After three busy years, Rabbi Avi Greene will miss students most

Jeremy Lowe, Arts Editor

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After three years as Principal of Judaic Studies, Rabbi Avi Greene is leaving Shalhevet. Since arriving at the beginning of the 2005-06 school year, he has done everything from curriculum development and teaching Tanach to organizing Color War and chaperoning many school trips.

“Being at Shalhevet has been a tremendous opportunity to learn from teachers, students and peers,” said Rabbi Greene in an interview with The Boiling Point. “I have created one-on-one relationships with many students and I will miss these dearly.”

Rabbi Greene feels his greatest accomplishment at Shalhevet was creating a curriculum for Judaic studies. When he arrived at Shalhevet there was no curriculum and in his time at Shalhevet he developed a four-year curriculum that he says can be used nationwide.

But he is thought of by students as a great teacher and someone who is easy to talk to.

Junior Sabrina Aziz feels comfortable going to him with any problems she may have.

“Whenever someone has an issue with something they can go to him and he will help them make a decision,” Sabrina said.

“He’s a good guy and he’s a really good teacher, one of the best Judaic studies teachers I’ve ever had,” said senior Ricky Spronz. “He was really helpful when I came back after being sick. He was really understanding.”

“He’s a really inspiring teacher and he engaged our class in fulfilling and interesting conversations and debates,” agreed senior Shaina Andrews, who was in Rabbi Greene’s Tanach class this year.

Outgoing Agenda Chair Louis Keene appreciated Rabbi Greene’s help with Town Hall.

“He was a great mentor to me and he always had a witty comment and a smile,” said Louis, “and he understood my own unique sense of humor.”

And junior Miriam Young enjoyed getting to know Rabbi Greene on The Boiling Point’s trip to New York, where discussions ranged over a wide array of topics.

“When I am at school, I can go to him with any problems with my teachers and he will help me,” Miriam said. “It was a pleasure to go on the trip with Rabbi Greene and we had a great time.”

Apparently, the feeling was mutual. Rabbi Greene will miss the students particularly, but he concedes that he will not miss the hours spent in faculty meetings.

“I love seeing the students,” said Rabbi Greene, “It’s as if they are all doing ballet but with everyone doing different choreography and in the end they all form one body.”

Rabbi Greene said his best memory was this year’s Town Hall with Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky of Congregation Bnai David-Judea, when students debated whether Israel could ever consider giving up parts of Jerusalem for peace.

“It gave the students a chance to think through a complex issue and speak respectfully and with passion,” Rabbi Greene recalled.  He said his worst memory was in the spring of his first year at Shalhevet, when he walked into school the morning of the senior prank and thought the school had been vandalized.

From his three years experience at Shalhevet Rabbi Greene feels that the parents, students and teachers haven’t learned enough about the democracy Shalhevet is based on because they haven’t used this unique tool to change things they way they could.

As for next year, Rabbi Greene will primarily be working on his Yeshiva University doctoral dissertation, which is on using technology in Jewish education.