Academics » Guidance


Ben Porat Yosef has a comprehensive guidance program in place overseen by our full-time school psychologist, Dr. Samantha Katz.

Dr. Katz

Dr. Katz is a vital member of BPY’s educational team who helps students with their personal and social development and academic achievement, ensuring they are happy, productive and self-fulfilled students at school. Dr. Katz has long been interested in the links between children’s social and emotional skills and academic progress. She has worked with children of all ages, ranging from infants to teens.  Dr. Katz's professional experience has included individual and group therapy to children and adults, conducting psychological assessments, and working with parents and teachers to optimize children’s mental health. She has consulted for schools in Westchester County and has extensive experience in educational assessment.  At BPY, Dr. Katz enjoys working with our elementary and middle school students, consulting with teachers, and partnering with parents. Dr. Katz earned her undergraduate degree from Barnard College, and received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stony Brook University.

BPY’s guidance program includes, but is not limited to, the following components:

  • In-class activities focused on social/emotional skills;
  • Middle School student workshops addressing navigating the complex world of adolescence;
  • Small group sessions to address social skills, conflict resolution;
  • Classroom observations;
  • Parent workshops and communications with parents, providing guidance and advice;
  • Referrals to outside therapeutic advisers when necessary;
  • Teacher consultation and collaboration; and
  • Communication and collaboration with outside service providers.


Dr. Katz also works with BPY’s admissions team to screen potential students, and she conducts regular check-ins with students who require additional support. Please feel free to contact her at :[email protected] or 201-845-7005 ext. 1823.

shelly lShelley Lefkowitz joined BPY in 2021 as the part time Early Childhood Psychologist. She received her Bachelor's degree in psychology from Stern College and holds a master’s degree and national certification from Brooklyn College`s School Psychology program. In her role, Mrs. Lefkowitz works closely with the early childhood team and students through ongoing consultation with our teachers, classroom observations, skill-building programs, in-class interventions and individual student support. Mrs. Lefkowitz has worked with students from all ages and backgrounds. She spent over a decade in the NYC public school system as the School Psychologist for a Special Education school serving grades K-12. She has also worked in inpatient children's Psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse clinics and Special Education schools in New Jersey. She is excited to work with all of the students and families at Ben Porat Yosef.