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Honoree Biographies

Frankel Jewish Academy developed a Portrait of a Graduate to capture consistent qualities that characterize FJA graduates. These statements are what make FJA unique; they blend Jewish values and career aspirations, focus on the independence and ability to advocate, which is a hallmark of the school, and demonstrate a broad view of our graduates and their successes in many arenas.

FJA graduates…

… Are driven by intellectual curiosity to discover their passions.
… Are independent learners who are empowered to advocate for themselves.
… Embrace their Jewish journeys and are active builders and participants within the Jewish community.
… Cultivate human connections through empathy and compassion.
… Are inspired to improve the world around them.

FJA alumni who volunteered to serve in the IDF are the epitome of these statements. We are so proud of them for protecting the state of Israel and the Jewish people. Help us honor our alumni serving in the IDF and recognize those that have previously served by joining us at the Gala.


Avi Buckman ‘11
Kamren Kerch ‘17
Daniel Klausner ‘21
Jake Korman ‘11
Max Kresch ‘14
Eric Lipsky ‘19
Chloe Schwartz ‘16
Josh Sider ‘12
Mikey Soclof '09
Davidee Wrotslavsky ‘21
Nuchem Amnon Shlomo ben Moshe v’Leah Nechama


Ilan Ben-Ami ‘09
Ilan Buckman ‘07
David Darmon ‘16
Justin Farber ‘10
Andrea Goldstein ‘12
Aaron Goss ‘08
Keren (Walsh) Hepner ‘07
Yael (Kidron) Joseff ‘07
Josh Kahn ‘11
Nathan Klausner ‘17
Laurenne (Kaufman) Klinger ‘13
Frayda Kresch ‘03
Arava Lev ‘06
Shaked Lev ‘10
Josh Newman ‘12
Omer Oppenheim ‘12
Stephanie (Horwitz) Reuveni ‘09
Corey Rosen ‘10
Lauren (Walsh) Vaughn ‘07
Aryeh Weiss ‘18
Kendall (Maxbauer) Zuntz ‘09

Efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. If an error has been made, please accept our apologies and contact Jackie Yashinsky at [email protected] or 248-592-5263.


Leroy Zagata grew up in Manton, Michigan, where his parents were two-thirds of his high school English department. In 2008, he graduated with a B.A. in English from Michigan State University, where he also earned his teaching certificate and met the love of his life who edited this bio. He completed his M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Central Michigan University in 2016.

Leroy began his teaching career in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at a small, dual curriculum ballet school, before returning to Michigan and teaching at Bullock Creek High School in Midland, where he also coached boys’ and girls’ tennis. In 2015, he began at Frankel Jewish Academy. In his time at FJA, Leroy has taught a wide range of English courses, mentored several colleagues, and coached cross country and girls’ tennis.

FJA has afforded Leroy the opportunity to grow as an educator, collaborating with his department to revamp curriculum and create entirely new courses. The intimate classes promote thoughtful discussion and challenging ideas that Leroy deeply appreciates. 

Leroy lives in Farmington Hills with his wife, Alexandra, and their two children, Lucy (6) and Lucas (4). In his free time, Leroy enjoys playing hockey, experimenting with sourdough, and spending time on the river.