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Meet the team


Efrat Ben-Eliyahu - director

I’m excited and honored to become the new director of Foundation School.
Originally from a kibbutz in Israel, my husband and I moved here 16 years ago with our three children, who are now young vibrant adults. I have been a teacher in Foundation for the past 11 years. 

Throughout my professional journey, I have gathered a lot of experience and diplomas (in education, management, administration, and quite a bit of design too) that will serve me well in my new role as director.  I will also continue to be involved in the Pre-K as a Hebrew/ Judaic teacher.  As a teacher, my passion for art and design has led me to create a flexible, hands-on curriculum that highly encourages creativity, imagination, and connection to nature.

My goal together with the Foundation team, is to provide a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment for your child. This coming year presents a challenge as the COVID situation requires us to modify and adjust our school programming on a daily basis. It is my number one priority to ensure the safety of the children, staff, and larger community. 

“Halls filled with children’s laughter, happy teachers and satisfied parents reminds me of the reason why I accepted this new position; to help this little and beautiful school continue to excel and serve as the foundation for each child’s bright and promising future. I’m very privileged to be surrounded by an incredible team and  a superb parent body!”

Learn, love, grow


Roz Wiseblatt

Roz joined Foundation School in 1994 and has been teaching for 26 years while also raising her twins (now accomplished young adults). Roz is a proud and passionate English educator in the Pre-K class. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in History from McGill University and has earned her attestation in Early Childhood Education from Vanier College. As well, Roz has a certification in the highly successful Handwriting Without Tears program.

In her spare time, Roz enjoys reading, fitness, the theatre,  cooking and baking, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Roz has a natural love of teaching and brings patience and enthusiasm to the

classroom. She especially derives great pleasure in helping children reach and exceed their developmental milestones. Roz’s emphasis on academics has led her to pursue additional training webinars, most recently the Lively Letters Phonics


“My philosophy is that each child is unique, therefore they learn and thrive at their own pace. I attempt to make learning fun and stimulating while encouraging a high educational standard. Helping your child build self-confidence, a strong sense of self-esteem and independence remain some of my main goals. I do my

utmost to ensure a successful and smooth transition to Kindergarten.”


Randi Shapiro


Randi is a JPPS/Bialik alumni. She graduated from Lasalle College with a D.E.C. in Early Childhood Education.


She has been a part of the Foundation team for 7 years starting as a stagier. She has been working in the Gan Tamar class for the last few years.


Randi’s approach is to encourage the children to learn and socialize through play; she tries to find each child’s strengths and helps them to build on it while still encouraging them in all their interests.


"Gan Tamar always strives to be a safe environment that promotes the child’s growth".


Leticia Freitas


Leticia is originally from Brazil and she came to Montreal to learn French. Although she has a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition, her true passion and calling have always been education, especially in early childhood. This has led her to complete studies in Techniques d'éducation à la petite enfance at Lasalle College.

She began at Foundation School as a stagier and quickly became part of the team as a very promising teacher.

"I loved the environment, the program, the staff, and of course the children! I absolutely LOVE working with our little ones! It's amazing to see their personalities flourish while they play. I'm a creative person and I like to have stimulating, fun, and new projects". 

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Shelley Kapusta

My name is Shelley.

I am 59 years old and have been an assistant early childhood educator for 18 years. I have worked with children ranging in age from 18 months to 5 years old. I have worked in the Jewish Y for many years and have been a part of Foundation for the last few years.  I look forward, each school year, to embracing a new group of children. I am thrilled to help provide them with a loving, fun filled first experience while teaching them how to navigate the classroom with comfort and ease.


Let’s have a wonderful year together, 



Arlene Rotchtin

Arlene has her Bachelor of Education from McGill University specializing in Early Childhood. When her own children were school-aged, she obtained a certificate in the Montessori method from Les Écoles Montessori Inc. and worked in their West Island and Town of Mount Royal branches over a period of eight years.

She then took a hiatus to pursue other educational and career interests, one being taking Cambridge University Celta courses at the International Language School of Canada and obtaining a certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Her passion for children, however, brought her back to the pre-school setting in 2010.

“I started this new and rewarding stage of my life by teaching for one year at The Montreal Torah Centre and have been at Shaar Hashomayim’s Garderie Foundation School ever since.

Now that my own children are adults, it is my greatest pleasure and privilege to spend my days with your children, helping them develop, grow and navigate their way through this very important and exciting stage of discovery in their lives.”


Renata Freitas


Renata is from Brazil. She graduated from university in Social Sciences in 2015. She came to Montreal to study Early Childhood Education, which she successfully completed and graduated from at the end of 2016. She has been working at Garderie Foundation School for a little more than 3 years now.

Renata believes that every child brings a totally different perspective and idiosyncratic abilities to the classroom so that no matter what's being done, it's always amazing the new ways they deal with each other and their surroundings. Every day is different and full of new adventures.

"The reason I love working in this field is the ability to escape our world full of problems and enter the children's world, which is so full of light, untainted imagination, and unconditional love. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing them grow and develop every day and become such unique little munchkins. If your child comes back home with dirty clothes and paint all over, I apologize in advance: I might be guilty. I think letting them express themselves freely and have fun is usually very rewarding"


Ronda Rawas


Ronda has a degree in Child Studies from Concordia University and has been working with children for more than 30 years. This will be her 10th year teaching at Foundation School.

When her children attended Akiva, she joined the Foundation team, and although they have now enrolled in CEGEP and university, she continues to stay because she feels it's a warm and caring environment with great co-workers.

"I have met many amazing families, and I LOVE seeing your children thrive as they go from Gan Zayit all the way to Gan Rimon. I believe that giving the children the freedom to explore, to use their imagination during free play, as well as during activities, and allowing them to have hands-on experiences, will contribute to a curious child who is eager to learn new things.

Aside from teaching, I like to garden, to play mahjongg, to watch Hockey (yes, I am a big Habs fan), and I love nature and the outdoors".


Rebecca Bellolo Dos-Santos


Rebecca received her Bachelor’s degree from Concordia University majoring in Human Relations. Since her Dawson College days, Rebecca has been working with multiple organizations catering to children including a five-month internship as a pre-school teacher’s assistant in a daycare, a mother’s program assistant, and a homework program tutor. Her summers were spent outdoors as a camp counselor for young children as well as for international youth participating in the McGill program.

“When I was younger, I was a student at Foundation; now as an adult, I am eager to start my professional journey here. It will be interesting to now see the other side of this experience as a teaching assistant. Nothing would bring me greater pleasure than to be there to help guide your children through learning and play and to be able to watch them grow”.


The teachers also have a refresher course updating the knowledge of early childhood first aid every 3 years.

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