Our Honorees

Dr. Brian Kalb has been a proud member of the WTA/Yeshivat Netzach Family from the very beginning. Wanting to be a part of something new and exciting in their own community, he and his wife Lacey chose to enroll their youngest child, Netanel, in the first-ever WTA Kindergarten.

 

Brian's involvement began early on as a member of the Vaad Hachinuch, a committee established to ensure academic excellence in our students’ education. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2015 and stepped up to the role of serving as Chairman of the Board in 2017. Brian was instrumental in gaining city and loan approval for WTA’s future school building. He was a driving force to move us toward groundbreaking and laying the foundation at our Bayit L’Netzach on Stratton Road in New Rochelle. 

 

Brian is originally from Long Island and a graduate of HAFTR, Yeshiva University, and SUNY Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine. Brian has been a Cosmetic and Family Dentist for over 20 years, with a private practice in New Rochelle and Lawrence. 

 

Brian and Lacey live in New Rochelle with their children Alexander (YU - Senior), Kayla (Hunter - Freshman), Zahava (Maayanot - Junior) and Netanel (WTA - 6th Grader). In addition to his hard work and dedication to our school and his practice, Brian enjoys spending his summers at Camp Mesorah as the Tennis Director, teaching his love of the game to children of all ages. He is an active member of the Young Israel of New Rochelle, currently serving as a Gabbai. He loves being part of such a vibrant community and is happy to have been a part of building the first Yeshiva in the City of New Rochelle. 

Diane Tavenner is the co-founder and CEO of Summit Schools, a nationally recognized nonprofit that operates fifteen middle and high schools in California and Washington. She developed a school model centered on real-world experiences, self-direction, collaboration, and reflection—preparing all students to succeed in college, thrive in today’s workplace, and lead a secure and fulfilled life. 

 

Recognizing the value and importance of this model, WTA implemented the Summit Learning Platform into its Middle School Curriculum in 2017. Since exposing our students to Summit, we have seen them grow as independent learners who feel empowered and successful through their studies. WTA is extremely proud to be one of three Jewish Day Schools throughout the county to be using the Summit Learning Platform.

 

Summit Schools has earned many accolades and distinctions, most notably America’s Best High Schools from U.S. News & World Report, America’s Most Challenging High Schools by The Washington Post, and one of the world’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education by Fast Company. 

 

A mother and lifelong educator, Tavenner spent a decade as a school teacher, administrator, and leader in traditional urban and suburban public schools throughout California. She is on the board of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She has a degree in psychology and sociology from USC and a master’s in administration and policy from Stanford University.

 

In 2019, Diane released her book Prepared - What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life which is a blueprint for how parents can stop worrying about their children’s future and start helping them prepare for it. 

Jeff Siegel has always followed his heart. He was born in Queens but grew up on Long Island. His life experiences have helped shape him into the kind and dynamic teacher he is today. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Stony Brook University, he received his social work degree from Wurzweiler and decided to become a teacher. He went on to receive a Master’s in Education from Queens College. Jeff taught in public schools in the NY area for 30+ years before being recruited to WTA in 2015. An incredible storyteller, Jeff brings his love for learning into every lesson. He is an extremely warm and nurturing teacher and provides his students with an environment they never want to leave. 

 

Born and raised on Long Island, Kim Siegel can’t remember a time she did not love children. From a very young age, she had the desire to become a teacher that would treat students kindly and help them enjoy learning. She attended Queens College for her Bachelor’s degree, and went on to receive a Masters in Early Childhood Education and a postgraduate Administration degree. After years of teaching art and general studies in schools throughout the NY area, she was recruited by her very own husband to join the WTA family - an accomplishment he deems as one of his greatest. Kim has an innate ability to connect with her students. She makes it her priority to reach each student on a personal level by sharing her own life experiences, and instilling a love of learning in each child. 

 

Kim and Jeff have four biological children - Ricky, Brahm, Micha, and Ori. Shortly after starting their own family, they adopted their daughter Shaniqua. Since then, Kim and Jeff have opened their home to over a dozen foster children. Their love for children and desire to provide a safe and loving space has impacted and continues to impact the lives of others, regardless of background or religion. 

Westchester Torah Academy | ישיבת נצח

130 Union Avenue

Harrison, NY 10528

914.712.6497

office@westchesterta.org