The Boiling Point

Dr. Weissman not returning next year

Will continue to teach through June despite issues

Dr.+Weissman+is+known+for+his+challenging+and+passionate+teaching+style.+He+also+begins+all+of+his+classes+with+either+Hasidic+music+or+uplifting+orchestral+music.+
Dr. Weissman is known for his challenging and passionate teaching style. He also begins all of his classes with either Hasidic music or uplifting orchestral music.

Dr. Weissman is known for his challenging and passionate teaching style. He also begins all of his classes with either Hasidic music or uplifting orchestral music.

Goldie Fields

Goldie Fields

Dr. Weissman is known for his challenging and passionate teaching style. He also begins all of his classes with either Hasidic music or uplifting orchestral music.

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


Email This Story






Principal and Assistant Head of School Dr. Noam Weissman, who pioneered the LaHav curriculum and is known for his engaging and passionate teaching style, has been removed from his role as principal and will not return next fall because of “inappropriate comments to, and conduct toward, certain staff members,” according to an email sent out by Head of School Rabbi Ari Segal from himself and the school’s Executive Board.

The behavior did not involve students, and he will continue to teach his current classes through the end of the year, the email said.

But he will have no further administrative role in the school, the email stated.

“To be clear, the investigator found absolutely no inappropriate physical contact of any sort by Dr. Weissman toward any person, nor any inappropriate conduct of any sort directed to any student,” Rabbi Segal and the school’s Executive Board wrote in the email, which was sent out at 10:20 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8.

“There was, in fact, no allegation by anyone of inappropriate conduct toward students,” the email continued.

But beginning in October, the school undertook a three-week investigation to determine the validity of allegations about his behavior toward staff, and what course of action to take, the email states.

“The investigator did find that Dr. Weissman had made inappropriate comments to, and conduct toward, certain staff members,”  and found that he was “unacceptably assertive toward several staff members, both male and female,” the email states.

“While Dr. Weissman does not concur with many of the investigator’s findings, and regrets this sequence of events, he and the School have mutually agreed that for the remainder of the year, he would continue teaching with no administrative or supervisory duties, and that he would not return in the fall.”

The email praises Dr. Weissman’s many contributions to the school, saying he “has been instrumental in the school’s curricular development and cultivating countless programs that contribute to the academic and spiritual growth of our students.  For those efforts we are deeply indebted, and we wish him and his family well in their future.”

It also praises those who came forward with complaints.

“Shalhevet takes its workplace policies very seriously, prides itself as a leader within the Modern Orthodox world, and demands that all of its employees model respect toward everyone in the community,” the email states. “Shalhevet acknowledges the courage of the individuals who came forward to disclose their concerns.”  

In an interview, Rabbi Segal said Dr. Weissman’s administrative roles would be “absorbed” but did not say by whom.

Rabbi Segal’s email said that he would be meeting with the entire student body the next morning at 8 a.m., and that after that, school counselor Esther R’bibo would be available “for students who wish to meet individually.”

Dr. Weissman teaches Advanced Jewish Philosophy, SAS History, Culture and Politics of Israel as well as Advanced Bible Studies. (SAS stands for Shalhevet Advanced Studies.)

He has been a member of Shalhevet’s faculty since 2009. He began as a Judaic Studies teacher and became principal in 2013 after having been Judaic Studies Director, a position which no longer exists.

As principal, he oversaw Judaic and General Studies and many other departments, including co-curriculars, Student Support, discipline, and student activities.  In 2017, he was named Assistant Head of School.

Working with Rabbi David Stein, who had been his roommate at Yeshiva University, he created the pioneering Lahav Talmud curriculum, which organizes the learning of Gemara by subject instead of by book or by tractate.

Lahav started as an experimental class and has since grown into an award-winning four-year curriculum, Rabbi Stein said in an interview last year. It has spread to several Jewish day schools around the world, including SAR (Salanter-Akiba-Riverdale) Academy in Riverdale, N.Y., and the AMIT school system in Israel, among others, the Boiling Point reported in 2016.

But possibly his most lasting impact on the student body was his involvement as a teacher. Dr. Weissman begins all of his classes with either Hasidic music or uplifting orchestral music. He is known for challenging students’ critical thinking skills, as well as giving them funny nicknames and having many inside jokes with them.

His grades range from an A to a B to “not yet” on assessments. This gives students the opportunity to revise their work to earn a better grade.

In an interview today before the news was known, Dr. Weissman mentioned that he had created the LaHav Talmud curriculum first, beginning nine years ago, then adding the Tanach curriculum, then the Jewish Philosophy curriculum.

In 2014 he began working on his doctorate at USC, where he then spent two years writing a dissertation on Israel education. That work culminated in the debut of LaHav’s Israel education curriculum, being used at Shalhevet now.

For many years, Dr. Noam Weissman was a staple of the Poland-Israel experience all 12th-graders go on at the end of senior year.  

His wife, Ms. Raizie Weissman, was Student Activities Director for most of that time, becoming Development Coordinator this year.  She is currently on maternity leave.

Shalhevet’s Judaic Studies faculty and upper administration have undergone a lot of turnover as Shalhevet transitioned from the old building to the new one, and Dr. Weissman remained a prominent member of the Judaic faculty and administration amidst these numerous changes.

The email did not say what Dr. Weissman’s next steps would be, or what the school’s plan is.

In a message to the Boiling Point, Dr. Weissman commented on his departure, expressing his gratitude for his experience at Shalhevet as well as his sadness at the circumstances.

“Around 10 years ago, Raizie and I graduated college, moved from our childhood homes on the East Coast to Los Angeles, and began our work at this incredible school,” Dr. Weissman wrote. “We only planned to stay for a year, a quick detour on our life journey—but before we knew it, Shalhevet became our home. Shalhevet became our family.

“It has been the great joy and honor of my life to teach Torah to the extraordinary students of Shalhevet High School. I’m focusing on these next six months during which I get to continue working with our faculty and learning with my cherished students. Although I am saddened by the circumstances of my departure, it’s important that our Shalhevet family understand that we love this school with all of our hearts and will continue to look forward to its many successes.”

Rabbi Segal said he hoped the Shalhevet community would respect Dr. Weissman’s privacy.

“We have no comment beyond the statement,” Rabbi Segal wrote in a message to the Boiling Point. “We kindly request that everyone respect the privacy of all parties involved.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

One Response to “Dr. Weissman not returning next year”

  1. Yishai Thau on January 9th, 2018 9:39 pm

    It’s extremely difficult to know how to feel about this because everyone is being kept in the dark. Some people tell me that they still love him and think he is an exceptional human being. Others choose not to share and tell us that it is none of our business. It really is our business though, because the entire message our school promotes is free speech. So when you don’t allow us to see what’s actually happened, you’re pushing a one-sided agenda. Please eventually tell the students what happened, so that each of us on an individual basis can decide whether or not he should be remembered fondly.

    [Reply]

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




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Dr. Weissman not returning next year

    Community

    An uncensored Ben Shapiro explains controversial views at first YAF event

  • Dr. Weissman not returning next year

    Community

    ‘Strategic shuffling’ and new staff member will cover roles of former principal, Rabbi Segal announces

  • Dr. Weissman not returning next year

    Community

    Rabbi Segal tells assembly to focus on moving forward on ‘a cloudy day’

  • Dr. Weissman not returning next year

    Community

    District winner of Congressional App Challenge is Shalhevet freshman

  • Dr. Weissman not returning next year

    Community

    I’ll have the caprese: New student-tended rooftop garden offers herbs to pick, vegetables for sale

  • Dr. Weissman not returning next year

    Community

    Former Apple Store ‘genius’ is new director of technology

  • Dr. Weissman not returning next year

    Community

    Tech head Robie Gruenfeld, smiling presence who was ‘tight with students’, leaves after three years

  • Dr. Weissman not returning next year

    Community

    9 awards at Princeton Model Congress

  • Dr. Weissman not returning next year

    Community

    Sunday SAT now being given at Shalhevet

  • Dr. Weissman not returning next year

    Community

    PAGE 3: Where feelings go too far

Shalhevet news online: When we know it, you'll know it
Dr. Weissman not returning next year