Recipient: Idit Zehavi
Number of years teaching: 10
School: CHAT - Richmond Hill Campus
Subject: Jewish Studies
Inspiration/Motivation for being a Teacher of Excellence:
Idit describes teaching as “being close to the students.” She knows the importance of being on their level, of building relationships with them, of knowing them as a whole person not just as a student. She does this by spending lots of time outside of class with her students, by being open to all questions, by being involved in their lives, and by helping them learn to think by themselves.
Idit’s five years at CHAT are coming to an end. She describes her experience as very different from the Israeli system. For her and her husband, it has been amazing. They see how important it is for people here to keep up the Jewish tradition and sees the sacrifices they make to do this. She encourages the Jewish community to continue to encourage students to pursue the learning of Jewish traditions.
Idit’s nomination came from one of her students. Lory wrote:
To me, the definition of a good teacher is one who challenges students to reach above and beyond, while being supportive and encouraging. However, Idit Zehavi extends this definition beyond the classroom. She is not simply an educator, but she is a superb role model. She actually lives what she teaches. A student can tell that she enjoys her job, and this is exhibited through her passionate attitude while teaching. Even with her demanding family and communal life, she always manages to find time to help students. Her door is always open, and she is always ready and willing to accept guests, often many at a time. Most importantly, her students know that if they ever have a problem, she is the one who will be there to offer advice.
I am constantly encouraged by her dedication to Israel. Mrs. Zehavi left Israel, left her family, and came to Canada to make a difference. She has touched many lives. She has instilled within me values that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.