David GoldfischerRabbi David Goldfischer, who received semicha (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS, began teaching Chumash and Talmud at the Frisch School in 2005. In 2010 became Director of Student Activities, and this year he also began to serve as Senior Grade Dean and Israel Guidance Counselor. At times, he has regretted not pursuing a graduate degree in Jewish studies. His wife, Yael, had earned her Master’s degree in medieval Jewish history at Revel (see accompanying Revel alum/student profile), and David often would read her graduate school text books with great interest. He also came to recognize how important it was to have a teacher to guide him in his quest for deeper knowledge of the scholarly topics of his interest. After seven years of teaching, David felt compelled to gain new perspectives by re-experiencing the other side of the teacher’s desk and expanding his intellectual horizons. Shortly after Yael returned to pursue her second Master’s degree at Revel, David followed suit.

David chose Modern Jewish History as his concentration and finds his Revel classes deeply engaging. As an undergraduate majoring in English Literature, he was always intrigued with the ways that people have contributed to the shaping of their environment throughout the ages—and graduate study of Jewish History allows him to investigate this possibility in an area of critical interest to our heritage. While at first David assumed he would gravitate toward Eastern European history and Chassidim, he actually found himself fascinated by a large range of topics offered at Revel. He is now fully engaged in the course he’s taking with Professor Perelis on Sephardic Jews in the New World—which prompts him to remark: “There is so much I need to know that I never realized I had been missing.”

The classes that David himself teaches at Frisch also benefit from his return to studies at Revel. As far back as he can David and Yael Goldfischerremember David has aspired to teach Judaic Studies and share what he has learned with students in a classroom. Talmud is his favorite subject to teach because he loves the methodology it involves. He likes to “show students the rich conceptual underpinnings of different Talmudic passages. Through the exciting analysis of the different Talmudic positions and a volley of back and forth arguments with the students, the Torah becomes a living breathing document.”  This dynamic is greatly enhanced by the new perspectives that David’s Revel studies has given him, which seeps into his high school teaching.  For instance, although Sephardic Atlantic History is not directly related to his Talmud classes, David now often finds himself drawing from the methods of analysis and higher thinking that Professor Perelis presents while he teaches and interacts with his own students. In his words, “teaching at Frisch is thoroughly satisfying. The students are an incredible group of kind, united, sincere individuals with a thirst to learn.  As a teacher and mentor, I just want to spend time listening to their questions and answers about life and watching them develop.”  This endeavor is enriched by David’s own desire to continue to develop as a scholar.

This article was written by Rivka Skaist (Revel MA student, Jewish Philosophy)

 

 

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