Chana Grauman, (pictured), a Hebrew and Jewish studies teacher at Kesser Torah College, retired last week after a 55-year teaching career.
Beginning her teaching career at King David Victory Park in Johannesburg, South Africa, Grauman began teaching at Masada College when she moved to Sydney with her family.
She subsequently worked at Moriah College, before taking up a position in 2015 at Kesser Torah College, where she has taught Hebrew and Jewish Studies.
“I am very passionate about both subjects, Hebrew and Jewish studies, instilling Judaism and Yiddishkeit into the children, and I’m very passionate about my language which is Hebrew, and I really encouraged the children as much as I could to learn it,” Grauman told The AJN.
Grauman said she most enjoyed witnessing her students’ engaging with the language and discovering more about their heritage.
“The response of the students and how they responded, especially to the Hebrew language, and to hear their opinion of why it is important to learn Hebrew … it’s really fascinating to hear their ideas and their thoughts,” she said.
“Most of the kids did find it interesting and did want to learn, and lots of them took Hebrew for HSC, which was really terrific.”
She has taught multiple generations of children Hebrew; some of Grauman’s students are the children of students she taught in South Africa and Australia.
Kesser Torah principal Rabbi Yaacov Chaiton said, “The world has changed a lot in the last 55 years but Chana’s unwavering consistency, dedication and care for each one of her students has remained constant.
“With a deep passion for her subject, Chana has inspired generations of students with a love for Ivrit and a pride in their Judaism. We are truly indebted to this unsung hero of our community!”
“Kesser Torah is growing … It’s a small school, the teachers are amazing and really dedicated, and everything about the school made it very rewarding to teach there,” Grauman reflected.
Grauman said she hoped children would continue to understand the value and importance of studying Hebrew, and remaining connected to their culture, long into the future.
“I want to encourage the children to continue studying, to continue learning about their heritage, their religion, and the past, the present and the future, and to think about Hebrew as part of our culture, the thing the Torah and our prayers are written in … That’s the message I would like to give to the children.”