The Boiling Point

Letter from Rabbi Segal to students regarding faculty changes

Ashley Mashian, Photo Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

This letter was received by The Boiling Point Tuesday, May 24, in reaction to last Thursday’s walkout protesting the non-rehiring of Rabbi Richler.

Dear Editors:

I must tell you how unbelievably impressed I am with the students at Shalhevet. You are willing to speak your minds and advocate on behalf of something you believe. This is the hallmark of Shalhevet.

I have received emails from both sides of the discussion – from students who want the Administration to reconsider a staffing decision to those who believe that personnel decisions fall firmly in the hands of the Administration. The two competing opinions gave me a sense that there is a fantastic balance in Shalhevet.

The fact that two groups of students can feel strongly about such an issue and make their voices heard (respectfully) makes me even more certain that I made the right decision to come to Shalhevet.

As an aside, while I agree that the Administration needs to make the final decisions on staffing, I believe strongly that students should give input to us – it is very valuable to us and for those who contacted me or met with the Principals, I thank you for your feedback.

The calculus for these decisions is quite complex and the Administration is charged with doing what is best for the entire school – on many levels. This is not always easy for any one person or group to comprehend and that is why I understand those who are hurt and frustrated by this and want to advocate for change. Out of respect for the privacy of our beloved faculty members, I have never and will never share the reasons behind such a decision.

I wish that I had the time to speak with each person individually about their concerns regarding the future of Shalhevet. It is just not possible at this time given my distance and full-time job at Beren Academy. I look forward to being on site next year and being more available to discuss issues that arise. What I can tell you is that I heard you loud and clear that Shalhevet needs to re-energize the spirit and ruach that should permeate the hallways and that some students feel used to be more palpable in the air. Anyone who has ever worked with me knows that I believe we should push students to work very hard, but we also must find a way for them to “play hard” and decompress from the rigor of a dual (tri?) curriculum. Rest assured that I am fully committed to building, with you and for you, a school that is dynamic, vibrant and filled with ruach.


Rabbi Ari Segal, Shalhevet Head of School-designate

Robert M. Beren Academy, Houston, Texas


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
1 Comment

One Response to “Letter from Rabbi Segal to students regarding faculty changes”

  1. The Boiling Point » Blog Archive » Boycott, sit-in challenge non-renewal of Rabbi Richler, apparently without success on June 16th, 2011 12:57 am

    […] To see Rabbi Segal’s letter in response to the sit-in click here. […]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.


Letter from Rabbi Segal to students regarding faculty changes