Meet the Arts Department

Ms. Sally Shatzkes
Director of the Arts
Ever since she was a young child, Ms. Shatzkes loved to perform. As a YOF alumnus, Ms. Shatzkes made her home on the very stage upon which she directs now, and it was there that she discovered the profound socio-emotional impact that theater can have on students. Wanting to fuse her love of theater with her love for helping people, Ms. Shatzkes became a Drama Therapist. With a BA in Theater from Columbia University, an MA in Drama Therapy from NYU, and a NYS license in Creative Arts Therapy, Ms. Shatzkes returned to her alma mater in 2007. Since then she has developed and facilitated multiple creative arts based counseling initiatives as well as theater based educational programs, including the Witness Theater program at YOF. In 2017, The Jewish Week recognized Ms. Shatzkes as one of the esteemed "36 Under 36" and in 2019 she was awarded the 2019 Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish Education. Now a parent of 5 YOF students and the Arts Director at the High School, Ms. Shatzkes is dedicated to elevating and developing the arts at YOF in every way possible. She believes strongly that it is through the arts that students learn how to be good human beings.

Carolina Cohen
Graphic Design
Ms. Cohen is a graduate of Universidad Anahuac Mayab (Merida, Yucatan, Mex). She holds a degree in "Diseno de la Comunicacion Grafica" - Graphic Design and Communication. Her work as a designer has always been guided by a strong belief in design as a problem-solving tool - a way of forming relationships between ideas and reality - and as a method for improving the connections between people and the products they use. In her work as an educator, Ms. Cohen has developed a passion for discovery and cultivating human connections; she finds it fascinating that a creative outlook plays a vital role in life. She says, “A great meal, a hit song, an inspired building, a business card that’s a conversation – this is what spirits me to dream up and inspire my students in the pursuit of great ideas.”

Mia Erdos
Visual Arts
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ms. Erdos brings an array of experiences to her role in the Arts department. She is an alumna of Yeshivah of Flatbush and furthered her artistic journey at the Fashion Institute of Technology, earning a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts with a Minor in Art History. Her passion for education led her to pursue advanced studies at Brooklyn College, where she graduated with a Master's degree in Art Education. With a background as a teaching artist at the Children's Museum of the Arts, Ms. Erdos has honed her skills in guiding young minds through the wonders of creativity. In her personal artistic endeavors, she delves deep into the interplay of color, form, and space. Her work is characterized by a profound exploration of conceptual art, with nature standing as her primary source of inspiration. As an educator, Ms. Erdos firmly believes in the inherent creativity within each individual. She is dedicated to helping her students discover their unique artistic voices. Through her passion and guidance, she empowers her students to channel their creativity in ways that are authentic and inspiring.

Avinoam Ettun
Music & Media
Avinoam Ettun is a contemporary music performer-composer and improviser based in New York City. With a focus on creating compositions for large ensembles and his own string quartet, Avinoam combines the sounds of electric guitar and chamber music. Ettun actively collaborates with animators, painters, filmmakers, and dancers and explores the intersections of different art forms. Ettun holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition from The Jerusalem Music Academy and a Masters from the New School. Avinoam teaches AP Music Theory and Media Production.

Shelley Kaplowitz
Theater Arts
Ms. Kaplowitz started her Arts career early, by taking summer classes for HS students at the famed Actor’s Studio in NYC. She is an undergraduate and post-graduate of The Ohio State University, where one of her majors was Theater and Film. During her college years, she acted on campus and also in professional productions in and around Columbus. Upon completing her education, she returned to NY where she performed in off (and off-off) Broadway shows, did some small parts in films, and also summer stock in upstate NY and New England. In addition, she directed at the renowned drama camp, French Woods, and ran the NJ YM-YWHA’s upper camp theater division. Using her other degree in Social Studies education, she began her long career at the Yeshivah of Flatbush, where she created the Drama/Public Speaking course—which she still teaches--directed the Senior play for a number of years, and produces and directs student contributions to various productions, such as Book Day and Evening of the Arts. (occasionally acting in the latter as well) Ms. Kaplowitz is driven by the idea that theater and acting and public speaking are not just for those who enjoy performing, but are a critical tool to help students gain confidence , feel comfortable in their own skins, and to develop the ‘soft skills’ (communication, leadership, problem-solving, quick-thinking, etc.) that are keys to success in one's personal AND professional life.

Janet Pichotto
Janet Chrem Pichotto has been surrounded and influenced by music since childhood. She found her voice and passion on the stage in countless community productions, and is most known for her performance of the National Anthem for the New York Mets in August, 2019.A dedicated educator, Janet began giving private lessons in 2017. This inspired her to pursue music education as a career. Before graduating, she had the opportunity to student teach at Heschel Jewish day school. She graduated from the Aaron Copland School of Music in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, solidifying her commitment to nurturing and educating students. Janet's official teaching career began at Ramaz, where she worked as the Early Childhood music teacher. There, she crafted her unique music curriculum, merging the methodologies of Kodaly with the rich tapestry of Jewish and Yeshiva traditions.
In 2022 she returned to her alma mater, Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School. She is committed to the growth of the music program in Flatbush both formally in the classroom as well as its integration in programs, activities and clubs. She is passionate about teaching students not only theory and practice of music, but its importance in our daily lives.

Ricky Sasson
Choir Director and Studio Engineer
Ricky Sasson is a dedicated and detail-oriented educator with a strong work ethic and a passion for music. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study, with a concentration in the Business of Music, Media, and Marketing. Besides serving as Choir Director and Studio Engineer at Yeshivah of Flatbush Elementary School and Joel Braverman High School, he is also a Hazan at Congregation Beth Torah, having studied Sephardic Jewish pizmonim and maqamat from a young age. In addition to his roles directly in the music and religious spaces, Ricky is deeply involved in audio production as well. He has produced professional recordings in several different settings including his work as an Audio Producer at Farhi Media, where he oversaw podcast and media production, and as a Film Composer at From the Founder, where he composed and arranged music for video scores. With an unwavering commitment to his work, Ricky is eager to make a lasting impact in social spheres. As a part time student in The Midrash and the Sephardic Rabbinical College, Ricky makes it a priority to keep Torah at the center of his life. In his free time, he loves playing competitive games of volleyball and scrabble.

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