We are fortunate to have some of the most wonderful educators in the Capital District working with us. Our teachers allow students to question freely, think critically, and learn to accept differences. Personal choice shapes the students experience at Mifgash. Each semester, they choose two courses to study.

All of our classes are discussion-based, interactive, and thought-provoking.


Jay Deitcher is a writer and Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over a decade of experience as a therapist for children with behavioral and special educational needs. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Tablet, The Wisdom Daily, The Jewish Week, and The Lily, and his work using comic books to inspire traumatized kids received spotlight on the BBC. He is the son of a wallpaper salesman, two generations off the boat. He lives in Albany, NY with his wife and baby boy.



Arnie Adler has happily served as an instructor at Mifgash since its inception more than a decade ago, loving every minute of his time at our Jewish community high school, enjoying the lively discussion, challenges and the excitement of working with our Jewish high school students.  As the son of Hungarian Jewish refugees who survived the Holocaust, born in Israel and raised in the Bronx (yeah, he still has that accent), Arnie has found an avenue through Mifgash to share his interest in Jewish history and current issues (finally using that BA from UAlbany in History and Political Science to good use!) with our students.  Arnie has previously taught courses at Mifgash in European Jewish History, Jews on Trial, Famous and Infamous Jews,  Israeli Politics and the Holocaust. 



Rivi Bahir comes to us from Kfar-Saba Israel. She recently relocated to Guilderland with her husband and their three children. Rivi graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and Visual Communications and worked for 10 years as an assistant artistic director in the graphic arts department of Israel's Yellow Pages. In addition to managing organizational projects and working in the design and management department, Rivi has led individuals and groups in sales and marketing. Rivi is a very caring, patient and patriotic Israeli who wants to share her love of Israel and knowledge of Hebrew with Mifgash teens.


Stephanie holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from SUNY Albany and is the Assistant Clinical Director at a local nonprofit organization supporting adults with intellectual disabilities.  She also holds a master’s degree from Gratz College in Jewish Education, Jewish Studies and a graduate certificate in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. In addition to clinical work and teaching, Stephanie enjoys the time spent with her family, traveling and planning new projects.  She has a deep connection to Judaism, Jewish identity and a love of learning that she hopes to share with her students.


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Ruth grew up in Albany,  attended the Hebrew Academy and moved to Israel at the age of 17 to study at Tel Aviv University. She took courses in Judaic Studies while majoring in Social Work. She went on to teach English to high school students in Givatayim, Israel.  She was nominated by the Israeli Ministry of Education to teach special education high school students to prepare and take the English Matriculation Exam. This was the first program of its kind in Israel and she was honored to be chosen. Ruth married and raised her children in Israel for twenty years. In 2002, her family relocated to Albany. A dedicated Jewish educator, Ruth has contributed her skills to a number of Jewish schools and organizations in the Capital District. In 2002, Ruth began her tenure as an elementary teacher at the Hebrew Academy, where her responsibilities included coordinating the eighth grade Israel trip. She also worked as the Cultural and Holiday Educational Coordinator at Congregation Beth Emeth's Religious School. She has served as Camp Director for the Schenectady JCC's summer camps. For three years she held the role of principal of B'yachad, the collaborative religious school of Congregation Ohav Shalom, Temple Israel and B'nai Sholom and is thrilled to have resumed the position last July.  Ms. Malka has been the founding Director of Mifgash Jewish Community High School Program since its inception in 2006 and has enjoyed helping the program grow, develop, and flourish. Ruth is noted for her creativity and ability to connect with students and colleagues, as well as her extensive knowledge and experience teaching Judaic and Hebrew studies. She is very proud that her two sons live in Israel. Ariel teaches English as a second language in elementary school and is completing his Master's Degree. Gilad served in the IDF and is getting a degree in Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Her older daughter Shira works with adults with developmental disabilities. Ruth's youngest child is an eighth-grader at Farnsworth Middle School. Ruth resides in Slingerlands with her husband Jacob, two daughters, and mother. 


Mifgash Director

2019/20 Location:

Ohav Shalom

113 New Krumkill Rd,

Albany, NY 12208

© 2018-2019

Mifgash Jewish Community High School Program

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