Recipient: Chaim Klein
Number of years teaching: 1969 to 76—taught in Montreal, for 20 years he was in business, returned to teaching in 1996
Grades: high school
Subject: Jewish ethics, Bible, Rabbinical literature, Jewish history and special ed.
Family: married with 3 children and 4.5 grandchildren
Inspiration/Motivation for being a Teacher of Excellence:
Chaim sites the crappy education he received as his motivation for teaching with excellence. He swore that his students would never undergo the meaningless and uninspiring education he had. Also, in the sixties it appeared that a teacher could save the world AND have summers off!!
A quote by Neil Postman inspires Chaim to bring value and meaning to Jewish studies that will lead to his students having meaningful lives for themselves and their children. Postman said, “The only thing of real value a teacher can give is to train kids to think critically and to know that the way society is, is unacceptable.”
Chaim’s nomination came from a group of students. One student wrote: When I walked into my first grade 11 rabbinics class, I was given the honour of sitting before a true gentleman: a pious and humble man who had a natural talent of serving the wisdom of Judaism to a starving generation. Mr. Klein opened my heart and soul to a lost world within me…He taught not by telling me what to think, but how to think. He flowered me with articles and books. He opened up debates in political, social and economical issues…Mr. Chaim Klein was wrapped by Hashem with endless warmth and love.