Upper School Updates: Department Chairs

May 3, 2021

As we move forward with our vision to attract and retain highly qualified educational staff who are passionate about meeting the unique needs of all of our students, we are excited to share two important announcements. 

We are thrilled to announce Mrs. Davida Yitzhaky as our new English Department Chair. In her role as Department Chair, Mrs. Yitzhaky will guide the English department in designing and implementing the reading and writing curriculum through an interdisciplinary lens, as well as teach several classes in the Upper School. Please see below for a complete bio. 

We are also thrilled to announce that Dr. Ari Stern will be expanding her role at Berman and serve as our History Department Chair. Dr. Stern has been teaching at Berman for four years, spearheading Jewish History to 8th and 12th grades and AP European History for our Juniors. During her time at Berman, Dr. Stern has introduced JCAT (The Jewish Court of All Time) and the National Geographic GeoBee to the Middle School.  She has also served as the faculty advisor for Model UN and enjoys the knitting club with the middle schoolers. Please see below for more information on Dr. Stern.

Please join me in welcoming Mrs. Yitzhaky to our educational team and congratulating Dr. Stern on her new position. 


Mrs. Davida Yitzhaky 

Mrs. Yitzhaky graduated from Berman in 2004, after which she attended Midreshet Lindenbaum, The University of Maryland, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in English with a minor’s in Jewish Studies, and Virginia Commonwealth University, where she received her Master’s in Teaching Secondary English. After receiving her Master’s degree, Mrs. Yitzhaky spent nine years teaching middle and high school English at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. At CESJDS, she spearheaded the curriculum design for the middle school English department, working closely with the other disciplines to ensure an interdisciplinary, dynamic, and engaging curriculum. Mrs. Yitzhaky also worked closely with students outside of the classroom, as a grade advisor, faculty advisor for the Girl Up club, and frequent chaperone on field trips, Shabbatonim, and the senior Capstone trip to Eastern Europe. In addition to her direct work with students, Mrs. Yithaky served as a grade-level lead, guiding a team of faculty throughout the processes of interdisciplinary unit planning, calendar building, and addressing student concerns in a collaborative way. 

Mrs. Yitzhaky has extensive professional development in the areas of social emotional learning, interdisciplinary curriculum design (specifically through organizations like Facing History and Ourselves), and integrating technology into the classroom. She is a Kemp Mill native, where she continues to live with her husband (and fellow Berman alum) Adam, and their three children (all Berman students!), Adi, Uriel, and Eve. 

Dr. Ari Stern

Before joining the Berman team, Dr. Stern was a Senior Lecturer at Indiana University, teaching courses in Slavic Languages and Literatures, Jewish Studies, and Medieval Studies and directing the Indiana University Summer Language Institute. She holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literature from UCLA, a Master’s Degree in Russian from The University of Arizona, and a Bachelor’s degree in Russian from Mount Holyoke College. She lives in the greater DC area with her husband and two children.