Join the Team

Meet our Staff

These are the devoted educators who give each child at Yad Yisroel every opportunity to succeed and thrive.

Kaila Neuman


Kaila founded Yad Yisroel to fill a void in the community: the need for an excellent school that provides individual instruction while immersing students in a vibrant social environment. Her personal experience with the special-needs community has made her a fierce and passionate advocate for students with disabilities to receive the tools they need to achieve.

Ariela Braun, MS Ed, BCBA, LBA

Curriculum Supervisor

As curriculum supervisor, Ariela Braun creates individualized education programs for each student at Yad Yisroel. She also oversees the implementation of these programs and conducts demonstrations and training sessions for our staff members. Ariela has a master’s degree in education and special education from Touro College, and a BCBA from Florida Institute of Technology.

With over a decade of experience, Ariela has worked with children with autism and a number of  other disorders. She draws on this experience to lead teams of therapists in utilizing primarily ABA methodology to help students succeed. She emphasizes the importance of working as a team, collaborating with parents, teachers, and therapists to ensure that each child’s needs are met across the board.

Riva Ansbacher, MS, CCC, SLP

Speech Therapist

Riva Ansbacher is a speech therapist with over 25 years of experience. Along with a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Brooklyn College, Riva also has ASHA and New York State TSHH (Teacher of Speech and Hearing Handicapped) certifications. Riva has completed the first two levels of Prompt training and specializes in working with children with language delays, oral motor difficulties, articulation and language processing.

Riva has experience treating children both at home and in school environments, which has aided her in developing methods that help families and teachers generalize skills to different settings. She prides herself on her ability to incorporate play into her sessions so that children and adolescents are willing participants in all activities.

Chayala Salamon, MA, CCC, SLP, TSSLD

Speech Therapist

Chayala Salamon is a speech language pathologist who is also a certified Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities. After earning her Bachelors in Psychology form Touro College, Chayala went on to receive her Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Cincinnati. Chayala has experience running social skills groups for children, preteens, and teens. She utilizes Michelle Garcia Winner's social thinking as well as other methodologies. Her experience includes time spent as a clinician at the Boro Park Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, the Strivright Auditory Oral School of New York, and TTI Aphasia Clinic.

Gitty Goldberg, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Gitty Goldberg earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Touro College School of Health Sciences and has eight years of experience in the field. Gitty is a practitioner of astronaut training, Integrated Listening System (ILS), Neuronet Program, Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT), Therapeutic Listening and aquatic therapy. She has a special interest in self regulation reflex integration, sensory processing, attachment theory, and the utilization of music as a therapeutic modality.

“I love watching when children have an ‘aha’ moment, when they discover a new skill that they can now do, and seeing the pride on their faces as they accomplish it. I enjoy helping children build their foundation skills so that they can accomplish everyday tasks with ease.”

Raizel Birnbuam, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Raizel has extensive pediatric OT experience ranging from early intervention to adolescence working with children in the home and school setting. She has also worked with adults at NYU rusk inpatient rehabilitation, working with patients with neurological and orthopedic conditions. Raizel graduated from Towson University in Maryland with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She is trained in Brain Gym, Reflex Integration and Rythmic Movement Therapy. She enjoys working with a multidisciplinary team to maximize student’s progress.

Ariella Kamel, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapist Ariella Kamel earned her master's degree in the science of occupational therapy from Touro College. With experience in school-based settings as well as outpatient medical settings, Ariella provides both group and individual therapy. Ariella enjoys working with a range of ages from early intervention to adolescents. She has taken continuing education courses in reflex integration, Kinesio Taping Method, and a number of courses on sensory dysfunction. Ariella utilizes a multi-sensory approach and is passionate about helping each child reach his or her potential. She works closely with her students’ families, teachers and therapists to ensure maximal results.


Rivka Mendlowitz (Steinberg) PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

Rikki earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy from SUNY Downstate Medical center and has over six years of experience in the field. She worked for NYU Rusk Rehabilitation for 5 years, in various units including inpatient pediatric rehab, outpatient pediatrics, and acute care, and has a lot of experience working with children with neurological and developmental disorders. Rikki has taken various continuing education courses including Pediatric electrical stimulation, development of normal gait, Rhythmic Movement Training, Beverly Cusick’s Developmental orthopedics of the trunk and lower extremity, and Mary Massery’s “If you can’t breathe, you can’t function.” She is a certified theratogs fitter and APTA Credential Clinical Instructor. Rikki enjoys working with kids with various neurological disorders to help improve their quality of movement at their developmental level, utilizing the brains amazing power of neuroplasticity to maximize progress.

Dvorah Freedman PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

D’vora Freedman earned her doctorate in Physical Therapy from SUNY Downstate. She has extensive experience working with children with special needs, specifically those with autism. The warm relationships she shares with her students enable her to facilitate steady progress. She has worked in both home and school settings, bringing out the best in her clients. Her care and compassion for her students are evident in all her sessions.

"I truly enjoy my work in the pediatric field and find it inspirational to observe the perseverance of these special children each and every day. There is no greater feeling than playing a role in improving a child's overall quality of life."

Haviva Kranz, MS, CCC, SLP

Social Thinking Specialist

Haviva Kranz is a New York State licensed speech-language pathologist with over fifteen years of experience. She earned a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and is ASHA certified. She has completed the mentor-training program “Social Thinking” created by Michelle Garcia Winner and is trained in Verbal Behavior and in Lori Overland’s Sensory Motor Approach to Feeding. Haviva has extensive professional experience working with children diagnosed with a wide variety of communication and related disorders including autism spectrum disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, brain injuries, genetic syndromes and ADHD.

Haviva excels at providing pragmatic language therapy by blending a behavioral approach with social cognitive instruction to create opportunities for children to monitor and modify their behavior.


Freidl Putter, LMSW

Social Worker

Freidl ‘s passion for helping people can be traced to a young age, when she devoted her energy to volunteering and eventually obtaining a position as a Program Coordinator at Friendship Circle ; an organization which addresses children with special needs. These children, paired with friends, partake in a variety of developmentally appropriate stimulating activities in a warm and nurturing environment.

A graduate of Touro College School of Social Work, Freidl is licensed in the State of New York. She is currently working at Yad Yisroel, a school for children with special needs.  She is also employed at Pesach Tikva, an outpatient mental health clinic where she caters to children, adolescents, adults, and couples who are dealing with anxiety, depression, trauma, identity issues, and family related stressors.

Interventions employed by Freidl are individualized.  She is cognizant that each person requires a specific or a combination of approaches. Freidl is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Somatic Experiencing, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy, and Internal Family Systems. Play Therapy is often utilized when working with children as their mode of expression is through play.

In collaboration with families, staff members, and specialists, Freidl is committed to implementing the optimal therapeutic measures in the programs of these children, thereby enabling them to fulfill their potential and to live meaningful happy lives.

Janet London MS CCC SLP

AAC Specialist, PROMPT Advanced Trained Clinician

Janet London is a knowledgeable well-trained Speech Pathologist with extensive experience in treating both children and adults with severe disabilities.  She was a staff trainer for the NYC Department of Education where she taught NYC Speech Therapists how to best treat severely impaired children with Autism and multiple handicaps.

She was one of the first people trained by Debra Hayden herself and has been using this technique for over 20 years.

For those children whose speech has not developed sufficiently to communicate effectively, Janet has become an expert in the use of AAC (Alternative Augmentative Communication) as well. She is an advocate of providing a means through which a child’s language can continue to develop as his/her speech is emerging.

She currently consults with schools how to best develop communication utilizing both speech and augmentative means, as well as evaluating children to find the ‘best fit’ for alternative or augmentative systems. She specializes in helping to create the optimum school environments to support communicating with alternative means.

Malka Cohn

Animal Assisted Therapist

Malka Cohen is certified in Animal Assisted Interventions through the Denver University Graduate School of Social Work, and has a B.A. from CU-Boulder. Malka has been providing animal therapy programs to kids since 2009, when she began with a small traveling petting zoo and eventually developed an interest in animal assisted therapy. Later,she ran a Therapeutic Farm Program at Camp HASC. She currently runs a facility where many of the animals are housed. All animals are under veterinary care.

Shaya Roth

Music Therapist

Shaya Roth is a certified music therapist. He uses music’s nonverbal and emotional qualities to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, and emotional health. Shaya plays multiple instruments and is also a vocalist. He is committed to bringing music to the special needs population, and is passionate about using music to help individuals connect with and relate to their environment.

Miriam Kleinman

Music Therapist

Miriam Kleinman has been a “music with movement” teacher for over fifteen years. She is the producer of the acclaimed Inter+action children’s music album, and is also a practitioner and teacher of yoga. Miriam has been trained to use music’s therapeutic properties to help children, and is passionate about developing the musical instinct in every child.

Meet our Teachers

Goldee Teller, M.S. Ed.

Classroom Teacher

Ettel Rotberg, M.S. Ed.

Classroom Teacher

Baila Feller  M.S. Ed.

Classroom Teacher

Rochel Tenenbaum M.S. Ed.

Classroom Teacher

Kayla Weber M.S. Ed.

Classroom Teacher

Sara Lev M.S. Ed.

Classroom Teacher

Rabbi Nachum Halpern

Classroom Teacher

Abby Baharlias  M.S. Ed.

Classroom Teacher