Rabbi Baruch Kupfer Executive Director
Rabbi Kupfer has been involved with Gindi Maimonides Academy for over thirty years. Before moving to Los Angeles, Rabbi Kupfer held the position of Executive Vice President at Yeshivah Gedola-Merkaz Hatorah of Montreal, Canada’s largest Yeshivah. He completed his post-graduate studies at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, New Jersey, where he received his ordination. As a founding member of the Toronto Kollel, the first independent Kollel in North America, he helped pioneer the development of the Kollel movement which has become a significant component of Orthodox Jewish life in most major Jewish communities in America.
Rabbi Kupfer is a well known educator and speaker. His highly acclaimed lectures and Torah classes, spiced with Chassidic inspiration and Kabbalistic wisdom, are widely attended and offer penetrating insights into Jewish thought and classical Jewish texts.
Rabbi Kupfer is a past President of the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC), a position he held for four years. Rabbi Kupfer has also served as Rabbinic Head of the RCC’s Kashrut Division.
Rabbi Aharon Wilk, MA Head of School
Rabbi Aharon Wilk joined our school in 2008 from Miami Beach, Florida where he served as an administrator in the local Jewish day school.
Under Rabbi Wilk’s leadership, the school has enjoyed significant growth in its student population and has become a nationally recognized educational program. Rabbi Wilk has focused on strengthening a school community that nurtures the dreams of our students and places a premium on the eternal belief in children and their future.
Rabbi Wilk is strongly committed to the professional development of our faculty and takes pride in the school’s reputation as a center for innovation and ideas. Most importantly, our Principal enjoys celebrating the growth, grit and greatness experienced by our student population.
Rabbi David Mahler, MA Judaic Studies Principal
Prior to joining Gindi Maimonides Academy, Rabbi Mahler served as Director of Student Activities at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, NJ, and Assistant Principal at Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck, NY. Rabbi Mahler earned his s’micha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg in Yerushalayim and is a graduate of Yeshiva University where he earned a Master’s in Secondary Education as well as s’micha. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the Azrieli Graduate School.
Mrs. Allison Sostchen, MA, MS General Studies Principal
Since 2012, Mrs. Sostchen has enhanced the general studies faculty and curriculum to ensure that all students are afforded a premiere 21st century education. Mrs. Sostchen continues to develop the leadership capacity within each faculty member, and is a wonderful role model for professional development and focus. She has worked in the field of education as a teacher and administrator for the past seventeen years. Aside from a B.A. from U.C.L.A. in Anthropology, and a DLAP specialization, Mrs. Sostchen graduated summa cum laude from Pepperdine University with an M.A. in Education as well as graduating summa cum laude from California State University Northridge with an M.A. in Educational-Administration-Educational Leadership & Policy Studies. Mrs. Sostchen’s extensive credentials include California Clear Teaching K-9 and California Clear Professional Level Administration.
Mrs. Claire Peikon Director, Early Childhood
Mrs. Claire Peikon (Morah Claire) holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked for over a decade at various Yeshiva Day Schools.
Morah Claire believes in educating the whole child – when a child feels comfortable, safe and understood in his or her environment, learning becomes qualitatively richer, more exciting and imbued with lasting value.
Morah Claire has proudly championed student success at Gindi Maimonides Academy for eleven years and looks forward to a bright future of academic and fun-filled success for our school community. We are fortunate that her vision and passion for Early Childhood Education is shared with our teachers, parents and students. Together we will lay a strong, lasting foundation for the future growth of our youngest learners.
Mrs. Ilana Daftari, MA Assistant Principal General Studies
Mrs. Ilana Daftari is both a proud parent, teacher, and administrator at our school. As a parent, Ilana and her husband Bobby were struck by the immediate feeling of “home” they felt on their initial tour. She recalls being impressed by the 8th grade final product in terms of the students’ maturity and Middot and by the sense of joy and warmth that infused the campus.
In 2012, with all 3 Daftari girls enrolled in our early childhood, Ilana signed on as a 3rd grade general studies teacher. Over the course of tenure at GMA, Ilana has taught lower school general studies, and middle school language arts. Ilana’s passions are collaborating with teachers on curriculum that is integrated, engaging, relevant and rigorous. Ilana believes in every student and strives to be their champion- pushing them to arrive at their fullest potential in all areas. She loves helping families and students in any way that she can, and most of all genuinely enjoys coming to work each day where she feels she is challenged, entertained, and fulfilled by her colleagues on the administration, and inspired by the entire faculty.
Ilana earned her Masters degree in early childhood and elementary education from the Bank Street College of Education in NYC.
Mrs. Shaindy Stewart, MA Assistant Principal Judaic Studies
Morah Shaindy joined our school in 2012, having held teaching, special education, and administrative positions in Toronto, Baltimore, and Palo Alto.
She has a tremendous passion for teaching children Torah and enjoys creating curricula, educational programming and experiences designed to excite students and teachers.
Morah Shaindy has a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Education with a focus in Special Education. Her background and experiences have fueled her with a belief in every child and a desire to help each one find, develop, and celebrate their own strength.