Shlomit Abrams, ‘teacher who cares,’ leaving after eight years


Honor Fuchs

FRIEND: Hebrew teacher Shlomit Abrams is known for close relationships with students.

By Eva Suissa and Hannah Jannol

Ms. Shlomit Abrams, a warm and approachable Hebrew teacher who became a confidante for students, will not be returning to Shalhevet next year, she first announced to her senior Hebrew class yesterday.

Ms. Abrams, known by everyone as simply “Shlomit,” joined the Shalhevet staff in 2010 after teaching at YULA in 2008 and 2009, having emigrated to the United States from Givatayim in  Israel.

“I love Shlomit, because she has been here for a very long time and she has been a huge part of my Shalhevet experience,” said senior Gaby Benelyahu, who had her as a teacher for her first two years of high school. “We have grown very close. She was kind of like my school mom and always checked up on me — she has such a big heart.”

Sophomore Sadie Toczek was sad Shlomit had become a real friend to her.

“Honestly I’m really upset about it, because Shlomit is one of the few teachers who cares about your personal life and is involved in how you’re doing personally and academically,” said Sadie.

Shlomit said she sad to leave, after connecting with students for almost a decade. She couldn’t pick a favorite moment — “there are so many of them,” she said in an interview.

She was kind of like my school mom and always checked up on me — she has such a big heart.

— Gaby Benelyahu, 12th grade

“I’ve been here for eight years — just imagine,” she added, shaking her head.

She does not know what she will be doing next year, but says she will be teaching in some form. Before coming to Shalhevet she taught at YULA and Sinai-Akiba Academy.

Although Shlomit was born on a moshav near Ashkelon, her parents were both from Iraq — specifically Baghdad and Basra. In 1951, her family moved to Israel with the Labor Zionist movement. In the IDF, Shlomit fought as a reservist during the first Lebanon War. She had her only daughter, Hilly, and taught at a high school in Givatayim for 13 years.

After moving to America to be with her family, Shlomit taught at Sinai-Akiba for three years, then YULA for two.

She arrived at Shalhevet as a midyear replacement for Ms. Nili Shamrat, who left suddenly after being convicted of trying to sell stolen watches back to the Israeli museum that her late husband, Na’aman Diller, had stolen them from. According to Ms. Shamrat, he had stolen them before they met and she had not known about the crime.

Ms. Abrams’ arrival had a calming effect, recalled alumnus David Rokah ‘12, who said her transition to Shalhevet was effortless.

Although it should be tough to adapt to a whole new teaching style midway through the school year, Shlomit made the transition easier than I expected it to be,” David told the Boiling Point in 2010. “She was there for the students if they needed help with anything.”

Shlomit still meets with students outside of class.

“When I came into high school I wasn’t the best Hebrew-speaker,” said senior Jordan Levine, who had Shlomit for both freshman and sophomore year, “and just coming into her class and transitioning, she was so warm and approachable and met with me multiple times beyond the classroom.”