School Leadership

Portrait of Rabbi Marshall Lesack

Rabbi Marshall Lesack '97

Head of School

Rabbi Lesack is an educational and organizational leader with senior management experience in both the formal and experiential education fields. From 2015 to 2021, he served as the Principal of the Claire and Emanuel G. Rosenblatt High School at Donna Klein Jewish Academy. During his tenure, he led the development of the school’s specialized programs in medicine, engineering, and law, redesigned the Judaic Studies curriculum, and oversaw the growth of student life programming and enrollment in the high school.
 
In addition to his work in the school environment, Rabbi Lesack previously served as the Assistant Director of Camp Ramah Darom and worked as an educational and organizational consultant for summer camps. An educator at heart, he has taught teenagers and adults in a variety of educational settings over the past 20 years.
 
Rabbi Lesack is passionate about Jewish day school education and strives to create environments and communities where young people are valued, supported, and able to become the leaders of tomorrow. He was a YOU Lead fellow with Prizmah and completed the Art of Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A proud graduate and alumnus of Akiba Hebrew Academy (‘97), Rabbi Lesack holds degrees from Rutgers University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and has also studied at various institutions in Israel.
 

mlesack@jbha.org

Christine Farrell

Director of the Middle School

Christine serves as Middle School Director and Department Chair for our Core and Arts programs. As one of our primary educational leaders, she nurtures our Middle School students’ emotional, social, and spiritual growth. She has held several leadership positions at Barrack, including serving as our Dean of Students. She also spent 10 years as an 8th grade core teacher, faculty advisor, and Middle School Council advisor. She holds a B.S. in History from Saint Joseph's University and an M.Ed. from Cabrini College.

cfarrell@jbha.org

Jennifer Groen '91

assistant head of school for strategy
 

A Barrack alumna and Day School Leadership Training Institute graduate, Jen is proud to serve our school community and help it thrive. Jen was previously Director of Education and Program at Moving Traditions and Assistant Director and Master Teacher at the Jewish Community High School of Gratz College. She was selected as one of the "Top 10 Jewish Influential Leaders Under 50" by Inside magazine and continues to bring her passion and expertise to the field of Jewish education. Jen received her B.A. in Psychology and Religion from Muhlenberg College, attended The Hebrew University, and holds an M.S.W. from Temple University.

jgroen@jbha.org

Rabbi Judd Kruger Levingston

Director of Jewish Studies

 

Judd has served as Director of Jewish Studies since 2009. Before coming to Barrack, he taught and held senior administrative posts at the Rebecca and Israel Ivry Prozdor High School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Solomon Schechter High School in New York, and at Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia. A Wexner Graduate Fellowship alumnus, he received the 2018 Ettenberg Fellowship for Research in Jewish Education for “The Moral Case for Play” and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education (CSEE). He has published widely on moral development and Jewish education and is the author of Sowing the Seeds of Character: The Moral Education of Adolescents in Public and Private Schools. Judd holds a certificate in Chinese Studies from Peking University in Beijing, an A.B. in History and Science from Harvard University, an M.A. in Education followed by rabbinic ordination and a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

jlevingston@jbha.org

Thomas McLaughlin

Upper School ACADEMIC DEAN

 

Tom has been an Upper School English teacher at Barrack since 2000, and served as Humanities Department Chair for five years before being appointed Upper School Academic Dean in July 2020. Tom believes in nurturing and inspiring intellectual growth, determination, and resilience in students, and is passionate about Barrack’s values-driven educational mission. He previously taught at various colleges and universities for five years and has worked as a professional writer and editor. As department chair, Tom served on a PAIS full-accreditation visiting committee, and presented at various academic venues, including the 21st annual SEAC (Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum) international conference and the 46th annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha international conference. During this time, he also earned an M.A. in History from Villanova University, and was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta. Tom also holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Rutgers University in Camden.
 

tmclaughlin@jbha.org

Alex Stroker

Chief Operations and Development Officer
 

Alex has spent nearly 25 years working in the Jewish community in various leadership capacities, including his 5 years at Barrack. He previously served as Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Interim Chief Executive Officer at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. A graduate of Penn State University, he is responsible for business and finance office oversight, facilities management, transportation, and security. He is also primarily responsible for all annual, short-term, and long-term restricted fundraising efforts. Alex holds a B.S. in Marketing and Advertising from Penn State University.

astroker@jbha.org

Rebecca Trajtenberg

dean of college counseling and academic advising

 

Rebecca is in her 18th year as a college admission professional, starting as a college admission officer in New York before moving to the admission staff at Franklin & Marshall College, where she served as Senior Assistant Dean of Admission. In 2009, she joined Barrack’s College Counseling Office, becoming its director in 2014. She is committed to forging strong connections with students and parents and helping them find the right path forward after Barrack. A member of NACAC (National Association of College Admissions Counselors), PACAC (Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counselors), NYACAC (New York Association of College Admissions Counselors), and NCA (Nassau County Counselors Association), Rebecca has participated in the Blackberry River Retreat in Mt. Holyoke and the Harvard Summer Institute on Admissions. She earned a B.A. from Muhlenberg College and an M.S. Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania.
 

rtrajtenberg@jbha.org