Today’s MTA Chanukah Light is Parent, Mrs. Meital Teitelman, mother of Yehuda (‘22).  A Dean’s List graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University and a graduate of Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Mrs. Teitelman chose to pursue her passion for education after practicing law for several years.  She is currently the General Studies Principal at Tenafly Chabad Academy, as well as the Biological and Physical Sciences teacher. “Before starting law school, I had the opportunity to teach. In my first year, I taught a class of girls, many of whom were daughters of immigrants or were new immigrants themselves.  One of those girls had just arrived to the US from Iran and often complained that she ‘just couldn’t do it’ and that school was too hard, especially with having to learn a new language. I kept encouraging her, telling her that with hard work and persistence, she could achieve more than she could conceive. I even shared my personal story of academic perseverance after moving to the US from Israel with my family when I was 14.  Years later, I was at the park when a young lady came over to me and asked if I was Ms. Cnaan. I smiled as I tried to place her familiar eyes from the past, knowing that she addressed me by my maiden name. She told me I was her Sixth Grade teacher when she moved to America and had a hard time in school. She proudly let me know that she was now an Honors student at NYU because I believed in her and inspired her to work hard. As someone who was deeply inspired by my own teachers and rabbis, it felt amazing to realize the impact I had on one of my first students.  I knew that I wanted to continue helping more students realize that challenges are not an excuse for giving up, rather they are the fuel we need to pursue our goals with more determination. Living a Torah life expands our horizons and enables us to achieve goals that are beyond the imaginable. Whatever it is that our students choose to pursue, they should do it proudly and with profound kindness, while also being a true light to everyone around them. As a parent, I hope that Yehuda absorbs the palpable passion for Torah and intellectual pursuits around him. He has both of these treasures right at his fingertips at MTA.  Every time my husband and I visit MTA and see his rebbeim and teachers, we are invigorated and excited about the opportunities and possibilities that are available to Yehuda everywhere he turns. We hope that Yehuda soaks up every bit of inspiration, enthusiasm, and great sources of light that he is exposed to here at MTA.” Thank you, Mrs. Teitelman, for inspiring the young minds around you and for lighting the way for Jewish educators with your incredible passion.

 

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