Leadership Team & Staff

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Menachem Mendel Academy is very humbled and proud to share the news that we have appointed a principal for the 2019-2020 academic year.WernickHeadshot

Rabbi Yoseph Wernick comes to us with a wealth of experience in Jewish education both as a teacher and as a principal.  In his almost 25 years in Chinuch, Rabbi Wernick has developed a reputation as a master educator, who truly cares about his students and their success.  He has extensive experience in catering to each individual student’s needs as well as the use of multi-age groupings & student-centered learning.  Rabbi Wernick is proficient and skilled in human resources and financial management, with a strong commitment to quality improvement and team-building.

He is a Torah scholar of note, yet down to earth with a fantastic sense of humor.  Born and raised in Australia, Rabbi Wernick studied in Yeshivos and Kollel in Australia and in New York and has an MBA from Australia.  He is committed to embracing all Jews and has a deep respect for every community’s customs and traditions.  He is married with 11 children, ka”h.

Please help us extend a warm welcome to Rabbi Wernick and his family.  They look forward to building strong relationships in the coming weeks and months.




We are extremely PROUD of our 2018 – 2019 MMA Team!
(Listed in alphabetical order)

Daniela Golshani – Administrative Director   I9BT7eJDRaqUQjhKRpqa1w

Daniela Golshani, originally a California native,  has found her home in Arizona. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from National University.  Daniela is
passionate about helping children and has worked as a social worker and counselor for over fifteen years. She believes every child deserves to feel heard, safe, and valued. She specializes in behavior management and assertive communication. She has worked at mental health facilities, schools, probation programs, and in the foster care system, advocating for children of all ages. She is a certified Anger Management Instructor. She is a certified Parenting Instructor and has developed and taught multiple programs for the community.  Daniela has worked as a member of multiple disaster response teams and has responded to major national crises, including the Las Vegas shooting and California fires, where she led a team that debriefed the victims and helped them process through these tragic events. She is trained in bereavement counseling and spent a year working with Hospice providing grief education to schools and children facing unbearable losses. She volunteers her time and expertise with local law enforcement agencies and advocacy centers as a sexual assault and domestic violence advocate.  Daniela is happily married with two beautiful children.

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Shmuel Gruys – Teacher

Reb Shmuel was born and raised in the heart of Arizona but has had the privilege to live in several places around the world. Israel, New York and New Jersey have all been called home for Shmuel. During his travels, he studied in a number of yeshivos including Aish Hatorah, Sh’or Yoshuv and The Rabbinical College of America in Morristown. He also graduated from Thomas Edison State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. Creativity and unity are at the forefront of his teaching beliefs. Every person has something unique and beautiful to offer to Hashem, and Shmuel works to find that inherit spark in each individual person on his path. Shmuel began his teaching career at Torah Day School and recently has worked as a shadow at The Cheder Lubavitch of Arizona. But for Shmuel, teaching isn’t always geared towards a classroom. He has had the privilege of private tutoring numerous kids in Arizona and likes to take teaching to other parts of the community as well. He gives chassidus classes every other Friday at local skate parks as a means of outreach.  Shmuel is an avid believer in bringing people together through learning and community service. Throughout his entire life, he has been engrossed in helping his community. He was extensively involved as a member of the Volunteer Fire Department in Crown King, as well as the EAR Foundation.  More recently, Shmuel has shifted his focus to Chabad of ASU and The Friendship Circle. In his free time, Shmuel is also enthralled by photography, music, and creative writing, plus staying active through nature hikes, swimming and weight lifting. Cooking has also become a true passion of his, and he loves the challenge of making kosher food exciting and modern.

Rachel Raymond – Nutritionist Intern

Rachel Raymond holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition from Southern Utah rachel raymond headshotUniversity and is currently working on a certificate to become a Registered Dietitian. She and her husband are enjoying their first year of marriage and first year in Arizona as they each continue school. She has a passion for health, cooking, traveling, and running. Rachel is our Nutritionist intern working to create nutrient-dense, DELICIOUS, plant-based meals for our school, including breakfast, lunch and snack menus. She loves delving into nutrition research and is excited to bring her knowledge and skills to the table (literally)!  She is thrilled to be working alongside others that believe in our food philosophy and is excited to make a difference in the lives of our students.