In an effort to introduce our Congregational Learning Center team to the community, we will feature teacher spotlights in the Family Record. This month we would like to introduce you to our two amazing enrichment specialists: Steven Duchin (Music) and Hillary Block (Art). Both Steven and Hillary (along with Chelsea Egenberg) are an integral part of our Wednesday Walk through the Siddur Program. Since its inception two and a half years ago, these phenomenal teachers help guide our students in the formative activities that teach the history, meaning, and ritual practices of our prayer book with creativity and enthusiasm.
Steven was born in Dallas and came to Beth Torah when his parents (active members David and Rhonda Duchin) joined the synagogue while Steven was in high school. Steven went to UT Austin where he majored in Anthropology. He began playing guitar nine years ago and has been playing with Joyful Noise for over four of those years. Congregation Beth Torah has brought his family closer and he loves the connection that he feels to the Jewish community because of this special relationship. He truly appreciates the warmth and support he feels from his spiritual home. Steven stepped in to teach 2nd grade in 2016 but returned to his love of music after attending the national Jewish Song Leader camp. His kind heart and beaming smile brings joy to our younger students whenever Steven leads weekly Havdalah to grades K–2 or in supporting the ISJL curriculum with traditional holiday songs in the other grades. Congratulations Steven on your new job at Sun Power–he is now working for a company that provides residential solar panels in their sales department!
Hillary was born in Philadelphia but moved to the Metroplex when she was four. The family got involved with the synagogue because of the preschool and remains actively engaged with the congregation today. Hillary is a Learning
Center alum and was an active member in Rashi USY. She graduated from the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in film and television. Hillary has had a passion for art since she was a little girl and believes it is an essential tool in teaching Judaism to our students. She has worked tirelessly to stay on top of the ISJL curriculum and has cultivated a series of fantastic age–appropriate art projects to help deepen our student’s connection to their lessons. Hillary is also a self–proclaimed nerd who loves popular culture, science fiction, and knitting. She was even selected to serve as Intergalactic Towel Day Ambassador: a tribute to author Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Thank you, Hillary for the gusto and dedication you bring each week!