Dr. Danielle Bloom, Educator, Ateres Bais Yaakov, Spring Valley, New York and Naaleh High School for Girls, Ridgewood, New Jersey
1. What drew you to becoming a limeudei kodesh teacher?
I have an older sister and an older brother who are both in the field and they have always been my role models. I also had the most incredible teachers in high school and college who made learning exciting and relevant to life. Realizing that I loved learning Torah and that I loved sharing that with other people made it feel like I did not even have a decision to make. Being a teacher is the greatest endeavor. It means that you are always learning yourself. It is honestly such fun, and means I get to spend my days with the greatest kids.
2. What was your educational path?
Michlalah, Stern College for Women for undergraduate school, Touro for my masters degree, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration at Yeshiva Unisity for my Ed.D.
3. You recently received your doctorate – mazal tov! What was the focus of your research? How did you carve out time to study?
Thank you! Thank G-d, it is so exciting! My research focused on the implementation of mathematics blended learning initiatives in the high school classroom. Technology, in the hands of a skilled teacher, can enable us to personalize learning for students in ways unimaginable even a few years ago.
I think the key to finishing was creating a set time on my calendar for my Ed.D work only on a weekly basis.
Writing my dissertation taught me about the power of persistence. I almost gave up because the process was so difficult, but ultimately if you keep on pushing past the difficulties, you can achieve your dreams.
4. You’ve served as a scholar for several OU Women’s Initiative programs, including Counting Toward Sinai and Rosh Chodesh Lunch N’ Learn. What would you recommend to aspiring female scholars in the Orthodox community who are interested in speaking publicly? How can they get started in bringing their goals to fruition?
Firstly, I would recommend increasing your own knowledge and skills. Being a lifelong learner is at the heart of all great teaching and speaking. What Rebbetzin Dr. Adina Shmidman is creating here at the Women’s Initiative is unique in promoting female Torah voices. Contacting her is a great next step!
Remember that you are not competing with anyone else. Your only job is to try and be better than the you that you were yesterday.