Mrs. Hametz, who taught feelings behind Torah stories, moving to Maryland


Photo from Shalhevet Instagram

SERVICE: Mrs. Hametz gave instructions at a pie-baking event for Thanksgiving last November in the parking lot. She arrived at Shalhevet in 2019 and will teach at Berman Hebrew Academy this fall.

By Benjamin Gamson and Keira Beller

Mrs. Malkie Hametz, who taught students about the feelings and reactions of biblical figures and organized community service programs around Los Angeles and out of state, is leaving Shalhevet after two years as Chesed coordinator and a member of the Judaic Studies faculty.

She will be moving to to the Washington, D.C., area, where she will become the Upper School Dean of Students at Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Md.

Last year, Mrs. Hametz taught ninth-grade Advanced Tanach and 11th-grade Tanach, and led a ninth-grade advisory. 

Although Covid prevented grade-wide chesed trips, Mrs. Hametz organized local volunteering opportunities, including at Our Big Kitchen and the East LA YMCA, along with a beach cleanup day.

Students said they would miss her open-floor lessons, warmth, and fun in-class activities.

All of her lessons are very motivational [and] will teach you a lesson in and of itself for life, not just for Bible studies.

— Rachel Blumofe, freshman

“She always had a fun aspect,” said freshman Rachel Blumofe.  In her class,  Rachel said, “you don’t just learn about the topic, you don’t just learn about Yehoshua, you don’t just learn about Moshe — you learn about how people were feeling, how people were reacting, how the Jewish people were suffering, and how you can relate to that suffering or understand that suffering better.

“All of her lessons are very motivational [and] will teach you a lesson in and of itself for life, not just for Bible studies.” 

In an interview, Mrs. Hametz said that one of her favorite memories was the 10th-grade chesed trip to Las Vegas in the fall of 2019, which was right when she began working at Shalhevet. 

“Together we volunteer at some incredible places in Vegas and really, it was just such a great quality experience,” said Mrs. Hametz. “And as a result of that, I really felt so much more connected to the overall Shalhevet community, because I felt so close to so many of the 10th graders.”

The following year, she had many of those same students in her 11th-grade Tanach classes, she said.

“The trip last year was a great opportunity for me to meet so many of the students and build those connections.”

Earlier, Mrs. Hametz taught at Gindi Maimonides Academy, a K-8 school many of whose graduates attend Shalhevet.,

“What’s been really meaningful to me is that I’ve been able to watch so many of these students grow up,” said Mrs. Hametz.