Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
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The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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Photos+from+cesjds.org
Photos from cesjds.org

For years, the sight of Talmud teacher Rabbi Benjamin Barer with a Tanakh, history teacher Matt Cohen coaching or English teacher Allison Davison at writing center was common and expected. But starting next year that will no longer be true, because neither Barer, Cohen or Davison will be returning to CESJDS.

Barer has been working at JDS since 2019 and has taught dozens of students over the years. One of the classes Barer teaches is Politics in the Age of Kings (PAK), which Barer approaches with a unique and particular style of teaching. Sophomore Hadriel Dayanim described his PAK class freshman year as being “phenomenal,” especially due to Barer’s ability to make students look at a text in different ways.

“[The class] is very mind opening and very very interesting,” Dayanim said. “I’ll really miss his thought provoking teaching and the way that he inspires his students to really dive deeper into their tradition and their Judaism and really understand the bigger picture of their [Jewish] identity.”

“There are amazing teachers here that devote everything they have to teaching, and 

“When I’m here I want to be a better teacher, and I think that’s what makes JDS so special.”

— Allison Davison

While Barer is leaving for personal reasons, Cohen is leaving because he feels like he has hit an end and is looking for something different.

For the past five years Cohen has worked as a teacher and coach at JDS, and in spite of him enjoying his time here he is ready for a change. While unsure of what he’ll be doing next, Cohen hopes to find something that will spark his passion and help him feel more fulfilled. Wherever Cohen ends up, he hopes to take JDS values with him.

“The value of kehillah and working collaboratively with the community has been something that I’ve really enjoyed about being here,” Cohen said. “Wherever I go I’ll work on that same thing: working to find the people that I want to be in a community with and build my own kehillah wherever I go.”

Like Cohen, Davison will miss all the students at JDS. Davison has appreciated the opportunities she has had to get to know different kids at the school. Over her years at JDS, starting in 2011, Davison has worked as an English teacher and college counselor. She has been working part time since 2016.

Davison is sad to leave, but is looking forward to having more flexibility in her days and more time to spend with her family. Davison’s plan for next year is to continue college counseling with students from MCPS and focus on her family. She hopes to return to JDS at some point in the future.

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Jordana Dauber
Jordana Dauber, Reporter

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