Chicagoland Jewish High School selected to have 2012-2013 SREL Fellow Rabbi Zach Silver

Chicagoland Jewish High School selected as recipient of 2012-13 Schechter Residency in Educational Leadership Fellowship

Rabbi Zach Silver hired as school rabbi as part of fellowship

NEW YORK –The Schechter Day School Network at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) is proud to announce that Chicagoland Jewish High School has been selected as the 2012-13 site for the Schechter Residency in Educational Leadership (SREL). The endowed annual fellowship provides a grant to one Schechter school per year to hire a recently ordained Conservative rabbi to work in the school. The residency program is the result of an anonymous donation to the USCJ intended to strengthen Judaic leadership in Solomon Schechter Schools. This year marks a noteworthy milestone for the SREL with the appointment of the 10th rabbinic fellow.

Chicagoland Jewish High School was selected because of its demonstrated plan for providing a diversified professional experience and for mentoring the new school rabbi. The grant is renewable for an additional two years so that there are three Fellows at different Schechter schools in any given school year

Chicagoland Jewish High School has hired Rabbi Zach Silver, who will be ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in May, as Rav Beit Sefer (School Rabbi). Silver brings a deep academic interest in American Jewish identity formation, which he has cultivated across each of the contexts in which he has taught. He served on staff at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin for seven years and most recently served as the founding director for the Ramah alumni effort, KikarBa’Ir. He is particularly proud of creating and directing the camp’s10thgrade (Machon) curriculum and weeklong trip to Iowa, in which students explore American Jewish identity in a multi-vocal world. During rabbinical school, Silver served as a group leader for a high school American Jewish World Service trip to Uganda, where he facilitated a service and educational experiencedevoted to engaging students in issues of global responsibility. Most recently, he served as the rabbi at Congregation Temple Emanu-El in Reno, Nevada, where he cultivated a culture of song in Shabbat services and fostered exploration and learning around issues of Jewish belief.

Silver joins a distinguished cohort of rabbis who are having a powerful impact on school culture and the quality of Jewish life and learning in Schechter schools in all the communities where they serve or have served with distinction. Current fellows are Rabbi Fred Elias, SSDS of Bergen County, New Milford, N.J.; Rabbi Eve Posen, Ann and Nate Levine Academy in Dallas, Texas; and Rabbi Micah Liben, the Kellman Brown Academy in Voorhees, N.J.

Past SREL fellows and the schools where they served are Rabbi Amanda Brodie, Ezra Academy, Woodbridge, Ct.; Rabbi Sheryl Katzman, SSDS of Metropolitan Chicago; Rabbi Shawn SimonHazani; Perelman Jewish Day School, Philadelphia, Penn.; Rabbi Matthew Bellas, The Brandeis School, Lawrence, N.Y.; Rabbi Harry Pell, Solomon Schechter School of Westchester; and Rabbi Moshe Schwartz, Schechter High School of Nassau County. These rabbis continue to make their mark as leaders in Jewish education in numerous ways. As an example, Schwartz currently serves as the Head of School of Kellman Brown Academy and SimonHazani has assumed a national role in planning professional development for rabbinics teachers, including this year’s pilot program with Yeshivat Hadar.