The senior administrators at Milton are responsible for developing policy and managing the School’s operations.
Dr. Deborah Skolnick-Einhorn joined Milton as the new Head of School in July 2020. She was unanimously chosen as our third Head of School, following the enthusiastic recommendation of the Board-appointed Search Committee.
Deborah previously served as Associate Dean of Hebrew College’s School of Jewish Education, her professional home since 2002. In that role, Deborah ran and taught in graduate programs training Jewish educators, with an emphasis on mentoring teachers, administrators and teacher leaders. Prior to Hebrew College, Deborah served as Assistant Director at the University of Maryland Hillel. Over the years, she has taught students at nearly every grade level from K through 12. A graduate of Tufts University, Deborah earned an M.A. in Modern Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in American Jewish Life from Brandeis University. Deborah is the recipient of Brandeis University’s Excellence in Teaching Prize and was named Indiana University’s Inaugural Women and Philanthropy Fellow.
Alongside her professional work in Jewish education, Deborah has been active in pluralistic Jewish day school lay leadership, serving on the boards of Tufts Hillel and Camp Yavneh and as a past chair of the Jewish Women’s Fund of Rhode Island.
Deborah is a Washingtonian by marriage. She and her family are excited to be back in the DC area – and the Milton community is thrilled to welcome them!
Melissa Davis has been at Milton since 2011. She received a BFA in Theatre Education from the University of Arizona and an MS in Education from Johns Hopkins University in School Counseling. Her first teaching position was as a middle school Language Arts and Drama teacher in Northern California, during which time she received a subject matter competency in Secondary Language Arts. After moving to Maryland with her husband, Melissa taught Theater at a high school in Howard County.
Melissa took a “sabbatical” when her two sons were born, returning to teaching in 2007. She fell in love with Early Childhood, and taught for three years at the Ohr Kodesh Early Childhood Center, including two years as Assistant Director. She also worked for four summers as the Site Director of ESF Camps at Georgetown Prep. In the summer of 2014, Melissa completed a 15-month intensive leadership development program, JECELI (Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership Institute). She has also worked at Capital Camps as a Yoetzet (Social Worker).
Melissa was born in Philadelphia and grew up in New Jersey and Southern California.
Arielle Derby was named to the position of Elementary School Director in 2016. Arielle is a master educator, curriculum developer, and administrator who has served Jewish day schools in multiple capacities. She earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College and a Masters Degree in Childhood General Education at Bank Street College.
Arielle came to Washington, DC, after serving as the Principal of the Lerner Jewish Community Day School in Durham, NC, where she oversaw its full educational program and supervised its faculty. Prior to that post, Arielle served as the Director of Judaic Studies at Lerner, and also taught in both General and Judaic Studies. Since moving to the Washington, DC, area, Arielle also taught General Studies at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. Earlier in her career, Arielle also taught at the Hannah Senesh Community Day School in New York City.
Arielle is a proud day school graduate, having attended the Heschel School in New York in her youth. Her son Edan (’26) attends Milton. She lives in Silver Spring.
Lisa Schopf was named Milton’s founding Middle School Director in February 2016. Lisa has over a decade of independent school experience as a teacher, teacher mentor, and school leader. Lisa has been an educator at Milton since 2006, first as a General Studies teacher for Grade 5, and most recently as the Math and Social Studies teacher for Grade 6.
Lisa recently completed a nationally recognized program, “YOU Lead,” a Yeshiva University-School Partnership program designed to develop and advance emerging leaders in Jewish education. She has also completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s program, Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership; is an AviChai Fellow focusing on specific elements in our school that can inspire understanding and connection within Judaism; and has served as the Co-Chair of the Association of Independent Maryland and DC School reaccreditation for Milton. In addition, Lisa has been serving the Milton community as a teacher mentor since 2013, through a national mentoring program, the Jewish New Teacher Project.
Previously, Lisa taught Grade 7 at the Booker T. Washington Middle School in Morningside Heights in New York City. She also worked in program development for Middle and High School students through The Constitution Works. Lisa also developed lesson guides for educators to accompany literary selections for elementary and middle school students through her work for educational magazine Baba Ganewz. In addition to her impact as an educator and mentor, she also contributes to the field of education by regularly authoring articles about best practices in education for academic journals.
Lisa received an M.A. in History from the University of Maryland at College Park. She earned her undergraduate degree from Barnard College of Columbia University, graduating summa cum laude in History and Education. While at Barnard, she earned her education certificate for Grades 7 – 12. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and the recipient of numerous academic honors including a Senior Fellowship; the Eugene H. Byrne History Prize; the Mary Thomas Elliot Prize for Outstanding Academic Record, Integrity and Citizenship; and the George Wellwood Murray Fellowship for Graduate Study in Humanities and/or Social Studies. Lisa grew up in Long Island, NY, where she attended the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway through high school.
As Director of Student Support Services, Alexis Herschthal works to integrate and manage Milton’s learning support and counseling services for all students who need academic and social-emotional support.
Born and raised in the Washington, DC, area, Alexis Herschthal attended local Jewish day schools through middle school. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and interned at a local public elementary school with at-risk kids while she was there. This troubled school and its wonderful students had a powerful impact, solidifying Alexis’ love of working with children and inspiring her to pursue a career in counseling.
Alexis received a Master of Social Work degree from Catholic University. As a graduate student, she worked at special needs schools in the area. Following the completion of her MSW, she continued working in special education as the lower school counselor at Kingsbury Day School, where she became licensed as a clinical social worker and remained until she was offered the opportunity to come to Milton in 2010. In 2015, Alexis joined the Sibley Group, a private practice in DC, where she works part-time as a child therapist.
Etan Weiss joined Milton as Director of Jewish Life in the summer of 2019. Before this post, he served as the Principal and Jewish Life and Learning Director at Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School in MN. Previously, he was a Jewish Studies Teacher and the Chair of Jewish Text, Thought and Practice in the Upper School (Grades 7-12) of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School for nine years. In that capacity, he taught many JPDS (Milton) graduates. In addition, he serves as a faculty member of the Day School Educators Institute for Hadar, educating administrators and teachers on their standards of fluency for Jewish text and practice.
Etan’s academic background is in the fields of Jewish Studies and education. He earned a Masters in Jewish Education from the Davidson Graduate School of Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, a B.A. in Philosophy and Jewish Studies from Hofstra University, and is a graduate of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies Educators Program in Jerusalem.
We were excited to welcome Etan to the Milton community along with his wife Amy, and their daughters Ya’ara and Nava who are students at Milton.
Adam Broms joined Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School as Chief Business Officer in January 2020. Adam came to us from Capital Camps and Retreat Center, where he worked for nine years, the last three as Camp Director. Prior to Capital Camps, Adam worked in Human Resources at Hillel International. He holds a Bachelors and a Masters of Business Administration from the George Washington University. Adam is a member of the Inclusion Committee of the Federation of Greater Washington and previously served as a member of the Leadership Committee of DC Minyan.
Ronit Greenstein joined Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School (then JPDS-NC) in 2013 as the school’s first dedicated communications professional. In her capacity as the Director of Communication, she has partnered with talented professionals and community members on the rebranding of the school, overseen a redesign of the website, expanded the school’s social media presence across multiple platforms, and launched a school community blog that features over 1000 blog posts. Additionally, Ronit is responsible for the school’s print and online publications, video productions, and press outreach.
Ronit began her career at PBS, where she worked on branding and crisis communications for several years. Later at CNN, she handled publicity for 12 public affairs programs and represented 61 correspondents. Her career in media also included overseeing the press and marketing for several Emmy-Award winning documentaries at a subsidiary of Walt Disney International Television; managing publicity for the companion book to the hit TV series Survivor in her capacity as Director of Publicity for a HarperCollins book division; and a role as co-producer of The Response, an independent film that was short-listed for an Academy Award.
She served as AIPAC’s Los Angeles Director, where her background in communications, community building, Israel education, and international affairs enabled her to serve the growing community. Ronit also worked in Jewish education for a decade as an educator and curriculum developer at Washington Hebrew Congregation prior to joining Milton. Ronit studied Hebrew Literature and Middle East History at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, received a B.A. in Communications from the George Washington University, and did graduate work in Anthropology and International Affairs at Columbia University. She is the proud parent of a current Milton student and an alumna.
Miri Ploff joined Milton (then JPDS-NC) in 2001. She taught at the school for 12 years before becoming the Director of Administration in 2013. In 2019, Miri became Director of Human Resources & Administration. Miri received her undergraduate degree from Penn State University and completed her student teaching in the United Kingdom. She was born in Larchmont, New York, and spent several of her formative years in Tokyo, Japan.
Sindy Udell joined the school as Director of Admission in 2003, when the school enrolled 150 students. Under her leadership and strategic planning, enrollment has more than doubled to over 390 students.
Prior to joining Milton, Sindy worked as an Assistant General Counsel at the United States General Accounting Office, an enforcement attorney at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and a litigation partner at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz in New York City. She served on the school’s Board of Directors from 2001 to 2003 and currently sits on the board of Friends of IDF. She graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a BA in Marketing and English and a JD from the Benjamin Cardoza School of Law in New York City. Both of her children graduated from Milton (then JPDS-NC).