Rabbi Yaakov Green, Head of School
Rabbi Green has dedicated his life to the education and inspiration of Jews from a myriad of backgrounds and from all over the globe. He has over fifteen years of experience in Jewish education, creating dynamic, engaging and experiential learning opportunities for Jewish teens in Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Canada and throughout the US.
Rabbi Green holds a Master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Technology in the classroom. He spent several years creating and developing educational programs, classes and multimedia curricula to successfully inspire and educate in both the formal classroom setting as well as the informal world of youth programming. Even during his own adolescence Rabbi Green was always involved in B’nei Akiva, NCSY and any avenue that would inspire him and take him to those seeking inspiration. His innovative educational programs have been implemented at large teen conventions and in public school classrooms across North America.
Rabbi Green originally hails from Newton, MA, and is a proud member of Red Sox Nation (even if it makes him less popular around here). Before making his way to St. Louis, Rabbi Green and his family spent eight years living in Boca Raton, FL. There he first began working as the Teen Director, a member of the rabbinic team at the Boca Raton Synagogue, while simultaneously playing a senior role within South Florida’s NCSY administration and spearheading the OU’s public school outreach program, JSU, in Palm Beach County. From there, Rabbi Green began exploring and innovating within the hallways of formal education at the Donna Klein Jewish Academy, where he worked for five years, completing his tenure there as the Principal of Judaic Studies. Rabbi Green is married to Elisheva Green from Brooklyn, NY and together they have five beautiful children.
Anthony Graham, Academic Principal
Anthony Graham has taught various subjects and grade levels in urban Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and southern Illinois. His teaching experience includes: K-5th grade science; 3rd-6th grade math; 3rd-4th grade ELA; 3rd, 4th and 6th grade social studies; and pre-kindergarten. As someone who strongly believes all students deserve a quality education, Anthony has also worked in various capacities at learning support centers developing and implementing behavior and academic interventions with students ranging in ages from toddlers to adult learners.
As a lifelong learner with a strong passion for education, Anthony has taken a unique educational path. He has earned an A.A.S. in Agriculture Business and an A.A.S. in Agriculture Production and Management from Rend Lake College, a B.A. in Anthropology and minor in Sociology from Southern Illinois University, a M.A. in Teaching with a specialization in Elementary Education from Oakland University, a M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy with school principal certification from the University of Michigan, and is currently working on an Ed.D. in Global Education and Leadership with a central focus on Character Education at the University of Missouri- St. Louis.
In his spare time Anthony loves to travel and explore how educational systems across the world work. Together Anthony and his wife Chelsea live with their two boys Riley and Cayden.
David Friedman, Business Manager
David Friedman has been Business Manager at Epstein Hebrew Academy since 2008. This position includes serving as manager of building and grounds at the Academy. In 2008, David moved to St. Louis from Austin, Texas, where he had worked in the corporate sector, with a focus on SEC, financial, and tax reporting. There David worked at Schlotzsky’s, Inc., Computer Sciences Corporation, and DJO, Inc.
David has also been active in the nonprofit sector, serving in St. Louis as a board member of Young Israel of St. Louis and in Austin as president of Congregation Beth El and as chaplain for Cub Scout Pack 36.
David earned his B.A. in Politics from Brandeis University and his M.S. in Accountancy from Bentley University. He and his wife Debbie are the proud parents of three sons, Chaim (class of 2013), Max (class of 2015), and Zachary (class of 2018). The family is also the proud owner of one Belgian Shepard mix, Tessie.
Cornetta Mendoza, Director of Student Support Services
Dr. Mendoza is a dedicated and experienced educator who has served as a primary, elementary and intermediate school administrator and teacher, college instructor and a mentor to teachers and students.
Dr. Mendoza obtained her a Doctorate Degree in Advance Educational Leadership from Maryville University, a Masters in Education Administration from Lindenwood University, and a Bachelor of Education degree from Harris-Stowe State University. During her tenure as a teacher, Dr. Mendoza was recognized as Teacher of the Year and has been recognized as an outstanding leader where she received the Distinguished Service as an American Educator Award.
She has an extensive background in curriculum, instruction, school law and policy, special education compliance and programming. Dr. Mendoza has provided professional development in the areas of Professional Learning Communities, Data Driven Decision Making, Curriculum Design; Formative Assessment Practices, Student Engagement, Classroom Management, and Balanced Literacy. She also has expertise in culturally responsive teaching, standards-based grading and reporting, state learning standards: grade-Llevel expectations (ELA, Math, Science & Social Studies) and Response-to-Intervention and enrichment (Pre-K-12).
Dr. Mendoza is uniquely qualified for this position, as she not only possesses a depth of knowledge of research-based interventions and special education, she has strongly promoted positive behavior intervention support for teachers and administrators through personalized professional development and learning opportunities for students and parents as well. Her leadership facilitated the establishment of several elementary schools being awarded and recognized by the state with the academic achievement, growth, and social development of its students as its core priority.
Esther Freund, Director of Marketing and Communication
Esther Freund is a current EHA parent and a former faculty member at EHA. Esther is happy to be raising her family in the wonderful community of St. Louis, together with her husband Rabbi Daniel. Esther Freund comes back to our EHA team with a background in graphic design and years of experience in early childhood education. For the last three years, Esther has helped the educators of our community, running the Torah Umesorah Teachers’ Center, lending her expertise and creativity to so many of us in the field. We are so blessed to once again have her energy and creativity become such a vibrant everyday part of our EHA experience!
Melissa Langston, Office Manager
Melissa Langston is a native of San Antonio Texas and has a military background working for the Department of Defense. She was first stationed in Okinawa, Japan at Kadena AFB, then she transferred to Ramstein, Germany at Ramstein AFB. Melissa spent a total of 15 years with her father who retired after 21 years of service and again with her spouse who also retired after serving 21 years in the Airforce.
Throughout her career and travels she raised three beautiful children and has taught many more overseas. Melissa finally settled in St. Louis where she ended her career working at the Veterans Administration Medical Center at Jefferson Barracks as a Case Manager. Melissa has an A.A.S., C.D.A. and is a Certified EMT. She is currently finishing up her M.S. degree in Physiology from Grand Canyon University where she studies Substance Abuse & Addiction Therapy. Along with her family, what she is most proud of is her four beautiful grandchildren who live in St. Charles, MO.
Barabara Kinder, Bookkeeper
Barabara started working at Epstein Hebrew Academy in 1999. Barabara has worn many administrative hats at EHA including working as an administrative assistant and her current role as a bookkeeper. She has a degree in accounting.
In her spare time, Barabara is a hair sytlist. She also enjoys spending time with her two sons and their nine grandchildren.