Rhea Hirsch School of Education History - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion

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    Rhea Hirsch School of Education History

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    The story of the RHSOE Alumni Association begins with the appointment of Joy Wasserman as the Coordinator of Alumni Affairs, in November 1994. Things began moving very quickly after that with our first official event only a month later at the NATE conference. The era of the 7am breakfast began! By the spring of that year we had published our first issue of Tikshoret, our newsletter. This year we will published our 50th issue!

    In the summer of 1997, we undertook our first development campaign with the Alum-in-Residence Fund was created in honor of Sara Lee when the Hebrew University named her the Samuel Rothberg Prize Laureate. By the fall of 1997 our first Working Groups were created and one year later our alumni voted to formalize RHSOE Alumni Association structure. Our first slate of officers assumed leadership with Nachama Skolnik Moskowitz ('77), chair, Mindy Davids ('90), chair-elect; and Roberta Louis Goodman ('81) in the past-chair position. In addition, Jane West Walsh ('85) served as the first Educator-in-Residence. In 2012 we hosted our 8th Alumni-in-Residence event. Our first five years ended with the a successful first-ever Alumni Kallah held at the Breuer Center in Malibu. This year we will host our 7th kallah.

    The new millennia marked the awarding of our first honorary doctorates to seven RHSOE alumni, who were honored at a 30th anniversary dinner, which also honored founding director, Rabbi, Dr. William Cutter. In December 2000 a formal 30th Anniversary of the School Celebration was held and the Sara S Lee Clinical Education Program Endowment campaign formally launched.

    In our second decade we began to expand our professional learning opportunities. January 2007 we hosted our first Day of Learning on the New York Campus, since then we have had 3 other Day of Learning events in NYC and with the creation of the e-classrooms we have been able to include alumni in LA as well! In February 2008 we held our first webinar series hosted by Dr. Michael Zeldin. In 2011 we hosted our first Book Club series and in the Fall launched our 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 first 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!