Torah Prep School Administration
Rabbi Tzvi Freedman - Executive Director
Rabbi Tzvi Freedman, who has served as Executive Director since Torah Prep’s inception in 1987, was born into a family of esteemed educators. As a child, he watched his father — Rabbi Avraham Abba Freedman ztz"l — change the landscape of Jewish education in Detroit; his dream was to accomplish the same in St. Louis. With the inspiration and modeling of his father, as well as the teachings and guidance of his rebbe — HaRav Yitzchok Kleiman ztz"l, Rosh Yeshiva of the St. Louis Rabbinical College — Rabbi Freedman founded Torah Prep School with an inaugural class of six students. His vision, commitment, and unending devotion to his students and teachers are the primary reasons for the remarkable growth and success of Torah Prep over the past several decades.
Rabbi Yossi Golombeck - Menahel
Rabbi Yossi Golombeck has served as the Menahel of the Boys’ Division of Torah Prep School since 2012. He is an alumnus of Yeshivas Toras Moshe of Yerushalayim and Yeshivas Ner Israel in Baltimore, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Talmudic Law and received certification from the Machon Educator’s program. At Kollel Halichos Yerushalayim, Rabbi Golombeck earned his smicha from HaRav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, Av Bais Din of Yerushalayim. While studying at Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim, Rabbi Golombeck received education training from the Ohr Lagolah and Ner Le’elef programs. After three years at the St. Louis Kollel, Rabbi Golombeck joined the Torah Prep faculty in 2000. He has taught students ranging from 3rd to 8th grade over the past 16 years. In 2014, he completed a 2-year principal-training program through Torah Umesorah.
Mrs. Racheli Staum - Menaheles & Director of Student Support
Mrs. Racheli Staum has served as the Menaheles of the Girls’ Division of Torah Prep School since 2018, succeeding 14 years of classroom instruction. A popular teacher, she has taught a wide variety of subjects in both limudei kodesh and General Studies for grades Pre-K through 8th grade in both private Jewish Day Schools and public schools. Her intuitive and innovative teaching was recognized in 2012 when she received a “Leader in Education” award from Peabody Energy. She holds a Bachelors in Psychology from Touro College and a Masters Degree in Special Education from Adelphi University. She received a Teaching Certificate from Seminar Yerushalayim, and is trained in the Wilson program and Lucy Calkins’ Reading and Writing program. Mrs. Staum also serves as our Learning Support Specialist. Using her degree and years of experience in Special Education, she supports the teachers in meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of all our students.
Mrs. Shira Swidler - General Studies Principal
Mrs. Shira Swidler is an educator with over 20 years of comprehensive experience teaching students from elementary through high school in the United States and Israel and in both General Studies and Limudei Kodesh. She has served as the General Studies principal for both the Girls' and Boys' divisions of Torah Prep since 2010. She is a graduate (summa cum laude) of Touro College with a Bachelor's in Psychology and Education and a Master's Degree in Education from Queens College in New York. She holds lifetime teaching certification and licenses from both New York and Missouri in General Education (K-6) and in K-12 TESOL, and has a Limudei Kodesh teaching certificate from Bnos Chava Teacher's Seminary in Jerusalem.
Mrs. Chanie Wasser - Early Childhood Director
Mrs. Chanie Wasser has served as the Early Childhood Director of Torah Prep’s exemplary Early Childhood Program since 2009. A graduate of the Beth Jacob Jerusalem seminary and Sara Schenirer School of Special Education, Mrs. Wasser started her professional career in education in 1999, following years of working with youth groups. Over the span of her career, she has taught students of all ages, from toddlers to adults. Known for her innovation and creativity, she has developed curricula in numerous institutions that are still in place today. Mrs. Wasser is the third generation in her family to devote her life to Jewish education.