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November 11, 2021 33 min

Rabbi Benjy Owen has served as Head of School of Margolin Hebrew Academy-Feinstone Yeshiva of the South in Memphis, TN since 2015. During his tenure, this PreK-12th grade Day School and High School Dormitory institution has experienced significant growth in enrollment and has conducted a major building campaign and campus renovation effort. The school has a strong and cohesive community. Prior to moving to Memphis, Rabbi Owen was a faculty member of Northwest Yeshiva High School in Seattle, WA for 19 years-serving of Dean of Judaic Studies and Assistant Head of School for many of those years. He has served as interim rabbi and Scholar-in-Residence at Seattle’s Congregation Ezra Bessaroth and was the director of the Pacific Northwest’s Sephardic Adventure Camp. He will return to Seattle to serve as Head of School at the Seattle Hebrew Academy in the Summer of 2022. 

Gems:

  • Be open to opportunities.
  • The impact of education is awesome!
  • Creating a Jewish Identity is the biggest thing we can do.
  • Help students open up to create an identity around Torah and learning.
  • Modeling is the primary mechanism to influence students: how to learn, how to behave, critical thinking, etc.
  • Answer the questions of your students at their level.
  • There is nothing wrong with saying you will think about it and get back to them.
  • Education is not indoctrination.
  • Teach our students to be open to thinking, open to Torah, and allow them to develop the frame of mind of Torah. 
  • Torah sells itself!
  • Have high expectations for students regarding growth.
  • Must be a partnership between school and the parents.
  • Engage in difficult conversations respectfully.
  • Students think differently; they grow and evolve.
  • Figure out how to present Torah to your students.
  • Watch for little cues.
  • Find a mentor who can give you feedback.
  • Connect Torah with each generation.
  • Build and foster Jewish community.
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