Schechter hires Judaic, general studies directors

BY ARIANA TOBIN, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT

On Aug. 20, both Rosalind Schoppet and Chani Pinsberg will join their students in dealing with back-to-school nerves as they take over their new positions at Solomon Schechter Day School.

Schoppet, the new director of general studies, will oversee teachers and students and take an active role in the day-to-day operations of the school.

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She has a doctorate in Educational Leadership, and comes from an extensive teaching background, including a stint as Assistant Principal in the Francis Howell School District. She has also taught classes on education at the college level.

“I plan to do more with the culture and professional learning community,” Schoppet said. “We’re going to have team meetings with the grade level teachers. We’re fixing up the Web site. Communication is key. I would like a lot of communication for those day-to-day issues.”

Pinsberg, who will be Hebrew Language Coordinator, says her new job is a homecoming of sorts.

She has taught and worked with the Schechter curriculum in the past, before spending the last five years as Religious School Director at Shaare Zedek.

She will implement new programs to enrich Hebrew instruction and to encourage students to speak the language. Younger students will participate in an immersion program, in which they will hear no English for an hour and a half every day.

Both positions will involve updating curriculum and working with teachers.

Schoppet will review and evaluate existing programs, though she plans to add enrichment through book clubs and technology.

In an email interview, Pinsberg said she plans to create new programming and extend her past work at Schechter.

For example, She will work with Music and Drama teacher Noa Galor to write and present musicals in Hebrew.

According to Head of School Rabbi Allen Selis, Pinsberg’s position is important to shaping the culture of a Jewish day school.

“Schechter is an institution that is very focused on Israel, on Zionism. It’s important for our vision. This is supposed to be a place where you walk in and feel like you’re walking into Israel,” he said.

“Speaking Hebrew, being comfortable with the language, is really critical. It draws the Diaspora Jewish community together. It’s important at a time of Hebrew pluralism. When people observe different ways, Hebrew is a common bond.”

“As an affiliate of the Conservative movement, the roots and evolution of the movement, Hebrew is really the foundation, speaking it in prayer,” Selis said.

Both Schoppet and Pinsberg appreciate the opportunities for friendship and growth possible at a small school.

Pinsberg’s children, all of whom have graduated from high school, are alumni, and Schoppet’s daughter will be part of the kindergarten class.

“I’m looking forward to being part of the family. I plan on being in the classrooms on a daily basis, getting to know students and their families, and getting kids involved in after school activities. I do have high expectations, but I’m available, I care for them, I’m an advocate for them,” Schoppet said.

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