Rabbi Segal announced three new hires in an email today

Here is that email:

Dear Shalhevet community,

First, I’d just like to turn your attention to a set of excellent divrei Torah published on AccidentalTalmudist.com. Our student Sheyna Schusterman wrote a beautiful piece on Parshas Emor, along with four other students from Milken Community Schools, YULA Girls and Boys, and de Toledo High School. It’s wonderful to be able to learn Torah sourced from so many wonderful Jewish schools in the area.

I also want to remind everyone to check out the terrific Shavuot preparation program being held next Sunday at the Shalhevet Institute. The evening will include several excellent shiurim from local talent and scholars, a panel discussion, and a Torah Slam. I hope you’ll join us!


May is always an exciting and busy time at Shalhevet. We’re all focused on bringing the current school year to a successful close, completing our projects and preparing for finals, arranging trips and end-of-year ceremonies. But we’re also focused on the future, planning ahead for the changes and innovations that will arrive in the upcoming school year.

To that end, I’m happy to announce some exciting new additions to our faculty at Shalhevet. I’ll let Rabbi Block take the first one — I think you’ll definitely want to hear it from him!


“It is with incredible excitement and enthusiasm that I announce the newest addition to Shalhevet’s 2019-2020 Judaic faculty: Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom will be joining us as our first-ever Rosh Beit Midrash.

Rabbi Etshalom’s reputation precedes him; an educator par-excellence, he is also a world-renowned talmid chacham well known for his work in the realm of Tanakh study and interpretation. In his new role, Rabbi Etshalom will guide our new Beit Midrash Track, which provides upperclassmen the opportunity to spend more time on Gemara studies, learning in a Beit Midrash style, chavrusa-based environment. We already have a fantastic schoolwide LaHaV curriculum and vibrant Advanced Gemara track, which caters to a third of our students. This new Beit Midrash Track will join the Judaic Studies family of offerings by giving a platform to those students who want to go even further, לפנים משורת הדין (above and beyond), in their Torah learning. We can think of no better educator to lead this new initiative  and we’re excited for what Rabbi Etshalom and BMT will contribute to our school – להגדיל תורה ולהאדירה (to increase Torah and glorify it).

Please join me in welcoming R. Etshalom to the Shalhevet family!”


I’m thrilled to have Rabbi Etshalom join our school, and so excited to offer our students the chance to learn with this preeminent scholar. Rabbi Etshalom will be with us each morning and will continue teaching at YULA Boys in the afternoons; I can’t wait to watch his impact on our passionate young learners.

In addition to Rabbi Etshalom, we’ll be adding two other new faces to the staff and faculty next year. Nachum Joel will join us as Assistant Executive Director (and the third former Maccabeat to join our staff—we’re aiming for a monopoly!) He’ll be working on our business end, alongside Sarah Emerson. And Natalie Honig will be working with Rabbi Tsaidi and Malkie Hametz in our Mashgiach Ruchani (religious guidance) program, making sure our students’ emotional and spiritual wellbeing is maintained at all times.

Both Nachum and Natalie are rather unique in the world of Jewish Education, in that they come to us from different professional fields. Natalie previously worked as an accountant, while Nachum was formerly the Director of Sales for a national insurance brokerage firm. Both have joined us in apprenticeship positions, in which they will learn the ropes of Jewish education while enhancing Shalhevet with their passion and diverse experiences.

As you know, we are always looking for ways to innovate and improve the field of Jewish education at Shalhevet. Of course, this means allowing our teachers to the use the full span of their creativity and passion, employing new educational theories, and keeping abreast of developments in the field.

But true innovation requires more than that. I often hear about the talent shortage in Jewish education, of how difficult it can be to find excellent teachers who meet the highest standards. So we’ve started looking at the pool of potential teachers differently, questioning our assumptions as to where great Judaic faculty must come from.

The fact is, it is much easier to help a hopeful educator gain the needed experience than it is to foster the necessary intellect, creativity, and passion if it does not already exist. We’ve had great success in taking on motivated individuals in informal educational capacities, and gaining brilliant teachers and administrators in the bargain. I know many of you will know Josh Miesel, who also came to us from a completely unrelated field and, through a light teaching schedule and hands-on experience around the school, has become an excellent educator. (So excellent, in fact, that Josh has been hired by our former college Jason Feld to teach at the Jewish Day School in Seattle — Jason, you owe us one!)

As we wrap up this school year and prepare for the next, Shalhevet is dedicated to continuing this innovation, always working to improve the education and school-life experience we offer. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished this year, and look forward to growing further together with our new staff members.

Wishing you and your families a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Ari Segal