This week, the Warrior Word sat down with Rabbi Zweig, a new Judaics teacher at the school. Get to know him as he talks about his childhood dream career, how he spent his time during quarantine, and his hobbies.
Tziyona Gheblikian: Where were you born and raised?
Rabbi Zweig: Miami Beach, Florida.
TG: Which classes do you teach here?
RZ: I teach 9th grade boys Chumash, and 12th grade boys Chumash. And then 10th and 11th honors Gemara.
TG: How long have you been teaching here for?
RZ: I came last week [2 weeks ago], and I’m just getting to know everyone; starting to learn everyone’s names and learn about them. I’m really still just adjusting, but so far it’s been a very positive experience. I’m very impressed.
TG: Is this your first teaching experience?
RZ: No. I have taught before with high school boys. This is different. But so far, I am quite impressed with the respect that the students have, and with their enthusiasm, and overall their behavior—except for a few.
TG: What was your dream career as a child?
RZ: I always wanted to be a private detective.
TG: How did you end up becoming a teacher?
RZ: I realized that my passion, as I grew older, was more in terms of Jewish education. While I’m always interested in spies and things like that, I realized that first of all, that’s not really a future for someone who wants to have a Jewish family life. It can be very dangerous—and exciting—so teaching is a bit calmer and safer, hopefully.
TG: What do you hope to accomplish with your students this year?
RZ: Again, I’m really coming from a different level of students in my past. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what my students will be capable of. Of course, the idea is to give them the skills that they should have now. So in terms of reading the text, understanding it, and then using their heads to really question what they’re learning, and try to get a deep understanding of it—that would be the ideal. And again, I don’t know exactly what levels they’re up to, but definitely make sure that they get to where they can be, and hopefully even one notch above that.
TG: So during quarantine, did you take on any new skills or engage in any new activities? A lot of people were unsure of what to do with all of the extra time on their hands, so did you do anything with that time?
RZ: During quarantine, I spent a lot of time with my twin boys who were home. They are one years old. That kind of didn’t leave so much extra time for other pursuits.
TG: Are your twins identical?
RZ: They are fraternal.
TG: That’s so cute!
RZ: Lots of people think that they look very similar, but once you get to know them, they’re completely different.
TG: What are your hobbies?
RZ: I like to read. I love reading. I like playing volleyball, although I haven’t been able to play for a long time. I like hockey, and I like word games.
TG: Do you speak any other languages?
RZ: Not well. Not fluently. I’m trying to learn Hebrew some more.
TG: What’s your favorite food?
RZ: My students asked me this already. I didn’t bother giving them a response because it was during class. But to you, I don’t mind. What’s my favorite food? Macaroni and cheese.
TG: If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
RZ: Responsible, nice, and caring.
TG: Do you have any hidden talents, or something that not many people know about you?
RZ: I do a lot of reading the Torah. I read the Torah in shul every Shabbat, and I also read the Megillah on Purim. I also teach how to read the Torah to Bar Mitzvah boys, and I used to juggle.
By Tziyona Gheblikian (12th grade)