Rabbi Koval studied for the rabbinate in Jerusalem following his Jewish studies at Telshe Rabbinical College in Cleveland and Chicago. As a popular mohel, Rabbi Koval loves and understands kids and their parents. After serving as a pulpit Rabbi for two years in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, he returned to his hometown of Cleveland in 2000, where he founded JFX. He also is involved with many worthy community projects. Rabbi Koval is the fearless leader of Congregation JFX and leads with wisdom and care. Rabbi Koval and his wife, Ruchi, are the proud and busy parents of seven wonderful children.
Call Rabbi Koval at 216-509-1989 or Email Rabbi Koval
Ruchi Koval is the co-founder and Associate Director of JFX. She has been a Jewish educator since 1998, leading self-development groups for adults and teens, and mentoring educators around the world. Ruchi is a certified parenting coach, motivational speaker, musician, blogger, author, and mother of seven. She is a Trip Leader for Momentum, inspiring hundreds of women on their journeys in Israel. She is also a columnist for the Cleveland Jewish News. Find her blog at outoftheorthobox.com, download the “Ruchi Koval” app from your app store, and follow her podcast on iTunes or Spotify.
Call Ruchi at 216-346-9582 or Email Ruchi
Josh Grodko was born and raised in NY and attended rabbinical school in Yeshiva Toras Chaim (Chofetz Chaim) in North Miami Beach. He graduated as a business major from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. Josh lived in Israel and returned to Cleveland in 2015 with his wife Sarah Rena and their two sons. As our assistant rabbi, Josh leads the congregation on Shabbat together with Rabbi Koval. His ready smile, depth and wisdom add so much to our community.
Call Josh at 845-548-3013 or Email Josh
Mini Mussar Director
Born and bred in Hunting Valley, Kim Farkas graduated from Orange High School and continued her education at the University of Arizona with a master's in education from John Carroll University. Since 1998 she has been a popular teacher at Mandel Jewish Day School, receiving the Libbie Braverman Award in 2000, which recognized her significant contributions to Jewish education in Cleveland. She is also the recipient of the 2016 Steiger Family Education Grant award through the JECC. Kim's pivotal “mini mussar” program for kids ages 8-18 introduces kids to the ancient ideas of mussar: that we are here to improve ourselves and improve our world. Kim and her husband, Bryan, are the proud parents of two daughters and a son.
Call Kim at 216-496-5091or Email Kim
Sunday School Director
Miriam Friedman Koval graduated from Beth Jacob, Jacob Perlman Teachers College in Toronto, Ontario with a passion and love for teaching and educating in a fun and creative manner. Miriam taught in the New American program at the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, and spent over twenty years working as part of the administrative team at Yavne High School in Beachwood. She spends her time enjoying and embracing the chaos of life with her wonderful husband and children. She is also an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who educates and coaches people about nutrition, health and wellness.
Call Miriam at 216-849-0209 or Email Miriam
Hebrew Reading Specialist
Penina Rossman has over 18 years experience teaching Hebrew reading skills and language. As a young girl, Penina bought a chalkboard and promptly started giving classes for the neighborhood children. She continued by studying at Beth Jacob Teacher’s Seminary of America, Lander College of the Arts and Sciences of Touro College and is currently a student at Purdue University Global working on a degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis. Penina works with students in group and one-to-one settings. She is trained in the Wilson reading program’s Fundations and has incorporated this approach to Hebrew reading instruction. Penina and her husband, Nosson, are the proud (and exhausted) parents of 6 children.
Text Penina at 585-498-0083 or Email Peninal Penina.
Bat Mitzvah and Teen Director
Zelda Nakdimen was born and raised in Cleveland and has been working with JFX since 2010. She launched our unique Bat Mitzvah program for girls ages 11-13, which includes group classes and experiences as well as one-on-one learning. As an experienced mentor in the Hebrew Academy's mentorship program, Zelda also runs JFX's program with get-togethers and Shabbatons throughout the year in her home. Zelda is a much-beloved member of our staff, forging relationships for life with our tween and teen girls.
Call Zelda at 216-456-6222 or Email Zelda
Shua Levin, our newest member on the JFX staff, is originally from Los Angeles. He lived in Israel from 2012-2020 where he pursued his education, attending the TJ Rabbinical School, the Mir institution of Talmudic study, and Ohr Sameach, in which he received his certificate in pedagogy, administration and Rabbinic responsibilities. Shua's favorite activity is planning and organizing, so his position at JFX of Logistics Coordinator is a perfect fit. Shua says, "This is what I have always enjoyed spending my time doing — the only difference is that now I'm directing my energies and skill into one of the top organizations of its kind."
Call Shua at 818-629-9732 or Email Shua
Deena Henfield hails from upstate NY. She spent four years in Israel after graduation and received her degree in Business Management from Touro College. Deena lives with her Cleveland-born husband and their two sons in Shaker Heights.
Call Deena at 216-591-9525 or Email Deena