Recipient: Avichai Zehavi
Number of years teaching: 10, only 2nd in Canada, came to Canada from Israel and expects to be here for 3 or 4 years
School: Chat Richmond Hill
Grades: 9, 10
Subject: Jewish studies—Talmud, Rabbinics
Talmud is his favourite subject as it is touching pure logic. “It is like putting hands into the minds of the students.”
Family: Married with 2 daughters and a six month old son
Inspiration/Motivation for being a Teacher of Excellence:
Avichai sites two motivations for being a teacher of excellence. First, to be a true and honest man with his students. He says, “if they feel you are not fair, they won’t follow, but if they see me as a respected man they will follow in my steps.
Secondly, as a Jew, his belief is that we are here for a reason—that we are given talents to fulfill our task. Avichai believes that he has the ability to motivate students and to teach.
Avichai’s nomination came from one of his students. Aaron wrote: “He has taught many things in Judaism that other teachers wouldn’t discuss. He has showed us the place of the Jew in the world, he has shown us our responsibility as Jews. He encourages thinking in his classroom, not simply spitting back information. He teacher people how to be better moralists, how to do the right thing. He is also funny, captivating, and a great person to be around. He has made a difference in every students life, especially mine.”