Changes At Shalhevet

Here’s a recent email that went out from Shalhevet (Modern Orthodox day school in LA):

In our relentless pursuit of Excellence in Education, Shalhevet School is pleased to welcome Rabbi Rodney Feinerman as its new Educational Director beginning with the 2009-2010 school year. Working closely with our Head of School, the Director will develop, guide and provide supervision for Shalhevet’s progressive model of education. Supporting the work of the Director will be our team of trained and dedicated educators. This team includes our General Studies Principal, Mr. Tranchi; our Director of Admissions Mrs. Cecilie Wizenfeld; our Department Chairs, our Director of School Life Mr. Yossi Kastan who will be responsible, among other things, for the supervision of all co-curricular a nd extra-curricular activities and related personnel; our wonderful learning specialist Ms. Maggie Tack, who is both a liaison to and a trainer of teachers; and our superb social worker from Aleinu, Mrs. Rachel Hecht.

In his personal statement of Jewish education, Rabbi Feinerman writes: "It is my belief that our students most certainly need to be well rooted in knowledge, skills and understanding in all subjects. Yet there is so much more that goes into the mix. Graduates of a quality Jewish school must reflect the internalized values of Torah and Mitzvot, possess proper moral and ethical attitudes, have a strong love and commitment to Zionism and the State of Israel and emerge as devoted Jews. An excellent well-rounded program must also contain a healthy dose of Ruach and diversified extra-curricular activities. Add to the list a thirst for the pursuit of all knowledge and we may behold a fine product of Jewish Education of which we can be proud."

Rabbi Feinerman is currently High School Principal at the Hebrew Academy of Montreal, where he supervises both General and Judaic Studies. In his time there, Rabbi Feinerman has evaluated the entire curriculum and launched implementation of a three-year vision in English, French, HistoryTanach and Geography to include WebQuests, relevancy and inter-disciplinary units. In that time he has al so deepened services for special-needs students and redefined Student Council from being adult oriented to student driven (surely the Shalhevet way!).

He has previously served at the Samuel Scheck Hillel Secondary School in North Miami Beach, Florida for seventeen years. During his tenure at Hillel he filled administrative positions for ten years, rising from a Department Chair to Secondary School Principal (grades 6-12). During those years, he designed, developed and refined the full Jewish Studies curriculum, hired and evaluated performance of faculty, developed, proposed and oversaw a $5 million budget, and created a Mentor Program for new faculty.

A true life-long learner, Rabbi Feinerman’s Continuing Education achievements reads like a list of the best programs out there! To name a few: Harvard University Summer Institute for Principals; Lookstein Center Principal’s Institute at Bar Ilan University; Co-Teaching and Differentiated Instruction at McGill University; Facing History and Ourselves; and many more.

Currently at work on his Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Rabbi Feinerman holds a M.A. degree in Education from Nova Southeastern University where he attended as a fellowship grant recipient, and received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshiva B’nei Torah in New York.

Rabbi Feinerman and20his wife Raizy will have three children attending Shalhevet next year.

Generous Gift Allows Shalhevet to Deepen Its Department Chair Program, Name New Chairpersons in Elementary Division

With deepest appreciation, Shalhevet is the recipient of a major gift from Joseph Lipner and Abigail Yasgur targeted toward maintaining Excellence in Jewish Education at Shalhevet School. The first phase of the program has involved consultation with faculty from the UCLA and USC Graduate Schools of Education. This spring our Department Chairs and Principals will be trained in the latest best-practices for peer-to-peer teacher observation and techniques in curriculum development. This will be followed by ongoing mentoring and assessment by the university instructors, as well as faculty-wide in-service days to advance our unified approach to Excellence in Jewish Education. Other steps will include visits from other major universities and leading independent day and high schools.

We are all working together every day towards Excellence in Jewish Education!

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Elchanan Weinbach

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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