Head of School: Rabbi Perry Tirschwell
Rabbi Perry Tirschwell was raised in a passionately Zionist home. His Jewish day school journey began as a transfer student from public school in ninth grade. After studying at Yeshivat Har Etzion and graduating from Yeshiva University, he earned his smicha (ordination) at RIETS and a Masters in School Leadership and Supervision from the Graduate School of Education of the College of New Rochelle.
After serving a number of years as a Judaic studies classroom teacher, RPT (as he is known by his students) subsequently served in the positions of Department Chair, Director of Judaic Studies and Assistant Principal, teaching throughout. Rabbi Tirschwell was then given the unique opportunity to create and head the first Jewish high school between Miami and Atlanta- the Katz (formerly Weinbaum) Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton.
In his spare time, Rabbi Tirschwell organizes the Torah Educators Network, which brings together leaders of Jewsih day schools from throughout North America to share best practices and innovative ideas.
Rabbi Tirschwell’s wife Miriam is a speech therapist in Los Altos, they live in Palo Alto and are the proud parents of five daughters, four sons in law, and six grandchildren.
Director of Early Childhood: Hang Dang
After obtaining her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Mills College, Hang Dang has spent 11 years in various early education settings in the Bay Area such as UC Berkeley, Google Child Care Centers, Santa Clara Office of Education and Stanford Childcare ICRI. Deeply rooted in emergent curriculum, Hang is passionate about empowering children, their families, and educators to reach their fullest potential.
Hang married to David Bruce, a software engineer at Cruise. She lives in Cupertino with her husband and five children. In her free time, Hang enjoys hiking, cooking and gardening.
Director of Admissions: Judith Pacifici
Judith Pacifici was born and raised in Rome, Italy.
She grew up with strong Zionist and Jewish values and decided to make Aliyah just a few days after graduating from high school.
Judith graduated with BA and MA degrees cum laude in ancient Greek History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and went on to work as event planner at cultural institutions in Israel, where she lived for 18 years.
In 2017 she relocated with her family to California and in 2019 she joined the SPHDS Administration team as the Director of Admissions.
Judith is the proud mother of three SPHDS students, ranging from Kindergarten to Middle School.
In her free time she enjoys photography, hiking with her family, writing on her travel blog and planning the next trip.
Director of Finance: Mariana Vega
Mariana Vega grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she started working as an HR Manager (all while pursuing a professional career as a Ballet dancer). Upon moving to the Bay Area, Mariana added Finance and Bookkeeping to her toolbox. She began supporting companies in many industries (Professional Services, Non-Profits, Educational, Wholesale, and Manufacturing to name a few), creating customized procedures for each company, which helped improve their daily activities. Mariana holds a degree in Social Psychology, as well as several other certifications in HR and Finance. She is also a Certified QuickBooks ProAvisor. Mariana is excited to join SPHDS, “My goal is creating a space of respect and open communication, where I can bring my expertise to support and improve SPHDS’ daily activities.”
When Mariana is not supporting institutions like SPHDS, she can be found choreographing and rehearsing with her dance company, eMotion Arts, and teaching Ballet to students of different ages and backgrounds. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her family: her husband Joe, daughter Ailen, and their fur babies Nico, the dog, and Teany, the cat.
Director of Marketing & Operations: Patrick Hathaway
Patrick Hathaway joined SPHDS in 2016. After spending three years as the Middle School Humanities teacher, he transitioned into the front office. In late 2019 he was given the opportunity to become the Director of Marketing & Operations.
Before coming to SPHDS Patrick worked for The Harker School in San Jose where he was Assistant Director of MS BEST. He helped to build successful enrichment programs and activities and established an on campus teen center.
In his free time Patrick can be found outside hiking or on the golf course. He also loves reading and film (both television and movies), but is a sucker for a good documentary or docuseries.