Rabbi Dov Goldman
Fourth- and fifth-grade Jewish studies teacher
Cheder Menachem, Los Angeles
A parent was overheard saying at a recent PTA conference, “Rabbi Dov Goldman never removes his jacket. If he did, you would see his wings.” This sentiment sums up the commitment, dedication and “extra” dimension of a truly remarkable educator. He consistently challenges his students to aspire to the next level of academics and has developed numerous programs that encourage them to aspire to further achievement. To help students self-assess their progress and behavior while teaching them about their Chassidic heritage, Rabbi Goldman created a “passport program” in which students receive stamps in their “passport,” which permit them to “travel” from city to city. Well-respected and admired, Rabbi Goldman is a role model who has earned the reputation of a dedicated mechanech and a true mentsch. With an incredible ability to teach every type of student, Rabbi Goldman takes children under his wing and encourages them to believe in themselves and become achievers. He hopes to infuse and instill within each and every student the understanding and belief that he truly matters, that he has tremendous potential, and that he is loved. Rabbi Goldman, who has taught at Cheder Menachem for nine years, stresses with his students that each individual has a unique mission to make the world a better place and the responsibility to make a difference. He is committed to developing in his students an appreciation and love for Torah, its values and being a Jew. “As a Chabad Chossid,” shared Rabbi Goldman, “it is without a doubt the Lubavitcher Rebbe and his teachings, primarily his call that every individual has a responsibility to educate and illuminate their surroundings, as well as his great emphasis on the importance of education with love, that guided me down the path to become an educator.” Rabbi Goldman is a 2000 graduate of Sydney Australia’s Yeshiva Gedola – Rabbinical College.
Lower School Director
Sinai-Akiba Academy, Los Angeles
“The learning process should be both rigorous and joyful,” says Sinai-Akiba Academy’s Lower School Director Shelley Lawrence. And that’s a philosophy she models every day for teachers and students. Colleagues credit her with strengthening the school’s strong culture of learning and inquiry. Since becoming the director in 2001, she has demonstrated exceptional leadership, including great mastery in training teachers to use exploratory and student-oriented methods in the classrooms. Whether sharing her expertise in teaching reading comprehension or leading a faculty meeting, she passionately and thoughtfully keeps attention focused on the children. In addition to the responsibility for the lower school’s general studies curriculum and instruction, as well as administrative duties, Mrs. Lawrence monitors the social, behavioral and academic progress of all her students. She takes a personal interest in every child’s development and implemented Responsive Classroom, a way of teaching that promotes social-emotional learning. Her many contributions to the faculty’s professional development include introducing dynamic methods for teaching reading and writing and organizing teacher study groups. Mrs. Lawrence, who has a bachelor of arts in history and a master’s of education from UCLA, was a classroom teacher for 11 years and mentored new teachers before she assumed an administrative role. Acknowledging her own mother as the epitome of a great teacher, Mrs. Lawrence knew, by first grade, that she wanted to be a teacher “just like her mom.” A high school educator cemented Mrs. Lawrence’s career choice when he told her that she had all of the best qualities to become a teacher. Reacting to the surprise once the cheers and applause died down at her awards notification, Mrs. Lawrence said, “I really truly feel that I have the best job anywhere. I get to watch little people grow and learn, and I also get to grow and learn from the best faculty every day.”
Rabbi Mitchel Malkus
Head of School
The Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am, Los Angeles
Rabbi Mitchel Malkus serves as the director of education for the entire Pressman system. Under his leadership, the Academy is thriving and he is credited with providing a unified educational vision at the school. In addition to revamping the institution’s governance structure to function as a strategic policy-making group, Rabbi Malkus led the effort to rearticulate the curriculum. Art and music are now significant areas of study at Pressman and the athletic program has been greatly expanded. Known for his innovative methods, Rabbi Malkus worked with the Jewish Theological Seminary and BJE to introduce Hebrew immersion in the early childhood center. He then developed the core components to extend the successful program through the fifth grade. A primary focus for Rabbi Malkus is professional development for the Academy’s faculty, and thus he designed a supervision protocol based on professional learning. He views Pressman as a training ground for future Jewish educators, as exemplified by the partnership he developed with the DeLeT (Day school Leadership through Teaching) program, which places DeLeT fellows at the Academy. Each year Rabbi Malkus teaches a course in Talmud to the graduating class. His hope for all Pressman Academy students is that they “will emerge with strong Jewish identities and knowledge that will sustain them and add meaning to their lives as they contribute to the world in both secular and religious settings.” After graduating from Columbia University, Rabbi Malkus worked at the Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C., before entering the Jewish Theological Seminary. In 2001, he was awarded the first Ed.D from the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. Crediting his own Jewish day school experience as transformational for his entire family, Rabbi Malkus appreciates the value of a strong school community and works diligently so that the Pressman Academy community is responsive to the needs of its people.