On Monday, January 7, at the Yeshiva University High Schools Annual Dinner of Tribute, Leah Moskovich, a member of YINR, was the recipient of the prestigious Ethel Dworetsky Morrow, z”l, Faculty Award. This distinguished award is given to an outstanding teacher who is known to inspire others, in the same way that Ethel Dworetsky Morrow, graduate of Brooklyn Central class of 1957, served as an inspiration to multitudes of people.
Moskovich, a graduate of Central in 2007, is the director of student activities, senior grade dean and teacher of Chumash and the senior Jewish ethics elective. She has been working at Central for many years, beginning while she was matriculating at Stern College for Women. While a senior at Stern, Moskovich served as a senior chaburah leader and traveled to Central every Friday to teach classes. In 2011, the year she graduated from Stern, she was hired as a Legacy Heritage Scholars Fellow at Central, teaching a sophomore Chumash class and assisting in student activities, while at the same time attending Azrieli Graduate School of Education. Currently a doctoral candidate in Azrieli, she is working toward her degree in Jewish administration.
Moskovich displays a blend of high intellectualism, the ability to inspire young women to learn and grow in their Torah learning and personal values while understanding the importance of having a good kumzitz at a shabbaton and having fun. At Central, her energy, dignity and engaging personality inspires students to emulate her attributes. A former camp counselor at Camp Morasha and a leader of NCSY Michlelet Summer Program, she has also served as director of NCSY GIVE WEST for several summers. She loves traveling, especially to Israel, where she enjoys new adventures and reunites with Central alumnae living in Israel.
When discussing her love of teaching at Central, Moskovich explained, “The students are amazing. They are excited about learning…they crave positive role models and relationships. I love my colleagues; they have been incredibly supportive, helpful and inspirational. I love coming to work because it’s a happy place. Everyone in Central has a growth mindset…it’s a place of growth, dreams, and a place where dreams become reality.”
Abby Lerner, a well-respected teacher and Torah lecturer, has been teaching Women in Jewish Law at Central since 1988 and also served as director of admissions. She is the national director of conversion services at the RCA, teaching several classes a week. Lerner is the sister of Ethel Dworetsky Morrow, z”l. “Ethel was larger than life. She loved Central and she would have been crazy about Leah! She deeply appreciated great teachers…learning excited her. If she was in the room you knew it! She was unbelievably funny and smart and not afraid to speak her mind.”
Discussing Moskovich receiving the award, Lerner said, “Leah is a perfect recipient. She loves what she does, loves her teaching, is simply great at it and is cool under fire. The girls love her because she listens, makes eye contact and respects them for who they are. So like Ethel!” Lerner continued, “Leah is a young woman of tremendous dignity and tremendous commitment to Yiddishkeit. We speak together on important issues, and I am always impressed with how in touch she is with herself and the maturity with which she handles challenges. Ethel would have been so proud of her and proud that her name is now associated with Leah.”
Moskovich is quick to extend credit to the many positive role models in her life. She acknowledged her parents for the values they instilled in her as they participated in their own religious growth and the emphasis they placed on being a part of a growing, religious community. She is grateful to “two critical role models for me,” at Central, Russi Fried and Lerner. She thanks her students who “teach me daily about current teenage life and help me stay connected and relatable.”
CB Neugroschl, head of school at Central, praised Moskovich and said, “Leah Moskovich is much more than just a talented teacher. As a Judaic studies teacher and as the director of our student activities, Leah inspires all of us to treasure the myriad opportunities we have every day to grow in our avodat Hashem. Whether in the classroom poring over Torah texts with her students, or sitting together with a team of experiential educators planning programs that push our students to grow, Leah’s values, methodology and vision exemplify b’chol derakhekha da’ehu—striving to serve Hashem in all that we do. Leah has brought passion, professionalism and an extremely sensitive personal touch to her relationships here at Central—we are all inspired by her.”
By Yvette Finkelstein