Alexa Cohen teaching by her students competing in a Kahoot.
Alexa Cohen teaching by her students competing in a Kahoot.
Dani Glickman

The Return of Alexa Cohen

In the past few months, Kansas City’s very own alumnus of HBHA Alexa Cohen walks the halls again. After majoring in linguistics at Stern (Yeshiva University, New York, NY), Cohen moved to Queens to work with homeland security. Then after marrying and starting a family, Cohen moved back to Kansas City. She has been a substitute before at HBHA, and now Cohen returns this year to teach tenth grade Jewish history. 

Alexa Cohen and her family. Image courtesy of Alexa Cohen.

Cohen’s class offers a new and innovative way to teach Jewish history. Cohen herself went through a journey in learning more about herself and her family through Jewish history, and she is excited to share those experiences and knowledge with her students. 

 

“I really believe in understanding the past and understanding the narrative,” Cohen said.

 

Additionally Cohen believes in understanding where the Jewish people have been and how that shapes them today. Cohen says, “I was excited to have the opportunity to share that with people who have yet to be exposed… to that narrative at least in its modern form.”

 

 “I really enjoyed it,” said Cohen, discussing teaching the class for which she had previously been a substitute, “so when a teaching position opened up for tenth grade Jewish history, I was really excited to jump on that.”

 

In response to being asked how her childhood experiences in the Jewish community influenced her interests in Jewish history, Cohen shares that she feels living in the U.S.,  it is harder to feel connected with Jewish history, “I think that in the U.S. in general it can be a little easier to feel somewhat divorced from our history.”  

 

Cohen says her childhood in Kansas City felt very safe. She says it was “very quiet or at least when I was growing up that was that the case.” 

Picture from Alexa Cohen’s senior page in her graduating yearbook. Curtesy of HBHA archives.

“I have always been a huge history buff,” admits Cohen, discussing her interests in Jewish History. Then Cohen shares that college was really where she continued to fall in love with Jewish History. 

 

Cohen’s motivation to start teaching this topic was sparked by exploring what her ancestors endured, mourned, and celebrated about their Judaism. She then went on to discover how these experiences affected her life and what her family looked like today. 

 

Cohen says, “In college I began to explore a little more of our history and to understand what my ancestors had gone through, what they had endured.” She also learned “what they had celebrated about being Jewish and how that had shaped who I was today”. She says, “once I understood that connection a little more deeply I became passionate about sharing it.”

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About the Contributor
Dani Glickman, Writer
Dani Glickman is a freshman, and she is a cub reporter for the RampageWired. She plays volleyball, basketball, soccer, and cross country for HBHA, and she is looking forward to taking pictures of those sports for RampageWired. Additionally, she is excited to write articles about topics that interest her.