Aviva Walls believes deeply in the transformative nature of Jewish day school education and in the community they create. After attending day schools in Seattle, she received her Bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and her Masters in Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business with a concentration in Leadership and Change Management.
Ms. Walls originally worked as an Undergraduate Admissions Officer at Barnard College and New York University. This work gave her insight into the nuanced world of marketing and admissions. She took those lessons and moved into Jewish educational leadership. Her diverse background ensured a commitment to Jewish pluralism and professionally, she has worked with a wide variety of Jewish communities. She particularly enjoys the work of helping students develop into thoughtful individuals and Jewish leaders.
Before joining Gesher as Head of School, she served as Dean of Academic Affairs at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, California. During her tenure, she led the faculty through a reflective, growth-oriented evaluation process, ushered a transition toward a faculty-developed advanced curriculum, increased enrollment seamlessly from 160 to 260 students, and developed a comprehensive college counseling and academic guidance program. With a track record of academic success combined with detailed financial fluency, she turns goals into deliverables.
Ms. Walls is an alumna of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Day School Leadership Training Institute and received a certificate from Prizmah’s “YOU Lead Program.”
She is the proud aunt of five, enjoys listening to podcasts and traveling the world.
Jodi Hirsch Rein, Gesher JDS Principal, joined the Gesher faculty in 2014. Born and raised in Northern Virginia, Jodi is blessed to have returned to the community to continue to grow the next generation of Jewish leaders. Jodi has devoted her career to Jewish Education, spending many years prior to joining Gesher in the day school classroom as a teacher, reading specialist, teacher mentor, and now as a day school leader.
Jodi graduated from List College, earning her BA in Psychology from Columbia University and a BA in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She went on to become a DeLeT (Day School Leadership through Teaching) Fellow earning her Masters in Jewish Education from Brandeis University. Jodi also received her certification as a Reading Specialist and most recently attended the Harvard University Art of Leadership Principal institute. Jodi loves art, swimming, cooking, games, vacation and her family. She is married to Rabbi Steven Rein and has two wonderful boys (both Gesher students), Ari and Ilan.
Director of Development, Shiri Rozenberg brings more than 15 years of fundraising experience to Gesher. Shiri received her Bachelor’s in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from San Diego State University. In college, she began her professional journey as the Marketing and Outreach Intern for Areyvut, inspiring and encouraging B’nai Mitzvah students to increase their involvement in Chesed, Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam. Following graduation she joined the Manhattan Jewish Experience, overseeing the social, educational and fundraising events for the organization’s Upper East Side location. Before joining Gesher, Shiri managed fundraising events for the American Diabetes Association, the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer’s Association. Throughout her time working in the health charity sector, she has taught Hebrew School and worked with USY and Kadima through her synagogue.
Taylor comes to Gesher after working for the last six years for BBYO in Northern Virginia – first as an Associate Regional Director and then as a Regional Director. She loves connecting with people and helping them find new ways to get involved with the things they are passionate about. She graduated from George Mason University with a degree in History and a minor in Nonprofit Studies. While at George Mason, she was active in Hillel in a variety of positions including President
Brendan Dowd brings 8 years of facilities management experience at an urban public boarding school to Gesher. He has dedicated his career continuing to build and improve the school environment for the scholars that he has had the honor of serving. Educated at Bowie State University, he prides himself on diversity and believes that communities thrive through the exchange of ideas and culture. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities with his spouse and friends.
Since joining Gesher’s administrative team in 1997, Bev Kramer has maintained senior oversight of the school’s daily financial operations in concert with the school’s Finance and Development Directors. Bev brings years of knowledge of Gesher’s history and inner workings, having served under 4 of Gesher’s Heads of School, having close communications with its founders and supporters since its near beginnings and as a proud parent of two Gesher alumni. Extremely detail- oriented and a known multi-tasker, Bev’s abilities were born out of her early professional experiences as an education researcher for the Organization of American States, as a proofreader for Northrop Grumman and from having served 12 years as a senior paralegal for the Federal Election Commission . Bev was born in Chicago, Illinois and resides with her husband, Neal (former Gesher VP of Fundraising), in Alexandria, Virginia. She is a graduate of Beloit College and holds multiple certificates in legal research and writing.
Michelle Newman-Lomasky is our Director of Finance & HR at Gesher. She has her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Accountancy from the University of Tennessee. Prior to Gesher JDS, Michelle worked at the public accounting firm Tate & Tryon (currently RSM), as an accounting consultant for nonprofit organizations. Before that, she worked at KPMG as an auditor and was also a jfamily ambassador with the JCCNV. Michelle, her husband Andy, and son Ben live in Herndon and love exploring the outdoors!