.

Rabbi Miller holds a B.A. in psychology from UCLA and post-graduate degree in Adolescent Mental Health from the Tavistock Clinic in the UK. He received Smicha from Tiferet Yerushalayim in Israel and Kabbalah in shechita in South Africa. 

He has also served as Rabbi for Congregation Ohr Somayach in South Africa, established the Mid-Atlantic Chai Lifeline office, and has served in administrative roles in Jewish day and high schools in the UK, and on the West Coast. Rabbi Miller engages with families, children and partners with genuine positive regard and interest. His joys include learning, photography, public speaking, performing music, and freshly brewed-coffee. 

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Mrs. Itta Boyko

Principal   |   iboyko@eha.org

Mrs. Boyko, an EHA alumnus, joined Epstein Hebrew Academy as Director of Student Support Services in 2017. In a very short time at The Academy, she strengthened the Brain Cave by advancing necessary strategic processes to ensure student success.  Additionally, she was instrumental in enhancing the English Language Arts program from K-8th grades -with an emphasis on Middle School curriculum. 

Mrs. Boyko has been a critical team player during curriculum changes in both math and science and is a constant source of support and encouragement for teachers and students alike. Mrs. Boyko has a passion for facilitating individualized instruction to help each child meet high academic standards and experience personal growth.

 

Mrs. Boyko holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and English, as well as a certification in elementary education.  She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching, as well as a master’s degree in K-12 Reading. 

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Rabbi Jonathan Fruchter

Asst. Principal - Judaic Studies   |   jfruchter@eha.org

Rabbi Jonathan Fruchter joined the EHA staff in 2018 after moving here with his wife (a native St. Louisan) and family. Rabbi Fruchter served as the Programming Director, was a member of the Judaic studies faculty for both the middle school and high school, and has served on the General studies faculty for a number of years. In 2022 he was appointed as Assistant Principal - Judaic Studies so that he can use his passion for education to help bring Epstein's Judaic studies up to the next level. He believes strongly in catering to the individual needs of each student, as well as the synthesis of formal and informal education as a way of helping students develop their skills and maximize their potential.  

 

Rabbi Fruchter received his rabbinic ordination from RIETS (YU), as well as his master’s degree from the Azrieli Graduate School in Jewish Education & Administration (YU). He also holds a BS in accounting from the Sy Syms School of Business (YU). In addition to his role at EHA, Rabbi Fruchter serves as the Education & Engagement Coordinator at the Young Israel of St. Louis where he is passionately involved in both adult and youth education.

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Rabbi Simcha Cohen

Director, Student Support Services   |   scohen@eha.org

Rabbi Simcha Cohen joined the EHA staff in 2018 as a Brain Cave learning specialist and member of the elementary school Judaic studies faculty.  In 2021 he assumed the position of Director of Student Support Services, as well. Rabbi Cohen is passionate about teaching and helps his students succeed by instilling core skills, middot tovot, and positive learning associations that will carry them through the rest of their lives.

Rabbi Cohen is a graduate of the Yeshiva of Far Rockaway and holds a BA in Psychology from Touro College, as well as a Masters in Education and Special Education from Touro College Graduate School of Education. Rabbi Cohen and his wife, Devorah, are the proud parents of three boys.

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Mrs. Jessie Lefton

Director, Marsha & Shlomo Fredman Early Childhood Center   |   jlefton@eha.org

Jessie Lefton has taught at Epstein Hebrew Academy for 20 years. Originally from New York City, Jessie moved to St. Louis with her husband, whose family was among the founding members of EHA,, to pursue her love of teaching Torah. Jessie and her husband, Daniel, are the proud parents of four boys, all of whom are Epstein graduates. Jessie takes great joy and nachat in teaching toddlers the Aleph-Bet, their first Parsha, and hearing them sing fun songs about the holidays. In 2022, after many years as program coordinator for the preschool, Jessie joined the administrative staff as preschool director for the growing and thriving Marsha and Shlomo Fredman Early Childhood Center. Jessie received her BA and a Masters in Social Work from New York University.

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Mrs. Ariela Ish-Hurwitz

Director, Hebrew Dept.   |   aish-hurwitz@eha.org

Ariela joined the Epstein Hebrew Academy family in 2021 as the director of the Hebrew department,. She moved from Chicago with her husband in order to be near her daughter, son-in-law, and three adorable grandchildren.

 

Her passion is to facilitate individualized instruction to help each child experience success in and a love for the modern Hebrew language.

 

She holds an undergraduate Degree in Education from Tel Aviv College of Education, and holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Development from National Louis University in Chicago.