In the summer of 2012, I joined the talented team at Robert M. Beren Academy (RMBA) in Houston, TX to help RMBA with recruitment, retention, and long term strategic planning. I am the chief Executive Officer and have the title of Executive Director.
Commuting each week from Boca to Houston each week, I am enjoying the Southern hospitality and sense of community. Miriam and I spend one Shabbat a month in Houston, each time in a different shul.
Houston is booming due to a unique combination of plentiful jobs and unbelievably affordable cheap housing ($200K for a 3000 sq ft home built in the 1980's in the frum community). The oil industry and the nation's largest medical center are fueling this quickly growing economy.
Beren Academy serves students from 18 months to 18 years old. I have learned so much about Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle School education. In addition to a traditional elementary education program, Beren runs parallel Montessori classes.
It is a challenge running a 43 year old school. What do you change? Why do they do things this way? Until now, the only school I have run is the one I started. It is an art, not a science, knowing what is appropriate for a particular school community and what needs to be brought up to date.
I write each week for the Beren Buzz, as I did for Yeshiva Highlites for a decade. On the website I will share these musings about education in 2012-2013.
Rabbi Perry Tirschwell