Everyone’s favorite teacher, Rabbi Ney, sat down with The Warrior Word to talk about his roots, his road from finance to teaching, and his views on social media.
Sarina Abramowitz: Where have you lived and where were you born?
Rabbi Ney: I was born and raised in Edison, New Jersey
S: What high school did you go to?
R.Ney: I went to Hillel High School in Deal, New Jersey where I met one of my closest friends David Sher, cousin of Anna Sher.
S: Cool! What sports teams were you on in high school?
R.Ney: I was on the basketball team, the hockey team, and while we had one for two years, the wrestling team.
S: Interesting. What is your most memorable high school moment?
R. Ney: My most memorable high school moment was going on the March of the Living, and singing Acheinu in the concentration camps in Birkenau.
S: Oh wow. Where did you get your smicha?
R.Ney: Yeshiva University.
S: What inspired you to become a rabbi?
R.Ney: I had a very influential rabbi in my life when I was in Israel. He told me from day one that I should pursue teaching and a career in education. I kept up with him after I left Israel for years, even on into my working career in finance, and he kept insisting that it would be the best thing for me. I eventually realized I should listen to him. The rest is history.
S: That goes into the next question. Were you always involved in education, and what made you decide to get involved?
R. Ney: What made me decide to get involved with the youth was, realizing there is nothing more important than their young, impressionable minds. They are the future of the world, the future of the Jewish people. I realized that any role I could try to play in giving them a positive and meaningful religious would be beneficial to not only them, but to myself as well.
S: Let’s shift gears. What is your opinion of teens on today’s social media, from the perspective of someone who did not grow up with such advanced technology?
R.Ney: I think social media is dangerous, but like anything else in the world, it can be used for tremendous good and for the latter. The problem is that teenagers as a group are not emotionally mature enough to deal with the power that it presents. When you’re angry in under a second, you can send out a tweet or post on Instagram, and you might really regret doing it 90 seconds later. Once it’s there, it is there forever and it can never be taken down. Friendships can be ruined, classes can be divided; all because you have the ability to post something and have it be there the second you want it to be: instant gratification.
S: My last question, is all about your family now. What is your family life like now, and how many kids do you have?
R.Ney: I have four kids, 12 to 4 1/2 . I have an amazing amazing wife, and I feel very grateful that God has been very good to me.
S: Okay awesome. Thank you!
By: Sarina Abramowitz (12th grade)