Emanuel School’s new head of Jewish Life Adina Roth has reflected on her new role, after the school conducted an extensive search throughout last year to find a “perfect fit”.
Roth, who moved to Sydney from Johannesburg last year, said she was grateful for the warm welcome from the school and wider community.
“I feel I immigrated to Emanuel School and that has made it a very soft landing. I am grateful to the warmth of the school community and the staff who have been incredibly welcoming, kind and patient,” she said.
“I feel grateful and humbled to have joined this community and to begin a journey here with my husband and two children.”
Completing her secondary education at Torah Academy in Johannesburg, Roth spent a semester studying at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Israel and a year studying Talmud at the Drisha Institute of New York.
During this time she worked for the World Union of Jewish Students on a women’s leadership training program called Kol Isha, the Voice of Women, and went on to establish an independent Jewish learning program for bar and bat mitzvah students called B’tocham Education.
Completing a degree in clinical psychology, Roth ran a private practice in Johannesburg and was also involved in building Limmud South Africa, a festival celebrating Jewish life and learning.
Roth reflected, “It was incredibly rewarding to work with people from across the Jewish community and create a diverse space of Jewish learning.”
Roth has since begun her rabbinical studies through Yeshivat Maharat in New York City, which she is set to complete next year.
“I am passionate about Jewish texts and text-based learning…The challenge is to bring these stories to our students in ways that speak to them,” she said.
“I like to incorporate creativity into every single lesson I teach, whether it is with younger kids or teenagers.”
Principal Andrew Watt said, “We are lucky to have found Adina. She has seamlessly integrated into our staff and has already made her mark as an engaging, intuitive and impactful leader.
“Her significant experience in so many areas of Jewish thought, discovery and education as well as psychology, has added a level of excellence that we had been searching for for so long.
“We are excited to see where Adina will take our school, knowing that she has the support of the school’s leadership, staff and students.”