Head of School
BIO Dr. Amittai Benami arrived at LA Hebrew High with a wealth of experience in formal and informal Jewish education, both in the United States and in Israel. The son of a Conservative Rabbi and himself an alum of Boston’s Prozdor High School, Dr Benami is a product of a supplemental Jewish high school education. At Harvard University and Brandeis, he studied Jewish education and Hebrew literature. He subsequently received his Ed.D in Curriculum and Supervision from Wayne State University where he focused on spiritual education. In addition, he studied educational administration and psychology at the Hebrew University, Bar Ilan University, and the University of Pittsburgh. During his distinguished career, he has served as school principal, advisor/educational consultant and teacher at day schools, synagogue schools, youth groups and prestigious experimental elementary schools in Israel and the United States. He comes to Los Angeles Hebrew High School from his position as Judaic Studies Director of the Solomon Schechter School in Queens, New York. Having lived and worked for ten years as a teacher and principal in the Israeli school system, he is a fluent Hebrew speaker. Dr. Benami’s passion for Jewish education is further reflected by his keen interest in the teaching of spirituality, his love of storytelling and, on the lighter side, his immense enjoyment and participation in guitar sing alongs. On a personal note, Dr. Benami is married to Lilly who grew up in Leningrad and immigrated to the United States in 1990. She has a degree in architecture and urban planning and works as an information technology business analyst, primarily in the insurance industry. Dr. Benami’s proudest achievement has been raising his three children: Oz who studies engineering at Columbia University, Ilan who is in a specialized medical school army program at the Hadassah School of Medicine, and Noga who is completing her second year of community service in Israel working with children at a shelter for battered religious women. In partnership with our students, parents and the Board of Trustees, Dr. Benami is delighted to guide and lead Los Angeles Hebrew High School with creativity and vision as it continues to implement the 21st century state of the art educational practices.[/su_expand]
Rabbi Stacy Petersohn
Director of Jewish Studies & Teen Engagement
BIO Rabbi Stacy Petersohn grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and its Jewish community. She immersed herself in synagogue life, participating in choir, Purim shpiels, and started to develop her love for learning and teaching Torah and Hebrew. As a college student, Rabbi Stacy graduated from University of San Francisco with honors with a BA in Performing Arts and Social Justice, minoring in Jewish Studies and Social Justice. Before starting her rabbinic studies, Rabbi Stacy spent a year living in Jerusalem, Israel, and attending the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies. Rabbi Stacy received an MA in Hebrew Letters and an MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles before receiving s’mikhah in 2017.
Director of Hebrew Department
Sara’s experience teaching Hebrew and Judaic subjects in Los Angeles extends over 30 years, the past five of which having been at Hebrew High. Her love for teaching started in the Israel Defense Forces, where she achieved the rank of Commander (Mefakedet) educating illiterate soldiers. After moving to LA, Sara taught at Hillel Hebrew Academy, Yavneh, and served as the Assistant Principal for Shalhevet Elementary School, where she implemented creative programming, Israeli dance, and multimedia to enhance the educational experience.
Sara finds creative ways to motivate her students. During her early years as a teacher, she pursued higher education and successfully completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the American Jewish University (AJU). Sara is a CE (Clinical Educator) for Delet, and she recently completed the Wagner Program at the AJU, where she studied paraprofessional counseling.
Sara grew up in Netanya and she brings the love and light of Israel and the Hebrew language to her students; empowering them to learn, inspiring them to strive, and giving them confidence to succeed and believe in themselves. No matter how many years pass, Sara’s students will always see her as “Morah Sara.”