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The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

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The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

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The End of an Era at BT


In December 2023, in an email sent to parents and faculty, Dr. Zipora Schorr announced she will step down as Head of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School. This marks the end of her legendary tenure as director of the school.

This departure symbolizes the end of an era shaped by Dr. Schorr’s foundational leadership. Her legacy demonstrates the undeniable influence she has had on Beth Tfiloh’s reputation. Throughout Dr. Schorr’s 48 years, she has transformed BT from a small elementary school in suburban Maryland, to an institutional landmark for modern Jewish learning. This marks a celebration of an extraordinary leader whose effect will resonate throughout the school for years to come.

Joel Monroe, a history teacher at Beth Tfiloh, made his thoughts clear on Dr. Schorr’s impact to the school. “Students should know that through blood, sweat, and tears, Dr. Schorr dedicated her life to creating the best Jewish day school in the U.S.” said Monroe, who has been teaching at the school for sixteen years. Mr. Monroe has witnessed Dr. Schorr’s commitment to a strong sense of community by instilling Derech Eretz into the halls of BT. Not only has she engrained this pledge into her students, but also to the fellow teachers and faculty. Monroe has taught at four high schools and says that “only at Beth Tfiloh was [he] able to teach with such freedom.” Monroe, of course, is not the only important educator who has been captivated by Schorr’s presence. Mr. Michael Bruner, the head of the English department at BT for twenty years, describes Dr. Schorr as a “renaissance person.” She has successfully steered BT to its current position as a dual-curriculum school offering a premier Jewish education along with first rate modern private school features.

Half a century ago, Dr. Schorr met Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg, laying the foundation that would forever change the face of the Baltimore Jewish community. Reminiscing on their time in charge together, they explained their proudest milestone was “reaching young adults” by building Beth Tfiloh’s High School. Indeed, in the BT High School hallways, Rabbi Wohlberg believes Dr. Schorr’s teachings of “Respect, Simcha, and Love” will always be expressed. He describes Dr. Schorr as “the finest Jewish educator in America.” Dr. Schorr and Rabbi Wohlberg’s collective leadership and commitment is the backbone of what Beth Tfiloh is today.

Not only has Dr. Schorr’s legacy been etched in the school, but also in the Beth Tfiloh Congregation. Rabbi Chai Posner, the head Rabbi at Beth Tfiloh Synagogue and proud BT parent, believes that Dr. Schorr has served as a continuous mentor and supporter to him throughout his experience at the synagogue. He credits her for assisting him in his transition to becoming the congregation’s Senior Rabbi. “It will take some time to even internalize a Beth Tfiloh without Dr. Schorr” he said, emphasizing that “Dr. Schorr’s presence is felt in every room in Beth Tfiloh.” Both Rabbi Posner and BT Alum, parent, and member of the Board of Directors, Shoshi Ponczak, will play key roles in the era BT enters after Schorr’s departure. Ponczak believes the next head of school must modernize, renovate, and adapt to “cultural and educational trends,” while maintaining the “integrity of the Beth Tfiloh message.” With many stories from over the years, Ponczak stresses one main testament found in them all: Dr. Schorr “listens and cares about every person who comes through her door,” displaying her moral uprightness.

Beth Tfiloh’s School Board of Directors is embarking on an extensive search for the next Head of School, recruiting the expertise of DRG Talent, renowned for executive enlistment in both Jewish and non-Jewish educational institutions. Through an official Search Committee, they’ll gather input from various voices in the BT community to look for qualities that they seek in the new leader. Regular updates will be provided to the community as the search progresses, aiming to announce the selected candidate by the end of the year. While BT prepares for this change, Dr. Schorr’s impact will always be present in the halls because “Beth Tfiloh is Dr. Schorr” according to Mr. Bruner.

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