Students and faculty at the Jewish Educational Center’s Rav Teitz Mesivta Academy in Elizabeth had a chance to meet their next principal on Feb 19.
Rabbi Peretz Hochbaum will succeed current principal Chanie Moskowitz when she steps down in June.
Moskowitz announced a few months ago that she would be leaving the boys’ high school at the end of the academic year. She has been with RTMA for 17 years, including almost five as principal.
Hochbaum comes to the position after serving since 2010 as founding director of Camp Kaylie, an integrated camp for children of all abilities, in Brooklyn/Wurtsboro, NY. Before that he served as a teacher, and then as principal or dean at a number of leading yeshiva day schools, including Hebrew Yavneh Academy in Paramus and, in New York, Rambam Mesivta in Lawrence and Hebrew Academy of Nassau County.
Hochbaum earned his BA in political science, and an MS in Jewish education from Yeshiva University, where he received his rabbinic ordination at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and did his doctoral studies in educational leadership at American University in Washington, DC. He has had extensive involvement in school accreditation programs in New York, New Jersey, and Virginia and has lectured at educational conferences in the United States and Israel. He has also taught at the YU School of Education’s Azrieli Graduate Institute.
Summing up his educational philosophy, in a statement issued by the JEC, Hochbaum said, “Hinuch [education] is not just something that I do; it is intrinsically part of who and what I am.”
He went on to say, “Ours must be a system that encourages creativity and individualism even while we establish standards and benchmarks for measuring success. And when setting those standards, we must be sure to remember that there are numerous ways for children to shine.”
In a news release, JEC dean Rabbi Elazar M. Teitz and his son, associate dean Rabbi Eliyahu Teitz, said of Hochbaum, “His creative vision, notable expertise, and commitment to academic excellence and modern Torah ideals will be a natural fit and welcome addition to our JEC family.”
They also thanked Moskowitz “for her years of exemplary dedication and outstanding service. Under her administration, the boys have achieved impressive results academically and on the international stage. Her contributions to the school have left a positive mark on the students she educated, the faculty members she worked with, and on the institution as a whole.”