New Tanakh teacher says the ‘bubble’ is a good thing

Mrs. Honig looks forward to making Judaism accessible to students


BP Photo by Maia Lefferman

PEOPLE: Mrs. Honig coniders herself a ‘people person’ and has also worked selling wigs and teaching people how to paint.

By Liad Machmali, Torah Editor

As someone who did not always connect to either Judaism or Jewish school but eventually fell in love with both, new Judaic Studies teacher Mrs. Natalie Honig looks forward to helping others find their own religious path. 

Mrs. Honig is teaching ninth-grade Tanakh and ninth-grade Tanakh skills.  

“I love Judaism — I think it’s so important,” Mrs. Honig said in an interview. “It’s a very hard thing to connect to, but once you connect, it’s like the most incredible thing ever.”

Growing up in Los Angeles, Mrs. Honig’s family did not keep all of the holidays or Shabbat but made sure to spend time together, she said. She called her family’s Jewish lifestyle “traditional.” 

She attended Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy and YULA Girls High School, followed by seminary at Michlelet Esther in Israel. She attended Stern College of Yeshiva University and graduated with a degree in accounting. 

Meanwhile, for a short period of time at the beginning of 12th grade, she took classes at Santa Monica College, leaving what she considered to be “the Jewish bubble.” That caused her to see Judaism and the community in a new light, she said. 

“You really don’t realize — being around Jewish kids and being in that ‘bubble’ is like the best thing ever,” Mrs. Honig said. “You don’t have to explain anything to anyone, they kind of just understand everything.”

She hopes to use her own experience and connection to seminary to help students find their own path to engage and build a relationship with God. 

“I love the idea that Shalhevet does not stuff it down your throat,” she said, “I just want kids to connect to it in a very nice, happy way, not negatively.”

Mrs. Honig lives in LA with her husband and two kids, a toddler age 2 and a four-month-old.

Earlier, she lived in Great Neck, N.Y., where she worked for two years at a wig store called Gali Wigs Couture. It supplied hairpieces for both sheitels (wigs for religious head covering), medical conditions or and other needs.

Before that, she spent a very short time working at an accounting firm.

“I’m a big people person so I didn’t like it, and that’s why I moved to the wigs,” she said, “It was like a chesed project. It wasn’t like ‘oh I need the money.’ You would have people who had cancer that needed a wig and so you would help them with their emotions.” 

Outside of school, Mrs. Honig enjoys painting and teaching others how to paint. She illustrates wedding portraits for couples who want a different background in their photo, such as the Kotel, and has taught various types of art to children, high school students and senior citizens. 

Mrs. Honig loves spending time with her kids and although she is sad to not see them as often, she is very excited to be a part of the Shalhevet family.

“I just love it,” she said. “I love being with kids — I love their energy.”