Jerusalem Anglo educators' replacement angers parents

“There was a very positive feeling toward Shuli,” said Tamar Benovitz, whose five daughters attend Tehilla-Evelina. “She was an inspirational religious figure for the girls.”

By SONIA EPSTEIN,
July 8, 2019 19:56
1 minute read.
First-grade pupils attend the first day of a school in Jerusalem on September 2

First-grade pupils attend the first day of a school in Jerusalem on September 2. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The principal of the Tehilla-Evelina de Rothschild Secondary School for girls is leaving next year, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 67, but she will not be replaced by parents’ top pick.

Parents expressed hopes that current middle school principal of Tehilla-Evelina, Shuli Rosenak-Isaacs, would succeed current principal Dr. Beverly Gribetz, and stated that Gribetz had been preparing Rosenak-Isaacs to take her place.

“As parents, we loved the ideology of Beverly and saw Shuli as the logical future leader of the school,” Talya Roth, a parent at the school, said. “Beverly believed in each girl, and tried to help her reach her potential.”

American-born Gribetz is the founding principal of the school. She is known in Jerusalem for fighting for the right of every girl to gain equal access to the highest quality education available. She was one of the first educators to push for girls to learn Talmud.

Rosenak-Isaacs has just finished her first year as the principal of Tehilla-Evelina’s middle school, and has also served as an educator and religious leader at the school.

“There was a very positive feeling toward Shuli,” said Tamar Benovitz, whose five daughters attend Tehilla-Evelina. “She was an inspirational religious figure for the girls.”

In a letter to parents on Sunday, the city introduced Hagit Barnea as the new principal.

“With Hagit as principal of the school, and Shuli as head of the middle school, the coordinators and teachers will together cooperate in this important process,” the letter explained.

Barnea previously served as the principal of the Pelech Ekron school, a peer school to Tehilla-Evelina that offers what has been described as a feminist religious education. She also founded the Noga Ulpan in Beit Shemesh.

“We have no doubt that together we will lead [the school] to successes and achievements as we did under Beverly’s management,” the letter continued.

Parents, however, worry about a turbulent transition.

A group of parents met with the Education Ministry to express their concerns, but they said the discussion had little impact; they received the letter with the appointment of the new principal on Sunday, a few days after the meeting.
   


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