Our leadership team at Ben Porat Yosef is guided by the mission and hashkafa of the school to provide an outstanding education within a warm and nurturing environment. It is our goal to instill in our children a love of Torah, mitzvot and Eretz Yisrael and to strengthen their minds and souls so that they may grow to become active members and contributors to klal Yisrael and broader society.


Rabbi Zucker Rabbi Saul Zucker, Head of School, is an educational leader with over 25 years of experience and a history of advocating for progressive education in both Judaic and general studies. He most recently implemented this pedagogical approach – including active-learner methodology and inquiry-based learning – at Magen David Yeshivah High School in Brooklyn, New York, where he served as principal from 2011-2017. While at Magen David, Rabbi Zucker built, mentored, and led an award-winning educational leadership team that was recognized by leading educational institutions. Under his leadership, the school was awarded two Young Pioneer prizes by the Jewish Educational Project and two Pomegranate Prizes from the Covenant Foundation, in addition to having two educational administrators selected to become Joshua Venture Group Fellows. Rabbi Zucker oversaw the rigorous and prestigious NYSAIS-accreditation process, led the school to qualify as a BOLD school grantee, and fostered unique relationships between the school and Israeli organizations to enhance students’ connection to Israel. Prior to joining Magen David, Rabbi Zucker served as national director for the Orthodox Union’s Department of Day School & Educational Services, where he mentored heads of school and educational leaders nationwide, and was the founding rosh mesivta of The Mesivta of North Jersey. He previously held positions as a Talmud instructor, associate principal, and principal at The Frisch School and as general studies principal at Northwest Yeshiva High School in Seattle, Washington. Rabbi Zucker has extensive experience working in both Sephardic and Ashkenazic communities and is knowledgeable and energized about celebrating the full range of rich and diverse Jewish traditions. He is a sought-after public speaker and widely published on subjects related to Torah study and Jewish education. Rabbi Zucker is particularly passionate about teaching Talmud and has pioneered a unique study methodology that is now inspiring a second generation of students. Rabbi Zucker holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Queens College, a Master of Education degree in Educational Policy, Governance, and Administration from the University of Washington, and received Semikhah Yoreh Yoreh from Yeshiva Bnei Torah and Dayan Rabbi Meir Gruenberg, zt”l, Kezmarker Rav, Av Beit Din, Brooklyn, New York. Rabbi Zucker can be contacted at

Dr. Chagit Hadar, Judaic Studies Principal, was born and raised in Israel, and brings with her to Ben Porat Yosef a value system steeped in Zionism, Torah, ahavat hazulat, and chesed. Chagit received a B.Ed. in Elementary School Science from Talpiyot College, an M.S. in Professional Communication from Clark University, and a Ph.D. in Education (with a concentration in Relationship and Interactions) from Atlantic International University. She received additional certifications in Human Resources Development and Training from Clark University and in Education from the Rabbi Wolf Seminary for Teachers.Previously, Chagit worked as a Hebrew teacher and director of the Hebrew department at Magen David Yeshivah High School in Brooklyn, NY. In this capacity, she established programs for teaching Hebrew as well as skills that serve to augment students’ ability to process information and learn on a deeper, more permanent level. She also developed and implemented programs designed to connect students with Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrae. Philosophically, she finds personal inspiration in the vision of HaRav Kook (Israel’s first chief rabbi) and guides her professional life by his philosophy of integrating “Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and Torat Yisrael” (the people of Israel, the land of Israel, and the Torah of Israel) to work in unity.She can be reached at

rsz_becky Rebecca Hirschfield, General Studies Principal, a professional in Jewish Day Schools for close to 25 years, completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and her masters, in Learning Disabilities, at Teacher’s College of Columbia University.   She has many years of teaching experience at Manhattan Day School and SAR Academy, and has worked with students ranging in age from first through eighth grades in math, science, and the humanities.   She was the founding director of the Inclusion Program at SAR, an innovative full-time special education program for students with language based learning disabilities, the first of its kind in a dual language school.   Most recently, she served as the associate principal for general studies in the middle school at SAR, where she led the implementation of their one-to-one iPad program.  Becky lives in Riverdale, with her husband, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, and their three daughters. She can be contacted at

rsz_jessica_1 Jessica Kohn, Early Childhood Director and Associate Principal, is an education professional with over two decades of experience in early childhood programs at Jewish day schools. Morah Jessica, as she is affectionately known at BPY, is an active member of every teaching team and develops a personal relationship with every student and family in our early childhood program. She infuses her warmth, energy, limitless creativity, and commitment to the children of Ben Porat Yosef into each classroom. As a founding educator of BPY, Morah Jessica was instrumental in implementing her vision of a child-centered, individualized and differentiated education. Morah Jessica earned her BA in Early Childhood Education from Stern College for Women and her M.Ed in Reading from William Paterson University. As a certified reading specialist, Morah Jessica has created an early childhood program rich with early literacy experiences. The children eagerly await her weekly storytime visits. Morah Jessica can be contacted at

rsz_elana_cohn_headshot Elana Cohn, Director of Special Services and 1st and 2nd Grade Coordinator, who holds a Masters degree in Special Education and is trained in multi-sensory reading and reading assessments, has over ten years of experience in the field of special education. She has taught in kindergarten through eighth grade, in a variety of subjects, and in varied special education settings, including self-contained, inclusion model, and resource classes. At BPY, she has been leading the Learning Center and support services staff since 2007. Her main focus has been to ensure that each individual student’s needs are met, partnering with parents, the Bergen County Special Services Team, and outside professionals. She meets with all students who apply to the elementary grades as part of the admissions process and in her role as director of grades 1 & 2, is engaged in all aspects of those grades. Morah Elana enjoys working with the wonderful BPY teachers as a mentor through the Jewish New Teacher Project, and as a supervisor, provide the best experience for each of their students.Morah Elana can be contacted at

Ruth Roth, Director of Admissions and PR, brings to her position an extensive background in marketing and sales, including, most recently, the position of Vice President of Marketing at a national managed healthcare company. Ruth was also President of the Frisch Parents Association for four years, during which time she created and implemented innovative programs for students that continue to be successful. She was also involved in structuring and coordinating many Open House programs at Frisch which helped to introduce the school to prospective families. Ruth is responsible for developing and implementing activities and programs designed to attract families to Ben Porat Yosef.  She can be contacted at