Our Stories

Temple Sinai: Elevating Skills and Creating Opportunities for Their Educators

By Deb Massey, Senior Educator, Jewish LearningWorks.

This year, three members of the team at Oakland’s Temple Sinai are participating in Jewish LearningWorks’ Bay Area Mentor Program – Rabbi Daniel Freedman, Rabbi Julie Bresler and Dalya Azoulai. Modeling that we are all life-long learners, these professionals have made a commitment to meet 1:1 with their mentor over the course of several months, and to take the time to reflect on their work and strengthen their skills to elevate their craft and better serve their community.

Read below to get a glimpse into how professional mentorship can serve as a personalized professional development path, for both the mentor and the mentee.

From Rabbi Julie Bressler, mentored by Jonathan Emanuel:

I’ve appreciated being in the mentor program as an opportunity to build connections with a seasoned educator in the Bay Area. In our meetings, we have troubleshooted challenges, shared successes, and learned from one another as we both began new roles. I appreciate getting to learn from someone who has been in this field for many years and can share more about the Bay Area landscape with me.

From Rabbi Daniel Freedman, mentored by Samara Leader:

The mentor program has provided me with an important opportunity to reflect openly and honestly. My mentor helps me to organize my thoughts, to think through challenges and come up with some solutions that I can try to implement. Sometimes, I am already doing the necessary work and my mentor helps me to see that.

From Dalya Azoulai, mentored by Rick Concoff:

I am hoping that participating in the Bay Area Mentor Program will support my work through learning creative ideas from my mentor on outreach and engagement, working with teens, and overall expanding on our programs. I hope to gain an experienced perspective on all areas of the job and taking on more responsibilities from working with my mentor. I am very excited for this mentorship opportunity as my role at Temple Sinai blends many of my previous work experiences; however, in a new way for me, and guidance along the way is invaluable!