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The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


HBHA Welcomes Guest Teachers from Israel

By: Molly Kavanaugh and Julia Paul. 

Chagit and Gad Stuart and family. Photo by Shagit Stuart.
Chagit and Gad Stuart and family. Photo courtesy of Chagit Stuart

There is a “great community here.” These are the words that both Gad Stuart and Chagit Stuart said when talking about how they have adjusted to life in Kansas City. Mr. Stuart or, as his students call him, Rav Gadi, moved to the United States from Israel with his family at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. The Stuarts are on a program for two years through the World Zionist Organization (WZO), and they plan on returning to Israel after their time here.

“We went through a whole process. They had all of their psychologists test us and everything. We got accepted to the program and then this school approached us,” Rav Gadi explains about the way he came to be a part of the Hyman Brand faculty. There was a “great connection.”

Rav Gadi teaches fifth grade Hebrew and Jewish studies, as well as Hebrew for sixth and seventh grade. Back at home, he taught high school students Gemara (a rabbinical commentary on the Mishnah that forms the second part of the Talmud), in addition to Hebrew. Still he says, “students are students,” even if their ages and nationalities are different.

Rav Gadi
There is never a dull moment in Rav Gadi’s sixth grade Hebrew class! Photo by R. Gina Renee

Morah Chagit works with first and second graders on the subjects of Jewish Studies, chagim (Jewish holidays), and Hebrew. Before they moved to Overland Park, KS, Morah Chagit was also a teacher. She taught a class of twenty-six kindergarten students along with another helper throughout the past four years. Morah Chagit claims, “it is a little different than what goes on here.”

Morah Chagit also mentions that she is not used to teaching older students, but she really likes the change. “The whole culture is different,” says Morah Chagit. “From the way the learning goes on here, to the way you contact parents. Those are things that are different and that we are getting used to.”

Morah Chagit
Morah Chagit teaches first and second grade Jewish Studies and Hebrew. Photo by Molly Kavanaugh

Rav Gadi and Morah Chagit have gone through a lot in their first few months away from Israel. First, there was getting their two young children acclimated to a whole new life, while temporarily staying with local families. “We had to figure out where to do our shopping, and… things like that,” Rav Gadi explains. Morah Chagit adds that they also needed to find a new doctor for their children. They had quite a lot of work to do. Then, the pair needed to set up their apartment.

Once they were settled, the next step was figuring out what being a Hyman Brand teacher is all about. Morah Chagit states, they are “slowly, slowly, just getting to learn everything, where to put everything, where to go and do everything.” The favorite part about her job is teaching Hebrew and connecting her HBHA students to Israel. “During the holidays I brought lots of pictures from Israel and we talked about different places I went to in Israel, and that’s my way to connect them.”

However, Morah Chagit admits that, “being away from the family [back in Israel] during the holidays was very hard.” Rav Gadi adds how difficult it is, “to speak to them because of the time difference.” The distance between Israel and the Kansas City area is a definite challenge. Nevertheless, “everyone, the community and the school, have been so, so nice to us,” says Morah Chagit. “We are really grateful.”

We are certainly glad that the Stuarts decided to join our HBHA family. Morah Chagit concludes by saying, “I hope we have a very good experience here for a few years and really give as much as we can to the school and to the community and then to go back to Israel because that is where we feel we have to be.”


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