Tova Union- 7/8th Grade Girls- Student Council Advisor 


Morah Tova Union was born in NY and after graduating   8th grade, she made Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael with her family.  She studied at Michlalah  in the fields of  biological sciences, education and Judaic studies.  This strong education provided a  foundation  for her to pursue a lifelong career of teaching and mentoring. After she married, Tova taught in Israel and later in South Africa. In Cape Town, Tova founded Jewish Marriage Education for new brides and counsellors; this organization would eventually spread knowledge to hundreds of young women in South Africa and later in Los Angeles. 

After six years in South Africa, the Unions relocated to Los Angeles.  Almost immediately Tova joined the staff of Hillel Hebrew Academy, where she taught and mentored the middle school girls for twenty three years. She joined Emek 12 years ago as our Middle School girls’ Mechanechet  and has been spreading “school spirit” ever since with her incredible extra - curricular programs:  Chessed program, Bat Mitzva program, team building Stuco activities and trips, holiday centered  Ruach events and Chai Lifeline kids-driven tzedakka campaign. She serves as our student advisor and has an “open door” policy with all of our girls offering guidance and emotional support whenever they need it.

Tova is a mother of 9 and grandmother of many grandchildren, bli ayin hara

To contact Tova Union, email [email protected].





Rabbi Mordechai Shifman


Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center is fortunate to be under the direction of Rabbi Mordechai Shifman. Formerly, Rabbi Mordechai Shifman distinguished himself as a highly effective leader, serving as the High School Principal and Rav Bet Sefer at the Rabbi Alexander Sender Gross Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach, Florida for over twelve years. Due to his efforts both within the school and out in the community, the Rabbi Alexander Sender Gross Hebrew Academy High School enrollment almost doubled. Since his arrival in 2011, Rabbi Shifman has made a tremendous impact at Emek increasing the number of students from 480 to over 890 students. This is a direct result of his kind nature, positive attitude, warmth and the family-like environment that he has instilled at Emek.


Rabbi Shifman studied under the tutelage of the venerable sage Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Zt”l in Jerusalem followed by many years of studying under the direction of Harav Yochanan Zweig Shlit”a at the Talmudic University of Florida, where he received his  Yoreh Yoreh Semicha ordination. Many of the ideas and concepts contained within Rabbi Shifman’s weekly Torah Thoughts and Emek Blossoms are based upon the teachings of his Rosh Yeshiva.  

Rabbi Shifman is an accomplished Talmid Chacham and is a sought-after lecturer. He has served as the scholar-in-residence on numerous programs all over the world and has inspired thousands of people with his thought-stimulating lectures. Rabbi Shifman has delivered a daily Daf Yomi class for over twenty one years and his capacity to elucidate the most difficult Talmudic passages in a clear and cohesive manner is unparalleled. Rabbi Shifman’s gregarious and dynamic personality makes him the perfect fit to unify and galvanize our diverse community. The combination of a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in Religious Education ensures that Rabbi Shifman is leading our school with the necessary fiduciary responsibilities, without compromising our expectations for the highest Torah and general studies standards.


To contact Rabbi Mordechai Shifman, [email protected]


Chaya Kirgiz


Morah Chaya Kirgiz started teaching Middle School Girls Torah Studies last year. As an Emek alumnus herself, Morah Kirgiz is happy to have the opportunity to give back to the school that provided her with her foundational education. In her spare time, Morah Kirgiz enjoys listening to music and spending time in nature.
Quote about first impressions: "Emek is a very organized and high quality institution which has grown tremendously over the years, both in size and in the Torah education it provides."
To contact Morah Kirgiz, email [email protected]