School of Education Alumni Association

Welcome to the School of Education Alumni Association!

The Alumni Associations of the New York School of Education, Rhea Hirsch School of Education, and Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education have merged to become the School of Education Alumni Association.

History of the New York School of Education Alumni Association: 

The New York School of Education Alumni Association (NYSOEAA) formally gathered for the first time at the ARJE (then NATE) Kallah in Lake Las Vegas in December 2003. Yonni Wattenmaker '96 and Joanne Doades '01 served as the first Co-Chairs of the NYSOEAA. In 2005, Wattenmaker and Harriet Levine '90 were appointed the first NYSOE Representatives to the Alumni Leadership Council. In the Winter of 2006, the Annual Brunch and Learn Program was launched as an annual opportunity for alumni to gather, celebrate, and learn together.

History of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education Alumni Association: 

The Rhea Hirsch School of Education Alumni Association (RHSOEAA) began with the appointment of Joy Wasserman as Coordinator of Alumni Affairs in November 1994. The first meeting of the RHSOEAA (and the first 7:00 am breakfast!) was held one month later at an Association of Reform Jewish Educators (then NATE) Conference. The first issue of Tikshoret, the RHSOEAA newsletter, was published in the Spring of 1995.

In the summer of 1997, the RHSOEAA undertook their first development campaign; the Alumni-in-Residence Fund was created in honor of Sara Lee when the Hebrew University named her the Samuel Rothberg Prize Laureate.

The RHSOEAA created its first Working Groups in the Fall of 1997. One year later, RHSOE alumni voted to formalize RHSOEAA structure. The first slate of officers assumed leadership with Nachama Skolnik Moskowitz '77, Chair; Mindy Davids '90, Chair-Elect; and Roberta Louis Goodman '81, Past-Chair. In addition, Jane West Walsh '85 served as the first Educator-in-Residence.

In 2012, the RHSOEAA hosted its eighth Alumni-in-Residence event. The first five years ended with the a successful first-ever Alumni Kallah held at the Breuer Center in Malibu. 

The new millennia marked the awarding of honorary doctorates to seven RHSOE alumni who were honored at a 30th anniversary dinner, which also honored founding RHSOE Director Rabbi William Cutter, Ph.D.

In December 2000, HUC-JIR held a formal celebration marking the 30th anniversary of the RHSOE. At this celebration, the Sara S. Lee Clinical Education Program Endowment campaign formally launched.

In January 2007, the RHSOEAA hosted the first Day of Learning at our New York campus, which, with the creation of e-learning classrooms, have since included alumni from Los Angeles as well. In February 2008, the RHSOEAA held its first webinar series hosted by Dr. Michael Zeldin. In 2011, the RHSOEAA hosted its first Book Club series and in the Fall launched professional learning groups with over 75 alumni participating.

In May 2007 nearly 200 alumni celebrate Sara Lee’s retirement and the launch of Sara S. Lee Chair in Education Campaign and a campaign in honor of Founding Director, Dr. William Cutter’s retirement. In October 2009 First Cutter Colloquium is held with lecture by Debby Kerdeman and in March of 2010, fellow alumnus, Tali Zelkowicz was inducted as the first Sara S Lee Emerging Scholar in Jewish Education.

We launched our Facebook group in 2011 and continue to explore ways to enhance that page, which serves as our communal hub. In June 2013 we held our first virtual reunions hosted on the Facebook page for the classes of 1977, 1995 and 2003 and a mini-symposium on leadership. The RHSOE Alumni Association continues to explore new ways to reach, teach, serve, and connect alumni.