Ezra Academy: Passing the Baton

by Rachel Wiseman

Shalom New Haven Contributor

L’dor v’dor, from generation to generation, is a key concept in the Jewish tradition. Parents and teachers share insights and wisdom with children, and the children, in turn, grow up and impart that knowledge to the next generation. We are incredibly fortunate to see this beautiful mechanism in action this summer as Ezra Academy Head of School Dr. Melanie Waynik steps down to spend more time with her children and grandchildren, and one of Ezra’s own, alumnus Tani Cohen-Fraade, steps up to continue Dr. Waynik’s work.

The outstanding leadership Dr. Waynik has provided for the past decade was on full display this year. Making it possible for Ezra students to learn and play joyfully together full-time and in-person for the entire 2020-21 school year. Dr. Waynik’s many contributions to Ezra Academy also include the acclaimed social justice curriculum and the institution of multi-age classrooms which have enhanced teachers’ abilities to meet individual student needs.

Fortunately, Dr. Waynik’s successor shares her vision of Ezra Academy as a nurturing community that fosters academic excellence and Jewish values such as tikkun olam. Cohen-Fraade returns to our community from a career of teaching and leadership at Brooklyn’s Luria Academy, where he has been described as “the heart of the school.”

Over the course of the summer, Cohen-Fraade will be working closely with Dr. Waynik and Ezra faculty and staff to ensure a seamless and productive transition and the continuation of Ezra’s strengths in educating and caring for students and families. In the coming weeks and months, you will be hearing about opportunities to welcome and get to know Cohen-Fraade, as well as to honor the remarkable leadership that Dr. Waynik has provided to Ezra Academy over the past decade (culminating in next spring’s Gala celebration!)

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