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RTA announces new head of school

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With great excitement and anticipation, RTA is proud to announce today (Feb. 28)  that Rabbi Elisha Paul has been appointed as RTA’s next Head of School. Rabbi Paul’s appointment was made by a unanimous decision of the board based on the recommendation of the Search Committee in consultation with the Teacher Panel. Click here to learn more about Rabbi Paul’s background.

We set out with a high ambition to find a candidate that would fit well with RTA’s environment based on Torah values, committed to the community at large, and with a passion for and skillset in advancing excellence in education and faculty care and enrichment.

“I quickly learned that the heart of RTA rests on the warm and nurturing school environment that our devoted faculty and staff provide for our students,” said Rabbi Paul. “The faculty teaches with their neshamos, souls, and as a result, are able to touch the souls of their students, our dear children.”

“As Chazal tell us, ‘devarim hayotzin min halev, nichnasin el halev – words that come from the heart, enter the heart,’” Rabbi Paul shared. “With this foundation, RTA’s potential is limitless, and I look forward to advancing RTA into its next chapter in partnership and collaboration with a devoted and caring school community.”

Following significant and meaningful input from our stakeholders, including parents, faculty, staff and community members, we worked with Scott Goldberg Consulting to carefully vet candidates based on the needs and aspirations shared by the RTA community. We are so grateful for the time and participation you gave to this process, ensuring this decision honors RTA’s deeply rooted culture and values, coupled with a forward focused approach as we plan for RTA’s next era.

As a sampling of the feedback shared in the surveys after Rabbi Paul’s visit to Richmond, RTA family members reflected:

  • “Clearly an expert in education and well-versed in the research”
  • “Very personable and relatable and had significant content behind his statements”
  • “Incredibly brilliant and had great Torah knowledge and values and Halachic principles”
  • “Seemed approachable and I felt that he would be able to help me work through any sorts of issues that come up in the classroom”
  • “Inclusive of all types and appreciates diversity”

We especially thank the members of the Search Committee – Shlomo Skaist (chair), Rabbi Meir Aronowitz, Sam Lefkowitz, Sheri Prupis, Nannette Shor and Rabbi Menachem Sherman – and the members of the Teacher Panel – Mrs. Sorah Plotnick (chair), Rabbi Boruch Sherman, Rabbi Yosef Skaist, Mrs. Marlena Cantor, Mrs. Susan Shaefer and Mrs. Devorah Aronowitz – for their countless hours and careful attention throughout this search process.

Rabbi Bart will continue to lead RTA through the end of the school year. During this time, Rabbi Bart, Rabbi Paul, RTA lay and rabbinic leadership, our consultants and our staff will work together to ensure a seamless transition. It is upon the shoulders of giants that we are able to wade into RTA’s next chapter. We are deeply grateful for Rabbi Bart’s leadership in preparation for this next stage, and look forward to celebrating RTA’s significant past success and future opportunity as we transition, together, in these coming months.

With much hakarat hatov and gratitude,

Sincerely,
Shlomo Skaist, Search Committee Chair
Sorah Plotnick, Teacher Panel Chair
Daniel Roth, RTA President

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