This week, the Warrior Word sat down with Rabbi Manne, a new Judaics teacher at Hebrew Academy. Get to know him as he talks about his hobbies, his love for teaching, and what he was like in high school.
Yosef Fruhman: So Rabbi, where are you from?
Rabbi Manne: I’m from Brooklyn, New York. Flatbush, on the old streets of Brooklyn. Small town.
YF: Where did you go to school?
RM: I went to various schools throughout my career, but I finished highschool at YFR, Yeshiva of Far Rockaway. I then went to Israel. I was in Yeshiva Merkaz HaTorah in Talpiot, Yerushalayim for roughly three years, then I spent four years in the Mir Yeshiva in Israel as well.
YF: So what were you like as a student in high school?
RM: What was I like? That’s a very good question. I didn’t do anything. I was a lazy student. I liked to have a good time, but I honestly did not do too much. I did just enough to get by, that was my motto, which worked. It got me through high school.
YF: It got you where you are now.
RM: That’s not what got me where I am now.
YF: So Rabbi, where are you living now?
RM: I live in Tower 41, which is awesome, because it is a Jewish world unto itself. It’s got a kosher restaurant, we have a shul in the building, and it’s about a four minute drive from here as well, which makes it awesome.
YF: Nice. How long have you lived in the Miami area for?
RM: Three and a half years.
YF: What brought you down here?
RM: My wife is from here.
YF: Oh, wow.
RM: My wife was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida, on 42nd street.
YF: Have you taught anywhere before here?
RM: I did. I taught in the Mechina by Rabbi Zweig’s Yeshiva, which is on Alton and 41st, and I’ve given a lot of classes throughout the years. I have a steady class of, not teenagers, but actually older people.
YF: Did you always want to teach since you were a kid, or is it something you discovered later?
RM: Nope, it’s something I kind of stumbled into. If you had asked me when I was a teenager if I would be teaching, I would say absolutely not. I was going to be a doctor or something.
YF: Like a good Jewish boy.
RM: Yes, a good Jewish boy. I was going to be a doctor, but something I discovered later on in life is the joy of being able to share information with other people. You see that they comprehend what you are giving over. It’s a very rewarding experience, and a worthwhile endeavor.
YF: So what made you choose Hebrew Academy?
RM: I also kind of stumbled into that. I was looking around for something a little more permanent, and Rabbi Stein, who was here last year, said, “Hey, they’re looking for someone in the Academy.” So I said, “Great.” There’s plenty of opportunity here, and since getting here, it has only reinforced that.
YF: You’re liking it so far?
RM: It’s been amazing so far. You guys don’t get to see what goes on behind the scenes, but the staff is very hardworking. And I’m not speaking about myself, but all the others, and they’re very helpful. The student body is tremendous and really nice, and it’s been great so far.
YF: What do you like to do outside of school, Rabbi?
RM: So my main hobby is that I like to play basketball. I do other exercises as well, like weight-lifting. I take care of my children, and that’s turned into a hobby; chasing them around. I have two little children, beautiful children, thank G-d, and chasing after them is the rest of my free time.
YF: Thank you, Rabbi.