Our Faculty


Rabbi Shimon H. Alouf, Dean

Rabbi Shimon H. Alouf had his rabbinic training and studies in Jerusalem, Israel. He was most fortunate to get close to many Gedole Hatorah, especially the former Sephardic Chief Rabbi, Rishon Lezion, Hacham Obadia Yosef zt"l. Rabbi Alouf has been the rabbi of Ahaba ve Ahva Congregation in Brooklyn, New York since he came to America in 1985. In 1990, he became the Rosh Yeshivah of the Magen David Yeshivah Celia Esses High School, and then Rosh Yeshivah of the Sephardic Rabbinical College in 1998. 


Mrs. Gitta Jaroslawicz-Neufeld, Director of Education

Mrs. Gitta J. Neufeld earned her BA and Masters from Queens College in communications, with a minor in education. She went on to earn her second Masters from Pace University in School Administration and Supervision. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program, researching factors affecting young women's post-secondary educational and career choices. Mrs. Neufeld has over 40 years of teaching experience in both yeshivot and public schools, including a position as the assistant to the high school superintendent of the New York Public School system. She was co-founder of the Soille High School & Teachers Seminary in Brooklyn, New York. She currently teaches regular adult classes for women in several locations in the New York area. She holds New York State teacher’s & principal’s licenses, as well as Israeli teacher certification. In May 2012, the Covenant Foundation announced that Mrs. Neufeld was a recipient of the prestigious Excellence in Education Award, which was presented at a national event in November 2012.  Click here for more information.



  • Mrs. Marjorie Salem joined Allegra Franco as a student in 2003 and was a member of the first graduating class.  She continued taking classes in the program while enhancing her Tanakh skills for the past 14 summers at Herzog College in Gush Ezion, Israel.  She currently serves on the board of education at Barkai Yeshivah while assisting Israeli families and Bnot Sherut adjust to life in America.   Mrs. Salem is also a member of the initial cohort of the Herzog/AFSEL joint program for advanced certification as a teacher of Tanakh.
  • Mrs. Anne Savdie attended Stern College for Women, where she graduated with a BA in Jewish Studies, Summa Cum Laude, and was on the Dean’s List for all four years of study. As well, she received the Award for Excellence in Jewish Studies from Stern. Mrs. Savdie received a graduate degree in Jewish Secondary Education from Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. She then moved on to the Stern Graduate Program for Advanced Talmudic Studies, where she was immersed in an intense Gemara and Halakha program. Mrs. Savdie spent several years teaching Gemara and Torah to High School girls before she joined our program.
  • Mr. Nachliel Selavan, originally from Jerusalem’s Old City, Israel, is in his sixth year of teaching in the US, developing his unique and engaging method of learning Torah through tour, travel and archaeology. He holds and undergraduate degree studies in Tanakh and Mass-Communications from Lifshitz Teachers College. He has also taught Tanakh, Jewish history and communications in several Jerusalem schools such as Rappaport Boys School, Dugma-Uziel, and Meled, as well as at Barkai Yeshivah. He served as Middle School Head of Judaic Studies in Netivot, the Montessori Yeshiva in East Brunswick, NJ, and as head Middle School teacher in Nefesh Yehudi Academy in East Brunswick, NJ . He has participated in several biblical period excavations in Israel, translating the experience and learning into educational presentations with the support and participation of the site archaeologists. Mr. Selevan is the creator of an innovative integrated learning and museum visit program for both school and adult educational settings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has hosted similar pilot visits to museums in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn and Washington. He completed his MA in Jewish Education in the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and is now working on a second MA from Yeshiva University.    
  • Rabbi Isaac M. Tawil graduated from Magen David Yeshivah and then Yeshiva University, with degrees in marketing and psychology. He completed the course of studies at the Sephardic Rabbinical College, and received his semikha from the chief rabbinate of Israel, as well as from Hakham Ovadia Yosef. Currently, he is a member of the adminsitrative team at Magen David Yeshivah High School, where he also teaches a variety of Judaic Studies classes. Completing his doctorate at Yeshiva University, He is also the rabbi of Congregation Kol Israel. 
  • Mrs. Rochelle Tawil is the chair of the Tanakh department at Magen David Yeshivah High School. A graduate of Stern College, where she received the award for excellence in Education Studies, Mrs. Tawil completed post-graduate work at Matan in Israel.  She is a member of the initial cohort of the Herzog/AFSEL joint program for advanced certification as a teacher of Tanakh.