Avi Weber: The Chinuch Path
“My goal is to enable the kids to develop their own strong convictions about an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle—for them to feel a connection to Torah, and for them to be proud to be Jewish, wherever they are.”
“My number one motivation for becoming a high school rebbe was to be there for my students,” begins Rabbi Avi Weber, LCM ‘09, a high school rebbe who teaches at the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR). “I understand a lot of the challenges they’re going through—I mean, I literally sat in these desks when I was in high school not so long ago.”
He chose LCM, after he returned from yeshiva in Israel, to ensure that the spiritual growth he had developed wouldn’t be compromised while he went to college. “The time frame between a guy coming home from yeshiva in Israel and his marriage and career is a very, very critical time period,” he states. “Lander [College for Men] was an unbelievable bridge to make that move from Israel to career. When I got to LCM, it was very clear that I wasn’t going to have to struggle to maintain my beliefs. On the contrary, my beliefs were going to be enhanced.”
As an LCM freshman, he started out as an accounting major. “I always had a passion for teaching and high school kids, but I never had the guts to go through with that career path,” he says. With the help of his rebbeim, though, he switched his career trajectory to Chinuch after completing his accounting degree. He began his master’s from Touro’s Graduate School of Jewish Studies shortly thereafter, and received semicha from Beis Medrash L’Talmud in 2014.
Now, he teaches gemara, chumash, navi, and Halacha for grades nine through twelve at HAFTR; and on Shabbosim, he runs the teen programs at Young Israel of Woodmere. He couldn’t have asked for more fulfilling positions. “My goal is to enable the kids to develop their own strong convictions about an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle—for them to feel a connection to Torah, and for them to be proud to be Jewish, wherever they are.”
This is Rabbi Avi Weber’s story.