Our Aim is to broaden the educational offering to all learners from pre-school to high school by offering both support through therapy as well as extension through the ARTS.

YES stands for Yeshiva extension support and arts centre.  This is an exciting development on the Yeshiva College campus.  This centre is where the play school was formally housed and has direct access onto Ridge Road.  YES is launching in January 2018 with a full bouquet of therapists forming a multi-disciplinary team.  We hope to soon be able to also offer the arts component in terms of dance, music and drama.  Watch this space……

Meet the Y.E.S Team

Dinah Unterslak

Director and Speech Therapist

My name is Dinah Unterslak. I am very excited to introduce myself to you as the Director of the new YES Centre. I am a wife and mother of 5 children, a speech therapist by profession and have worked in both mainstream and remedial school environments for the past 14 years. My passion is school age intervention with a focus on early involvement. Being an alumnus of Yeshiva College, I am thrilled to be back home to head up this dynamic project. I will strive to assist in the development of a world class therapeutic and assessment centre as well as extension and art programmes. This can only happen with you as our partner, the teachers, parents and students of Yeshiva College. I encourage you to make contact, make use of and benefit from the wide range of excellent services so conveniently situated on the school campus. YES is coming, YES is building, YES is preparing….say YES to the new YES centre! As motivational speaker Marshall Sylver says: “You can only get more in life by saying YES.”

Alta Crous


I am a mother of three adult daughters, married to a retired maths teacher, and a grandmother to a 20 months old little boy who lives in Canada. I have been working with children since qualifying as a physiotherapist at the University of Stellenbosch many years ago. I worked at a school for physically disabled children for 19 years and then went into full time private practice, specialising in the treatment of children with low muscle tone. My passion is to see the positive change in these little persons as they become stronger, more confident and successful in movement. I must be someone who has the BEST job satisfaction in the world! I have been working with Yeshiva College for many years, with parents driving to me all the way to Melville. The YES centre is giving me the opportunity to pay back the favour by coming to them and I am very honoured to have been asked to join the team. I know most of the nursery school teachers and am looking forward to working with them and all the other therapists. Thank you!

Karen Rothbart


Hi all,I am Karen Rothbart, a mom of 4 precious boys and a paediatric neuro physiotherapist. I qualified as a physio in 1995 and found my passion for paediatric physiotherapy in the 5 years I worked at Forest Town school. I did numerous NDT (neurodevelopmental therapy) courses, including the baby course and other advanced courses, all of which I loved! In 2003 I completed my Master’s degree in physiotherapy, paediatric neurology, at Wits. I lectured at Wits university in the physiotherapy department for 3 years in paediatrics, before going into private practice. I absolutely LOVE working with kids and am so excited to be a part of the YES centre, working together with a phenomenal team of teachers, speech and occupational therapists, psychologists and most importantly with the kids themselves. My work as a paediatric physio is aimed at encouraging children to achieve their best potential by having confidence, strength, endurance, balance and stability in their bodies. By having strong postural stability and strength, their fine motor skills, concentration and general confidence and gross motor skills will all soar and our kids will fly!

Shari Levy

Occupational Therapist

My name is Shari Levy. I studied through Wits and recieved BSc Honours Degree in Occupational Therapy in 2011. I am currently training through SAISI for Specialization in Sensory Integration. My working experience includes a year at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, working in a Private Paediatric Practice which specializes in Sensory Integration as well as providing in-school therapy at a Private Jewish School. I am passionate about providing children and parents with Occupational Therapy using the most up to date research and treatment tools as well as building the confidence and motivation necessary for children to be functional in all areas of life. I am driven to assist in integrating these strategies into the classroom and at home and to provide a nurturing space in which children can develop, learn and grow. I hope to bring enthusiam, growth and professional therapeutic interventions to both the YES Centre as well as the the Yeshiva College Campus and I look forward to being part of this new and exciting team of therapists!!

Edana Paiker

Occupational Therapist

In1983 I qualified as an Occupational Therapist (OT) from the University of Pretoria. I then went to live in Israel for 3 years, and worked as an OT on Kibbutz Hanita and at the Nahariya Child Development clinic. In 1986 I returned to Pretoria working in the field of Cerebral Palsy and Autism, and in the private paediatric practice of Susan Malan. In 1988 I moved to Johannesburg, where for the past 29 years have been employed at Glenoaks school on a full-time, and now a part-time basis. It has been wonderful to work in an experienced multidisciplinary team with therapists and teachers, treating children with different levels of learning difficulties. During this time, I was honoured to work with my mentor, Merlyn Joffe, who shared her knowledge and experience with me. Since 1995 I have run my own Private Practice. My focus is on child development: improving fine motor skills, gross motor development and sensory integration, treating visual perceptual difficulties. For me it's vital that parents are involved in the home programme I provide and that I have regular contact with the teachers. I have treated children varying in ages from 3 to 12 years, from various schools, including Mina Lapato Nursery School. I continue to enjoy growing as an OT by attending courses, reading and learning from others and running my own practice . I am thrilled to be part of the YES Centre, working with a dynamic team of therapists, in a well-equipped centre, providing a service to Yeshiva College, and the community at large.

Kerri-Lee Epstein

Speech Therapist

I graduated with a BA honours from the University of the Witswatersrand in 2008 and completed my community service at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, where I was part of the paediatric team. In 2011, I graduated with a Masters in Early Childhood Intervention from the University of Pretoria. I have a passion for childhood development and have experience gained in areas of early childhood intervention and school aged language, through working at St Peters Boys Preparatory School, Crossroads Remedial School as well as Centapaeds Early Intervention Centre. I am also a firm believer in the multi-disciplinary approach to therapy, having experienced the benefits first-hand through extensive experience. I am so excited to be a part of the YES Centre and its wonderful team of therapists and look forward to working closely with teachers and parents, to bring about the best in your children.

Sharon Nkomo

Child Care Minder/Runner

This is Sharon Nkomo. Sharon's passion is working with children. She is a mother of 2 children, and has been working in a nursery school environment for the past 9 years. She has a certificate in Care Giving, Child Care and First Aid. Sharon will fetch your child from his/her teacher walk him/her back quickly and safely. She is a necessity for the smooth running of the YES centre. Sharon can't wait to meet your children and form friendships and bonds with them during their walks back and forth!

Kristen Strahlendorf

Educational Psychologist

I am Kristen Lisa Strahlendorf, an Educational Psychologist who has an overarching love and passion for all children. I have worked at various places, my experience ranging from Main Stream, Remedial and Special Needs children. I am excited to work at the Yes Centre as I intend to add unique value to the YES team, Yeshiva School and learners, in reaching their full potential through making a difference and contributing holistically to the learners learning and development. Although, I am aware that life can be tough and unfair at times, I pride myself on being able to make even a difference within the learner’s lives and being able to contribute effectively in all diverse and sensitive cases. I am highly efficient with regards to appointments, building solid foundations and relationships with the teaching staff, parents as well as the children, and liaising with parents as well as teachers and other therapists. I have the ability to understand and transcend through different age groups and to deal with a wide spectrum of both educational, medical and psychological matters. I believe that it is vital that we all walk the journey together with the parents and child.

I am passionate about both therapy as well as assessment and through these mediums it has allowed me to create the most tremendously deep bonds and rapport with all the children who have crossed my path. I assess student’s cognitive abilities and social functioning along with providing individual and group therapy. My main aim is to prevent any school added pressures by implementing early Interventions and Learning Support programs along with current curriculum. I look forward to starting this wonderful journey with you!

Lezanne Gochin

Remedial Therapist

Ever wonder what 13 years as a remedial therapist can teach someone about life? Take me, Lezanne Gochin for instance. In all that time, I’ve learnt how to blend words backwards, spell supercalifragilistic and even expialidocious, and as scary as it sounds I now even know what it means. It means fantastic. Which was a great lesson I learnt teaching, because it pretty much sums up what every kid is. But I can tell you that perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that partly what makes them so fantastic is the way they learn. That every child learns differently. Which actually means there is no right or wrong – just my way, the highway or even sometimes the byway. But that everyone can get there in the end.

Sometimes in a classroom one may get lost, but working one on one with that child, a teacher is able to be their GPS, helping them to find their Waze by focusing on them solely as ONE learner. And then figure out how best to discover their keys to unlock a glorious world of Discovery for them.

I want nothing more than to see all our children learning happily , and learning successfully – because YES, everyone can. That is why I am inspired to be part of the YES center – to grow in my own journey of learning and teaching, to help kids understand their own way of learning, and to give them tools that will help them to be their best, and make them fly.

Michelle Friedman

Remedial Therapist

Hi, I am Michelle Friedman. I am a mother of two grown-up girls, aged 20 and 22. I taught for many many years at King David Victory Park and I have been in private practice for the past 10 years. I am passionate about what I do and I love the interaction and relationships I make with the children I treat. I am Rave-O trained and the progress I see using this programme coupled with my many years of teaching experience enables me to teach children to read with fluency and comprehension. My specialty and passion is maths remediation and I am fully trained in Singapore maths. I am so excited to be part of the YES centre and to be able to interact with not just the children and parents but the teachers and other therapist and role players in the child's academic life.

Lauraine Giacovazzi

Speech - Language Therapist and Audiologist

I am a Speech - Language Therapist and Audiologist. I have worked in healthcare, special education, university and private practice settings in the past which has lead me to a true passion for education and helping children reach their potential. I believe in treating each child as the irreplaceable individual they are; helping them grow through their challenges while playing to their strengths as much as possible. I have a particular interest in language and literacy development together with the fascinating world of auditory processing and executive functions. I'm driven by my craving for growth in knowledge and excellence and hope to keep growing constantly with each child placed in my care. I'm thrilled to become a part of the YES Centre community as we take this next leap forward in a journey focused on helping others and team work.

Mira Glicksberg

Hebrew Support Specilist

During the many years of studying and successfully working in IT, I reflected longingly on my years in the Israeli National Service, working in a remedial school as well as teaching new immigrants from Ethiopia how to speak and read Hebrew. I realized that what I really love doing is changing how people learn and perceive themselves. Without leaving work I studied towards a B.A in psychology, completed with distinction. At this point, I did a two year extension program in a Neuroplasticity based method for treating developmental and learning disabilities. While I loved making a difference to children and babies, I was fascinated by the different aspects of reading. I joined a specialized M.A program for assessing and treating Learning Difficulties with a focus on dyslexia.

In the past few years I have loved working with people of all ages on skills and strategies for effective learning. Since moving to S.A, I have been working with children who were struggling with the acquisition of Hebrew reading and am looking forward to continuing doing so through the exciting new Y.E.S center as part of a wonderful team of therapists. I find this most exciting because the ability to read Hebrew precisely and fluently, has such special value to any Jewish person.

Velda Frankim

Occupational Therapist

I have been working in pediatric private practice and school therapy centres for the last 10 years. I have a special interest in sensory Integration and perceptual difficulties. I also make use of the interactive metronome and combined with conventional therapeutic intervention, the results are truly amazing. What an absolute pleasure to be able to live my passion on a daily basis and to be a part of this journey that the kids and parents are on. As Rita Pierson said: “Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best the can possibly be.

Tami Newman


My name is Tami Newman and I am a physiotherapist and mom of two.
I qualified as a physio in 2005 and after completing community service, I worked in the UK.
After returning to South Africa, I started my own private practice in 2010 and have focused on treating adults and teenagers with a wide variety of conditions including back pain, neck pain and headaches, sports injuries, postural and biomechanical issues. I am also a qualified Pilates instructor and love combining Physio and Pilates to help patients recover from injury and achieve their best potential.

In addition, I am passionate about helping pregnant and post-natal women through all stages of pregnancy, birth and the post-natal period. I offer pre and post-natal Pilates, Mommy and Baby Pilates classes, Diastasis Recti rehabilitation and treatment of pregnancy and post-birth complications.

I am excited to be joining the team at the YES Centre and look forward to helping the parents, staff and pupils of Yeshiva College.

What we offer

YES is going to be a centre of excellence equipped with the finest equipment and resources to aid any child utilising the centre.

As of January 2018, the following support therapists will be available at YES: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, remedial therapy, psychotherapy as well as remedial Hebrew therapy.  These therapists will be based in the YES centre and will service the children on campus who require their intervention.  Children from other schools are more than welcome to also utilise these excellent therapists during afternoon hours.

Full assessments will also be a focus of the centre utilising our well known and well experienced therapists to execute full psychological assessments required. This aspect of YES will be fully up and running by March 2018.

The centre has two full time employees namely Dinah Unterslak, Director of the YES centre and speech therapist in private practice for the past 14 years, as well as Sharon Nkomo, dedicated YES centre child minder and runner.

Types of Therapy


Physiotherapy focuses on:

  • Assessing, treating and preventing human movement disorder, restoring normal functioning or minimising dysfunctions and pain in adults and children with physical impairment, to enable them to achieve the highest possible level of dependence in their lives, as well as preventing recurring injuries and disabilities.
  • The Physiotherapist evaluates muscle strength, flexibility and joint range of movement.
  • The Physiotherapist addresses postural alignment and control through biomechanical and postural correction and rehabilitation.
  • The Physiotherapist restores movement and improves fitness, balance and co-ordination.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists are trained to assist people of all ages to perform the functional tasks that normally occupy their lives. The occupation of childhood is to develop the skills necessary for play, school and activities of daily living and to become functional and independent adults. The skills assessed and addressed in Occupational Therapy include the development of:

  • Gross motor skills e.g. ball skills, hopping and jumping.
  • Fine motor skills e.g. cutting, colouring and handwriting.
  • Visual perceptual skills (the ability to interpret and understand what we see).
  • Sensory Integration skills (the ability to take in the information we receive from all our senses, and to process, interpret and make sense of this information so that we can act appropriately).
  • Ability to regulate arousal level in order to attend and concentrate on tasks set…
  • This expectations for the level of development of any of these skills will vary depending on the child’s age. It is important to note that all of these skills are developing simultaneously. Impairment of one area is likely to stunt development in other areas.

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and language therapy intervention is aimed at improving a vast range of areas:

  • One aspect of therapy focuses on helping a child to speak more clearly. It is when their speech contains mispronunciations and patterns of errors that they provide articulation therapy.
  • A significant focus area in therapy is on language. This refers to understanding and using language to express oneself correctly. Language therapy includes vocabulary expansion, word associations, understanding and applying the rules of grammar, comprehension as well as improving written language.
  • Perhaps the most important skill in the classroom is the ability to process, remember and use what you hear. Therapy aims to improve auditory processing skills such as auditory word and sentence memory as well as the following of oral instructions.
  • Another significant aspect of speech therapy is focusing on skills that are important for successful reading, writing and spelling. This is referred to as phonological awareness and begins with the basics of rhyming, understanding how words can be broken up and put together again and learning to apply spelling rules correctly.

Educational Psychology

The Educational Psychologist forms part of the multi-disciplinary team that offers learners a safe therapeutic space in which to deal with a range of learning and emotional difficulties. Therapeutic approaches are tailored to address the needs of each child.

Various formal and informal assessment tools can be used to explore the functioning of the learner. These assessment tools will be selected and utilised considering the various policies and practices on fair and ethical use of psychometric (formal) and informal tests taking into consideration the diverse South African context. The assessment process may include exploration of the learners’ emotional, behavioural, learning, and vocational and other strengths and difficulties through the use of the following assessment tools:

  • Scholastic Assessment
  • Perceptual and Sensory-Motor Assessment
  • Social-Emotional Assessment
  • Aptitude assessment
  • Personality assessment
  • Career development
  • Projective assessment
  • Psychopathology


Remedial therapy

The main aim of the Remedial therapy is to bridge the gap between where  learners currently function academically and where they should be. The role of the Remedial therapist is to assist learners to overcome or cope with their learning difficulties. It focuses on skills rather than content.

The learning support programme for a child may include:

  • General Academic Support: Literacy / Numeracy
  • Phonics and spelling support
  • Reading support
  • Reading comprehension and understanding of written text and language
  • Language enrichment
  • Attention / concentration
  • Building confidence and self-image




Dinah will be responsible for admissions, general running of the day to day activities at centre, case conferences and constant communication between the therapists and school, full assessment organisation and execution as well as implementing parent and teacher training.

Sharon will be based at the centre to escort the children to and from their classes and ensure they arrive at their therapist on time and arrive back at their class safely.  This is especially important for the nursery school and foundation phase children.  Sharon has been working at a nursery school for the past 9 years and has a certificate of basic first aid, care giving and child minding.

For more information and registration, please contact:

Dinah Unterslak
Y.E.S Centre Director

Email: yescentre@yeshivacollege.co.za