eaching was nothing new to
Yael Weinstock Mashbaum
when she arrived at HUC-JIR. She
had already spent more than three
years working at Yad Vashem in
Israel teaching online Holocaust
courses in English and Hebrew
and creating an online newsletter
But she was drawn back to Los
Angeles to be near family and to
the DeLeT program in particular
because it prepares educators
to teach at Jewish day schools.
I love watching children learn ,”
she says. “I love being able to see
their minds working and opening
up to new ideas.”
As a DeLeT Fellow, Mashbaum
teaches fifth grade four days a
week at Sinai Akiba Academy in
Westwood, covering general and
Judaic studies. She spends the
other day on the HUC-JIR campus
supporting her practical experience
with educational philosophy.
Her tuition is covered under
the program, which is subsidized
by the Jim Joseph Foundation
Education Initiative, and she
receives a stipend as well. As
meaningful as her mission may
be, these financial considerations
are making it possible, she says.
I want to teach Jews to be Jews,”
DeLeT Fellow Yael Weinstock Mashbaum is recognized as
one of the Los Angeles community’s twenty emerging Jewish
leaders under twenty by the Jewish Education Assembly.
Yael Weinstock Mashbaum
I was leading a hiking
in summer camp, exploring the themes
of prayer through being in nature,” recalls Sarah Lauing, now complet-
ing her final year in the M.A. in Jewish Education program. “One eighth-
grade boy started talking about God and his beliefs. I saw this spark inside
of him and I thought, this is what I want to do with my life.”
At HUC-JIR, visionary educators teach us to innovate and think of new
ways of doing things, to push boundaries and transform the possibilities
in Jewish education,” says Lauing. Beyond innovative methods, her pro-
gram teaches her innovative ways of thinking.
It’s about experiential
education – ‘doing’ Jewish as opposed to just learning about it. It’s
about getting beyond learning things to the core of what we believe.”
The model for this kind of learning, for Lauing, was her Year-In-Israel
Program, where “our professors would take us out into the country, show
us the monuments and historical sites, but really help us to understand
them on a more profound level.” She has gone on to lead teen groups
through Israel, following the same strategies.
Lauing’s students remind her why she wants to be a Jewish educator.
You see these kids starting to figure something out about themselves
and about the world. It’s inspiring and amazing.”
Rhea Hirsch School of Education Student/Los Angeles
Education student Sarah Lauing confers with
mentor Professor Sara S. Lee, Director Emerita
of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education.